Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tana French's top 10 maverick mysteries

Tana French's first novel, In the Woods, won a Mystery Writers of America Edgar award earlier this year, and her second, The Likeness, has just been published.

For the Guardian, she named a top ten list of "books that defy all the thriller's conventions - but remain thrilling."

One title from her list:
The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

Tom Ripley, broke and living by his wits, is sent to Italy to convince rich boy Dickie Greenleaf to come home. Instead, he kills Dickie and steals his identity. The book positions us with the murderer, not the investigator. We see the whole train of events through Tom Ripley's eyes, and we're seduced into being on his side. Usually the great payoff moment of a mystery book, the one you look forward to, is the moment when the killer is revealed. Highsmith turns that upside down: when Ripley is on the verge of getting caught, you're on the edge of your seat hoping that he'll escape, that that big payoff won't happen.
Read about all ten titles on French's list.

Read a brief excerpt from In the Woods, and learn more about the novel and author at Tana French's website.

The Page 69 Test: In the Woods.

--Marshal Zeringue