The City & The City
China Miéville

China Miéville’s Hugo Award winning The City & The City brings a decidedly different take on the standard crime novel.  The opening of the book is “normal” enough – a murder – and our narrator is the traditional senior police inspector assigned to the case.  But with this mundane setting, we are immediately thrown off balance by the language and nuance of the scene, letting us know that we are indeed not in Kansas, nor any other recognizable landscape.  Our sense of place, while grounded in a gritty feeling of familiarity, is kept off kilter and keeps tilting until we are halfway through the story – with conspiracies spanning not just politics and policies, but the very fabric of the environment itself.  By the time our understanding clicks in, our leaps of faith have found a solid foundation and it’s time to hold on by our fingertips for the unpredictable and mesmerizing conclusion.

-Sharon Browning

3 thoughts on “LitStaff Pick: Our Favorite Crime Novels”

  1. Great picks all around. I love reading James Lee Burke and thought D. B. Grady's Red Planet Noir was wonderful. The Chabon book sounds like something I'd like to add to my have-read list. I recommend Reginald Hill, who died this year. His novels never failed to leave me in awe.

  2. Yes! Kyla Lucas, "Motherless Brooklyn" would be my pick too! Soooo good! It even makes my list of "Books I'd Like to Read Again as if for the First Time."

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