The detective series I enjoyed most last year was a six-part epic by CJ Sansom (his standalone title Dominion, an alternate WW2 thriller, is also exceptional). Set during the reign of Henry VIII, the six books (start with Dissolution) follow hunchbacked lawyer-turned-detective Matthew Shardlake through a compellingly evoked historical England.
This year, on the police procedural front, Belinda Bauer is still going strong, but my UK discovery this year was Harry Bingham, and his series set around an extraordinary character: DC Fiona Griffiths. Go back to Talking to the Dead; if you like that there are three more (to date) to enjoy.
I rate Deon Meyer as the best crime writer in South Africa (translated from Afrikaans). I haven’t read his new one, Icarus, yet, but I’ve read the other nine, and they are all great, featuring an interwoven gallery of protagonists (most notably Benny Griessel and Thobela Mpayipheli).
Ken Bruen is the unconventional dark king of Galway Noir, and I love his Jack Taylor series, which starts with The Guards, and continued this year with _Green Hell_.
On the Australian front, all the great things said here about Peter Temple are true. I’m also a big fan of Garry Disher, and his Wyatt novels.
If I can stretch the crime blanket out from detective fiction to a wider expanse, you have GOT to read the 1994 thriller Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson, republished this year with an introductory rave by Philip Pullman. It leaves everything else in the shade, even the unbelievably assured American Blood from young New Zealander Ben Sanders, which ticks every great summer beach reading box.
And finally, the new epic from Don Winslow, The Cartel, takes all that was fantastic about his previous Mexican/American drug war novel The Power of the Dog and ratches it up by a factor of ten. If you loved movie of the year Sicario as much as I did, this is deeper, darker and even more disillusioning.
Really disapponted that Hadyn hasn't had time to critique the RWC team kits in this year of peak design engagement.
It was a particular education that ranged from things I can hardly believe I listened to (Kansas’s ‘Dust in the Wind’, anyone?) to the odd tune that changed my life.
This ‘Dust in the Wind’, however, is truly something special.
I used to do that same American Top 40 recording thing with a mono cassette player microphone held up to the AM radio. And people say MP3 quality sucks...
It's all about the songs.
And I have to disagree about "Bad Blood" - the "hey!"s get me every time. Most of that _1989_ album is perfect pop ("Wonderland" is genius). You're right about that "Marvin Gaye" abomination though.
Also, the Jewel School New Zealand Music Mix 2015 is a good listen.
Robert Owens in Wgtn?!!? That VOICE! How was that not on my radar? Sadly, I start early tomorrow, as always, and I'm guessing he'll start too late for me...
Good week for SJD. Pete Paphides played 'Jet Planes' on his Soho Radio show, and Emma Smith recorded this video of Sean in his West AK HQ with Sandi Mill chatting and playing 'I Wanna Be Foolish' for Music 101.
This was from the time when we had to take the music out, sorry.
I think it's a shame "rectal rehydration" arrived too late on the scene.
Pirlo's setup for that Mario goal was just fabulous. England were competitive but no real flair; those young players were good, but Rooney had his chances, flubbed them, and I'm not convinced by their goalie. Will be lucky to progress. Personal highlight was Italy's right/left boot colour disparity combos; nice touch. And the commentary hiatus. And the "massage tops". What's with that? Over to you, Mr Green.
My bad. But don't you get the weekly email preview?
Matt and Karl have got some good (film-related) tunes, for sure. And their new site for the NZIFF currently lists four Festival films, all music titles...