Hello, everyone, my name is Marina Sofia and I am a crime fiction addict. I blog at http://findingtimetowrite.wordpress.com, but, as the name of the blog indicates, Finding Time to Write, I didn’t actually intend to start a book blog back in 2012 when I first embarked upon this journey. No, I was going to share bits of my writing every day in a hope that it would kick-start my creativity and make me feel accountable for producing something every day (or should that be guilty?).
However, over the years, I’ve drifted more and more towards book reviews, particularly crime (because that’s what I love reading).I have a weakness for translated fiction or crime set in exotic locations and this is exactly what I am recommending today:
Jean-Claude Izzo’s Marseille Trilogy
What better location for a summer read than this city on the Mediterranean, European Capital of Culture in 2013? It has Roman ruins, a bustling port, quaint coloured houses and cobbled streets with lots of delicious restaurants (you have to try the renowned local fish stew, the bouillabaisse), plus terraces on which you can enjoy an early evening aperitif of rose wine or pastis, listening to jazz or the so-called Marseille reggae.
Well, all that features a bit in Izzo’s books, but the city he describes is far darker: a chaotic city, teeming with immigrants, noise, drugs and criminal gangs. Fabio Montale is the lead detective in all three books, yet his start in life was far from promising. The son of poor Italian immigrants, he fell in with a dodgy neighbourhood crowd in his youth, but managed to clean up his act by joining the Foreign Legion and later the police. Yet his childhood friends were not so fortunate and could not escape the criminal environment they grew up in. As he investigates the murky social and racial tensions in his home town, he discovers stories of poverty, despair, heartbreak, but despite his cynicism, his love for this melting pot of a city, its music and inhabitants shines through. I certainly have fallen under the spell of Marseille, despite its bad press. And, if you like jazz and good food, there are plenty of references to both in each of the books to keep you happy!