Top bloggers choose a #crime summer read: Marina at Finding Time to Write @MarinaSofia8

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!

 
It’s best to read the three books in order, and you can find a review of the entire trilogy on my blog
 
Izzo tragically died in 2000 at the age of just 55, but he was hugely influential in French crime fiction and the whole Mediterranean area. Europa Editions published a translation of the trilogy by Howard Curtis, and this has recently been reprinted. 
 
I spend far too much time on Twitter as @MarinaSofia8 and you can also find me reviewing crime fiction regularly at Crime Fiction Lover
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About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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