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Bookworm In Your Ear: Crime Can Pay

Here are two novels that take on the Crime Fiction genre from different angles. What's common to the two is the impeccable quality of the writing. 

The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (available on Amazon.com)

Horowitz is back, one again bending the genre he excels in. On the heels of his Russian doll The Magpie Murders, here is his latest that intrudes into metafiction territory by inserting the author himself as one of the main protagonists. Diana Cowper, mother of rising star Damian, visits a funeral parlor to make detailed arrangements for her own funeral. Not that uncommon an occurrence; but something disturbing arrives when six hours later, she is murdered in her own residence.

Hawthorne, a detective who was retired under cloudy circumstances, is called in as a consultant to the case. He then invites his author acquaintance, Anthony Horowitz to tag along, with the hopes of collaborating on a True Crime book that they can split proceeds from 50/50. With passages that include Horowitz working for the Spielberg and Jackson on the Tintin movie, Horowitz gamely includes real life anecdotes into this exhilarating fiction work.

The Ready Made Thief by Augustus Rose (available at Fully Booked)

Lee is a young girl who thanks to violent episodes in her school life, runs away from home, and lives on the margins of society. She operates within the underbelly of the urban landscape. Along with Tomi, a young hacker, she explores the unmapped corners of the city, forging a life of discovery and urban spelunking. When she seeks refuge in a seemingly abandoned building known as the Crystal Castle, she stumbles upon something both dark and organized.

For a first novel, Rose offers a very polished saga - one that turns what's right there in front of our eyes, those city areas condemned or awaiting renewal, into something foreboding and fraught with menace. He also gives us strong, real characters that we can empathize with and care about. The sinister agenda planned out by the ones running said Crystal Castle put both Lee and those around her into extreme and mortal danger. A gripping read.