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Tour the world with these international thrillers and mystery novels

By Kobo • May 22, 2022Recommended Reading

From Japan to Australia to Indigenous communities in the Americas, these books will take you into the world’s darkest corners of crime.

One of the most appealing aspects of a good mystery novel is getting immersed in a setting in a way that can only happen alongside a sharp-eyed detective.

Shutter by Ramona Emerson

(Indigenous - Navajo Nation) In this debut, Ramona Everson creates a multi-genre horror-thriller set in the Navajo Nation in modern-day New Mexico. Forensic photographer Rita Todacheene has as keen an eye for detail as you’d expect. But she's aided by the ghosts of victims who appear to her to show her clues other investigators miss. But this supernatural vision comes with a cost: the ghosts don’t let her rest, and her troubled mind struggles to sustain relationships with other people.

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The Dark Flood by Deon Meyer

(South Africa) This installment in Meyer’s popular series about detective Benny Griessel has the inspector falling on hard times professionally, banished from the elite Hawks unit to a suburb outside of Cape Town where he’s made to work as a warrant officer. But when a seemingly clean-cut college kid goes missing, Griessel’s investigation picks up threads that lead to shocking places.

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My Annihilation by Fuminori Nakamura

(Japan) In this short novel, literary noir master Fuminori Nakamura constructs a puzzle in the shape of a diary that will leave readers unsettled.

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Sinister Graves by Marcie R. Rendon

(Indigenous - White Earth Nation) In the third installment in the Cash Blackbear Mystery series, 19-year-old Cash Blackbear helps out Sheriff Wheaton, her legal guardian, on another investigation. This time the pair go to the White Earth Reservation, where an unknown woman’s body has washed up in the spring melt. Cash and the sheriff try to piece together clues tying the woman to Ojibwe and English settler communities as another woman turns up dead.

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When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

(UK) Philomena McCarthy has fought to shed the heritage conferred on her by her London gangster father, and has succeeded in climbing the ranks of the Metropolitan police. But can her career survive when she’s called to the scene of a domestic assault where the perpetrator is a fellow officer?

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Those Who Perish by Emma Viskic

(Australian) This is the final installment in Viskic’s series about Caleb Zelic, an in-demand deaf private investigator and security consultant who tries to read lips when he can, but often relies on reading body language and communicating by text. This is a series that’s not for the faint of heart: the violence is graphic and brutal, so be warned.

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Even the Darkest Night by Javier Cercas

(Spain) Melchor Marín is a most unlikely detective. Following a troubled childhood as the son of a single parent sex-worker, he served prison time in his teens, where he discovered the power of great literature in the form of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. After his mother was murdered he felt called to a career in law enforcement. In this book, which won Spain’s grandest literary prize, the detective investigates the murder of a wealthy couple in rural Catalonia.

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