Thursday, October 20, 2022

Kim Hays: an Exciting New Author to Watch from James W. Ziskin

Let’s do a shout-out to the debut authors. What’s a wonderful book by a first time crime fiction author you’ve read in the last six months?

I haven’t read a lot of debuts recently, but one that truly wowed me was Pesticide by Kim Hays. Hays sets her debut in Bern, Switzerland, and it’s a winner.

From the book jacket:

Bern, Switzerland—known for its narrow cobblestone streets, decorative fountains, and  striking towers. Yet dark currents run through this charming medieval city and beyond, to the idyllic farmlands that surround it.

When a rave on a hot summer night erupts into violent riots, a young man is found the next morning bludgeoned to death with a policeman’s club. Seasoned detective Giuliana Linder is assigned to the case. That same day, an elderly organic farmer turns up dead and drenched with pesticide. Enter Giuliana’s younger—and distractingly attractive—colleague Renzo Donatelli to investigate the second murder. Giuliana’s disappointment that they’re on two different cases is tinged with relief—her home life is complicated enough without the risk of a fling.

But when an unexpected discovery ties the two victims into a single case, Giuliana and Renzo are thrown closer together than ever before. Dangerously close. Will Giuliana be able to handle the threats to her marriage and to her assumptions about the police? If she wants to prevent another murder, she’ll have to put her life on the line—and her principles.

Combining suspense and romance, this debut mystery in the Polizei Bern series offers a distinctive picture of the Swiss. An inventive tale, packed with surprises, it will keep readers guessing until the end.

I liked Pesticide so much I blurbed it. Here’s what I said:

Giuliana Linder and Renzo Donatelli make for one of the sharpest, most compelling police duos you’ll ever read. Their conflicted attraction bristles with true emotional depth and poignancy as they lead a rich ensemble cast through the surprisingly nefarious world of organic politics. A remarkable procedural set in Bern, Kim Hays’s Pesticide is Switzerland’s answer to Scandinavian noir. Fresh and oh so readable, you won’t want to put it down.

But don’t take my word for it. Two wonderful writer friends, Deborah Crombie and Allen Eskens, also loved it:

"Kim Hays brings a sparkling new voice to police procedurals, giving us engaging and realistically drawn detectives who struggle to balance their personal lives with the demands of a gripping investigation. Set against the fascinating backdrop of modern Switzerland, Pesticide will delight crime fiction fans--a standout debut for 2022!" -- Deborah Crombie, New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novels

"Kim Hays hits it out of the park with her debut novel, Pesticide
, giving this twisty police procedural lots of heart by creating characters that the reader truly cares about. It is a must read for mystery lovers, especially those who prefer their intrigue with an international edge." -- Allen Eskens, bestselling and award-winning author of The Stolen Hours and six Max Rupert and Joe Talbot mysteries
Deadly Pleasures also loved it. Follow the link below.

If you’re looking for something new, give Pesticide a chance! Wait, that sounds off. Well, you know what I mean. The second novel in the Linder and Donatelli series, Sons and Brothers, comes out in April 2023. Don’t miss it.

1 comment:

Catriona McPherson said...

I don't think I've ever read a Swiss crime novel. (Unless THE LAST counts???) Cheers, Jim.