JAKOB ARJOUNI - A SAD FAREWELL TO A GREAT DETECTIVE WRITER
Within the last year or so, I discovered a fantastic writer published by Melville House. The first of his Kemel Kayankaya series was only published in English in 2011 so I wasn't that late coming to the game. Unfortunately for me and for avid detective writer fans, the author, Jakob Arjouni, sadly passed away last month. Therefore, only one last novel from the series will be available from Melville House in September.
I feel sad for the author himself and for the literary world, as I have really enjoyed his novels and I think he adds a lot to the detective fiction canon. I think he fits right in there with Raymond Chandler, Derek Raymond, and Dashiell Hammett, to name a few.
Now a little bit about the books and the protagonist. The books are set in Germany (Frankfurt) and feature a Turkish national detective who was adopted by German parents at a young age. The result is a smart-talking, fearless detective with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. It makes for a gritty and amusing read. The plots are all well-crafted and filled with a plethora of absorbing characters and plot twists. Of course, as with most detective figures, Kayankaya gets a real beating at times. However, it's quite realistic because if he does get a beating, his body doesn't always recover as quickly as other detectives do!
I am still yet to read Kismet, the fourth installment. I'm saving it now because I don't want to have to wait ages to get the fifth one. Either way, it's sad to get to the end of the series, just as it's sad that Arjouni's life had to end so soon. I can't help thinking the world will have missed out on a few more classic novels. I can only hope Melville House or another great publisher will translate his other novels into English.
Please do check out Jakob Arjouni if you're a detective or crime writer fan. Much recommended!
The order of the series is:
Happy Birthday, Turk!
One Man, One Murder
Brother Kemel (to be released Sept 2013)