55: deceit and dishonesty

Ambiguous characters, devious cliffhangers and sneaky-cheat disclosures are all the rage in crime fiction right now. It’s almost as if readers have dared authors to deceive them, to invent improbable scenarios and craft them into something convincingly credible. This debut novel does something similar but different. It hooks us with a superb set-up… and then…

The Conviction Of Cora Burns: a fight for freedom

This might be an historical crime novel, set below stairs in Victorian England, but it’s about a far from cosy crime as you can imagine. This is a gritty, character-driven thriller with a deeply conflicted yet credible protagonist. Cora Burns pretty much sums up the capacity of the human spirit to overcome adversity… although the…

Three Bullets: blown away

You might think that there’s nothing new to say about the assassination of JFK. Surely the subject has been done to death already? Think again. Three Bullets breathes new life into the greatest controversy of 20th century American politics by approaching it from an entirely new angle. The result is a radically refreshed story –…

Death In Shangri-La: international action

A wayward son, a special agent seeking redemption, the terrorist threat, an arms deal gone wrong – these are the average elements of any old crime-thriller. In ‘Death In Shangri-La’ they’re given energetic impetus against an exquisite international backdrop of exotic locations. Simultaneously, the author incorporates some serious metaphysical heft, introducing themes and personalities from…

The Courier: mainly history, not so thrilling

If you rate a book by its historical context, social insight and technical accomplishment then this Scandinavian story would be a full-on five-star phenomenon. It’s a consummate construction of complex timelines set in WW2 in Norway, the mid-1960s in Sweden, and the 21st century. A cold-blooded killing committed in the past can only be solved…