First Contract: great stortytelling

A discharged military sergeant is sent on a mission to assassinate a target in order to acquire a clean record that was tarnished by executing Iraqi prisoners. A lot of people will read the above description and think they’ve already read this story many times over with nothing new or original to offer. They may…

Crime Time: new books and recommended reads

Our latest list of cracking crime fiction includes Nordic noir, international espionage and adventure, English investigators, wartime military mysteries, Scandi crime, literary fiction and historical intrigue: the weird, the witty and the gritty; thrillers, killers and all-action assassins from world-class writers and indie authors. Get ready to load your Kindle… ROAD TO ITHACA by Ben…

Sneak preview: an intricate new thriller

In ‘The Redemption Of Charm’, anti-hero JJ Stoner prowls the threatening territory familiar to readers of ‘Galveston’ or ‘The Winter Of Frankie Machine’ but with a distinctly British twist. Imagine what might happen if Jack Reacher lost the only fight that really matters… Black humour and wry realism underscore intense episodes of brutal, no-holds-barred conflict.…

Souls Disturbed: supernatural stirrings in the suburbs

Although the cover art for this collection of three novellas appears quite creepy, the stand-alone stories themselves are far from horrific. Instead they’re set in the ‘soft edges’ of ordinary, everyday English life, where the boundaries between ‘unremarkable’ and ‘unexplained’ can become blurred. Author Kath Middleton uses familiar situations from normal life to explore some…

Classic Crime: Inspector Zhang

Hang on, wait. This isn’t ‘classic’ or ‘vintage’ crime. It wasn’t written a hundred years ago. Inspector Zhang is a thoroughly modern man, investigating 21st century crime in the ultra-up-to-date, high-tech, lion city of Singapore. So why classify this short story as ‘classic crime’? Easy. In ‘Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish’ author Stephen Leather has…

Classic Crime: The Iron Chariot

This is a brand-new translation of a Norwegian novel that’s more than 100 years old – so don’t pick it up expecting cutting-edge Scandi crime or the bleak brutality of Nordic noir. Instead The Iron Chariot offers a nostalgic interlude in the golden age of the private detective. Puzzle-solver and independent investigator Asbjørn Krag is…

Classic Crime: The Pledge

When a previously dispassionate detective – renowned and somewhat disliked for his cool head and professional detachment – becomes fixated by a case, his colleagues think he’s burned out, suffered a breakdown. They think he’s lost his mind. From his perspective the situation is completely reversed: the callous cut-throat murder of a young girl shocks…