LockedRoom

Katla Killfiles: total tradecraft

To repeatedly get away with murder for money, a female assassin must be calculating, careful and somewhat cold-hearted. Katla Sieltjes is all of the above, and much more. In the Killfiles short stories she comes across as an intelligent, accomplished and cautious professional. Skilled, trained and experienced in dealing death to her commercial targets. Imagine…

LoD

Life Or Death: modern day Texas manhunt

Life Or Death kicks off with a perfect poser: why would you escape from prison one day before being released? The mystery manhunt which follows maintains that level of intrigue and suspense, gradually untangling the events which pushed Audie Palmer into going over the wall when 24 hours later he would’ve been a free man.…

12MM

Twelve Mad Men: disturbing visions of derangement

This is a nifty idea for an anthology, and one which has been executed with fair accomplishment. Take a dozen writers, lock them (metaphorically) in an insane asylum; get them to explain the reasons why they’re incarcerated inside. The result is 12 different and deeply dark interpretations on the notion of criminal insanity, cunningly stitched…

ChasPR

FranksWrite: Nordic noir comes to the West Country

English crime fiction used to be deeply rooted in traditional murder mysteries, country house investigations and character-driven police procedurals. If Colonel Mustard didn’t do it in the library with a candlestick, then DCI Tom Barnaby would have any Midsomer murder wrapped up by the time the parish clock chimed for tea. Yet the sudden popularity…

SecondLife

Second Life: midlife melodrama

No doubt this will be another blockbuster best-seller and a bad movie to boot. It’s a preposterous, page-turning pot-boiler, in which dull middle-class people do dumb things for the wrong reasons. It indulges the readers’ worst appetite for twist and turns by contriving impossible coincidences and implausible scenarios. It achieves a keep-em-guessing-to-the-very-end atmosphere of uncertainty,…

LostRiver

Movie reviews: DVDs and downloads

Saturday night is movie night. It is in the MMM household at any rate. Mind you, so is Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night and… you get the picture. The motion picture. So we watch an awful lot of films; murder mysteries, sci-fi fantasy, noir (Nordic and otherwise); mainstream, indie, art-house and B-movies. Here’s just…

BloodAndBone

Masters Of Blood And Bone: full-on dark fantasy

Shocking and gripping from the get-go, this tightly wound tale of gods and monsters had me hooked from the opening pages. The writing veers from slick, Tarantino-style dialogue and rapid narrative to surreal, bewildering sequences, which gradually coalesce into an ambitious plot involving ancient deities, their appalling servants, demons of the abyss and the apocalypse…