Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers: suspense that gets under the skin

Clinical psychologist Kim Slade has intimate experience about body disfigurement. She’s a scarred woman, both facially and figuratively. Yet superficially she’s a successful modern career woman who converted childhood trauma into something positive. Slade has a fashionable flat in trendy Cheltenham, a second seaside home in the West Country, a loving long-term boyfriend, a close-knit…

QB

Witness Statement: author Quentin Bates

Quentin Bates pens a series of Icelandic murder mystery novels which feature the pleasingly pragmatic Officer Gunnhildur Gísladóttir. Firmly grounded in contemporary reality, Bates writes criminal investigations populated with contradictory characters who are neither clear-cut good-guys nor moustache-twirling villains. There’s an entertaining ambiguity to his three-dimensional creations and a well-honed wit to their dialogue –…

Ordeal

Ordeal: substantial Scandi crime

Both the English title and the suggestion that this book is noir (Nordic or otherwise) are pretty misleading. This is character-driven police procedural set in small-town Norway, along the lines of Wallander or Beck. It places realistic human characters at the core of a criminal investigation; the discovery of a dead body juxtaposed alongside everyday…

BookStack

Criminal encounters: thrillers, killers and conundra

Need something new to read? Here’s 20 or more psychological thrillers, global conspiracies, murder mysteries, Scandi crime, police procedurals, neo noir, private detectives, military sedition, ruthless gangsters, corrupt lawmen, cosy crime and historical whodunnits, which feature stealing, lying, cheating, kidnapping, spying, stalking and the odd dead body or ten. Just the job for a Bank…

Breakdown

Breakdown: criminal psychology with a social conscience

The early Dr Alex Delaware investigations were all about the science of the mind. Author Jonathan Kellerman used his psychologist character to explore the impulses that accompany insanity, to pull apart the pathological behaviours that can create death, despair, chaos and cruelty. Then the series stopped being so analytical, the mystery and murders became submerged…

GatorBait

Gator Bait: superbly snappy

Pure pulp fiction which doesn’t take itself too seriously, Gator Bait was a taut, toothy grin from beginning to end. You know you’re in for a rollicking ride when the spilled blood soaks in to the sawdust floor, and Smitty Three Fingers plays that bad boy boogie on the ol’ pee-anna down at The Grinnin’…