Joe Country: English espionage

Brilliant but baffling. If you’re new to the Slough House series then that’s your likely reaction to this, the sixth in the sequence of modern-day spook stories. Joe Country is not one of those dip-in, dip-out, ‘can be read as a standalone’ novels. Each book in the Jackson Lamb series is a chapter in an…

The Stoner Stories: hardboiled humour

Frank Westworth’s Stoner Stories are so damn funny. Probably my favourite merging of genres is crime-comedy. Because of the colourful and dominating personalities in crime fiction, comedy slides in naturally, and when done well, it’s a great mix. Westworth does it well. There are many examples of the fast-paced and deliciously dry sense of humour…

Crime Time: new books and recommended reads

Ready to hit the beach? Don’t forget to take a stack of crime thrillers, espionage adventures and murder mysteries with you. Here’s the latest new publications from indie authors and bestselling big names, from hardboiled pulp fiction to Nordic noir, spy stories to high-tech thrillers, police procedurals and political conspiracies. Expect the unexpected! THE RUSSIAN…

GET9: get in there

There’s so much going on in this high-tech, hard-wired thriller that it’s tough to pin it all down. Corporate espionage, social engineering and black-hat tradecraft set the scene, but the core of the story boils down to desperate moments of ephemeral intimacy between old friends – people using cutting edge tech and serious combat skills…

Past Tense: present perfect

Jack Reacher has been a part of my life for 20 years, give or take. A thoroughly reliable part of my life. He strides into town every year, beats the blue blazes out of deserving bad guys; writes wrongs, refrains from singing songs and never over-stays his welcome. JR is the high plains drifter of…

One Last Prayer For The Rays: gritty BritCrime

This is no humdrum parochial British police procedural – in fact, with all the pigs, blood, gore, kidnapping and brutality it’s more like Hannibal than Morse. Which of course snagged my attention at the get-go… The gruesome abduction of a loner schoolboy is just the start of a deftly executed campaign of revenge against an…