ThreeTwists

Three Twisted Stories: surprising from start to finish

One novella, two short stories. All utterly unexpected – not least because I’d grabbed this anthology thinking it was by one of my favourite Scandinavian authors, Karin Fossum. Oops. Instead, the writer is another famous name in crime-thrillers, Karin Slaughter. Easy mistake to make… although their books are radically different. Fossum’s idiosyncratic police procedural featuring…

FourC LS

Four Cornered: sharp blades and blunt instruments

Just published, Four Cornered is an action-packed quick thriller featuring covert operative JJ Stoner, who uses sharp blades and blunt instruments to discreetly solve problems for the UK government. A static stake-out rapidly escalates into live fire, but Stoner is distracted by two killer women. Suddenly, what should have been a ‘routine conversation’ with a…

OrderofDisappearance

Movie reviews: downloads and DVDs

It’s Movie Monday which means crime-thrillers, murder mysteries, sci-fi fantasy, Eurocrime and Nordic noir; mainstream, indie, art-house and B-movies. Recent screenings feature Stellan Skarsgård, Persian vampires, Gillian Anderson, Ving Rhames, Victor Garber and Lance Reddick. Eclectic? Exactly. THE GUEST: savvy super-soldier action thriller This got off to a slow start but is worth holding your…

FrozenOut

Frozen Out: a mild winter

This Icelandic police procedural is set prior to the credit crunch, before the dominos started tumbling and an economic house of cards on the fringe of northern Europe collapsed completely. So Frozen Out operates on two separate but interlinked levels. It’s a humdrum local investigation, with a shrewd but going-nowhere rural female police officer dragged…

Vigil

Vigil: a satisfying vampire apocalypse

Ambitious and inventive, Vigil explores different dimensions surrounding the myth of the vampire while remaining true to the genre’s central tenet. It’s brutal and bleak; expansive but not pretentious. It extends the saga of the near-immortal blood-guzzling monster into tomorrow, a carefully considered and entirely credible post-apocalyptic future, where nukes have been used as a…

ChasPR

News: Crime (writing) pays for Cornish charity

The debut crime-thriller from Bude-based author Frank Westworth received widespread critical approval when it was launched last year. ‘A Last Act Of Charity’ was short-listed in Wordery’s Best Independent Books of 2014 and selected by crime guru Maxim Jakubowski for his end-of-year recommended reads. Now, readers who enjoy modern noir or Eurocrime can purchase a…

MeShivers

Mr Shivers: high-brow mythic horror

This debut novel ambitiously aims to blend American gothic, historical grit and the sinister, surreal otherworldliness of a menacing modern-day myth. The sparse text veers towards the literary end of the spectrum, where the author establishes the narrative dynamic and the emotional context for the increasingly unsettling scenes, but lets the reader’s imagination run wild…