Scrublands: ablaze in the outback

It’s a scene that you could see almost any day on the scrolling news. ‘Five die in brutal shooting’. The reassuring monotony of rural, small-town life is shattered when – for no obvious reason – a stalwart member of the tight-knit community opens fire, apparently at random. As men lie dying around him, the killer…

Best International Crime Books of 2018

Our year has been stacked with mystery and intrigue, betrayal and revenge, bitterness and redemption – and some simply stunning plot twists. We’ve reviewed and read almost 200 crime / thrillers, from literary fiction by established authors to debut books by indie authors. Only a very select few, less than 10%, achieve a full-on five-star…

Northtown Eclipse: hardboiled and harrowing

Original and inventive, Northtown Eclipse takes the typical crime cliché of a seedy private eye and subverts the standard hardboiled detective story into something significantly more substantial. Author Robb White twists the tropes of the genre to tell a much more meaningful story, one which explores the human condition at its most personal – a…

Rapid Reviews of criminal activities

Half a dozen criminal capers to entertain and intrigue: art mystery, serial-killer thriller; political conspiracy; world crime, corporate corruption, gritty Brits and a police procedural… Priceless by Zygmunt Miloszewski An art mystery of type made famous by the Da Vinci Code, this stand-alone globe-trotting romp feels more like Mission Impossible than the author’s series of…

Seven Hells: menace, murder and manipulation

The latest novella from Frank Westworth sees his occasional assassin, JJ Stoner, on the periphery of – apparently – an extensive terrorist plot. While British security forces – the good guys in uniform and the deniable assets in black – set up their surveillance, Stoner is drawn into the danger zone by an old adversary…

The Blinds: redemption in the desert

You’re in safe hands with this author – he can definitely drag you on a tense and unpredictable adventure, hanging off the edge of an outlandish concept. As with his earlier book, Shovel Ready, this novel hinges on a nifty notion but here the story feels like it came second to the scenario. The Blinds…

Blood In The Snow: alpine excellence

Life is tough for readers of high-class international crime fiction. These books aren’t like the typical potboiler thriller. Their authors don’t just churn out a by-the-numbers page-turner every six months. A literary crime novel demands dedication and extensive effort to hone to something close to perfection. And then we English speaking types have to endure…