Crime Time: new books and recommended reads

  The autumn reading season delivers Nordic noir, cosy crime, sci-fi thrillers, feisty female detectives, murder in the Outback and sleaze in Sicily: detectives, vendettas, hardboiled heroes and even some gore-splattered horror. Oh, and the George Smiley spy story which everyone’s been patiently waiting for… A LEGACY OF SPIES by John Le Carre A throwback…

The Accordionist: off-key?

French novelist Fred Vargas writes two separate crime series which have been translated into English. The Commissaire Adamsberg investigations are more conventional, although even they exist on the outer fringes of idiosyncrasy. The Accordionist belongs to her other ‘Three Evangelists’ series, and it veers from quaintly quirky into absolute obscurity without following a straight line…

The Force: American epic

Undoubtedly, this is the great American crime novel of the decade and it’ll be the book which in future everyone will associate with Don Winslow. They’ll probably use it as a required text in literary degree courses – an epic of both grand and human proportions which thoroughly exposes the conflicts in the human condition…

Varg Veum: a wolf comes a-calling

In an extended moment of muppetry, I avoided reading Gunnar Staalesen’s Varg Veum series for decades. Every time a new episode featuring the Norwegian private detective arrived, my vision was averted. I looked the other way, put off by back-cover blurbs which compared the books to Henning Mankell, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. That old…

Killer thriller giveaway!

We have THREE ebook editions to give away this week, to help celebrate the recent publication of Matt Hilton’s new thriller, Marked For Death. This sees the return of Joe Hunter, an ex-military hard man who metes out justice on the backstreets of America. Hunter should be on a routine assignment providing security for an…

Mea culpa: stylish French cinema

This is a minuscule plot, presented in a stylish cinema noir wrapper and packed with Gallic panache. It features powerful performances from the two male leads, as it explores their relationship and the consequences of the catastrophic event which saw one of them drummed out of the police force and imprisoned for causing deaths while…

Mission Khyber: a killer woman with a psy side

Psychic spy Tana Standish has a habit of appearing slap-bang in the middle of the most significant historical upheavals of the 20th century. This time she’s in Afghanistan in 1979, providing intel for the British secret intelligence service, running interference for freedom fighters, side-stepping a Soviet plot to kidnap her, liberating victims of oppression, avenging…