First Contract: introducing a new anti-hero…

  First Contract is a standalone short story that introduces JJ Stoner, the anti-hero of a series of novels yet to come. It’s intelligently written, with excellent characterisation, sharp wit and punchy back-n-forth dialogue. The author makes no apologies for Stoner’s pragmatic attitude towards the elimination of his targets, and the result is an solid…

In Darkness: Schindler’s List in the Sewers

Based on true events which took place in the Polish city of Luvov in WW2, this gruelling arthouse film revisits the emotional and factual territory familiar from Anne Frank’s diary and Schindler’s List. It seeks out rare fragments of human integrity and benevolence which have been all but extinguished under the Nazi boot in occupied…

Out The Window: pure pulp fiction from a master of the genre

This is a self-contained short story featuring troubled private investigator Matt Scudder, who is one of Block’s best creations. The story is set back in the day, during Matt’s heavy drinking sessions and long before the advent of the mobile phone or internet. So it’s very much a traditional murder-mystery investigation, although initially it appears…

New Books: just published. Sheer murder!

A rapid round-up of new crime-thriller, murder-mystery and crossover titles from new writers, independent authors and small publishers. Plenty here to choose from for your holiday reading selection… THE DEVIL’s HANDSHAKE by Michael Regan: an ex-SAS solider turned oligarch treads a dangerous path within a spiralling circle of treachery that governs the new cold war…

Lavender Hill: an English X-File?

This is an intriguing ‘what if?’ novella, set in the near-future of ‘next year’, about a moment of shared consciousness and what it might mean for mankind. The story is told from several perspectives; mainly two of the people who experienced the event and those who report on the phenomenon, as they try to unravel…

Hot Lead, Cold Iron: gangster’s molls and mean-eyed monsters

As far as urban fantasy goes, the concept for this new series of magical detectives couldn’t be better. Take the spiritual home of hardboiled pulp fiction – a hard-assed Chicago of the prohibition period, oozing with booze-dealing Italian gangsters and numbnuts thugs driving flivvers – and introduce that time-honoured reluctant hero, a jaded, hard-bitten private…