Malice: ingenious, intricate and involving

This is an utter gem of a murder-mystery, a story which delights and deceives every step of the way. It’s set in Japan and was written back in 1996. They’re still using fax machines and email is far from common, a plot-point which not only forms part of the story but serves to cement it…

Mask Market: a bitter thriller

  If you start here with the Burke series then you’re joining the action near the end of the innings. This is the 16th book to feature the relentless urban outlaw, and the no-punches-pulled series draws to a close just a couple of books hereafter with the 18th episode. The series extends over almost a…

Pioneer: art-house underwater intrigue

  More art-house than action-adventure, Pioneer nonetheless kept us utterly gripped with intriguing plot developments, stunning underwater photography and a powerful central performance. There is, inevitably, an American re-make on the way but this multilingual Scandinavian film (with subtitles, no need to learn Norwegian) perfectly captures the feel of the times. In common with many…

News: ‘Charity’ ebook now available to pre-order

  Want a killer read for your Kindle? Knife-edge action for your Nook? A crime-thriller for your Kobo? Intrigue for your iPad*? There’s all that and masses more (including but not limited to dead bodies, weird sisters, guitar heroes and strange sex) in A LAST ACT OF CHARITY by Frank Westworth, which is out on…

The Rhymer: outstanding. Original. Odd

Satirical and surreal, The Rhymer is going to perplex an awful lot of people. It IS a story, one with a definite beginning, middle and end, but it’s a story artfully told in a tumbling, tangled stream of consciousness which bamboozles and bewilders with its dazzling feats of editor-defying stunt-writing so that the reader spends…

God’s Pocket: a fitting farewell to Philip Seymour Hoffman

God’s Pocket is the kind of low-key high-brow crime drama typical of Continental cinema which Hollywood rarely produces. That probably explains why the American audience didn’t quite know how to take it. It mixes bitterly bleak, stiletto-sharp social observation with slapstick snapshots of comedy, played to perfection by a sweatily lumbering but utterly understated Hoffman.…