A Last Act Of Charity: never a dull moment

A Last Act Of Charity is a truly unique reading experience. The author, Frank Westworth, injects style, pace and energy into a witty, thrilling, and sometimes sickening story. The plot is mainly driven by independent snoop, contract killer, VW van / Harley-Davidson enthusiast, master blues guitarist, frequent drinker and the very pragmatic JJ Stoner. With such…

The Fractured Man: spirals of the mind

In 1920s London, the population was still reeling from the twin shocks of the Great War and the flu epidemic. An entire generation of young men have been shattered in mind and body. Against this backdrop, an ambitious young psychoanalyst explores the emerging field of graphology: peering into his patients’ broken minds by way of…

Control Point: a rip-snorting military magical romp

Control Point gets off to a rollicking start, and if it could have maintained the pace and the atmosphere throughout then this would be a five-star review. However, it gets a bit bogged down about two-thirds of the way through, when the protagonist takes anguished debate on the morals of his situation beyond dithering and…

Small Town: massive story

First time around, Small Town made a huge impact on me. It’s very much a New York story, entirely influenced by 9/11. A decade later I was curious whether it would still feel as powerful, as involving and compelling as it did when Ground Zero was still little more than a hideous smoking hole, a…

Zero: action-adventure in near-earth orbit

This is an ambitious first novel, one which creates a sprawling and credible near-future, a tense and turbulent political situation, and then throws a rogue crew of space pirates into the mix. We’re a long way from old-school ‘hard’ sci-fi which tried as hard to be technically accurate as it did to tell a good…

The Perfect Corpse: why you should never revive a deep-frozen Nazi…

Part techno-thriller, part spy-story, The Perfect Corpse plunders three popular themes (digging bad things out of the ice; bringing bad things back from the dead, and uber-menacing Nazi stormtroopers) and blends them together in a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying semi-historical, semi-speculative action-adventure romp. Think Michael Crichton and Robert Harris (or Philip Kerr’s excursions away from the world…