Sunblind: desperation in the desert

Imagine combining key elements from Pitch Black and Aliens. Set the action in the scorching Sonoran desert between Mexico and the US. Populate your cast with a couple of dozen disposable characters who fall prey to dehydration, in-fighting, snakebite, heatstroke… and far worse, as Something Awful picks them off, leaving only blood spatter and tattered…

Roaring Reads: new books and indie authors

We love winter. Roaring fire, snugly sofa, huge great big stack of brilliant new books. Here’s some we’ve stumbled across in the last month, including crime-thrillers, murder-mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy and crossover titles from new writers, indie authors and small publishers… Manners Cost Everything by Paul Chambers. This ‘gripping and edgy’ explicit thriller is the first…

The Equalizer: equal and almost opposite

For more than two hours, this intelligent, taut, low-key thriller kept us entertained and engaged. It far exceeds expectation, and delivers a typically thoughtful and powerful performance from Denzel Washington. It also perfectly sets up a sequel or TV series, but it’s now hard to imagine someone other than Denzel taking centrestage in the role…

Fortress Frontier: supernatural special ops

This the second in Myke Cole’s magical / militaristic mash-up series set in the near future – and I enjoyed it more than the first, Control Point. The action overlaps between the two books with a new central character, Bookbinder, developing psy-powers at the start of Frontier Fortress. Then we catch up with the cast of Control…

The Devil’s Whisper: when manipulation becomes murder

The blunt force trauma of the opening pages in this typically Japanese murder-mystery grabbed my attention and propelled me headlong into its narrative. In uncompromising terms we learn the details of a series of seemingly unconnected suicides, of young women who throw themselves to certain death rather than face whatever stalks them. The matter of…

Forests Of The Night: a wartime investigation

This murder investigation is set in the bomb-strewn streets of London 1940 and introduces an interestingly damaged detective. Johnny Hawke, ex-policeman, joined up early to fight in the war but almost immediately was invalided out. He can’t return to the force, nor can he fight for his country. Emotionally and physically compromised, a man without…