The Stalin Epigram: a story of Soviet oppression

Robert Littell normally writes intelligent, engaging espionage adventures which embroider upon historical events. Here he ventures further into the field of literary historical fiction to explore one aspect of life in the Soviet Union at the time of Stalin’s totalitarian regime in the 1930s. It’s not a comfortable experience, as Littell very effectively destroys the…

Conquest: fools rush in…

The underlying premise of this urban fantasy series is that there are apocalyptic things afoot which angels alone can’t stand against. So they turn to humans – well, mostly humans – for help. Which is where Sam comes in. In common with other protagonists who star in spookynatural series, Sam’s a gifted misfit who’s been…

Beautiful Losers: suspense that gets under the skin

Clinical psychologist Kim Slade has intimate experience about body disfigurement. She’s a scarred woman, both facially and figuratively. Yet superficially she’s a successful modern career woman who converted childhood trauma into something positive. Slade has a fashionable flat in trendy Cheltenham, a second seaside home in the West Country, a loving long-term boyfriend, a close-knit…

Witness Statement: author Quentin Bates

Quentin Bates pens a series of Icelandic murder mystery novels which feature the pleasingly pragmatic Officer Gunnhildur Gísladóttir. Firmly grounded in contemporary reality, Bates writes criminal investigations populated with contradictory characters who are neither clear-cut good-guys nor moustache-twirling villains. There’s an entertaining ambiguity to his three-dimensional creations and a well-honed wit to their dialogue –…