Revenger: predictable space pirates

This futuristic romp was badly marketed to me, a mature adult with a taste for hard-science speculative fiction. I found it listed as straight sci-fi but Revenger slots neatly into the YA ‘coming of age’ genre alongside Hunger Games, Divergent, et al. It pushes back no boundaries and instead covers all the common ground so…

Charcoal Joe: a masterclass from Walter Mosley

Utterly absorbing, Charcoal Joe yanks you back to LA in 1968, not long after the Watts riots, and it hurls you into the world of Easy Rawlins, a black man at a difficult time, a private investigator passing the prime of his life. It’s been a while since I’ve read any Easy and I’d wondered…

Dark Heart, Heavy Soul: a rogue Russian

Konstantin is a killer. Ex-KGB, ex-FSB, now skulking in the shadows in the run-down seaside towns of Kent, of all places. He dresses like a tramp, bears a bitter grudge from his past life, always checks over his shoulder and rarely fights fair. He’s an excellent operations planner and is known in the worst kind…

A Feast Of Carrion: a forensic mystery

Forensic pathologist John Eisenmenger had left the world of criminal investigation, traumatised by the death of a child, weighed down by the atrocity and abuse he encounters on the mortuary dissecting table. He sought solace in the world of academe, running a museum of medical samples for a university. But savage death finds him once…

The Time To Kill: rogue agents abound

  It’s been a summer for rogue agents. Jason Bourne is back at the cinema and just last week a semi-retired killer was kicking ass on my kindle in The Assassin’s Prayer. Now another ex-black-ops agent blasts into action. Carter Blake used to be part of the ultimately deniable agency Winterlong, until its dubious activities…

Witness Statement: author EW Sullivan

  In this gritty American thriller, Dr Theo Zones desperately wants to believe that his father didn’t kill his mother. But his deeply personal investigation gets sidetracked by a series of bombings. Author EW Sullivan stops by to talk about the background to his new novel, ‘Swarm Theory.’ Along the way, Easy Rawlins, George Pelecanos, recent events…