Nobody Move: a neon nugget of neo noir

A rollicking rampage of wise guys, sassy strippers, hard-boiled detectives and cold-blooded killers, Nobody Move easily adds up to near-perfect pulp fiction. A simple shakedown turns into homicide then escalates as an angry mob boss despatches a contract killer, with Eddie the hapless protagonist eventually being coerced into a multi-million dollar bank heist while trying…

Rapid Reviews: short, sweet and savage

Cops, robbers, spies and killers: here’s half a dozen crime-thrillers with a little bit of everything – including a blood-soaked American roadtrip, top-notch Nordic noir, British political conspiracy, psychopathic siblings and the John Cardinal book they didn’t make into a TV series… ROBBERS by Christopher Cook One of those one-hit-wonder authors who delivered brilliance and…

Killer Women: fierce females in crime fiction

There have always been women detectives: imagine how empty the golden age of classic crime would have been without Miss Marple! But for many years, men stole the show in mystery and thriller fiction, until enterprising authors finally started letting the women off the leash. These days, thrillers are full of compelling female characters. Let’s…

The Possession: supernatural stirrings

This is a 21st century ghost story, speculative fiction which muddies the waters in the semi-permeable membrane between worlds. Author Michael Rutger cleverly blends the deliciously creepy aspects of a golden-era gothic ghost story with the hard-nosed realities of modern lives lived online, the quiet personal tragedies of broken families, and the delicate balancing act…

The Crow Girl: Scandi s-l-o-w

A great lumbering beast of a book, this one failed to grab me and – unusually – I bailed out after the first instalment (it’s effectively a trilogy in one publication). I found it long-winded, fragmented and unrewarding, veering between explicitly described violence (which I don’t mind so much if it serves a purpose) and…

Twisted: convoluted and clichéd

I know that an unreliable narrator, cliffhanger endings to every chapter and gobsmacking plot twists are all the rage right now. But Twisted proves that you can definitely have too much of a good thing. While attempting to be utterly unpredictable it becomes entirely implausible. You know from the start that you can’t trust the…

Greasy Bend: backroads manhunt

Take a trip to the Chickasaw nation in rural Oklahoma, where mid-winter sleet strafes the washed-out wastelands and where the ancient mountains resemble sleeping bison on the horizon. Meet tribal detective Bill Maytubby and local police officer Hannah Bond, the yang and yin linchpins of this backwoods manhunt. Ostensibly, Greasy Bend is a murder-mystery, a…