The Last Thing To Burn: a blaze of gory glory

This novel pulls zero punches. It makes no concessions to sensitive or squeamish readers. With precise delicacy, author Will Dean exposes a festering wound of western society and challenges the reader to hate the crime – but love the storytelling. Where a lesser writing talent might’ve stumbled into the sleazy territory of titillation through graphic…

Best Crime Books 2020

As a new year begins we love looking back on the highlights of the past twelve months, the very best crime-thrillers and murder-mysteries which we read in 2020. These books include hardboiled American noir, skin-crawling Scandi crime, a superb Cold War spy story, culture shock in the Arabian desert, hard-hitting Brit grit and utterly immersive…

Rapid Reviews: six thrillers

Predators and prey: evil itself; spree and serial killers, two-time losers, FBI profilers and legally-sanctioned assassins. You’ll meet all of these and more in this selection of six crime-thrillers. Among the hardboiled noir and courtroom dramas you’ll find two of the best books we’ve read recently – and one you might want to avoid… NEVADA…

Lazarus: doubly deadly and back from the dead…

It’s the old battle of wits between a discredited investigator and his ultimate enemy: an intelligent, ruthless and unpredictable sociopath who doesn’t stop at mere murder. Instead he destroys his victim’s lives: literally buries their loved ones and watches with clinical fascination as his opponents attempt to out-manoeuvre him. It’s hard to imagine that anyone…

The Inner Darkness: a manhunt mystery

The Wisting series of Scandi crime stories have become as comfortable as a snuggly sofa next to a roaring fire on a chilly winter afternoon. Although the cover blurb does its best to sell this carefully constructed mystery as a ‘pulse-pounding thriller’ it has far more in common with Wallander or Varg Veum than Harry…

The Puritan: echoes of Agent Starling

An old-school serial killer manhunt, The Puritan undoubtedly owes a lot to the books of Thomas Harris – notably The Silence of The Lambs and Red Dragon – and to TV series like Criminal Minds and Mindhunter. In particular there’s a big tip of the hat to Agent Clarice Starling: not only is the protagonist…

The Kingdom: blood (soaked) brothers

A standalone Scandi thriller from accomplished author Jo Nesbø is normally something to be savoured. His earlier Headhunters is one of my all-time favourite crime novels, so I had high hopes for this new tale of Norwegian intrigue. And in many ways it’s every bit as carefully crafted as you’d expect – yet I struggled…

Vapour Trails: deep in the international underbelly

International crime fiction really can take you places, places you might never have considered visiting in person. In these times, when we’re physically anchored to a single geographic location, this can be utterly exhilarating. And Vapour Trails is an especially wild ride, an extraordinary rendition (pun entirely intended) of hardboiled noir superimposed on an unfamiliar…

A Last Act of Charity: meet JJ Stoner and the Killing Sisters

The opening episode of the Killing Sisters trilogy introduces a cast of unique characters – three women who’ve made murder their business, and a world-weary warrior who’s had his fill of killing. Their paths cross in brutal, sometimes sensual encounters as we meet the underworld manipulators who support them, their victims who may not be…