Witness Statement: author Keith Nixon

Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray is haunted by a case he simply couldn’t solve. A missing kid: a devastated mother; a distraught father. A decade later later he’s called to an apparent suicide, the death of a 16 year old young man. A lad of the same age as the missing boy. The missing boy… who…

Chance: existential peril

Plenty of people aren’t going to like Chance. It’s ambitious and provocative, complex in construction and in its prose. Superficially it treads the same neurotic waters as Jonathan Kellerman’s trick-cyclist investigations, where the reader is given psychological insights into the mechanisms of the unravelling mind. But author Kem Nunn takes many more risks than Kellerman…

Nail’s Crossing: native American noir

This rural American police investigation is a sheer delight, conjouring characters as credible and a situation as intriguing as you’ll find in James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux series. Here the hook is somewhat different: we follow Detective Maytubby of the ‘first people’ Chickasaw Nation as he plunges barefoot into a rough and tumble murder manhunt…

Purple Kitty: far from cute n cuddly

Purple Kitty’s title sorta suggests cuddly, fluffy, giggle a minute, girl’s night in, pink pyjamas, comedy crime*. That couldn’t be further from the reality of this dystopian private eye investigation, set in an oppressive future a few decades down the line. Gumshoe Serena McKay isn’t your typical ‘strong female protagonist’, either. Normally, the average crime-solving…

The Town Built On Sorrow: brilliantly chilling

Like Goldilocks’ porridge, this is neither too brief nor too verbose; not needlessly complicated but intrinsically clever in its composition. It pulls together two dark tales, one from the pioneer days when wagon trains headed west to start new settlements, and the other in the 21st century. The town of Hawthorn has, as the title…

The Scarred Woman: a perfect payoff

After leading us down the garden path and round the mulberry bush for several Department Q novels, Jussi Adler-Olsen finally pulls all the threads together in this absurdly clever and extremely convoluted investigation. Finally we discover what’s been going on with the detective’s assistant, Rose, for all these years… but not at the expense of…