Hammer To Fall: a superb spy story

Where has author John Lawton been hiding all my life? This is, quite simply, the best spy story I’ve read for years. It’s been compared to Le Carre and Alan Furst – but those references aren’t entirely accurate. Hammer To Fall is far more fluid and a lot less pompous than Le Carre’s recent work.…

Best International Crime Books of 2018

Our year has been stacked with mystery and intrigue, betrayal and revenge, bitterness and redemption – and some simply stunning plot twists. We’ve reviewed and read almost 200 crime / thrillers, from literary fiction by established authors to debut books by indie authors. Only a very select few, less than 10%, achieve a full-on five-star…

Paris In The Dark: a world of war

It might be set more than century ago, in a foreign land filled with political puzzles and unfamiliar factions, but Paris In The Dark delivers a completely convincing story, grounded in a solidly credible scenario. There aren’t so many characters that your head spins trying to recall them all, and the narrative itself is pretty…

Witness Statement: author Jack Grimwood

Spy stories set against a backdrop of bitter division between East and West could hardly be more timely – and Jack Grimwood’s new Cold War thriller takes us back to the epicentre of post-war European espionage. Welcome to the partitioned city of Berlin in the 1980s, a near-perfect metaphor for people divided by politics. Nightfall…

Best Crime Books of 2017

Here at MMM, the last twelve months have been crammed with mystery and intrigue, betrayal and revenge, bitterness and redemption – and some simply stunning plot twists. We’ve read and reviewed almost a hundred different crime titles across all aspects of the genre, from literary works of art by established grand-masters, to pulp fiction by…

The Butchers Of Berlin: a rare DNF

It’s not often that I buy an actual paperback book – a proper thing with pages, not an ethereal ebook – and then give up on it halfway through. So The Butchers Of Berlin has secured an unusual accolade indeed. It should have been straight up my street, as I enjoy criminal investigations, serial killer…

The Ashes Of Berlin: a shattered society

This is not a book to wolf down in one sitting, nor one you can nibble away at in brief bites. It’s too densely detailed and emotionally intense for that. Like a giant supertanker, The Ashes of Berlin takes quite a while to get going – but once you’re absorbed in the plot and characters…

Crime Time: new books and recommended reads

Our latest list of cracking crime fiction includes Nordic noir, international espionage and adventure, English investigators, wartime military mysteries, Scandi crime, literary fiction and historical intrigue: the weird, the witty and the gritty; thrillers, killers and all-action assassins from world-class writers and indie authors. Get ready to load your Kindle… ROAD TO ITHACA by Ben…

Tin Sky: meticulous history; convoluted mystery

Set in a period of peculiar stillness between cataclysmic WW2 battles, Tin Sky is a meticulous historical novel constructed around not one but two locked-room murder mysteries. Deeply scarred after barely surviving the horrors of Stalingrad, career Wehrmacht cavalry officer Martin Bora is assembling a new force in preparation for the coming conflict at Kursk.…

A Hero In France: stilted spy story

Author Alan Furst is a literary giant, a writer I admire enormously. His spy stories of wartime resistance evoke an insidious atmosphere of paranoid oppression, offset in near-equal measure by extreme human endeavour and endurance. Determination and despair permeate his pages in equal measure. His characters are flawed examples of humanity, compelled by circumstance into…