A Book Of Bones: 21st century gothic

This gargantuan beast of a book concludes a story arc which began some six volumes ago in The Wolf In Winter. Far from being bare bones, A Book Of Bones is an extended, immersive and intense reading experience which delightfully disrupts commercial publishing conventions. For one thing, this is a 700 page epic – a…

Crime Time: recent releases and the best new books

Our regular round-up of intriguing new releases features indie authors and big-name bestsellers. This time we’ve got gritty Britcrime, bittersweet sunshine in Sicily, Sherlock Holmes, hardcore hitmen, exotic action in Kashmir, an historic mystery, political thrillers, medical mayhem, apocalyptic intrigue, searing social commentary, sassy female protagonists – and an American president running amok… The Overnight…

Lost Girl: truly terrifying

It’s not the fictional aspects of Lost Girl which will keep you wide awake at night, enduring endless dark hours between sweat-soaked fever dreams. It’s the entirely possible predictions of what might happen in the next 40 years that should snap you out of complacent daydreams. Forest fires blazing out of control across whole continents.…

Masters Of Blood And Bone: full-on dark fantasy

Shocking and gripping from the get-go, this tightly wound tale of gods and monsters had me hooked from the opening pages. The writing veers from slick, Tarantino-style dialogue and rapid narrative to surreal, bewildering sequences, which gradually coalesce into an ambitious plot involving ancient deities, their appalling servants, demons of the abyss and the apocalypse…

Sector 64: Ambush. They come in peace. Or not…

This is an entertaining military sci-fi romp; an opening episode in a new series which refreshingly does far more than introduce the characters, set up the scenario and leave us dangling for Part Two. Too many early novels by indie authors grind to a halt just as the going gets good, but instead Ambush delivers…

The Strain: scary vampires, not sparkly ones

There’s very little new in The Strain but it’s a well put together horror romp which successfully revitalises an old genre. Obviously intended to be adapted for the screen (it’s written by a film director after all, and has indeed been transformed into a TV series), this novel re-treads an old story in the modern…

Barricade: the end of the world all over again

If Barricade had been a little less hyped by its publicist then I might have enjoyed it more. Instead, the sketchy characters and derivative plot struggled to live up to the publisher’s promise of a ‘cold-blooded yet magnetic’ genetically-engineered artificial anti-hero to rival Takeshi Kovacs. That comparison with Richard Morgan’s brilliant Altered Carbon series did…

The Three: a very modern apocalypse

The Three is an extremely accomplished and gripping thriller. Author Sarah Lotz is so good at what she does that the plot dragged me in to the narrative and kept the pages spinning past, although the style of story-telling normally sends me screaming from the room. The set-up here is that there have been four…