Classic Crime: The Pledge

When a previously dispassionate detective – renowned and somewhat disliked for his cool head and professional detachment – becomes fixated by a case, his colleagues think he’s burned out, suffered a breakdown. They think he’s lost his mind. From his perspective the situation is completely reversed: the callous cut-throat murder of a young girl shocks…

Beautiful Losers: suspense that gets under the skin

Clinical psychologist Kim Slade has intimate experience about body disfigurement. She’s a scarred woman, both facially and figuratively. Yet superficially she’s a successful modern career woman who converted childhood trauma into something positive. Slade has a fashionable flat in trendy Cheltenham, a second seaside home in the West Country, a loving long-term boyfriend, a close-knit…

Hellblazer: The Family Man

John Constantine. Hellblazer. Hellraiser. Misanthrope, mage and meddler; arch manipulator and much more besides. This trade paperback compiles one of his earlier adventures, a story arc which first spluttered its sleazy self onto the shelves in comic book form back when the 1980s finally expired and a brash new decade strode onto the scene. ‘The Family…

The Corruption Of Chastity

To begin at the end: when you approach the final chapters of this intricate, entangled and absorbing philosophical investigation, it’s best to batten down the hatches and settle in for the long haul. You’ll reach a point where JJ Stoner, the semi-retired ex-soldier and almost-ex-assassin (but not quite: killing people is a habit which dies…

Bring Me Flesh: an undead detective

There’s a reason why this hardboiled gumshoe detective wears his hat brim low and his coat collar high: he’s got more to hide than most pulp fiction antiheroes. Vitus Adamson isn’t just a three-time loser, an ex-soldier, an ex-husband and an ex-father who investigates the small-change domestic trivia which the police barely even consider crime.…

The Angel In My Well: a meaning of life

A novella about traversing one of life’s inevitable landmarks into the emotional independence of adulthood, this beguiling tale blurs the ordinary banality of everyday middle-class life (9 to 5, designer shirt, takeaway curry, designer shoes, Friday night out, hangover, designer watch, blah) with significant spiritual revelation. As if that weren’t enough, author Kevin Ansbro also takes…

Yellow Medicine: heads will roll

Billy Lafitte figured out at an early age that the best way to bend the law was to be the law. This book – the first in a trilogy – kicks off like it’s a plain and simple of story of brutally bad backwoods America, where every shed hosts a meth-lab and every corrupt lawman…