The Righteous Spy: superb spy story

Maybe, like me, you had high hopes when Stella Rimington started writing espionage adventure novels. After all, she was the first female head honcho at MI5. Surely her spy stories would be brilliant? And maybe, like me, you were deeply disappointed by Rimington’s unremarkable early outings which fell far short of their tantalising potential. After…

Nightfall Berlin: another brick in the wall

In the mid-1980s, just as Cold War tensions appear to be easing, Major Tom Fox is sent on an unusual mission to bring back a defector from behind the Iron Curtain. In no time flat he’s accused of murder, abandoned by his agency and left to fend for himself on the bleak streets of Berlin…

Criminal encounters: new books and recommended reads

The dead bodies are really starting to stack up! There are just too many excellent new crime-thrillers and murder mysteries to cram into one update this month. So here’s an initial assortment of killer priests, Nordic noir, American blues, black comedy, private eyes, psychological thrillers, Scandi crime and savage assassins. Look out for more next…

A Colder War: tradecraft and treachery

A Colder War tells a familiar espionage adventure – there’s a mole; could be British or American; an outsider is tasked with resolving the situation – and places it in the current world of uncertain allegiances in international politics. It’s all about tradecraft and trust: about the possibility of redemption set against the emotional isolation…