The Puritan: echoes of Agent Starling

An old-school serial killer manhunt, The Puritan undoubtedly owes a lot to the books of Thomas Harris – notably The Silence of The Lambs and Red Dragon – and to TV series like Criminal Minds and Mindhunter. In particular there’s a big tip of the hat to Agent Clarice Starling: not only is the protagonist…

She’s As Good As Dead: a new Agent Starling?

Lara Jones isn’t your typical, hard-bitten FBI investigator. In fact, she’s unusually vulnerable for a veteran of the specialist behavioural science unit, who used to spend her time profiling the worst of America’s criminals. We meet her at a troubling time in her life: starting a new job in a local field office, trying to…

The Dark Corners of the Night: psycho profiling

The name of this series instantly engaged my interest. UNSUB. Ooh, that sounds like an FBI profiling serial-killer procedural, along the lines of TV’s Mindhunter. And look; the central character is a determined, accomplished female investigator with more than a little of Clarice Starling and Dana Scully about her (and let’s face it, if I…

Best Crime Books 2019

The books we’ve read in the past 12 months have been packed with murder and mayhem, crime and punishment, despair and redemption – the very essence of the human condition, boiled down to brilliant crime-thriller fiction. We read more than 200 mystery and thriller books in 2019, from literary fiction by big-name bestsellers to dazzling…

Killer Women: fierce females in crime fiction

There have always been women detectives: imagine how empty the golden age of classic crime would have been without Miss Marple! But for many years, men stole the show in mystery and thriller fiction, until enterprising authors finally started letting the women off the leash. These days, thrillers are full of compelling female characters. Let’s…