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.…

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…

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…

Giveaway! Win MOSKVA, the chilling Cold War thriller

The new espionage adventure by Jack Grimwood, Nightfall Berlin, is published this week – but in case you missed the first book in the series we have three paperback copies to give away to lucky MMM readers. Moskva is ‘a compulsive and supremely intelligent thriller from a master stylist,’ set in the mid-1980s amid the…

Crime Time: new books and recommended reads

What’s new in crime fiction? This month’s selection of recent releases and forthcoming titles includes serial killers, American noir, Scandi crime, British coppers, a classic locked room mystery, punishing pulp fiction, an intriguing art investigation and a Cold War spy story; broken homes, an unfaithful husband and a dead wife; flashbacks to the Roaring Twenties…

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…

Time Lies: extreme sibling rivalry

There are more mysteries, dysfunctional relationships, plot twists and quirky characters in this single book than some authors manage in an entire career. Author Magnus Stanke sets the scene with a cold-blooded killing then draws out a skein of enigmatic plot threads, several of which stay intriguingly unresolved until the final pages. There are moments…

Moskva: cold war killers

A fascinating, absorbing and entirely gripping read. Moskva is almost a classic tale of cold warriors, set in Moscow in the mid-1980s, when the red writing was most certainly on the wall. The plot is simple: a missing person. And that’s where the simplicity ends. The missing person is the British ambassador’s daughter, a rebellious…

Snow Flurries: cold war consequences

Historical fiction doesn’t pay much attention to the German Democratic Republic. East Germany, we called it, the subjugated ruin of half a country which didn’t benefit from a Marshall Plan but which instead spent 41 years in the chilling isolation of the cold war, on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain. In four short…