Rapid reviews: criminal activity

Some thrilling suggestions for your bookshelf: an espionage adventure; top-notch Nordic noir; the introduction of an ice-cold assassion; stalking a serial killer with second sight; a schizophrenic investigator — we’ve been reading all these and more cracking crime fiction this month. Oh, and a Jack Reacher rip-off you might want to steer clear of… RED…

Nocturne For Madness: hardboiled brilliance

In this, the first Thomas Haftmann book, we encounter the controlled madness of two men, one a former cop, the other a misfit and killer of women. Ex-homicide cop Thomas Haftmann is recently divorced and working as a PI. Barely surviving financially, and haunted by his own twin demons of gambling and alcohol, Haftmann gets…

Wolves At The Door: it begins where others end

This Scandi detective story can be seen as the companion piece to the earlier Wolves In The Dark, and you should read that episode in the Varg Veum series before starting this one. Otherwise, it’s tricky to pick up the threads of the earlier story – which is convoluted enough – before you become embroiled…

Rapid Reviews: crime and punishment

If you’re seeking mystery and thrills then we’ve got a cracking selection of killer crime fiction for you. British detectives, fatal females; private eyes and serial killers; psychological page-turners and a spooky crime unit, from indie authors and bestselling big names. Here are the recent reads that we loved (and one we didn’t!) ALTERED LIFE…

Past Tense: present perfect

Jack Reacher has been a part of my life for 20 years, give or take. A thoroughly reliable part of my life. He strides into town every year, beats the blue blazes out of deserving bad guys; writes wrongs, refrains from singing songs and never over-stays his welcome. JR is the high plains drifter of…

Motive X: a mid-season Scandi thriller

Motive X is most definitely a story which starts in the middle. Amid the multiple plotlines there lurks a self-contained mystery of grisly killings, but that plot is almost overwhelmed by the series’ ongoing themes: the catastrophic domestic situation of police detective Fabian Risk and his dysfunctional family; the catastrophic personal life of his boss…

55: deceit and dishonesty

Ambiguous characters, devious cliffhangers and sneaky-cheat disclosures are all the rage in crime fiction right now. It’s almost as if readers have dared authors to deceive them, to invent improbable scenarios and craft them into something convincingly credible. This debut novel does something similar but different. It hooks us with a superb set-up… and then…