Lucifer Falls: a killer concept (but not much more)

This book had me at the title. Lucifer Falls. The suggestion of a biblical / supernatural scenario lured me to the line. Then the blurb set the hook: a serial killer in London, twisting Catholicism to his own psychopathy, making grisly martyrs from genuinely good people. Sign me up! And Lucifer Falls delivers all that…

Seven Hells: menace, murder and manipulation

The latest novella from Frank Westworth sees his occasional assassin, JJ Stoner, on the periphery of – apparently – an extensive terrorist plot. While British security forces – the good guys in uniform and the deniable assets in black – set up their surveillance, Stoner is drawn into the danger zone by an old adversary…

Blood In The Snow: alpine excellence

Life is tough for readers of high-class international crime fiction. These books aren’t like the typical potboiler thriller. Their authors don’t just churn out a by-the-numbers page-turner every six months. A literary crime novel demands dedication and extensive effort to hone to something close to perfection. And then we English speaking types have to endure…

The Lady Killer: Japanese whodunnit

An artful, old fashioned murder mystery which merrily leads its investigators (and the reader) along a convoluted pathway scattered with clues. Even the title is a masterful play on words, open to several interpretations… more than one of which may be correct. The Lady Killer isn’t as outright bizarre as more modern Japanese crime fiction,…

Death Notice: a twisting mystery

A series of near-impossible murders in in Chengdu, China, are connected by the beautifully-penned ‘death notices’ which precede them, daring the police to stop this calculating killer. Each of the victims has to atone for his or her crimes; adultery, betrayal, murder and corruption. But this serial killer’s secrets start far in the past, with…

Crime Time: new books and ripping reads

If it’s too hot to do anything apart from flake out with a good book then at least you’ve got plenty of excellent crime thrillers and murder mysteries to choose from. Here’s our rapid round-up of the most intriguing new releases from indie authors and big-name bestsellers – including gritty Britcrime, police procedurals, international intrigue,…

The Book Of Mirrors: a warped whodunnit

An intriguing investigation into an unsolved cold case, The Book Of Mirrors deals with fragments of memory, conflicting perceptions, a whole host of unreliable narrators and a good old-fashioned murder in the library with a decent list of potential suspects. The author uses the format of a writer-writing-about-publishing which normally encourages me to flick to…

Six Strings: dark, raw and captivating

A few days ago I picked up another Jack Reacher novel… then put it down. Kinda lost interest in it. I wanted a thriller, but something fresh. I got Six Strings by Frank Westworth. It’s another character-driven crime thriller series, though there’s nothing typical and certainly nothing copycat about it – no one will say…

The Ways Of Wolfe: bandits on the border

Pull together the pulp perfection of John D Macdonald and the grassroots grit of James Lee Burke; mix with one of Stephen Hunter’s alpha male Swagger clan; add the cross-border corruption of Don Winslow – and then you come close to the tales of the Wolfe family. This standalone focuses on Axel, serving hard time…

Whispers Of The Dead: ESP in the FBI

There’s a serial killer at work, whose weird signature involves severed feet, delivered in iceboxes to defence lawyers. It’s a job for one of the FBI’s special units – a very special unit, one which comes with an extra-sensory twist. Steps, the lead character, is a tracker. But he doesn’t use forensics or personality profiling…