The Force: American epic

Undoubtedly, this is the great American crime novel of the decade and it’ll be the book which in future everyone will associate with Don Winslow. They’ll probably use it as a required text in literary degree courses – an epic of both grand and human proportions which thoroughly exposes the conflicts in the human condition…

FranksWrite: socks & violins

The Killing Sisters crime-thrillers, A Last Act of Charity and The Corruption of Chastity carry an ‘explicit content’ warning. How shocking is shocking? How explicit should an author be, and why be explicit anyway? Writer Frank Westworth explains… It begins in the planning stage. It is essential to write a plot plan and stick to…

The Beige Man: solid Swedish procedural

This is part of the ongoing Inspector Irene Huss series, but there’s no need to have read any others in the series if this is your first Helene Tursten novel. The scenario is comfortably familiar: a competent, middle-ranking detective in Göteborg, Sweden’s second city, stretches her investigative skills as part of the CID team while…

Young Philby: the secret origin of an infamous spy

Ambiguity is all-important in this absorbing insight into Kim Philby’s early activities; entirely fitting for an exploration into the intrigue of international espionage. This slim novel is narrated like a kiss-n-tell unauthorised biography, with events being revealed through the words and deeds of Philby’s contemporaries. Many of the episodes and escapades have the ring of…

August Heat: mature Montalbano

This Montalbano investigation is a treasure of modern crime literature. It’s delightful to read; a frothy confection of familiar, entertaining themes wrapped around a darker, poignant and potent core. The only reason August Heat doesn’t score a full 10/10 is because it isn’t very accessible to new readers to the series. It’s the tenth book…