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…

First Contract: FREE this week

Start a new crime-thriller series with the first of the Stoner stories – and get to know this complicated contract killer. A decade ago, JJ Stoner was a soldier. He killed people for a living and made no bones about it. On a scorching day in the Iraqi desert, when British blood stained the sand,…

The New Iberia Blues: one last hurrah?

This book has ‘swansong’ stamped all the way through it. The latest in a long line of literary crime novels in the Dave Robicheaux series, The New Iberia Blues reads like the author’s valedictory address. It’s an extended farewell to old Louisiana, as the landmass slowly disintegrates into the ocean and the subtle shades of…

Rapid Reviews of criminal activities

Half a dozen criminal capers to entertain and intrigue: art mystery, serial-killer thriller; political conspiracy; world crime, corporate corruption, gritty Brits and a police procedural… Priceless by Zygmunt Miloszewski An art mystery of type made famous by the Da Vinci Code, this stand-alone globe-trotting romp feels more like Mission Impossible than the author’s series of…

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 Woman In The Woods: a darkening descent

Many readers typically discuss the darker, arcane side of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series but – as the 16th book brilliantly demonstrates – there’s a solid private detective story at the core of this convoluted story. So while a dark cabal plots the end of everything and the rise of apocalyptic gods, social issues and…