The Stoner Stories: gritty British noir

There’s a new JJ Stoner short story out this week. If you haven’t yet met this complicated contract killer then there’s just time to enjoy the first five quick thrillers in this anthology. Guest reviewer MD Ironz sidesteps any spoilers to describe his first encounter with ‘a man without apparent qualms of conscience’… I have…

El Cajon: hard and fast Americana

A double-barrelled blast of hardboiled noir in the grand tradition of Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane, El Cajon takes all the clichés of 1930s American pulp and delivers them in savage 21st century style. The femme fatale, the corrupt cops, the wounded psyche of the underdog, the acerbic social commentary and genuine moral outrage –…

Crime Time: new books and recommended reads

The first crop of crime-thrillers of the year is a stunning selection… which bodes well for the rest of 2018. So here are the recent arrivals on our reading shelf. Check out the plot-twisting psychological thrillers, slightly sinister Nordic noir, authentic police procedurals, a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, hardboiled and hard-edged black humour, Inspector Montalbano, and…

Mystery Tour: sun, sea, and a stab in the back

There should be something to please everyone in this collection of 28, contemporary short stories, written by members of the Crime Writers’ Association. It’s billed as an international anthology, although the majority of writers are British or American. There’s just one Scandi story, one from Mumbai, and one written by a South African team, but…

Give a killer thriller this Christmas

Is your best friend a bookworm? Is your partner addicted to crime fiction? Does someone in your family adore Nordic noir? If so, here’s the perfect Christmas present: a gripping crime-thriller, signed by the author with a personalised message, gift-wrapped and delivered to the recipient’s door. That’s Christmas sorted – leaves more time for you…

White Out: a winter chiller

Bump this book to the top of your Christmas reading list. White Out isn’t just set in the snowbound, windswept, wildlands of mid-winter Iceland, but the investigation actually takes place during the festive season. A young woman is found dead on the sea shore, beneath the cliffs where stand an isolated lighthouse and a tiny…

Splinter: brilliantly bewildering

Written almost a decade ago, this fiendishly tangled thriller presents its unreliable narrator front and centre. From the very first page, we don’t know if Marc Lucas has lost his mind or merely his memory. Bleeding and broken in mind and body, he engages in a desperate chase across Berlin, trying to discover the truth…

Rellik: criminally brilliant

This is the crime drama of the year for me, and the BBC deserve considerable kudos for bringing a concept this challenging to our screens. It proves that intelligent and gripping thrillers aren’t the sole preserve of ScandiLand, and Rellik is every bit as good as the best Nordic noir. The six-part drama isn’t just…