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,…

Dire Covenants: a conspiracy in the suburbs

Meet Detective Katie Callahan and her partner, Donald Dombrowski. She’s got something of a short fuse but makes all the right intellectual connections: he’s a solidly dependable investigator. Neither has much of a rewarding private life but they’re both dedicated to the job – which is just as well, because this mystery will test their…

Collecting The Dead: stalking a serial killer

  Magnus ‘Steps’ Craig is no ordinary federal investigator. He’s a tracker par excellence, a man who can zero in on criminals with uncanny accuracy. And that’s because he brings a touch of the paranormal to the party; a sixth sense, an ability to see people’s auras and the ‘shine’ they leave behind. If that…

Prayer: losing your religion

With no small dose of irony involved, I took it on blind faith that I’d enjoy a Philip Kerr thriller, regardless pretty much of the subject matter, so I came to Prayer without a clear idea of what I’d started reading. (A quirky aspect to Kindle-reading: you don’t see the cover blurb every time you…

Reviver: clever crime / psy-fi crossover

Reviver is a very strong first novel, an intriguing mix of an imaginative concept and the return of an ancient, end-of-the-world evil. However, it’s not a horror story by any means; more of a supernatural / psy-fi thriller. Most of the plot revolves around untangling the background to revival, how it might be used by…