Timberwolf: through a glass, darkly

This is a beast of a book. A substantial, meticulously crafted alternate reality, populated with a fully-fledged society and acres of exhaustive backstory. Think American Gods meets Bernie Gunther with overtones of Orwell, a collision between myriad strands of mythology and the hard-bitten cynicism of an under-dog who struggles to survive the grinding oppression of…

Crime Time: recent releases and the best new books

Our regular round-up of intriguing new releases features indie authors and big-name bestsellers. This time we’ve got gritty Britcrime, a new Nordic noir author and the best-known heroine in Scandi crime, an English mystery, a radical interpretation of domestic noir, an American psychopath and hardboiled pulp fiction – and a dark fantasy set in an…

The Devil’s Lieutenant: hell’s hitman

I love a good murder, me. And there’s plenty of death, despair and destruction in this supernatural noir – suicide, murder, incest, betrayal and a bullet through the brainpan all come barrelling off the page within the opening chapters. ‘The Devil’s Lieutenant’ combines the hardboiled grit of a bare-knuckle brawl with an intriguing twist into…

Conquest: fools rush in…

The underlying premise of this urban fantasy series is that there are apocalyptic things afoot which angels alone can’t stand against. So they turn to humans – well, mostly humans – for help. Which is where Sam comes in. In common with other protagonists who star in spookynatural series, Sam’s a gifted misfit who’s been…

Crossfades: metaphysical monsters

This horror / sci-fi novella is billed as a ‘dystopian’ tale, which suggests a bleak futurescape of social or technological woe. Instead, Crossfades uses movie-making language in a supernatural / paranormal setting, to describe the moment between life and death, where a few lost souls get stuck in imaginary worlds of their own making. So,…

Mr Shivers: high-brow mythic horror

This debut novel ambitiously aims to blend American gothic, historical grit and the sinister, surreal otherworldliness of a menacing modern-day myth. The sparse text veers towards the literary end of the spectrum, where the author establishes the narrative dynamic and the emotional context for the increasingly unsettling scenes, but lets the reader’s imagination run wild…

Masters Of Blood And Bone: full-on dark fantasy

Shocking and gripping from the get-go, this tightly wound tale of gods and monsters had me hooked from the opening pages. The writing veers from slick, Tarantino-style dialogue and rapid narrative to surreal, bewildering sequences, which gradually coalesce into an ambitious plot involving ancient deities, their appalling servants, demons of the abyss and the apocalypse…