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…

Witness Statement: author Jack Grimwood

Spy stories set against a backdrop of bitter division between East and West could hardly be more timely – and Jack Grimwood’s new Cold War thriller takes us back to the epicentre of post-war European espionage. Welcome to the partitioned city of Berlin in the 1980s, a near-perfect metaphor for people divided by politics. Nightfall…

Six Strings: an anti-hero in action

Frank Westworth has a gift for anfractuous prose, and this sixth JJ Stoner short story is no exception, even given the deceptively straightforward plot device – someone’s out to get JJ Stoner. The one thing you need to know about JJ Stoner’s world is that nothing is ever that simple. There is deceit aplenty from…

Threads In Dew: short, sharp and savage

This collection of half a dozen short stories is like a needle: sharply honed, painfully to the point. None of them make for comfortable reading: in a few brief pages they deliver a disconcerting and discordant viewpoint from a series of snapshot situations. This is genuine contemporary noir which breaks boundaries and refuses to be…

Zen And The Art Of Murder: a bleak mid-winter

The cover art of this book perfectly captures its sensibilities: a lone individual, trudging in an endless, featureless expanse – seemingly aimless, isolated and disoriented. ‘Zen’ shares much with the stranger side of Scandinavian crime fiction: that slippery sensation of disconnectedness; an understanding that important things are happening but they seem to be just out…

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…