The SCU series: psycops and serial killers

This long-running series of paranormal thrillers makes a great change of pace from my usual selection of bitter-bleak mysteries, gruelling spook stories and grimly hardboiled noir. The Special Crimes Unit of the FBI investigates weird things – sudden outbreaks of bad stuff far beyond the spree or stalking activities of a ‘normal’ serial killer. Each…

Rapid Reviews: crime and punishment

If you’re seeking mystery and thrills then we’ve got a cracking selection of killer crime fiction for you. British detectives, fatal females; private eyes and serial killers; psychological page-turners and a spooky crime unit, from indie authors and bestselling big names. Here are the recent reads that we loved (and one we didn’t!) ALTERED LIFE…

Three Bullets: dead shot

Kennedy. JFK. The words inevitably scream out ‘assassination’ — then ‘controversy’, ‘conspiracy’. There can be nothing new to say on the subject, surely? RJ Ellory has a lot that’s new to say, and he says it with magnificent effectiveness in Three Bullets. You’ve read the blurb (it’s below, in case you missed it), so I’ll…

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, bittersweet sunshine in Sicily, Sherlock Holmes, hardcore hitmen, exotic action in Kashmir, an historic mystery, political thrillers, medical mayhem, apocalyptic intrigue, searing social commentary, sassy female protagonists – and an American president running amok… The Overnight…

The Monster Underneath: dream weaving

In the Hannibal Lecter series, investigator Will Graham exerts his psychoanalytic expertise and his emotional empathy to ‘get inside’ the heads of murderers and monsters. In an entirely matter of fact way, author Matthew Franks takes that premise one step further and gives his protagonist, Max Crawford, the ability to read people’s thoughts in the…

G-Man: gangsters and gun culture

Just when it seemed that Stephen Hunter might’ve run out of puff with his Swagger family series, which went seriously wonky a while back (‘Night Of Thunder’ is the one to avoid at all costs), a change in direction has revitalised his writing. G-Man is the latest ‘retrospective’ Swagger story and it’s a stonking great…

Chaos: a new dragon rises

Imagine a snake and a mongoose, circling each other with vicious, deadly intent. That’s the nub of this battle of wits between a sadistic killer and the FBI investigator hunting for him. If you suffered withdrawal symptoms when the TV series ‘Hannibal’ drew to a close then ‘Chaos’ will get that monkey off your back.…