Rapid Reviews: criminal thrills and weird mysteries

This month’s selection of recommended reads includes a couple of slightly supernatural stories, a BritCrime police procedural with an intriguing central character, an atmospheric Alaskan adventure with the Aleut, snappy short stories, soulful investigations – and, as usual, one book which we rather wish we’d not bothered with. We’ll come to that a little later.…

It’s Dark In London: graphic noir

Don’t imagine for a moment that this illustrated anthology of short stories is kid’s stuff, simply because it’s in comic book format. This is a graphic novel; graphic in both style and substance. It’s absolutely 18-rated for adult audiences only; partly because the artwork and language spare absolutely no blushes but also due to the…

Crime Time: new books and ripping reads

If it’s too hot to do anything apart from flake out with a good book then at least you’ve got plenty of excellent crime thrillers and murder mysteries to choose from. Here’s our rapid round-up of the most intriguing new releases from indie authors and big-name bestsellers – including gritty Britcrime, police procedurals, international intrigue,…

Hellblazer: The Family Man

John Constantine. Hellblazer. Hellraiser. Misanthrope, mage and meddler; arch manipulator and much more besides. This trade paperback compiles one of his earlier adventures, a story arc which first spluttered its sleazy self onto the shelves in comic book form back when the 1980s finally expired and a brash new decade strode onto the scene. ‘The Family…

Sandman Overture: endless delight

There was always a fair chance that this, a return to the eternity of the Endless, could have been a massive disappointment. It’s not. Five stars, no hesitation. Sandman: Overture is every bit as beautiful and brilliant as Gaiman’s original ground-breaking series. In some ways it’s even more densely layered with hidden meaning; there’s a…

An Android Awakes: a new ghost in an old shell

In this possible future, an android spins a series of interlinked stories in which mockingbirds are rarely killed, and locusts pick over the bones of what was once humanity’s space-faring destiny. This substantial softback is neither a normal text-only novel, nor a comic-book style graphic novel. It’s a blend of both, where Karl Brown’s crisp…