Seven Hells: exploring a political thriller

I came to this book having no idea what to expect, aside from what’s mentioned in the synopsis. You learn that it features a terrorist attack which takes place in Britain; there are persons in command such as the authorities; religion and action with a twist of violence. Seven Hells is targeted at readers who…

A Time For Violence: hard, fast and occasionally nasty

The short stories in this anthology provide a sometimes spiky slice of stylish writing from 28 assorted authors; some of them well-known names in the crime genre but many unfamiliar to me. They each take a different tack to interpret the central theme. Many inevitably showcase criminals doing the wrong thing for all kinds of…

Seven Hells: superbly cinematic

Separate to the Killing Sisters thriller series, this is a standalone novella that features star turn and efficient killing unit, JJ Stoner. JJ Stoner, ex-military, now black ops, is drinking in a bar with former army colleague, the Hard Man, when the latter draws him into a top-secret mission on British soil. Intelligence reports suggest that there…

Russian Roulette: Brit grit with a SovBloc scoundrel

Ex-KGB agent Konstantin – most definitely an international man of murky mystery – has somehow washed up on the shores of England’s seedy Kent coast, and he’s carving a niche for himself among the lowlives and street-scum of a dilapidated seaside town. This is effectively Konstantin’s origin story, told in a series of seven interlocking…

First Contract: FREE this week

Start a new crime-thriller series with the first of the Stoner stories – and get to know this complicated contract killer. A decade ago, JJ Stoner was a soldier. He killed people for a living and made no bones about it. On a scorching day in the Iraqi desert, when British blood stained the sand,…

Scrublands: ablaze in the outback

It’s a scene that you could see almost any day on the scrolling news. ‘Five die in brutal shooting’. The reassuring monotony of rural, small-town life is shattered when – for no obvious reason – a stalwart member of the tight-knit community opens fire, apparently at random. As men lie dying around him, the killer…

Best International Crime Books of 2018

Our year has been stacked with mystery and intrigue, betrayal and revenge, bitterness and redemption – and some simply stunning plot twists. We’ve reviewed and read almost 200 crime / thrillers, from literary fiction by established authors to debut books by indie authors. Only a very select few, less than 10%, achieve a full-on five-star…

Northtown Eclipse: hardboiled and harrowing

Original and inventive, Northtown Eclipse takes the typical crime cliché of a seedy private eye and subverts the standard hardboiled detective story into something significantly more substantial. Author Robb White twists the tropes of the genre to tell a much more meaningful story, one which explores the human condition at its most personal – a…

Seven Hells: menace, murder and manipulation

The latest novella from Frank Westworth sees his occasional assassin, JJ Stoner, on the periphery of – apparently – an extensive terrorist plot. While British security forces – the good guys in uniform and the deniable assets in black – set up their surveillance, Stoner is drawn into the danger zone by an old adversary…

Down In The Devil Hole: dark and nasty

Sixteen separate stories in this edgy collection drag us off the beaten track and into the nasty reality of poverty-line life in rural Kentucky. A major storm batters the backwoods, providing a menacing backdrop to these interconnected episodes. The storm itself is a pivotal character; a catalyst to unleash a torrent of pent-up fear and…