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…

What Lurks Below: science meets supernatural

This is the first episode in an ‘intelligent adventure’ series (‘Hell Holes’), which mixes the heft of heavyweight geology and climate science with the demons of the underworld unbound, in all their slavering ferocity. It’s a genre-bending bonanza of science, speculative fiction and supernatural action, a nifty idea which would make a perfect movie pitch.…

Femme Fatale: a rollicking romp

It doesn’t matter if you’ve not read the two earlier encounters with Daniel Beckett, the Soho-based private investigator, raconteur, womaniser, fashionista, badass mofo and international man of mystery – you pretty much get the measure of the man in the opening three chapters of Femme Fatale. He flirts, fights, flirts some more, struts his peacock…

The Needle House: meet DS Lasser

  In the end he ran, simply because it was the only sane thing left to do. When Kyle had suggested they pile into his beaten-up Fiat and drive to the woods, Billy had groaned. Half an hour sandwiched on the back seat, littered with old burger wrappers and empty beer cans was a grim…

Souls Disturbed: supernatural stirrings in the suburbs

Although the cover art for this collection of three novellas appears quite creepy, the stand-alone stories themselves are far from horrific. Instead they’re set in the ‘soft edges’ of ordinary, everyday English life, where the boundaries between ‘unremarkable’ and ‘unexplained’ can become blurred. Author Kath Middleton uses familiar situations from normal life to explore some…

Environmentally Friendly: man against nature

Author Elias Zanbaka crams a stack of action into precious few pages in this rapid-fire short story, which turns out to be the perfect length for a coffee break. He breaks almost every writing convention and hurls the reader into a non-stop heart-pumping pursuit through the crowded streets of Los Angeles. The writing is raw…