Rakehell: sneak preview of the post-Covid secret agent

Meet MI6 agent, cynical spy and all-round anti-hero John Caul. He’s the post-Covid equivalent of James Bond or Jason Bourne – and appears here in an exclusive sneak preview from this brand-new thriller. Caul operates under a ‘Blanket7’ licence to commit any crime in the service of the British state. He’ll take any risk to…

Crime Time: recent releases and the best new books

The days are getting shorter and autumn’s storms have started to arrive. Time to settle down with a gripping thriller and ignore what’s going on in the world outside. This time we have two top-notch Scandi crime novels from best-selling Nordic noir authors; an historic spy story set in WW2; the Lincoln Lawyer’s most important…

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…

Real Tigers: second rate spies save the day

There’s no doubt about it: Mick Herron blows the bloody doors off with the opening chapters of Real Tigers. This is stand-out, showboat, top rank writing, honed close to perfection with all the skill and dedication of an artisan craftsman. Mind you, people who haven’t read the two earlier novels in the ‘Slough House’ trilogy…

Catalyst: kitsch kat

  Catherine (‘Cat’, inevitably) is a talented woman. Smart enough to be a biochemist. Beautiful enough to be a top-class catwalk model. Physically skilled and strong enough to free-climb a sleek city office block. Determined enough to avenge the financial ruin and deaths of her parents. Yup, she’s a thoroughly modern girl. But Cat is…

The Tehran Text: the psychic spy returns

  I’m a sucker for historical espionage thrillers. Alan Furst may be my favourite author of all time; Philip Kerr never fails to entertain and Olen Steinhauer has elbowed onto my ‘must read’ list. So now Nik Morton joins that cohort with the continuing adventures of covert English agent Tana Standish. Tana’s not simply a…

Death Is The New Black

PI Daniel Beckett gets plenty of action. Plenty of action on the streets, where his world-class tradecraft, rapid reflexes and hard-assed combat skills typically leave his opponents in immediate need of A&E or the morgue. Plenty of action between the sheets because fabulously gorgeous women tend to do that swooning thing when he turns up…

Ripping Reads: new titles, offbeat books and indie authors

As the days shorten and the autumn evenings draw in, it’s time to settle down on the sofa for some mystery, intrigue and blunt force trauma. So here’s a selection of cracking crime-thrillers, detective novels, action adventure; mystery, horror, fantasy, and Nordic noir, featuring notables such as James Bond, Jack Reacher and Lisbeth Salander, no…

Brainrush: much rushing, not much brain

The trouble with the first part of most series is that you spend an awful lot of time on establishing the situation, the major players and the general set-up. Then just when things get really interesting… wham, bang, thank you and please buy the sequel. That’s pretty much Brainrush all over. It’s a slightly sci-fi…