Of Mice and Minestrone: Hap & Leonard lite

This collection compiles five short stories from the formative years of Joe R Lansdale’s unconventional scoundrels, right at the time when they’re forming the solid bond that stands them in good stead in later life. Like several other memorable pairings in crime fiction – Angel and Louis, Spenser and Hawk, Stoner and Stretch – Hap…

A Book Of Bones: 21st century gothic

This gargantuan beast of a book concludes a story arc which began some six volumes ago in The Wolf In Winter. Far from being bare bones, A Book Of Bones is an extended, immersive and intense reading experience which delightfully disrupts commercial publishing conventions. For one thing, this is a 700 page epic – a…

The Woman In The Woods: a darkening descent

Many readers typically discuss the darker, arcane side of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series but – as the 16th book brilliantly demonstrates – there’s a solid private detective story at the core of this convoluted story. So while a dark cabal plots the end of everything and the rise of apocalyptic gods, social issues and…

More Halloween Reads

Weird visitations from beyond the grave: werewolf detectives and golden age investigators; haunted houses and the spirits of the suburbs – enter the weirder world of crime fiction, where police procedurals and murder-mysteries overlap with uncanny happenings… The Mysterious Mr Quin by Agatha Christie A collection of a dozen intertwined short stories from the grand…

A Game Of Ghosts: Live, die, repeat

If you’re enjoying something immensely, why would you ever want it to stop? That’s the nub of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series of supernatural crime-thrillers. The author and his audience certainly seem to relish Charlie’s annual appearance in which he confronts the latest cult of ancient evil to come crawling out of the undergrowth. But…

A Time Of Torment:

The Cut is both a place and its insular inhabitants. It’s an isolated rural community, feared and avoided by the normal folk who live on its borders. People go missing near The Cut. People get hurt by The Cut. It’s the very essence of backwoods noir; the nasty place deep in the hills where strong…