Portrait of an Assassin: killer fiction

The title tells you exactly what to expect of this rapid-fire, rattling read: the back story to a calculating contract killer. It’s cleverly presented in a series of episodes which almost form standalone short stories, as Jack the discharged Royal Marine becomes Jack the rudderless, Jack the flat broke, then Jack the opportunist… and gradually…

Six Strings: explosive action

This is the sixth JJ Stoner short story and again it hits all the right notes, and in the right order. I have read all the authors short stories and full-length books and, suffice to say, I have a standing order for the next one. In this story, our hero helps out the drug squad…

FREE THIS WEEK: a five-star quick thriller

  Meet JJ Stoner: motorcyclist. Musician. Murderer. ‘Stoner stepped back, balanced like a murderous ballet dancer and swung his heavy biker-booted foot, catching the guard’s chin with his toe, breaking the jaw at its hinge with the skull, and driving the man’s head backwards into the rough red brickwork of the wall. ‘Silenced. ‘Permanently.’ Go…

True Lies at the core of crime fiction

Ahead of author Frank Westworth’s appearance at the BooksOnTyne literary festival, we asked readers of his crime-thrillers what subjects they’d like to discuss on the night. The theme of the evening is ‘True Lies’ and the tactic of telling the truth through fiction, but almost immediately the conversation veered off towards sex, intimacy, witty dialogue,…