The New Iberia Blues: one last hurrah?

This book has ‘swansong’ stamped all the way through it. The latest in a long line of literary crime novels in the Dave Robicheaux series, The New Iberia Blues reads like the author’s valedictory address. It’s an extended farewell to old Louisiana, as the landmass slowly disintegrates into the ocean and the subtle shades of…

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…

Blood In The Snow: alpine excellence

Life is tough for readers of high-class international crime fiction. These books aren’t like the typical potboiler thriller. Their authors don’t just churn out a by-the-numbers page-turner every six months. A literary crime novel demands dedication and extensive effort to hone to something close to perfection. And then we English speaking types have to endure…

Cold Breath: hot stuff!

The latest ‘Icelandic Murder Mystery’ is an ideal introduction to this series. I’ve read all the preceding episodes but reckon you can sit straight down with this one without any introduction. Cold Breath is immensely readable and stylishly constructed from multiple viewpoints; the policewoman at the core of the story; an investigative journalist who’s off…

The Redemption Of Charm: sinister and aggressive

By chance, I read The Redemption Of Charm, the third novel in the Killing Sisters trilogy from Frank Westworth, first. I always like it when an author of a series displays his skill by making each book of a series intimately intertwined with the Grand Total Picture, but also superbly readable as a stand-alone. Only…

A Last Act Of Charity: a strong lead and a thrilling plot

Initially drawn to ‘Charity’ by the cover, it turns out to be a solid read. It starts out with a crime scene and immediately draws you in. It’s gritty, exciting, funny, and captivating, everything you’d expect from a good thriller and suspense novel. The language was descriptive and, at times, humorous. For example, in reference…

Return To Hiroshima: nuclear fallout

This complex and compelling novel of criminal intrigue contrives to be immense and intimate, simultaneously. The expansive narrative extends across time and philosophical space to pierce the psyche of a nation in turmoil, yet this sprawling story is told in intensely personal episodes. Author Bob Van Laerhoven pulls together an outlandish ensemble cast of peculiar…