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…

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…

Paris In The Dark: a world of war

It might be set more than century ago, in a foreign land filled with political puzzles and unfamiliar factions, but Paris In The Dark delivers a completely convincing story, grounded in a solidly credible scenario. There aren’t so many characters that your head spins trying to recall them all, and the narrative itself is pretty…

Six Strings: a new quick thriller

‘You want me to kill someone.’ Stoner plainly had a grasp of both the gravity and the subtlety of the situation. ‘There’s no need to rattle on so much. Killing people is what I do.’ He paused. ‘But only if he orders me to…’ Life is usually fairly straightforward for former Sergeant Stoner. He plays…

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…

A Hero In France: stilted spy story

Author Alan Furst is a literary giant, a writer I admire enormously. His spy stories of wartime resistance evoke an insidious atmosphere of paranoid oppression, offset in near-equal measure by extreme human endeavour and endurance. Determination and despair permeate his pages in equal measure. His characters are flawed examples of humanity, compelled by circumstance into…

A Perfect Crime

The mystery in this modern Chinese morality tale is not ‘whodunit’. We share the killer’s perspective as he plans and enacts bloody murder and a subsequent escape. No mystery there. Instead, the mystery is ‘whydunit’. Why would a young man choose to obliterate a friendly classmate, effectively ending both their lives in violent cruelty? It’s…