Blood Sons: a mafia family

Three striking stories intertwine in this American fable of family and fidelity. The author uses a vicious minor mobster in New York to explore the influence of nurture over nature – and it’s a set-up that works surprisingly well. The Family is all about family… isn’t it? That’s just one of the crime-thriller clichés which…

World Gone By: the end of an era

  WW2 was tough on the American mob. The ample criminal opportunities provided by shortages and stressed policing were balanced by the gangs’ own issues – lack of decent manpower, the rise of fierce competition, the gradual erosion of the values which had made the Italian mafia all but invincible. The Feds are putting the…

Crime Time: just published thrillers and killers

  A rapid round up of six of the best recently released murder mysteries, crime thrillers and killer reads from well-known writers and indie authors who you may not have met yet…   KINGS OF AMERICA by RJ Ellory In this sprawling epic which spans three decades in the mid-20th century, master storyteller RJ Ellory…

God’s Pocket: a fitting farewell to Philip Seymour Hoffman

God’s Pocket is the kind of low-key high-brow crime drama typical of Continental cinema which Hollywood rarely produces. That probably explains why the American audience didn’t quite know how to take it. It mixes bitterly bleak, stiletto-sharp social observation with slapstick snapshots of comedy, played to perfection by a sweatily lumbering but utterly understated Hoffman.…