The Monster Underneath: dream weaving

In the Hannibal Lecter series, investigator Will Graham exerts his psychoanalytic expertise and his emotional empathy to ‘get inside’ the heads of murderers and monsters. In an entirely matter of fact way, author Matthew Franks takes that premise one step further and gives his protagonist, Max Crawford, the ability to read people’s thoughts in the…

The Man Who Died: a comedy of killing

We’re all going to die. But Finnish businessman Jakko discovers more about his own death than most people would want to. He’s going to die quite soon, and he’s going to die quite unpleasantly. And he’s going to die because someone close to him has killed him. But who, and why? And what should he…

The Town Built On Sorrow: brilliantly chilling

Like Goldilocks’ porridge, this is neither too brief nor too verbose; not needlessly complicated but intrinsically clever in its composition. It pulls together two dark tales, one from the pioneer days when wagon trains headed west to start new settlements, and the other in the 21st century. The town of Hawthorn has, as the title…

The Needle House: meet DS Lasser

  In the end he ran, simply because it was the only sane thing left to do. When Kyle had suggested they pile into his beaten-up Fiat and drive to the woods, Billy had groaned. Half an hour sandwiched on the back seat, littered with old burger wrappers and empty beer cans was a grim…

The Stoner Stories: a killer cast of characters

Meet JJ Stoner: musician, motorcyclist… and murderer. For years, Stoner has used sharp blades, blunt instruments and his innate persuasiveness to discreetly resolve tricky situations for the British government. During Stoner’s military days his kills were government-sanctioned. As a mercenary they were privately contracted. Some times, they were entirely off the books… ‘When the fighting…

Crime Time: new books and recommended reads

  The autumn reading season delivers Nordic noir, cosy crime, sci-fi thrillers, feisty female detectives, murder in the Outback and sleaze in Sicily: detectives, vendettas, hardboiled heroes and even some gore-splattered horror. Oh, and the George Smiley spy story which everyone’s been patiently waiting for… A LEGACY OF SPIES by John Le Carre A throwback…