Ungentlemanly Warfare: a WW2 spy story

Despite what the title suggests, this is an entirely gentlemanly novel of behind-the-lines, undercover activity in occupied France during WW2. It’s an old-school espionage adventure which cleverly captures the classic vibe of films like The Great Escape. I almost expected Dickie Attenborough and Kenneth Moore to appear as character cameos… …and in fact Howard Linskey,…

Best International Crime Books of 2018

Our year has been stacked with mystery and intrigue, betrayal and revenge, bitterness and redemption – and some simply stunning plot twists. We’ve reviewed and read almost 200 crime / thrillers, from literary fiction by established authors to debut books by indie authors. Only a very select few, less than 10%, achieve a full-on five-star…

Rapid Reviews: worldwide crime

Take a roadtrip with a US Marshall, travel back to Nazi Germany, explore the underbelly of the banking business in Switzerland, discover the strange side of Japanese noir, and meet one of Scandi crime’s finest detectives in his younger years. All this and more in these criminal escapades from international authors… The Pyramid by Henning…

The Shadow Killer: Iceland at war

It seems that there’s an insatiable appetite for crime novels which are also war stories – historical fiction which uses the international upheaval of WW2 as its dramatic backdrop. I blame Bernie Gunther… but find these philosophical investigations as compelling as any contemporary thrillers. It’s as if we still can’t come to terms with what…

The Butchers Of Berlin: a rare DNF

It’s not often that I buy an actual paperback book – a proper thing with pages, not an ethereal ebook – and then give up on it halfway through. So The Butchers Of Berlin has secured an unusual accolade indeed. It should have been straight up my street, as I enjoy criminal investigations, serial killer…

The Ashes Of Berlin: a shattered society

This is not a book to wolf down in one sitting, nor one you can nibble away at in brief bites. It’s too densely detailed and emotionally intense for that. Like a giant supertanker, The Ashes of Berlin takes quite a while to get going – but once you’re absorbed in the plot and characters…

Prussian Blue: murder at the Berghof

It’s 1939 at the Berghof. A Nazi apparatchik just got shot – on the terrace where Hitler takes his tea! When I picked up the 12th book in the Bernie Gunther series I was fully prepared to report that the modern thrillers aren’t a patch on the original Berlin Noir trilogy. Duh. Wrong again. Overall, Prussian…