The Kingdom: blood (soaked) brothers

A standalone Scandi thriller from accomplished author Jo Nesbø is normally something to be savoured. His earlier Headhunters is one of my all-time favourite crime novels, so I had high hopes for this new tale of Norwegian intrigue. And in many ways it’s every bit as carefully crafted as you’d expect – yet I struggled…

Rakehell: sneak preview of the post-Covid secret agent

Meet MI6 agent, cynical spy and all-round anti-hero John Caul. He’s the post-Covid equivalent of James Bond or Jason Bourne – and appears here in an exclusive sneak preview from this brand-new thriller. Caul operates under a ‘Blanket7’ licence to commit any crime in the service of the British state. He’ll take any risk to…

Crime Time: recent releases and the best new books

The days are getting shorter and autumn’s storms have started to arrive. Time to settle down with a gripping thriller and ignore what’s going on in the world outside. This time we have two top-notch Scandi crime novels from best-selling Nordic noir authors; an historic spy story set in WW2; the Lincoln Lawyer’s most important…

She’s As Good As Dead: a new Agent Starling?

Lara Jones isn’t your typical, hard-bitten FBI investigator. In fact, she’s unusually vulnerable for a veteran of the specialist behavioural science unit, who used to spend her time profiling the worst of America’s criminals. We meet her at a troubling time in her life: starting a new job in a local field office, trying to…

The Dirty South: introducing Charlie Parker

If you’ve never read any of the Charlie Parker books before then this is a great place to start. Never mind that it appears to be the umpteenth in the series; it might be the new-for-2020 story but it’s set back in the mists of time, in the late 1990s, shortly after the murderous events…

Stake: who wants to believe?

Imagine you’re a vampire hunter, trying to eradicate an unmitigated menace. To the creatures that you hunt, you’re the ultimate enemy. To the modern world, you’re a psychopathic serial killer. When objective truth is blurred by personal perceptions, either extreme could be possible. And that’s the entertaining territory which author Kevin J Anderson explores in…

Rapid Reviews: strong female protagonists

The female of the species might be a police detective, a contract killer, a lawyer in the DA’s office or an analyst at MI6. But in modern crime fiction she’s likely to be smart, skilled and assertive, as these four thrillers demonstrate in fine style… The Late Show by Michael Connelly If you’ve somehow swerved…

Devolution:  social commentary (and sasquatch)

What a monster romp this is – in every respect. It’s described as a ‘horror’ story by some reviewers which is massively over-stating things… perhaps because the author is best known for his zombie-apocalypse World War Z story. But Devolution is a different type of cautionary tale, leaning more towards time-honoured sci-fi like The Day…

Indie Week! British mysteries and crime-thrillers

We began our exploration of new titles and recommended reads with exotic adventures overseas from small publishers and independent authors. This time we’re staying closer to home with a selection of stories based in and around the United Kingdom – but not necessarily told by British writers. You may be unfamiliar with some of these…

Indie week! Recent releases and recommended reads

Feel like a fresh start? Perhaps you’ve gotten tired of long-running series which seem to go in circles. Maybe you’re so familiar with established authors that you know exactly which rabbit they’re going to pull out of a pork-pie hat. Or perhaps you’ve read enough domestic noir right now, and would like to try a…