Where Ravens Roost

When animals appear in a book’s title they are frequently more metaphorical than physical, but these menacing black beasts play an important part of the story in this character-driven slow-burn Swedish mystery. These ravens are pets – of a kind – kept by the father of police detective Kjeld Nygaard. Their apparently aggressive inclinations, savagely…

The Last Thing To Burn: a blaze of gory glory

This novel pulls zero punches. It makes no concessions to sensitive or squeamish readers. With precise delicacy, author Will Dean exposes a festering wound of western society and challenges the reader to hate the crime – but love the storytelling. Where a lesser writing talent might’ve stumbled into the sleazy territory of titillation through graphic…

The Inner Darkness: a manhunt mystery

The Wisting series of Scandi crime stories have become as comfortable as a snuggly sofa next to a roaring fire on a chilly winter afternoon. Although the cover blurb does its best to sell this carefully constructed mystery as a ‘pulse-pounding thriller’ it has far more in common with Wallander or Varg Veum than Harry…

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…