Supernatural Sherlocks: glimpses of gothic oddness

This is a wonderfully nostalgic collection of 15 short stories which instantly transport you back to the age of empire, where men with handlebar moustaches and frock coats investigate uncanny happenings which have gels in crinolines swooning into their soup. They aren’t simply written in the style of the great Victorian and Edwardian detective novels…

Criminal Halloween Reading

Werewolves howl. Phantoms prowl. Halloween’s upon us now! So let’s settle down with something on the spooky side of crime fiction. Here’s the first of this week’s special selection of chilling thrillers, exploring the mysterious hinterland between hardboiled noir and the beasts which prowl in the far beyond… Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg Let’s kick…

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…

Reaping The Dark: an occult adventure a la Guy Ritchie…

This is ‘only’ a novella, but author Gary McMahon has crafted a satisfying, self-contained story which works on several levels. It’s a smart, fast-paced action-adventure. It’s a heist-gone-wrong romp where the bad guys (and some of the good guys) get a gruesome comeuppance. It’s an exploration of maturity, of accepting the responsibilities of adulthood. It’s…