Lucifer Falls: a killer concept (but not much more)

This book had me at the title. Lucifer Falls. The suggestion of a biblical / supernatural scenario lured me to the line. Then the blurb set the hook: a serial killer in London, twisting Catholicism to his own psychopathy, making grisly martyrs from genuinely good people. Sign me up! And Lucifer Falls delivers all that…

Rapid Reviews of criminal activities

Half a dozen criminal capers to entertain and intrigue: art mystery, serial-killer thriller; political conspiracy; world crime, corporate corruption, gritty Brits and a police procedural… Priceless by Zygmunt Miloszewski An art mystery of type made famous by the Da Vinci Code, this stand-alone globe-trotting romp feels more like Mission Impossible than the author’s series of…

Newcomer: Japanese intrigue

Japanese crime fiction is very different to its British and American counterparts, and this devious murder-mystery is definitely unconventional – and delightfully indulgent. The newcomer of the title is Sergeant Kaga, a compassionate and perceptive detective who’s recently arrived in Tokyo. While the lead policemen rush and bluster to solve the violent death of a…

Cold Breath: hot stuff!

The latest ‘Icelandic Murder Mystery’ is an ideal introduction to this series. I’ve read all the preceding episodes but reckon you can sit straight down with this one without any introduction. Cold Breath is immensely readable and stylishly constructed from multiple viewpoints; the policewoman at the core of the story; an investigative journalist who’s off…

The Sword Of Justice: a slice of Swedish ‘super-salami’

Superintendent Evart Bäckström is one of Scandi crime’s outstanding creations. He’s an utterly loathsome creature; lazy, corrupt, bigoted and entirely self-centred. Yet his sly intelligence and his ability to manipulate any situation to suit himself mean that he has an impressive case clearance rate and a public persona to match his inflated self-image. Bäckström is…

A Grain Of Truth: complex Eurocrime

A weird murder with ritual overtones, the stifling confines of small-town society and a charismatic detective: this would be an enthralling investigation if that’s all it offered. But A Grain Of Truth also gets to grip with one of the toughest issues of our times: anti-Semitism and its complex implications. Few nations were as affected…

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…

Death Notice: a twisting mystery

A series of near-impossible murders in in Chengdu, China, are connected by the beautifully-penned ‘death notices’ which precede them, daring the police to stop this calculating killer. Each of the victims has to atone for his or her crimes; adultery, betrayal, murder and corruption. But this serial killer’s secrets start far in the past, with…

Crime Time: new books and ripping reads

If it’s too hot to do anything apart from flake out with a good book then at least you’ve got plenty of excellent crime thrillers and murder mysteries to choose from. Here’s our rapid round-up of the most intriguing new releases from indie authors and big-name bestsellers – including gritty Britcrime, police procedurals, international intrigue,…

The Mind’s Eye: a great start but slow progress

Van Veeteren is among the most famous of Swedish fictional detectives, but this was my first written encounter with the character. This book started off brilliantly with a mystifying mystery of the locked room tradition: a drowned wife in a locked bathroom, the husband so inebriated he could only remember their wild festivity of the…