The Puritan: echoes of Agent Starling

An old-school serial killer manhunt, The Puritan undoubtedly owes a lot to the books of Thomas Harris – notably The Silence of The Lambs and Red Dragon – and to TV series like Criminal Minds and Mindhunter. In particular there’s a big tip of the hat to Agent Clarice Starling: not only is the protagonist…

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…

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…

I May Kill You: an entirely English serial killer

A genteel seaside town on England’s south coast isn’t the usual setting for a homicidal maniac to start stalking his prey – but then, this killer is more than a little unusual. For a start, he sends his intended victims a letter which explains his peculiar personality – thus simultaneously providing the police with potential…

The Dark Corners of the Night: psycho profiling

The name of this series instantly engaged my interest. UNSUB. Ooh, that sounds like an FBI profiling serial-killer procedural, along the lines of TV’s Mindhunter. And look; the central character is a determined, accomplished female investigator with more than a little of Clarice Starling and Dana Scully about her (and let’s face it, if I…

The Ice Maiden: a small-town serial killer

This murder-mystery is all about its setting, the full force of the turning seasons and the stalwart townsfolk of a small community. The plot is driven by a gruesome series of weird killings that mimic historic religious rituals, from the auto da fé to pagan sacrifice, but the winter chill of rural Maine dominates proceedings.…

Best Crime Books 2019

The books we’ve read in the past 12 months have been packed with murder and mayhem, crime and punishment, despair and redemption – the very essence of the human condition, boiled down to brilliant crime-thriller fiction. We read more than 200 mystery and thriller books in 2019, from literary fiction by big-name bestsellers to dazzling…