The Monster Underneath: dream weaving

In the Hannibal Lecter series, investigator Will Graham exerts his psychoanalytic expertise and his emotional empathy to ‘get inside’ the heads of murderers and monsters. In an entirely matter of fact way, author Matthew Franks takes that premise one step further and gives his protagonist, Max Crawford, the ability to read people’s thoughts in the…

The Butchers Of Berlin: a rare DNF

It’s not often that I buy an actual paperback book – a proper thing with pages, not an ethereal ebook – and then give up on it halfway through. So The Butchers Of Berlin has secured an unusual accolade indeed. It should have been straight up my street, as I enjoy criminal investigations, serial killer…

Purple Kitty: far from cute n cuddly

Purple Kitty’s title sorta suggests cuddly, fluffy, giggle a minute, girl’s night in, pink pyjamas, comedy crime*. That couldn’t be further from the reality of this dystopian private eye investigation, set in an oppressive future a few decades down the line. Gumshoe Serena McKay isn’t your typical ‘strong female protagonist’, either. Normally, the average crime-solving…

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…

Watching You: a masterclass of misdirection

In Watching You, one of the Nordic nations’ premier crime writers delivers a masterclass of misdirection and suspense. Arne Dahl – or Jan Arnald, if you prefer his other pen-name – kicks off what appears to be a standard Scandi crime police procedural with a stand-out, set piece action sequence which simultaneously curls your toes…

New books and recommended reads

Strong female protagonists are all the rage in this week’s new book round-up, but they’re also accompanied by a range of alpha-male former soldiers, covert agents and good old fashioned DCIs. Check out our selection of a dozen intriguing new titles and recommended reads, which include psychological thrillers, police procedurals, international espionage, domestic psychodrama, short…

New books and ripping reads

The crime files are over-flowing right now with big-name blockbusters and outstanding indie authors. In fact there’s too many to fit into this round-up of ten intriguing titles, so come back in a fortnight for more gripping criminal activity. In the meanwhile we’ve a superb selection of police procedurals, serial killers, Nordic noir, vengeful vigilantes,…