Rapid reviews: criminal activity

Some thrilling suggestions for your bookshelf: an espionage adventure; top-notch Nordic noir; the introduction of an ice-cold assassion; stalking a serial killer with second sight; a schizophrenic investigator — we’ve been reading all these and more cracking crime fiction this month. Oh, and a Jack Reacher rip-off you might want to steer clear of… RED…

Nocturne For Madness: hardboiled brilliance

In this, the first Thomas Haftmann book, we encounter the controlled madness of two men, one a former cop, the other a misfit and killer of women. Ex-homicide cop Thomas Haftmann is recently divorced and working as a PI. Barely surviving financially, and haunted by his own twin demons of gambling and alcohol, Haftmann gets…

Unknown Male: Japanese secrets

Japanese noir can be an acquired taste. It’s often stranger than the Scandi stuff: written in stylish prose that contrasts shattering acts of violence and fleeting images of bewildering beauty. It can be subtle to the point of obscurity yet explicit to extremes. This is not a genre for those who flinch easily, and unfamiliar…

Rapid Reviews: crime and punishment

If you’re seeking mystery and thrills then we’ve got a cracking selection of killer crime fiction for you. British detectives, fatal females; private eyes and serial killers; psychological page-turners and a spooky crime unit, from indie authors and bestselling big names. Here are the recent reads that we loved (and one we didn’t!) ALTERED LIFE…

One Last Prayer For The Rays: gritty BritCrime

This is no humdrum parochial British police procedural – in fact, with all the pigs, blood, gore, kidnapping and brutality it’s more like Hannibal than Morse. Which of course snagged my attention at the get-go… The gruesome abduction of a loner schoolboy is just the start of a deftly executed campaign of revenge against an…

Motive X: a mid-season Scandi thriller

Motive X is most definitely a story which starts in the middle. Amid the multiple plotlines there lurks a self-contained mystery of grisly killings, but that plot is almost overwhelmed by the series’ ongoing themes: the catastrophic domestic situation of police detective Fabian Risk and his dysfunctional family; the catastrophic personal life of his boss…

Rapid Reviews: six slices of murder and mystery

Hardboiled Brit crime, an American classic, a medical thriller, a swift slice of satisfying savagery, an old-fashioned private-eye investigation and an FBI serial killer profiler – settle down for this month’s selection of half a dozen different approaches to the crime-thriller genre… THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy Yes, this is the famous post-apocalyptic Great American…