The Righteous Spy: superb spy story

Maybe, like me, you had high hopes when Stella Rimington started writing espionage adventure novels. After all, she was the first female head honcho at MI5. Surely her spy stories would be brilliant? And maybe, like me, you were deeply disappointed by Rimington’s unremarkable early outings which fell far short of their tantalising potential. After…

Russian Roulette: Brit grit with a SovBloc scoundrel

Ex-KGB agent Konstantin – most definitely an international man of murky mystery – has somehow washed up on the shores of England’s seedy Kent coast, and he’s carving a niche for himself among the lowlives and street-scum of a dilapidated seaside town. This is effectively Konstantin’s origin story, told in a series of seven interlocking…

Seven Hells: menace, murder and manipulation

The latest novella from Frank Westworth sees his occasional assassin, JJ Stoner, on the periphery of – apparently – an extensive terrorist plot. While British security forces – the good guys in uniform and the deniable assets in black – set up their surveillance, Stoner is drawn into the danger zone by an old adversary…

The Drop: an intriguing interlude

If you’ve read the author’s Slough House / Jackson Lamb series of intellectual espionage adventures then you’ll find yourself on familiar territory with this tightly-plotted short story. It’s set in the same universe, with a couple of overlapping characters from the main spy series – and The Drop shares the same themes of backbiting, in-fighting…

Seven Hells: a new Stoner story

‘The black man stumbled, fell, parts of his head were somehow separated from the rest of him, a curiously unpleasant blend of grey and pink, with darker tones mingling, tangled on the pavement where randomly firing nerves twitched his soul-free body, although not for long…’ Seven Hells by Frank Westworth is out now — and…

Paris In The Dark: a world of war

It might be set more than century ago, in a foreign land filled with political puzzles and unfamiliar factions, but Paris In The Dark delivers a completely convincing story, grounded in a solidly credible scenario. There aren’t so many characters that your head spins trying to recall them all, and the narrative itself is pretty…

Rapid Reviews: murder and mystery; future and history

These crime-thrillers and espionage adventures skim across an entire century, from 1941 through to sometime quite soon. Step this way for convoys under wolf pack attack; historic artworks being stolen; a serial killer being stalked, an intro to an unusual assassin and murder on Mars. In space, no one can hear you scream… The Interrogator…