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…

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…

DTOTL: slow-burn French stalker story

In a series of intricate and explicitly unpleasant plot reversals and psychological sleight of hand, DTOTL explores the twisted sinews of jealousy, manipulation and possession at their most extreme. Is it possible to degrade the self-esteem of a confidant young woman to the point where, hopeless, isolated and despairing, she might end her own life?…

A Contented Man: dark echoes

  These four short stories of tightly-woven psychological suspense don’t take so very long to read, but their dark echoes reverberate for days thereafter. The first story, a sinister study of the depths of obsession, gives the collection its title. The ‘Contended Man’ is anything but contended, and his unnatural fascination with a much younger…

Beautiful Losers: suspense that gets under the skin

Clinical psychologist Kim Slade has intimate experience about body disfigurement. She’s a scarred woman, both facially and figuratively. Yet superficially she’s a successful modern career woman who converted childhood trauma into something positive. Slade has a fashionable flat in trendy Cheltenham, a second seaside home in the West Country, a loving long-term boyfriend, a close-knit…

Criminal encounters: thrillers, killers and conundra

Need something new to read? Here’s 20 or more psychological thrillers, global conspiracies, murder mysteries, Scandi crime, police procedurals, neo noir, private detectives, military sedition, ruthless gangsters, corrupt lawmen, cosy crime and historical whodunnits, which feature stealing, lying, cheating, kidnapping, spying, stalking and the odd dead body or ten. Just the job for a Bank…