The Redemption Of Charm: an explosive ending

If this book were a piece of ordinance it would have a carefully calibrated, slow burn fuse snaking around its characters. It would gather pace, lighting the way to its explosive finale. It is brilliantly crafted, full of the sharp dialogue, wit and action that makes the author’s writing so compelling. This, third, Killing Sisters…

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,…

First Contract: great stortytelling

A discharged military sergeant is sent on a mission to assassinate a target in order to acquire a clean record that was tarnished by executing Iraqi prisoners. A lot of people will read the above description and think they’ve already read this story many times over with nothing new or original to offer. They may…

Classic Crime: Inspector Zhang

Hang on, wait. This isn’t ‘classic’ or ‘vintage’ crime. It wasn’t written a hundred years ago. Inspector Zhang is a thoroughly modern man, investigating 21st century crime in the ultra-up-to-date, high-tech, lion city of Singapore. So why classify this short story as ‘classic crime’? Easy. In ‘Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish’ author Stephen Leather has…

Inspector Zhang: a locked-room mystery

There’s a dead body in the first class compartment of an airliner, and no one seems to have noticed how the passenger was murdered… That’s the set-up for this clever little conundrum, a short story which takes around a half hour to devour. ‘Inspector Zhang And The Dead Thai Gangster’ features Stephen Leather’s regular detective,…