Rapid Reviews: strong female protagonists

The female of the species might be a police detective, a contract killer, a lawyer in the DA’s office or an analyst at MI6. But in modern crime fiction she’s likely to be smart, skilled and assertive, as these four thrillers demonstrate in fine style… The Late Show by Michael Connelly If you’ve somehow swerved…

Rapid Reviews: criminal activity

Strong female protagonists abound in this month’s selection of crime-thrillers – but gender balance is maintained by a couple of old-school alpha males and a truly unusual unreliable narrator. Read on for Scandi crime, wartime noir, gritty BritCrime and a psychological investigation from indie authors and big-name best-sellers… THE SPINNING MAN by George Harrar An…

The Girl Without Skin: ‘Greenland grim’

This book could be the start of a whole new crime genre – something like Nordic noir, with all of its gritty realism and cultural quirks: let’s call it Greenland Grim. In this new thriller you can almost feel the bitter Arctic chill streaming from its pages. The mystery begins in Greenland’s urban centre, Nuuk,…

A Last Act Of Charity: a strong lead and a thrilling plot

Initially drawn to ‘Charity’ by the cover, it turns out to be a solid read. It starts out with a crime scene and immediately draws you in. It’s gritty, exciting, funny, and captivating, everything you’d expect from a good thriller and suspense novel. The language was descriptive and, at times, humorous. For example, in reference…

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…

Mission Khyber: a killer woman with a psy side

Psychic spy Tana Standish has a habit of appearing slap-bang in the middle of the most significant historical upheavals of the 20th century. This time she’s in Afghanistan in 1979, providing intel for the British secret intelligence service, running interference for freedom fighters, side-stepping a Soviet plot to kidnap her, liberating victims of oppression, avenging…

Two Nights: a killer comeback

It’s brilliant when an established author comes out biting, gouging and punching below the belt with a revitalised zest for telling a rip-snorting story. That’s pretty much what’s happened here, with this new standalone thriller from one of the genre’s heavy hitters. Although I find forensic anthropology and the scientific analysis of crime scenes fascinating,…