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CIS: The Day of the Jackal revisited

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When Frederick Forsyth wrote The Day of the Jackal, it was a shot in the dark. The writer had produced a factual book about the war in Biafra, which took place in the late 1960s, but it hadn’t done too well. His stab at a thriller was undertaken to address his financial problems. Not only[...]

Welcome to Classics in September 2014

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September marks a turning point in the year. Summer is in its twilight, the leaves will soon be turning, a new academic year begins, and we begin to think of warm, indoor pursuits. Top among them for us is getting back to some classic crime fiction. While autumn sees the world’s publishers releasing their big[...]

An Event in Autumn

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Written by Henning Mankell, translated by Laurie Thompson — A new Kurt Wallander book by Henning Mankell is a major literary event for fans of this troubled Swedish detective. Mankell was the first of the translated Scandinavian crime writers I discovered a decade ago and he’s still the best. Indeed, it’s remarkable that a series[...]

Gods of Gold

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Written by Chris Nickson – In the Yorkshire city of Leeds, there is a massive gulf between the rich and the poor. It is 1890, and the rich industrialists are getting richer beyond their wildest dreams. The chimneys belch out smoke but the grime turns to gold for the factory owners. The workers who keep[...]

Missing

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Written by Sam Hawken – Jack Searle lives a quiet life in Texas, near the Mexican border. He earns enough to get by as a builder, looking after his stepdaughters Lidia and Marina. Jack’s wife died of cancer several years ago. Jack and the girls have family over the border in Nuevo Laredo and regularly[...]

The Valley

The Valley

Written by Will Thwaite – The Valley is the debut novel of London headhunter Will Thwaite, and was longlisted for this year’s Bath Novel Award. It’s an international prize which carries some weight and is aimed at aspiring and self-published authors, so a longlisting is some achievement. Told in the first person, the novel introduces[...]

Bite Harder

Bite Harder

Written by Anonymous-9 — Dean Drayhart is in prison. He’s a self-confessed serial killer, but with a difference. His wife and child were mowed down in a hit and run, the same accident which left him a paraplegic and barely able to move. Worse, the perpetrator was never caught. Drayhart wanted revenge and he gained it[...]

Lock-Down Blues

Lockdown Blues

Written by Ray Wilcox – For the most part, the lives these criminals lead are unconnected. There is Raymond Butterworth, a successful printer, whose gruesome crimes are separated by decades. Then we have ‘Diamond’ Perry, the black street hoodlum who makes the mistake of taking on a Yardie drug gang. Johnny Scapes ran a high-end[...]

Alphabet House

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Written by Jussi Adler-Olsen, translated by Steve Schein – Published for the first time in English, Alphabet House was Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen’s first book in his native language, predating the Department Q series which includes Mercy and Disgrace. It is an ambitious psychological thriller that was inspired by his own upbringing around psychiatric hospitals[...]

A Madras Miasma

Madras Miasma

Written by Brian Stoddart – The setting is 1920, in the teeming city of Madras (present day Chennai) on the south eastern coast of India. Superintendent Christian Le Fanu of the Indian Police Service has been called to the banks of a filthy city canal which is, in reality, little more than an open sewer.[...]

Cherringham – Mystery at the Manor

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Written by Matt Costello and Neil Richards — Mystery at the Manor is the second episode in a 12-book series of cosy mysteries, which transatlantic writing duo Matt Costello (US) and Neil Richards (UK) intend to release in monthly instalments. Each book is intended to be a self-contained mystery and they all feature amateur sleuth[...]

Falling Fast

Written by Neil Broadfoot – This debut novel was recently shortlisted for the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year alongside the likes of Peter May, Louise Welsh and Chris Brookmyre. In that company, it certainly has a lot to live up to. No problems there, for Falling Fast is a book that grabs you[...]

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