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A Morbid Habit

A Morbid Habit

Written by Annie Hauxwell – If you had to create a check-list for a spy fiction heroine, then Catherine Berlin would not tick many boxes. Let’s try: Young and glamorous? No, she shows all of her 57 years, and looks slightly the worse for wear. High profile job? Sorry. She’s out of work, having been[...]

Artefacts of the Dead

Artefacts-of-the-Dead

Written by Tony Black – He is probably best known as the author of the acclaimed Gus Drury thrillers, set in the mean streets of Edinburgh, but Tony Black has turned his sights to a much less likely setting for Artefacts of the Dead. That setting is the sleepy seaside town of Ayr, where the[...]

A Man’s Head

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Written by Georges Simenon, translated by David Coward – Having accrued an incomplete collection of dog-eared, yellowed and slightly foxed editions of Simenon’s Maigret novels by scavenging second hand bookshops, Penguin’s project to reprint all 75 of them was music to my ears. This set is being translated afresh by the likes of David Bellos,[...]

The Eagle Turns

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Written by James Green – In my mind there are two types of spies: those who know everything and those who know nothing. Jean-François Mercier in Alan Furst’s The Spies of Warsaw is an example of the former, as is John le Carré’s George Smiley, while examples of the latter feature heavily in the works of Eric[...]

Nine Years Gone

Written by Chris Culver – The New York Times bestselling author of the Ash Rashid series of detective mysteries has this time turned his attention to a standalone psychological thriller, set in St Louis. Nine years ago, crime novelist Steve Hale made a decision that was destined to haunt him for ever. By helping his[...]

Cop Town

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Written by Karin Slaughter – We’re in Atlanta and it’s 1974. Doesn’t sound long ago if you’re of a certain age – but trust me, mid-70s Georgia is a world away from the uber-politically correct here and now. It’s November as the book opens, and a distraught police officer is running through the deserted, late[...]

The Sun Is God

The Sun is God, Adrian McKinty

Written by Adrian McKinty – Adrian McKinty has made his name with three crime trilogies, the latest of which featured Catholic cop Sean Duffy in the midst of sectarian turmoil in 1980s Belfast. So, The Sun is God is a bit of a departure. Here we meet Will Prior, once a junior officer in The[...]

The Fever

The Fever (Megan Abbott)

Written by Megan Abbott — With her early, noirish crime novels, Megan Abbott revisited the hardboiled tradition and period detail of 1950s LA from a female character’s perspective. Her more recent books, including Dare Me, have focused on the mystery and intrigue surrounding teenage girls. From that description you might expect something suited to Young[...]

The Final Silence

The Final Silence

Written by Stuart Neville — DI Jack Lennon is in a world of trouble. He is half crippled by slow-healing bullet wounds, incurred while engaged on a case which ended with his suspension from the police force. Stolen Souls (2012) recounts this story, and our review is here. Lennon, struggling to escape the dangerous embrace[...]

Forty Acres

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Written by Dwayne Alexander Smith – Here is a novel which has attracted attention for its plot twist which turns race relations and America’s colonial legacy on its head. The forty acres of the title refers to reparations promised, but not delivered, to the slaves emancipated after the American Civil War. The plot centres on[...]

The Darkest Heart

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Written by Dan Smith — Set in a little-known part of Brazil, this is a novel which explores the very thin line between darkness and light, life and death, good and evil in this country of contrasts. Yet in the process, it delves into the very same contrasts within the human heart – and how[...]

Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!

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Written by Douglas Lindsay — Relax Beatles fans. This isn’t a novel inspired by their epoch-making Sgt Pepper album, which had a track entitled Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite. However a Mr Kite does come into it and there are Beatles references inside… James Kite is a failed script writer. Now he runs[...]

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