ALAN WILLIAMS: An Appreciation.Born 28/8/1935, Died 21/4/2020. “…Williams has fallen out of favour. But Alan Williams is among the most impressive in what might be called the Graham Greene/Eric Ambler school of ‘Englishman at bay and sultry climes’.” [Barry Forshaw British Crime Writing An Encyclopedia, 2009] Alan Williams who died in April at the ageContinue reading “ALAN WILLIAMS: AN APPRECIATION”


Deep as Death by Katja Ivar.The second Hella Mauzer thriller.“What Hella doesn’t realise, until it’s too late, is that the most dangerous of lies are those we tell ourselves.”That little teaser for Deep as Death comes from an interview I did with Katja on the publication of her debut, Evil Things, (January last year, seeContinue reading “DEEP AS DEATH”


The Underbelly by Gary Phillips (2010) LA author Gary Phillips writes engaging and thought provoking sci-fi and crime fiction in different forms; long and short stories, graphic novels and comics. He also likes to experiment with storytelling forms and often edits and collaborates on anthologies. He’s a born storyteller and his writing comes from theContinue reading “THE UNDERBELLY”


The Real Cool Killers by Chester Himes (1959) Chester Himes’ writing has earned him a place in the pantheon of crime fiction greats. He got there the hard way – living every inch of the pain and prejudice his novels deal in. So why isn’t he better recognised for his contribution to the genre? AfterContinue reading “THE REAL COOL KILLERS”


Virgin & Child Maggie Hamand.This novel opens with the first walk about of a newly elected pope. Pope Patrick is the first Irish Bishop of Rome, he arrives in a time of turmoil within the Church. His outlook gives some measure of hope to progressives while worrying conservative elements of the Vatican Curia. However, PopeContinue reading “VIRGIN & CHILD”


Lying Bastard by Clint Margrave. This is a decent addition to the long tradition of humorous campus set literary fiction. Lying Bastard tackles the absurdity and farce of teaching at Long Beach Community College, California. This novel is a lot of fun but there are plenty of serious points about the state of modern higherContinue reading “LYING BASTARD”


A Case of Noir by Paul D Brazill Number 8 in the Close To The Bone’s ‘Knuckle Cracking Novella’ series. Don’t read this review, let alone the book, if you’re of a sensitive disposition. A Case of Noir is an exhilarating gritty entertainment. This book and me was best friends for a couple of hoursContinue reading “A CASE OF NOIR”


Rogue by James Swallow.The fifth Marc Dane/Rubicon thriller.Rogue is a high octane thriller, it’s perfect escapism because you’re not going to be thinking about anything else as you read. There’s action a plenty in this new high tech up to the minute version of a James Bond style adventure but without the misogyny and stereotypingContinue reading “ROGUE”


The Inspector of Unexplained Deaths by Olivier Barde-Cabuçon This light but intelligent novel augers well for The Inspector of Unexplained Deaths series. This is exciting historical crime writing – sharp witted and enjoyable. Chevalier Volnay is a fascinating detective, the Sherlock of the ancien régime; young, contradictory and enigmatic but quite, quite brilliant. A manContinue reading “THE INSPECTOR OF UNEXPLAINED DEATHS”


Grab a Snake by the Tail All good fiction reflects the character of its country of birth. This is very true of Cuban literature; religion, sex, politics, superstition, machismo, beauty and a dark soul born out of a turbulent history. There is no writer speaks to this more truthfully than Leonardo Padura. He has beenContinue reading “GRAB A SNAKE BY THE TAIL”

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