Baby Blue by Pol Koutsakis, translated by Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife

Baby Blue by Pol Koutsakis, translated by Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife
Russell James

You know that ‘second book problem’? Well, the second in the Athens-based Stratos Gazis crime series defies the rule; it’s better than the first. Stratos, you’ll remember, is a big, well-built, fight-ready but ethics-driven hit-man (work that one out) who shoves his way through the EU-wrecked ruins of Greek’s capital city removing scum. This time he’s been hired by a 14-year-old blind street magician to find who killed her adoptive father.

Ruth Morse on Historical, American & Brit Noir

Ruth Morse on Historical, American & Brit Noir

For those looking for particular areas of crime fiction, either geographical or generic, Barry provides a choice of about half-a-dozen paperbacks (Pocket Essentials, Oldcastle Books). What makes these urgently recommendable is their engagement with a long list of authors one may or may not have come across, mainly contemporary. The entries are scrupulous about recommendations and reservations, and never commit the cardinal sin of spoiling the plot.

The Killing Habit by Mark Billingham

The Killing Habit by Mark Billingham
Michael Carlson

Someone is killing cats up North London way, and although Tom Thorne can’t help but feel tomicide is not his proper calling, he’s going to be seconded to his old Kentish Town stomping grounds, an improvement over his new commute from his partner Helen’s place in Tulse Hill up to Hendon. And he knows there is always the possibility the serial feline killer might move on to something more satisfying, for both of them. That’s the grim reality for Thorne, an honesty that makes him one of British crime fiction’s most compelling detectives.

Fault Lines: Doug Johnstone talks to Crime Time

Fault Lines: Doug Johnstone talks to Crime Time

‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ It’s the most asked question of authors, the one that strikes fear into our hearts because, really, we have no fucking idea where our ideas come from. The late great Iain Banks used to answer the question by saying there was a website, www.ideasforauthors.com, which generated them for you. And by Christ, that would be an absolutely awesome idea, in fact, I might set up that website myself, something that just randomly generated ideas from newspapers and other sources, gave you prompts and sent you off to write your meisterwerk.

The Old Religion: Martyn Waites talks to Crime Time

The Old Religion: Martyn Waites talks to Crime Time

A couple of years ago for reasons no one will have the slightest interest in, I had cause to leave London and move down to the South West. Despite coming from Newcastle and still self-identifying as a Geordie (can’t do much about the accent, I’m afraid), I’ve spent most of my adult life in and around our capital and its environs and it was quite a wrench. No more would I be able to just pop into town for a few drinks with my mates and share work gossip. Now I’d have to plan that weeks, if not months, in advance. I’d also spent the last decade writing under the name Tania Carver and would soon be appearing under my own name once more.

It Was Her: Mark Hill talks to Crime Time

It Was Her: Mark Hill talks to Crime Time

Hands up who’s ever found themselves staring into a stranger’s house late at night? You’re strolling along the street, say, minding your own business – taking the dog for a walk, or on your way home – and your attention is caught by soft lamplight coming from inside a home. The curtains are open so you can see right inside, you see everything. You slow. The dog may helpfully stop to sniff something on the pavement, giving you the excuse to stop in front of the house.

TO THE MAX Maxim Jakubowksi on New Crime

TO THE MAX Maxim Jakubowksi on New Crime

A wonderfully diverse month of new titles, ranging from psychological thrillers, science fiction adventures and variations on Sherlock Holmes, world-ranging existential endeavours, investigations set in London, Sweden, New York, Berlin (twice, albeit in different periods), Paris, Rome, Ankara and Istanbul and places beyond, with much in the way of powerful, positive female characters alongside the customary troubled cops and investigators. Not one book is alike, and all are worth a serious detour.

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