New Blu-rays from Powerhouse/Indicator, Arrow, Sony, Eureka
WIND RIVER, Taylor Sheridan, director/Sony Taylor Sheridan’s film has been steadily acquiring something of a reputation for its effortless command of the material – not to mention its vivid sense of place. A gripping crime thriller set in the unforgiving snow plains of Wyoming. Elizabeth Olsen stars as a rookie FBI agent tasked with solving the brutal murder of a young woman in a Native American reserve. Enlisting the help of a local hunter (Jeremy Renner) to help her navigate the freezing wilderness, the two set about trying to find a vicious killer hidden in plain sight
The Wife: Alafair Burke talks to Crime Time
The Wife was born of a single observation: when a married man is accused of sexual misconduct, the public gaze inevitably shifts to include his private partner—the wife. No matter how hard she may try to avoid the spotlight, she becomes part of the narrative.
In Strangers’ Houses: Elizabeth Mundy talks to Crime Time
‘Curse you Christopher Columbus,’ said Magdaléna, my great grandmother, when her boat finally approached New York. She’d mistaken the Statue of Liberty for the explorer who discovered America. After 18 days beteg as a dog in steerage she wished the country had never been found. It was 1912; the year the Titantic sank. Instead of drunken Irishmen reeling around below deck, her boat was full of miserable Hungarians who had never seen the sea before (Hungary is, of course, landlocked) and never wanted to see it again.
An Evening with Mick Herron
Bestselling spy novelist Mick Herron returns with London Rules, the fifth of his acclaimed Jackson Lamb novels. Mick will be at Dulwich Books on Wednesday 7th March to discuss his writing, read from his new book and sign your copies. Mick’s Jackson Lamb novels started with the bestselling Slow Horses. It was described by the Mail on Sunday as ‘the most enjoyable British spy novel in years’
The Ashes of Berlin – Luke McCallin [book offer]
Shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger Award 2017
Currently available on offer for just £6. 99 exclusively from No Exit Press
1947 and Gregor Reinhardt is back onto Berlin’s civilian police force. The city is divided among the victorious allied powers, tensions are growing, and the police are riven by internal rivalries as factions within it jockey for power…
A Library in Florida: Glenn Cooper talks about Sign of the Cross
Anyone who knows me well knows that libraries are important in my life. My first exposures occurred when I was very young and was dragged along by my mother to a library where she was doing her dissertation work. I was given a book to occupy myself at a long wooden...
Savages: the wedding (The Saint-Etienne Quartet, 1) by Sabri Louatah
This is the first volume of a projected quartet, by an author whose experience includes a taste for American crime series such as The Wire. It’s hard going. I don’t think the problem here is the translation: it’s Louatah’s ambition to set his scenes by conjuring up two Algerian immigrant families first seen joining together at a ‘mixed’ wedding, but there are too many characters, not well enough delineated.
Bad Day for the Cut
A gripping screenplay, taut direction and an exceptional cast all come together to make Bad Day for the Cut (now available on DVD) one of the best revenge thrillers to come along in recent years. Its Northern Ireland setting gives it a truly unique edge, as the persistent ghost of the Troubles provides a background to the events of the film and really gives it a sense of place
This is How it Ends by Eva Dolan, Raven Books
Eva Dolan’s fifth book is a departure from her Peterborough-set ‘Hate Crimes’ series and a change in style from third-person narration in more or less chronological sequence to the voices of a pair of narrators in flashbacks as well as more recent moments. This...
Why Close to Home really is ‘close to home’: Cara Hunter talks to Crime Time
Oxford has to be the crime fiction capital of the country. I emphasise the word ‘fiction’ in there, of course, because the city’s crime rate is actually pretty low. Especially among academics, though if you believe Morse or Lewis or Endeavour there can’t be a college...
Guardian Thrillers: This Is How It Ends by Eva Dolan; Damned Serious Business by Gerald Seymour; Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit; The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn; and If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch
This Is How It Ends by Eva Dolan; Damned Serious Business by Gerald Seymour; Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit; The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn; and If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch
She Holds the Weapon in the End: Katia Lief (AKA Karen Ellis) talks to Crime Time
Because women have been allotted so little power in the real world, from the beginning of my writing life I’ve been keenly aware that, as I get to control what happens in my stories, I can empower my female characters while also trying to reflect the conflicts women face in reality. Her choices are never easy.
Lionsgate presents Irish box-office hit MAZE
Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK presents the Irish box-office hit, Stephen Burke’s critically acclaimed MAZE, which achieved the biggest opening weekend of any Irish film in Ireland and Northern Ireland since “ROOM” in January 2016. The film opened without previews to over €141k (£124k) after its release, Friday September 22nd, on 65 screens (between ROI and NI) and hitting number 3 in the Irish box office chart. The film ran for ten weeks, spending five of these in the Irish top ten, and achieved a box office of over one million dollars (£764,874) in that time.
Lies We Tell
Stars of Pulp Fiction and Miller’s Crossing are brought together for Mitu Misra’s unflinching, multi award-winning British thriller about loyalty and revenge, a Northern Noir in the tradition of Mike Hodge’s Get Carter and Mike Figgis’ Stormy Monday. When his billionaire boss Demi (Harvey Keitel) dies, chauffeur Donald (Gabriel Byrne) is given one final job – to wipe out any evidence of Demi’s relationship with his mistress, the enigmatic and beautiful Amber (Sibylla Deen).
Making Crime Fiction Respectable: Nicholas Clee
Since his days as editor of the trade magazine The Bookseller, Nicholas Clee has long been one of the most astute commentators on the world of books and publishing, combining a thoroughgoing knowledge of the subject with an approachable style – qualities to be found in abundance in The Booker and the Best
To the Max: Maxim Jakubowski’s December Choices
A final selection for the closing year, with an accidental emphasis on speculative fiction with a criminal element, what with two books set off-planet with some interesting similarities and a classic from between the wars which has not aged one iota. In addition, two reissues for which the word classic is actually an understatement as well as a smattering of talented debuts and neglected veterans. It’s been a good year, 2017, and indications are already that 2018 will be equally full of treasures, from both what has already landed through my post box and publishers’ announcements.
Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate
This book is among the outstanding reissues by the British Library and Poisoned Pen Press. Postgate’s name is probably more familiar from his founding the Good Food Guide, and/or his writing about wine, than his crime fiction, of which there wasn’t very much. His own tale takes us right back to conscientious objection during the Great War. Postgate was part of the generation who admired the Russian Revolution and were so terribly deceived by Stalin
Simenon, Nesbo & Varvello: crime reviewed by Ruth Morse
Despite the title, this is not ‘A Maigret Christmas’, or mostly not. The first story is an investigation by Maigret, with an unusual moment of feeling between Monsieur and Madame. The second and third belong to other Inspectors. As ever, most of the characters we meet are relatively poor, wracked by drink and debt, and often unattractive. Not all, however. I sometimes wonder if Simenon had read O. Henry, and here, particularly, I think of ‘The Gifts of the Magi’.
Undertow by Anthony J Quinn & The Vanishing Box by Elly Griffith
Barry Forshaw in the Financial Times
A case of suicide takes detective Celcius Daly out of his jurisdiction and across the Irish border to the benighted village of Dreesh; it’s a place that operates by its own laws under the malign presiding influence of a crime chief with political corrections to the IRA. Daly finds himself in a maelstrom of smugglers, informers, disgraced coppers and even a dispute over the limits of the Irish border – the latter a topical issue at present. Quinn’s novels featuring his maverick, solitary detective Daly (such as Disappeared and Border Angels
Up-to-date with The Murder Squad
Ann Cleeves – The CWA Awards dinner and the Diamond Dagger presented by our very own Martin Edwards was an evening to remember. Thanks to everyone who made it so special.
Margaret Murphy – Publication date for Splinter in the Blood – first of the Ashley Dyer series – is confirmed as 1st March 2018.
Kate Ellis – In the summer I signed a new four book contract with my publisher, Little, Brown.
Chris Simms – My next novel – titled Loose Tongues – takes the reader into the kind of dark serial killer territory I covered in books such as Outside the White Lines and Shifting Skin.
Martin Edwards – I’ve done a lot of travelling in recent months, promoting The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books in locations as diverse as Toronto, Nottingham, Cambridge, Newcastle, and York.
Cath Staincliffe – There’s been a fantastic response to my new novel The Girl in the Green Dress and you can read about the real-life inspiration for that story here.
Days of Smoke by Woody Haut
As a UK-resident authority on American Noir, Woody Haut has long been a mainstay of Crime Time, both in its print incarnation and in its current online iteration. But his real claim to fame has been with such books as Neon Noir and Heartbreak and Vine: The Fate of Hardboiled Writers in Hollywood, nigh-definitive studies of their subjects
What Falls Between the Cracks: Robert Scragg talks to Crime Time
Dream up a cast of interesting characters, shovel plenty of adversity at them, and how they cope makes for the bones of a story. This was my mind-set around seven years ago, when I made my first serious attempt at writing a novel. Despite being a Northerner, I chose London as the backdrop, partly due to me spending a lot of time working down there at the time.
What I’m waiting for: Phoebe Locke
As a true-crime obsessive, I can’t wait for Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, which is being published posthumously in March. It’s the story of the Golden State Killer, a serial rapist and murderer in California in the 1980s and 1990s, and follows McNamara’s attempts to find new leads for her true crime website. Part memoir, part unsolved mystery plus an introduction from Gillian Flynn – it sounds incredible.
The Cover Up: Marnie Riches talks to Crime Time
When my publisher asked me if I fancied writing a gangland series set in Manchester that would appeal to established fans of the sub-genre, I immediately said yes. I’m from Manchester, after all, and returned to live here after some fourteen years spent in the South East. It has a way of pulling you back, does the north. Plus, my mother lived here until her death in 2016. She refused to move away. A home-coming was always inevitable.
When Time Runs Out by Elina Hirvonen, tr. from the Finnish by Hildi Hawkins, Bonnier Zaffre, Mantle
What is one to do when confronted with such a book? It’s a bit like We Need to Talk About Kevin, but much less well written, and certainly much less focussed. A family of four, a marriage much less happy than the wife’s narrative voice allows, a daughter who has fled from the claustrophobia of her home, a son on the spectrum—one kind or another, and an absent father. We don’t hear much from either of the men, and the chain of voices is otherwise mechanical. It isn’t a jigsaw, but it has puzzle aspects
Dark Pines: Will Dean talks to Crime Time
My debut novel, DARK PINES, is set in the wilds of central Sweden. I hail from the East Midlands but five years ago I moved to live full-time in a small boggy clearing at the centre of an enormous forest north of Gothenburg. I write Nordic Noir from the perspective of an outsider. I’m not a Scandinavian writer but I’ve been travelling to the Nordics every year for twenty years, and I now live in Sweden with my Swedish wife. DARK PINES is set in an isolated town in Värmland, four hours north of my forest…
New Blu-Rays & DVDs from Powerhouse, Sony, etc.
Peter Ackroyd’s chef d’ouevre Hawksmoor was inexplicably passed over by filmmakers, so I suppose we should be grateful that the writer’s Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem enjoyed a creditable film adaptation, although it is one that did not in the end quite do justice to the source material