The Pathetic Predator – C.L. Taylor Talks to Crime Time
C L Taylor
When it comes to characters there’s one phrase in the reviewer’s arsenal that would pierce the heart of even the most hardened writer – ‘pantomime villain’. Those two words, along with ‘two dimensional’ can unravel an author’s confidence faster than an empty signing line. No author sets out to write a cliché or a cardboard cut-out. We want our antagonists to be as real to the reader as they to us, but even the most established writer can occasionally produce a dud.
New Titles from PS Publishing
In the 1960s Jerry Cornelius was the coolest assassin on the Ladbroke Grove block. By the 1970s The Condition of Muzak had won the Guardian Fiction Prize and The Final Programme was a feature film starring Jon Finch, Jenny Runacre, Hugh Griffith and Sterling Hayden. In the 1980s the world’s first cyberpunk continued to inspire a generation of writers including William Gibson, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and bands like the Human League
The Greek Wall by Nicolas Verdan
Agent Evangelos was thinking about the past when the call came about the severed head. As a member of Greek Intelligence, he is tasked with investigating the circumstances around the discovery of a head separated from its body on the banks of the river Evros. The river forms a frontier with Turkey which many Middle Eastern immigrants cross to get into Greece and Western Europe.
Gravesend – William Boyle [book offer]
‘Stark, realistic to the max and like an accident about to happen’ – Max Jakubowski
Currently available on offer for just £6.99 from No Exit Press
Ray Boy Calabrese is back in Gravesend: some people worship him, some want him dead . . . but none more so than the ex-con himself…
The Morse Code: Robert Crais & Other New Crime
Robert Crais, The Wanted, Simon & Schuster Elvis Cole is contacted by a single mother worried about her son, in whose bedroom she has found cash and jewelry provenance is not clear. She finds too many expensive clothes. Her teenage son and his girlfriend seem suddenly to have found Ali Baba’s cave, but the son isn’t telling her anything. Nor is he going to school.
Deadly Duo: Vicky Newham & Roz Watkins talk to Crime Time
Vicky’s debut novel, Turn a Blind Eye, is the first in a new series set in East London. It features Bangladeshi detective, DI Maya Rahman. The book opens with Maya back in Sylhet for the first time in thirty years, for her brother’s funeral. As soon as she gets home to London, she is plunged into a high-profile murder investigation as the head-teacher of her old secondary school is found strangled.
TO THE MAX: NEW CRIME
Yet again a selection of titles that demonstrate with bravura the width and breadth of current mystery and thriller fiction worldwide, what with novels set not just in the present, the past and the future (and sometimes all of these periods within the same pages) but also developing in such varied settings as Delaware, Belgium, Manchester, Bogota, Cuba, Miami, the Mississippi Delta, London during the Blitz and now, Moscow and Washington where the ley lines of espionage converge and Brussels with a touch of rock’n’roll. What more can you ask for?
The Longest Sentence: Sarah Hilary talks to Crime Time
The author of Come and Find Me (Headline) on her favourite prisoners... Some of the best characters in crime fiction belong behind bars. Think of Hannibal Lector taunting Clarice from his cell, or Paul Sheldon shackled to Annie Wilkes’s bed. The dynamic between...
Crime and Thriller shortlists for the The British Book Awards 2018 announced
The seven category shortlists for the 2018 Books of the Year Awards are announced today by Chair of the Judges and Editor of The Bookseller Philip Jones who said: “The true range, breadth and brilliance of writing and publishing is demonstrated in these shortlists, from the unexpected triumphs to the brand juggernauts. The year 2017 was marked by big books that got bigger, break-outs that broke further, and conversation starters that spoke louder.”
TOWN ON TRIAL, John Guillermin, director/Powerhouse Indicator Blu-Ray
I suppose I should begin with a disclosure – I was happy to provide a to-camera extra discussing this Blu-ray issue of a classic tale of murder and detection. As I wrote in British Crime Film, John Guillermin’s Town on Trial (1956), issues of class – on the peripheries in earlier British films – are now up for grabs
Writers of Crime and Spy Fiction Should Stand Up for What They Believe
Edward Wilson, author of South Atlantic Requiem
A diary full of events and signings may well be very good, but the ultimate gig for a spy novelist is to be shot at dawn by firing squad. I doubt if Erskine Childers signed copies of A Riddle of the Sands for the men who executed him, but any surviving copies dated 24 November 1922 would be utterly priceless! Childers did, however, shake hands with each of the firing squad and obtained a promise from his 16 year old son, the future Irish President Erskine Hamilton Childers, to shake hands with every man who signed his death warrant.
Defectors by Joseph Kanon
It’s 1961 and Simon Weeks, a publisher in New York, is arriving in Moscow to work with a writer whose book he will edit. The author is his older brother Frank, a former CIA agent who defected to Moscow after a career spent spying as a double-agent for the KGB. Frank’s defection cost Simon his job in the State Department, and also cost him his respect for the big brother he always idolized
Out of Thin Air: Anthony Adeane talks to Crime Time
Every Icelander knows about the Gudmundur and Geirfinnur cases. It is a story so deeply embedded into the national consciousness that even those born long after the disappearances are well versed in the particulars. A phone call. A meeting at a café. A strange clay head. On an unusual island where crime is rare and murder almost non-existent, this is the Icelandic crime story, one that continues to enthral a nation almost forty five years after two men vanished into thin air and left behind barely a scrap of evidence about their whereabouts.
Supernatural (& Other) Sherlocks: Nick Rennison talks to Crime Time
It’s easy to assume that there’s never been a time like the present for variety and vitality in crime fiction. All those Nordic noir thrillers, cosy crime stories, police procedurals, serial killer tales and historical mysteries. Yet my experiences researching crime stories for my anthologies of short fiction from the late Victorian and Edwardian eras give the lie to such an assumption. There was at least as much wide-ranging originality in evidence in the 1890s and 1900s as there has been in the last twenty years. Supernatural Sherlocks, published last year, collected together 15 stories about psychic detectives
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton & Maigret Enjoys Himself by Georges Simenon
Barry Forshaw in the Financial Times
Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton & Maigret Enjoys Himself by Georges Simenon
Thriller Roundup: Barry Forshaw in The Guardian
Ex CIA-operative Jason Matthews has written a provocative (and timely) novel using the notion of Russian influence in America’s corridors of power; The Kremlin’s Candidate (Michael Joseph, £12.99) provides a kinetic conclusion to his ‘Red Sparrow’ trilogy (the Jennifer Lawrence film of the first novel in the sequence is in cinemas now). Admiral Audrey Rowland is set to be the next director of the CIA — a useful appointment for the Kremlin, as she is a mole working for Russia
Dave Warner: Not Just a Suburban Boy
Dave Warner is a bit of a legend in Australia. His band Dave Warner from the Suburbs had a gold album in the early 80’s and a big hit with the single, ‘Suburban Boy.’ He published three novels with Pan McMillan that are no longer in print. City of Light, the first book in his trilogy published by Fremantle Press won the West Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction
Partners in Crime for Derby
Celebrate the horror/crime genre with the world’s leading dark fiction organisation on Saturday 24th March, 10:00am – 6:00pm, The Quad, Derby. Through exclusive interviews, informative panel discussions and expert talks you’ll learn more about crime fiction’s edgier side,
Foreign Bodies, Martin Edwards, editor
Martin Edwards, Foreign Bodies, British Library Press As we come to the longer days/colder weather period, here’s a possible book for a rainy day. This collection trawls through decades of unknown crime stories. Given the harsh light of Time, it can’t have been easy to find high-quality work (although there are some names still recognizable now).
To the Max: Maxim Jakubowski on New Crime
No two books are alike in this month’s selection as we roam between a dystopian USA and the intricacies of the US legal system, skirt around such topical subjects as Brexit and its dubious cast of politicians, a case of almost familiar sexual harassment, the disturbing first-person narrative of a stalker who goes just that bit too far, romps through a country house which never ends (read the book to find out what I mean…), 1916 pre-feminist lady cops in full flow, the dark side of the American dream and disillusion, four decades of family travails, an heir to Sherlock Holmes in present day California and so much more, including a classy comic reissue by the much-lamented Don Westlake. The choice is yours.
Bled Dry: Abdelilah Hamdouchi Talks to Crime Time
When I started writing my first roman policier in the late 1990s and when I published my first novel the French press was interested in the subject despite the fact I was writing in Arabic. The magazine Jeune Afrique published an article entitled: Morocco Goes on a Whim. The review read “…the Arabic language cannot access the romantic space of noir fiction.”
The Nightmare World of Crime: Elodie Harper Talks to Crime Time
How do you describe the horror of losing someone to murder? In my job as a reporter I’ve witnessed the aftermath of violence on many occasions but it never loses its power to disturb. There is the grief, the rage. The sudden transformation of a person’s ordinary life into a nightmare, from which there is no escape.
Jackrabbit Smile by Joe R Lansdale
Hap and Leonard are back, and are about to be plunged into another melee of murder, mayhem and malevolence clearly signalled when the two detectives are asked to find what happened to a daughter (she of the jackrabbit smile) who walked out on her family five years ago – clearly signalled because the clients, bible-thumping, fundamentalist white supremacists, have asked for help from devil-may-care unbeliever Hap and the perpetually angry, black, gay, lippy Leonard.
Strike: The Silkworm on DVD
The second instalment of the acclaimed TV detective series based on J.K. Rowling’s best-selling crime novels written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, Strike - The Silkworm will be available to own on DVD from 19th February 2018, courtesy of Warner Bros Home...
Robert B Parker’s Cheap Shot by Ace Atkins
I read Cheap Shot on the flight to Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII, and considering the plot revolves around a New England Patriots’ player whom Spencer is hired to protect/keep out of trouble, it seemed appropriate.
They Know Not What They Do by Jussi Valtonen
This is a remarkably long book, which isn’t surprising given that it is about life in more than one country, only one of which is Finland. It opens with the usual kind of scientist who is only interested in sex and science, lumbering through a series of scenes in which Joe, the Jewish protagonist, behaves with complete boorishness. It’s a bit like Ursula K. Leguin, illustrating first the wife’s point of view and then allowing the uncomprehending husband a few moments of what is absolutely not ‘helping’ with the household, their baby son, or the wife’s vulnerability. What he gets right at this point is the tremendous egotism of the ambitious scientist, whose research absorbs him utterly, to the detriment of everything else.
Be careful who you let in: Mel McGrath Talks to Crime Time
In paperback publication week for my first psych thriller, Give Me The Child, I want to tell you a bit about the true life events that inspired the book.