Drugs To Forget: Martin Granger Talks to Crime Time
Wrong film – Right book
The helicopter landed gently in the clearing. My cameraman wanted to reload with film. The Philippine commando pilot turned and grabbed something from beneath my seat. A lethal machine gun, spilling a belt full of bullets. He pointed it into the jungle.
Crime Time Roundup
New books by Amanda Jennings, JS Carol, William Shaw, Ruth Downie, RN Morris, Peter James, Sebastien Japrisot, Christopher Fowler, Belinda Bauer, Kjell Ola Dahl and Jonathan Abrams
To the Max: Maxim Jakubowski on New Crime
This month’s offerings couldn’t prove more diverse, ranging from a witty and devilishly clever Sherlock Holmes tale, which is anything but a pastiche and will have Sherlockians everywhere chuckling away in their deerstalkers, to the desolate sands of Mars with a locked room mystery for the 21st century. Elsewhere we roam the mean streets of Dublin, cruise the hotspots of the Mediterranean with the deadly Judith Rashleigh of MAESTRA infamy, smile along with a Norwegian Candide in upstate New York and its forests and lakes, patrol the dangerous streets of Oakland in California and reacquaint ourselves with Ngaio Marsh’s urbane Roderick Alleyn on assignment in New Zealand. Add a version of Macbeth with blood and guts and Scandi noir verve, the return of some favourite thriller authors and some interesting debuts and our menu has something for everyone.
Double Take: Two Views of John Harvey’s Body and Soul
Michael Carlson & Ruth Morse
John Harvey is the kind of journeyman crime-fiction writer one turns to naturally when he published the next book. He has a place for everything and everything in its place. Frank Elder is a retired detective, who lives in Cornwall, where he sometimes helps out at the local CID. His local friends include a woman he increasingly sees as part of his life. Most of the authorial points of view are brief, though not, interestingly, the home life of a lesbian couple, one of whom is running an investigation for murder.
Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr
Greeks Bearing Gifts appeared just around the time of Philip Kerr’s death; it is the thirteenth Bernie Gunther novel and one more was finished and is due to be published. As a number of tributes noted, his best work may not have been in the Gunther series (particularly A Philosophical Investigation), but March Violets is certainly one of the outstanding debut novels for any series characters, very much in the Chandler tradition but set not in LA but Nazi Berlin, and the series was compelling because Kerr made Bernie Gunther one of the most interesting series detectives.
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…
Our Kind of Cruelty: Araminta Hall talks to Crime Time
Our Kind of Cruelty is a dark story of obsession and delusion. Mike and Verity have been together for nearly a decade, since university. They have enjoyed an intense, passionate relationship, in which they’ve played a secret game they call ‘The Crave.’ This involves them going to a bar and waiting for Verity to be chatted up, so that Mike can swoop in and rescue her, something which turns both of them on. Now however, Verity is marrying another man, but Mike is convinced this is just another hand in their Crave and that really nothing and no one can separate them.
Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary
Sarah Hilary can be a confrontational writer. Her first novel Someone Else’s Skin (2014) paused only to recount the life-scarring events that befall Marnie Rome (then a DS) and which will pursue her through all of her subsequent cases, before dropping us straight into the charged atmosphere of a hard-pressed women’s refuge, just as it explodes.
CrimeFest Awards 2018 shortlist announced
LEE CHILD, DAVID LAGERCRANTZ, FIONA BARTON, DENNIS LEHANE AND MORE FIGHT IT OUT IN THIS YEAR’S CRIMEFEST AWARDS
2018 awards shortlist announced for CrimeFest’s 10th anniversary. The shortlist includes a mix of established names in crime fiction as well as a host of new talent.
Walls of Silence: Ruth Wade talks to Crime Time
BEHIND THE BRICKS IN THE WALL Walls of Silence is the novel that wouldn’t let me alone. I returned to it time and again over a period of twelve years, each revisit seeing me bolder and more experimental as my skills and confidence grew. After a mercifully brief flirtation with calling it The Hand-turned Dobby, I hijacked the title Walls of Silence from a novel I’d written early on in my apprenticeship about a motorcycle stunt show in a travelling fair.
Snap by Belinda Bauer
Sometimes authors really do burst upon the scene; I remember the year Belinda Bauer seemed to pick up a bouquet of prizes at the CWA awards dinner. From me, she gets the Humane Detection award many times over, and Snap, her latest book, is at her confident best. Like Mick Herron, she can tell a story, take the point of view of her characters, and—wonderfully—seed them along the way so that they can flower.
Law & Order, the Americans, and the 40 million dollar question: G.F. Newman talks to Crime Time
G F Newman
This April BBC Four will broadcast Law & Order, my highly controversial 1978 quartet
which exposed corruption in the criminal justice system. Because of all the legal dust it
raised many changes in the law resulted – but not before the then Director General of the
BBC, Ian Trethowan, was summoned to the Home Office to explain himself.
If you google Law and Order, you’re likely to discover a lot more about the American TV
series. Is there a connection? You bet!
The Lonely Witness by William Boyle
If you’ve read William Boyle’s Gravesend (my review of which you can find here), you will certainly remember Amy. In fact, Boyle’s latest, The Lonely Witness, begins pretty much where Gravesend ends. Amy’s girlfriend, Alessandra has left Amy and Gravesend where she grew up to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles. Leaving Amy, raised in Queens, on her own, a foreigner in a place in which Alessandra is her only connection.
Friends and Traitors: John Lawton talks to Crime Time
There’s an anecdote David Hare wrote down — I forget where — about meeting Hugh Carleton-Greene in the days when Greene ran the BBC. Greene had Hare tagged as a ‘mischief-maker’ and Hare subsequently titled his essay ‘Ah, Mischief!’ adding ‘I have never seen a man so delighted by a single word.’
Sunburn by Laura Lippman & The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson
Barry Forshaw in The Financial Times
Laura Lippman’s diamond-hard prose and quirky characterisation epitomise the best in American crime writing. Sunburn represents something new for her: a touch of Anne Tyler (whose astringent portraits of American families are echoed), but also the hard-boiled writer James M. Cain — this is a modern take on his blue-collar narratives
The Red Hand of Fury: R. N. Morris talks to Crime Time
R N Morris
If the detective battling his demons is a cliché of crime fiction, it’s one that I’ve eagerly embraced. I mean, who wants a protagonist who is happy with life and generally well balanced?
The Lost: Mari Hannah talks to Crime Time
Readers often ask if my experience informs my crime writing, whether my antagonists are real offenders formerly under my supervision or if investigations are based on criminal cases I came across in my job as a probation officer. I don’t regurgitate or glorify the lives of those with whom I came into contact. My clients all had form but I’m duty bound to keep their details confidential. Their stories are real, not imagined. However heinous their crimes, they deserve anonymity. Some of you may disagree with that, but there’s a more compelling reason. Let’s not forget that every criminal act has a victim. It would be unethical to dump their grief on a page in the name of entertainment.
Two Little Girls: Kate Medina Talks to Crime Time
How could two little girls walk to their deaths and nobody notice? Two Little Girls, the third novel in the Dr Jessie Flynn, clinical psychologist, crime series, is an intense psychological exploration into the minds of three very different women: a mother accused of filicide, a vagrant, who pounds the beach looking for ‘treasure’ and a clinical psychologist, haunted by the suicide of her little brother, and crippled by OCD.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK: Russell James talks to Crime Time
Christie, as you know, grew to loathe Poirot, and Conan Doyle tried to kill Sherlock, but how many modern crime writers, I wonder, face the prospect of turning out yet another book in their series with a sigh you can hear in the room next door (where sits the all too understanding partner who has heard that sigh so many times before). “Just write the thing,” responds their partner. “Before the deadline,” the publisher appends.
Consent by Leo Benedictus
Barry Forshaw in The Financial Times
Creepy, obsessive, insidiously persistent: stalkers deserve a prominent place in any catalogue of contemporary social evils. Celebrity cases and growing anxiety about the decline of privacy in a high-tech era have helped give their activities a grim salience in recent years. It is this unease that Leo Benedictus expertly taps in his second novel, Consent, a queasily compelling thriller
My Beautiful Affair: Brad Parks talks to Crime Time
The affair started early in the morning, under cover of darkness, off in a cozy corner where no one took notice.
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.
Classic Crime from the Folio Society
Hide My Eyes By Margery Allingham Illustrated by Alexandru Savescu: Available exclusively from The Folio Society – www.foliosociety.com
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?