The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan
Barry Forshaw in The Financial Times
Detective Esa Khattack, a second-generation Pakistani Canadian, made an auspicious debut in Ausma Zehanat Khan’s highly accomplished novel The Unquiet Dead, and is proving to be one of the most intriguing characters in contemporary crime fiction. He is a devout Muslim constantly being obliged to deal with the violent distortions of his faith espoused by some of his coreligionists. In The Language of Secrets, Khattack encounters distrust and hostility from both his fellow detectives and Muslim co-workers.
The Bridge: Complete Season IV & The Bridge I-IV DVD & Blu-ray, various directors/Arrow TV
Admirers of the mesmerising Scandinavian crime drama The Bridge (and they are legion) had been on tenterhooks waiting for the final season of this most accomplished of Nordic Noir shows. And now those who did not see the recent showing of the BAFTA-winner on BBC TWO — or those who want a permanent memento of their favourite female Scandinavian detective (The Killing’s Sarah Lund notwithstanding) — will be pleased to hear of Arrow TV’s release the DVD & Blu-ray of Saga’s final outing.
Believe Me: JP Delaney talks to Crime Time
I’ve always been intrigued by actors. There’s a great saying by the legendary New York drama teacher Sanford Meisner: ‘Acting isn’t lying. Acting is being truthful under imaginary circumstances.’ In this post-truth, Falsebook age, when almost everyone, from your best friend to the politician who represents you in parliament, seems to be wearing some kind of mask – and almost every book comes with an unreliable narrator – it seems extraordinary there aren’t more suspense novels set in the worlds of drama and movie-making. (Trying to list some, I came up with just three: Somerset Maugham’s Theatre, Deborah Moggach’s The Stand-In, and John Le Carre’s peerless The Little Drummer Girl).
Night Driver: Marcelle Perks talks to Crime Time
I’d just turned forty, and was in London to celebrate when I met up with editor Maxim Jakubowski who’d published some of my short stories in his Mammoth Book of Erotica series. He’d been commissioned to produce a crime novel series and suggested I try writing him something. As I‘d moved to Germany years before and had become fascinated with the local legend, Fritz Haarmann, instinctively I had to write about him. He remains Germany’s most notorious serial killer and was executed in 1925 for the murders of at least twenty-four young men
Dominique Manotti, A. A. Dhand & Abir Mukherjee: Ruth Morse on New Crime
Dominique Manotti, Racket (Equinox, Les Arenes) In French, the title is in English, meaning ‘a criminal racket’ as slang common to, for example, schools where older pupils dominate and bully younger ones, stealing their lunch, or their books, but more commonly their money; the customs of playgrounds are regularly broken, as indeed they are in the business world. Like Fred Vargas, Dominique Manotti uses an androgynous pseudonym for her excoriating examinations of French corruption throughout public services, including the police and numerous regulators: for pocket money read ‘millions’, for appetite read ‘extravagance’, but, above all, read sex and cocaine.
A SHOT IN THE DARK by Lynne Truss
Barry Forshaw in the 'i'
The notion of ‘cosy’ crime fiction produces derisory chuckles among many hard-core thriller fans who regard the genre as twee and inoffensive, redolent of an earlier era. Such books, the naysayers complain, are closer to Cluedo’s Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlett than to real life. And a similarly dismissive response is often prompted by the comic crime genre, generally regarded by aficionados as a poor relation of the more serious detective genre (despite the highly diverting efforts of such droll writers as Simon Brett and L.C. Tyler).
A TREACHERY OF SPIES: Manda Scott talks to Crime Time
I was slightly less than ten years old when I first read John Goldsmith’s book, ‘The Accidental Agent’. An account of his time as an agent of the Special Operations Executive, posted behind the lines of occupied France, this was one of the most thrilling books of my childhood, partly because it was so very real.
Broken Ground: An Hour with Val McDermid
Friday 14th September, 12.30pm at The Old Library, Emmanuel College, Cambridge – Broken Ground: An Hour with Val McDermid – Crime fiction lovers rejoice: the one and only Val MacDermid is coming to Cambridge – and Heffers invites you to spend an hour in her company! Armed with Broken Ground, her latest Detective Karen Pirie novel, Val will talk about her writing and give us some insights into her life as a bestselling crime novelist – having sold over 15 million books to date across the globe.
Midnight Movie Monographs
Death Line by Sean Hogan /Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me by Maura McHugh/Theatre of Blood by John Llewellyn Probert/Martin by Jez Winship
Liam McIlvanney, Peter Lovesey: Ruth Morse on New Crime
his is Liam McIlvanney’s third crime novel (in his day job he has written extensively on Celtic writing, both Irish and Scottish), though there’s a gap where the Trilogy’s third book ought to be. Gerry Conway was the main actor of both All the Colours of the Town (2011) and Where the Dead Men Go (2013). The fight is about corruption in public life: reporters, policemen, as Conway moves back and forth between Celtic nations. The Quaker has been a long time coming. It is well worth the wait.
Skyjack: KJ Howe talks to Crime Time
Are you uncomfortable flying? My character Thea Paris certainly isn’t an avid fan, but the latest facts about airplane safety do offer serious comfort. During my research for SKYJACK, I immersed myself into the aviation world, speaking to former stealth bomber pilots, commercial pilots, and test pilots so I could bring readers a turbulent thrill ride even though soaring through the air at 500mph six miles above the ground is less likely to result in your demise than any other form of travel—unless you’re Thea Paris and the pilot has locked the co-pilot out of the cockpit!
The Ringmaster by Toby Vintcent: extract
Crime Time presents an extract from The Ringmaster by Toby Vintcent (note spelling), published by Arcadia. It describes the activities of the ‘Ndrangheta, an Italian crime syndicate and its attempts to infiltrate F1 racing. The ‘Ndrangheta is not as well known as the Sicilian Mafia outside Italy but has become the most powerful organised crime syndicate in the country since the 1990s
Weather in Crime Fiction: Andrew Martin
The author of The Martian Girl talks to Crime Time
Number 1 of Elmore Leonard’s ‘10 Rules for Good Writing’ is ‘Never Open a Book With Weather’. Had the man never read Bleak House? Or The Five Orange Pips by Doyle, with those ‘equinoctial gales’ raging along Baker Street? Here are passages from two opening pages by Georges Simenon…
Tumult: A Woman in Trouble John Harris Dunning talks to Crime Time
I’m fascinated by the puzzle box quality of crime fiction, the almost mathematical precision of plotting it requires. I wanted to give myself that challenge with my graphic novel Tumult. The crime genre allows a writer to explore extreme situations and abnormal mental states, really laying bare the human condition; we only really learn who we are under duress
FT Summer Crime 2018
Barry Forshaw in The Financial Times
There is, quite simply, no current thriller writer who enjoys better word-of-mouth and more enthusiastic critical acclaim than Herron, whose sardonic series of Jackson Lamb espionage novels have put him at the top of the tree. The unassuming Maggie Barnes is an improbable enlistee for MI5 – but she’s a woman who may save the UK from a devastating plot.
Manda Scott, A Treachery of Spies, Into the Fire & John Lawton, Friends and Traitors
Manda Scott is well known for her historical crime novels, though quite where the ‘historical’ line ends and ‘crime’ begins isn’t easy to draw, and thus I found myself reading the previous novel in what is so far a new series. Her detective, Captain Ines Picaut, part of law enforcement in Orléans (the PJ, I think, who are police, not gendarmes), works well with her colleagues, and manages to navigate her way among the usual tough-guy chauvinists around her
Sherlock Holmes and the Ardlamont Mystery: Daniel Smith talks to Crime Time
I became aware of the Ardlamont Mystery several years ago from a couple of fleeting references I stumbled across when I was researching a book about Sherlock Holmes. I little realised that I was about to embark on a long, twisting journey through one of the most intriguing criminal cases in British history.
The Retreat: Mark Edwards talks to Crime Time
Mark Edwards on how classic horror novels inspired his latest thriller – detailing your love of horror movies and how you were inspired to add a horror twist to your latest thriller.
A Legacy Of Spies by John Le Carre
Peter Guillam is living a calm retirement at the family homestead in Brittany when he is summoned back to London, and reminded of his ‘lifelong duty to attend’ his former masters at MI6. At the Stalinist monolith that now houses the Intelligence Service, he is asked about an Operation Windfall, and learns that the children of the agent Alec Leamas and the English woman, Elizabeth Gold, are in the process of suing the Service, and him, for causing their deaths at the Berlin Wall.
Book Review: The Krull House by Georges Simenon (Trans by Howard Curtis)
Considered by Simenon to be one of his most significant novels, The Krull House was written in 1938 and first published in the UK as part of the 1955 collection A Sense of Guilt. Revisiting themes and incidents previously explored in the 1932 Maigret novel The...
Underworld USA and other new Crime Blu-rays
THE SAMUEL FULLER AT COLUMBIA BOX SET/Powerhouse Indicator Blu-ray This collectable boxed set includes the following striking films by the maverick director Samuel Fuller: Underworld USA, It Happened in Hollywood, Adventure in Sahara, Shockproof, Scandal Sheet and The Crimson Kimono. As these titles hint, this is a box for the dedicated cineaste: I provided one of the Blu-ray extras (for the tough gangster thriller Underworld USA) and in that piece I try to nail just why this director is held in such high esteem, despite the in-your-face, unsophisticated nature of his work.
To the Max
Maxim Jakubowski on New Crime
Once again we span the mysterious globe, with stops in China, Vienna, North Korea, the inner worlds of J.G. Ballard, the Greek islands, the mountains of Macedonia, the courtrooms of New York City, an America that will fortunately never be, a world without chocolate which will similarly (I hope) never be too, a women’s prison and the hell of British care homes as they scar the future of so many kids. Maybe not a menu to relish in real life, but then the magic of fiction and storytelling makes it all so fascinating and gut-churningly compelling!
The Way of All Flesh: Who is Ambrose Parry?
Author Chris Brookmyre and his wife Dr Marisa Haetzman, a consultant anaesthetist, have embarked on a new challenge together: writing a historical crime series set in the medical world of Edinburgh in the 1840s. The series is published by Canongate under the pseudonym Ambrose Parry.
Dying to be Different: Cara Hunter talks to Crime Time
It’s so difficult to be original in crime. It’s such a crowded genre, for a start, but right now we’re also in the midst of another golden age of crime writing, with fabulous books in every conceivable sub-genre (as well as some completely new ones). And that’s just crime fiction on the page. Add in crime drama and TV documentaries like Making a Murderer and The Staircase, and the very idea of producing something innovative or eye-catching is positively daunting.
Brian (Death Wish) Garfield Goes West
vOn September 16, 2018, Piccadilly Publishing is to publish a novel by Brian Garfield, author of the original novel on which the film Deah Wish was based. But this is something different. Mr. Sixgun, by Brian Garfield writing as Brian Wynne is in the Western genre. As pundits say: “Anybody settling down with a Garfield book is in for a good time.” – New York Times; “A scintillating, talented writer.” – Newsday and “Brian is a wily, gifted storyteller.” – Ed Gorman
The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl
Alex Dahl’s The Boy at the Door is a novel of remarkable accomplishment that sets its nuanced and intriguing characters in the context of a plot that grips like a vice. And that success is in spite of the fact that the accoutrements of the narrative are very familiar: a woman with a perfect life (attractive husband, beautiful daughters and an upscale lifestyle) finds her comfortable life threatened by a secret that can bring about its painful destruction
What’s Your Poison Returns
What’s Your Poison? 2018 – Heffers’ celebrated summer crime and mystery fiction party is back! Featuring a selection of hand-picked authors, come along for a lively evening of readings, book chat and signing. This year’s treat of a line-up features Mark Billingham, Alison Bruce, Louise Candlish, Will Dean, Araminta Hall, Mick Herron, Mike Hollow, Christina James, Jim Kelly, Vaseem Khan, AC Koning, Kate Rhodes, Stuart Turton, Martyn Waites, Ruth Ware and Edward Wilson. The date is Thursday 5th July, 6.30pm Tickets are priced at £7 in advance and can be purchased through whatsyourpoison2018.eventbrite.co.uk, by calling 01223 463200 or in person at Heffers bookshop.
Latest from The Murder Squad
Here are a few bite-size updates from the crime talents of the Murder Squad – see the website at http://murdersquad.co.uk/ newsletter/