New from PS: Walking with Ghosts by Brian James Freeman
Brian James Freeman’s first full-length collection features twenty-nine stories that deal with both real and supernatural terrors. These tales are populated by characters searching for answers to deeply troubling questions. They are haunted by horrors they think are out of their control, but sometimes the source of their greatest fears is closer to home than they ever imagined possible. In these days of almost gleeful excess there’s a surprising gentleness to Freeman’s work, though, of course, that often leaves you unprepared for a heavy gut-punch when you least expect it.
The Films of William Castle Murray Leeder, editor
In some ways, it is easy to talk about the work of 1950s/1960s filmmaker and huckster William Castle, as the memorable gimmicks he came up with for most of his films (such as the skeleton above the audience’s heads in House on Haunted Hill and the mildly electrified audience chairs for The Tingler) lend themselves to any lively prose discussion of Castle’s very successful career. But it might also be said that in another way they are self-defeating
Compulsory Games by Robert Aickman
Aficionados of the very finest weird writing have long been aware that Robert Aickman is the ne plus ultra of the genre; his elegant and atmospheric stories leave most of his contemporaries and successors standing. For those who felt that they had collected all the essential Aickman in the recent Faber volumes, there is a particular pleasure to be had with this newest collection, containing material that was not included in the latter reprints.
The Louisiana Republic by Maxim Jakubowski
A new book by Maxim Jakubowski is always something of an event, whatever genre he chooses to venture into (and over the years he has been prodigal in his choices of genre). The Louisiana Republic might be said to be something of a genre splice with New York a very different place after a mysterious global upheaval known as ‘The Dark’.
Estocada by Graham Hurley
It’s 1937 and Dieter Merz is the ace of the Condor Legion, flying the new Messerschmidt 109 against Russian planes in the Spanish Civil War, called Der Kleine, the Little One. Toward the end of that year, Tom Moncrieff, an ex-Marine fluent in German, and trying to make his father’s estate in the Highlands into a shooting resort, is recruited by a shadowy part of British intelligence, to gather information about the Germans and their plans regarding the Sudetenland.
To Die in Vienna: Kevin Wignall talks to Crime Time
I’ve wanted to set a full-length novel in Vienna for a long time but couldn’t find a way of doing it that avoided the pitfalls of using such an iconic location. Most notably, how do you write about Vienna and avoid the long cinematic shadows cast by Carol Reed’s “The Third Man”, written by the great master of shady locations, Graham Greene?
Loch of the Dead: Oscar de Muriel talks to Crime Time
Although Loch of the Dead is the 4th book in my Frey & McGray series, the main premise came to me more than ten years ago, well before I came up with my “Victorian X-Files” sleuths.
Baby Blue by Pol Koutsakis, translated by Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife
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.
Firefly by Henry Porter
Thanks to satellite imagery and an ISIS group leaving their phones on a little too long after a massacre in a Syrian village, MI6 has been able to track, and identify, at least by voice, the leader of the terrorist cell, whom they call Black Cube. They have established he and his sidekicks are in Greece, presumably on their way to northern Europe, and some new attack
It’s a Noir World: Woody Haut in Retreats from Oblivion
Was it always like this? The feeling that nothing is real. Not just ersatz, but a fake of a fake, a photograph of a photograph of the world falling apart. That food you’re eating, it’s probably genetically modified. The building you’re living in, most likely made from cheap, probably flammable, materials.
The Killing Habit by Mark Billingham & The Old Religion by Martyn Waites
Barry Forshaw in The Financial Times
Those who consider Mark Billingham to be one of the most reliable practitioners of the modern British crime novel point to some added value: he has been building up through his books an all-embracing picture of modern British society. This latest novel utilises real-life crime – the still at-large ‘Croydon Cat Killer’, responsible for the death of hundreds of animals
Oliver Twist & The Mystery of Throate Manor: David Stuart Davies talks to Crime Time
About ten years ago I was asked to contribute a story to a collection of Dickensian whodunits. The idea was for a series of mystery stories featuring characters from the novels of Charles Dickens. I chose Oliver Twist and Jack Dawkins aka the Artful Dodger.
Kiss Me Kill Me: JS Carol talks to Crime Time
My fascination with America started when I was a kid. Turn on the TV, and there it was, bright and shining and coated with Hollywood’s magic dust. This was a land of infinite possibilities; a place where dreams came true. Back then the world I inhabited was the dull, grey landscape of Britain in the seventies and eighties, so you can see why I was so easily seduced by the myth.
The Rise of the Armchair Detective: Stephanie Marland talks to Crime Time
Technology has changed the way we live in an incredible way. The internet has opened up new worlds, helping us meet people both locally and globally. Whatever you’re into, you can pretty much guarantee there’ll be someone – probably a whole bunch of someones – out there online who are into it too; just waiting to connect.
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.
Shotsmag’s Stotter Heads West
From Shotsmag Head Honcho MIke Stotter, news of the first issue of Piccadilly Publishing’s new western-themed magazine, HEAD WEST! which harks back to the days when Stotter was a consultant on THE WESTERN MAGAZINE at IPC
The Devil’s Dust: James Lovegrove talks to Crime Time
Opposites attract. On the face of it, Sherlock Holmes and Allan Quatermain don’t have much in common. Holmes is the cerebral aesthete who solves problems through the application of logical analysis, whereas in Quatermain we have a rugged adventurer who thinks the answer to most questions can be found at the end of a double-eight bore elephant gun.
Winner of the 2018 Petrona Award announced at CrimeFest
On 19 May 2018, at the Gala Dinner at CrimeFest, Bristol, Petrona Award judges Barry Forshaw and Sarah Ward announced the winner of the 2018 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. The winner is QUICKSAND by Malin Persson Giolito, translated...
Ngaio Marsh Award longlist revealed
Returning to the scene of the crime: Ngaio Marsh Award longlist revealed. Two authors who returned to crime writing after more than a decade away have today been named among an eclectic longlist for the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel.
Confessions of a squeamish thriller writer
I have a confession. I am a thriller writer who can’t stand the sight of blood… No. Really. It’s true. There will be journalists out there right now, saying – I hear there’s a Teresa Driscoll selling a lot of thrillers these days? Can’t be the Teresa Driscoll I knew. She was dead squeamish; seem to remember she passed out at her first inquest.
The Killing Habit by Mark Billingham
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
‘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
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
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
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.
Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall & Murder at the Grand Raj Palace by Vaseem Khan
Barry Forshaw in The Financial Times
Sexual role-playing games – in Hall’s impressive novel — have dangerous undercurrents. Privileged London couple Mike and Verity have a clandestine erotic strategy called ‘the crave’, in which Verity allows herself to be semi-seduced in a bar in order that Mike can appear at a crucial moment and rescue her, a charade that both find highly aphrodisiac