Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
Barry Forshaw

Megan Abbott is one of the most astute of modern crime novelists, and her nuanced and incisive books are more focused on the complex psychology of her characters than many of her confrères. The subject of Give Me Your Hand is female friendship – and the version on offer here is the most toxic kind. In her teenage years, Kit Owens is inspired by her troubled friend Diane (who nurtures a dark secret) to drive herself hard to realise her full potential…

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly & Love is Blind The Rapture of Brodie Moncur by William Boyd

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly & Love is Blind The Rapture of Brodie Moncur by William Boyd
Ruth Morse

Michael Connelly, Dark Sacred Night (Orion Books) [PUB DATE 30 OCT] Connelly (recently awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger for his body of work) seems to be tiring of the San Fernando Police; tiring is the important word, as he’s feeling his age and knows that he’s begun making mistakes. He finds himself working with the woman introduced by last year’s story, The Late Show. Hence the new series ‘Bosch and Ballard’. Each of the detectives has baggage left from childhood

Bellevue Square: Michael Redhill talks to Crime Time

Bellevue Square: Michael Redhill talks to Crime Time

Bellevue Square is my first literary novel in eleven years. It followed four mystery novels written under the pseudonym “Inger Ash Wolfe” and the experience of writing those books over a ten year period left me with some interesting questions to ponder. I’d lived with one character that whole time and she’d become as real to me as I am to myself. I began to wonder if our experiences of selfhood, ontologically, were all that different.

Breathe: Dominick Donald talks to Crime Time

Breathe: Dominick Donald talks to Crime Time

I can’t remember what prompted the thought, but there it was: No-one’s written a thriller set in the London smog of 1952. (I was wrong, of course; CJ Sansom and Boris Starling both got there before me.) And it seemed to have such potential. How could you have a chase when the fog’s so thick you can’t see your feet? How could you work out who to chase if no-one was at their desks because the transport wasn’t running? The worst ever smog in London’s history – a yellow miasma that stopped the city in its tracks. And killed thousands…

To the Max: Maxim Jakubowski on July Crime

To the Max: Maxim Jakubowski on July Crime

A month somehow dominated by male writers, I fear. Not a conscious choice but the way the postal deliveries and publishers’ schedules align. Again, a whole spectrum of themes, moods, backgrounds and styles as we cruise through the pages and visit the decadent splendours of La Dolce Vita in Rome, the glittering casinos of the French Riviera with a young James Bond, dark caverns in America’s Death Valley, the crumbling facade of Cornwall, contemporary Los Angeles and the savage heat of the Mexican desert, nearby Las Vegas, the Australian outback and Oxfordshire after the fall of civilisation. And many other places, known and unknown. Quite a literary menu!

The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan

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

The Bridge: Complete Season IV & The Bridge I-IV DVD & Blu-ray, various directors/Arrow TV
Barry Forshaw

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.

Night Driver: Marcelle Perks talks to Crime Time

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, 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

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).

Broken Ground: An Hour with Val McDermid

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.

Liam McIlvanney, Peter Lovesey: Ruth Morse on New Crime

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

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!

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