To the Max: Maxim Jakubowski on New Crime
Summer inevitably comes to an end, but the heat is still on in many of this month's reading choices, which take us to a fascinating world that allegedly lies beyond the doors of death, London under the Blitz, the Lybian desert, the fleshpots of Italy, the French...
Gallows Court: Martin Edwards talks to Crime Time
Much of the joy of writing lies in the chance to keep trying something new. Like many other crime novelists, I love writing series, but even with a new novel in a series, I find that part of the pleasure comes from varying my approach from book to book. For me, it’s really important to avoid sticking to a formula. As a crime fan, I prefer books that have a freshness about them. And keeping my writing fresh ensures that I stay motivated.
Finn, Nesbo, Redondo, Reid and Slimani shortlisted for 2018 Icepick Award
The jury for the 2018 Icepick Award, which includes the Icelandic Prime Minister, has shortlisted five novels for the 2018 Icepick Award, the award for the best translated crime fiction in Iceland this year. The shortlist is as follows:
The Burglar by Thomas Perry
Elle Stowell is a burglar, from a family of burglars. She’s tiny (which is convenient if you’re trying to hide, or get through a small window) and has an ethics of her own: do no damage, and get out quickly. She’s lithe and used to making important decisions, such as how long she should spend trying to crack a safe. She knows that her profession is a pretty sorry thing to be. She also has charming views about men, which Perry compresses into a few sentences I’d like to see written in beautiful calligraphy and given to all men at an early age. Perry doesn’t waste time, however, setting up his characters: he gets right to them
Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller is the author of eight books, each independent, and with a fine sense of historical period. This one begins in 1809, after the debacle at Corunna. Captain John Lacroix returns home to his family, having previously taken the king’s shilling. Something is not right, and his siblings notice how little he has brought with him, and how often he seems to be looking out windows as if pursued, which he is, although it takes a long time to understand what on earth is going on. He leaves home again to take shelter with his favourite sister, but soon leaves her as well to travel up to Glasgow before fleeing to the Hebrides.
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
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
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 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
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…
Guardian Thrillers Roundup Barry Forshaw
When the UK’s Twin Queens of Crime, PD James and Ruth Rendell, shuffled off this mortal coil, there was really only one contender for their crown: the Scottish writer Val McDermid. Her narrative skills since her unofficial coronation have not diminished, as proven by Broken Ground (Little, Brown, £18.99). Since ending her Northumbrian sojourn and re-settling in Scotland, McDermid has swapped the North of England setting of her Tony Hill and Carol Jordan books for Edinburgh (despite the latter city being heavily populated with literary coppers these days
One More Kill by Matt Hughes & Rough Trade by Robert Silverberg
While PS Publishing is well-known for its science fiction, fantasy and horror lists, those in the know are well aware that there is an impressive crime strand to the company’s output. Matt Hughes’ One More Kill is a taut and accomplished piece of work, with a trained killer at the centre of the narrative.
Maigret Collection/Georges Simenon: Maigret and the Calame Report/ Maigret and the Wine Merchant/ Maigret and the Saturday Caller
Book collectors need very little persuasion to add handsome additions to our already overstrained bookshelves, and the Folio Society over the years has shown that it knows exactly what buttons to press to tempt the aficionado. Crime fiction has always been a bellwether for collectors, and there is now a very handsome Simenon edition to make us dip into our pockets.
Now You See Her: Heidi Perks talks to Crime Time
Now You See Her is the story of two friends, both mothers, who couldn’t be more different. Charlotte is separated and mum to three confident children, while married Harriet has an only child, Alice, who she barely lets out of her sight. The first time Harriet leaves Alice is to attend a bookkeeping course to build a better future for her family. Strongly encouraged by Charlotte, she volunteers to watch Alice for the day so Harriet can attend. But when Charlotte takes all four children to the busy school fete, and her concentration momentarily slips to her phone and social media, Alice disappears without a trace.
The Man Who Would Be Bond: NEW TITLES FROM Top Notch Thrillers
When hard-as-nails sailor-turned-gun-runner-turned assassin for the sinister Department K John Craig made his fictional debut in 1964 in The Man Who Sold Death, he was immediately touted as a replacement for James Bond, James Munro’s novel appearing less than three months after the death of Ian Fleming.
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 Savage Shore: David Hewson talks to Crime Time
The last time I saw my Roman detective Nic Costa was almost a decade ago. He was on a scooter riding into Rome after untangling — solving’s not quite the right word — a distinctly tricky family case in The Fallen Angel. I deliberately didn’t kill off Nic or his family of colleagues. They just needed a holiday
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!