Over the years, the talented Paul Johnston has proved to be one of the most versatile of writers, demonstrating his acuity in a variety of crime genres, not least the novels set in his adopted country of Greece (these include The Black Life, a highly distinctive narrative told in alternating chapters which sets present day Greece against the years of the Holocaust with half-Greek, half-Scottish private eye Alex Mavros). But those of us who first discovered him through his cleverly written futuristic thrillers set in an independent Edinburgh 2033 have a soft spot for Johnston’s (earlier) quirky detective Quint Dalrymple, and it’s a particular pleasure to see one of the more intriguing Dalrymple titles, Heads or Hearts appear from the publisher Severn House. As always with this series, the plotting is a particular pleasure as Dalrymple follows up the discovery of a human heart of the centre circle of a football club. More mutilation and mystery follow in satisfying measure.

Heads or Hearts by Paul Johnston is published by Severn House

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