Doctor Who Reviews – The Witchfinders

My one paragraph, instant reaction to this week’s DOCTOR WHO.  It’s an interesting phenomenon that this series seems to be on its surest footing in the historical episodes. The two before – ‘Rosa’ and ‘Demons of the Punjab’ – could have both, with a few tweaks, been straight historicals with no sci-fi elements at all.…

Borderline by Lawrence Block

Narcotics, gambling, prostitution, lesbianism, incest, serial-killing. Here’s a book working hard to scandalise all kinds of 1950’s mores, to such an extent that it really does become exhausting. Various characters interact in a Mexican town: a jaded gambler, a divorcee looking for thrills, a lost teenager and a serial killer. They see and do depraved…

How Does it Feel? by Mark Kermode

I primarily know Mark Kermode – like most people, no doubt – as the UK’s leading film critic. So, this version of his life story, focusing only on his musical adventures, was like peering into an alternative universe. Yes, I remember him being in the house band on Danny Baker’s early 90s chat show (and…

Archangel Down by C. Gockel

A now imprisoned senior member of a space-fleet breaks out of her prison, but during her escape bumps into a man with an uncanny resemblance to her ex-husband. This man has strange abilities, to the point of being super-powered. But can he be trusted? And is he even human? When I’m in the right mood,…

The Martian War by Kevin J. Anderson

So, here’s what really happened: When H.G. Wells was turning his hand to science fiction, he was actually writing roman à clefs. You see, Wells himself had lived through events which inspired THE WAR OF THE WORLDS; THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU; THE INVISIBLE MAN; THE FIRST MAN ON THE MOON and parts of THE…

The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders

MRS FLANDERS’ new book cat’logues the notorious rogues and vill’ans of the great VICTORIAN AGE. Recoil at such fiendish devil’ry as that committed by MESSRS BURKE & HARE, WAINEWRIGHT and the remorseless poisoner PALMER. Witness again the lamentable and notorious crimes of the sin-ful women, MADELINE SMITH and ELIZA FENNING. Embark on a colour-ful and…

The Kiss of the Vampire (1963)

A Hammer vampire film that not only had I never seen before, but also only read about in a vague and half-recalled way. Which is a shame as it’s absolutely brilliant! Maybe it’s the fact that it doesn’t have any stars – there’s no Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee here; and also isn’t one of…

Sharp Shooter by Marianne Delacourt

Tara Sharp is a super hero. Her super power? Well, that she’s highly attuned to people’s auras and can actually see their moods. Okay, that sounds a bit hippy dippy and you can see why Marvel hasn't turned her adventures into a big budget movie yet. But Delacourt here takes Tara’s talent and uses it…