Saint Death by John Milton

The advantage of having a protagonist who wanders is you can drop him into all kinds of different stories. So, whereas the first John Milton tale saw him in an adventure in East London reminiscent of THE WIRE, here he’s up against Mexican cartels in a tale that is like a missing season of NARCOS.…

Good Omens (2019)

I don’t think the critics have been sniffy about GOOD OMENS, more that they’ve shrugged their shoulders and given it a collective ‘meh’. The ones I’ve read seemed to quite enjoy it, but it’s not going to be on any of their year’s end best lists. I don’t know if it will end up on…

A Kim Jong-Il Production by Paul Fischer

You probably read about this in the newspapers. An ultra-strange story of how famed South Korean actress, Choi-Eun-hee and her husband, the film director Shin Sang-ok, were kidnapped by Kim Jong-Il and the North Korean regime, held for eight years and forced to make movies. It’s a tale of international espionage, skulduggery, defections, escape attempts…

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

The Dreyfus case – with its blend of corruption in high places, and high tension as the plot was unravelled. – is, let's be fair, the perfect meat for a writer expert in historical literary thrillers to sink his teeth into. And here’s Robert Harris to prove that point. In 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, an…

Quarry by Max Allan Collins

By the time we get to the 1970's, there’s been a real change in the character of tough guy American fiction. In the immediate post-Second World War period there was still a curious, old school morality to the genre. Yes, there may have been murders, beatings, rape and general mayhem, but there was still a…

Pietr the Latvian by Georges Simenon

There’s a distinct lack of glamour to this first Maigret mystery. In itself that’s interesting as this is a story centred on an international conman and an American investor in one of the finest hotels in Paris. Surely that should give a triumphant yell of glamour. In the hands of a Leslie Charteris or an…

Silence by Natasha Preston

I remember once watching a documentary about teenagers who have chosen not to speak. There are some who are affected by such intense social anxiety that they find it best not to say a word to anyone rather than say the wrong thing. It was a heart-breaking programme where I just hoped that these young…