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Keith Ridgway, ‘Hawthorn & Child’ (2012)

Is Hawthorn and Child a crime novel? It takes its title from the names of two detectives, and also features criminal acts and gangsters. But there the similarity with traditional police procedurals ends. If you come to it expecting an investigation, and a culprit, and a resolution, you’re going to be disappointed. Approach it with a more … Continue reading

Nigel McCrery, ‘Silent Witnesses: A History of Forensic Science’ (2013)

I’ve long been fascinated by forensic science, an interest that stretches back to my pre-teens and watching Quincy M.E. on a Monday night. I also vividly recall a 1980s TV series called Indelible Evidence, where Ludovic Kennedy introduced dramatisations of real-life cases solved using various forensic techniques. One extraordinary episode centred on a half-eaten apple, left at … Continue reading

Christopher Fowler, ‘Bryant & May Off the Rails’ (2010)

I’ve been aware of the Bryant & May books for a while, but it was this piece by their author Christopher Fowler that encouraged me to start reading them. You can peruse it for yourself, but what I particularly liked was Fowler’s dissection of crime fiction’s move towards greater ‘realism’ in recent years, which in … Continue reading

On the one-shot versus the series

Which do you prefer, a one-off or a more committed relationship? I started thinking about this recently, reading Boston Teran’s hard-hitting neo-noir thriller God is a Bullet. There’s a scene halfway through, when one of the main characters is at the mercy of the book’s villain. As I was reading it, I thought She’s fine; he … Continue reading