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Christa Faust, ‘Money Shot’ (2008)

The faithful trope of the veteran persuaded to do one last job is given a neat twist in Christa Faust’s Money Shot. Here, it’s retired porn actress Angel Dare who is persuaded by an old friend to shoot one final scene. Dare’s justification for her decision is refreshingly bullshit-free. ‘The simple truth is, I had a girl boner. … Continue reading

Massimo Carlotto, ‘Death’s Dark Abyss’ (2006)

‘When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.’ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) As you can probably guess from the title, Death’s Dark Abyss is not the book to read if you need a) cheering up, or b) an affirmation of the inherent goodness of mankind. Rather, it is the story of two men linked by … Continue reading

On slumming it

The writer Tony Parsons has provoked a tsunami of online comment with an interview to promote his new book, The Murder Bag. As well as coming out as a potential UKIP voter (okaaaay…), Parsons was also asked why he had switched to crime for his latest novel: The thing is, he explains, he wanted to … Continue reading

James Ellroy, Brown’s Requiem (1981)

Brown’s Requiem is James Ellroy’s first novel, but one already indicative of the passions and obsessions he would explore in later books. Debating whether to borrow it from the library (I had the usual stack of books awaiting my attention at home) it was Ellroy’s introduction that swung it. Written in 1995, 14 years after Brown’s … Continue reading

On what you take away

I was interested to see the long-list for 2014 Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, released today. It includes five books I’ve read since starting the blog, all of which would be worthy winners. If I had to choose one… no, I couldn’t do it. The best I could manage would be a … Continue reading