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crime fiction

This tag is associated with 92 posts

Kathy Reichs, ‘The Bone Collection’ (2016)

My own interest in forensics goes back to Monday nights 30 years ago, watching Jack Klugman in Quincy M.E. growl his way through another moider. So it’s surprising that I haven’t read any of Kathy Reichs’ work until now, but she’s certainly an author I’ll be coming back to. Since 1997 Reichs has written 18 novels featuring … Continue reading

Nicolas Freeling, ‘The King of the Rainy Country’ (1966)

‘I am like the King of a Rainy Country, Rich, but powerless; young, yet feeling wintry; no longer flattered by the obsequious bow; Bored by my dogs and by every other creature now, Nothing brightens my day, not the Hunt, not falconry, Not the dying people below my balcony.’ Not many crime novels take their … Continue reading

Richard Price, ‘The Whites’ (2015)

There’s an enormous amount to love about Richard Price’s crime novel The Whites, enough to make it difficult to know where to start. The title is a reference to Moby-Dick – the white whale that haunts Herman Melville’s novel, and which is hunted mercilessly through its pages but ultimately escapes. In Price’s book, the ‘Whites’ are … Continue reading

Para One: Derek Raymond, ‘He Died With His Eyes Open’ (1984)

These are the opening lines of He Died With His Eyes Open, the first in Derek Raymond’s celebrated, five-book ‘Factory’ series.  As so often in the crime genre the book begins with a corpse; but there is much more here to savour. Raymond is precise in putting his body into context, and in describing a London … Continue reading

The McBainiad, Book 11: ‘Give the Boys a Great Big Hand’ (1960)

‘If you are a cop, you know that death is seldom pretty, that it is in fact the ugliest and most frightening event that can overtake a human being.’ Book titles are a continuum. At one end are those descriptive, unobtrusive ones which just plainly describe what you can find inside the covers. Here you’ll … Continue reading

Reading matter 2015: Part 3

Last lap: here’s the final ten books in my list of reading material for the previous 12 months. Bon appetit! Pierre Lemaitre, Camille – Last book in Lemaitre’s Camille Verhoeven trilogy, and for my taste the least successful of the three books. Having said that, Lemaitre is always worth reading, and the twists when they come are dramatic, … Continue reading

Reading matter 2015: Part 2

Stand by for part 2 of my list of everything (well, nearly everything) I’ve read over the last 12 months. Here come books 11 to 20: Pascal Garnier, The Islanders – Garnier is a rare talent, but not suitable for everyone. His books have a queasy inevitability about them, and none more so than this short tale which describes a … Continue reading

Reading matter 2015: Part 1

I haven’t kept this kind of record since I was a teenager, but over the next three posts I’ll be listing – in chronological order – all the books I’ve read during 2015. There are 30 in all, slightly more than one a fortnight – not a bad average for someone with a full-full-time job … Continue reading

On the Mavericks vs. the Grafters

Good to see DCI John Luther back on television screens in a new (albeit brief, 2-part) series. Idris Elba is the maverick detective par excellence, a man fiercely protective of his colleagues whilst also willing to take enormous personal risks. It’s certainly a crowded market; even before Luther came along crime fiction was filled with rule-breaking … Continue reading

The McBainiad, Book 10: ‘King’s Ransom’ (1959)

Confession time: King’s Ransom is the first of the 87th Precinct books that (since I started re-reading them) I put to one side without finishing. This may be because the book goes against the author’s usual technique, which was to start with a corpse. King’s Ransom doesn’t have McBain’s snappiest opening; several scenes at the beginning don’t feature the … Continue reading