Wednesday, July 31, 2013

TV News: The Field of Blood returns

The second series of The Field of Blood, based on Denise Mina's Paddy Meehan series returns to BBC One on Thursday 8 August at 9pm and is a two-part adaptation of book two, The Dead Hour.

Read interviews with the cast and watch clips at the BBC website.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Reviews: Brooks, Bruce, Collett, Cutts, Holt, Mackenzie, Persson, Sampson, Webster

This week's set of reviews, added to Euro Crime today, is a mixture of new reviews and a catch-up of those posted directly on the blog in the last two weeks, so you may have read some of them before if you're a regular :).

Terry Halligan reviews Kevin Brooks' Wrapped in White, the third in the PI John Craine series;

Michelle Peckham reviews Alison Bruce's The Silence, the fourth in the Cambridge-set DC Gary Goodhew series, now out in paperback;

Terry also reviews Chris Collett's Blood and Stone which sees the return of Birmingham DI Tom Mariner, after a four year gap, this time he's on holiday in Wales;

Geoff Jones reviews Lisa Cutts' debut, Never Forget which introduces DC Nina Foster;

Susan White reviews Jonathan Holt's The Abomination set in Venice and the first in a trilogy;

Laura Root reviews Jassy Mackenzie's Pale Horses, the fourth in the PI Jade de Jong series set in South Africa;
Amanda Gillies reviews Leif GW Persson's Another Time, Another Life, tr. Paul Norlen calling it "a perfect read for the summer";

Mark Bailey reviews Kevin Sampson's The Killing Pool, set in Liverpool;

Lynn Harvey reviews Jason Webster's The Anarchist Detective the third in the Max Camara series set in Valencia;

and I've just completed a crime month on my blog for teenage/ya fiction, including a review of Caroline Lawrence's The Case of the Good-Looking Corpse. A summary post can be found here.

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here along with releases by year.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Blood and Stone by Chris Collett

Blood and Stone by Chris Collett, July 2013, 256 pages, Creme de la Crime, ISBN: 1780290527

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

DI Tom Mariner is grieving the sudden loss of his former partner Anna and takes a couple of weeks leave from his job in Birmingham to go on a solo walking holiday in Wales. Unfortunately, his need for peace and solitude to help him grieve is lost when he is caught up in a murder investigation following his finding of a dead body. He never expected that he would find himself, with all of his previous experience, as a prime suspect in a murder investigation.

Tom discovers that there are a number of disturbing secrets being kept behind the closed doors of the ancient stone farmhouses that populate the region.

At the same time as Tom goes away a violent criminal is released early from prison as he is dying from kidney cancer. As he has a terminal illness he considers he has nothing to lose by settling a few scores and consequently he kills several of his old acquaintances before he makes a getaway into Wales.

BLOOD AND STONE is a very well plotted police procedural with some beautiful descriptions of walks in Wales and the youth hostelling and camping experience.

The author is very clever in her manipulation of the plot and the red herrings that she suggests, that can send your mind racing in one direction until perhaps Tom Mariner sees something accidentally, which triggers a different line of enquiry and you momentarily forget your earlier conclusions. There are a number of characters in the police and potential killers which I found a little confusing at first but it all turned out right in the end. I must admit though, I had no idea who the killer was until the very end and it was a big surprise.

This fast-paced story was very gripping and I just could not put it down and I am pleased to discover that she has written several other books in the series which I must get. Extremely well recommended.

Terry Halligan, July 2013.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Film News: Easy Money released in the UK

The film Easy Money based on Jens Lapidus's book of the same name was (finally) released in the UK on Friday. Easy Money is the first book in the Stockholm Noir trilogy and the second and third books have also been filmed.

The series stars Swedish-American actor Joel Kinnaman, from the US remake of The Killing.

Read Laura's review of the book.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2013 - Winner

The winner for the second year in a row is Denise Mina, with Gods and Beasts.

2013 Shortlist (links are to Euro Crime reviews)

Rush Of Blood – Mark Billingham (Little Brown)
Gods And Beasts – Denise Mina (Orion) - Winner

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review: The Anarchist Detective by Jason Webster

The Anarchist Detective by Jason Webster, June 2013, 256 pages, Chatto & Windus, ISBN: 0701186909

Reviewed by Lynn Harvey.
(Read more of Lynn's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

He gave an involuntary shrug as he realised he was now mulling over three deaths, three killings: that of Maximiliano, Concha, and the girl who'd been found in the same spot as his sister just a few days before, Mirella Faro. If Albacete was reaching out to pull him in, so the policeman within him was coughing and hacking itself back into wakefulness.

A life outside the Policia Nacional? What the hell had he been thinking.

Albacete, Spain, November
In the pit the first bones are slowly uncovered. They decide to concentrate on the first body before excavating others. More remains are unearthed: cloth, hair, a pair of spectacles. The man with the briefcase is sure. This is the body of Maximiliano Camara.

Albacete, Spain, October
Max Camara is at the hospital in Albacete. A homicide detective with the Valencia police, he is on indefinite sick leave and the news of his grandfather's stroke has brought him back from Madrid where he has been staying with his girlfriend Alicia. Now Max sits by his grandfather's bedside and reads him parts of the local newspaper: the excavation of a mass grave of Franco's anti-fascist victims in the town cemetery and the body of a raped and murdered fifteen-year-old found dumped on a rubbish tip. His grandfather's housekeeper, Pilar, arrives to take over the bedside watch and Max feels free to return to the flat. Darkness is falling as Max walks through the familiar streets and he is drawn to the industrial estate where the young girl's body was found. He is examining the taped crime scene when a squad car draws up and he is arrested. He protests, explaining that he too is a policeman – but he is knocked unconscious and wakes next morning in a police cell. He is escorted to the commissioner's office where he finds his childhood friend and fellow police academy student, Ernesto Yago, currently chief of police in Albacete. They greet each other warmly and Ernesto writes an explanatory report in favour of Max: his sick leave, his grandfather's illness, and the fact that the murder scene Max had trespassed had the same scenario as that of his murdered sister, Concha, – thirty years before. By now Max is anxious to return to the hospital, but there he finds neither Pilar, who has taken umbrage at Max's own non-appearance the previous evening, nor his grandfather, Hilario, who has discharged himself. At his grandfather's flat Max finds him remarkably strengthened and convinced that all he needs is rest. They are interrupted by a caller, a man from the Historical Memory Association, who has come to tell them that he believes they have finally found the body of Hilario's father, Maximiliano Camara, amongst the mass grave victims in the town cemetery.

THE ANARCHIST DETECTIVE is Anglo-American writer Jason Webster's third book in his “Max Camara” series set in Spain. Webster himself has lived in Spain for many years and had already written several books about Spanish culture and history before embarking on his series featuring Chief Inspector Max Camara of the Spanish National Police. He attributes the influence of Michael Dibdin's “Aurelio Zen” novels to his realisation that: “good, thoughtful crime novels could be set in a contemporary Mediterranean country”.

Not having read the previous two books in the series, OR THE BULL KILLS YOU and DEATH IN VALENCIA, didn’t seem to matter as I was quickly drawn into THE ANARCHIST DETECTIVE. A troubled Max, poised to leave his police career and called back to his home town of Albacete, finds Spain's conflicted past mixing with the present as the bones of his anarchist great-grandfather are exhumed and a murder brings unwanted memories of his own sister's death. When old friend, police chief Ernesto, enlists Max's help in investigating a possible saffron scam in a nearby village – the bullets start to fly.

The book's pace is fast and the plot involving, but the strength of Jason Webster's writing lies in the vivid atmosphere he creates and his characterisation. Through their interactions and conversations his characters come alive with little need for descriptive explanations of who and how. (Hilario Camara, for one, is a creation not to be missed.) Webster successfully interweaves the past with the present using this technique. For anyone who likes their crime fiction laced with social and political history THE ANARCHIST DETECTIVE is a good read, a short but penetrating book that beckons you to read more of Max Camara and Spain.

Lynn Harvey, July 2013.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

CWA Daggers 2013 - Gold, Steel, Creasey - longlists announced

As well as the announcement of the winner of the International Dagger last night, and the winner of the Ellis Peters Award - Andrew Taylor for The Scent of Death the following longlists were announced:

Gold Dagger Longlist

Belinda Bauer for Rubbernecker (Bantam/Transworld)
Lauren Beukes for The Shining Girls (HarperCollins)
Sam Hawken for Tequila Sunset (Serpent’s Tail)
Mick Herron for Dead Lions (Soho Crime)
Becky Masterman for Rage Against the Dying (Orion)
Sara Paretsky for Breakdown (Hodder & Stoughton)
Michael Robotham for Say You’re Sorry (Sphere)
Don Winslow for The Kings of Cool (Heinemann)

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Longlist

Roger Hobbs for Ghostman (Transworld)
Liz Jensen for The Uninvited (Bloomsbury)
Malcolm Mackay for The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter (Pan Macmillan)
Stuart Neville for Ratlines (Random House)
Mark Oldfield for The Sentinel (Head of Zeus)
Andrew Williams for The Poison Tide (John Murray)
Robert Wilson for Capital Punishment (Orion)

John Creasey Dagger Longlist

Roger Hobbs for Ghostman (Doubleday)
Hanna Jameson for Something You Are (Head of Zeus)
Malcolm Mackay for The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter (Mantle)
Becky Masterman for Rage Against the Dying (Orion)
Derek B Miller for Norwegian by Night (Faber and Faber)
Thomas Mogford for Shadow of the Rock (Bloomsbury)
Michael Russell for The City Of Shadows (Avon)
M D Villiers for City of Blood (Harvill Secker)

From the CWA website: "These longlists will be whittled down to shortlists of four later in the summer, with the eventual winners being revealed as part of the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards in the autumn".

Monday, July 15, 2013

And the International Dagger 2013 goes to..

I bet no-one was expecting this. For the first time the International Dagger has been awarded jointly to:


Also shortlisted were:

D A Mishani - The Missing File tr. Steven Cohen
Roslund & Hellstrom - Two Soldiers tr. Kari Dickson
Ferdinand  von Schirach - The Collini Case tr. Anthea Bell
Marco Vichi - Death in Sardinia tr. Stephen Sartarelli 

More about the Dagger winners announced tonight can be found at the CWA's website.

Review: Never Forget by Lisa Cutts

Never Forget by Lisa Cutts, July 2013, 416 pages, Myriad Editions, ISBN: 1908434260

Reviewed by Geoff Jones.
(Read more of Geoff's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

In 1976 five-year-old Nina Foster was rescued by the police. She and her elder sister had been abducted and Stan Maguire was the police officer in charge.

Thirty years later Nina is a detective police constable. Now retired, Stan Maguire, had become her mentor and a second father. Based at a police station on the outskirts of London, Nina is seconded to a murder investigation along with her regular police partner John Wing. The dead woman is known to have worked as a prostitute and has several stab wounds to her body. Nina and Wingsy are given various procedural leads to follow.

Further murders follow and the trail seems to lead to a children's care home in the Birmingham area. A painter and decorator working at the police station is implicated, as well as the son of an odd job man who has been employed at the police station for sometime.

Nina and her colleagues are working long hours to try and process all the information they are receiving and interview many people connected with the deceased. Nina also has the upset that Stan has prostate cancer and has to have an operation.

Nina's world starts to spiral when photos are sent to her showing her at various stages of her life! Who would have taken these?

This is the first in a new series by the author. As you would expect of a serving police woman with both her father and husband having been in the force, her knowledge of police procedure is excellent. She tries to convey the minutia of information that the police have to sift through and follow up. There is a lot going on and quite a few characters to remember.

NEVER FORGET is an impressive debut and I look forward to hearing more about Nina. The author tries also to show how the police cope with the stress of long hours and endless paperwork with humour. She seems to have been impressed so much with the tale of someone arrested for trying to sell stolen meat joints in a pub, smuggled down the front of his jogging trousers, that she mentions this incident several times!


Geoff Jones, July 2013

Saturday, July 13, 2013

John Grisham's new Theodore Boone

I've reviewed John Grisham's Theodore Boone: The Activist, the fourth in the series, over on my teen blog as part of crime writing month. It's a series featuring a kid lawyer but my experience at the library is that this series is reserved/read more by adults than teens.

My review

Friday, July 12, 2013

New US Cozies & Agatha Christie

Here are three new American cozies with links to Agatha Christie - which have gone onto my wishlist (I still haven't yet read Christietown by Susan Kandel (2007)).

Published in March this year, The Christie Curse is the first in a new series by Victoria Abbott. Book two, The Sayers Swindle is scheduled for December 2013.

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared—making headlines across the world—only to show up eleven days later at a spa under an assumed name. During those eleven days, did she have time to write a play?

Jordan Kelly needs a new job and a new place to live. She’s back in Harrison Falls, New York, living with her not so law-abiding uncles, in debt thanks to a credit card–stealing ex and pending grad school loans.

Enter the perfect job, a research position that includes room and board, which will allow her to spend her days hunting down rare mysteries for an avid book collector. There’s just one problem: her employer, Vera Van Alst—the most hated citizen of Harrison Falls.

Jordan’s first assignment is to track down a rumored Agatha Christie play. It seems easy enough, but Jordan soon finds out that her predecessor was killed while looking for it, and there is still someone out there willing to murder to keep the play out of Vera’s hands. Jordan’s new job is good…but is it worth her life?

What's not to like about this cover? A cat, books and a library and the first in the series... Kyle Logan's Mayhem at the Orient Express was published in June.

At a local Chinese restaurant, it's the owner who gets taken out...

Most folks aren't forced by court order to attend a library-book discussion group, but that’s just what happens to B and B proprietor and ex-Manhattanite Bea Cartwright, hippy cat lover Chandra Morrisey, and winery owner Kate Wilder after a small-town magistrate has had enough of their squabbling. South Bass, an island on Lake Erie, is home to an idyllic summer resort, but these three ladies keep disturbing the peace.

The initial book choice is Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, and that sets their mouths to watering. The Orient Express is the island’s newest Chinese restaurant. They might not agree about much, but the ladies all love the orange chicken on the menu. But their meal is spoiled when the restaurant’s owner, Peter Chan, has the bad fortune of getting murdered. Now, with Christie as their inspiration, the League of Literary Ladies has a real mystery to solve…if they can somehow catch a killer without killing each other first.

Out in August. I'm read a few of this series so I must try and catch-up as Murder on the Orient Espresso is the eighth in Sandra Balzo's coffee series:

It's November and Maggy Thorsen, co-owner of the Wisconsin gourmet coffeehouse, Uncommon Grounds, is in South Florida at an annual crime-writers' conference with her beau, local sheriff Jake Pavlik, who is due to speak as a 'forensics expert'. Maggy's pledge to behave solely as a tourist becomes trickier than she anticipated when the conference's opening night event turns out to be a re-enactment of Agatha Christie's classic, Murder on the Orient Express. As Maggy and Jake reluctantly set off on the night train to the Everglades to solve the 'crime', it's clear that, as in the original novel, nothing is quite what it seems. And amidst rumours of careers taken, manuscripts stolen and vows broken, it seems that in the Everglades - as in life - the predator all too often becomes the prey.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

On Petrona Remembered

My post on Karin Fossum is now up on Petrona Remembered. If you haven't bookmarked this site then you're missing a treat. Bernadette is doing a fabulous job of posting a contribution every Monday morning.

Recent posts include:

Suzi G on Nicci French
Ann Cleeves on Nicolas Freeling
Moira R on Sarah Caudwell
Martin Edwards on Francis Iles
Ali K on Roslund & Hellstrom

Contributions are most welcome from fans of the crime genre. More information on how to contribute is here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: Pale Horses by Jassy Mackenzie

Pale Horses by Jassy Mackenzie, April 2013, 320 pages, Soho Press, ISBN: 1616952210

Reviewed by Laura Root.
(Read more of Laura's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

PALE HORSES is the fourth in Jassy Mackenzie's series of thrillers featuring Jade de Jong, South African PI. The book opens in an upscale cafe in Sandton, a very wealthy suburb of Johannesburg. Jade is still traumatised by events that took place in earlier novels in the series, but is persuaded to take on a case brought to her by the geeky millionaire trader Victor Theron. Theron has recently lost a friend, Sonet Meintjies in a suspicious extreme sports incident - Theron and Sonet were basejumpers, illicitly taking parachute jumps from high buildings without the owners' permission. Despite Theron checking Sonet's parachute for her before the jump, for some reason Sonet's parachute didn't function, resulting in her death. Theron is keen to avoid involvement and bad publicity in any homicide investigation resulting from the incident and hires Jade to uncover the truth about this incident.

Jade investigates the accident scene, and Sonet's personal and professional life, to uncover the truth. Sonet worked for a charity, Williams Management, that helps small rural communities set up sustainable crop farms. One of these farms included that formerly owned by her ex-husband, the embittered Van Schalkwyk, in Theunisvlei, subject of a successful land claim by the Siyabonga tribe. Jade's search for the truth leads her from Johannesburg to the depths of the Karoo. In the meantime, we see events through the eyes of Mrs Kumalo, widow of a man who worked on the farm at Theunisvlei, who took a job as housekeeper/chef for a wealthy Johannesberg man, but is being forced to act as driver for a shady criminal.

Jade is a reasonably sympathetic heroine, resourceful and with a strong sense of justice, if somewhat prone to impatience with those who get in the way of her investigation. Despite the deceptively gentle start, in the cafes and luxury tower blocks of Sandton, this book shows the danger and violence of carrying out investigative work in South Africa, and provides an interesting view of contemporary issues in South Africa in the post-apartheid era, including the operation of agribusiness and GM multinationals. Jassy McKenzie doesn't stint from showing the violence of those who were responsible for Sonet's death, and from showing how Jade herself has to resort to violence to protect her life and that of innocent witnesses.

Jade's on-off relationship with Superintendent David Patel features in the latter half of the novel, and is the one slightly unsatisfactory note to this novel, particularly the subplot involving anonymous letters to Patel. It feels somewhat incongruous to have a romantic theme whilst Jade is dealing with all this violence around her, though admittedly the relationship is a useful plot device to allow Jade good police connections where necessary and to let us see a gentler side to Jade. Overall I found this a very enjoyable and surprisingly readable book, managing to be an intelligent pageturner. This book works well as a standalone, with the caveat that it does contain some significant potential spoilers about earlier books in the series.

Laura Root, July 2013

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Atticus Claw Breaks the Law

Aimed at a somewhat younger audience than usually visits Euro Crime, I can recommend Atticus Claw Breaks the Law to cat fans of any age.

I have reviewed it as part of  a special feature on crime on my YA blog in honour of the CWA's crime writing month.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Radio News: Foreign Bodies is back

Radio 4's Foreign Bodies, presented by Mark Lawson is back for a second series, beginning today at 13.45. The episodes can be downloaded later and there is an omnibus edition on Friday at 9pm.:
To accompany BBC Radio 4's dramatisations of the Martin Beck novels, which established crime fiction as a form for exploring social change, Mark Lawson presents five more 'Foreign Bodies' focusing on Greece, Argentina, Northern Ireland, South Africa and fictional TV crime-scenes including Broadchurch.
Examining subjects including the way in which crime novels have portrayed transitional societies in South Africa and Northern Ireland and explored the legacy of military rule in Argentina, in this first programme Lawson, in Athens, talks to writers including Petros Markaris, whose detective series featuring Inspector Costas Haritos has both predicted and depicted the Greek financial crisis.
Mon 8 Jul
13:45 BBC Radio 4
Series 2 Greece - Inspector Costas Haritos

1/5 Mark talks to Petros Markaris, whose crime series prophesied the Greek financial crisis.

Tue 9 Jul

13:45 BBC Radio 4
Series 2 Argentina - Superintendent Perro Lascano

2/5 How Argentinian writers have dramatised the transition from dictatorship to democracy.

Wed 10 Jul

13:45 BBC Radio 4 FM only
Series 2 Ireland - Inspector Benedict Devlin

3/5 Mark meets novelist Brian McGilloway, whose books explore the long shadows of the Troubles

Thu 11 Jul

13:45 BBC Radio 4 FM only
Series 2 South Africa - Detective Captain Bennie Griessel

4/5 Mark Lawson talks to Deon Meyer about the criminality in post-apartheid South Africa.

Fri 12 Jul

13:45 BBC Radio 4 FM only
Series 2 Screenland - DS Ellie Miller, DI Sarah Lund, Captain Laure Berthaud

5/5 Mark Lawson examines the rise of female investigators in TV crime dramas.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

New Reviews: Bannister, Dahl, Davies, Hill, James, Kent, Macbain, Ryan, Savage

This week's set of reviews, added to Euro Crime today, is a mixture of new reviews and a catch-up of those posted directly on the blog in the last two weeks, so you may have read some of them before if you're a regular :).

Terry Halligan reviews Jo Bannister's new book, Deadly Virtues which is available as an ebook in the UK and a hardback in the US;

I review Arne Dahl's follow-up to The Blinded Man/Misterioso, Bad Blood, tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles;

Terry also reviews David Stuart Davies A Taste for Blood, the sixth in the 1940s-set Johnny One Eye series;

Laura Root reviews Antonio Hill's The Good Suicides tr. Laura McGoughlin (the sequel to one of my favourite books of last year: The Summer of Dead Toys);

Mark Bailey reviews the latest in the Roy Grace series from Peter James, Dead Man's Time;

Lynn Harvey reviews A Darkness Descending by Christobel Kent, the fourth in this Florence based series featuring ex-cop turned PI Sandro Cellini;

Susan White reviews Bruce Macbain's Roman Games, the first in the Pliny series, now out in paperback;

Amanda Gillies reviews William Ryan's The Twelfth Department which has been short-listed for the 2013 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger;

I also review Angela Savage's Behind the Night Bazaar the first in her Jayne Keeney PI series set in Thailand

and I've also reviewed the DVD of Swedish thriller (with English sub-titles), False Trail, starring Rolf Lassgard.

Previous reviews can be found in the review archive.

Forthcoming titles can be found by author or date or by category, here along with releases by year.

Friday, July 05, 2013

TV News: Doctor Blake & Miss Fisher Mysteries

Australian blog, TV Tonight, has announced that BBC One has bought the Doctor Blake Mysteries to show during the daytime later this year.

Doctor Blake stars Craig McLachlan and is set 1959 Ballarat. The first series is ten episodes and a second series begins shooting in July.

TV Tonight also confirms that Alibi have bought the second series of the Miss Fisher Mysteries which is to be shown in Australia this year.

Review: Deadly Virtues by Jo Bannister

Deadly Virtues by Jo Bannister, April 2013, 256 pages, Ebook, Bello

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

A new police recruit, Constable Hazel Best, has just been assigned to the the town of Norbold, England, which is famous for its low crime rate thanks to the zero-tolerance policy of Chief Superintendent John Fountain its most senior detective.

Jerome Cardy, a black second-year-law student has been involved in a roadside crash as the innocent victim, but the other driver has insisted on calling the police. Jerome did not want that however and fled the scene only to be later arrested and put in a police cell. He then has a premonition that he is going to die and describes this to the man in the adjacent cell, a man with concussion and accompanied by his dog. He told the man, “I had a dog once. Othello. That was its name. Othello.”

When Gabriel Ash, the dysfunctional man with the dog is released the following day he discovers that Jerome has been found beaten to death by a racist maniac who had been put in his cell. Ash is unable to forget Jerome's last awkward words to him. What could it mean and was it important? Ash is very troubled by the statement but he is a very withdrawn individual who finds it very difficult to open up to those he meets as he is often scoffed at by children who call him (behind his back) "Rambles with dog". Ash, who is damaged because his wife and sons disappeared and were never seen again, had suffered a complete mental breakdown. He lives alone and sees a psychologist named Laura Fry who suggested he get a dog. The lucky rescued animal is named 'Patience' and is a "lurcher," a breed of sporting dog once used by poachers to catch rabbits. Ash finds himself becoming very attached to Patience who is happy to have found a good home at last and regular meals and walks. As many of us are inclined to do, Ash speaks to Patience regularly. But the thing is, that Patience apparently answers. Only Ash can hear the words which aren't spoken but they appear as thoughts in his brain.

Gabriel explains his situation to Hazel and she is very sympathetic towards him as she is new in town and he, although he has limitations, throughout the story he seems to more and more come out of his shell and commit more to resolving the situation and eventually helping her in solving the crimes that have occurred.

I thought this was an incredibly good story that started rather slowly but as it was so well-plotted it grew in its intensity and I did not want it to end as the characters were so well described. I accepted that the main protagonist was a rather strange dysfunctional man with a talking dog but the story telling was so gripping I just could not put it down until the amazing conclusion. I have been fortunate to read a number of books for review published by Bello and all have been very good well- plotted stories. Recommended.

Terry Halligan, July 2013.

Deadly Virtues is also published in the US in hardback by Minotaur Books.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Review: Dead Man's Time by Peter James

Dead Man's Time by Peter James, June 2013, 416 pages, Macmillan, ISBN: 0230760546

Reviewed by Mark Bailey.
(Read more of Mark's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

DEAD MAN'S TIME is the ninth in the series of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace novels by Peter James.

In 1922 New York, 5-year old Gavin Daly and his 7-year old sister Aileen board the SS Mauritania to Dublin and safety - their mother has been shot and their Irish mobster father is missing. A messenger hands Gavin a piece of paper and his father's pocket watch - on the paper are written four names and eleven numbers, a cryptic message that haunts him then and for the rest of his life. As the ship sails, Gavin watches Manhattan fade into the dusk and makes a promise that he will return one day and find his father.

In Brighton in 2012, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace investigates a savage burglary where an old lady has been murdered and ten-million-pounds worth of antiques taken including a rare vintage watch. To his surprise, the antiques are unimportant to her family who care only about the watch. As his investigation continues he realizes he has stirred up a mixture of new and ancient hatreds with one man at its heart, Gavin Daly, the dead woman’s 95-year-old brother. He has a score to settle and a promise to keep which lead to a murderous trail linking the antiques world of Brighton, the Costa del Crime fraternity of Spain’s Marbella, and New York.

Again, Peter James produces crime fiction for those who like to have well-rounded detectives with a believable private life. The short snappy chapters are still there (126 chapters in 416 pages) but so is the slight hint of unrealism in the significant figure from his past and this is dragging on far too much and it really is the case now that you will appreciate this book much more if you read the series in sequence.

The other issue with this book for me is that the ending did seem rather too reliant upon coincidence to tie up the loose ends rather the intervention of Grace and his team.

Read another review of DEAD MAN'S TIME.

Mark Bailey, July 2013

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2013 - Shortlist

The shortlist for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year  Award 2013 was announced yesterday. The winner will be announced at Harrogate on 18 July however we the public will be able to vote on the shortlist from 4 to 16 July at The public vote counts for 20% of the final decision.

In addition: "Ruth Rendell will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award on the night, joining past winners PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill".

The criteria: "...the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the  Year Award was created to celebrate the very best in crime writing and  is open to British and Irish authors whose novels are published in  paperback from 1 May 2012 – 30 April 2013".

More about the award and the shortlisted titles can be found on the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival website.

2013 Shortlist (links are to Euro Crime reviews)

Rush Of Blood – Mark Billingham (Little Brown)
Gods And Beasts – Denise Mina (Orion)

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Film News: The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson

Catching up with my Kermode and Mayo film review podcasts, the last but one was filmed at the Edinburgh Film Festival with special guest Robert Carlyle.

It transpires that Robert Carlyle is to star and direct The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson based on the book by Douglas Lindsay.

The book is currently free to download on UK Kindle and at Kobo, and is only £1.99 as a print book.

Official Blurb: Barney Thomson — awkward, diffident, Glasgow barber — lives a life of desperate mediocrity. Shunned at work and at home, unable to break out of a twenty-year rut, each dull day blends seamlessly into the next.

However, there is no life so tedious that it cannot be spiced up by inadvertent murder, a deranged psychopath, and a freezer full of neatly packaged meat.

Barney Thomson's uninteresting life is about to go from 0 to 60 in five seconds, as he enters the grotesque and comically absurd world of the serial killer…

Monday, July 01, 2013

Review: Behind the Night Bazaar by Angela Savage

Behind the Night Bazaar by Angela Savage, ebook.

Australian author Angela Savage's third book in her Jayne Keeney PI series set in Thailand, The Dying Beach, has just been released and a special offer is running until the end of July on the ebook versions of her two first books. I first heard of this author via Margot Kinsburg's excellent blog and have had these in my wish-list for a while. The newly sub-£4 price meant I snapped up book one, Behind the Night Bazaar and when I was about half-way through reading it I followed it up with a purchase of book two, The Half-Child.

Jayne Keeney is an Australian expat working as a PI in Bangkok. After a violent encounter with a women she was surveilling, she flees to her best friend Didier who is living in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Didier is her best friend and would be more except that's he's gay. Soon however, Jayne finds she has another case. Two murders plunge her into a world of child prostitution and police corruption, with some bedroom solace from a handsome Australian policeman. Jayne must be careful or she could be the next victim.

Set in 1996, Behind the Night Bazaar was first published in 2006 after winning the 2004 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for unpublished manuscript. Angela Savage's personal and professional experience of living and working in Asia informs her novel and gives it an authentic tone. I enjoyed the cultural aspects as much as the story. Jayne is a character you want to spend time with, she's clever and resourceful and though there are now several other series set in Thailand, few have a woman as the lead character.

If you don't read electronically then the following will be good news, from Angela Savage's blog post 24 June 2013:

For US readers, Behind the Night Bazaar is available in paperback from this month and The Half-Child next month. The Dying Beach will be available in 2014.

For UK readers, all three should be available in paperback in 2014.

You can read the short story which introduced Jayne Keeney, The Mole on the Temple, via a download from Angela Savage's blog.