Category Archives: Review

Book Review: Leif G W Persson ~ The Dying Detective (Translator: Neil Smith) (2016)

Fans of BBC’s New Tricks* enjoy the idea that decades of experience can resolve unsolved crimes. Intuition, which can’t be taught, and informed common sense triumph over derided ‘modern’ methods. The Swedish author of this brilliant novel takes the genre … Continue reading

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CD Review: Various Artists ~ We Out Here (2017)

My son despairs of my musical taste which is roughly ‘I know what I like and like what I know’.* Now and then he buys a cd to widen my tastes. Mostly he fails. On this occasion he triumphed. Like … Continue reading

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Book Review: Stefan Ahnhem ~ Motive X (Translator: Agnes Broome) (2019)

Scandi-Noir emerged about twenty years ago and powered across the world with a series of brilliant writers. Their stories were tightly written and usually contained ultra-violent scenes. A strong stomach is recommended for readers. Ahnhem stands in this tradition. His … Continue reading

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Book Review: G D Abson ~ Black Wolf (2019)

Thrillers should thrill. Novels set in Russia/Soviet Union are a familiar sight on book shelves and there are some outstanding examples. Abson is competing with Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44; Martin Cruz Smith’s Wolves eat Dogs; and Lionel Davidson’s Kolyma … Continue reading

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Book Review: H H Kirst The Revolt of Gunner Asch (Translator: Robert Kee) (1955)

Kirst is best known for Night of the Generals, which became a terrific film (1967) starring Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif. Kirst can be counted as an unlucky German. He was born in 1914 and was 19 when Hitler took … Continue reading

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Book Review: Ruth Harris ~ The Man on Devil’s Island: Alfred Dreyfus and the affair that divided France (2010)

This biography is more than a Life. Ruth Harris’s meticulous study of French politics, the Roman Catholic church, the Army, Anti-Semitism and human drama is stunning. She reveals intellectuals who took up the cause of a Jewish army officer: the … Continue reading

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Book Review: Walter Mosley ~ Fearless Jones (2001)

The Black Lives Matter campaign changed my re-read of this book. Mosley writes about the period before mobile phones videos but in such a vivid way that his images last a long time. Videos however are easy to disseminate and … Continue reading

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Book Review: Philip Kerr ~ Hitler’s Peace (2005)(2020)*

Sometimes an author strikes lucky and invents a character which is utterly compelling and becomes the motif of their entire career. Lee Child’s Reacher, Ian Rankin’s Rebus are excellent examples. The reader looks forward to the next Reacher novel almost … Continue reading

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Book Review: Ted Lewis ~ GBH (1980)

Until I’d read this book I hadn’t appreciated how tame police procedurals novels are. The maverick Detective Inspector heroically cuts corners. There’s always a common-sense explanation, which everyone except the bureaucratic Assistant Chief Constable accepts. He’s standing in the way … Continue reading

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Book Review: James Hawes ~ My Little Armalite (2008)

I wrongly believed that this would stand in the tradition of Tom Sharpe and so looked forward to slap-stick humour. It isn’t Sharpe it’s a biting satire with lots of black humour. John Goode is a 45 year old university … Continue reading

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