Beirut Station by Paul Vidich – blog tour

This espionage novel was my first encounter with Vidich, who has previously written five more. In Beirut Station, given the current political situation between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, with Hezbollah watching in neighbouring Lebanon, the timing of the publication of this thriller set in Beirut back in 2006 when the Hezbollah and Israel were Read More

Two more reviews: Richard Armitage and Roland Schimmelpfennig

Still clearing the to be reviewed pile. Today, proof that planning your year end best of early can mean readjustment when a late contender appears. But first… Geneva by Richard Armitage Yes, it’s a celebrity thriller, but given Armitage’s pedigree as an actor, and narrator of many audiobooks, one that I had higher hopes for Read More

Unnatural Death by Patricia Cornwell – blogtour

It’s hard to believe that we’ve now reached the 27th Kay Scarpetta thriller from Patricia Cornwell! I remember discovering them back in the early 1990s, reading the first two, Post Mortem and Body of Evidence, back to back and then devouring each one as they were published up until about 2000. I’m pretty sure that Read More

The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard – blogtour

This was my first encounter with the Irish thriller writer, I very much doubt it’ll be my last, for I enjoyed The Trap very much, not wanting to put it down. Howard is particularly known for her twists, so I was hoping for some in this novel, which didn’t disappoint on that score – but Read More

Assassin Eighteen by John Brownlow – blog tour

I am delighted to be one of those leading off the blog tour for this page-turning thriller. Imagine, if you will, that there is a long lineage of the world’s greatest hitmen – seventeen ‘generations’ actually – and that you only get to the top of the tree by killing the current leader. So seventeen Read More

Book Group Report – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carré

This was my suggestion, actually a re-read for me, however, in between reading it for the first time decades ago and now, I must have watched the original 1979 TV series starring Alec Guinness as George Smiley at least four times including during lockdown, and I’ve seen Thomas Andersson’s film with Gary Oldman a few Read More

The Housekeepers by Alex Hay – blogtour

I don’t normally read much historical fiction, and when the publisher sent me a proof copy of this debut novel a good while ago, I wasn’t sure about it, but added it to my pile as publication was still months away. Later, when Anne from Random Tours invited people to join the blogtour, I realised Read More

Dirty Geese by Lou Gilmond

It’s nice to be able to support a local publisher. Fairlight Books is based in Oxford, and Dirty Geese is being published under their Armillary Books imprint. Dirty Geese is a political thriller, set in the very near future. The Tories are in power, but the Whigs are now the main opposition and beginning to Read More

Ira Levin and Jeff Vandermeer – #20booksofsummer23 nos 3 & 4

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin Decades ago, I first encountered Ira Levin when I read The Boys from Brazil, published in 1976, which was also the first time I’d ever heard of Nazi Josef Mengele – and what a chilling experience that was – and then to see Gregory Peck playing against type in Read More

The Man in the Corduroy Suit by James Wolff

I’m delighted to be the penultimate stop on the blogtour for this book, the third standalone spy novel of ‘The Discipline Files’ series by James Wolff. A new author to me, and one I’ll definitely be returning to since reading this novel. The book begins with a top secret memo, outlining the admission of a Read More

The Institution by Helen Fields

Last autumn I read a superb standalone thriller by Helen Fields – The Last Girl to Die – and loved it. Set on the Isle of Mull, it involved a missing girl, and lots of witchy lore and had a real sense of place and atmosphere. Having discovered this author, I couldn’t say no to Read More

The Reviews that Got Away… Goldsworthy, Grudova & Pavone

My aim on this blog has always been to write at least a little about every book I read whether I loved them or DNF them. But, just occasionally, I read and love a book, but can’t find the hook to base my review on right away and the books then sit there waiting for Read More

The Vicious Circle by Katherine St. John

It’s my turn on the blog tour today for this super psychological thriller, set mostly at a retreat in the steamy tropics of Mexico’s rainforest. Sveta loves Chase, Chase loves Sveta, Chase still loves his mum, and his mother is the one thing standing between them regarding their wedding. It must be on her old Read More

Urgent Matters by Paula Rodriguez – Blog tour

Translated by Sarah Moses I’ve been reading a bit more Latin American literature in translation this year. All in translation from Spanish, but from a range of countries: Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina, to be precise. Most of these novels have also been noirish or had a psychological thriller feel, but all have been unashamedly Read More

Psalms for the End of the World by Cole Haddon

When a friend of mine, Theresa, mentioned a friend of hers had written a book mostly during lockdown in Abingdon (where I live), I winced, as you do. Then I thought I recognised the title and realised it was a big autumn title from Headline and that I had a proof copy on my shelf Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Wildcard

First Saturday of the month, and it’s time for the super monthly tag Six Degrees of Separation, which is hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  Six Degrees of Separation #6degrees picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Links to my reviews are in the titles of the books. This Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: True History of the Kelly Gang

First Saturday of the month, and it’s time for the super monthly tag Six Degrees of Separation, which is hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  Six Degrees of Separation #6degrees picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Links to my reviews are in the titles of the books. Our Read More

April Watchlist

Big Screen on Little Screen I wasn’t able to get to the cinema this month – nothing I particularly wanted to see there, but I did stream some good films – and a little dross as well! Film of the month has to be Boiling Point (Netflix). That this film was made in a single Read More

Shiny Linkiness

I’ve been very remiss, and forgetting to link to my various reviews over at Shiny New Books, here are my latest from this month and last: The Gift of a Radio by Justin Webb Webb’s memoir of his childhood and years up until he joined the BBC in 1984 is a candid, funny and touching Read More

#NordicFINDS – Finland week – a cli-fi, spec fic, dystopian noir crime thriller

The Healer by Antti Tuomainen Translated by Lola Rogers I discovered Tuomainen last year when I read his latest novel The Rabbit Factor, a dark comedy thriller which I loved. I decided to go back to his first available novel in English for #NordicFINDS, (first published in 2010, translated in 2013), which in now typical Read More

Our Friends in Beijing by John Simpson

John Simpson is a veteran news reporter for the BBC chalking up fifty years with the corporation. Not surprisingly, he has written many books about his experiences and the life and times of those he reported about. He is also the author of four novels, two in the 1980s, leaving a big gap to 2018’s Read More

Blog Tour – The Rabbit Factor – Antti Tuomainen

Translated by David Hackston I was really excited to add another Finnish author to my Nordic reading list. The Rabbit Factor is my first encounter with Antti Tuomainen’s unique thriller style which reminded me of the Coen brothers with its dark comedy leanings. It won’t be my last, because I loved this novel, and it’s Read More

Conspiracy Theories – thank goodness, this is fiction!

The Counterfeit Candidate by Brian Klein Conspiracy theories are the stuff of many a great thriller; one of the very best I’ve read before is Fever City by Tim Baker which took on JFK, (as did Stephen King in 11.22.63 which I’ve yet to read). There are just as many alien conspiracy thrillers, after Roswell Read More

Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari – Blog Tour

There’s something about books set in artist communities that always intrigues me. Not only do I enjoy reading about the creative process, and where you have a group of artists, they will spur each other on to produce exciting work, although this can so easily tip over into being too competitive. These communities are always Read More

Mixed Summer Reading

A twofer today… Yeah! Everyone Is Still Alive by Cathy Rentzenbrink After loving Cathy Rentzenbrink’s heartbreaking but witty memoir The Last Act of Love, (and having her semi-memoir Dear Reader on my shelves which I hope to get to in my 20 Books of Summer 21), I was always going to be interested in reading Read More

#BanksRead2021 : 5 The Shock-Jock Thriller One

Dead Air by Iain Banks Phew! Life turned out to be busier than anticipated this week, but I managed to finish reading my third Iain Banks book for my #BanksRead2021 this morning. Now for a quick review! Dead Air, alongside The Steep Approach to Garbadale was one of the two mainstream novels by Banks that Read More

A perplexing thriller and a new trope: ‘Nuclear Noir’

The Carrier by Mattias Berg Translated from the Swedish by George Goulding This thriller has a premise and a half to keep you reading. Imagine you’re on a state visit and the agent who is never more than a few feet from POTUS, the agent called Erasmus Levine carrying the briefcase with the nuclear launch Read More

Some not-as-good reads from pre-blog days, and what I thought about them then… #5

For the fifth in my series of posts in which I bring you the short capsule reviews I used to write pre-blog. I’m turning my attention to some novels that didn’t quite make the grade this time. This batch are all from 2007 or earlier. The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell by Lilian Jackson Braun Read More