Neil Cross – Captured


I just finished reading Neil Cross' newest book Captured. It was a riveting, incisive read. I don't quite know how to best describe Mr Cross' work. On the one hand he could be said to be a British Harlan Coben in that he is great at making his characters feel real; normal people who are suddenly exposed to some measure of darkness. He writes equally well, pacy, with great flow. Very accessible prose and stories that grab hold.

Do They Know I'm Running?

Great political thriller about US / Central American relations. This book is a deeply felt reckoning with how we are affected by our own underlying prejudices, as well as being a very pacy exciting read about engaging people struggling for, well, normalcy. Complex and intriguing. Read.

All the Colours of The Town

Very well written and interesting dark novel about the sectarianism of Western Scotland and how it is connected to the situation in Ulster. I learned quite a few things in this exciting read. Favourite scene: where the protagonist is in the wrong pub at the wrong time and suddenly everyone knows who he is and everything goes quiet, until the bartender places a hand on his shoulder and quietly says 'It's time you werenae here, son'... Great stuff!!

After the Fire

This follow-up to The Twilight Time is definitely the best British police novel I've read in over a decade! This tops most books in the genre and also transcends it. More of a novel than a crime novel. Everyone must read!

One Day

Great british love story that takes place over 20 years. Each year we get to hear what happens to Emma and Dexter on St Swithin's Day. I really enjoyed the tone of this and the format was terrific. I'm sure this will get turned into a film, and a quite popular one at that! 

The Accidental Father

This is feel-good lad lit of the very best kind. Successful London 30-something Alex Taylor lives the jet set life, rather empty but quite fashionable. Then out of the blue he is contacted by a lawyer who informs him that an old girlfriend has died and left him ..... a 13-year-old daughter, Caitlin. Bam! Everything changes, and Greg Williams writes quite well about the decisions Alex has to make and the way his life changes. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Read! 
(His previous novel Another Man's Life has similar themes and was also quite good.)

The First Verse

Great first novel, has everything: set in academia (Trinity), concerns a literary cult with ancient origins (the sortes). In a sense I'm glad I didn't read this in my impressionable teens, I would have been all over this angle on using books!

The Magicians

This was a very pleasant surprise. Imagine Donna Tartt rewriting Harry Potter and C.S. Lewis' Narnia books. This book might be the result. Read and be amazed.

The Lie

Or actually don't read this. Oh, I don't know. It's one of the most awful books I've ever read, it had me reeling for days. Let's pray the author is a cynical opportunist and not the astute social critic I fear he might be.
This is an American Psycho of gender relations. Not for the weak. Pitch black. No humour. No hope. You have been warned.


Charles Cumming is part of a new generation of British writers of spy fiction. Typhoon is his latest excellent book. Hong Kong & China, MI6 & CIA, love & betrayal, the brits & the yanks. Great read. And don't miss out on his earlier books! Think early Le Carré.