Now here's an interesting gem of a book; hailed by Dennis Lehane as the best noir he's read in a decade and by the master of the genre Kem Nunn as 'beautifully rendered'; a finalist for last year's Edgar award. Nic Pizzolatto has before this only published short stories in literary magazines and then he springs this dark story of redemption and hurricanes on us. I really enjoyed the arch of the story and the wonderful sentences. A really terrific noir.

The new Karen Campbell!

I just finished the fourth novel from Glaswegian writer Karen Campbell. In my book she's one of the very best writers of police novels in the UK over the last twenty years. This fourth book about Anna Cameron is quite possibly my favourite; the writing is exquisite; the characterizations genuine and the inclusion of scots vernacular somehow this time reminded me of Deon Meyer and the use of afrikaan terms in the English versions of his novels. Also in a similar way Campbell explores and explains the societal nerve of modern Scottish life and it is completely intriguing.

Earwig and the Witch

This is possibly the last book Diana Wynne Jones wrote before her death earlier this year. Earwig and the Witch tells the story of 10-year old Earwig, who gets adopted from an orphanage by a very strange couple indeed: they turn out to be a witch and someone called the Mandrake. She misses her friends and is being forced to help out with the witch's potions, but is never allowed to learn.


Just finished this first noir novel by acclaimed creator of the Artemis Fowl kid's books. This is about an Irish ex-military working as a bouncer at a strip-joint in New Jersey when things start to go abysmally wrong. I enjoyed it, it has lots of humour and violence and I'm looking forward to reading more by Mr Colfer.

By Nightfall

This is the story of Peter Harris, a 44 year old gallery owner in New York and what happens to him over a period of a few days. This is a wonderful novel, a contemplation on encroaching middle age, on values, marriage, parenthood, art and ideals. The writing is exquisite, the language occasionally stunning. It surprised me, and I like being surprised.

Black & White

This is a terrific novel about american race relations in the 60s and the fallout in one man's life. Michael Cooper comes back to his city of birth Durham, NC, when his father who is dying from lung cancer decides he wants to die there. The returns triggers events and secrets start to unfold. Beautifully written with strong characters this book poses interesting questions on identity and morals. This is the man we all should be reading instead of Messrs Foer and Eggers.


Five Days Apart

Am I the only one who likes Chris Binchy? I've read all four of his novels, and they are terrific novels about the male psyche. This one concerns a love triangle where the protagonists socially stronger best friend edges him out of the love of his life. A direct enough love story that kept me reading relentlessly. Spread the word.

The Incredible Double

Brief beautiful counter-culture noir featuring poet/book scout/PI Clay Blackburn and set mostly in Berkeley. Who can resist a character who when checking out someone's bookshelves reflects: "I scanned the two small bookshelves. Jackie Susann and some movie bios. But also Terry Southern, Gore Vidal, Susan Sontag. No McSweeney's or Paul Auster. I felt relieved. The only poetry was by Bertolt Brecht. Not bad."

The Devil

The seventh book about the mostly unfortunate adventures of moral champion Jack Taylor sees him go face to face with perhaps his mightiest adversary so far... Ken Bruen is a marvel. Noone writes like him, and it may be an acquired taste, but oh it's worth it! Start with The Guards and then you'll be hooked. A great extra with Ken Bruen's books are all the terrific literary tips he gives; Jack Taylor is forever reading good books, books you want to find out more about. Do not tarry!

This Wicked World

Excellent, well written, SoCal noir. Jimmy Boone tries very hard to do right, but his sense of justice brings him into situations he probably shouldn't be in. This is a great story of a broken hero battling to right wrongs. Very well written with nods to people like Beckett. Engaging