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Down for the Count – Martin Holmén

‘Down for the Count’ is the second novel in the Stockholm trilogy by Martin Holmén. Like the first, ‘Clinch’, it’s a well-crafted noir that doesn’t pull its punches, hitting you in the guts with stark surprises and with a setting, 1930s Sweden, which is quite far in time yet disturbingly familiar. Stockholm, November 1935: Harry Kvist, ...
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Fateful Mornings – Tom Bouman

No debut novel is easy to follow up on, especially one as convincing as ‘Dry Bones in the Valley’, but with his second effort, ‘Fateful Mornings’, US author Tom Bouman has well and truly risen to the challenge, producing a work of rare power, intensity and depth. A work which, incidentally, is also a cracking ...
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The Last Place You Look – Kristen Lepionka

In her excellent debut novel, ‘The Last Place You Look’, young US writer Kristen Lepionka has taken several sizeable authorial risks: a relatively unglamorous suburban setting, a crime seemingly tinged with race issues, characters that are (mostly) urban-middle-class-America normal, and a protagonist who fails to tick most of the ‘safe’ boxes for lead investigator choice: ...
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The Judge and his Hangman – Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Friedrich Dürrenmatt, the author of ‘The Judge and his Hangman’, did not have a high opinion of what he regarded as traditional crime fiction. He was a renowned Swiss dramatist active between the late 1940s and the 1980s, an early proponent of ‘epic theatre’, of which Bertolt Brecht was the most influential author. Besides a ...
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The Contract – JM Gulvin

The second novel in any crime fiction series if often a greater challenge for authors, and readers, than the first. The novelty effect  wears off, there are expectations to be fulfilled and regular characters to be fleshed out and/or improved on. JM Gulvin, the author among others of the Ewan McGregor-Charley Boorman travel best-seller ‘Long ...
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Say Nothing – Brad Parks

I confess to having a weakness for writers who take authorial risks. Especially when the risks pay off. Brad Parks, author of the multi award-winning series featuring investigative reporter Carter Ross, has indeed taken up quite a few challenges, thriller fiction-wise, in his new stand-alone novel ‘Say Nothing’. To his credit, he has come out ...
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The Bird Tribunal – Agnes Ravatn

A man and a woman are thrown together in an isolated house sitting atop a remote Norwegian fjord. The man, Sigurd Bagge, works all day at something unknown and unseen by the woman, Allis Hagtorn, who has answered Bagge’s ad for a live-in home helper, as his wife, Allis is told, is away for an ...
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The Pledge – Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Imagine you are an established crime fiction author meeting by chance a former police chief who, during a long car drive over mountains and across valleys in Switzerland, tells you crime authors are getting it all wrong in their stories. Would you then write a novel about the real-life story the police chief tells you, ...
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