»At last, that night, the satisfied writer finished the exciting book. He gazed enigmatically into the middle distance. Then, using only his fleshy brain and a metal laptop, he began to compose his historic review.«
Steven Poole decode the new thriller Inferno by Dan Brown. His – review – at The Guardian.
»The plot itself is taut and deftly woven. Its inspiration derives from the historian Dio Cassius, who reported how, in the reign of Domitian, “some persons made a business of smearing needles with poison and then pricking with them whomsoever they would”. Inevitably, it falls to Albia to identify the serial killer.«
Writer Tom Holland about the historical crime fiction novel The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis. His review at The Guardian.
»So many thrillers don’t work because you don’t care about the characters or the situation.«
A new installment in the ‘A life in writing’-series: Nicholas Wroe with a portrait about writer James Patterson. What he has to say about his Alex Cross Books and his other novels – read more at The Guardian.
»You know the kind of thing: the lone detective who comes into his apartment late at night, gets a beer or bourbon and stares out of the window wracked by existential angst at the horror he’s seen, all the while listening to cool jazz. And it’s always cool jazz – never Chris Barber doing When The Saints Go Marching In.«
You’re more likely to see other crime writers at gigs than literary events, so what role does music have in the creation of crime fiction? Martyn Waites asked crime writers like Mark Billingham, Steve Mosby and Cathi Unsworth about music to murder to. His blogspot at The Guardian.
»For me, it’s also the ability to have women who are bad characters … the one thing that really frustrates me is this idea that women are innately good, innately nurturing. In literature, they can be dismissably bad – trampy, vampy, bitchy types – but there’s still a big pushback against the idea that women can be just pragmatically evil, bad and selfish … I don’t write psycho bitches. The psycho bitch is just crazy – she has no motive, and so she’s a dismissible person because of her psycho-bitchiness.«
Gillian Flynn in conversation with Oliver Burkeman on her bestseller Gone Girl and accusations of misogyny. The portrait about Mrs. Flynn you can find at The Guardian.
»Like its predecessor, Fallen Land is a book full of sinister echoes, bad history rising from the tainted earth, not so much to infect as to reveal the poisonous currents running just beneath the appearance of normal, even conventional life.«
Author John Burnside is gripped by an at times almost unbearably poignant thriller that portrays the flipside of the American dream. Fallen Land by Patrick Flanery shows how ordinary men can veer into madness. His review at The Guardian.
- A Death at the Palace by M.H. Baylis
- Swear Down by Russ Litten
- Alex by Pierre Lemaître
- The Deliverance of Evil by Roberto Costantini
- The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Söderberg
From gritty London gangland to mysterious Gallic whimsy – Laura Wilson about new crime fiction releases. Her reviews you can read at The Guardian.
»Slow Fade may have been published in 1984, but this short, potent novel about death and the movie business has the atmosphere of the 1960s about it: eclectic locations (India to Newfoundland via New Mexico and California), anarchic characters and, overall, it’s a bit cracked.«
Slow Fade by Rudolph Wurlitzer is a raucous story of an egomaniacal film director, Sophia Martelli says. Her review at The Observer / The Guardian.