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Andrew Taylor rss

Andrew Taylor

A thriller that breaks down the publishing office door

19 April 2014
Writers’ Block Judith Flanders

Allison & Busby, pp.350, £12.99, ISBN: 9780749015237

Like teenage children and their parents, authors and publishers have a symbiotic relationship characterised by well-justified irritation on both sides. Judith Flanders’s career bridges this divide. She is now best… Read more

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Pick of the crime novels

1 March 2014

Stuart MacBride’s new novel, A Song for the Dying (HarperCollins, £16.99, Spectator Bookshop, £14.99), is markedly darker in tone than his excellent Logan McRae series. Set in a fictional Scottish… Read more

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Isabel Allende's Ripper doesn't grab you by the throat

15 February 2014
Ripper Isabel Allende, translated from the Spanish by Ollie Brock and Frank Wynne

Fourth Estate, pp.478, £12.99, ISBN: 9780007548941

Isabel Allende is not an author one usually associates with the thrillers about serial killers. Ripper, however, lives up to its title. It’s the name of an online game, set… Read more

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Have a crime-filled Christmas

30 November 2013

Pity the poor novelist whom commercial pressures trap within a series, doomed with each volume to diminish the stock of options for the next one. It’s even harder when the… Read more

The view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill

Read any good crime fiction lately?

9 November 2013

No Exit Press is not a large publisher but it has the knack of choosing exceptionally interesting crime fiction. Brother Kemal (translated from the German by Anthea Bell, £7.99, Spectator… Read more

The Red Road by Denise Mina- review

31 August 2013

Denise Mina’s 11th crime novel, The Red Road (Orion, £12.99), is one of her best, which is saying a good deal. Set in Glasgow, it marks the return of Detective… Read more

Holy Orders, by Benjamin Black - review

10 August 2013
Holy Orders Benjamin Black

Mantle, pp.256, £16.99, ISBN: 9781447202189

It’s always a little disconcerting for the rest of us when literary novelists turn to crime. Have they become different writers? John Banville, winner of the 2005 Man Booker Prize… Read more

Crime fiction - review

8 June 2013

‘We no longer believe in God but hope nevertheless for miracles,’ remarks Frederic Mordaunt, one of the characters of John Harwood’s third novel, The Asylum (Cape, £14.99). He’s being over-optimistic,… Read more

Crime fiction reviewed by Andrew Taylor

18 May 2013

An epigraph taken from Goebbels’s only published novel certainly makes a book stand out from the crowd. A Man Without Breath (Quercus, £18.99) is the ninth instalment in Philip Kerr’s… Read more

The Dance of the Seagull, by Andrea Camilleri, translated by Stephen Sartarelli - review

23 March 2013
The Dance of the Seagull Andrea Camilleri, translated by Stephen Sartarelli

Mantle, pp.281, £16.99, ISBN: 9781447228714

In the first six pages of Andrea Camilleri’s new novel, Inspector Montalbano drinks at least four cups of coffee and watches a seagull dance to its death in front of… Read more

A choice of recent crime novels

9 February 2013

Many novels deal with unhappy families. But happy families are relatively rare, especially in crime fiction, which is one of the many interesting features of Erin Kelly’s third book, The… Read more

Recent crime novels

8 December 2012

Odd couples fascinate Frances Fyfield. Her latest novel, Gold Digger (Sphere, £12.99), centres on the relationship between an elderly man, a wealthy art collector named Thomas Porteous, and the youthful… Read more

Recent crime fiction

20 October 2012

Like mists and mellow fruitfulness, Val McDermid novels often arrive in autumn. The Vanishing Point (Little, Brown, £16.99) is a standalone thriller whose central character, Stephanie Harker, is a ghost… Read more

A choice of crime novels

8 September 2012

Broken Harbour (Hodder & Stoughton, £14.99) is Tana French’s fourth novel in a series based around Dublin’s murder squad. Despite the format, she rings the changes by using a different… Read more

Acting on intelligence

11 August 2012
Mission to Paris Alan Furst

Weidenfeld, pp.272, 18.99, ISBN: 9780297863922

Alan Furst’s thrillers have been compared to le Carré’s, which does neither author much service. His espionage novels are set mainly in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. They don’t… Read more

The plot thickens

14 July 2012
Tuesday’s Gone Nicci French

Michael Joseph, pp.464, 12.99, ISBN: 9780718156954

The husband-and-wife team that is Nicci French wrote 12 standalone psychological thrillers before switching to a series with last year’s Blue Monday. Their central character, Frieda Klein, a psychotherapist who… Read more

Recent crime novels

26 May 2012

William Brodrick’s crime novels have the great (and unusual) merit of being unlike anyone else’s, not least because his series hero, Brother Anselm, is a Gray’s Inn barrister turned Suffolk… Read more

The lady vanishes

14 April 2012
A Foreign Country Charles Cumming

HarperCollins, pp.389, 12.99

The spy thriller is not the easiest genre for an author to choose. In the first place, it is haunted by the shade of John le Carré, past and present.… Read more

Thirty years on

10 March 2012
Uncommon Enemy Alan Judd

Simon & Schuster, pp.349, 18.99

One of the pleasures of Alan Judd’s books is their sheer variety. His work includes biographies of Ford Madox Ford and Sir Mansfield Cummings, the first head of what became… Read more

A choice of recent thrillers

3 March 2012

Sam Bourne’s new thriller, Pantheon (HarperCollins, £12.99), is set just after Dunkirk in the darkest days of the second world war. James Zennor, an experimental psychologist, returns to his family’s… Read more

Recent crime novels

3 December 2011

The crop of recent crime fiction is generously sprinkled with well-known names; as far as its publishers are concerned, Christmas is not a time of year for risk-taking. The Impossible… Read more

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

12 November 2011
Death Comes to Pemberley P.D. James

Faber, pp.310, 18.99

The novels of Jane Austen have much in common with traditional detective fiction. It is an affinity that P. D. James has herself explored, notably in her essay ‘Emma Considered… Read more

The play of patterns

8 October 2011
The Killer is Dying James Sallis

No Exit Press, pp.192, 7.99

Labels mislead. In the taxonomy of literature, both James Sallis and Agatha Christie are often described as crime writers. True, they have in common the fact that their stories tend… Read more

Recent crime fiction

22 September 2011

In numerical terms, British police procedurals about maverick inspectors in big cities are probably at an all-time high. Few of their authors, however, have Mark Billingham’s talent for reinvigorating a… Read more

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Bookends: Corpses in the coal hole

30 July 2011

Ruth Rendell has probably pulled more surprises on her readers than any other crime writer. But the one she produces with her latest novel is a little unusual even by… Read more