Books

Author Sophie Hannah (Photo: Getty)

A new country-house mystery for Hercule Poirot

10 September 2016 9:00 am

‘Clonakilty, God help us,’ my Irish mother would say automatically when we drove into the town, in pious remembrance of…

J.M. Coetzee (Photo: Getty)

J.M. Coetzee has lost the plot

20 August 2016 9:00 am

The Schooldays of Jesus is not, as it happens, about the schooldays of Jesus. It is the Man Booker-nominated sequel…

Beach murder antique illustration

Murder most foul in Victorian Greenwich

23 July 2016 9:00 am

With the current political saga running in our heads, trumping all other stories, it has been hard to concentrate on…

Place your bets: a state lottery office in Naples, 1955 (Photo: Getty)

The Day Before Happiness jumps on the Neapolitan bandwagon

16 July 2016 9:00 am

Naples, ragamuffin capital of the Italian south, is reckoned to be a hive of pickpocketing and black-market manoeuvrings. (A Neapolitan…

Roberto Bolano (Photo: Getty)

Sex, violence and anticlimax in 16 (very short) chapters

23 April 2016 9:00 am

‘Now I am a mother and a married woman, but not long ago I led a life of crime,’ begins…

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Riots and gang warfare provide the spark for the best latest thrillers

9 April 2016 9:00 am

All it takes is a spark. In her compelling new thriller, Ten Days (Canongate, £14.99), Gillian Slovo tracks the progress…

Author Ruth Rendell (Photo: Getty)

Curtain call for Ruth Rendell

17 October 2015 8:00 am

Ruth Rendell’s final novel, Dark Corners, is about how psychological necessity can drive perfectly ordinary people either to terrible deeds…

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A crime novel so incompetent it might have been written by a child

25 July 2015 9:00 am

First, a quote from the novel under review. The context: it is a flashback scene of the behaviour of a…

Poirot won’t be drawn

The sad demise of the amateur sleuth: it’s all the fault of better policing

16 May 2015 9:00 am

‘The crime novel,’ said Bertolt Brecht, ‘like the world itself, is ruled by the English.’ He was thinking of the…

Crime fiction - review

8 June 2013 9:00 am

‘We no longer believe in God but hope nevertheless for miracles,’ remarks Frederic Mordaunt, one of the characters of John…

Crime fiction reviewed by Andrew Taylor

18 May 2013 9:00 am

An epigraph taken from Goebbels’s only published novel certainly makes a book stand out from the crowd. A Man Without…

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A date with death

2 June 2012 7:00 pm

On 8 January 1937, an old man was taking his prize songbird for an early morning walk in the eastern…

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The American way of justice

21 April 2012 12:00 pm

Conrad Black sympathises with the NatWest Three — victims of British cowardice and a corrupt US legal system

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Bookends

3 September 2011 12:00 am

How to bury a body

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Art for ransom

27 August 2011 10:00 am

These two books make mutually illuminating and surprisingly contrasting companions, given the similarity of their subjects.

Recent crime fiction

23 July 2011 12:00 am

John Lawton’s Inspector Troy series constantly surprises.

Recent crime fiction

4 June 2011 12:00 am

Mo Hayder has a considerable and well-deserved reputation as a writer of horrific crime novels that often revolve around the physical violence men do to women.

Recent crime fiction

9 April 2011 12:00 am

Henning Mankell bestrides the landscape of Scandavian crime fiction like a despondent colossus.

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Massacre of the innocents

12 March 2011 12:00 am

‘La justice flétrit, la prison corrompt et la société a les criminels qu’elle mérite’ — Justice withers, prison corrupts, and society gets the criminals it deserves.

When the best defence is no defence

12 March 2011 12:00 am

This remarkable book is the account by their lawyer of the trial, imprisonment and sentencing to death in the late Eighties of a group of young men who came to be known as the Delmas Four.

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Theatre of the macabre

8 January 2011 12:00 am

Sam Leith marvels at Victorian Britain’s appetite for crime, where a public hanging was considered a family day out and murder became a lurid industry in itself

Mean streets

27 November 2010 12:00 am

The best recent crime thrillers have an urban setting, according to Andrew Taylor

Troubled waters

29 September 2010 12:00 am

This is the fifth in C. J. Sansom’s engrossing series of Tudor crime novels.

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Innocents abroad

18 September 2010 12:00 am

In John le Carré’s fiction, personal morality collides messily with the grimly cynical expediencies of global politics.

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Dark Satanic thrills

4 September 2010 12:00 am

If you have not yet gone on holiday, do pack The Anatomy of Ghosts. It is excellent airport reading; and this is no trivial recommendation.