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Crime

21 June 2014

The not-so-great charter David Cameron wants every child to be taught about Magna Carta. Some bits he might want to leave out: — ‘If one who has borrowed from the… Read more

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Don’t blame the Guardian if criminals are getting better at hiding online. Blame iTunes and Netflix

14 June 2014

I wouldn’t wish to deny that all drug dealers and crime lords read the Guardian. Indeed, check the circulation figures, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that only drug dealers… Read more

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The internet is broken – and we can no longer do without it

14 June 2014

‘The internet is broken,’ a corporate chieftain told me last week. It was an arresting remark, but he did not mean that his home Wi-Fi hub had gone down and… Read more

Daily Life In Kiev Ahead Of The Ukrainian Presidential Election

Viktor Yanukovych’s palace is full of tasteless treasures – and London auction-house tags

31 May 2014

 Kiev On a cobbled street above the Maidan, an elderly man dressed in fatigues rubs his stubble in the morning sunshine. Would I like a lesson in throwing Molotov cocktails?… Read more

Police from Romania and Poland work in London alongside Metropolitan police officers in the fight against offenders from abroad Photo: Getty

I’d rather have a German next door too — and I have the figures to show why

24 May 2014

Should we be worried about the vast numbers of German-born people living covertly in the United Kingdom? The Office for National Statistics estimates that in 2011 some 297,000 Germans were… Read more

19 April 2014

When the wind blows Sir: Clare Oxford’s piece (‘Gone with the wind turbines’, 12 April) is both timely and sad. Those who applaud the use of these infernal machines are… Read more

5 April 2014

Chapter and verse on Islam Sir: Irshad Manji’s generally very sensible article on ‘Reclaiming Islam’ (29 March) suggests using the Qur’an sura 3:7 as a verse to challenge Islamists who… Read more

5 April 2014

Chapter and verse on Islam Sir: Irshad Manji’s generally very sensible article on ‘Reclaiming Islam’ (29 March) suggests using the Qur’an sura 3:7 as a verse to challenge Islamists who… Read more

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Six months as a TV critic, and I’ve seen enough corpses to last a lifetime

22 March 2014

It was Shetland that tipped me over the edge. Not the place, but the TV series. Although that’s set in the place. So both, really. It’s a crime drama, see,… Read more

Babar creator Laurent de Brunhoff Photo: Nathan Denette/AP/PA

Alexander McCall Smith

8 February 2014

As any author will tell you, literary festivals differ widely. If you are invited to Willy Dalrymple’s Jaipur Festival, with its renowned final party, you say yes within minutes of… Read more

A marijuana store in Colorado

The only way to end the war on drugs is to stop fighting it

11 January 2014

It’s surprisingly boring, legalising weed. In Colorado, where recreational doobie has been utterly without censure for, ooh, about a week and a half now, the Department of Revenue (Marijuana Enforcement… Read more

10 August 2013

Other people’s rocks Spain threatened to introduce a €40 border-crossing charge and find other ways of making life difficult for people of Gibraltar. A reminder of some Spanish colonial possessions:… 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

Gin Lane

Less alcohol, fewer drugs: how the British seem to be shedding their harmful habits

25 May 2013

Gripped by his habitual despair, the French novelist Gustave Flaubert wrote to a friend in 1872, ‘I am appalled at the state of society. I’m filled with the sadness that… 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

Burglar's Entrance

The thrill of the chase

18 May 2013

I was in my garden office on Monday afternoon when I heard a loud noise behind me, as if someone had jumped over the back fence. Seconds later, a strange… Read more

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A date with death

2 June 2012
Midnight in Peking: The Murder that Haunted the Last Days of Old China Paul French

Viking, pp.260, £12.99

On 8 January 1937, an old man was taking his prize songbird for an early morning walk in the eastern section of Peking when he came across a woman’s body… Read more

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The American way of justice

21 April 2012
A Price to Pay: The Inside Story of the NatWest Three David Bermingham

Gibson Square, pp.384, 8.99

Conrad Black sympathises with the NatWest Three — victims of British cowardice and a corrupt US legal system It was the misfortune of David Bermingham and his co-defendants to be… Read more

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Bookends

3 September 2011

Dr Temperance Brenner, like her creator, Kathy Reichs, is a forensic anthropologist. She works in North Carolina, specialising in ‘decomps and floaters’. This ensures that in Flesh and Bones (Heinemann,… Read more

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Art for ransom

27 August 2011
Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Story of Notorious Art Heists Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg

Palgrave Macmillan, pp.272, 15.99

Art Theft and the Case of the Stolen Turners Sandy Nairne

Reaktion Books, pp.224, 20

These two books make mutually illuminating and surprisingly contrasting companions, given the similarity of their subjects. Both are written by those with hands-on experience in the field of art preservation… Read more

Recent crime fiction

23 July 2011

John Lawton’s Inspector Troy series constantly surprises. John Lawton’s Inspector Troy series constantly surprises. A Lily of the Field (Grove Press, £16.99), the seventh novel, has a plot stretching from… Read more

Recent crime fiction

4 June 2011

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. Her latest, Hanging Hill… Read more

Recent crime fiction

9 April 2011

Henning Mankell bestrides the landscape of Scandavian crime fiction like a despondent colossus. Last year’s The Man from Beijing, was a disappointing stand-alone thriller with too much polemical baggage. His… Read more

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Massacre of the innocents

12 March 2011
The Killer of Little Shepherds: The Case of the French Ripper and the Birth of Forensic Science Douglas Starr

Simon & Schuster, pp.312, 16.99

‘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. ‘La justice flétrit, la… Read more

When the best defence is no defence

12 March 2011
A Just Defiance Peter Harris

Portobello, pp..00, 14.99

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… Read more