Christine Mangan

The chase looms large in the best new thrillers

The ‘chase’ thriller is the fallback choice of writers looking for an easy way to make the pages turn. The Continental Affair (Bedford Square, £16.99) shows a gifted writer embracing the more obvious traits of these novels, while adding some innovative twists of her own. The story is set during the Algerian war that led to independence; its co-protagonist Henri is a former Algerian gendarme, of French and Spanish descent, who deserts when he is made to interrogate a childhood friend. Henri takes refuge in Grenada among his late mother’s family – countless cousins, and all of them crooks. As they get to know Henri, the cousins decide to give