Russia Research

I was chatting to a friend recently, and the conversation gradually migrated to Russia and the state of the world. His view was that Putin had given back pride to Russia, that he had made the country strong again, and though he deplored Putin’s methods, Putin had succeeded in making Russians feel a sense of … Continue reading

A Short Interlude

I’ll soon be back to normal. There are two books I really have to review here shortly – both superb pieces of historical research that deserve a much wider audience. However, unfortunately last week I had a horrible cold. It was quite vile, and knocked me backwards quite dramatically. Then, on Sunday, I discovered that … Continue reading

Review: THE SABOTEUR, by Simon Conway. published by Hodder and Stoughton.

NOTE: I conducted a short interview with Simon Conway on SHOTS E-ZINE, which you can find here: http://shotsmag.co.uk/interview_view.aspx?interview_id=318 I hope you enjoy that too! As a reviewer and reader, there are rather few authors whose work I look forward to every year. My old stand-bys like John le Carre and John Gardner, are dead. Other … Continue reading

Review: RED TRAITOR, by Owen Matthews, published by Bantam.

Just recently your reviewer has enjoyed a vast range of different books to read and comment on. The delightful editors of Shots are keeping me busy, thank goodness, because all too often the books sent to me by enthusiastic publicists tend to have got me confused with writers of bodice-rippers and historical romance, rather than … Continue reading

Review: THE BLACK DRESS by Deborah Moggach, published by Tinder Press

Hardback ISBN: 9781472260529 This is a rather strange one for me. Occasionally I am lucky enough to have a new book sent to me to review, and I’m always grateful. After all, with my income any opportunity to read another writer’s work is to be appreciated. And because I’m an author it’s not always easy … Continue reading

Review: THE KILLER ACROSS THE TABLE by John E Douglas and Michael Olshaker published by William Collins

Many years ago I came to the conclusion that I should only review books I’ve really enjoyed. There was a logic to that decision. Basically, since I have a real problem with diverse authors, such as Philip K Dick, Patricia Cornwell and James Patterson, my judgements about books are not, clearly, mainstream! However, my attitude … Continue reading

Review: MIDNIGHT IN PEKING by Paul French, published by Penguin

I’ve spent quite some times reviewing crime books recently, and here’s another – except this one isn’t fiction.  In the early morning in January 1937 the body of a late-teenaged British girl, Pamela, daughter of the city’s former consul, ETC Werner. She had been appallingly mutilated, and even her breast had been opened and her … Continue reading

Review: THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE, by Martin Edwards, first published 1998 by Hodder & Stoughton

Martin Edwards is probably best known for his Liverpool-based stories starring the lawyer Harry Devlin, a series that shows the grimy, gritty (and often pungent) back streets of the city as well as the more salubrious neighbourhoods. There is a lot more to Liverpool than the Liver building and the Beatles, after all. A lawyer … Continue reading

Review: THE DIPLOMAT’S WIFE by Michael Ridpath

Well, recently I reviewed the first of Michael Ridpath’s books, and it’s only natural that I should follow it up with the latest of his books: THE DIPLOMAT’S WIFE. Disclosure – I know Michael quite well, and have enjoyed several glasses of wine with him at crime writer gatherings over the years. In fact, that … Continue reading

Review: FREE TO TRADE by Michael Ridpath

First published by William Heinemann, 1995 This was Michael Ridpath’s first novel, and I still rate it very highly.  Recently I was sent a copy of Ridpath’s THE DIPLOMAT’S WIFE, and it gripped me as Ridpath’s books always do. I read it, and will supply a review shortly, but before I do that, I was … Continue reading