Tony Black – The Lost Generation
Four sharp slices of life that underline Tony Black’s strong storytelling skills. The Lost Generation is the dreamlike tale of an ex-pat in Paris; Take It Outside is the raw story of an ex-con coping with life outside prison; First Day In The Job is an ‘angry young man’ story of kicking against the pricks and To Cool For School is a lowlife tragi-comedy. A handful of gems.
Gerard Brennan – Wee Danny
Gerard Brennan has followed up the splendid Brit grit novel Wee Rockets with a tough and tender coming-of-age novella that focuses on one of the aforementioned book’s most likeable characters. Wee Danny is a touching, very funny and realistic study of loyalty and friendship and I can’t wait for the next chapter in Danny’s life.
A D Garrett – Everyone Lies.
A.D. Garrett is the pseudonym for crime writer Margaret Murphy and forensics expert Professor David Barclay’s writing collaboration. This is their first novel and good stuff it is, too.
DCI Kate Simms and Professor Nick Fennimore have a history. They were both involved in a controversial failed investigation into the disappearance of Fennimore’s wife and daughter. Simms was subsequently pushed back down to the bottom of the career ladder and Fennimore retreated to the womb of work.
But Simms, on her way back up the ladder at last, needs Fennimore’s help with the case that involves a string of dead drug addicts. They are soon embroiled in gritty and hard hitting investigation of crime and corruption, vice and murder, which cuts through all strata of society.
Everyone Lies is a tense and engrossing mixture of social realism and fast-paced thriller which is sure to be the start of an interesting and very enjoyable series.
Nick Quantrill – The Crooked Beat
P I Joe Geraghty steps up to help out his brother who is in dire financial straits. However, Joe is soon under the radar of Hull’s underworld and subsequently digs up some of the city’s dark secrets. This is the third of Nick Quantrill’s Joe Geraghty novels and the best yet with perfect pacing and a great sense of place and history. Not a bum note in the whole book.
Blood Red Turns Dollar Green – Paul O’Brien.
Epic and intimate. Intense and involving. Paul O’Brien’s follow up to Blood Red Turns Dollar Green is even more streamlined and even faster moving than its cracking predecessor. Loose ends from the first book are tied up and new ones opened up. This is a major piece of crime fiction storytelling that breathlessly moves from character to character and backwards and forwards in time. It really would make a great TV series along the lines of Boardwalk Empire or The Sopranos and I can’t wait for part three.