BookNoir: July Newsletter

Article published on July 6, 2018.

Prologue: There are some things you just can’t make up! If you haven’t seen this yet, catch it on YouTube: An FBI agent in Denver shows his moves to an appreciative crowd in a nightclub. As they huddle around him, he does a back flip, lands perfectly, only his gun has fallen to the floor. While the crowd are clapping he hurriedly bends to pick up the firearm, somehow dislodging the safety catch and managing to discharge the weapon. Luckily, the man he hit in the leg was not seriously injured. The police interviewed the shooter before handing him over to the FBI. Should make for a hell of a disciplinary hearing. If you read it in a novel, would you believe it?

What’s new for July: Book of the Month is the exciting new Scandi-noir from Alex Dahl, The Boy at the Door (as usual there will be a reading group guide to go with that). We also have a great interview with Rod Reynolds on American hard-boiled fiction and his latest Charles Yates novel, Cold Desert Sky. The Top Ten will feature famous writers who also wrote crime novels and World Focus is a mixed bag from various countries, some great choices from exotic locations. Reviews will include Mad Boy by Nick Arvin, The Legacy of the Bones byDelores Redondo, Believe Me by J.P. Delaney, Destroying Angel by S.G. MacLean, The Moor by Sam Haysom, Firefly by Henry Porter, Total Chaos by Jean-Claude Izzo, and Hidden Bones by Nicola Ford. The Golden Oldie is The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee. We have already published our feature on the How Far We Fall blog tour (Jane Smelilt), including a free giveaway. A feature on crime fiction covering MacLehose Press’ 10th Anniversary with include a great give away too. Reviewers should note there are plenty of titles available in the reviewer centre.

Just in case you missed it, these are some of the features from June: The Old Religion by Martin Waites was Book of the Month, including an interview with Martin, a review and a reading group guide. Our Top Ten was Thrillers for Father’s Day (they’re all great titles if you’re looking for a read). Reviews of Widows by Lynda la Plante, The Ways of the Wolfe by James Carlos Blake, Smoking Kills by Antoine Laurain, Mine by Susie Fox, The Magpie Tree by Katherine Stansfield, The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton, Ivory Pearl by Jean-Patrick Manchette, Keeper by Johana Gustawson, The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, The Man Between by Charles Cumming and plenty more. The Golden Oldie/Forgotten Classics was The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes. The World Crime Focus featured twenty-four titles from Japan. Our Crime Round-Up featured the best of Independent Presses. We also featured The May/June Graphic Novel Round-Up and our first blog tour spot for Howard Linskey’s dark thriller, The Chosen Ones.

Snippets: The state authorities in Michoacan, Mexico, have arrested the entire police force of the town of Ocampo after the recent slaying of a mayoral candidate. All twenty seven were questioned over their “possible” involvement in the murder. The Poll was held on 1st July, the election campaign has seen over 130 politicians killed since September.

A couple of new series to look out for: Night and Day on Channel Four, about a pathologist who finds herself examining the burned corpse of a man she previously had an affair with. Also, Netflix will be running Sacred Games based on the novel by Vikram Chandra, a Mumbai epic of crime, Bollywood, corruption and poverty. The Bridge IV finally ended last month, brilliant as ever, I hope somebody finds another vehicle for Sophie Helin soon.

And finally,

New releases for July (or thereabouts!)


The Boy at the Door – Alex Dahl – Head of Zeus. Our Book of the Month and set to be one of the blockbusters of the summer. When Tobias, an eight year old looking for a home, threatens Cecelia Wilborg’s perfect life, how far will she go to protect a long held dark secret?

Sins as Scarlet – Nicholas Obregon – Michael Joseph. The second outing for Inspector Iwata. The Japanese policeman is now an LA PI. When his sister-in-law, Meredith Nichol, a transgender woman is found strangled by the rail tracks on skid row, Iwata is forced back into a world of darkness he thought he’d escaped.

Bodies from the Library – Collins Crime Club – 16 stories from golden age of crime. Described as lost classics, the collection includes a new Agatha Christie story, Leo Bruce, Roy Vickers and Nicholas Blake.

My Absolute Darling –  Gabriel Tallent – Fourth Estate Paperback. The story of Turtle Alveston and her abusive father. A dark and loaded thriller, coming of age story and terrifying family drama.

The Devil’s Half Mile – Paddy Hirsch  – Corvus. The blurb says, “Golden Hill and The Alienist meets Gangs of New York”, that only has to be partially true to make for a hell of a read!

Rip the Angels from Heaven – David Kugler – Pegasus. Washington, 1945, Lieutenant Eliot Voigt, naval intelligence officer, might be a spy, maybe even a murderer? His latest mission takes him to New Mexico to uncover a Russian spy at Los Alamos. The Russians and the FBI follow.

Safehouse – Dan Fesperman – Knopf. When a young woman discovers a CIA operation in Berlin after the war she is forced to go on the run. Years later she is brutally murdered along with her husband, the daughter investigates.

Destroying Angel – S.G. MacLean – Quercus. The latest in the Damien Seeker series set during the interregnum. The seeker is sent north to York under the command of Colonel Lilburne and given the task of explaining the new draconian laws to the villages and towns of the region. In the North Yorkshire Moors village of Faithly, he uncovers a plot among the seething resentments of the puritans and the outright opposition of the royalists. After a dinner party the seeker has to find a murderer.

Happy reading.

Paul Burke
July 2018


The Spaces in Between by Collin Van Reenan


Weekend at Thrackley by Alan Melville

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