the literary lounge

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   ‘Wisdom, compassion and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of man,’ said Confucius. And they are probably the three words I would use to summarise my father. He was also conservative to a Victorian degree, patriarchal and emotionally distant. A private man who liked parties. An adventurer who stayed home on the … Continue readings

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  Of course, it was the ultimate indulgence. Friends, lovers, people you cared for. They tied you down, kept you dependent, made you vulnerable. And worse, they paid for their friendship with vulnerability. When someone wants to hurt you they target those you love most.” – Claymore Straker, island off the East Coast of Africa   … Continue readings

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  On one momentous night, in October 1992, birth, death and fire collide in the coastal town of Southend-on-Sea. Twenty-five years later, a young true-crime podcaster reports on the events of his birth date, drawing particular attention to the rape and murder of 19-year-old Heather Bowyer, a crime which remains unsolved. So begins Isabelle Grey’s … Continue readings

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  Most good crime fiction is location rich, the authors giving us insight into the workings of a particular place, be it city or countryside. In Salt Lane, author William Shaw gifts us with the backdrop of almost alien Dungeness, on the Kent coast, to where protagonist Alex Cupidi and her daughter, Zoe, have relocated … Continue readings

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  In a year of extraordinarily good crime fiction, much of which has been published by small or independent presses, Orenda does it again, hitting the mark with Johana Gustawsson’s excellent novel, Keeper. Canadian profiler Emily Roy and French writer Alexis Castells, introduced to audiences in the critically acclaimed Block 46, get a second outing … Continue readings

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  I’d always wanted to write a mystery set in England. No place could be more mysterious to the mind of a young girl who hardly knew anything outside of her working-class, suburban neighborhood at the southern tip of New York City. When I was in my late teens, I traveled to London with no … Continue readings

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  Crime Scene Books are publishing the Amy Lane series by Rosie Claverton for the first time in paperback, as part of their 2018 programme. Released on 19 April, Binary Witness and Code Runner introduce new readers to the unconventional partnership of reclusive computer whizz Amy Lane and her side-kick, former crook Jason Carr. Binary … Continue readings

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  I ALMOST WEPT WHEN THE CHARLIE RESNICK BOOKS CAME TO AN END. They were brilliant – not just crime fiction at its best, but also insightful political and social commentaries on the state of Britain at the time, set to a lot of great music. I didn’t read any John Harvey after that, so, … Continue readings

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  FROM ITS VERY FIRST LINE, Cormac O’Keeffe’s debut novel, Black Water, reels us in – and there is no option other than to stay the course of this fast-paced tale, set in the underbelly of Dublin. The black water of the title refers to a stretch of the city’s Grand Canal, where locals war … Continue readings

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  They were known as the Wildflowers, the lot of them. Spent every summer here. Oh, the people they used to have staying. The glamour of it! You’d walk past on the way back from the beach and you’d see them above you, gramophone on, drinking cocktails, women in those beautiful dresses, and their kids … Continue readings

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  IAN RIDLEY’S THE OUTER CIRCLE opens on a swelteringly hot day in August 2012, just after the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. The capital is euphoric, the city basking in ‘sunshine and pride’, ‘at peace and ease with itself’ after the glory of the Games. Tolerance is the name of the day and … Continue readings

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  Today, author Ian Ridley joins us in The Literary Lounge. Ian is a journalist and author/ghostwriter of several sports biographies. His first novel, The Outer Circle, is published this month by Unbound. It centres on a brutal attack on a central London mosque in the days after the 2012 London Olympics, as seen through … Continue readings