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That wonderful crime writer of great Noir novels inc. 'Bad Penny Blues' and 'Weirdo', Cathi Unsworth has written a marvellous piece on her literary idol, James Ellroy. To celebrate the release of his new novel, Perfidia, Cathi has written her 'love letter' to Mr. Ellroy. Click on the link.

Author of the Month is Dreda Say Mitchell and her long-awaited new novel, Vendetta. Dreda burst on to the crime fiction scene with her CWA John Creasey Dagger win for her debut novel, Running Hot. Now Vendetta, her sixth novel is another re-invention of this extremely diverse author. Woe betide anyone who tried to wrest this book from my grasp whilst reading it. They may have ended up with a few less fingers! Jack Bauer of 24 fame has come to London, but Dreda Say Mitchell beat him with her thriller involving Mac and his race against time. This is just as good and gripping and deserves the credit given it by the great Lee Child.

Fresh Blood will continue to be Disappeared from new author, Anthony Quinn. The reason for this is because there simply arent any new authors out there being published. I have scoured the lands and could not find any new contenders for the Fresh Blood page. Quite late in the day I found one but decided that Quinn will stay on for a few more weeks, with the page changing to a new author mid-November until the end of December. Who will it be? You will have to come back in two weeks to find out.

In the meantime, if you havent seen it already, check out Disappeared as Quinn transports us to the Emerald Isle where a death many years before during the Troubles is played out against a hard, winter landscape. Sometimes while reading this book, I could feel the cold nipping at my toes and fingers, so intense were Quinns words as he painted the bleak Irish countryside alongside a chilling moral tale that resonates down the years. This is a new and gripping start to a series that promises to be a great success.

Reviews is stacked to the rafters with brand new reviews from the great crime novels to have recently appeared. You know it is getting near Christmas when all the big hitters release their new books. Included in this months stack of reviews are Anthony Horowitz, Andrew Marr and ValMcDermid. There are some really exciting new books from upcoming authors who definitely should be explored. Great books from Elly Griffiths, C.C. Humphreys, Walter Mosley and Dougles Skelton (a Fresh Blood from last year) plus many more as well as more throughout November.

Classic Crime in November is another wonderful discovered classic. This time the British Library has unearthed John G. Brandon's war-time crime thriller, A Scream in Soho. A scream rings out in the pitch dark streets of Soho. D.I. McCarthy is soon on the scene but there is no body to be found but plenty of clues that murder has been committed. This book can only be described as a 'romp'. This is a spy thriller when paranoia about the Nazi's and Germany's imminent invasion of our shores was at its zenith. With such a diverse wealth of characters, this is a great entertaining read.

Penguin has gone in to full throttle with their crime list and have released some absolute beauties in the past twelve months. Thrilling rides in the form of James Oswald and Alastair Gunn have literally exploded on to the crime scene. Following behind was M.J. Arlidge with Eeny Meeny which is still to my mind THE thriller of 2014! Alongside these new bad boys are Nicci French who always produce sublime novels with a huge helping of suspense. Newcomers, Karen Perry delivered The Boy That Never Was which has to be one of the most heart-wrenching novel of 2014. Both of these were soon followed by the horrifyingly real procedural by Matthew Frank which again took Penguins crime list to another level. With Jake Woodhouses debut set in Amsterdam you can see that Penguin are succeeding in their vision for a diverse crime list. Penguin has always strived for quality over quantity and they have managed that. Dont forget to check out the new Penguin Microsite to see the latest and exciting crime novel from Penguin.

Penguin Microsite

Barry Forshaw is the man who knows everyone! If you mention a famous name I guarantee you Barry will have met him/her or been invited to a lunch/dinner with them. But it is never done with arrogance as for Barry it is simply a part of his life, to meet people. Barry is the ultimate raconteur and weaves a marvellous tale. Recently he has shot up in my estimations even more when he told me he had met Patricia Highsmith once. Despite having read that she wasn't exactly the easiest of people to approach, Highsmith has been on my list of people you could invite to a dinner party. But I am digressing. Barry has always been a guiding light, especially when I first timidly entered the crime fiction arena. Others were reticent to talk to the 'new kid on the block', but Barry was inviting, charming and always welcoming - and still is every time I see him.

Barry has put together the most astonishingly accomplished Top Ten I have ever seen. I knew that with Barry's range and wide knowledge that it would be a good Top Ten - but Barry has surpassed even my expectations. I won't delay you any longer. Click on to Barry's Top Ten. There are at least three titles there that I have pulled out of my library of 'Books To Be Read' and placed them at the top purely on Barry's recommendation. I challenge anyone not to find at least two of these titles too hard to resist!

Barry Forshaw's Top Ten

To check out all our past reviews use the Review Archive. Search under author surname and author Christian name if you cant recall the surname. And for good measure you can also search under the title of the book. Simply click on the box at the top of the page and then click on to the letter of the author/title you would like to find. As you will see, we have reviewed our fair share of books during Crimesquad.coms nine years. Have a wander round our archives and I hope you will find something you might have missed first time around!

The 2014 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival was a smash hit with all those thousands of people who flocked to get their fix of crime fiction spread over three days. Chair Steve Mosby should be very proud of himself for producing a sterling event that highlighted the best of what is out there in the current crime fiction market. Congratulations to the whole Harrogate team who work so hard all year round to make these three days so spectacular. Take a look on the Harrogate Festival microsite to see pictures of the event plus intrepid reviewer and reporter, Graham Smith interviews Steve Mosby and John Harvey.

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival


If you have any comments or have a particular author you would like to see highlighted on this website please e-mail me at

Chris Simmons
Online Editor.