Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror, by Mark Gatiss (Target Books, 2021)

People are going missing in 1893 Bradford: Madam Vastra and Jenny Flint investigate. A zesty novelisation of Gatiss’s own 2013 Doctor Who episode (with another story recounting Jenny’s first meeting with the eleventh Doctor). Every opportunity for Victorian pastiche, name-checking and in-jokes – both historical and Whovian – has full advantage taken. Plenty of brisk fun, basically.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Based On A True Story (Not A Memoir), by Norm Macdonald (Random House, 2016)

Challenged to write a memoir, a stand-up comedian instead hires a ghostwriter. A meta spin on the celebrity autobiography, As with much of his career, the impression here is that Macdonald’s prime audience is himself: that’s a good thing, as this is funny, challenging in places, and wholly dishonest throughout. I loved it.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Trouble With Sunbathers, by Magnus Mills (Quoqs Publishing, 2020)

After Britain’s sale to another country, two men guard a gate designed by the new president’s son-in-law. Another of Mills‘ blank-faced absurdist satires and studies of entropy, this time with an eye on the era of Brexit and Trump. Glorious stuff if you’re a fan of this modern master, though maybe not an entry point for others. Recommended, nevertheless.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Forensic Records Society, by Magnus Mills (Bloomsbury, 2017)

A pub backroom hosts a weekly record listening session; rival groups soon emerge. Another of Mills’s deadpan absurdist satires/studies of entropy, this takes a sitcom setup (blokes in a pub) and weaves it into a parable about extremism, political infighting, the limits of faith and ideological purity. Highly recommended while also being for Mills fans only.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

 

On The Camino, by Jason (Fantagraphics Books, 2017)

An anthropomorphized account of a Camino pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. A charming and melancholy graphic novel with some neat running gags and the imaginings of the protagonist’s movie-filled brain, this is a treat for anyone interested in walking, pilgrimages, and/or finding yourself a little bit. Lots to appreciate, rendered in simple black and white.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

Coketown, by Barney Farmer (Wrecking Ball Press, 2019)

A man on a pub crawl; he might write a book, might not. Tremendous stream-of-consciousness/tone poem/scabrous pop culture reference-littered journey through a long dark night out on the piss of the soul. Splendidly observed/experienced; like a half-pissed James Joyce cadging a smoke outside a Preston Wetherspoons.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Reddening, by Adam LG Nevill (Ritual Limited, 2019)

Two sets of investigations into people lost along a remote stretch of Devon coast coincide. Once it settles down, this delivers in terms of cults, sacrifices, hippy rock stars gone feral, and some effective images. More Cthuloid than folk in its horror, and possibly offputtingly-overwritten; some ripe red glee to be had nevertheless.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.