The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, by Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colón (Hill and Wang, 2006)

The 9/11 report, distilled into a graphic novel. Excellent summary of the report, offering clarity and comprehensibility into timelining the events leading up to 9/11, into what went wrong, ongoing failures of national security, and from that what needs to be done to make different agencies work together. It’d be fascinating to read an updated version.

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

The Killing Hills, by Chris Offutt (No Exit Press, 2021)

A military investigator returns home to face his estranged wife, and to help his sister catch a killer. Terrific austere thriller – first in a new series – strong on lean characterizations and small-town Kentucky working-class troubles. Plenty for genre fans to get their teeth into: like a Jack Reacher novel written by James Sallis. Highly recommended.

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

City On Fire, by Don Winslow (HarperCollins, 2022)

Providence, Rhode Island, 1980s. Irish and Italian crime families go to war: a reluctant leader emerges in Danny Ryan. A smart, breathless gangland take on The Iliad – the first part of a trilogy – that does precisely what you’d expect it might, and with some verve. Long-time fans will know what to expect and new genre-friendly readers will wonder what they’ve been missing out on all these years. Recommended.

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

That Texas Blood, Volume Two, by Chris Condon & Jacob Phillips (Image Comics, 2022)

A veteran lawman recounts a story from forty years earlier, of cultists, a lost child, and regret. This second stand-alone story (anthologising issues 7-12) introduces a horror element: as before, it’s all very capably done if a little on the nose. Nevertheless, if you like tall but bittersweet cop stories and tales told in diners over pie, you’ll be right at home.

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

The Delicacy, by James Albon (Top Shelf Productions/IDW, 2021)

Brothers collaborate on a farm-to-table restaurant: a rare ingredient promises success. While there’s some wonky plotting and not all the story and character threads pay off, this graphic novel is nevertheless a hugely entertaining, brilliantly paced (a rushed coda aside), and authentic-feeling exploration of foodie hubris. Lots to recommend it.

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

Last Looks, by Howard Michael Gould (Dutton, 2019)

A former LA detective, now living as a minimalistic recluse, is called in to act as a PI when a TV star is accused of murder. Sprightly Hollywood neo-noir with comic elements and an engaging approach to Los Angeles. Breezy and pacy: a fun entertainment with an interesting lead character in Charlie Waldo. Recommended.

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

Born For Trouble: The Further Adventures of Hap and Leonard, by Joe R Lansdale (Tachyon Publications, 2022)

Five novellas featuring Lansdale‘s series protagonists: murder and mayhem in East Texas. Bringing together the previously separately-published Coco Butternut, Hoodoo Harry, Sad Onions, The Briar Patch Boogie, and Cold Cotton, this collection finds Hap and Leonard facing middle age but still with plenty of fight in them. Recommended.

A longer review is here.

Note: advance copy provided by the publisher.

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

The Bomb Maker, by Thomas Perry (Mysterious Press/Grove Atlantic, 2019)

A bomber begins a campaign targeted against the LA police’s bomb disposal squad: a security consultant is drafted in to assist the investigation. While the ending falls a bit flat, this is nevertheless a well-sustained and slick contemporary thriller, with a keen focus on plausible detail throughout. Recommended for the journey if not quite for the destination.

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

Billy Summers, by Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton, 2021)

A professional assassin waiting for the go on a big-paying hit begins to write a novel. A superb entertainment: King’s patent mix of the implausible and the compelling – here very light indeed on the supernatural – riffs on recurring themes (the lot of the novelist, JFK, lower-middle class America) in fun and interesting ways. Plus, constant reader, this time he lands the ending. Recommended.

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