A Burglar’s Guide to the City, by Geoff Manaugh (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2016)

An overview of building architecture and of the spatial design of cities, from a transgressive perspective. The book’s a little light, padded, and a touch overwritten, but nevertheless a hugely enjoyable and illustrative exploration of social control, our assumptions about design, and about how burglars approach questions of space and movement. Recommended.

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

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold (Transworld, 2019)

Biographies of five women united by their links to an infamous series of killings. Enthralling corrective to a century-plus of sensationalist coverage dismissive of the victims. Some lapses into journalese and guesswork at times, but this is nevertheless an accessible, necessary and fascinating book rightly giving those murdered due to their lives.

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

Prison: A Survival Guide, by Carl Cattermole and others (Ebury/Penguin, 2019)

Prisoners’ perspectives of the UK penal system; what it’s really like on the inside, and where to get help. An invigorating, detailed and illuminating read, that’s critical but fair-minded in its assessment of what life in jail is like, and on what works (not much) and what doesn’t. Recommended.

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