The Nice House on the Lake, Volume 1, by James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez Bueno & Jordie Bellaire (DC Comics, 2022)

A group of thirty-somethings united by a common friend find themselves invited to a remote house to sit out the apocalypse. Lost-ish group drama that’s strong on WTF moments and on asking lots of questions. Told with its writer’s usual confidence: it’ll be fascinating to see where this is going. Issues 1-6 collected here.

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

The Hollow Ones, by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan (Del Rey Books, 2021)

A suspended young FBI agent finds that their colleague’s death is linked to an ancient demonic evil. The first of a new series from The Strain collaborators Del Toro and Hogan, this is all set-up. While ambitious – immortal demonologists, John Dee, civil rights and slavery, and backstory-a-gogo all involved – it’s also a bit insubstantial. Brisk enough though.

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

Stephen King & Owen King’s Sleeping Beauties: A Graphic Novel, Vol. 1, by Rio Youers, Alison Sampson & Triona Farrell (IDW Publishing, 2021)

A worldwide sleeping sickness affects all women: a small American town may be an epicentre. Excellent precis of the first half of the King father and son collaboration, developing and clarifying the storytelling in creative and visual ways. Vol 2 is anticipated keenly as a result!

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

Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion, by Jenny T Colgan (BBC Books, 2018)

It’s Christmas, there’s an invasion of earth ongoing and Rose is coping with a new – and possibly dying – Doctor. The first festive episode of the revived veteran SF/fantasy series – and the debut of David Tennant – is here novelized in a brisk and efficient way, capably expanded to a short novel without any sense of padding. Fun for fans, basically.

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

Redfork, by Alex Paknadel, Nil Vendrell & Giulia Brusco (TKO Studios, 2020)

An ex-con returns to his drugs and disease-blighted mining community: soon, other monsters lurk. Splashy blue-collar Beowulf-ish horror graphic novel (a six-issue run collected here), working similar territory to the later Grendel, Kentucky. Pacy and told with verve, this is fine stuff all the way through.

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

The Department of Truth, Volume One: The End of the World, by James Tynion IV, Martin Simmonds & Aditya Bidikar (Image Comics, 2021)

A conspiracy theory-loving FBI lecturer is inducted into an agency working to prevent collective belief from realising that conspiracy theories can become real. Fun, smart, and fast – if ever-so-slightly-preachy – this The Matrix meets JFK graphic novel (issues 1-5 collected here) is a brain-boggling and good-looking treat, and relevant as hell. Lots to recommend this.

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

Grendel, Kentucky, by Jeff McComsey & Tommy Lee Edwards, with Giovanna Niro and John Workman (AWA Upshot, 2021)

The leader of an all-woman biker gang returns home to avenge her father’s death. Swift, gory, fun riff on Beowulf populated by backwoods weed farmers and take-no-shit Kentuckians. The book anthologizes a four-part graphic story: there’s hell of a movie to be made of this. A straightforward thing done as well as it might be. Recommended.

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

Red Range: A Wild Western Adventure, by Joe R Lansdale & Sam Glanzman (It’s Alive!/IDW, 2017/1999)

A masked vigilante saves a boy from the Klan: a chase ensues. Smart, fast, violent, angry, and surprising pulp graphic novel. Fast and funny while unflinching in its depiction of racism, there’s a spot-on balance of telling it as it is and jazzing things up with high adventure. Recommended.

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

Later, by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime, 2021)

A young boy has the ability to see and to speak with the recently-deceased. As he grows, this leads to conflict with both the living and the dead. A pacy yarn from the master, balancing crime-related thrills with the paranormal in line with much of his recent output. Won’t win any converts, but again emphasises that King is a supremely confident storyteller. Recommended.

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