Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen, 2010)

After a terrorist attack prompts a government clampdown, a tech-savvy San Francisco teen finds himself an unlikely warrior against a nascent totalitarian state. Pacy, confident spin on Nineteen Eighty-Four with bags of convincing detail and some insight into adolescent insecurities for good measure. Lots to relish, and a few useful pointers for living in/resisting the Information Age into the bargain. Two further books (Homeland and Attack Surface) follow.

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

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 Department of Truth, Volume Three: Free Country, by James Tynion IV, Martin Simmonds, Aditya Bidika and others (Image Comics, 2022)

Two short runs (issues 6-7 and 14-17) are collected here, adding context and depth to The Department. More of a counterpoint to the series as a whole, there’s nevertheless plenty of confident swagger here: alt-history from Constantine to Kennedy, and all points in-between, with a focus on the afterlife of Lee Harvey Oswald. Volume Four (The Ministry of Lies) follows.

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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.

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.

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.

The Department of Truth, Volume Two: The City Upon a Hill, by James Tynion IV, Martin Simmonds & Aditya Bidikar (Image Comics, 2021)

Cole Turner learns more about Lee Harvey Oswald, and about the different factions involved in both suppressing and engineering manifestations of conspiracy theories into real life. The series (issues 6-10 collected here) is now in its stride: cannily assuming that readers either know – or will find out about – Bigfoot, Jim Jones, JFK and the like, we get full-on with the interdimensional weirdness. Volume Three (Free Country) looms.

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

Cervantes’s Don Quixote: A Graphic Novel, volume 1, by Rob Davies (Self Made Hero, 2011)

A delusional bibliophile believes himself to be a knight on a quest. Excellent graphic novel adaptation of the Cervantes classic (the first half here, with Volume 2 to follow). An emphasis on slapstick humour throughout, on the value of stories, and on there being no harm in following your dreams. Lots of fun, and great to look at too.

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

The Park Bench, by Chabouté (Faber and Faber, 2017)

Seasons pass, and a range of people (and a dog) make different uses of the same park bench. Unfolding like a silent documentary, this dialogue-free monochrome graphic novel takes a simple idea and uses it well to tell a series of overlapping stories, linked by place and association. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England. But if you’re fond of park benches or of public seating in general – and who isn’t? – then try Benches of Louth.