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.

My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (Image Comics, 2018)

A young woman with secrets, fresh to rehab, finds love and with it, a reason to abscond. Smart, melancholic story of crime, addiction, inevitability, and trust. Billed as a Criminal novella, this stand-alone graphic story comes at noir from an unusual – though fitting – angle. Recommended.

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

Coffin Bound, Vol. 1: Happy Ashes, by Dan Watters, Dani, Brad Simpson & Aditya Bidikar (Image Comics, 2020)

A young woman, pursued by an unstoppable supernatural contract killer, tries to erase all trace of her existence. Smart and dirty action-horror with arty leanings, in a Clive Barker meets late 80s Vertigo comics kinda way. This collects issues 1-4. Volume 2 follows.

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

The Institute, by Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton, 2019)

A 12-year-old boy genius with latent telekinetic abilities is kidnapped and held at a secret research station. A knowing and occasionally satirical low-key novel; as usual, the ending is the issue, though there’s huge amounts of pleasure in this mix of folksy Americana, paranoid SF and character study. Fun for author fans.

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

Wanderers, by Chuck Wendig (Solaris/Rebellion, 2019)

As a flu-like plague sweeps the world, a small number of sleepwalkers congregate to cross America. Pacy and with some fine characterisations, and a neat eye for contemporary America, the central conceits of this King/Crichton hybrid don’t quite hold. Well-written enough to keep pages turning though; a cautious recommendation.

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