Barking, by Lucy Sullivan (Unbound, 2020)

A struggle with mental health issues leads to Alix’s institutionalisation; she’s locked in with her demon. A fascinating case study of illness and the inadequacies of mental health provision, taking the metaphor of the black dog and running wild with it. Barking has a lot to say, being told in expressionistic sketches that mirror Alix’s situation. Maybe harrowing for some, but recommended.

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

Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, by Darwyn Cooke, adapted from the novel by Richard Stark (IDW Publishing, 2018)

An armoured car job goes awry; Parker hides out in an out-of-season funfair. The fourth and final volume in this series of adaptations maintains the high series standard. Sleek, visual and retro, and effortlessly lean. Comes with an additional short story, The Seventh.

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

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, by Darwyn Cooke, adapted from the novel by Richard Stark (IDW Publishing, 2017)

Parker is talked into an audacious series of heists across the same town on the same night. The blend as before in this third excellent adaptation: sleek modernist visuals, terse dialogue, brutal action. A fourth volume – Slayground – soon followed.

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

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit, by Darwyn Cooke, adapted from the novel by Richard Stark (IDW Publishing, 2016)

A criminal hits back at an organised crime syndicate, via a series of heists. As with its predecessor, this is a smart, dark adaptation of its source material, splendidly capturing the original while being strong enough to remain impressive in its own right. Recommended.

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

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter, by Darwyn Cooke, adapted from the novel by Richard Stark (IDW Publishing, 2012)

New York 1962: a left-for-dead heist operator seeks revenge and the money he’s owed. Fantastic graphic novel adaptation of the Stark/Donald E Westlake thriller. Cooke’s swift dark style and his monochrome renderings capture the prose well, giving the tale a brutal cinematic sweep. Recommended.

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

Eight Million Ways to Die, by Lawrence Block, John K Snyder III, and Frank Cvetkovic (IDW Publishing, 2018)

A graphic novel adaptation of Block’s fifth Matthew Scudder mystery. And a splendid thing it is too, distilling the book expertly, and conveying it in great noir imagery. Here’s hoping other Scudder books get the same treatment from this team. Recommended (as is the source novel series).

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