Criminal, Vol. 1: Coward, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (Titan Books, 2007)

A career thief gets in over his head with a security truck heist. Collecting issues 1-5 of Criminal, this first collection tells a sharp downbeat noir tale with a touch of heart and depth to its characters. Plenty to relish here for genre fans, and for readers of the likes of Westlake/Stark’s Parker novels. Recommended.

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

Bog Bodies, by Declan Shalvey, Gavin Fullerton, Rebecca Nalty & Clayton Cowles (Image Comics, 2020)

A young man is taken to a remote Irish peat bog for execution. Excellent noir-ish one-shot that goes into interesting, if slightly anticipated, places. Lots to relish all around though, not least in the vivid dialogue and sharp characterisations of the major players.

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

More Better Deals, by Joe R Lansdale (Mulholland Books, 2020)

A used-car salesman with an eye for opportunity gets in over his head with a woman. Lansdale’s new stand-alone novel is a beauty, a 1960s-set noir of the old school, and all the better for doing so, in taking a classic situation and treating it with respect. Laconic and spry as ever, Lansdale serves up another southern-fried treat. Recommended.

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

Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, Langdon Foss & Jose Villarrubia (Vertigo Books, 2012)

In a food-obsessed alt-LA, a solitary sushi chef plays rival culinary gangs off against each other. Fun Jojimbo variant, with plenty of gags about foodie lifestyles, some tips on how to approach sushi with respect, plus an abundance of pulp-noir violence, characters, and attitude.

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

Hap and Leonard: Savage Season, by Jussi Piironen, adapted from the novel by Joe R Lansdale (IDW Publishing, 2017)

Hap and Leonard fall foul of Hap’s ex and a scheme to retrieve the proceeds from a heist. Brisk, clean graphic novel adaptation of the first in the long-running series of Joe Lansdale novels. Captures the spirit of the books and characters well.

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