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.

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

Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score, by Darwyn Cooke with Matt Hollingsworth (DC Comics, 2002)

Desperate to earn, Selina Kyle takes on a risky big heist opportunity. Pacy graphic novel in Cooke’s typically confident noir-inflected style, operating also as a precursor to his Richard Stark/Parker adaptations. Explosive and with an emotional heart, this is lots of fun.

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