Crime & Thriller

We asked author, Mike Ripley, to review two of his own books as well as a newly published book he has recently enjoyed

Mr Campion’s Séance by Mike Ripley

Margery Allingham’s famous ‘Golden Age’ detective, Albert Campion, was never a policeman, merely a very gifted amateur, but he did work with three notable policemen in his fictional career which spanned the years 1929 to 1968. In Mr Campion’s Séance, I have continued Albert’s adventures by showing how he worked with all three police detectives – Oates, Yeo and Luke – on one case spanning almost twenty years which centres on the career of an Essex-based female crime-writer.

£20.99 Hardback Severn House Publishers

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to the Eagle Has Landed by Mike Ripley

This must be the most frustrating book to read during the current lockdown as, if it does its job, it will have readers of old-fashioned adventure thrillers and spy stories chomping at the bit to get around their local bookshop or library. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is an affectionate history of the great British thriller in its heyday (1953 to 1976) from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed, and features some still famous names such as Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, Dick Francis, John Le Carré and Wilbur Smith, as well as many authors who do not deserve to be forgotten (and perhaps one or two who do). When first published, the book won the H.R.F. Keating Award for Non-Fiction for 2018 and the Foreword is by Lee Child.

£8.99 paperback Harper Collins

Knock ’Em Dead by Peter Morfoot

Peter Morfoot’s French policiers comprise one of the best crime series I have discovered in the last ten years. The series hero, Captain Paul Darac, is a sympathetic character immersed in jazz and can often be found playing at the Blue Devil club where musicians often outnumber customers, but when on duty is an intuitive and dedicated detective. He is supported by a well-drawn ensemble cast of police and forensic officers – and the forensics in Knock ’Em Dead are frighteningly convincing – and as he operates in Nice and the South of France, he (and the reader) has sunshine, great food and good wine on his side. And as with any crime series set in a foreign country, the reader hopes to learn something they didn’t know about that country. I, for instance, did not know that it was possible, in a French police squad room, to get an octuple espresso, or that someone from Perpignan regards themselves as Catalan rather than French. I am also determined to discover for myself whether Suquet de peix really is superior to Bouillabaisse.

£8.99 paperback Galileo

RULES FOR PERFECT MURDERS by Peter Swanson HB Faber & Faber £12.99

‘Fiendish good fun’ ANTHONY HOROWITZ. If you want to get away with murder, play by the rules A series of unsolved murders with one thing in common: each of the deaths bears an eerie resemblance to the crimes depicted in classic mystery novels. The deaths lead FBI Agent Gwen Mulvey to mystery bookshop Old Devils. Owner Malcolm Kershaw had once posted online an article titled ‘My Eight Favourite Murders,’ and there seems to be a deadly link between the deaths and his list – which includes Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.

Can the killer be stopped before all eight of these perfect murders have been re-enacted?’ An ingenious game of cat-and-mouse’ The Times’