Crime fiction

An Oxford spy ring is finally uncovered

2 March 2024 9:00 am

Charles Beaumont’s warped group, recruited by an eccentric fellow of Jesus College, seems all too plausible. Other thrillers from Celia Walden and Matthew Blake

An untrue true crime story: Penance, by Eliza Clark, reviewed

15 July 2023 9:00 am

A teasing piece of crime fiction weaves together real and invented murders in a satire on the true crime genre and its devotees

Espionage dominates the best recent crime fiction

8 July 2023 9:00 am

Owen Matthews concludes his magnificent KGB trilogy, and there’s a thrilling debut from David McCloskey, a former CIA Middle East specialist

A gruesome discovery: Death Under a Little Sky, by Stig Abell, reviewed

27 May 2023 9:00 am

A police detective inherits a country estate and looks forward to early retirement, but is forced back into action when human bones surface at a village treasure hunt

Cosy crime flourishes in the pick of the summer’s thrillers

20 August 2022 9:00 am

Cosy crime was once the literary world’s guilty secret, a refuge for any reader seeking entirely unchallenging entertainment – like…

Character is king in the latest crime fiction

26 March 2022 9:00 am

Thriller writers are hard pressed to stand out in what’s become a very crowded field. As a result, from Cardiff…

Suspicious circumstances abound in the latest crime fiction

11 December 2021 9:00 am

The old adage that everyone has a novel in them has a new version: anyone can write a thriller. Celebrity…

Secret treaties and games of cat and mouse: a choice of recent crime fiction

19 June 2021 9:00 am

Almost any promising writer of spy fiction can expect at some point to be called the ‘next Le Carré’, an…

Refreshingly unfettered: LRB Podcast's Close Readings on Patricia Highsmith

10 April 2021 9:00 am

I’d forgotten what a rich and deep and characterful voice John le Carré had. Listening to author and lawyer Philippe…

Murder in Richmond Park: House with No Doors, by Jeff Noon, reviewed

9 January 2021 9:00 am

It’s 1981 in Richmond, south-west London. Detective Inspector Henry Hobbes is called out to a rundown house where the octogenarian…

A closing of ranks: The Searcher, by Tana French, reviewed

21 November 2020 9:00 am

If the homage wasn’t clear from the title, Tana French makes sure throughout The Searcher, her seventh novel and second…

Older and grumpier: A Song for the Dark Times, by Ian Rankin, reviewed

17 October 2020 9:00 am

By my reckoning, this is the 24th outing for John Rebus, Scotland’s best known retired police officer. One of the…

A choice of classic crime fiction

20 June 2020 9:00 am

A guide to reading in lockdown. My involvement with crime and mystery fiction started when I was four. The first…

The mean streets of 1960s Soho: Bent, by Joe Thomas, and other crime fiction reviewed

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Brian De Palma brings his film director’s eye to Are Snakes Necessary? (Hard Case, £16.99), written in collaboration with the…

Crime fiction: a sole survivor is haunted by a family tragedy on a remote Scottish island

2 November 2019 9:00 am

James Sallis has a modus operandi: never to waste a word. Sarah Jane (No Exit Press, £8.99) follows this stricture…

Washed-up in LA: This Storm, by James Ellroy, reviewed

8 June 2019 9:00 am

When James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential appeared in 1990, it introduced us to a world of blatant corruption, casual racism and…

Death of a rock star: Slow Motion Ghosts, by Jeff Noon, reviewed

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Here is a novel set in the no man’s land between past and present, a fertile and constantly shifting territory…

Investigative journalists: new crime fiction reviewed

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Despite being well-travelled as the BBC’s world affairs editor, John Simpson doesn’t roam far from home in his spy thriller,…

Recent crime fiction

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling (4th Estate, £12.99) has the word masterpiece emblazoned on the cover, alongside quotes from several…

Ian Rankin’s diary: Paris, ignoring Twitter and understanding evil

21 November 2015 9:00 am

After ten days away, I spent last Friday at home alone, catching up on washing, shopping for cat food, answering…

This autumn's crime fiction visits the Isle of Man and enters the Big Brother house

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Phil Rickman isn’t unusual among crime writers for mingling supernatural elements with earthly crimes. What makes him different is his…

Have a crime-filled Christmas

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Pity the poor novelist whom commercial pressures trap within a series, doomed with each volume to diminish the stock of…

The Red Road by Denise Mina- review

31 August 2013 9:00 am

Denise Mina’s 11th crime novel, The Red Road (Orion, £12.99), is one of her best, which is saying a good…

Holy Orders, by Benjamin Black - review

10 August 2013 9:00 am

It’s always a little disconcerting for the rest of us when literary novelists turn to crime. Have they become different…

Laidlaw by William McIlvanney - review

6 July 2013 9:00 am

Laidlaw was first published in 1977, 36 years back from now, 38 on from The Big Sleep. Like Chandler’s classic…