Caught in a Venus flytrap: Red Pyramid, by Vladimir Sorokin, reviewed

30 March 2024 9:00 am

Sorokin’s satirical stories are not for the fainthearted, but there are few more dedicated critics of Russia's infinite bureaucracy writing fiction today

Thugs in drape jackets: when the Teddy Boys ruled the roost

10 February 2024 9:00 am

Bleak 1950s Britain saw the birth of the first working-class youth counterculture, but the Teds were a surprisingly short-lived – if violent – phenomenon

Gang warfare in the west of Ireland: Wild Houses, by Colin Barrett, reviewed

3 February 2024 9:00 am

The brother of a small-time drugs dealer is kidnapped, and his family and girlfriend set off to find him over the course of one violent, hectic weekend

Mystery in everyday objects

27 January 2024 9:00 am

Household gadgets take on a sense of wonder or menace for Lara Pawson, who sees a porpoise’s dorsal fin in the dial of a toaster and a hand grenade in a pepper mill

A multicultural microcosm: Brooklyn Crime Novel, by Jonathan Lethem, reviewed

25 November 2023 9:00 am

Lethem returns to the borough with a tale of violence, neglect and demographic change over the decades, tinged with nostalgia but far from sentimental

A horrifying glimpse of Syria’s torture cells

30 September 2023 9:00 am

More than 100 interviews with surviving detainees and former prison workers reveal how profoundly shocking President Assad’s regime continues to be

The changing face of Ireland

2 September 2023 9:00 am

A dead poet’s dangerous aura continues to haunt his daughter and 23-year old granddaughter in this story of an unhappy family set in rapidly changing Ireland

Nostalgia for old, rundown coastal Sussex

22 July 2023 9:00 am

Despite the seediness and threat of violence, Littlehampton was a place of neighbourly camaraderie, fondly evoked in Sally Bayley’s latest memoir

In seven years, Lenin changed the course of history

1 July 2023 9:00 am

Between his return from exile and his death, Lenin launched – and perverted – the revolution that shapes world politics today

Gruesome British folk sports – from cheese-rolling to Hare Pie Scramble

3 June 2023 9:00 am

Harry Pearson’s tour of village games over the centuries even includes a Georgian football match where an Englishman’s severed head was used as the ball

An unstable world

3 June 2023 9:00 am

Adapted from interviews with a trainer from Iowa, Scanlan’s novel is a disturbing portrait of violence and squalor behind the scenes at racing stables

When violence was the norm: Britain in the 1980s

27 May 2023 9:00 am

Football hooliganism led to a shocking number of deaths, as did the many infrastructure disasters caused by negligence, while riots and street fighting were endemic

From she-devil to heroine – Winnie Mandela’s surprising metamorphosis

20 May 2023 9:00 am

Jonny Steinberg describes Nelson and Winnie’s doomed marriage, and how their posthumous reputations have undergone a startling reversal

The view from on high

13 May 2023 9:00 am

Sixteen-year-old Kit floats free from her body at night and circles invisibly over family and friends – not always liking what she sees

Putin’s mistake was to discard the velvet glove

9 July 2022 9:00 am

To study international politics since the turn of the century has been, in large part, to study the changing nature…

Poor parenting is at the root of our failing schools

30 April 2022 9:00 am

When it comes to education, I’m in two minds, maybe three. I was sent to private schools, including, for my…

Sweden's gun crime epidemic is spiralling out of control

26 June 2021 4:00 pm

The shots were fired at 1pm on a Sunday, in spite of a heavy police presence at the scene. A…

Homage to Lyra McKee — the journalist I miss most

16 May 2020 9:00 am

In the two generations since Watergate, the image of the journalist has gone from that of plucky truth-seeker to sensationalist…

Maggie Gee. Credit: Nick Rankin

Cycle of violence: Blood, by Maggie Gee, reviewed

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Maggie Gee has written 14 novels including The White Family, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize (now the Women’s…

When does a murderer become a madman?

17 November 2018 9:00 am

There was no reason for Edward Drummond to believe this January day was going to be different to any other…

Games without frontiers: a scene from Red Dead Redemption 2

What does the commonplace cruelty of Red Dead Redemption say about our times?

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Every era has its western. For 30 years, from The Big Trail through to The Searchers, John Wayne reigned supreme…

A bloody miracle: ‘Apollo and Marsyas’, 1637, by Jusepe de Ribera

The Spanish artist who is more gruesome even than Caravaggio

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Last year my wife and I were wandering around the backstreets of Salamanca when we were confronted by a minor…

An odd new feeling has crept up on me – sympathy for the police

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Spring has come to my local park in its usual way. First the magnolias, then the cherry blossom, then the…

‘Sorted’ has always had connotations of menace

17 February 2018 9:00 am

My heart leapt up on Newport station, an unusual place for that to happen, when I heard a recorded announcement:…

Despite everything, America is beautiful — especially at West Point

18 November 2017 9:00 am

What is left to say after the church shooting in the Home of the Depraved? Those killed in Texas included…