home | biography | current projects | journalism | thrillers & crime reviews | management | email | amazon | barnes&noble | abebooks

 

 

Geoffrey Wansell

Journalist


Geoffrey Wansell



Thrillers and Crime Reviews

Thrillers Crime

10 March 2016

MAESTRA by
L S HILTON (Zaffre £12.99)

 

MaestraHilton was - until this book - principally known as an historian, who had also written two novels few people had heard of. This book changed all that.
Widely regarded as this year’s hot thriller, it is being compared to E. L. James’s Fifty Shades Of Grey, so intense are its sex scenes.
It’s been sold to 35 countries, and the film rights have been snapped up by Hollywood. The novel features a rapacious art historian named Judith Rashleigh, who works for a major London auction house by day and as a high-class ‘companion’ in a drinking club by night.
It is her life after being fired from her day job that forms the story. Comparisons are being drawn with Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley, so amoral is Rashleigh, but those comparisons are odious. This novel utterly lacks Highsmith’s delicate nuance.
Every effort is made to shock, and it contains some of the most egregious and manipulative murders and sexual encounters imaginable. At one point, the heroine describes a painting as ‘sad, sneering and cheap’, a phrase it would be safe to apply to this book.

 

 

 

10 March 2016

FIRST RESPONSE by
STEPHEN LEATHER (Hodder £14.99)

 

First ResponseAuthor of more than 30 novels, the prolific Leather is one of Britain’s biggest-selling thriller writers. He has the uncanny knack of producing plots that are all too real, and this is no exception.
It is the terrifyingly possible story of nine men in suicide vests who have taken hostages in nine different locations around London.
All insist that they will blow themselves and their hostages to smithereens unless the Government releases six jihadi prisoners held in Belmarsh top-security prison by 6pm that day.
In charge of the negotiations is a Muslim, Superintendent Mo Kamran of the Metropolitan Police, who has the assistance of MI5, the SAS and armed police officers. The difficulty is that the bombers refuse to negotiate at all until they have seen the prisoners released and flown out of the country on the rolling news coverage on television.
It is the authenticity of this plot that grasps the imagination and never lets it go.

10 March 2016

THE PRIMROSE PATH by
REBECCA GRIFFITHS (Sphere £14.99)

 

The Primrose PathThis debut, from a former businesswoman who returned to her native Wales to write, superbly evokes both the brooding beauty of the countryside and the menace that can lurk behind its hedges.
It focuses on Sarah D’Villez, who was in her teens 17 years ago when she was abducted and held hostage for 11 days by a man who is now about to be released from prison.
Her attempts to put the memories of her sexual abuse behind her by marrying and staying in London have failed and, with her abductor potentially able to find her, she isolates herself in a renovated barn in a small mid-Wales village, changes her name and dyes her blonde hair dark brown.
What she could not have predicted was that one new neighbour would be a peeping Tom, or that her mother - who didn’t know where she was going or that she had dumped her name - would try to track her down.
Twisty, atmospheric and elegantly written, it has echoes of Daphne du Maurier with its shivering paranoia, fear and dread, and introduces an exciting new name to ‘domestic noir’.

 



11 February 2016

REAL TIGERS by
MICK HERRON (John Murray £16.99)

 

Real TigersA masterful third spy novel from the gifted Herron, whose previous novel, Dead Lions, won the prestigious Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger award.
He has been published only by an American firm until now, in spite of the fact that he is British and his stories are set in this country. Now, all three books appear here, and Herron will, at last, receive the recognition that his talent richly deserves.
Like its two predecessors, this focuses on London's Slough House, where disgraced MI5 operatives are sent to spend what remains of their careers pushing paper and feeling distinctly surplus to requirements.
That changes suddenly, however, when an ex-soldier kidnaps one of their fallen number, Catherine Standish, and demands the failed agents uncover an intrigue that stretches to the highest echelons of the service.
Deliciously tongue-in-cheek and with a striking serpentine construction, it is a thriller that moves Herron close to the class of Graham Greene.

 

 

 

 

11 February 2016

FIND HER by
LISA GARDNER (Headline £16.99)

 

Find HerThe heroine of Gardner's latest blockbuster is one of the most nuanced of the many she has created in her long career.
Flora Dane was kidnapped as a student and kept captive, part of the time in a pine coffin, for 472 days before being finally released. She survived, but only just, and has spent the five years since trying to put her life back together.
Part of that process, however, involves Flora risking her safety by going to bars alone in search of predatory males on whom to take revenge. To be blunt, she has turned herself into a vigilante determined to rid the world of potential rapists.
The story opens with Flora killing a bartender who has kidnapped her, and whom she also suspects of being responsible for the disappearance of another girl.
One of Gardner's regular characters, female detective D. D. Warren, does not know whether to trust the deeply scarred Dane or not, and even suspects she may be guilty of premeditated murder by enticing men to attack her.
Written with Gardner's customary skill, the plot squeezes like a python so there is barely a moment to breathe.


 

 

 

11 February 2016

DRAGONFISH by
VU TRAN (No Exit Express £8.99)

 

DragonfishThis debut thriller explores one of the great themes of noir fiction - the missing woman.
Oakland California cop Robert Ruen has been alone since his bewitching but complicated Vietnamese wife, Suzy, left him two years ago. She married again, this time to a violent Vietnamese smuggler and gambler called Sonny, but now she has left him as well.
The gangster wants her back and blackmails Ruen into finding her for him. Set largely in Las Vegas, where Sonny's sadistic son Junior keeps an eye on events, it superbly depicts the world of exiled people and the solace they seek in sleazy casinos and gambling dens.
There are traces of both Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane in the storytelling, but Tran, a Vietnamese born in Saigon and raised in Oklahoma, has an elegant, distinctive voice that sent a shiver up my spine.
Ruen's dark odyssey in search of his ex-wife - which at one point reaches a refugee camp in Malaysia after the fall of Saigon during the Vietnam War, and reveals a set of secret letters he never knew existed - is both haunting and emotionally disturbing, and makes Tran's debut one not to be missed.

Thrillers Crime

Cary Grany biography
RattNewCover1
Goldsmith biography
Garrick History
Cary Grant picture book
Frederick West
Bus Stop Killer
David Suchet

For a synopsis of any of Geoffrey's books, please click on the appropriate cover above.

back to top

 

home | biography | current projects | journalism | thrillers & crime reviews | management | email | amazon | barnes&noble | abebooks

Web design: BonaVista
© John Rawnsley 2007