Lockdown Crime Reviews NB Magazine

Bent by Joe Thomas
A pacy crime novel set in early 60s Soho, contemporary in style but firmly rooted in period. This is a landscape of clubs, gangsters, girls, punters and cops; there’s an air of menace, a stench of corruption and decay. The protagonist is infamous real life copper Harold ‘Tanky’ Challenor; London legend, war hero, corrupt policeman and possibly certifiable ‘lunatic’. A man with a lousy sense of humour and a brutal sense of justice. Tanky is a loner, he means to clean up his patch, the how is not so important, any criminal in his sights is fair game. Tanky’s got a plan – set the thugs against each other, get them fired up enough to make mistakes and then pounce on them. A fit-up is fine, after all they’re all guilty of something. If it comes to a battle of wills, or fists for that matter, Tanky only knows how to win, he’s always on the attack. He’s non-stop – a man on a mission, booze fuelled, sleep deprived, driven. It won’t end well for the villains but it won’t end well for Tanky either; career peak ’62 – career end ’64. At his own trial he contemplates letting down Doris, his wife, while the court decides if he’s fit to plead or not.
This is a quick read and yet it’s rich in detail and story, it’s not just the narrative drive it’s the style that is exciting. This is one hell of a story, an indelible part of London history, folklore, made real, earthy and bitter sweet. You may know the glamour, the pop, the style of the sixties, this is the other side of the coin – darker, grittier, real. Tanky went to battle twice, once during the war, then again in 60s Soho.
This is the first novel in a loosely connected trilogy of London books that will deal with the cities recent history. Thomas is a fine writer, getting better with each book. Many readers will know his work through the Mario Leme quartet set in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which will be completed in march next year when the fourth volume, Brazilian Psycho, is published.
Arcadia Books, April 30, paperback, £9.99.

https://nbmagazine.co.uk/25074-2/

Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards

CAPITAL CRIME ANNOUNCES AMAZON PUBLISHING
READERS’ AWARDS SHORTLISTS

Capital Crime and Amazon Publishing have partnered for a second year to present
innovative new awards that give readers the power to honour their favourite books, films & TV
Capital Crime is pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2020 Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards.
The awards are a celebration of the crime and thriller genre and recognise excellence in film and television as well as books. The shortlists were decided by Capital Crime’s advisory
board of authors, industry leaders and reviewers, and readers will have the final say on who
wins in each category.
David Headley, co-founder of Capital Crime said, ‘Capital Crime is all about the readers.
From our Festival to our Book Club we want to focus on continuing our inclusive celebration of the crime and thriller genres. We are here to entertain and engage with fellow fans, and it’s only natural we give readers the ultimate say over who wins our awards.’
Capital Crime’s innovative voting system which gives festival passholders and Capital Crime
Book Club members the ability to decide their favourite books, film and TV series. The
Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards are decided by real crime and thriller fans.
Adam Hamdy, author and screenwriter, and co-founder of Capital Crime said, ‘Amazon
leads the way in technology innovation and it’s fitting that our awards make use of new
technology to put the power in the hands of crime and thriller fans. Get involved, become
part of the Capital Crime community, and have your say.’
Capital Crime festival pass holders and Capital Crime Book Club subscribers will be able to
vote for the winner in each category from today until 11th October.
Jose Chapa, Director, EU Books, at Amazon said: ‘We at Amazon Publishing are delighted
that readers have shortlisted such a vibrant, diverse range of authors across so many
categories for this year’s awards. It’s a testament to the fantastic quality of books on offer to readers in the crime and thriller genre this year, and it’s particularly inspiring to see so many up-and-coming authors featured.’
The winners of the awards will be announced at 6:30pm on Tuesday 13th October.

The 2020 Amazon Publishing Readers’ Award Nominees are:


CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR
Find Them Dead by Peter James
Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha
Bryant & May – Oranges and Lemons by Christopher Fowler
Without A Trace by Mari Hannah
Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

DEBUT BOOK OF THE YEAR
Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi
The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdottir
Black Sun by Owen Matthews
A Shadow on the Lens by Sam Hurcom
The Wreckage by Robin Morgan Bentley


THRILLER BOOK OF THE YEAR
The Split by Sharon Bolton
Witchfinder by Andrew Wilson
Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
Knife Edge by Simon Mayo
All Fall Down by MJ Arlidge


MYSTERY BOOK OF THE YEAR
Rules for Perfect Murder by Peter Swanson
The Mist by Ragnar Jónasson
The House Guest by Mark Edwards
Island of Secrets by Rachel Rhys
The Holdout by Graham Moore


E-BOOK OF THE YEAR
Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks
Strangers by C L Taylor
Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee
The Less Dead by Denise Mina
Remember Me by Amy McLellan


AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
If It Bleeds by Stephen King
Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee
The Dance of the Serpents by Oscar Muriel
Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz


INDEPENDENT VOICE BOOK OF THE YEAR
Beast by Matt Wesolowski
The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda
Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen
The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Bjorg Ægisdóttir
A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone


CRIME MOVIE OF THE YEAR
Knives Out
Joker
Uncut Gems
Parasite
Queen & Slim

Ægisdottir Black Sun by Owen Matthews A Shadow on the Lens by Sam Hurcom The Wreckage by Robin Morgan Bentley THRILLER BOOK OF THE YEAR The Split by Sharon Bolton Witchfinder by Andrew Wilson Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton Knife Edge by Simon Mayo All Fall Down by MJ Arlidge MYSTERY BOOK OF THE YEAR Rules for Perfect Murder by Peter Swanson The Mist by Ragnar Jónasson The House Guest by Mark Edwards Island of Secrets by Rachel Rhys The Holdout by Graham Moore E-BOOK OF THE YEAR Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks Strangers by C L Taylor Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee The Less Dead by Denise Mina Remember Me by Amy McLellan AUDIOBOOK OF THE YEAR The Guest List by Lucy Foley If It Bleeds by Stephen King Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee The Dance of the Serpents by Oscar Muriel Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz INDEPENDENT VOICE BOOK OF THE YEAR Beast by Matt Wesolowski The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Bjorg Ægisdóttir A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone CRIME MOVIE OF THE YEAR Knives Out Joker Uncut Gems Parasite Queen & Slim

CRIME TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
The Stranger
I May Destroy You
Giri/Haji
Quiz
The Liar (Season 2)

Some fantastic books there.

CANELO CRIME

New Crime Imprint To Launch Today

The Body Under the Bridge – Nick Louth, A Front Page Affair – Radha Vatsal, Small Mercies – Alex Walters, Home Fires Burn – Lisa Hartley, When the Dead Speak – Shiela Bugler, Lies to Tell – Marion Todd.

https://nbmagazine.co.uk/25074-2/ REVIEWS HERE

Canelo, one of Europe’s fastest growing publishing companies, has announced its first
print imprint, CANELO CRIME, launching on 24th September 2020 with eight exceptional
new titles.
The list brings together gripping, original and atmospheric thrillers, police procedurals and
historical mysteries from some of the most exhilarating and promising writers of the genre.
There are books by established reader favourites Rachel Lynch, Nick Louth and Sheila
Bugler, and exciting growing names such as Bloody Scotland Debut Prize shortlisted author
Marion Todd and the critically acclaimed New York-based novelist Radha Vatsal.

Bookblast

PRESS RELEASE 16 June 2020

THE BOOKBLAST® PODCAST
BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: TRANSLATION & THE ART OF EMPATHY
30 JULY to 05 NOVEMBER 202030 July, 5 p.m.  The first two podcasts in a fifteen-part series will be launched, championing independent publishers, their authors and translators, and a guest interview with the publisher behind Nordic Noir.

Bridging the Divide is hosted by editor and translator, Georgia de Chamberet, and journalist and author, Lucy Popescu. The series introduces to readers a selection of new writing in translation by diverse authors, and flies in the face of the perceived view that literary translation is just for the highbrow.

The podcast line-up features award-winning authors from across Europe, including Lars MyttingJ.S. Margot and Tommy Wieringa, as well as interviews with their publishers Christopher MacLehose, Adam Freudenheim and Philip Gwyn Jones. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, 9 of the 11 books featured have been published during the lockdown, so festival appearances, launches and talks were cancelled. With our twinned reviews and podcasts, we aim to generate extra Media exposure and long-term visibility, attracting readers to discover new titles in translation by storytellers popular in their homeland. THE PROGRAMMEThe weekly series kicks off with two podcasts on 30 July
 J.S. Margot, Flemish author of Mazel Tov, translated by Jane Hedley-Prôle, discusses navigating clashing cultures with Georgia de Chamberet, who then interviews Adam Freudenheim, (Pushkin Press);
 on 06 August, Rose Baring, (Eland Publishing), and translator Robyn Marsack, exchange views on So It Goes and the traveller’s tales of the late Swiss author, Nicolas Bouvier;  
 translator from the German, Jamie Lee Searle, and editor Anne Meadows, (Granta Books), discuss The Great Homecoming by Korean author Anna Kim with a focus on love, war and the riptide of history, on 13 August, (15 August is Korean Independence Day);
 translator, James Womack, discusses death in the sun and Heaven, by Spanish author, Manuel Vilas on 20 August with Georgia de Chamberet, who then interviews Michael Schmidt (Carcanet);
 on 27 August, translator Lulu Norman and Lucy Popescu explore the desert hell endured by Moroccan author, Aziz BineBine, who writes about it in Tazmamart: 18 Years of Morocco’s Secret Prison, (Haus);
 bestselling Norwegian author, Lars Mytting, discusses The Bell in the Lake (MacLehose Press) and tradition vs. modernity with his translator, Deborah Dawkin, on 03 September, followed by Georgia de Chamberet interviewing Christopher MacLehose, the publisher behind Nordic Noir;
 on 10 September, Georgia de Chamberet interviews Moroccan author, Tahar Ben Jelloun, whose latest offering On Terrorism: Conversations with my daughter is published by Small Axes/HopeRoad, (in French and English);
 Dutch author, Tommy Wieringa, discusses his novel, The Blessed Rita, (Scribe), and voices from the margins with his translator Sam Garrett, and Lucy Popescu, on 17 September; then publisher Philip Gwyn Jones (now at Picador) gets “lost in translation” with Georgia de Chamberet;
 Lucy Popescu and translator, Natasha Lehrer, talk about brides on tour: peace not war and The White Dress, (Les Fugitives), by French author Nathalie Léger, on 24 September;
 Slovenian author, Goran Vojnović, and Lucy Popescu, examine families living between empires, and his novel, The Fig Tree  (Istros Books), translated by Olivia Hellewell, on 20 October;
 on 05 NovemberTamara Japaridze and Beka Adamashvili, Georgian author of Bestseller, (Dedalus Books), discuss how well bestsellers travel and the Caucasus in the literary imagination.

A NET OF GOOD AND EVIL

https://www.crimetime.co.uk/to-cook-a-bear-by-mikael-niemi-a-net-of-good-and-evil-by-michael-scott-cain/

Courtesy of CRIME TIME UK

A Net of Good and Evil by Michael Scott Cain

The post-war communist witch-hunt which underpins this murder mystery is pretty dark and that’s the way most novelists spin it. Cain takes an original approach drawing on the farce and absurdity of the times to create a blackly comic tale. He captures the prevailing gloom but is always playful, not labouring any points about the rabid obsessions of the times. Consequently A Net of Good and Evil is light and wickedly entertaining. Like a lot of fiction, the stuff you imagine to be real is probably made up and vice versa.

The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HCUA) was set up in 1938 to look at threats to American democracy: Nazis? After WWII the focus was on the Communist Party of America, even though that was a legal organisation. Paranoia ramped up, anyone with a red tie or a pink skirt was suspect. So, paradoxically, the HCUA, the FBI and Sen. Joe McCarthy managed to create the biggest threat to the American way of life since the Salem Witch Trials.

A Net of Good and Evil is set in New York in 1949, pre-McCarthy’s list of ‘enemies within’, business and government organisations are just joining the red hunt bandwagon, getting organised for the coming purge… [Disclaimer: some people actually we’re Communists! Including a couple referred to here].

Damon Taylor, Crime Scene Magazine, is not happy, the other guys in the newsroom seem to be banging away at their typewriters on some story or other and all he’s got is a weasel faced guy standing in front of his desk bugging him about his neighbour. Russell Wallace may be a creep but he’s used to being taken seriously, Taylor could care less. Wallace gets to the point, he’s a “journalist” for Counterattack, as soon as he says it Taylor’s hackles rise. Counterattack is a reds-under-the-bed rag that smears and insinuates anyone it can’t actually pin evidence of communist affiliation on – nothing like Crime Scene. Taylor makes it clear Bob O’Bradovich, the neighbour, is a friend.

“Mr. Taylor, I’m afraid we may have gotten off to a bad start here.”

“It’s not going to get any better,” Taylor said, “so maybe you leave before it actually gets worse.”

The man scurries off with his tail between his legs, it won’t be the last time he gets short shrift in the remaining hours of his life.

This little contretemps in the office gives Crime Scene managing editor Lou Marsczyk an idea. John Rankin, Mississippi congressman, is on the HCUA, he blocked any attempt to investigate the KKK. He’s the reason people like Wallace are crawling out of the woodwork. Somebody powerful is behind Wallace and Counterattack, someone with money and influence. Taylor’s new assignment is to find out who. Crime Scene will be ready if these guys come for them.

Taylor goes to see buddy Bob at the NBC studios, (he works in TV), he warns him about Wallace, there’s probably nothing to worry about but just in case. Zero Mostel overhears, he knows Wallace, he knows these people are dangerous, it’s not over. Everybody supported Russia during the war but now that’s stick to beat people with.

Anthony Hayden owns one of the biggest ad agencies in America, he also owns Counterattack but he’s not ready for a face off with Crime Scene Magazine just yet so he carpets Wallace for drawing attention to the cause, shutting his investigation down. Wallace gets a new target an organisation called People’s Songs in Times Square, that’s where Russell Wallace gets his third roasting of the day. The door to People’s Songs is opened by a small wiry angry looking man who only gets more angry when he finds out who Wallace is. Meet Woody ‘This machine kills fascists’ Guthrie. This land is his land and no gutter press creep like Wallace is going to change that. When Guthrie threatens Wallace he runs off again, he heads home for the safety of his own bedroom. Which is when the gorgeous red head turns up demanding Wallace hand “it” over. She’s not buying when he says he hasn’t got it anymore. There are plenty of people who don’t like Wallace but Taylor, Guthrie and the mysterious red head are the main suspects when he turns up dead, (tortured and murdered).

Homicide cop Danny Murphy would like it to be Taylor, that would be nice and easy, but Taylor has an alibi, next best bet Guthrie. Taylor’s own investigation and Murphy’s don’t have a lot in common, (guess which one is more thorough). This is a story of folk music, blackmail, red bashing, police corruption, political conspiracy, a dangerous red headed femme fatale, money and murder. The pastiche of noir/hardboiled is a lot of fun, there’s enough mystery for it to be intriguing and enough humour for a breezy entraining read. This novel makes a serious point about tough times without being too serious. Cain has fun with tropes and pays respectful homage to the age of pulp. There’s more than a nod to Damon Runyon, his journalism and his New York stories, which adds to the fun.

Cain’s own hinterland infuses and enriches the novel, it’s clear he had a deep love of American music’s rebellious soul; jazz, blues, country. Cain sadly died in 2018, in his long literary career he was a poet, academic and journalist. This is the second Damon Taylor novel following Damon Runyon’s Boys.

Stark House Press, paperback, ISBN 9781951473082, 21/9/20