BLOG: Pulp Friction

Pulp Friction By Ray Banks Sometimes I get cranky when I read reviews. Not because they’re necessarily bad (you’re entitled to your opinion if it’s well-reasoned; otherwise you can experience my cackling scorn and fuck off while you’re doing it), but because they rely on lazy language. Certain review buzzwords have a way of making [...]

BLOG: The Transgression of Brother Willeford

The Transgression of Brother Willeford Transgressive fiction is one of those genre labels guaranteed to leave a bad taste in my mouth. It’s a type of fiction characterised by graphic depiction of taboo-breaking behaviour including drug abuse, violence, sexual deviancy (basically non-vanilla sexual activity) and – in the case of American Psycho, anyway – an [...]

BLOG: Hands Across the Ocean

Hands Across the Ocean Ask me what my favourite British crime movie is, and you’re likely to get a rather guilty pause before I answer. You see, anyone with connections to the North East of England is supposed to say Get Carter. It’s kind of hardwired into the northern cultural consciousness. But the reality is [...]

BLOG: Fuck (Some Of) Tha Police

Fuck (Some of) Tha Police When it comes to crime fiction, especially in the UK, the police procedural is king, and it’s no secret I’m not much of a fan. My issues with the sub-genre boil down to my distaste for cheap characterisation and sociological Manichaeism, and my fundamental belief that the circumstances of crime [...]

BLOG: None For the Money

None for the Money I think I might owe Janet Evanovich an apology. You see, the missus decided she fancied seeing One for the Money on account of her liking some of Katherine Heigl’s movies, the premise and trailer didn’t seem too emetic, and there was bugger all else showing. I went along because I [...]

BLOG: The Only Game In Town

The Only Game In Town Adrian McKinty recently asked “Why are most crime novels bad?” and came to the conclusion that they were mostly long-running series that have run out of steam. Personally I think he has a point – the truly successful and consistent long-running series is a rare beast indeed. Of course McKinty [...]

BLOG: The French Word for Bleak?

I have something of a soft spot for noir fiction. It was the sub-genre that first turned me on to the potential of crime fiction to deal with something beyond the solution of a mystery. This was the crime fiction of the dispossessed, the dubious and the dying on their feet. Its voices were forgotten [...]