MONEY, MONEY, MONEY (2001) by Ed McBain

Steve Carella is paired with Fat Ollie Weeks in this unusual entry in the 87th Precinct series. Shifting away from the whodunit formula, this is a contemporary thriller involving drug trafficking, counterfeiting and the secret service and featuring a rogue’s gallery of villains ranging from petty burglars to hit-men (and hit-women) and Islamic terrorists on  American soil.

He flipped back his jacket, holstered the gun, and said, “You owe me one, Steve-a-rino.”

I offer this review for Friday’s Forgotten Books meme, hosted today by Todd Mason at his Sweet Freedom blog
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Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 18 Comments

KISS KISS, BANG BANG by Mike Ripley

The subtitle really does say it all: The Boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royale to The Eagle Has Landed

Though I sadly missed the launch party last week due to an international incident (but which sadly I can’t discuss due to a slew of D notices) Mike Ripley’s history of the modern, post-war British thriller, with a foreword by Lee Child, is now finally in the shops. It is available  in hardback, e-book and audio versions courtesy of Harper Collins after making its way through the courts. It reveals – inter alia – that, though Britain may have lost an empire, her thrillers helped save the world.

You’d you’d be a fool to miss this book – and  here’s why:

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Posted in Adam Hall, Alistair MacLean, Clive Egleton, Eric Ambler, Frederick Forsyth, George Smiley, Gerald Seymour, Ian Fleming, James Bond, James Mitchell, John le Carre, Lee Child, Len Deighton, Mike Ripley | 24 Comments

The Man in Room 17 (1965-67)

Created by Robin Chapman, this glorious 1960s TV show was big in its day and deserves to be rediscovered. The eponymous room is the secret centre of operations for the Department of Special Research. And the man is Edwin Oldenshaw (Richard Vernon) who, assisted by Ian Dimmock (Michael Aldridge) in season 1 and later Imlac Defraits (Denholm Elliot), is set to solve the cases that nobody else can even understand. And do it without ever leaving their special room …

The following review is offered as part of Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday | 16 Comments

RIVERS OF LONDON by Ben Aaronovitch

I first read this urban fantasy / police procedural hybrid several years ago and really enjoyed it, but for various reasons stopped there with the series. Recently a couple of friends of mine mentioned they had been reading the later books in the cycle (the seventh volume in the series is due out in September) and when a good friend of mine recently gave me a copy of the first, I decided the gods of literature were trying to tell me something! So I decided to re-read it, with a view to actually getting into the whole cycle of adventures featuring probationary policeman, Peter Grant.

I offer this review for Friday’s Forgotten Books meme hosted today by Todd Mason at Sweet Freedom.

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Posted in Ben Aaronovich, Doctor Who, Friday's Forgotten Book, London, Police procedural, Scene of the crime | 32 Comments

Last Resort

When is a submarine thriller not just a submarine thriller? Well, in this case, when it’s also an allegory of right-wing American imperialism – which is definitely what I liked most about Last Resort. In this short-lived TV show (only 13 episodes were made), Andre Braugher stars as the captain of the USS Colorado who is forced off the grid when he becomes a pawn in an attempt by forces within the Washington military-industrial complex to take over the government.

The following review is offered as part of Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at his Sweet Freedom blog.

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Posted in Noir on Tuesday | 20 Comments

THE LAST DANCE (2000) by Ed McBain

Given the title and the fact that it was the fiftieth entry in the 87th Precinct series, it is possible, just maybe, that this was envisaged as the last one – or maybe McBain was just toying with us. Certainly, this novel proved to be the end of the road for informant extraordinaire Daniel Nelson, aka Danny Gimp, a fixture since 1956’s Cop Hater, the first volume in the series.

… Danny was already dead when Carella knelt beside him.

I offer the following review for Friday’s Forgotten Books meme run by Patti Abbott at her fab Pattinase blog.
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Posted in 87th Precinct, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 23 Comments

THE RIDDLE OF THE THIRD MILE (1983) by Colin Dexter

This book in the Inspector Morse series generally sees little love either critics or fans  – and was changed greatly when adapted for TV (even the title, to ‘The Last Enemy’). Is this a book that is worth reclaiming?

“Morse was his hero, and always would be. But even heroes had their momentary weaknesses, as Lewis had so often learned.”

I submit this review for Bev’s 2017 Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Tuesday’s Overlooked Film meme hosted by Todd Mason over at Sweet Freedom.

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Posted in 2017 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Colin Dexter, England, Inspector Morse, London, Oxford, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 14 Comments