CRIME










VINE STREET Dominic Nolan (Headline £18.99, 592 pp)

VINE STREET  

by Dominic Nolan (Headline £18.99, 592 pp)

Soho in 1935 was a grimy, dangerous place that is still hypnotic to millions. It is also Sergeant Leon Geats’s very own patch, which he patrols from the Vine Street police station, knowing every nook and alley in the centre of London’s West End.

But when a young woman is found strangled with her own stocking, Geats is far from convinced by his senior officer’s conclusion that she was just a common prostitute who had decided to end her own life.

To find out the truth about her death, he starts a search in the dive bars and jazz clubs as well as the brothels and bookies. Geats is not a saint. He is only a good man who isn’t afraid to use bad methods if it helps him find the killer he believes is wandering these streets.

This is crime writing at its best and should be compared to James Ellroy. There are echoes of the great American’s work on every page of this compelling descent into the depths of London’s underworld.

COLD AS HELL  

COLD AS HELL by Lilja Sigurdardottir (Orenda £8.99, 276 pp)

COLD AS HELL Lilja Sigurdardottir (Orenda £8.99, 276 pp)

by Lilja Sigurdardottir (Orenda £8.99, 276 pp)

Sigurdardottir, a best-selling Icelandic crime writer, has built a strong reputation with only four novels. Now she introduces a new protagonist to help cement her legacy.

Arora is based North East England but is being tempted to return to Iceland by her mother, who is concerned about her sister Isafold who has disappeared.

Arora returns to her sister even though they are estranged. It is not an easy task.

Isafold’s drug-dealer boyfriend Bjorn is abusive and at least one of her neighbours is distinctly weird. Arora, a spirited woman, recruits Daniel, a local officer to watch over Bjorn. However, it turns out that she has fallen into a much more sinister plot than she could have ever imagined.

The blinding midnight sun in Iceland’s summer is beautifully evoked as Arora establishes herself as a heroine to move the heart.

NEXT IN LINE by Marion Todd (Canelo £8.99, 384 pp)

NEXT INLINE Marion Todd (Canelo £8.99, 384 pp)

NEXT IN LINE 

by Marion Todd (Canelo £8.99, 384 pp)

Dundee-based Todd proves to be a master of Tartan Noir with a fifth appearance for DI Clare Mackay, an agreeable Scottish detective.

Mackay is currently investigating Russell’s death, the brother of daytime TV star Gaby Fox. He was shot in the grounds at a well-maintained house on the edge St Andrews. Mackay is also attending the wedding ceremony of an old flame.

Told with Todd’s customary wry humour and touch for the frailties of humanity, it focuses on the friends who were staying with Russell Fox when he was killed, none of whom seem capable of telling the truth.

As the plot unfolds, it becomes ever clearer that the innocent victim’s friends were not what they seemed. Did he harbor secrets? Yes. Twisty and beguiling, it underlines DI Mackay’s subtle, sinuous appeal.

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