Saturday 13 November 2021


Where to start? 3 new-to-me authors who I ought to have tried a while back. 3 who've been enjoyed before.

Antti Tuomainen - The Rabbit Factor (2021) - Audible purchase

I think I have four or five of Tuomainen's earlier books on the pile and I still haven't got to him. Go figure. This is his latest and might be a good place to start.b

Just one spreadsheet away from chaos…

What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.

And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.

But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri's relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…

Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.

Hansjorg Schneider - Silver Pebbles (2022) - Edelweiss - Above the Treeline review site

Another new author and the second in his Hunkeler series. Time for a visit to Switzerland!

A hunt for drug gang diamonds is keeping Basel Inspector Hunkeler on tenterhooks.

Basel, nestled at the border of Switzerland with Germany and France, has been hammered by a huge snowstorm, cars and trams can barely move, trees are groaning under the weight of the recent snowfall, the cathedral and city roofs are smothered. An elegant young Lebanese man carrying diamonds in his bag is on the train from Frankfurt to Basel, a drug mule on the return journey. At the Basel train station, Inspector Hunkeler is waiting for him after a tipoff from the German police. The courier manages to get to the station toilet and flushes the stones away. Erdogan, a young Turkish sewage maintenance worker, finds the diamonds in the pipes under the station. To him they mean wealth and the small hotel he always wanted to buy near his family village. To his older Swiss girl-friend Erika, employed at a supermarket checkout counter, the stones signify the end of their life together. She knows that Erdogan has a wife and children in Turkey. For the courier, finding the stones is a matter of life and death. His employers are on their way to “tidy things up”. For Hunkeler the stones are the only way to get to the people behind the drug trade. They turn out to include not only the bottom-feeding drug gangs but bankers and politicians very high up the Basel food chain.

Tom Vater - Kolkata Noir (2021) - review copy from author

Tom Vater had been enjoyed before - The Monsoon Ghost Image. This is his latest.

Becker is a British traveler in trouble. Madhurima is a rising star police officer. In these three explosive tales, the two join forces to investigate the city’s crooked high society.

On the way, they take on deluded would-be messiahs in search of Mother Teresa’s stolen millions, encounter fanatics, circus freaks and cannibals, fall in and out of love and pay homage to one of the world’s most beautiful and toughest cities.

Amidst passion, murder and mayhem, is there room for two lovers driven by justice and compassion?

Tom Vater's 'Kolkata Noir' is a riveting crime fiction cycle of three novellas set in the past, the present and the future.

Sean O'Leary - Going All the Way (2021) - review copy from author

Australian crime. O'Leary's short story collection - Wonderland - was reading time well spent.

Travis is the night manager at the Cross Motel in Sydney’s notorious late-night district, Kings Cross. His life takes a drastic turn after a sex worker is brutally murdered on his shift.

Having broken up with his girlfriend and lost his dream of becoming a professional AFL player, Travis's life is in shambles. With the police breathing down his neck and his ex-girlfriend asking him to find her missing partner, Travis has got his plate full, and more.

His search takes him to Melbourne, where he also has to find two missing girls. Travis realizes there's only one way out: find the people responsible and bring them to justice. But can he make it out alive?

Peter Ritchie - Where Angels Rest (2021) - review copy from author

One of my favourite Scottish authors. Previously enjoyed - Our Little SecretsWhere No Shadows Fall and Maxine's Story

Grace Macallan is back in major crime investigation.

The arrest of a Finnish contract killer and the subsequent murder of an Edinburgh reporter seem unconnected – until a ghost from the past appears in the investigation.

The horrors of past misdeeds in Northern Ireland, contract killers, military secrets and organised-crime feuds collide on the streets of Edinburgh and the Irish Republic, drawing Macallan into brutal score-settling on Dublin’s streets and a life-or-death race against time.

CB McKenzie - Burn What Will Burn (2016) - purchased copy

A second novel from McKenzie. His debut - Bad Country also sits on the stack.

A noirish crime novel set in rural Arkansas from award-winning author C. B. McKenzie.

Bob Reynolds doesn't recognize the body in the creek, but he does recognize the danger of it. He's a newcomer to town, not entirely welcome and not entirely on good footing with the sheriff. So far he's kept his head down, mostly over the bar at the Crow's Nest. But he has interests other than drinking and spending his inheritance, including one that goes by the name Tammy Fay Smith and who may have caught the sheriff's eye as well.

Bob Reynolds would rather pretend he never saw the body, but when it disappears he begins to doubt what little he knew about this secretive town, one that seems to become more unwelcoming by the day. But he can't just forget the body, despite the advice he's given to do so and despite the evidence to suggest that he might be disappearing along with it.

Following his acclaimed, Edgar-nominated debut, C. B. McKenzie's Burn What Will Burn will appeal to fans of such literary crime authors as Daniel Woodrell, Tom Franklin, Joe R. Lansdale, and Nic Pizzolatto.


  1. I want to read The Rabbit Factor very much, Col. Oh, and you mentioned C.B. McKenzie's Bad Country... I think you'd like that one. It's got a solid setting, a nicely-developed main character, and an interesting plot. I was glad I read it; hope you will be, too.

    1. I'm always interested in reading new authors Margot. McKenzie and Tuomainen, I've perhaps put off a bit too long!