Guardian book reviews by Laura Wilson

January 2020

Nothing if not ambitious, the first standalone novel from Steph Cha is a fictional treatment of the 1991 shooting of African-American schoolgirl Latasha Harlins by Korean-born store-owner Soon Ja Du. Ms Du suspected the 15-year-old of shoplifting, and her lenient treatment by the court, which caused tension between the two communities, is often cited as […]

Posted in Dog & Lamp-post | Comments Off on January 2020

Picks of the Year 2019

This year we bid farewell to one of crime fiction’s iconic investigators, Bernie Gunther. His final outing, which was published in April, was completed shortly before author Philip Kerr’s untimely death last year and is just as gripping and immersive as its predecessors. The last novel in a sequence begun in 1989 with March Violets, […]

Posted in Dog & Lamp-post | Comments Off on Picks of the Year 2019

December 2019

Australian author Chris Hammer’s second novel, Silver (Wildfire, £16.99), picks up journalist Martin Scarsden’s career a few months after the events detailed in the author’s impressive debut, Scrublands, which won this year’s Crime Writers Association John Creasey Award for Best First Novel. Scarsden has been writing a book about why a priest in the outback […]

Posted in Dog & Lamp-post | Comments Off on December 2019

November 2019

Shortlisted for Best Crime Novel in New Zealand’s 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards, former detective Nathan Blackwell’s debut, The Sound of Her Voice (Orion, £14.99), is a police procedural with a difference. There’s no inciting incident: the narrative follows the career of Detective Matt Buchanan through the years as a colleague dies in his arms, he […]

Posted in Dog & Lamp-post | Comments Off on November 2019

October 2019

Winner of both the Grand Prix de La Litterature* Policiere** and the European Crime Fiction prize, The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre (Old Street Publishing, £8.99, translated by Stephanie Smee) is Breaking Bad meets Weeds, with a French suburban twist. Fifty-three-year-old widowed mother of two Patience Portefeux faces a precarious future thanks to a job with […]

Posted in Dog & Lamp-post | Comments Off on October 2019