Guardian book reviews by Laura Wilson

June 2017

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips (Doubleday, £12.99) begins at closing time in a zoo in an unnamed American city, where Joan is trying to hurry her four-year-old son Lincoln towards the exit. When she spots the dead bodies and realises that the ‘fireworks’ she heard earlier were actually gunshots, Joan’s focus shifts from not getting […]

Posted in Dog & Lamp-post | Comments Off on June 2017

May 2017

Have we reached peak twist in crime fiction? While it’s true that few things are more memorable than a good plot twist, the opposite is also the case – an abrupt left turn on the part of the writer can leave the reader feeling, at best, nonplussed, and, at worst, swindled. As with tight-rope walking, […]

Posted in Dog & Lamp-post | Comments Off on May 2017

April 2017

Set in Denver, Joann Chaney’s first novel, What You Don’t Know (Mantle, £12.99) begins where most crime fiction ends, with the capture of a murderer. Detectives Ralph Loren and Paul Hoskins collar successful businessman and pillar-of-the-community Jacky Seever, who, in his predilection for dressing up as a clown and for stashing the bodies of his […]

Posted in Dog & Lamp-post | Comments Off on April 2017

February 2017

The first novel written in English by Romanian author E.O. Chirovici is a sophisticated take, complete with framing devices and plenty of mind games, on a simple whodunit. The Book of Mirrors (Century, £12.99) begins when New York literary agent Peter Katz receives an unfinished manuscript dealing with the events leading up to the unsolved […]

Posted in Dog & Lamp-post | Comments Off on February 2017

December 2016

Parched and crackling after a two-year drought, the Australian town of Kiewarra is the highly combustible setting for Jane Harper’s first novel The Dry (Little, Brown, £12.99). Nature isn’t the only thing that’s dangerous in this small town in the middle of nowhere – when policeman Aaron Falk returns from Melbourne to attend the funeral […]

Posted in Dog & Lamp-post | Comments Off on December 2016