Guardian book reviews by Laura Wilson

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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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November 2016

Darktown, by Thomas Mullen (Little, Brown, £16.99) is set in Atlanta, Georgia, which, in 1948, was a place where black lives didn’t matter – at least, not to the white authorities. They have, however, just hired their first black officers. Tasked with policing the ‘coloured’ neighbourhoods, the eight men find themselves in the impossible position […]

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