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Holy City by Henry Wise

Like so many novels in the noir sub-genre, Holy City by Henry Wise reveals the links between its main character’s past and their present predicament, and how, no matter which choices they may make, their fate is almost predetermined. However, what sets it apart from…
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Blessed Water by Margot Douaihy

Last year’s Scorched Grace, my favourite book of 2023, introduced readers to one of the most memorable, sympathetic and unique private eyes of recent years. Sister Holiday is a tattooed, punk, queer nun, music teacher at New Orleans’ Saint Sebastien’s School, who is a member…
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The Rumor Game by Thomas Mullen

Thomas Mullen made his name with the Darktown novels, set in racism-riddled 1940s Atlanta. Last year, he changed tack with a near-future sci-fi thriller called Blind Spots. With The Rumor Game he returns to mid-century America with a historical thriller set in Cambridge, Massachusetts early…
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My Favorite Scar by Nicolas Ferraro

Translated by Mallory N Craig-Kuhn — Originally published in Spanish in 2021, and winner of that country’s Dashiell Hammett prize in 2022, My Favorite Scar is now available for English readers. Its hardboiled plot and noir stylings will hopefully now find a wider audience. The…
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Features

Rough Justice: Top five books of 2023

Every year, when I come to write this list, I fret about the books that didn’t quite make my top five. This year, for a change, I’ve found something different to nag at my conscience – the books that I loved but didn’t review. This…
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Fall by Tracy Clark

Political corruption, like death and taxes, is always with us, a fact that Chicagoans know better than most. Chicago has long been considered America’s most corrupt city, with one investigation suggesting more than $500 million leaves the system each year to pockets unknown. An incredible…
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Big Island, LA by Boston Teran

Big Island, LA connects the dots between a heist gone wrong at a police shooting range and corporate greed and political corruption, leaving a former combat marine and an agoraphobic crime reporter to sort out the mystery. It’s a new crime novel from Boston Teran…
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