83 articles

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Arnaldur Indridason - Arctic Chill

4 Sep 20084 stars

Crime fiction is routinely disregarded by literary types, but at its best it can provide the kind of sharp commentary on society that a million Oxbridge dinner party novels could only dream of. Arnaldur Indridason's Icelandic crime procedurals are…

Trouble In Mind

21 Aug 20084 stars

CRIME/DRAMA ‘A little bit of everybody belongs in hell’ say Kris Kristofferson’s former cop, a man who’s recently served time for killing a mobster. Then there is Keith Carradine’s man on the make who changes his image from country boy to androgynous…

Christopher Brookmyre - A Snowball in Hell

14 Aug 20084 stars

CRIME TALE (Little, Brown) Terrorism, reality TV, manufactured pop, hacking, magic and a wee touch of romance: Christopher Brookmyre likes to pack a lot into his literary sandwiches. And, as usual, his fans will happily gorge themselves on it, because…

Kate Atkinson - When Will There Be Good News?

7 Aug 20084 stars

CRIME NOVEL (Doubleday) ‘A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.’ So says tongue-in-cheek Jackson Brodie, Kate Atkinson’s ex-army, ex-police, sort-of private investigator in a third fictional outing, neatly encapsulating the appeal of…


31 Jul 20084 stars

CRIME/DRAMA/BIOPIC (18) 108min Films about football hooligans have resulted in some of the worst examples of British filmmaking in the last ten years – Green Street, Rise of the Footsoldier, The Football Factory have all scored own goals. So it comes…

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Irvine Welsh - Crime

3 Jul 20084 stars

CRIME DRAMA (Jonathan Cape) Irvine Welsh has never shied away from the seamy side of life, and for his ninth novel he crosses the Atlantic to the balmy climes of Florida, only to uncover a cesspit of evil that would put some of his previous local…

Helen FitzGerald - Dead Lovely

5 Jun 20083 stars

CRIME NOVEL (Faber) Once I got beyond the fact that the murderer in this crime thriller-meets-chick lit novel resides on my Glasgow street, I found plenty to enjoy in Helen FitzGerald’s debut. Opening with Krissie’s confession that she’s cheated with…

Midnight Man

8 May 20083 stars

CRIME DRAMA STV, Thu 8 May, 9pm Were James Nesbitt to be handed a script featuring the worst excesses of humanity, it would be difficult not to imagine him desperately looking for the jokes. Asides from his role as Ivan Cooper, the real-life civil…

The Oxford Murders

24 Apr 20084 stars

CRIME/THRILLER (15) 104min Having graduated from the kitsch sci-fi satire of Acción mutante and the heavy metal horror of The Day of the Beast to the Hitchcockian black comedies Common Wealth and Ferpect Crime, Bilbao-born filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia…

Brent Ghelfi - Volk’s Game

24 Apr 20082 stars

CRIME THRILLER (Faber) This debut novel from former US Court of Appeals clerk Brent Ghelfi introduces us to Alexei Volkovoy. ‘Volk’ (‘wolf’), a one-time sniper for the Russian Army in Chechnya, is now an unscrupulous gangster commissioned to steal a…

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In Bruges

10 Apr 20084 stars

CRIME/COMEDY (18) 107min A pair of mismatched professional hitmen are sent to the picturesque titular Belgian city to lie low after a job in London goes wrong. There, young philistine Ray (Colin Farrell) and older, cultured Ken (Brendan Gleeson) argue…


10 Apr 20082 stars

COMEDY/CRIME/HORROR (15) 94min If characters explode like tomatoes in microwaves, you’re probably witnessing the continuing rise of British splat-core comedy horror that’s had as many hits (Shaun of the Dead, Severance) as misses (The Cottage), the…

Scottish crime fiction

27 Mar 2008

Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers were arguably the most successful authors of the ‘golden age of the detective fiction’ in the 1920s and 30s while prolific contemporary thriller writers such as PD James, Ruth Rendell and Patricia Cornwell…

First Sunday

27 Mar 20081 star

CRIME/COMEDY (12A) 97min When trousers fall down to reveal brightly-coloured underwear, any comedy is instantly revealed as low-brow, yet this vehicle for ex-rapper Ice Cube written, directed and produced by his old promo director friend David E…


28 Feb 20082 stars

CRIME/THRILLER (18) 100min What new wine can be poured into the cracked old bottles of the serial killer movie? Although the sub-genre is less than 20 years old (kicking off with Silence of the Lambs and peaking with David Fincher’s Se7en), it has…

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The Frightened City

31 Jan 20082 stars


Chiefly notable for an early screen appearance from Edinburgh’s most famous former milkman, this somewhat pedestrian 1961 British film noir features Sean Connery in one of his last supporting roles, here playing a cat burglar the year before he was cast…

Scottish crime writing

1 Nov 2007

‘Ah, well. If you’re Scottish, and you’re writing crime fiction, at some point someone is going to hail you as “the new Ian Rankin” until they remember, no, actually Ian Rankin is still there. Alex Gray has been described as the Glaswegian Ian Rankin.

The Brave One

20 Sep 20074 stars

CRIME/THRILLER (18) 122min There is no actor working today who portrays motivational fear better than Jodie Foster. Her performances in The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs and to a lesser extent the more recent Panic Room and Flight Plan are…

Ecoute Le Temps

20 Sep 20073 stars

MYSTERY/CRIME (15) 87min There are echoes of Brian de Palma’s superb 1981 thriller Blow Out in this low-budget, high-concept drama from writer/director Alanté Kavaïté. A documentary sound engineer Charlotte (Émilie Dequenne, best known for her debut…

One Last Dance

20 Sep 20074 stars

COMEDY/CRIME/ROMANCE (18) 110min (Tartan DVD retail/rental) Straight-to-DVD premieres no longer herald generally third-rate titles, as this off-beat Asian crime film proves. Written and directed by Brazilian filmmaker Max Makowski, and financed and…

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Employee alleges Spector gun threat

28 Aug 2007

Employee alleges Spector gun threat Music producer Phil Spector twice threatened an employee with a gun, the Wall of Sound star’s murder trial has heard. Devra Robitaille, a former girlfriend and employee of Spector, told the court that he had…

Frank Muir

9 Aug 2007

If Festival visitors were asked where they expect Scottish crime novels to be set, a fair few would probably think of Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh first, or Denise Mina’s Glasgow.

Lin Anderson

16 Jul 2007

Flight of fancy Edinburgh crime writer Lin Anderson tells Allan Radcliffe that living in Nigeria and feasting on the news have both influenced her latest novel Lin Anderson has tended to get lumped in with the Tartan Noir squad of Scottish…

Lights in the Dusk

21 May 20074 stars

DRAMA/CRIME/COMEDY The final part of Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki’s ‘Loser Trilogy’ (preceded by Drifting Clouds and The Man Without a Past) concerns itself with lonely night watchman Koistinen (Janne Hyytiäinen) who has modest hopes of setting…

Comics - Calvario Hills

7 May 20073 stars