Well after the excitement of Christmas and New Year, here in the UK January has proved to be a sodden affair- no more rain please! Luckily my spirits have not been dampened by the marvellous selection of crime books read while the rain fell, a couple of interesting interviews with Ray Robinson (Jawbone Lake) and Suzanne Rindell (The Other Typist), a landing post for the Luca Veste (Dead Gone) blog tour and my fledgling contributions to the marvellous Crimefictionlover.com a great resource for fans of all things criminal. So all in all, a very interesting month indeed and if that all wasn’t exciting enough, just you wait for February. My challenge for the upcoming month is to not only highlight some of the more mainstream releases, but to finally compile an ‘indie’ round-up as I have read some great independent/self-published crime over the last couple of months, so watch out for this as well…

Simon Beckett- Stone Bruises (www.crimefictionlover.com )

Wiley Cash- This Dark Road To Mercy

Hans Koppel- You’re Mine Now (www.crimefictionlover.com )

Malcolm Mackay- The Sudden Arrival of Violence (Glasgow Trilogy 3).

Becky Masterman- Rage Against The Dying

Peter May- Entry Island

Marc Pastor- Barcelona Shadows

Matthew Reilly- The Tournament

 Ray Robinson-Jawbone Lake

Dominique Sylvain- The Dark Angel (www.crimefictionlover.com )

Luca Veste-Dead Gone

And here in time honoured fashion is…

Raven’s Book of the Month:

Another tricky one to award in the face of the fantastic conclusion to Malcolm Mackay’s Glasgow Trilogy- The Sudden Arrival of Violence– and the truly weird, Gothic inspired miracle that was Marc Pastor’s Barcelona Shadows which was a breath of fresh, but equally foul, air in the normal realm of crime fiction. However, this month my black heart belongs to Wiley- Wiley Cash, that is with the hypnotising, compelling and perfectly executed This Dark Road To Mercy. Appealing to my innate love of beautifully written American contemporary fiction, and displaying all the necessary attributes of a great crime read, there is no question that this book deserves my humble plaudit. Marvellous.