Deception, A Jake Stone Thriller (Book One) (The Jake Stone Thrillers 1)

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Ambiguity is the name of the game in the first of Alan J. In Klute , he combines old-timey noir tropes and a thoroughly liberated attitude towards sex in the story of a high-class call girl Jane Fonda who helps a careworn detective Donald Sutherland to solve a mysterious homicide. Set during a weekend sailing trip, it claustrophobically exploits its setting to expose the paranoia, cruelty and folly of a middle-aged sportswriter seeking to impress his wife by humiliating a teenage student. In this pre-war Hitchcock thriller , Margaret Lockwood is a tourist crossing Europe by train who suddenly notices that one of her travelling companions, an eccentric old lady, is missing.

None of the other passengers recall having seen her friend before. Is she going mad, or is there a wider conspiracy at work? Tierney is Laura, a beautiful Madison Avenue advertising executive. When she is found dead, the detective investigating her murder Dana Andrews becomes the latest man to fall in love with her, and to be betrayed by her.

A paranoid New York murder mystery with a twist… in the middle.

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The set-up is that of classic film noir: a wealthy husband, a conniving wife and a criminal lover willing to do her spouse in. He counters the jumpy suspense of the situation with percussive cuts and a celebrated, sensual jazz score by Miles Davis. This realistic depiction of German Democratic Republic-era spy tactics on civilians and the trauma it caused is a poignant character study as well as a thriller.

Taken with the dismal settings of East Germany and its grey-green colour palette, this is a thriller of unusual historical specificity. An inaction thriller , set entirely on the drive from Birmingham to London. Ivan Locke Tom Hardy has bunked off a job laying foundations to attend the birth of his baby, conceived during an extramarital affair. Absolutely riveting. As The Avenger slaughters blonde women in foggy London, a landlady suspects that her genteel tenant, Ivor Novello , has a dark and terrible secret. That she is embroiled in a plot to murder him adds a level of double-crossing intrigue to an already powerful emotional thriller.

Peter Lorre gives an unforgettable, humane performance as a child killer stalking Berlin.

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His crimes are presented elliptically, but Lang lingers on the hysteria surrounding them, and the epic police manhunt. For a film with themes drilled into its times, The Manchurian Candidate flopped surprisingly hard on release. Frank Sinatra plays Captain Bennett Marco, on the trail of a platoon-mate, who, when triggered by the queen of diamonds playing card, becomes a mindless killing machine. The idea was insidious. Mind control has commandeered the plots of everything from the Bourne franchise to Zoolander since.

With no ability to create short-term memories, he tries to outfox his broken recall in order to find her killer. Their incompetence and brutality supplies black comedy, which mutates into an indictment of s South Korean nationalism, then fades finally into a mute fatalism that scars each protagonist. Ray Milland steps out of an asylum and into a whole heap of trouble in this delirious espionage thriller. In the topsy-turvy setting of London during the Blitz completely imagined on Hollywood soundstages , cakes conceal microfilm, suitcases conceal bombs, and doorframes and windows constrain the characters in a dread world where nothing is as it seems.

One of them made the end of the road the end of the world. Harry Anthony Edwards falls for Julie Mare Winningham at an exhibition about the extinction of the dinosaurs. Then, as suddenly as it might happen in real life, nuclear war breaks out. The bombs start falling. Another extinction begins. Harry and Julie try to outrun the inevitable.

Combining searing social realism, melodrama and explosive set-pieces, this is a giddying snapshot of the poverty, crime, corruption and violence debilitating Mexican society.

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The most dangerous game is man, as heinous huntsman Count Zaroff discovers when he sets his sights upon island castaways Joel McCrea and Fay Wray. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom like a malignant, more damaged version of the obsessive cartoonist he portrayed in Zodiac Bloom is a thief, a morally questionable opportunist and a shrewd camera op with a nose for what the TV stations require to really excite — and scare — their viewers.

Set in a remote region of western Spain, The Night of the Sunflowers adopts a Rashomon-like structure to unravel its story of a rape and the complicated aftermath from various perspectives. On a crowded sleeper train to Hel the Baltic resort, not the hot place , two strangers — one of whom may be a murderer — are forced to share a compartment. Beaten, arrested and targeted by a low-flying crop-duster plane, he finds comfort only in the arms of Eva-Marie Saint , a characteristically cool Hitchcock blonde.

Robert Newton stars as Dr Clive Riordan, whose discovery that his wife is cheating on him pushes him to extreme action. Though tame by modern standards, excellent performances and a chilling atmosphere ensure this still packs a punch. The big scenes — the hammer fight, the octopus gobble — have become iconic.

The rest is a horrific fable about violent trauma and its fallout. A rare blend of immersive action, intriguing deception and romantic tribulations combine in striking fashion as the eponymous baker tries to stay one step ahead of the Israeli security services. Essential viewing for fans of pugnacious, politically charged cinema. Co-written by and starring Billy Bob Thornton , alongside Bill Paxton , this neatly packaged thriller from director Carl Franklin transplants western sensibilities into a modern American small town.

Paxton is the ambitious young sheriff preparing to head off a gang of violent criminals on the run from the LAPD. Events unfold as a masterclass in slow-burning tension. After stops in Bloomsbury and Barcelona, the globe-trotting intrigue culminates in a devastating endgame in Andalusia. Philippe bullies Tom, and in return Tom plots to kill him and steal his identity. James Stewart plays the convalescent with a broken leg who, in his boredom, takes to spying on his neighbours across the way.

Before long he uncovers a murder — the ultimate gift for any curtain twitcher. In this peerless, female-led film noir , a California housewife Joan Bennett is forced to hide a dead body for her troubled teen daughter — and then defend her family from the blackmail threats of a sinister stranger James Mason. This impeccable heist movie, directed by American Jules Dassin on a tiny budget, is an enjoyably gritty French film noir in which four audacious criminals break into a high-end Paris jewellery store.

This could easily have been another thick-eared Cannon Films actioner. But, drawing inspiration from a screenplay originally drafted by Akira Kurosawa , director Andrei Konchalovsky uses the locomotive hurtling through the frozen Alaskan wastes to intensify the battle of wits between escaped prisoners Jon Voight and Eric Roberts and sadistic warden John P. In only his second US-set thriller , Hitchcock took evident glee in bringing a sociopath into the heart of a sweet-as-pie family home.

Ethel Barrymore and Dorothy McGuire excel, while Siodmak uses shadows, canted angles and thunder-cracks to send gothic chills through the deep-focus visuals. Richard Burton played Alec Leamas, a British spy looking to devastate the East German intelligence services while pretending to defect. People are assets, running through a game-plan drawn up by anonymous men in high places. Under blue skies and beside a glistening lake, gay men meet for casual sex over a long, idle summer. Befriending Henri, Franck is meanwhile blindsided with desire for handsome Michel, but there are signs of trouble in paradise: talk of a killer on the loose, or something in the water.

As subtle in mood and character as it is sexually frank, Stranger by the Lake makes most Tinseltown erotic thrillers look prehistoric by comparison.

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In this taut, short and inventive early home-invasion thriller , Lois Weber masterfully juggles three planes of action. A woman played by Weber herself and her baby are trapped in a lonely house as a menacing tramp circles the property, brandishing a knife. A thrill ride, a period piece and a showcase for the spirit of a city.

Lady Vanishes-worthy intrigue ensues, amid a thrifty depiction of a nation on the verge of civil war. John Kennedy. Atkinson's genius for titles clearly extends to pastiche, although I don't think the Auntie of would have permitted "Can" for "May". Fiction is slightly too much in the service of fact here, too: in attempting to devise a plot that can encompass all the real-life stories she wants to tell, Atkinson leaves her workings too visible. The rather patchy plot will be forgotten a few minutes after you've finished reading; what matters are the individual scenes and phrases that stay in the mind.

If this is one of her minor works, how vehemently most novelists will wish to produce a masterpiece as good. C rime novels are often time capsules. In order to help readers swallow melodramatic and frequently implausible events, many crime writers expend a good deal of effort on grounding their stories in reality by describing the little mundanities of ordinary life. It aspires to be a carefully plotted whodunit with elements of the nail-biting thriller; but fans of the Golden Age of crime fiction will be able to name many authors who would have handled these elements better.

What makes the novel so readable is its depiction of life in the House of Commons on the eve of the Second World War. Since procedural changes in the mother of parliaments occur at a pace that makes continental drift look nippy, we may assume that it reflects much of what happens in the Commons in the 21st century - and I doubt that its portrayal of Parliament as comprising a few chancers, a few idealists and a lot of fallible folk muddling through is much out of date either.

E voking a cash-strapped Britain struggling to recover from the Depression, the book begins with the Conservative home secretary meeting an American financier in the Commons. The ringing of the division bell summons him away to vote, and when he returns his guest has been shot dead.

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Young Parliamentary Private Secretary Robert West is the sleuth whose investigations may save the government from a scandal. Every technological innovation has its drawbacks as well as its benefits. Sir Tim Berners-Lee certainly deserves the Order of Merit for inventing the World Wide Web; but it has proved such a mixed blessing that one can't help thinking he ought also to be put in a public stocks and pelted with rotten fruit one afternoon a month.

T he danger of rushing to embrace technology is the major theme of the crime novels written by the British lawyer Abi Silver. The novel focuses on a hospital in which the use of robots in surgery is being trialled. Will it lead to hundreds of lives being saved or will our robot doctors have a whimsical tendency to start playing Jenga with our vital organs? The hospital staff are distracted from debating this issue when an elderly patient falls several storeys to her death.

One of the hospital cleaners, a Syrian refugee, is suspected of giving her a fatal shove and the media are soon confecting links between the suspect and terrorist organisations. This is a sparklingly clever and entertaining mystery with a juicy helping of courtroom drama presided over by a judge worthy of Rumpole ; and although plenty of topical issues are explored, the characters are able to live and breathe.

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I must admit, though, that the notion that if I am wrongfully arrested I would need lawyers as compassionate, cunning and noble as Judith and Constance to save me worries me a lot more than the idea of a robot poking about in my insides. The same is true of Scandinavian crime novels.

When the craze for Nordic noir broke, I devoured book after book, relishing how they were, in just the right ways, both like and unlike anglophone crime fiction. Now the thought of reading another book in which a murder leads to people philosophising gloomily in awful weather makes me feel queasy. It centres on a dysfunctional family who are the sole occupants of one of those benighted, windswept islands on which, if Scandi crime writers are to be believed, murders rival thunderstorms in frequency. But despite this familiar set-up, the novel proves to be highly original, and had me feeling that thrilling sense of something new that came with my early experiences of Nordic noir.

The book begins with Liv, a six-year-old girl, witnessing her father suffocating her grandmother to death. As Riel goes back in time to explain the origins of the murder, and then forward to its consequences, telling her story from several viewpoints, readers will find their sympathies batted like a shuttlecock between murderer and victim.


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T here is a fabular quality to the writing, well caught in Charlotte Barslund's outstandingly good translation, but the story never drifts free of reality thanks to the solidity with which setting and characters are depicted. And where much Nordic noir gives you nothing more to laugh at than the bitter irony of human beings believing that their hopes and ambitions might be fulfilled, this book has a few good jokes.

It reminded me of Stephen King at his best: creepy as hell, but with compassion for every character, however misguided. Many examples of the genre have seemed to have more in common with stage magic than literature: Agatha Christie was praised more frequently for her skill in prestidigitation than her prose. EO Chirovici is one of those writers who are more interested in deceiving their readers' eyes than expanding their minds. His books are literary conjuring shows in which he tricks you into thinking the ball is under one cup when it turns out to be under another — only somehow the ball has become an egg and the cup has turned into a rabbit.

What they lack in depth is made up for with dazzle. A dying billionaire philanthropist wants Cobb to hypnotise him to resurrect suppressed memories of a night in Paris 40 years ago that ended with the death of a young woman. Cobb's well-remunerated efforts prove inconclusive but, with a dark past of his own that he wants to atone for, he becomes determined to assemble the truth from a barrage of contradictory witness statements. Like the previous book, this is a highly entertaining box of tricks that exploits human beings' capacity for deceiving themselves to deceive the reader.

If crime novels as painstakingly constructed as this one are out of fashion these days, that is probably because few writers can do them as well as Chirovici can. Andrew Martin's novels seem to be lying in wait for unwary readers to stub their toes. His best known, the "Steam Detective" series about an Edwardian railwayman-cum-sleuth called Jim Stringer, promise cosy nostalgia, but actually combine left-field imagination with an almost hallucinatory evocation of the long-distant past. D oubtless as a cunning way of currying favour with newspaper reviewers, Martin has made the heroine of his novel a freelance journalist struggling to make ends meet.

Jean decides she will escape her current poverty by writing a book about a juicy historical mystery she has come across, the fate of Kate French, a late-Victorian music hall artiste known as "the Martian Girl", who could read minds, but came to a sticky end. Kate's story is told through extracts from the narrative that Jean is writing, interspersed with Jean's present-day relationship with a disbarred barrister called Coates; she knows he is married but is unaware that he is slipping into a homicidal psychosis. Martin's depiction of his mentally unbalanced viewpoint "Blood came slowly at first, then fast, like when you win a lot of money on a fruit machine, and it's embarrassing, and you're looking around, saying 'Sorry about this!

At times, it feels like a pastiche — the ghost of Patrick Hamilton, as well as that of Simenon, does not so much hover as clank loudly over its pages — and Martin is at pains to emphasise the artificiality of his dual narratives.

The effect is theatrical in the sense that the reader is rarely allowed to forget that these people are just figures in a story or a story within a story ; but by some feat of authorial alchemy, I could not bring myself to stop reading until I found out what happened to them. Reading Sabine Durrant's psychological thrillers often prompts the thought that she must know a lot of the men I know. This is a tribute to her sharp-eyed skill as an observer of modern men and the rather uniform ways in which a large number of them behave badly.

Her triumph in this field was her last novel, Lie With Me , in which a middle-aged man-child's schemes for an easy life went disastrously and deliciously awry. The book begins dramatically with PR consultant Marcus on a family holiday, trying and failing to save the small son whom he has neglectfully allowed to get into difficulties in the sea.

Instead the boy is rescued by a character who, if this were a Martin Amis novel, would be called Keith: a burly, tattooed, working-class man called Dave Jepsom, who subsequently uses his hero status to insinuate himself into the lives of Marcus and his wife Tessa. Cue class comedy as they haplessly attempt to get rid of him, but events take a darker turn once Dave realises they don't want to be friends. Durrant is superb on the way the frazzled professionals' relationships can fracture "We had to address our problems at some point but it was just another thing, and I had enough things at work," Marcus observes.

T he French, having given the world the concept of the au pair, now seem intent on warning us of the dangers of letting a stranger loose on our children. Letting Louise into her home so she can pursue her career precipitates a nightmare; but Slimani writes just as compellingly and discomfitingly about the tedious, interminable anxiety dream that is normal parenthood. But this short sharp shock of a novel, very well translated by Sam Taylor, makes hay with the worst of worst-nightmare scenarios to agreeably disturbing effect.

Ted Allbeury's thriller centres on a successful businessman in a miserable marriage who has ridden a tide of public cynicism against conventional politicians to become the Republican President of the United States, only to be accused of being a stooge whose election victory has been rigged from the Kremlin. MacKay is soon working unofficially with his CIA buddy Peter Nolan on Operation 66 — so-called because there are 66 days between the election and the inauguration — to prove before the president-elect takes office that the Russians are pulling his strings: not easy, as the witnesses are being bumped off at an alarming rate.

Allbeury writes extremely well about his characters' doggedness in pursuing an investigation that, if successful, can only result in a further freezing of international relations and erosion of the American people's trust in the political system — "It was like working diligently to prove you had cancer.

Allbeury worked in British Intelligence before becoming an outstanding espionage novelist in late middle age. His novel has seeming prescience, but what actually makes it worth reading are the rounded characters and an ingenious plot that never breaks free of plausibility.

The very things, in fact, that are missing from the saga of President Trump's victory. It begins with a murder in Germany, a shooting carried out by a relative of Randolph Tiefenthaler, the impeccably decent man who lives in the flat above the victim. The narrative then leaps back in time and we see how the dead man harassed and spied on his upstairs neighbours, before repeatedly and baselessly reporting them to the police for abusing their children, with the law powerless to stop him. His family did suffer exactly the same torments from their downstairs neighbour as the family in the novel, although in real life the man was eventually committed rather than killed.

K urbjuweit has revealed that the policeman who wordlessly pats his gun when Randolph asks for advice on how to deal with his neighbour is straight out of real life, and this is one of dozens of alarmingly plausible details that one doubts the most powerful imagination could have furnished. I wonder what his views are on Philip Roth's assertion that nothing that happens to a writer can be called bad because it can be used as material.

His real achievement, however, is in the artful arrangement of his experiences as a basis for reflections — on free will, marriage, parenthood and how the middle classes "other" the poor and the damaged — that make the book as intellectually stimulating as it is gripping.

Not one that Michael Winner would have wanted to film, after all. Any, if not most, fictional detectives keep on sleuthing past their best-before date. Important Links. Follow Us. App Download. US UK. Thank you for subscribing! Please check your email to confirm your subscription. Our Stores. Apply Filter Remove Filter Categories. USD 9. The Pack USD 9. All the latest offers delivered right to your inbox! We Accept. Shipping Methods business days Minimum 10 business days.

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