Any recommendations are not necessarily current – I might urge you to read that newfangled fantasy nonsense from JRR Tolkien if the desire grabs me. All these books are looking at me from across the room, through a haze of sultry smoke (is smoking making a sexy comeback yet?), giving me the odd wink to follow them back to their place.

Some might seduce you, others might club you over the head when you’re not looking. I just don’t know.

Telegraph Hill
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First up, John Nardizzi’s Telegraph Hill, about a private dick obsessed with three women in San Francisco, especially a girl called Tania who Triads want to slice up and make sure she never witnesses their actions again. Reviewers say it pulls you into San Francisco wide-eyed. It sounds like it might then dump you on the sidewalk, traumatised, but it looks fantastic.

That Damned Coyote Hill
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Heath Lowrance’s That Damned Coyote Hill has a premise that pulls you in. Set in the old American West, its hero Hawthorne is not necessarily a hero, might even be ambiguous in his likability, but when did likability ever get the blood pumping? Chasing the villains all the way to a town called Coyote Hill, he intends to step in, despite those coyotes as big as a wolf. It’s been called a Weird Western, full of horror and pace. Gotta read it.

The One from the Other (Bernard Gunther, #4)
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Philip Kerr’s detective novels, all set in the Third Reich and its aftermath, look cracking. Despite the Saturday morning serial-like Nazis of Indiana Jones, the period still has the power to shock and make your heart stop. The ones taking place after the end of the war look particularly good, as bad men scramble to hide their wartime atrocities.

The Vanity Game
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HJ Hampson’s The Vanity Game is about a footballer who seemingly has it all until a celebrity party ends disastrously and a dodgy cartel come into his life. The protagonist is unlikable, but if you like to see arseholes taken down a peg or two, then this can only be a compulsory read.

Beat To A Pulp: A Rip Through Time
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Finally, Beat to a Pulp: A Rip Through Time, sounds fantastic. This science-fiction noir is a tale written by numerous authors, but which keeps its balance and tone consistent throughout. Sounds like the sort of Saturday morning stuff you’d watch as a kid, but far more adult, far more dramatic, and far more entertaining.

If there’s good stuff I’m missing, let me know in the comments.