This month’s classic crime thriller selection is Len Deighton’s first and, arguably most famous, spy novel, The Ipcress File. The novel is written from the perspective of the unnamed protagonist, who delivers his report on the ‘IPCRESS affair’ to the Minister of Defence, recounting events which happened soon after his transfer from military intelligence to a small, civilian intelligence agency known as WOOC(P). There, he learns that an intelligence broker code-named ‘Jay’ is suspected of being behind a series of kidnappings of British VIPs, with the intention of selling them to the Soviets. The protagonist is tasked to meet with ‘Jay’ to secure the release of ‘Raven,’ a high-ranking scientist and his latest target, in what seems a straightforward mission. However, things are never what they seem, and our protagonist soon finds himself plunged into the deadly epicentre of a dark conspiracy...
‘The movie adaptation of this novel, in which Michael Caine christened Deighton’s nameless character “Harry Palmer” and delivered one of his most celebrated performances, is a favourite in our household. Regrettably, I saw the film long before reading the book, but I haven’t been disappointed by either format. Unlike some of the other spy novelists of his day, Deighton crafted a working-class hero who manages to be so much more believable as an intelligence operative than, say, his more glamorous counterpart at the time, James Bond. It was this quality that made The Ipcress File a runaway bestseller and, somewhat ironically, attracted the attention of Harry Selznick, co-producer of the Bond movies. Deighton writes with wit, style and flair, and with an economy of words that ensures a page-turning read I didn’t want to put down until I’d read the very last page – I can’t recommend it enough!’
A Sunderland Nissan worker has published his debut novel using his time on furlough, and it’s already a crime-fiction hit. His character Jack witnesses the harrowing murder of his Dad and vows to never follow the same violent path as him – but that’s not as easy as it sounds. This gritty tale of murder, drugs, money and heartbreak is destined to end in betrayal.
When an Oxford College Master’s eight-year-old daughter vanishes in the middle of the night, the police turn to the Scottish nanny for answers. As she looks back over her time in the eerie house – is she telling the whole story? This chilling and twisty tale will have you hooked to find out.
In darkness, a railway porter unloading a train from Yorkshire discovers a man’s body. As Scotland Yard hit a dead end in the investigation, they call on Kate Shackleton, a local detective, to produce results – but it’s not an easy task and there are plenty of bumps along the way.
In the third book of Caz Finlay’s Bad Blood series, Grace can sense danger and trouble is heading her way. As always she’s determined to protect those she loves, even if it means a gang-war on the streets of Liverpool. Fans of Martina Cole will love this page-turner.
Jimmy, a homeless veteran, did his best to pretend he hadn’t heard the sound of something heavy falling into the Tyne – after all, it wasn’t his fight. But then, he sees a girl searching for her missing father, and that girl reminds him of someone he lost – so Jimmy agrees to help with the search.
This psychological thriller focuses on friendship, betrayal, jealousy and revenge. The tale is told in past and present between best friends Jo and
Kate, and there are twists and turns throughout – showing the true danger of keeping secrets.