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Maxim Jakubowski - Editorial Expert

About Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski is a London-based novelist and editor. He was born in the UK and educated in France. He worked for many years in publishing in editorial director positions for Virgin, the Thomson Organisation, Penguin and Ebury Press before opening the world-famous Murder One bookshop in 1988.

He has written on and reviewed crime for Time Out, The Guardian, the Times, the Daily Telegraph and The Bookseller, amongst other publications, and is a regular broadcaster on radio and TV, and lectures on both crime and mystery fiction, and erotica. He also runs CRIME SCENE, London’s annual crime film and literature festival, and is an adviser to the International Mystery Film Festival.

Latest Reviews By Maxim Jakubowski

Following the success of L.S. Hilton's Maestra series, it appears that wicked and murderous females are back in vogue (but had they ever truly faded away?). Alvina is down on her luck in London when she receives a call from her more successful and beautiful twin sister to join her in Sicily. Soon, she is murdering people with distracted aplomb and turning her life around in unexpected ways, accumulating male conquests on the way. It's the Talented Mister Ripley with a twist and a sharp sense of humour as the amoral Alvie rises and rises ... View Full Review
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Ex-American publisher Joe Kanon is a much underrated master of the classic espionage tale, best known for The Good German which was filmed with George Clooney in the eponymous part, but his other novels of spies and the Cold War are all similarly gripping. Defectors, set in the late 1950s and early 1960s introduces two brothers who took different political paths, one who worked for the OSS and then the CIA and has now become a publisher and the other who defected to Russia out of personal conviction following the Spanish Civil ... View Full Review
Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2017. Justifiably already highly-praised, this debut by a young Manchester author deserves all the generous encomiums and more lavished on it. A disgraced undercover young detective is tasked to find the errant daughter of an influential but shady politician and is plunged into a fascinating descent into the demi-world of the modern Mancunian drug scene. All too soon, the case becomes intensely personal as he gets embroiled with the 'sirens' of the title, the not always innocent young women who work on the fringes of the scene as courriers or more. With ... View Full Review
Where Jennifer Egan's previous book A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD was all brevity and ellipses in the way the varied short stories moved between genres and came together to form a whole, her much-awaited new opus is what one would term an old-fashioned novel in its attention to detail, scope and intentions. Lengthy, detailed, meticulous, with a cast of many and a profound mystery at its core, it will surprise readers who only latched on to her protean talent with her previous, unexpected bestseller but were unaware of how she changes her stories, style and preoccupations from book to ... View Full Review
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 |  A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The first adult novel by an acclaimed children's book author, Sweet Pea hits all the right buttons. A dark, twisted read about a female serial killer with dollops of humour, sarcasm and a lightweight approach to a serious subject that shouldn't work but does! Rhiannon loves her pet dog and her doll house and works in a menial position at her local newspaper. She also kills people in imaginative ways. None of them are actually innocent; well, maybe one was... Her boyfriend is cheating on her with ... View Full Review
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 |  November 2017 Book of the Month In the hinterlands of America, a man completes his jail sentence for accidental murder and returns to his home town, where relatives of the boy he killed whilst drunk driving are set on revenge. The sad lives of people caught in a circle of despair is captured with poignant accuracy as well as the slippery slope that leads them there despite all their best intentions. A novel about the day to day life and travails of ordinary people eager for redemption or, at any rate, a chance ... View Full Review
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | November 2017 Debut of the Month Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2017. A simply sensational and thrilling debut! Met police detectives William Oliver Layton-Fawkes and Emily Baxter find themselves smack bang in the middle of the hunt for a serial killer. A hammer hard prologue slapped my awareness, and from that moment on, I didn't want to put this book down, even for a single second. Daniel Cole handles the case  and the characters with aplomb, this feels different, fresh, exciting. In the midst of the mayhem I found myself ... View Full Review
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Set in South London, Fiona Cummins' debut is insidious and icy in its depiction of a psychopath whose modus operandi could have Hannibal Lecter flinching and proves a worthy addition to the pantheon of malevolent grotesques of crime fiction. At times, it feels like Thomas Harris meets John Fowles' Collector, and this is no faint praise. Detective Sergeant Etta Fitzroy is still haunted by the disappearance of a little girl when another child goes missing, abducted outside her school gate and she manages to connect the cases. Her journey takes her into very dark places ... View Full Review
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. New York in 1930 is a teeming abyss of crime and idealism at the outset of Roger Ellory's first novel in some time. Fleeing his home soil folllowing a momentous crime, Irish bareknuckle fighter Danny McCabe joins up with a couple of Corsican immigrants, brother and sister, of which Lucia has glittery dreams of a Hollywood career. They are soon on the run to Los Angeles where they encounter still more corruption and the ties that bind them are put to a stern test as they attempt to remain just a step ahead of the dark ... View Full Review
December 2017 Debut of the Month A beautifully plotted police procedural set in Japan by a new British author, this wonderfully crafted suspense sees a pair of police investigators with highly troubled pasts of their own brought on board to examine a series of strange murders which had defeated a previous, talented cop, only to find the case opposed in house and growing layers of suspicion clouding their dogged efforts. Intricate but rewarding and with just the right touch of the exotic alongside some horrific murders and a story that develops from the far past into the activities of modern cults, ... View Full Review
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 |  Not a thriller by any means, unless the quest by a twin sister to discover what happened to her other half in the horror of the concentration camps might qualify it as such, young American author Konar's literary novel aims straight for the heart, a lyrical evocation of both the bonds between siblings, the power of dreams and hope but also of the abominable power of ordinary evil which the Nazis released into the world. The sad tale of identical twins Pearl and Stasha Zagorski and how their personalities (and mutilated bodies) ... View Full Review
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Neglecting his favourite character Russian investigator Arkady Renko, of GORKY PARK and other novels fame, Cruz Smith offers us a bittersweet thriller romance set in Venice and the notorious Republic of Salo during the dying days of WW2 in Europe. A local Venice fisherman still smarting from the painful memories of his young wife having left him for his own brother, an actor much loved by the fascist regime, comes across a beautiful girl who initially appears to have drowned in the lagoon. But Giulia survives and turns out to be the scion of a ... View Full Review