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Maxim Jakubowski - Editorial Expert
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
Writing as Nicci French, husband and wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French have quickly established themselves as leading lights in the murky waters of psychological crime writing and have now embarked on their first series, featuring psychotherapist Frieda Klein, after a raft of stand alone thrillers. In her 4th outing, Frieda returns to the sleepy coastal town of her youth with its damaging memories to help out a close friend's daughter but it only serves to revive her own past monsters and an agonising case unfolds in which a tide of suffering soon threatens to engulf her. Gritty psychological ... View Full Review
When a whole family is murdered in Stockholm, Inspector Joona Linna is brought in to investigate the murky case and soon uncovers an unsettling connection to disgraced hypnotist and medic Erik Maria Bark. With uber-villains in the Thomas Harris mould and a labyrinthine plot, this is set to be the veritable heir to the Stieg Larsson series. Unsettling and gripping.
Books in The Joona Lina Series:
1. The Hypnotist
2. The Nightmare
3. The Fire Witness
4. The Sandman
6. The Rabbit Hunter / Hunter
Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find ... View Full Review
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.
The third case for controversial Swedish cop Joona Linna, by husband and wife Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril writing as Lars Kepler. The books, which began with The Hypnosis and The Nightmare have all become international bestsellers and this comes as no surprise as they combine the consistently bleak insights of most Scandinavian crime fiction with a compelling character who uses controversial methods in his investigations, never fears to get his hands dirty and whose determination is unceasing. A disturbing crime in a home for troubled girls and the disappearance of the ... View Full Review
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
The first adult novel by an acclaimed children's book author, Sweetpea 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 a friend to his peril. You can't help but smile along with Rhiannon as ... 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
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 snorting with laughter, a moment later I wrinkled my face in horror and disbelief. An overflowing fistful of danger, gripping urgency, and ... 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
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