Brit Noir

Written by Barry Forshaw

Review written by Ayo Onatade

Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films


Brit Noir
Kamera Books / Pocket Essentials
RRP: £8.99
Released: April 28 2016
PBK

Unsurprisingly Barry Forshaw’s Brit Noir is a wonderful reference book that any self-respecting and serious connoisseur of crime fiction needs to have on their book-shelf.

Despite Forshaw’s reputation of a fluent and insightful scholar of Scandinavian / Nordic crime-fiction; this time around, his intention is to give his readers a solid grounding in contemporary crime fiction, set firmly in the British Isles, hence the title. 

Does it work?  In my opinion yes, it does.

Like his previous critiques, Brit Noir is formatted to make it easily readable and navigable for those seeking insight into crucial contemporary crime-genre works from Britain; and we’re not just talking "the big guns" or the well-known novels, because Forshaw uncovers some rather obscure work that deserves to be rediscovered.

Forshaw does not restrict his contemporary overview to crime novels and their writers; for in section 2 he turns his critical eye toward British Crime on screen.  This section is incredibly insightful; augmenting and showcasing the diversity of the darkest edges of this island’s literature.

With Brit Noir, Barry Forshaw illustrates why he is fondly regarded as one of the UK’s foremost literary and film critics; and it also indicates that to think of him only as Stieg Larsson’s first biographer would be doing Forshaw a great injustice.

I am certain that this volume will soon become well-thumbed with continual use by those grabbing a copy; and remind us, that when it comes to Noir in our crime fiction, one must never underestimate the influence of the British.

 

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