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
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.
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
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
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.