James is one of the most impressive writers of British crime noir. Most of his novels are set in south Londonís anarchic underworld. Policemen are thin on the ground, and mortality is a matter of expedience or personal preference.
In Payback, a brother returns home to avenge his murdered brother. Slaughter Music is the story of a hitman with a taste for baroque music. His latest, Count Me Out, concerns a robbery that goes wrong, half a million pounds and a fairground boxer with a vulnerable daughter.
Jamesís heroes, like those of Dick Francis, tend to be strong but damaged loners whose integrity makes them stand out in the world they inhabit.
Fast-paced and agreeably gritty, his novels demonstrate that the British are perfectly capable of producing first-rate hard-boiled crime fiction.
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