Books by Graham Ison

During Graham Ison's thirty-year career in Scotland Yard's Special Branch he was involved in several espionage cases and the investigation into the escape of the spy George Blake. He spent four years at 10 Downing Street as Protection Officer to two Prime


NAKED FLAMES  by Graham Ison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2019

"An eminently typical Ison procedural, although it may make readers queasy about public swimming pools."
DCI Harry Brock (Deadlock, 2018, etc.) investigates the death of a con man. Read full book review >
HARDCASTLE'S RUNAWAY by Graham Ison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2017

"Readers who enjoy watching the irascible inspector browbeat his subordinates may enjoy Ison's latest entry, which offers precious little in the way of detection."
A wayward teenager spells trouble for Divisional DI Ernest Hardcastle (Hardcastle's Collector, 2016, etc.). Read full book review >
SUDDENLY AT HOME by Graham Ison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2016

"Witty repartee rules in this procedural, though some of it may require a British-slang dictionary."
A police duo investigating a dead man with no past can't trust the two people who seem to know the most about the crime. Read full book review >
RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT by Graham Ison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2014

"Brock's not half as smooth as he thinks he is and not nearly witty enough to get this case airborne."
DCI Harry Brock (Make Them Pay, 2013, etc.) investigates the murder of an accountant and the disappearance of his wife. Read full book review >
HARDCASTLE'S TRAITORS by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"Perhaps the glossary Ison gives to explain terms like 'boozer' and 'nick' should have included an entry for 'mishegas.'"
Divisional DI Ernest Hardcastle (Hardcastle's Frustration, 2012, etc.) ushers in 1916 with whiskey, brown ale and murder. Read full book review >
MAKE THEM PAY by Graham Ison
Released: April 1, 2013

"Brock and Poole's latest outing makes you want to phone Inland Revenue and complain."
DCI Harry Brock (Gunrunner, 2011, etc.) eats, drinks and makes merry while investigating the murder of three con artists. Read full book review >
HARDCASTLE'S FRUSTRATION by Graham Ison
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"A middling procedural that's also a pleasingly efficient tour of 1918 London."
As the Great War rages on, a corpse dumped in the Thames ends up in the bailiwick of Divisional DI Ernest Hardcastle and his colleagues at the Cannon Row station. Read full book review >
GUNRUNNER by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 1, 2011

"Like a Christmas present from your granny, Ison's latest is nicely wrapped but with no surprises."
DCI Harry Brock (All Quiet on Arrival, 2010, etc.) must skip his plum pudding when DS Don Keegan calls about a body found in a Jaguar XJ parked at Heathrow on Christmas morning. Read full book review >
HARDCASTLE'S OBSESSION by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 2011

"The war may have turned lives upside down in Hardcastle's London, but nothing ever changes in the personal battle against miscreants of all shapes and sizes."
Divisional Detective Inspector Hardcastle (Hardcastle's Mandarin, 2009, etc.) is back to his favorite sports: chasing murderers, rousting prostitutes and harassing his long-suffering sergeant, Marriott. Read full book review >
ALL QUIET ON ARRIVAL by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 1, 2010

"Plodding and tiresomely didactic about police procedure, though it's fitfully amusing to see Brock and Poole interrogating suspects a lot less stuffy than they are."
A killing in a Chelsea house has roots that stretch all the way to Australia and branches that include three other murders. Read full book review >
HARDCASTLE’S MANDARIN by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 1, 2009

"Irascible Hardcastle's talent for dogged legwork and his equal contempt for his superiors and his underlings figure just as strongly here as in earlier entries (Hardcastle's Armistice, 2005, etc.)."
The murder of a civil servant sparks an investigation whose tendrils spread into the murky world of World War I espionage. Read full book review >
JACK IN THE BOX by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"More lively and intricate than Brock and Poole's recent cases (Lost or Found, 2008, etc.), though it's hard to stay interested in exactly which malefactor ought to be convicted of what."
DCI Harry Brock and DS Dave Poole seek the killer who, not content to stab his enemy to death, squeezed his corpse into a wooden box and set it aflame. Read full book review >
HARDCASTLE’S BURGLAR by Graham Ison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2008

"Hardcastle proves himself as irascible as ever in a case providing more humor than detection."
Divisional Detective Inspector Hardcastle (Hardcastle's Actress, 2007, etc.) is dismayed to find himself rusticated when Surrey's V Division can't cope with an aristocratic murder. Read full book review >
LOST OR FOUND by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

"Authentically tedious."
Chief Inspector Harry Brock, of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, investigates a disappearance that may not be a crime at all. Read full book review >
WHISPERING GRASS by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 31, 2006

"Brock (Light Fantastic, 2004, etc.) and his multicultural crew are thorough and methodical, although not as edgy as Ison thinks."
Like Divisional DI Ernest Hardcastle (Hardcastle's Armistice, 2005), DCI Harry Brock and DS Dave Poole seem to specialize in catching villains who prey on London's lowlifes. Read full book review >
KICKING THE AIR by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 2005

"Worst of all, two of the most promising clues in the case turn into dead ends airily dismissed with the observation that 'real police work' doesn't necessarily involve 'tying up all the loose ends.' Below average for Brock and his mates."
Detective Chief Inspector Harry Brock and the officers of London's Serious Crime Group West (Whiplash, 2004, etc.) ask who murdered the showgirl who strutted her stuff as successfully offstage as on. Read full book review >
HARDCASTLE’S ARMISTICE by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 1, 2005

"A neat job of police work and people so interesting you'll want to race through Hardcastle's second case (the first being Hardcastle's Spy, 2004) without even a break for teatime. "
Ison (Whiplash, 2004, etc.) unleashes the considerable skills of irascible Divisional Detective Inspector Ernest Hardcastle to solve the case of a murdered prostitute. Read full book review >
WHIPLASH by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"Solid as ever, though it's fair to point out that Ison's civilized procedurals are to Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series as cricket is to a blood sport. "
When a pair of homicidal sadomasochists confront DCI Brock (Light Fantastic, 2004, etc.), it's the copper who holds the whip hand. Read full book review >
LIGHT FANTASTIC by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

"Another solid police procedural from Ison (Working Girl, 2002, etc.), long on authenticity if a bit short on nuance."
Passion ignites murder and bares sordid secrets in a posh London neighborhood. Read full book review >
WORKING GIRL by Graham Ison
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 1, 2001

"Meat and potatoes for the police-procedural buff."
After 27 years on London's Metropolitan Police, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Brock has seen it all, though not often as graphically as in the bloody crime scene featuring working girl Monica Purvis. Still, brutal though the slaying is, the case at first appears bleakly routine. Quicker than you can say "big fish," though, appearances turn out to be deceiving. The very next day, Harry's summoned to the office of Commissioner Sir Charles Austen, the Met's top cop, to be issued a warning. Sir Charles, it seems, had received his own warning from the eminent Geoffrey Halstead, MP and cabinet minister, expressing concern about the direction a certain investigation might take. Halstead feared he might come to be regarded as a suspect in the Purvis case. That would be a mistake, he urged Sir Charles, who in turn wants Harry to come to precisely the same conclusion. True enough, Halstead had been a sometime client of the Purvis woman's, but could he have trespassed further? Unthinkable. Unthinkable, Sir Charles had agreed, seizing the point. Two days later, however, Harry, nothing daunted, is producing his warrant card and issuing a caution to an enraged cabinet minister. Will evidence leading elsewhere make Harry regret his temerity, or will the honorable Halstead be resigning his seat early? Read full book review >