Aly Monroe reviews

Black Bear

Sue Lord, Shots Magazine
“the writing is superb ..... I was strangely gripped and could not put it down ... I shall now read the other three.”Read more..

Declan Burke, The Irish Times
“abducted and injected with “at least three truth-drugs” ..... Cotton’s covert observation of his own personality as he slowly, painfully, returns to himself. .... gorgeous prose ..... a delicately nuanced character study.” Read more..

Milo’s Rambles
“Atmospheric, engrossing and intelligently written, Black Bear tantalises from the very first page until its conclusion.” Read more..

Norman Price, Eurocrime
 “a tense atmospheric narrative ... writes with such style and cleverness that her sub-plots ... are almost Austen like ... abounds with intriguing characters ... skilfully draws the reader into the story ... a fine addition to a series which has got me hooked.” Read more..

Written Gems
“an excellent book .....has inspired me to go back and read the first Peter Cotton story, The Maze of CadizRead more..



Jennifer S. Palmer, Mystery People

‘... superbly evoked ... absolutely fascinating’

Peter Millar, The Times

..enjoyable as time travel ...Riveting stuff ..

Crimepieces - "I thought the book excellent ... in the vein of the novels of Alan Furst".. Read more..

Barry Forshaw, Good Book Guide: "The Peter Cotton series by Aly Monroe is proving to be absolutely unmissable ... her protagonist a truly fascinating creation. .. Monroe ably conjures up a world of murder and double dealing in prose that is more finely judged than is to be found in most genre fiction."

Norman Price, Crime Scraps Review: “a glimpse into a murky world of post war intrigue .... the Peter Cotton series is getting better and better”.. Read more..

Declan Burke, the Irish Times: “ The stately pace and avuncular tone belie Monroe’s capacity to generate tension and momentum from the most innocuous of incidents .... foreshadows... famous incidents in the cold-war years”.. Read more..

Terry Halligan, Eurocrime: “ a wonderfully atmospheric book ... illuminates the murky world of espionage a joy to read and a real page turner ”.. Read more..

Jessica Mann, the Literary Review: “Monroe recreates the atmosphere of the time brilliantly ... an original novel, and its people and places are so well described that I was gripped from start to finish”..

Peter Millar, The Times: ...enjoyable as time travel ...Riveting stuff..

Jeremy Jehu,  The Telegraph: confirms Aly Monroe’s genius for creating tension ... commercial writing’s rarest beast – a gloriously defiant individualist.. Read more..

John O’Connell,  The Guardian: Monroe is terrific at evoking this cheerless, half-starved world..Read more..

Chris Brocklebank, London Festival Fringe: The suspense is inextricably tied up with the weight of post-war paranoia and prejudice .... Steeped in a palpably awful shabbiness, pickled in austerity and shrouded in slimy yellow fog, Monroe’s sense of post-war London is astonishingly good .. Read more..

Gwen Moffatt, Shots Crime & Thriller Ezine: In a season of bad news, of graft, rendition and torture conducted implicitly on our behalf, Icelight carries significance in every timely phrase .. Read more..

Milo’s Rambles: ... wonderfully evocative and intelligent narrative ... characterisation is incredibly well thought out ... An incredibly accomplished author, Monroe pulls you in from the start  ... Evocative and captivating this is one spy thriller I’ll want to read again .. Read more..

Falcata Times: .. will set the standard for future releases from other authors as she walk’s the path of established Spy Thrillers, not just with reckless abandon but with her own sure footed comprehension as to what the modern reader wants. Definitely an uthor to watch .. Read more..

Mike Ripley on ICELIGHT: ...Once again, Monroe’s research is spot on and she paints her supporting cast with so many shades of grey that it makes a John Le Carré novel look positively straightforward. This is wonderfully atmospheric, if chilling stuff; so chilling it makes you want to turn on that forbidden second bar on your electric fire...

Washington Shadow

Mike Ripley on WASHINGTON SHADOW: ...Set in the economic crisis immediately after WWII … it beautifully captures the political skulduggery going on between supposed allies, the pomposity of formal diplomacy (and the British class system) and does something I never thought a thriller could: it makes economics interesting...

George Haggerty, Notes for Novel Readers: ...the novel is wonderfully researched .... Aly Monroe has deepened her claim as a talented and rewarding writer of historical suspense. .Read more..

Publishers Weekly: ... compelling second novel  ... Monroe's understated approach is more consonant with the reality of covert work, and her hero is a refreshing change from the usual two-fisted, bed-hopping stereotype ... Read more..

Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday: ...Monroe has a sure grasp of period detail and a remarkable gift for creating memorable characters .. Read more..

The TLS, Sean O’Brien: ... The Social Concerns of the Thriller .. Read more..

The Telegraph, Jeremy Jehu: ... a Graham Greene anti-hero … the spy who brings the cold in with him .. Read more..

The Times Christmas books: thrillers, Peter Millar: ...Down to earth in the grimy world of spooks and politicians, Washington Shadow by Aly Monroe … is the second in her splendid series. …enlightened and engaging … it ought to be in Gordon Brown’s Christmas stocking. Read more..

Morning Star, Mat Coward: ...Monroe's novels are a very enjoyable, historically educated combination of espionage fiction's traditionally opaque plots with unexpected characters and effervescent dialogue. Read more..

Guardian, John O’Connell : ...Wonderfully atmospheric. …. Excellent.. Read more..

The Literary Review, Jessica Mann:...Cotton … becomes both observer and victim of Britain’s diminishing power and influence ... the atmosphere of the time and place is .. vividly evoked.

The Edinburgh Evening News, Katie Linsel: A sense of perspective comes out of shadows.. Read more

Euro Crime, Norman Price: compelling narrative … evocative period atmosphere … imaginative character portraits … well researched plot … makes you want to keep turning the pages.. Read more

The Maze of Cadiz

The Guardian, Sue Arnold, review of The Maze of Cadiz, Audiobook: What really impressed me was her confident, economical portrayal of character, particularly Cotton’s. It reminded me of Graham Greene - high praise for a first novel. Read more..

Mystery Women, Amanda Brown (September 2009): ...a quietly powerful tale … a good first novel and highly recommended. Read more..

New Books (September 2009): ...The novel is very moving … the plot is intriguing … the reader gains an insight into another world … I enjoyed reading this book.

The Economist, Adam LeBor: ...skilful and evocative ... brilliantly drawn ... a stylish and impressive debut. Read more..

George Haggerty, Orange County Register: ...a gripping thriller ...precision and grace ... rich authenticity. Let's hope Monroe finds an American readership and the book becomes more readily available here soon. Read more..

Financial Times, Natasha Cooper: an impressive novel ..... beautifully written .....vividly rendered.... The next can't come too soon. Read more..

Spectator, Andrew Taylor: Monroe is very good indeed on the Spanish background of the book .... As in all the best espionage stories, the personal and the political are inextricably entangled. Read more..

Telegraph, Jeremy Jehu:...hugely atmospheric .... addictive...Read more..

The Sunday Times, Joan Smith: accomplished debut. Read more..

The Guardian, Matthew Lewin: A remarkable portrait of post civil war Spain and the small expat community there …. clever and fascinating. Read more..

The Times, Marcel Berlins, November 2008: Aly Monroe's The Maze of Cadiz is a splendid debut mystery. Read more..

Eurocrime, Mike Ripley: A wonderfully atmospheric book …. a tale of the more realistic, downbeat trivia of the clandestine life …. very convincingly done.. Read more..

Books Quarterly (Waterstones) Best new debuts:…memorable thriller.

Morning Star, Mat Coward:...much to enjoy in this, the first instalment of a promising new series. Read more..

Mike Ripley, Shots Ezine, November 2008: I also went so far to predict to the judges (in fact to anyone who would listen) that a place on the shortlist for 2009 should be reserved right now for Aly Monroe’s debut novel The Maze of Cadiz. Read more..

Dover Express and Folkestone Herald, Terry Sutton: Monroe writes in an intriguing way. ….she does seduce the reader to keep turning the pages. …. The first in a series of novels following Peter Cotton. Can't wait.

Birmingham Mail, Alf Bennet:…brilliantly evokes the atmosphere of the southern Spanish seaport under the boot-heel of the dictatorship …. can't wait for the next.

Nick Hay, Reviewing the Evidence, November 2008: '...extremely well written, involving, clever, emotional and satisfying - a debut novel of the very highest promise'. Read more..

The Mail On Sunday, Simon Shaw: Hugely accomplished debut …Monroe is a natural storyteller … a cracking atmosphere … first-rate characters