Crime fiction: An enthralling Southern Gothic and a drip-feed of revelations

New thrills from Lee Durkee, Jane Casey, Rahul Raina, Jo Spain and Karen Perry

Director Martin Scorsese as the Silhouette Watching Passenger, and Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, directed by Scorsese, 1976. Photograph: Silver Screen Collection/Getty

Director Martin Scorsese as the Silhouette Watching Passenger, and Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, directed by Scorsese, 1976. Photograph: Silver Screen Collection/Getty

One of the reasons for the crime novel’s popularity, or so the scholars assure us, is that fiction offers the illusion of the justice that is frequently denied to victims of crime in real life.

If that is the case, then Lou Bishoff, the anti-hero of Lee Durkee’s The Last Taxi Driver (No Exit Press, £19.99), is the quintessential crime fiction hero, a cab driver who is “always trying to come up with theories that make life fair” as he ferries his customers around the dying town of Gentry, Mississippi. Not a criminal himself, nor a man particularly interested in the prevention of crime, Lou is a complex character, a UFO obsessive and former teacher of Shakespeare who is now “that rare beast, a Mississippi Buddhist”.

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