Saturday, 22 January 2011

Books to look forward to from Penguin and Michael Joseph

Death Toll is by CWA Dagger in the Library winner Jim Kelly. Bodies are being exhumed at King's Lynn's cemetery, the bones moved to higher ground to avoid flooding. But when the coffin of murdered pub landlady Nora Tilden is hauled up into the light there's a grim discovery: the twisted corpse of a young black man, killed by a billhook blow to the head, and dumped in the grave on the night Nora was buried twenty-eight years earlier. The police are baffled by a bewildering and brutal murder. Who was this young man? Was he the victim of a racist crime? When DI Peter Shaw, DS George Valentine and their team are put on the case their investigation first leads them to The Flask, Nora's pub just along the riverbank, where her family hides more than one dark secret and it's soon clear no one can be trusted. Will Shaw and Valentine be able to get to the shocking truth behind the murder before it's too late and the ghosts from the past claim another victim? Death Toll is due to be published in January 2011.

The Papal Decree is by Luis Miguel Rocha and is due to be published in July 2011. The Catholic Church's best-kept secret. The ancient scrolls which threaten that secret. And a journalist prepared to discover the truth at any cost. 1947, the Qumran Valley. Ancient scrolls are discovered that the Vatican desperately tries to suppress. Only five men know of their existence. But now four of the men have been found dead . . . Priest and double agent, Rafael, is sent to investigate. The evidence he discovers may implicate journalist Sarah Monteiro, who already knows too many of the Church’s secrets. Finding themselves dangerously entangled in a life-threatening conspiracy that the church will go to any length to protect, Rafael and Sarah must uncover the truth before the killers do .

The Dead Tracks is the second David Raker novel. A serial killer more terrifying than you could ever imagine … Seventeen-year-old Megan Carver was an unlikely runaway. A straight-A student from a happy home, she studied hard and rarely got into trouble. Six months on, she's never been found. Missing persons investigator David Raker knows what it's like to grieve. He knows the shadowy world of the lost too. So, when he's hired by Megan's parents to find out what happened, he recognizes their pain - but knows that the darkest secrets can be buried deep. And Megan's secrets could cost him his life. Because as Raker investigates her disappearance, he realizes everything is a lie. People close to her are dead. Others are too terrified to talk. And soon the conspiracy of silence leads Raker towards a forest on the edge of the city. A place with a horrifying history - which was once the hunting ground for a brutal, twisted serial killer. A place known as the Dead Tracks. The Dead Tracks is by Tim Weaver and is due to be published in February 2011.

The Sword of the Templars is by Paul Christopher and is due to be published in March 2011. After a lifetime on the front lines, Army Ranger John Holliday has resigned himself to ending his career teaching at West Point Military Academy. But when his uncle passes away, Holliday discovers a medieval sword among his things - sinisterly wrapped in Adolf Hitler's personal battle standard. Then someone viciously burns down his uncle's house and Holliday's secret fears about the mysterious sword ring alarmingly true. Holliday must delve into the past and piece together the puzzle that was his uncle's life - his involvement with the enigmatic warriors known as the Knights Templar. But his search for answers soon becomes a race against a ruthless and cunning opponent, willing to die for their cause. Can Holliday live long enough to reveal the treacherous but critical truth?

Ruso and the River of Darkness by R S Downie is the fourth book in the series. Gaius Petreius Ruso and his newlywed wife Tilla have moved back to Britannia, where Ruso's old friend and colleague Valens has promised to help him find work. But it isn't the kind of work he'd had in mind - Ruso's tasked to hunt down a missing taxman named Julius Asper. Of course there's something else missing: money. And the Council of the town of Verulamium is bickering over what's become of it. Compelled to delve deeper by a threat from his old sparring-partner Metellus, Ruso discovers that the good townsfolk may not be as loyal to Rome as they like to appear. While Tilla tries to comfort Asper's wife, an anonymous well-wisher warns the couple to flee before they get hurt. But it doesn't take long until Ruso and Tilla find themselves trapped at the heart of an increasingly treacherous conspiracy. Ruso and the River of Darkness is due to be published in March 2011.

An aspiring artist. A high-school senior. A stripper. Three women who seemed to have nothing in common except their sudden disappearance. But one man knew them all. Wealthy, privileged Craig Thornton even claimed to love them. And for that, they paid the ultimate price. NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU- When Adrianna Barrington receives an anniversary card from her husband Craig, she assumes it's a sick joke. After all, Craig is dead. But then come the whispered phone calls and beautiful flowers, all reminding her how much Craig misses her. While Adrianna begins to doubt her sanity, grisly remains are found on the Thornton estate. Detective Gage Hudson is convinced the bodies are linked to Craig. But the biggest shocks are yet to come. NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU -
A psychopath has taken up his chilling work again, each death a prelude to the moment when Adrianna is under his control at last. And the only way for Gage and Adrianna to stop him is to uncover the truth about a family's dark past and a twisted love that someone will kill for again and 
again … Dying Scream is by Mary Burton and is due to be published in May 2011.

The Templar Cross is also by Paul Christopher. Retired Army Ranger Lt. Col. John Holliday has reluctantly settled into his teaching position at West Point when young Israeli archaeologist Rafi Wanounou comes to him with desperate news. Holliday's niece - and Rafi's fiancé - Peggy has been kidnapped. Holliday sets out with Rafi to find the only family he has left. But their search for Peggy will lead them to a trail of clues that spans across the globe, and into the heart of a conspiracy involving an ancient Egyptian legend and the darkest secrets of the Order of Templar Knights. Secrets that, once known, cannot be survived … The Templar Cross is due for publication in July 2011.

The Cutting i

s one of the scariest debuts of the year. And the first in a great new series by James Hayman. It is due to be published in January 2011. Someone is stealing the hearts of beautiful women … Portland, Maine. A missing high-school athlete's mutilated body is found in a scrap metal yard. Her heart has been surgically removed. The same day a young businesswoman is abducted … Former NYPD detective Michael McCabe believes both crimes are the work of one man. A k

iller with surgical expertise who is targeting young women. Now McCabe and his team face a race against time to rescue the missing woman and unmask this sadistic killer - before it is too late.

The Chill of the Night is also by James Hayman. Glamorous young Portland attorney Lainie Goff thought she had it all. Brains. Beauty. And a fast-track to a partnership in a top-ranked firm. But then one cold winter night she pushed things too far. And very soon her nude and frozen body is found in the sub-zero temperatures at the end of the Portland Fish Pier.

 The only witness to the crime? A mentally disturbed young woman named Abby Quinn who mysteriously goes missing the very same night. 

With the discovery of Lainie Goff's frozen body and the disappearance of Abby Quinn, Portland homicide detective Michael McCabe finds himself, once again, on the trail of a relentless and clever killer. A killer he must find before another life is lost. The Chill of the Night is by June 2011.

The Temple Mount Code is by Charles Brokaw. One of the world's holiest sites holds a secret that once discovered will set our life as we know it in complete turmoil … When Thomas Lourds, the world's foremost scholar of ancient languages, is contacted by his old friend Dr Lev Strauss about the findings of a long lost ancient scripture, Lourds rushes immediately to Jerusalem to meet with Strauss. The document holds the key to one of the world's biggest treasures, which is hidden under the legendary Temple Mount. But when Lourds arrives in Israel, his friend has been murdered and the book has vanished. Deeply infuriated by Strauss'

death he is determined to seek the truth behind the murder and track down the manuscript before others can decipher the code it contains. The hunt forone of the best-kept secrets begins but will Lourds make it in time before his dangerous opponents close in? The legends promise the code's owner the power to rule over mankind … The Temple Mount Code is due to be published in June 2011.

When everything has been taken from you … 
There's nothing left to lose. Martin Harris has been in a coma for three days … when he wakes up, otherwise unharmed, he is shocked to discover that no one knows who he is - he no longer exists. Worse still, another man is living Martin's life. His identity, his home, even his wife have been stolen. He has lost everything. Except his memory …will anyone believe that he is the real Martin Harris? If not, is he mad? Or is there a far darker explanation? Out of my Head is by Didier van Cauwelaert and due to be published in February 2011

The Set Up is the debut novel by Felix Riley. In three days time it will all be too late … New York City - present day. Mike Byrne wants to know who framed him for murder. The New York Police Department 
Want Byrne locked up. The United States Secret Service 
Want Byrne dead. Detective Jenni Martinez 
Wants her gun and her badge back. Thing is, you don't always get what you want. 
So begins a life or death race against time to prevent an attack on the heart of the United States of America. Only one man can stop it - and he's just been set up. The Set Up is due to be

published in April 2011

Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen is due to be published in May 2011. On a beautiful winter's day the young, ambitious politician Merete Lynggaard

disappears without a trace. The media are all over the story with their headlines suggesting everything from murder and suicide to a planned voluntary disappearance. The police immediately commence a large-scale investigation - alas with no result. Merete Lynggaard has vanished from the face of the earth. Years later, Deputy Detective Superintendent Carl Mørck, who is known for his unconventional work practices, is put in charge of the new Department Q, which deals with 'cases of special focus'. Soon Carl and his assistant Assad stumble over new evidence in Merete's case and end up tracing a reckless criminal who, driven by hate, has set up an insane scheme.

It is 1210 and a black force is sweeping England. For a vengeful King John has seized control other Church, leaving corpses to lie in unconsecrated ground, babies unbaptized in their cradles

and th
e people terrified of dying in sin. And in the village of Gastmere, the consequences grow darker still when Elena, a servant girl, is dragged into a conspiracy to absolve the sins of the lord of the manor. As the terrors that soon begin to plague Elena's sleep grow darker, in desperation she visits the

cunning woman, who has been waiting for just such an opportunity to


il an ancient curse co

njured at the gallows. Elena, haunted by this curse and threatened with death for a crime she didn't commit, flees the village … only to find her nightmare has barely begun. For treachery lurks in every shadow as King John's brutal reign makes enemies of brothers, murderers of virgins and sinners of us all.The Gallows Curse is by Karen Maitland and is due to be published in March 2011.

Blue Monday by Nicci French is the first in a new series featuring Freida Klein. Psychotherapist Frieda Klein is facing a moral dilemma. One of her patients has revealed disturbing dreams in which he abducts a child, whose appearance he can describe in minute detail. And when Matthew, a five-year-old boy who matches that description, goes missing Frieda experiences a shudder of unease and contacts the police.

Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson doesn't take her seriously, but when a link emerges to an abduction going back twenty years, he brings Frieda in to interview the victim's sister. And so she becomes ensnared in a desperate hunt to find Matthew's kidnapper … but Frieda's chase isn't physical: she must race through the dark paths of a psychopath's mind to unearth the answers that lie within. Your darkest thoughts. Your secret desires. Your murderous impulses. Frieda Klein can see them all. Blue Monday is due to be published in June 2011.

Lost Empire by Clive Cussler (with Grant Blackwood) is the second book in the Fargo series. While scuba diving in Tanzania, Sam and Remi Fargo come upon a relic belonging to a long-lost Confederate ship. An anomaly about the relic sets them off chasing a mystery - but unknown to them, a much more powerful force is engaged in the same chase. Mexico's ruling party, the ultranationalist Mexica Tenochca, is intent on finding that artefact as well, because it contains a secret that could destroy the party utterly. 

Through Tanzania and Zanzibar, into the rainforests of Madagascar, and across the Indian Ocean to Indonesia and the legendary site of the 1883 Krakatoa explosion, the Fargos and their ruthless opponents pursue the hunt - but only one can win. Lost Empire is due to be published in January 2011.

The Kingdom is another installment in the Fargo Series by Clive Cussler (with Grant Blackwood) The husband-and-wife team of Sam and Remi Fargo are used to hunting for treasure, but they aren't used to hunting for people — until an investigator friend of theirs goes missing, and they promise to search for him. What they find, however, will be beyond anything they could have imagined. 

On a journey that will take them to Tibet, Nepal, China, Venice, and Siberia, the Fargos will find themselves embroiled with black market fossils, an ancient Tibetan kingdom, a lost landmass in the North Sea, stone-age ostrich egg shards inscribed in a cryptic language, a pair of battles separated by thousands of miles and hundreds of years…and a skeleton that could just turn the history of human evolution on its head. The Kingdom is due to be published in June 2011.

Clive Cussler (with Jack Du Brul) also return with another novel in The Oregon Files. A devastating new weapon unleashed in thirteenth-century China; a daring rescue mission in the snowbound mountains along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border; a woman gone missing in the jungles of northern Thailand and Myanmar. For Juan Cabrillo, intrepid captain of state-of-the-art fighting ship Oregon, all of the above will come together and lead to the discovery of the greatest threat against US security that the world has ever known. and all that stands between this threat and terrible destruction are Cabrillo and The Oregon. The Jungle is due to be published in March 2011.

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