Thursday, 17 November 2011

Forthcoming books to look forward to from Bloomsbury

The Golden Scales is by Parker Bilal and is due to be published in February 2012. A lost child. A missing hero. A bitter rivalry. In Cairo the ghosts of the past are stirring...The ancient city of Cairo is a whirling mix of the old and the new, where fates collide and the super rich rub shoulders with the desperate and the dispossessed. It is a place where ambition and corruption go hand in hand, and where people can disappear in the blink of an eye. Makana is a former police inspector who fled for his life from his native Sudan seven years ago. Down on his luck and haunted by the past, he lives on a rickety Nile houseboat. When the notorious and powerful Saad Hanafi hires him to track down a missing person Makana is in no position to refuse him. Hanafi, whose past is as shady as his fortune is glittering, is the owner of Cairo's star-studded football team. His most valuable player has just vanished and Adil Romario's disappearance threatens to bring down not only Hanafi's private empire, but the entire country. But why should the city's most powerful man hire its lowliest private detective? Thrust into a dangerous and glittering world Makana's investigation leads him into the treacherous underbelly of his adopted country - where he encounters Muslim extremists, Russian gangsters and a desperate mother hunting for her missing daughter - it becomes a trail that stirs up painful memories, leading him back into the sights of an old and dangerous enemy...

Chicago. A biological weapon is set off in the subway and quickly spreads through the city's west side. Kelly goes into the subway with a team trained in microbial forensics (essentially the next generation of CSI) and gets a hard lesson in "black biology" and the dimensions of the "coming biological war". Meanwhile, the pathogen spreads. The government is forced to quarantine sections of the city. Fences go up, and soldiers in bio-hazard suits take to the streets. Gangs take over day-to-day law and order in the sectioned off hot zones and society generally begins to unravel. Kelly, of course, is in the middle of it, tracking down the bad guys while his city teeters on the precipice. Featuring plenty of next-generation technology, We All Fall Down is by Michael Harvey and is due to be published in March 2012.

The Namesake is the third book in the Commissioner Alec Blume series of Italian crime novels by Conor Fitzgerald and is due to be published in March 2012. When magistrate Matteo Arconti's namesake, an insurance man from Milan, is found dead outside the court buildings in Piazzo Clodio, it's a clear warning to the authorities in Rome - a message of defiance and intimidation. Commissioner Alec Blume, interpreting the reference to his other ongoing case - a frustrating one in which he's so far been unable to pin murder on a mafia boss operating at an untouchable distance in Germany - knows he's too close to it. Handing control of the investigation to now live-in and not-so-secret partner Caterina Mattiola, Blume takes a back seat. And while Caterina embarks on questioning the Milanese widow, Blume has had an underhand idea of his own to lure the arrogant Mafioso out of his hiding place...

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death is the first in a series of detective novels by James Runcie. It is due to be published in May 2012. Sidney Chambers, the Vicar of Grantchester and Honorary Canon of Ely Cathedral, is a thirty-two year old bachelor. Tall, with dark brown hair, eyes the colour of hazelnuts and a reassuringly gentle manner, Sidney is an unconventional clergyman and can go where the police cannot. In Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death Sidney, together with his roguish friend Inspector George 'Geordie' Keating, must enquire into the suspect suicide of a Cambridge solicitor, a scandalous jewellery theft at a New Year's Eve dinner party, the unexplained death of a well-known jazz promoter and a shocking art forgery the disclosure of which puts a close friend in danger. Sidney discovers that being a detective, like being a clergyman, means that you are never off duty, but alongside the mysteries he solves he manages to find time for a keen interest in cricket, warm beer and hot jazz, and the works of Tolstoy and Shakespeare - as well as a curious fondness for a German widow three years his junior.

The violent robbery of a wealthy philanthropist leaves the island of Mithros reeling, and a man dead as the perpetrators escape. For years, it seems the crimes will go unpunished; then, as investigator Hermes Diaktoros arrives to learn more about the missing Bull of Mithros, a stranger is thrown overboard by his shipmates and, lacking money or identification, is forced for a while to remain. But is he truly a stranger? To some, his face seems familiar; and when he suffers an unpleasant death, it seems someone has set themselves up as judge and jury for those long-ago offences. In his inimitable style, Hermes sets about solving the complex puzzle of who is guilty and who is innocent; what part has been played by the fabled bull, and who has fallen prey to the seductive sin of sloth. The Bull of Mithros is the sixth book in the Hermes Diaktoros series by Anne Zouroudi. It is due to be published in June 2012.

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