Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Forthcoming books to look forward to from Constable and Robinson

Tom-All-Alone's is by Lynn Shepherd and is due to be published in February 2012. London, 1850. Fog in the air and filth in the streets, from the rat-infested graveyard of Tom-All-Alone's to the elegant chambers in Lincoln's Inn Fields, where the formidable lawyer Edward Tulkinghorn has powerful clients to protect, and a deadly secret to hide. Only that secret is now under threat from a shadowy and unseen adversary - an adversary who must be tracked down at all costs, before it's too late. Who better for such a task than young Charles Maddox? Unfairly dismissed from the police force, Charles is struggling to establish himself as a private detective. Only business is slow and his one case a dead end, so when Tulkinghorn offers a handsome price for an apparently simple job Charles is unable to resist. But as he soon discovers, nothing here is what it seems. An assignment that starts with anonymous letters leads soon to a brutal murder, as the investigation lures Charles ever deeper into the terrible darkness Tulkinghorn will stop at nothing to conceal. Inspired by Charles Dickens' masterpiece "Bleak House", "Tom-All-Alone's" is a new and gripping Victorian murder mystery which immerses the reader in a grim London underworld that Dickens could only hint at - a world in which girls as young as ten work the night as prostitutes, unwanted babies are ruthlessly disposed of, and those who threaten the rank and reputations of great men are eliminated at once, and without remorse.

The Killer in my Eyes is by Giorgio Faletti and is due to be published in June 2012. A murderer obsessed with comic strips...When Mayor Marsalis' son, Gerald, is found dead in his studio, his body is stained red and arranged like the cartoon character Linus - with a blanket next to his ear and his thumb stuck in his mouth. Desperate, Marsalis asks his ex-cop brother, Jordan, to investigate the murder. Yet the killer strikes again. This time Chandelle Stuart, a film producer with strange sexual predilections, is found leant against a piano like Lucy, listening to Shroeder playing. Meanwhile, a beautiful young detective Maureen Martini has moved from Rome to New York to forget the brutal murder of her boyfriend. After undergoing a corneal transplant, she starts having distressing visions that somehow seem connected with the grisly murders. Thrown together, Maureen and Jordan race against time to unmask this killer. But who is Snoopy? And who is Pig Pen? And why does this killer find pleasure in arranging his victims like comic-strip characters? In New York nothing is ever quite what it seems...

Dark Dawn is the debut novel by Mark McGuire and is due to be published in April 2012. It's Belfast. January 2005. Acting Detective Sergeant John O'Neill stands over the body of a dead teenager. The corpse was discovered on the building site of a luxury development overlooking the River Lagan. Kneecapped then killed, the body bears the hallmarks of a punishment beating. But this is the new Northern Ireland - the Celtic Tiger purrs, the Troubles are over, the paramilitaries are gone. So who is the boy? Why was he killed? O'Neill quickly realises that no one cares who the kid is - his colleagues, the politicians, the press - making this case one of the toughest yet. And he needs to crack this one, his first job as Principle Investigator, or he risks ending up back in uniform. Disliked by the Chief Inspector and with his current rank yet to be ratified, O'Neill is in a precarious position. With acute insight, Matt McGuire's cracking debut exposes the hidden underbelly of the new Northern Ireland, a world of drug dealing, financial corruption and vigilante justice.

Danny Shanklin wakes up slumped across a table in a London hotel room he's never seen before. He's wearing a black balaclava, a red tracksuit and a brand new pair of Nikes. There's a faceless dead man on the floor and Danny's got a high-powered rifle strapped to his hands. He hears sirens and stumbles to the window to see a burning limousine and bodies all over the street. The police are closing in. He's been set up. They're coming for him...With only his tech support friend, the Kid, for backup, Danny sets out on a nail-biting odyssey though the panicked city streets, in a desperate bid to escape, protect the people he loves, and track down the terrorists who set him up - and make them pay. But with 500,000 CCTV cameras, 33,000 cops, 9 intelligence agencies, and dozens of TV news channels all hot on his tail, just how long will this one innocent man be able to survive? Hunted is by Emlyn Rees and is due to be published in May 2012.

Never Apologise, Never Explain is the second book in the series to feature John Carlyle and is by James Craig. It will be published inFebruary 2012. Jake Haggar has been kidnapped by his father who is threatening to sell the boy to a paedophile ring. Carlyle is struggling to get him back. It's not his case but it is his problem - it was his fault Jake was taken in the first place. But Carlyle's own caseload includes the murder of Agatha Mills. Her husband, Henry, has been arrested for murder but his explanation is so outlandish that Carlyle wonders if it may just be true. Agatha is the sister of William Pettigrew, a priest killed in Chile during the Fascist coup in 1973 and after 30 years of campaigning, Agatha was about to see his killer brought to justice. So a seemingly straightforward case of murder quickly escalates into a diplomatic incident that has Carlyle, once again, clashing with his bosses and their political masters...

The Gilded Edge is the second book in the series to feature Detective Vince Treadwell from Danny Miller whose debut novel Kiss Me Quick was shortlisted for the 2011 CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award. It's the Swinging Sixties but not all barriers have come down - the aristocrats and financial power players still gather around the exclusive gaming tables of the Montcler Club in Berkeley Square while the rest slum it in the underground ska clubs and illicit drinking dens in Notting Hill. And it's against this background of London society and villainy that detective Vince Treadwell enters when investigating the seemingly unrelated murder of a young black woman in Notting Hill and blue-blooded Johnny Beresford in Belgravia. As Vince digs deeper he finds himself embroiled in a secret world of debauchery and corruption, where the underworld happily mixes with the aristocracy, and where no one remains an innocent victim. The Gilded Edge is due to be published in May 2012.

A winter's evening and a trio of unruly youths board a bus and gang up on teenager Luke Donnelly, hurling abuse and threatening to kill him. The bus is full but no one intervenes until Jason Barnes, a young student, challenges the youths. Luke seizes the chance to run off the bus but his attackers follow. Andrew Barnes is dragged from the shower by his wife Valerie: there's a fight in the front garden and Jason's trying to break it up. Andrew rushes to help and the assailants flee. Jason shouts to his father to phone an ambulance - Luke is badly hurt. Minutes later Jason collapses in their living room, he has been stabbed. The blow proves fatal. Valerie and Andrew are devastated by the of their only child, and react in very different ways to their grief. Valerie wants justice, revenge even, but Andrew is desperate to find some meaning in Jason's sacrifice, some understanding about what led to such a tragedy. Luke survived the assault thanks to Jason's actions, but is in a coma. His mum Louise keeps vigil at his bedside, waiting for him to wake and trying to keep the rest of life as normal as possible for her younger child Ruby.

As his marriage disintegrates, Andrew secretly visits Luke and his mother Louise and a fragile friendship develops. Meanwhile the press begin to paint a picture of Luke as a less than innocent victim and raise questions about the cost of Jason's heroism. One of the offenders confesses to the attacks and shows remorse while the others plead not guilty. Conflicting accounts emerge during the trial. With some parties prepared to lie, the matter of uncovering what really happened is far from straightforward, and the jury's verdict hard to predict. A novel that explores the issue of whether to intervene or look the other way and the fall-out from either decision. Split Second tackles questions of bravery, fear and kindness and depicts the human impact of violent crime. Split Second is by Cath Staincliffe and is due to be published in April 2012.

He mutilates his victims. Slices their throats. And carves an X into their flesh. Five years ago, he claimed the lives of six women. Then the killings abruptly stopped - no one knows why. Ex-homicide detective Frank Quinn remembers. Which is why he's shocked to see one of the dead women in his office. Actually, she's the identical twin of the last victim, and she wants Quinn to find her sister's murderer. But when the cold case heats up, it attracts the media spotlight - and suddenly the killings start again... Mister X is by John Lutz and is due to be published in March 2012.

Once again, Ben Kella has his hands full. A sergeant in the Solomon Islands Police Force, as well as an aofia, a hereditary spiritual peacekeeper of the Lau people, he’s called to investigate acts of sabotage that threaten the local operations of a powerful international logging company. Meanwhile, Sister Conchita, a young nun with a flair for detection, has been forced to assume command of a run-down mission in the lush Western District of the Solomon Islands. When an American tourist is murdered in the mission church, she and Kella join forces to uncover the links between these goings-on and a sudden upsurge of interest in John F. Kennedy, who was once a wartime U.S. naval officer in the area but now, in 1960, thousands of miles away, about to become the thirty-fifth American President. One Blood is the second book in the Sergeant Kella and Sister Conchita series by GW Kent and is due to be published in June 2012.

Closer than Blood is by Greg Olsen and is due to be published in April 2012. The first time was easy. No one ever suspected the victim had been murdered. The crime long buried, the dark passions guiding the killer's hand are still alive. But the need for revenge cannot be denied. Only one person can stop the killing. Only one person can identify the killer. Only one person knows the face of death is as close as the face in the mirror...

As the UK struggles with a hopeless war in the Middle East, the worst recession in a hundred years and a fraud scandal which has rocked the government to its core, the Prime Minister is determined to host an unrivalled summer of sporting achievement at the London Olympics to propel the country into a new era. Joe Moran, MP for Primrose Hill and keen long distance runner and sports fan, is among the many around the world eagerly anticipating the games and is delighted when he is asked to become minister for Sports and Heritage, heavily involved in the plans for the opening ceremony. It beats the tedium of life in Westminster as even meetings are less boring when the subject matter is sport. Less boring that is, until the first bomb explodes...and MI5 uncover a plot to kill thousands of people while the world watches on television. Twenty Twelve is by Helen Black and is due to be published in April 2012.

Death of a Kingfisher is the 27th book in the Hamish Macbeth series by M C Beaton. PC Hamish Macbeth can't help but admire the resourcefulness of the Highlanders during the Recession - in tough times they have to lure tourists to their sleepy towns and the quaint village of Braikie has come up with a novel solution. It really doesn't have that much to offer apart from a place of rare beauty called Buchan's Wood, which the clued-up local tourist board director has rechristened 'The Fairy Glen' and has had brochures printed with a beautiful kingfisher rising from a lake on the cover. It isn't long before coach tours begin to arrive but just as the town's luck starts to turn, a kingfisher is found hanging from a branch in the woods with a noose around its neck. As a wave of vandalism threatens to ruin Braikie forever it is up to Hamish to get involved...and his investigation quickly turns from mistreatment of birds to murder... Death of a Kingfisher is due to be published in March 2012.

Daisy's hot on the trail of a murdered writer! September 1926, and Daisy's in Derbyshire, visiting an old school friend who's currently employed by a novelist as his personal secretary. Sylvia Richmond has asked Daisy to investigate discreetly as she suspects something is seriously amiss with him. Upon arrival, Daisy finds a household of relatives and friends all living off the hospitality of Humphrey Birtwhistle who has been supporting them through his pseudonymous Western sales. When he took ill a while back Sylvia carried on penning the books, only to find that her versions led to an increase in sales and advances. And now she fears someone in the house is poisoning Birtwhistle to keep him ill and keep Sylvia writing the better paid versions. Before Daisy can even begin a bit of decent investigating however, Birtwhistle dies under suspicious circumstances - and Daisy now faces a death to untangle with a household of suspects...and a husband who is less pleased to find his wife in the centre of a murder investigation! Gone West is by Carola Dunn and is due to be published in February 2012.

Two Vicky Hill books are due to be published in May 2012. Vicky Hill Exclusive - Vicky Hill has two goals in life: to escape the never-ending boredom of funeral reporting and find the right man. Then a tip leads to what might be the scoop of a lifetime. There is a bizarre connection between three grizly chicken corpses and the unusual death of a local hedge-jumping enthusiast Sir Hugh Trewallyn. Suddenly, it seems that this quiet market town harbours more than its fair share of secrets but when Vicky opens Gipping's Pandora's box, her own secrets come back to haunt her... In Vicky Hill Scoop! Vicky will do anything to get off the obituary circuit and on to the front page! If there's one thing Vicky has learnt as an obituary writer, it's how to spot something fishy at a funeral - and plenty is amiss at the service for Gordon Berry. The man was a champion hedge cutter so why are people willing to believe he electrocuted himself by striking a power line with his own clippers? At the reception there are rumblings of foul play - not to mention a fistfight between a mourner and the local Lothario. And in her quest for a scoop, Vicky will find she has to confront everything - from bad dates to mortal danger... The Vicky Hill series is by Hannah Dennison and both books are due to be published in May 2012.

Cold Comfort is the second book in the Gunnhildur Gisladottir police procedural series by Quentin Bates and is due to be published in March 2012. Following her promotion and working now from Reykjavik, Gunnhildur is given responsibility for two cases - the first in tracking down an escaped convict who's keen to settle old scores, and the other, the murder of a TV fitness presenter in her city centre apartment. With the police short staffed and underfunded following the financial crash, Gunnhildur and her team set about delving into the backgrounds of both, where they uncover some unwelcome secrets and some influential friends of both who have no wish to be in the public eye. Set in an Iceland that is coming to terms with the deepening recession, Gunnhildur has to take stock of the whirlwind changes that have taken place as she investigates criminals at opposite ends of the social scale as some uncomfortable links appear between the two cases.

The Murder of Gonzago is by R T Raichev and is due to be published in February 2012. Lord Remnant's eccentric parties on his privately owned Caribbean island of Grenadin are the stuff of legend...but then the 12th Earl suddenly dies in the course of an amateur production of The Murder of Gonzago, the play within a play in Hamlet. The Times obituary gives the cause of death as 'heart attack' but an anonymous video tape come to light showing Lord Remnant's final moments, making it very clear his demise was far from natural. As happens so often, Antonia and Hugh Payne get involved in the sinister events surrounding Lord Remnant's death. Was this drug-addicted stepson Stephan? Was it Aunt Hortense, whose past contains a dark and shocking secret? Was it Clarissa, his beautiful and very much younger wife? Or was it the elusive Mr Quin, who is left a vast amount of money in Lord Remnant's will for no apparent reason…

The first man murdered was Abel Meredith, a resident at the Jesus Hospital Almshouse near London. The second victim, Roderick Gill, was burser at the Allison's school in Norfolk. Victim number three, Sir Rufus Walcott, was slain in his own hall by the Thames. All had their throats cut. And all had strange markings on their chests, carved there by the murderer but which neither doctor nor coroner could identify. Lord Francis Powerscourt, brought in to solve this case of triple murder, had no shortage of suspects or suspicions. Meredith had shadowy links with the civil service. Gill, a man who seduced women at church during Harvest Festival or the Christmas carol service, had been threatened by angry husbands and disinherited sons while Sir Rufus had wiped fifteen years out of his own past history. And all had ties to Sir Peregrine Fishbourne, Prime Warden of the Guild of Silkworkers, who had visited all three men shortly before their untimely deaths. Yet on one question Powerscourt never wavered, and he knew that only when he had solved the mystery of the strange markings on the victims' bodies would he then be able to solve the mystery of the death at the Jesus Hospital. Death at the Jesus Hospital is by David Dickinson and is due to be published in January 2012.

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