With so many mystery novels to choose from and so many new titles appearing each year, where should the reader start? What are the classics of the genre? Which are the hidden gems? In the most ambitious anthology of its kind yet attempted, the world's leading mystery writers have come together to champion the greatest mystery novels ever written. In a series of personal essays that often reveal as much about themselves and their work as they do about the books that they love, more than 120 authors from twenty countries have created a guide that will be indispensable for generations of readers and writers. From Christie to Child and Poe to PD James, from Sherlock Holmes to Hannibal Lecter and Philip Marlow to Peter Wimsey, Books to Die For brings together the cream of the mystery world for a feast of reading pleasure, a treasure trove for those new to the genre and those who believe that there is nothing new left to discover. This is the one essential book for every reader who has ever finished a mystery novel and thought. Books to Die For is edited by crime writers John Connolly and Declan Burke and is due to be published in August 2012.
XO is by Jeffery Deaver and sees the return of Kathryn Dancer. XO is due to be published in June 2012. Kayleigh Towne is a beautiful and successful singer-songwriter, and Edwin Sharp is her biggest fan. When she replies to one of his fan letters with 'XO', Edwin is convinced she loves him, and that her latest hit song 'Your Shadow' was written for him. Nothing Kayleigh or her lawyers can say persuades him otherwise. Then the singer gets an anonymous phone call; it's the first verse of 'Your Shadow' playing. Soon after, one of the crew is horribly murdered. Kayleigh's friend Kathryn Dance, a special agent with the California Bureau of Investigation, knows that stalking crimes are not one-off occurrences, and, sure enough, more verses of the song are played as warnings of death to follow. With a little help from forensic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme, Dance must use her investigative skills in an attempt to find the killer before more people die.
Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered. Judge Raymond Fogletree just became number five. His body was found in the small basement of a lakeside cabin he had built himself and frequently used on weekends. When he did not show up for a trial on Monday morning, his law clerks panicked, called the FBI, and in due course the agents found the crime scene. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies - Judge Fogletree and his young secretary. I did not know Judge Fogletree, but I know who killed him, and why. I am a lawyer, and I am in prison. It's a long story. The Racketeer is by John Grisham and is due to be published in October 2012.
The one thing to remember about an adventure is that if it turns out the way you expect it to, it has not been an adventure at all ...Shanghai, 1925. Irene, a museum curator (and, unofficially, a treasure hunter) is searching for a set of legendary copper scrolls which describe the forgotten history of Cambodia's ancient Khmer civilisation. Her mentor has sent her to China to enlist the help of Simone, a mercurial Frenchwoman who - along with her notoriously violent husband, 'the most dangerous man in the Orient' - has a reputation for both stealing artefacts and starting revolutions. Irene and Simone set off through the Cambodian jungle to search for the scrolls, but it soon becomes clear that each is determined to acquire them for her own reasons, and that once they have located them it will be every woman for herself. The Map of Lost Memories is by Kim Fay and is due to be published in August 2012.
The Outsiders is by Gerald Seymour and is due to be published in July 2012. They used to meet for a smoke behind the MI5 building. They were disbanded after the death of the youngest member of their team at the hands of a Russian gangster. Now, suddenly, the Graveyard Team is being called back together. Word is that the gangster is staying at a villa in Spain - the Costa del Sol being a multi-billion dollar hub in the worldwide drug trade. Winnie Monks has never forgotten - or forgiven - the murder of her agent. Now she asks permission to put a photo surveillance unit in the empty house next door to the villa, not mentioning that she is also sending one of the Graveyard Team - Sparky the sniper. In another part of London, likeable young man Jonno is starting a relationship with a girl called Posie. They are offered the chance to spend a week in a little house belonging to family friends on the Costa del Sol. A house that MI5 thinks is empty.
Five years ago, Nicky's best friend Grace was brutally murdered. No one was ever charged with this terrible crime and Nicky in her grief sought solace in the arms of Grace's widower. They're now married but he is often out of the country for work, and when Nicky meets Adam, who is young, good-looking and obviously interested, she's tempted. But what starts as an innocent flirtation leads to a terrible ordeal, and a dark secret. A secret that involves her husband, and Adam, and what happened to Grace all those years before. Nicky finds herself fighting for answers. But, when love is worth killing for, the price paid for the truth can be very high indeed ... The First Cut is by Ali Knight and is due to be published in October 2012.
In the depths of the Maine woods, the wreckage of an aeroplane is discovered. There are no bodies, and no such plane has ever been reported missing, but men both good and evil have been seeking it for a long, long time. What the wreckage conceals is more important than money: it is power. Hidden in the plane is a list of names, a record of those who have struck a deal with the Devil. Now a battle is about to commence between those who want the list to remain secret and those who believe that it represents a crucial weapon in the struggle against the forces of darkness. The race to secure the prize draws in private detective Charlie Parker, a man who knows more than most about the nature of the terrible evil that seeks to impose itself on the world, and who fears that his own name may be on the list. It lures others too: a beautiful, scarred woman with a taste for killing; a silent child who remembers his own death; and the serial killer known as the Collector, who sees in the list new lambs for his slaughter. But as the rival forces descend upon this northern state, the woods prepare to meet them, for the forest depths hide other secrets. Someone has survived the crash. Something has survived the crash. And it is waiting ... The Wrath of Angels is by John Connolly and is due to be published in August 2012.
Watching the Dark is by Peter Robinson and is due to be published in September 2012. Banks is back - and this time he's investigating the murder of one of his own. Detective Inspector Bill Reid is killed by a crossbow in the tranquil grounds of a police rehabilitation centre, and compromising photos are found in his room. DCI Banks, brought in to investigate, is assailed on all sides. By Joanna Passero, the Professional Standards inspector who insists on shadowing the investigation in case of police corruption. By his own conviction that a policeman shouldn't be deemed guilty without evidence. By Annie Cabbot, back at work after six months' recuperation, and beset by her own doubts and demons. And by an English girl who disappeared in Estonia six years ago, who seems to hold the secret at the heart of this case ...
In 1299, exiled in Ireland and hunted by a relentless assassin, Robert Bruce is as far from realising his grandfather’s claim to the throne of Scotland as he could ever be. Even worse, in order to protect his remaining lands, he is forced to feign loyalty to his sworn enemy, Edward, King of England. But the cauldron of conspiracy, ambition and betrayal must boil over in time, and when it does, Robert finds himself back in Scotland at last, at the head of an army, ready to seize his destiny. Renegade is the second book in the Insurrection series by Robyn Young and is due to be published in August 2012.
Death in Sardinia is by Marco Vichi and is due to be published in July 2012. Florence, 1965. A man is found murdered, a pair of scissors stuck through his throat. Only one thing is known about him - he was a loan shark, who ruined and blackmailed the vulnerable men and women who would come to him for help. Inspector Bordelli prepares to launch a murder investigation. But the case will be a tough one for him, arousing mixed emotions: the desire for justice conflicting with a deep hostility for the victim. And he is missing his young police sidekick, Piras, who is convalescing at his parents' home in Sardinia. But Piras hasn't been recuperating for long before he too has a mysterious death to deal with ...
The Edge of Nowhere: Saratoga Woods is the first in a new series by Elizabeth George and is due to be published in September 2012. Becca King and her mother are on the run from her stepfather who has used Becca's talent for hearing 'whispers' to make a large and illegal sum of money. Now their options for safety are running out. In the town of Langley on Whidbey Island, Becca finds refuge in the home of her mother's childhood friend while her mother continues on to Canada in search of safety. But on her first day in town Becca meets sixteen years old Derric Nyombe Matheson a Ugandan orphan who was adopted as a ten-year-old by the town's Deputy Sheriff. Derric has a secret that no one on Whidbey Island knows. Derric and Becca form an un-severable bond. Becca is convinced that she's the only person who can truly help him, and just maybe Derric can convince Becca that life is too short to live on the run.
Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses is by Catriona McPherson and is due to be published in July 2012. Before she was a detective, before she was a reluctant wife and distracted mother, before she was even a debutante, Dandy Gilver spent one perfect summer with the Lipscotts of Pereford. The golden memories of it have sustained her through many a cold snap in Perthshire. So when two of the Lipscott sisters beg her to help the third, she can hardly refuse. Sweet, pretty Fleur Lipscott: where is she now? The astonishing answer to this is that Fleur - still Miss Lipscott, indeed more Miss Lipscott than ever - is buried alive in the tiny seaside village of Portpatrick, working as a schoolmistress at St Columba's College for Young Ladies. But she is one of the few remaining, for St Columba's has been shedding mistresses as a snake its skins and the exodus is far from over. With mistresses vanishing and corpses mounting up, can Mrs Gilver, detective, pass herself off as Miss Gilver, English mistress, to solve the one and stop the other?
Hanneke Sloet, a lawyer working on one of the biggest Black Empowerment deals in South African history is found stabbed to death in her Cape Town apartment. Then a terrifying email arrives – I’ll shoot one policeman every day, until you arrest the murderer of Hanneke Sloet” – and the bodies of the South African Police Services start piling up. Benny Griessel takes the case with no leads and no motive to go on. At the same time, his colleague Captain Mbali Kaleni is determined to find a connection between the shooter and Sloet before time runs out. Can they endure seven days of hell? 7 Days is by Deon Meyer and is due to be published in September 2012.
The most wanted man in the world is dead. Now those loyal to him seek revenge. When Navy Seals track down and kill Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, it's obvious there was a traitor on the inside. After the false friends are revealed to be two British students, Malik and Chaudhry - former Islamic fundamentalists recruited by MI5 - they become targets themselves. Dan 'Spider' Shepherd must teach the pair how to survive undercover with al-Qaeda closing in. But Spider is not used to playing the handler. And with the line between mentor and friend beginning to blur, and a terrorist plot putting thousands of lives at stake, can he protect everyone before it's too late? False Friends is the ninth book in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series by Stephen Leather and is due to be published in July 2012.
I Remember You is by Yrsa Sigurdardottir and is due to be published in October 2012. In an isolated village in the Icelandic Westfjords, three friends set to work renovating a derelict house. But soon they realise they are not alone there - something wants them to leave, and it's making its presence felt. Meanwhile, in a town across the fjord, a young doctor investigating the suicide of an elderly woman discovers that she was obsessed with his vanished son. When the two stories collide the terrifying truth is uncovered .
Two years ago, Ava Garrison's cherished two-year-old son Noah disappeared from a house full of party guests. There was no ransom demand; his body was never found. Most people assumed that Noah drowned after falling off the dock of their Church Island home into the Pacific Ocean. Ava, wracked with grief, has been in and out of mental institutions since that night. Back on the family estate now, though, Ava is having strangely lifelike visions - visions of Noah on the dock, or in his nursery. Visions that seem to be urging her to risk her own life ...Ava doesn't trust anyone now. Not her husband. Not her cousins. Not the servants her wealth is paying for, or the new handyman who always seems to be there when she leaves the island. They know more than they are saying. They appear to be anxious about her well-being. But the truth is more dangerous than Ava can imagine; and the price is higher than she ever thought to pay. You Don’t Want to Know is by Lisa Jackson and is due to be published in August 2012.
In the small town of Chambers, Ohio, there is one thing that everyone gets excited about: high school football. Coach Kent Austin has led the team to an undefeated season, and they're finally headed for the state championships after decades of waiting. Kent's older brother, Adam, is the local bail bondsman, known for finding people who don't want to be found. So, when high school student Rachel Bond wants help tracking down her father, an ex-con who has just been released from prison, she turns to Adam for help. But just days after Adam gives Rachel an address for her father, she is found murdered on the side of the road. The death shakes the town and Rachel's boyfriend, star of the college football team's, to the core. It also causes Adam and Kent to relive the tragedy of their sister's murder many years before. Feeling responsible for Rachel's death, Adam vows to find the killer ... The Prophet is by Michael Koryta and is due to be published in October 2012. Sorrow’s Anthem which is the second book in the Lincoln Perry series and A Welcome Grave the third book in the series will also be published in August and November 2012.
Rock Creek Park is by Simon Conway the 2010 winner of the CWA Steel Dagger Award and is due to be published in August 2012. As science develops more and more sophisticated military hardware, inevitably it has also turned to the genetic 'enhancement' of military personnel. Scottish former police protection officer Harriet 'Harry' Armstrong discovers the body of a beautiful young woman outside the home of a powerful US Senator. Detective Michael Freeman knows this case means pressure - pressure to close the case quickly, pressure to keep the Senator out of it, pressure from his ambitious wife not to rock the political boat. But Harry and Freeman have both become involved in a conspiracy that is impossible to walk away from. What is the Senator's link to a shady genetic engineering company? Why does MI6 want Harry to take a job with the company's founder? An edgy combination of political thriller and police procedural.
Bobby Dollar would like to know what he was like when he was alive, but too much of his time is spent working as an extremely minor functionary in the heavenly host judging recently departed souls. Until the day a soul goes missing, presumed stolen by 'the other side'. A new chapter in the war between heaven and hell is about to open. And Bobby is right in the middle of it, with only a desirable but deadly demon to aid him. Bobby Dollar is a private investigator like no other. For one, he’s dead. For another, he’s an angel. The Dirty Streets of Heaven is by Tad Williams and is due to be published in September 2012.
Tomorrow, the killing is the second novel in the Warden series. Once he was a hero of the Great War, and then a member of the dreaded Black House. Now he is the criminal linchpin of Low Town. His name is Warden. He thought he had left the war behind him, but a summons from up above brings the past sharply, uncomfortably, back into focus. General Montgomery's daughter is missing somewhere in Low Town, searching for clues about her brother's murder. The General wants her found, before the stinking streets can lay claim to her, too. Dark, violent, and shot through with corruption Tomorrow, the killing is by Daniel Polansky and is due to be published in August 2012.
Theft. Kidnapping. Assassination. There are some acts no government can sanction. There are some things all politicians must deny. Sometimes the left hand cannot know what the right hand is doing. Austin Clay is that right hand. His latest task: to track down a fellow CIA operative who has gone missing near Moscow. But nothing is what it seems, and he soon finds himself protecting a desperate woman with a deadly secret. Clay has always preferred to work on his own. But this time he has no choice - and no idea who to trust. The Right Hand is by Derek Haas and is due to be published in November 2012.
In Blood Diamond the fearless pirate captain Devlin is invited to London by the Prince of Wales, no less, and offered an amnesty if he will carry out a daring crime. Devlin is tasked with going to Paris to steal the biggest, most valuable diamond ever found - the Pitt Diamond - now in the possession of the French Prince Regent. Set against the unsure frenzy of speculation known as the South Sea Bubble, with action and suspense on the filthy streets and great palaces of London and Paris, not to mention an epic confrontation with the French navy in the English Channel, Blood Diamond is the most exciting novel yet in the Devlin series by Mark Keating and is due to be published in July 2012.
Hunt the Scorpion is by Don Mann with Ralph Pezzullo and is due to be published in December 2012. When a nuclear device goes missing and surfaces in the clutches of known terrorists, the United States turns to its most prized anti-terrorism force: Navy SEAL Team Six. Thomas Crocker and his squad must work fast to protect the world from this most lethal of threats. With real-life insight and pulse-pounding action, Hunt the Scorpion takes readers inside the most elite combat unit on the planet and on an action-packed ride.
The second Lisa Jackson book due to be published this year features detectives Alvarez and Pescoli as they investigate a murderer who nearly makes his killings look like accidents - until a small-town doctor notices something disturbing. At first Kacey Lambert thinks it's a sad, strange coincidence. Two women with an amazing resemblance to her have died suddenly. But detective Selena Alvarez suspects otherwise. An autopsy confirms that one of the women had traces of poison in her blood ...And Kacey has started to notice ties between the dead women's lives and her own. They were all close in age. They were born within a few miles of each other. And they all have ties with Trace O'Halleran, the single father Kacey is dating. Soon more lookalikes are dying and as the body count rises, the killer gets bolder and more brutal. All Kacey knows is that it's only a matter of time before hers is the next name on a list of those who were born to die. Born to Die is due to be published in December 2012.
Osama is by Chris Ryan and is due to be published in September 2012. Osama Bin Laden is dead. The President of the United States knows it. The world knows it. And SAS hero Joe Mansfield knows it. He was on the ground in Pakistan when it happened. He saw Seal Team 6 go in, and he saw them extract with their grisly cargo. He was in the right place at the right time. Or maybe, the wrong place at the wrong time. Because now, somebody wants Joe dead, and they're willing to do anything to make it happen. His world is violently dismantled. His family is targeted, his reputation destroyed. And as a mysterious and ruthless enemy plans a devastating terror attack on both sides of the Atlantic, Joe knows this: his only chance of survival is to find out what happened in Bin Laden's compound the night the Americans went in. But an unseen, menacing power has footprints it needs to cover. And it will stop at nothing to prevent him uncovering the sinister truth...