Thursday, 31 October 2013

Books To Look Forward to From Transworld Publishers

In this second instalment of Persson's trilogy of police procedurals featuring the "small, fat and primitive" Evert Backstrom, the grand master's most appallingly repulsive (and funniest) character is finally given his fifteen minutes of fame by way of his patented combination of laziness, luck, and an unbelievable sense of timing. A seemingly ordinary murder puzzles Backstrom, who is struggling with strict orders from his doctor to lead a healthier life. His gut feeling proves him right: within days, his team has another murder linked to the first on their hands, and reports of alleged ties to a Securicor heist gone out of control, killing two. The nation needs a hero, and the newly appointed head of the Vasterort police force Anna Holt needs somebody to kill the dragon for her. Who better to heed to the task than Evert Backstrom: self-sufficient, ostentatious, devoid of moral, Hawaii shirt-clad, and, latterly, armed?  He Who Kills the Dragon is by Leif G W Persson and is due to be published in October 2013.

 Kings’s Return is by Andrew Swanston and is due to be published in April 2014.  Spring 1661: Thomas Hill travels from his home in Romsey to London to attend the coronation of King Charles II.  His sister Margaret has died and both his nieces are now married.  At a dinner party after the Coronation, Thomas meets the charming Chandle Stoner, and Sir Joseph Williamson, security advisor to His Majesty, and in charge of the newly restored Post Office.  Learning of Thomas’s skill with code, Williamson asks him to take charge of deciphering coded letters intercepted at the Post Office.  Reluctantly Thomas agrees.  A spate of murders take place in London – including two employees of the Post Office.  Thomas finds himself dragged into the search for the murderer – or murderers.  It soon becomes apparent that those responsible are closer to Thomas  - and his loved ones – than he imagined. But can he ensure that they are apprehended for their crimes before it’s too late?

A young woman has been found dead and covered in snow behind a nursery school in a Stockholm suburb.  She is the fourth murder victim in a short time and with the same characteristics: a young mother, stabbed from behind.  The offices of the Evening Standard are awash with rumours of a serial killer, but journalist Annika Bengtzon dismisses it as wild fantasy.  As the murder spree continues in Stockholm, the police too begin to think that they have a serial killer on their hands.  Meanwhile Annika is dragged into a violent hostage situation in Nairobi that involves her husband – a situation that shakes both Europe and East Africa.  The demands of the kidnappers are both impossible and unreasonable.  But when the demands are rejected, the kidnapper begins to execute the hostages, one by one…. Borderline is by Liza Marklund and is due to be published in February 2014.

There are no other women on earth like Angela Lassey. That’s not her real name, of course. In her purse there are six different drivers’ licenses and twelve different passports, each with a different name and photograph. Over the course of twenty years she's pulled robberies on five continents and stolen things more valuable then many people could even imagine. She speaks four languages with the clarity and confidence of a native speaker and racks up stratospheric shopping bills where ever she goes.  She's been a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead. She's been dark-skinned and light, blue-eyed and brown, young and old. She's gained weight and lost it again, she's worn platform shoes and slouched to conceal her height, and she's smoked like a chimney and bleached her teeth. She’s never the same woman from one week to the next.  She doesn’t call any place home.  There's no real term for what Angela Lassey does for a living. She is a bank robber, sure, and a crook and a thief and a heister, but Angela's particular talent has no proper, accepted name. In Sweden someone had called her a skyggemannen. In the Netherlands they'd called her a spook. In South America she was a desaparecido.  In America, she was simply a ghostman.  She is the master of the disappearing act. She can make anything or anyone disappear, for the right price. She has worked with some of the best crooks in the world, the best boxmen and jugmarkers and hacks, but she's never met anyone better at disappearing then she was.  Angela Lassey is like human mist.  So she’s the perfect person to call when you need to hide. Like Sabo Park does after unexpectedly stumbling across treasure during a sapphire heist on the China Sea. What he has is so valuable that those who know of its existence will never stop their search. He has to vanish, like a ghost. Because now he has it, he is the richest criminal in the world.  Vanshing Games is by Roger Hobbs and is due to be published in July 2014.

Morning Frost is the third book in the D I Jack Frost prequel by James Henry and it is due to be published in November 2014.  It's been one of the worst days of Detective Sergeant Jack Frost's life. He has buried his wife Mary, and must now endure the wake, attended by all of Denton's finest. All, that is, apart from DC Sue Clark, who spends the night pursuing a bogus tip-off, before being summoned to the discovery of a human hand. And things get worse. Local entrepreneur Harry Baskin is shot inside his nightclub, fake fivers are being circulated, and a famous painting goes missing. As the week goes on, a cyclist is found dead in suspicious circumstances, and the more body parts appear. Frost is on the case, but another disaster - one he is entirely unprepared for - is about to strike...

 'Call your mother.' In the Devonshire countryside, a masked stranger is preying on young women - luring them into his car, taking them to a place they can never be found, and then ordering them to call home. At first he doesn't kill. His motive for terrifying the women seems unclear. But every killer has to start somewhere, and soon enough he will get a taste for something even more sinister. Meanwhile 10-year-old Ruby Trick, living with her parents in a damp, crumbling house by the sea, is about to come of age in the most terrifying way possible...  The Facts of Life and Death is by Belinda Bauer and is due to be published in March 2014

'Somebody!' I half-sob and then, more quietly, 'Please.' The words seem  absorbed by the afternoon heat, lost amongst the trees. In their aftermath, the silence descends again. I know then that I'm not going anywhere...Sean is on the run. We don't know why and we don't know from whom, but we do know he's abandoned his battered, blood-stained car in the middle of an isolated, lonely part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer. Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the parched fields and country lanes only to be caught in the vicious jaws of a trap. Near unconscious from pain and loss of blood, he is freed and taken in by two women - daughters of the owner of a rundown local farm with its ramshackle barn, blighted vineyard and the brooding lake. And it's then that Sean's problems really start...Stone Bruises is by Simon Beckett and is due to be published in January 2014

 Silencer is the latest book in the Nick Stone series by Andy McNab and is due to be published in October 2013.  1993: Under deep cover, Nick Stone and a specialist surveillance team have spent weeks in the jungles and city streets of Colombia. Their mission: to locate the boss of the world's most murderous drugs cartel - and terminate him with extreme prejudice. Now they can strike. But to get close enough to fire the fatal shot, Nick must reveal his face. It's a risk he's willing to take - since only the man who is about to die will see him. Or so he thinks... 2012: Nick is in Moscow; semi-retired; semi-married to Anna; very much the devoted father of their newborn son. But when the boy falls dangerously ill and the doctor who saves him comes under threat, Nick finds himself back in the firing line. To stop his cover being terminally blown, he must follow a trail that begins in Triad-controlled Hong Kong and propels him back into the even more brutal world he thought he'd left behind. The forces ranged against him have guns, helicopters, private armies and a terrified population in their vice-like grip. Nick Stone has two decades of operational skills that may no longer be deniable - and a fierce desire to protect a woman and a child who now mean more to him than life itself.

Young policewoman Lacey Flint knows that the Thames is a dangerous place – after all, she lives on it and works on it – but she’s always been lucky. Until one day, when she finds a body floating in the water. Who was this woman and why was she wrapped so carefully in white burial cloths before being hidden in the fast flowing depths.  DCI Dana Tulloch hates to admit it, but she’s fond of the mysterious Lacey. Even if she keeps on interfering in her investigations, and is meddling with the latest floater case. But now she's got to break some terrible news to her - news that could destroy Lacey's fragile state of mind.   And Lacey will need to keep her wits about her because there's a killer that's lurking around her boat, leaving her gifts she'd rather not receive . . .  A Dark and Twisted Tide is by Sharon (SJ) Bolton and is due to be published in May 2014.

The Sisters - Easter and her little sister Ruby are waiting it out in a foster home. Their mum died after a drug overdose, and their dad is a loser who walked out on them all. The Dad - Wade has no claim to them - he signed away his rights years ago, and Easter doesn't even want a father who'd give them up that easily. But one night he turns up unannounced and takes them anyway. The Psychopath - Robert Pruitt is just out of prison when he gets the chance to settle an old score with the man who ruined his life. He's got to find him first, but luckily the trail is easy to follow. Because the guy's just kidnapped his two girls...  The Dark Road to Mercy is by Wiley Cash and is due to be published in January 2014.

 When Jenny, an ordinary schoolgirl on the island of Gotland, is discovered by a modelling agency, her life changes overnight.  Soon she is considered one of the hottest stars and is thrown into a world of VIP parties and glamour.  While Jenny is enjoying her new exciting life in Stockholm, Agnes, a few years her junior, has been hospitalised due to a serious eating disorder.  She too dreamt of living in the limelight, but is now fading away.  Watching at Agnes’ beside is her worried father.  Since Agnes’ mother and brother were tragically killed in a car accident a few years previously, his daughter is all he has. But tragedy also lies in wait for successful Jenny.  During a lavish fashion shoot on Gotland’s barren isolated peninsula, Furillen, her new boyfriend, the fashion photographer Markus falls victim to a murder attempt.  He is found in an isolated spot, covered in blood and brutally assaulted – but alive.  Will he be able to tell police inspector Anders Knutas anything that will lead the police to the perpetrator before it’s too late?  For along time Jenny and Agnes remain unaware that their lives are entwined.  But someone is keeping an eye on them.  Someone with plans to intervene in their lives an deliver their own kind of Justice.  The Dangerous Game is by Mari Jungstedt and is due to be published in March 2014.

Don’t Stand So Close is the debut novel by Luana Lewis and is due to be published in February 2014.  What would you do if a young girl knocked on your door and asked for your help? If it was snowing and she was freezing cold, but you were afraid and alone? What would you do if you let her in, but couldn't make her leave? What if she told you terrible lies about someone you love, but the truth was even worse? Stella has been cocooned in her home for three years. Severely agoraphobic, she knows she is safe in the stark, isolated house she shares with her husband, Max. The traumatic memories of her final case as a psychologist are that much easier to keep at a distance, too. But the night that Blue arrives on her doorstep with her frightened eyes and sad stories, Stella's carefully controlled world begins to unravel around her. Don't Stand So Close is a chilling and suspenseful read.

 For thousands of years we guarded it. But now it has been found. This could be the end - for us; for our organisation; for the world. You must destroy it, and those who have taken it. An ancient object is discovered in a Cairo souk. Hours later, the market trader who sold it is tortured to death. As the bodies begin to pile up, a request for help is sent to British Museum historian Angela Lewis. Angela travels to Spain with her ex-husband, undercover police officer Chris Bronson. There they discover the key to the greatest secret in the history of Christianity. Their only problem is deciphering it before they are brutally murdered like those before them... The Lost Testament is by James Becker and is due to be published in November 2013.  The Brotherhood of the Skull also by James Becker will be published in July 2014. At the turn of the 13th century the religious order known as the Knights Templar was ruthlessly chased down, tortured and eliminated. Fast-forward to the present day, where we are thrust into a nail-biting chase for the truth behind the myth of the Templar Treasure.

A Pleasure and a Calling is by Phil Hogan and is due to be published in February 2014.  You won't remember Mr Heming. He showed you round your comfortable home, suggested a sustainable financial package, negotiated a price with the owner and called you with the good news. The less good news is that, all these years later, he still has the key. That's absurd, you laugh. Of all the many hundreds of houses he has sold, why would he still have the key to mine? The answer to that is, he has the keys to them all. William Heming's every pleasure is in his leafy community. He loves and knows every inch of it, feels nurtured by it, and would defend it - perhaps not with his life but if it came to it, with yours...

On a cold December morning in 1841, a small boy is enticed away from his mother and his throat savagely cut. But when the people of Dublin learn why John Delahunt committed this vile crime, the outcry leaves no room for compassion. His fate is sealed, but this feckless Trinity College student and secret informer for the authorities in Dublin Castle seems neither to regret what he did nor fear his punishment. Sitting in Kilmainham Gaol in the days leading up to his execution, Delahunt tells his story in a final, deeply unsettling statement...Dublin in the mid-19th century was a city on the edge - a turbulent time of suspicion and mistrust and the scent of rebellion against the Crown in the air. Beautifully written, brilliantly researched and with a seductive sense of period and place, this unnervingly compelling novel boasts a colourful assortment of characters: from carousing Trinity students, unscrupulous lowlifes and blackmailers to dissectionists, phrenologists and sinister agents of Dublin Castle who are operating according to their own twisted rules. And at its heart lie the doomed John Delahunt and Helen, his wife. Unconventional, an aspiring-writer and daughter of an eminent surgeon, she pursued Delahunt, married him and thereby ruined her own life. And as for Delahunt himself, we follow him from elegant ballrooms and tenement houses to taverns, courtrooms and to the impoverished alleyways where John Delahunt readily betrays his friends, his society and ultimately, himself.  The Convictions of John Delahunt is by Andrew Hughes and is due to be published in March 2014.

The Day Before You Came is by Paula Daly and is due to be published in April 2014.  Natty and Sean Wainwright are happily married.  Rock solid in fact.  So when Natty’s oldest school friend, Eve Dalladay appears – just as their daughter’s appendix explodes on a school trip in France – Natty has no qualms about leaving Eve helping Sean out at home.  Two weeks later and Natty finds Eve has slotted into family life too well.  Natty’s husband has fallen in love with Eve.  He’s sorry, he tells her, but their marriage is over.  With no option but to put a brave face on things for the sake of the children, Natty embarks on building a new life for herself.  And then she receives a note.  Eve has done this before, more than one and with fatal consequences …..

I believe, from what I can hear, that either my daughter or my wife has just been attacked. I don't know the outcome. The house is silent. Fourteen years ago two teenage lovers were brutally murdered in a patch of remote woodland. The prime suspect confessed to the crimes and was imprisoned. Now, one family is still trying to put the memory of the killings behind them. But at their isolated hilltop house...the nightmare is about to return.  Wolf is the seventh novel in the Jack Caffery series by Mo Hayder and it is due to be published in February 2014.

 Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart is the latest book in the Bryant & May series by Christopher Fowler and is due to be published in March 2014. It's a fresh start for the Met's oddest investigation team, the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Their first case involves two teenagers who see a dead man rising from his grave in a London park. And if that's not alarming enough, one of them is killed in a hit and run accident. Stranger still, in the moments between when he was last seen alive and found dead on the pavement, someone has changed his shirt...Much to his frustration, Arthur Bryant is not allowed to investigate. Instead, he has been tasked with finding out how someone could have stolen the ravens from the Tower of London. All seven birds have vanished from one of the most secure fortresses in the city. And, as the legend has it, when the ravens leave, the nation falls. Soon it seems death is all around and Bryant and May must confront a group of latter-day bodysnatchers, explore an eerie funeral parlour and unearth the gruesome legend of Bleeding Heart Yard. More graves are desecrated, further deaths occur, and the symbol of the Bleeding Heart seems to turn up everywhere - it's even discovered hidden in the PCU's offices. And when Bryant is blindfolded and taken to the headquarters of a secret society, he realises that this case is more complex than even he had imagined, and that everyone is hiding something. The Grim Reaper walks abroad and seems to be stalking him, playing on his fears of premature burial. Rich in strange characters and steeped in London's true history, this is Bryant & May's most peculiar and disturbing case of all.

 'I don’t like killing, but I’m good at it. Murder isn’t so bad from a distance, just shapes in my scope. Close up work though, the garrotte around the neck, the knife in the heart, it’s not for me. Too much empathy, that’s my problem. Usually. But not today. Today is different…’ The year is 1955 and something is very wrong with the world: Churchill is dead and WW2 didn’t happen. Europe is in thrall to a nuclear-armed Nazi Germany. Only Britain and its Empire holds out, bound by an uneasy truce and all the while German scientists are experimenting with terrifying forces beyond their understanding - forces that are driving them to the brink of insanity and beyond. Berlin is a hotbed of suspicion and betrayal - a lone British assassin is fighting a private war with the Nazis; the Gestapo are on the trail of a beautiful young resistance fighter and the head of the SS plots to dispose of an increasingly decrepit Adolf Hitler and become Fuhrer. While in London, a sinister and treacherous cabal will stop at nothing to conceal the conspiracy of the century.  Four desperate scenarios that are destined to collide with catastrophic effect. And it all hinges on a single kill in the morning . . .  A Kill in the Morning is by Graeme Shimmin and is due to be published in June 2014.

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