Friday, 29 November 2013

Books to Look forward to from Vintage and Harvill Secker

Trouble Man is by Tom Benn and is due to be published in January 2014.  It's Manchester, at the close of the millennium, and Henry Bane is now manager of an exclusive nightclub.  He has a beautiful mistress, a teenage son, and is making moves in a violent underworld to which he is increasingly numbed.  When a young girl is found tortured and unwilling to go to the police, Bane offers to help, and finds horror in a feral community with a respectable veneer.  But, by meddling, he ends up endangering those he wants to protect.  Not only that, he also manages to incur the wrath of an ailing ganglord, and soon finds himself tangled in a penthouse robbery and an underground boxing match.  From the casual sexism of Bane's clubland, to the savage misogyny of a killer targeting the young and dispossessed, Trouble Man takes Bane through a hell, perhaps of his own making, where he is pushed to his limit – and the trouble only gets closer to home.

Dog Will Have his Day is the second instalment in the Three Evangelist series by Fred Vargas and is due to be published in April 2014.  How do you solve a murder without a body?  Keeping watch under the windows of the Paris flat belonging to a politician's nephew, ex-cop Louis Kehlweiler catches sight of something odd on the pavement.  A small white object, surrounded by the excrement of local dogs.  A piece of bone.  Human bone, in fact.  Naturally, when Kehlweiler takes his find to the nearest police station, he faces ridicule.  But the tiny fragment obsesses him so much that he stops shadowing suspicious characters in Paris and follows the trail to the tiny Breton fishing village of Port-Nicolas.  Because someone there owns a pit bull terrier.  A dog that would take a bite out of anything.  Even the foot of a corpse.
The Murder of Harriet Krohn is by Karin Fossum and is due to be published in July 2014.  A man is walking through the darkness.  Nobody turns to look.  How little people know.  I'm moving in the midst of them and they walk the streets immersed in their own affairs.  Charles Olav Torp has problems.  He’s grieving for his late wife, he’s lost his job, and gambling debts have alienated him from his teenage daughter.  Desperate, his solution is to rob an elderly woman of her money and silverware.  But Harriet Krohn fights back, and Charlo loses control.  Wracked with guilt, Charlo attempts to rebuild his life and regain his dignity.  However, the police are catching up with him, and Inspector Konrad Sejer has never lost a case yet.  Through the eyes of a killer, The Murder of Harriet Krohn poses the question: how far would you go to turn your life around, and could you live with yourself afterwards?
London is steaming under a summer of filthy heat and sudden storms - and Detective Nick Belsey, of Hampstead CID, is trying to stay out of trouble.  But then somebody sets him a riddle.  How does a man walk into a dead-end alley and never come out?  How does he disappear?  And then reappear - to snatch a girl, to dump a body beneath a London skyscraper, to send Belsey a package of human hair.  The answer lies underground, where the secrets degenerating beneath the city's sickly glitter are about to see the light of day. Deep Shelter is by Oliver Harris and is due to be published in February 2014.
The Soul of Discretion is by Susan Hill and is due to be published in September 2014.  From the outside, the cathedral town of Lafferton seems idyllic, but in many ways, it just like any other place.  It suffers from the same kinds of crime, is subject to the same pressures from a rapidly changing world, has the same hopes and fears as any number of towns up and down the land.  When one day DC Simon Serrailler is called in by Lafferton’s new Chief Constable, Kieran Bright, he is met by two plainclothes officers.  He is asked to take the principal role in a difficult, potentially dangerous undercover operation and must leave town immediately, without telling anyone – not even his girlfriend Rachel, who has only just moved in with him.  Meanwhile, Simon’s sister Cat is facing difficult choices at work, as Lafferton’s hospice closes its bedded units; and at home, as her daughter is presented with a glittering opportunity that they would struggle afford.  Moreover, all is not well with Simon and Cat’s stepmother, Judith, either.  To complete his special op, Simon must inhabit the mind of the worst kind of criminal.  This takes its toll on Simon and, as the op unfolds, also on the town and some of its most respected citizens.

The Spy with 29 Names is a gripping account of the exploits of Juan Pujol, the most extraordinary double agent of the Second World War, who was awarded both an Iron Cross by Germany and an MBE by Britain.  After the Spanish Civil War, determined to fight the spread of totalitarianism, Pujol moved to Lisbon with his wife, persuading the German intelligence services to take him on.  But in fact, he was determined all along to work for the British, whom he saw as the exemplar of democracy and freedom.  Seeing the impact of the disinformation this Quixotic freelance agent was feeding to the Germans, MI5 brought him to London, where he created a bizarre fictional network of spies - 29 of them - that misled the entire German high command, including Hitler himself.  Above all, in Operation Fortitude he diverted German Panzer divisions away from Normandy, playing a crucial role in safeguarding D-Day and ending the war, and securing his reputation as the greatest double agent in history.  With his intimate knowledge of Spain, Jason Webster looks in new depth at the character who captured the imagination in Ben Macintyre's Double Cross.  He sheds light on Pujol's charismatic personality, interweaving his bizarre picaresque tale with vivid insights into the shady worlds of Bletchley and MI5, and the British and German soldiers whose lives his fantasies would touch so dramatically.  Meticulously researched, yet told with a novelist's verve, The Spy with 29 Names uncovers the reality - far, far stranger than any fiction - of one of recent history's most important and dramatic events and is due to be published in April 2014.

To the Top of the Mountain is by Arne Dahl and is due to be published in June 2014.  After the disastrous end to their last case, the Intercrime team - a specialist unit created to investigate violent, international crime - has been disbanded, their leader forced into early retirement.  The six officers have been scattered throughout the country.  Detectives Paul Hjelm and Kerstin Holm are investigating the senseless murder of a young footballer supporter in a pub in Stockholm, Arto Soderstedt and Viggo Norlander are working on mundane cases, Gunnar Nyber is tackling child pornography while Jorge Chavez is immersed in research.  However, when a man is blown up in a high-security prison, a major drugs baron comes under attack and a massacre takes place in a dark suburb, the Intercrime team are urgently reconvened.  There is something dangerous approaching Sweden, and they are the only people who can do anything to stop it.

 A man is burnt alive in a suburban garden shed.  DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are called in from
the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit to investigate the murder.  Their victim is quickly identified as a migrant worker and a man several people might have had good reason to see dead.  A convicted arsonist and member of a far-right movement has just been released from prison, while witnesses claim to have seen the dead man fighting with one of the town's most prominent slum landlords.  Zigic and Ferreira know all too well the problems that come with dealing with a community that has more reason than most not to trust the police, but when another migrant worker is attacked, tensions rapidly begin to rise as they search for their killer.  Long Way Home is the debut novel by Eva Dolan and is due to be published in January 2014.

The Son is by Jo Nesbø and is due to be published in April 2014Sonny is a model prisoner.  He listens to the confessions of other inmates at Oslo jail, and absolves them of their sins.  Some people even whisper that Sonny is serving time for someone else: that he doesn't just listen, he confesses to their crimes.  Inspector Simon Kefas is a dedicated police officer Simon has worked for the Oslo police force for years.  He's just been assigned a new murder investigation and a new partner, all on the same day.  Both of them knew Sonny's father To Sonny he was the man he idolised, to Simon he was his best friend.  Both were left devastated when his corruption was revealed.  But neither of them knew the truth.

Rea Carlisle has inherited a house from an uncle she never knew.  It doesn’t take her long to clear out the dead man’s remaining possessions, but one room remains stubbornly locked.  When Rea finally forces it open, she discovers inside a chair, a table – and a leather-bound book.  Inside its pages are locks of hair, fingernails: a catalogue of victims.  Horrified, Rea wants to go straight to the police but when her family intervene, Rea turns to the only person she can think of: DI Jack Lennon.  However, Lennon is facing his own problems, not least of all his suspension from the police force.  The Final Silence is by Stuart Neville and is due to be published in July 2014.

Blood Med is by Jason Webster and is due to be published in June 2014.  After months away in Madrid, Chief Inspector Max Camara is back in Valencia, with his partner Alicia and his anarchist, marijuana-growing grandfather Hilario.  In the old police headquarters, the mood is tense, as the chief hunts for cuts - who will go, Camara or his friend Torres?  The two men are flung into action on seemingly separate cases, the suicide of an ex bank-clerk and the brutal murder of a young American woman.  Around them, the city is erupting into demonstrations and near riots.  The king is ill, banks are closing, hospitals are in chaos, homes are lost, demonstrators riot and right wing thugs patrol the street.  The tunnels beneath the streets are at once a refuge and a source of anger.  And as the blood flows Camara roars on his motorbike straight into the heart of trouble.

Dear Daughter is the debut novel by Elizabeth Little and is due to be published in July 2014.  LA It girl Jane Jenkins has it all.  The looks, the brains and the connections.  The criminal record.  Ten years ago, in a trial that transfixed America, Jane was convicted of murdering her mother.  Now she’s been released on a technicality, she’s determined to unravel the mystery of her mother’s last words.  Words that send her to a tiny town in the back of beyond.  But with the whole of America’s media on her tail, convince that she literally got away with murder, she has to do everything she can to throw her pursuers off the scent.  She knows she really didn’t like her mother, but could she have killed her?  And if not, who did?

Some cases aren’t as cold as you’d think.  Kurt Wallander’s life looks like it has taken a turn for the better when his offer on a new house is accepted, only for him to uncover something unexpected in the garden – the skeleton of a middle-aged woman.  As police officers comb the property, Wallander attempts to get his new life back on course by finding the woman’s killer with the aid of his daughter, Linda.  But when another discovery is made in the garden, Wallander is forced to delve further back into the area's past.  An Event in Autumn is by Henning Mankell and is due to be published in September 2014.

Also due to be published in August 2014 is Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridason.

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