Saturday, 22 March 2014

Books to Look Forward to From Little, Brown

The war is over, but Berlin is a desolate sea of rubble.  There is a shortage of everything: food, clothing, and tobacco.  The local population is scrabbling to get by.  Kasper Meier is one of these Germans, and his solution is to trade on the black market to feed himself and his elderly father.  He can find anything that people need, for the right price.  Even other people.  When a young woman, Eva, arrives at Kasper's door seeking the whereabouts of a British pilot, he feels a reluctant sympathy for her but won't interfere in military affairs.  But Eva is prepared for this.  Kasper has secrets, she knows them, and she'll use them to get what she wants.  As the threats against him mount, Kasper is drawn into a world of intrigue he could never have anticipated.  Why is Eva so insistent that he find the pilot? Who is the shadowy Frau Beckmann and what is her hold over Eva?  Under constant surveillance, Kasper navigates the dangerous streets and secrets of a city still reeling from the horrors of war and defeat.  As a net of deceit, lies, and betrayal falls around him, Kasper begins to understand that the seemingly random killings of members of the occupying forces are connected to his own situation.  He must work out who is behind Eva's demands, and why - while at the same time trying to save himself, his father, and Eva. The Spring of Kasper Meier is the debut novel by Ben Fergusson and is due to be published in July 2014.

Maddie Layne's life hasn't been the same since her sister was murdered.  The police never found Greta's body so all Maddie was left with was unanswered questions - and her orphaned nephew, Zac, to look after.  She works hard to make sure Zac has everything he needs; she even tends graves for some extra cash.  Maddie isn't looking for any trouble.  Lucy Rivers died decades ago under suspicious circumstances and the people responsible believe the entire affair is over.  And then the mysterious Cato hires Maddie to tend to Lucy's neglected grave.  Maddie starts asking innocent questions, but when she learns that the deaths of her sister and Lucy are linked she knows she must dig deeper.  Lena Gissing, matriarch of one of the East End's most vicious families, has a vested interest in making sure the truth stays buried.  She's not about to let a nobody like Maddie Layne get in the way ... No Mercy is by Roberta Kray and is due to be published in December 2014.
The Silkworm is by Robert Galbraith and is due to be published in June 2014.  When
novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike.  At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.  But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises.  The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.  If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.  And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before...A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

The Skeleton Road is by Val McDermid and is due to be published in September 2014.  When a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a gothic Victorian building in Edinburgh, which is scheduled for renovation, Cold Case Squad detective Karen Pirie is given the task of identifying the decades-old bones.  Her investigation leads her back to past conflicts, false identities and buried secrets...

Soon after the Mexican presidential election, twenty-three bodies are discovered beheaded on the United States border, each marked with a unique symbol - a carving of a hummingbird.  Detective Cecilia Garza of the Mexican intelligence agency recognizes it as the signature of Chuparosa - an assassin feared for his cunning and brutality.  The fierce and intense detective has been pursuing the killer for years, yet knows little about him, except that he's heading to New York - with the rest of the world.  It's United Nations Week in Manhattan and Jeremy Fisk can't let grief over a devastating loss keep him from his duty to safeguard the city.  Complicating matters is news of a mass murder nearby - and the arrival of the disturbingly beautiful and assertive Cecilia Garza, determined to do things her way.  In the race to catch Chuparosa, these uneasy allies must learn to work together, and fast.  As they soon discover, there's more to this threat than meets the eye - and Fisk will have to learn the hard way that justice is not always blind.  The Execution is by Dick Wolf and is due to be published in November 2014.

By Any Means is by Chris Culver and is due to be published in August 2014.  At the end of a particularly gruelling summer day, Ash Rashid is heading home to his wife and kids when he discovers a pair of bodies, shot execution style, in the front seat of a crashed vehicle.  As the first officer on the scene, Ash finds himself and his department twenty minutes behind a killer in a race where every second counts.  With two victims down and a third unaccounted for, the clock is ticking and Ash must find the killer before he strikes again.

The kitchen knife jammed into his cold heart pinned a cardboard sign to his well-toned chest.  It read: Santa Says You've Been Bad!!!  Ho, Ho, Ho!  It's Christmas, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in no mood to celebrate.  While her charismatic husband Roarke plans a huge, glittering party, Eve has murder on her mind.  The victim - personal trainer Trey Ziegler - was trouble in life and is causing even more problems in death.  Vain, unfaithful and vindictive, Trey had cultivated a lot of enemies.  Which means Eve has a lot of potential suspects.  And when she and Detective Peabody uncover Trey's sinister secret, the case takes a deadly turn.  Christmas may be a festival of light, but Eve and Roarke will be forced once more down a very dark path in their hunt for the truth.  Festive in Death is by J D Robb and is due to be published in September 2014.

Everyone forgets the 'Disappeared': the hundreds of eyes that stare out from the missing person board of Italy's dark-hearted city.  No one has the time or energy to find them - no one but Mila Vasquez, a fiery young officer struggling with a damaged past.  Finding the people that everyone else has forgotten is what she lives for.  But what if some of these people wanted to disappear?  To be swallowed into the darkness so that everyone forgets they were ever here.  And now they have started to return, with strange and horrifying intentions.  They seem identical at first, but something has changed them: they are an army of shadows.  The Vanished Ones is by Donato Carrisi and is due to be published in July 2014.

Darren Richards opened his eyes to find himself duct-taped to a chair with a crossbow pointing at him.  Behind the crossbow is a hooded figure wearing a black-faced, round-eyed gas mask.  The figure tells him what Darren knows: that he stole a car, drove it recklessly while under the influence of drugs, and killed a woman and her baby.  His solicitor managed to get the case thrown out of court on a technicality so he has not paid for his crime.  That, says the figure, cannot be allowed to happen.  Darren turns to his right.  Next to him are his girlfriend and their baby daughter.  Both similarly taped to a chair, gagged.  It's very simple, explains the figure.  Either you die or your girlfriend and child die.  But someone has to pay.  A life for a life.  The choice is Darren's...Truth or Dare is by Tania Carver and is due to be published in September 2014.

Life or Death is by Michael Robotham and is due to be published in August 2014.  Why would a man escape from prison the day before he's due to be released?  Audie Palmer has spent a decade in prison for an armed robbery in which four people died, including two of his gang.  Five million dollars has never been recovered and everybody believes that Audie knows where the money is.  For ten years he has been beaten, stabbed, throttled and threatened almost daily by fellow inmates and prison guards, who all want to answer this same question, but suddenly Audie vanishes, the day before he's due to be released.  Everybody wants to find Audie, but he's not running.  Instead he's trying to save a life ...and not just his own.

It was clearly no accidental drowning.  When a young immigrant girl is found in the watery depths of Holbaek Fjord, a piece of concrete tied around her waist and two mysterious circular patches on the back of her neck, Detective Louise Rick is called to investigate.  The girl's name was Samra, and Louise soon learns that her short life was a sad story.  Abused by her father, it becomes clear that he would be capable of killing Samra if she brought dishonour to the family.  But according to her family, she has done nothing to inspire this sort of violence.  Samra's best friend believes that the worst has happened and shares her concerns with the police.  Within days she is also discovered dead.  To top it all, Samra's younger sister has also gone missing.  In this heart-pounding new thriller from the Danish number one bestseller, Louise Rick must navigate a complex web of family ties, jealousy, and obsession in seemingly idyllic Copenhagen, to find a remorseless predator, or predators, before it is too late...  Only One Life is by Sara Blaedel and is due to be published in October 2014.

Even the arrival of her baby can't hold Mma Makutsi back from success in the workplace,
and so no sooner than she becomes a full partner in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - in spite of Mma Ramotswe's belated claims that she is only 'an assistant full partner' - she also launches a new enterprise of her own: the Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe.  Grace Makutsi is a lady with a business plan, but who could predict temperamental chefs, drunken waiters and more?  Luckily, help is at hand, from the only person in Gaborone more gently determined than Mma Makutsi ...Mma Ramotswe, of course. The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café is by Alexander McCall Smith an is due to be published in September 2014.

Nothing would make me keep a diary.  Except for one thing.  The realisation that soon there won't be anyone around to read it.  William Sandberg.  A broken genius, snatched from his home.  Christina Sandberg, his ex-wife.  She does not believe their lies.  Our future hangs on their survival.  If they fail, we are all lost.  Chain of Events is by Fredrik T Olsson and is due to be published in August 2014.

Missing persons investigator Brenna Spector has a rare neurological disorder that enables her to recall every detail of every day of her life.  It began in childhood, when her older sister stepped into a strange car never to be seen again, and it's proven invaluable in her work.  But it hasn't helped her to solve the mystery that haunts her above all others - and it didn't lead her to six-year-old Iris Neff, who walked away from a barbecue in her small suburban town more than a decade ago and vanished.  When a local woman, Carol Wentz, disappears eleven years later, Brenna uncovers bizarre connections between the missing woman, the long-gone girl...and herself.  And She Was is by Alison Gaylin and is due to be published in December 2014.

The Preacher is by Sander Jakobsen and is due to be published in July 2014.  'You will never find me.’  Thorkild Christensen stares down at his murdered wife, Karen, and realises he knows almost nothing about her.  How did she fill her days?  Where did she disappear to every Thursday?  Lead investigator Detective Thea Krogh is determined to find out.  And then a second woman is shot dead.  There is seemingly nothing to link the two victims, and the police move on, desperate for a lead.  But someone out there has a deadly secret.  And as events begin to play out - masterminded by a strange and bewitching figure - all of their worlds are about to come crashing down ...An ingenious thriller from an exciting new Danish talent.  Will you guess the secret to unlock the killer twist?

The Gray Man is by Mark Greaney and is due to be published in October 2014.  To those who lurk in the shadows, he's known as the Gray Man.  He is a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away.  And he always hits his target.  But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world.  Forces like money.  And power.  And there are men who hold these as the only currency worth fighting for.  In their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.  But Court Gentry is going to prove that, for him, there's no grey area between killing for a living and killing to stay alive...

Once he had a little girl His model for each doll Then the little girl grew up And took them all to hell In a Parisian workshop, little Valerie was locked away by her father, a doll maker who used her as a model for his creations.  Then she grew up and the horrors began.  Living in a mansion in Philadelphia, Valerie began to collect real children for her playthings.  When they ceased to entertain her, they would be discarded, broken.  Witnessed burying one of the children in a park, she was arrested by Detective Kevin Byrne and sentenced to death.  Then a new victim was found.  Now Detectives Byrne and Jessica Balzano must unravel the horrifying mystery of how Valerie is killing from Death Row.  The Doll Maker is by Richard Montanari and is due to be published in August 2014.

That Night is by Chevy Stevens and is due to be published in November 2014.  Eighteen-year-old Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were wrongly convicted for the murder of her younger sister.  Seventeen years later she returns home, ready to move on with her life, but she can't.  Ryan is convinced he can uncover the truth; her mother still doesn't believe Toni is innocent; and the former high school girls who made Toni's life miserable may have darker secrets than anyone can imagine.  Before Toni can move forward, she must take a terrifying step back to her past to find out the truth and clear her name, before it's too late.

If you're reading this, you're a new employee at Human Resources, Inc. Congratulations.  And condolences.  At the very least, you're embarking on a career that you will never be able to describe as dull.  You'll go to interesting places.  You'll meet unique and stimulating people from all walks of life.  And kill them.  You will make a lot of money, but that will mean nothing to you after the first job.  Assassination, no matter how easy it looks in the movies, is the most difficult, stressful, and lonely profession on the planet.  Even when you're disguised as an intern.  John Lago is a hitman.  He has some rules for you.  And he's about to break every single one.  Kill Your Boss is the debut novel by Shane Kuhn and is due to be published in July 2014.

It begins with a call one snowy February night.  Lying in her bed, fourteen-year-old Sylvie Mason overhears her parents on the phone across the hall.  This is not the first late-night call they have received, since her mother and father have an uncommon occupation: helping 'haunted souls' find peace.  And yet something in Sylvie senses that this call is different from the others, especially when they are lured to the old church on the outskirts of town.  Once there, her parents disappear, one after the other, behind the church's red door, leaving Sylvie alone in the car.  Not long after, she drifts off to sleep, only to wake to the sound of gunfire.  As the story weaves back and forth through the years leading up to that night and the months following, the ever-inquisitive Sylvie searched for answers and uncovers secrets that have haunted her family for years ...Help for the Haunted is a psychological thriller by John Searles that will keep you on the edge of your seat, told in the captivating voice of a young heroine who is determined to discover the truth about what happened that winter night.  Help for the Haunted is due to be published in September 2014.

The unmissable Broadchurch novel is by Erin Kelly and Chris Chibnall and is inspired by the first season of 2013's mega-hit ITV series.  Containing new twists, never-before-seen material and adding great depth and insights to the unforgettable cast of characters, this is a must-read not only for everyone who loved the TV programme ahead of the second series but for all fans of evocative, atmospheric crime drama. Broadchurch is due to be published in August 2014.
AD 1203: Robin Hood must turn the tide of war.  Normandy Ablaze AD 1203: England and France are locked in a brutal struggle for power.  The fate of the embattled duchy of Normandy is in the hands of the weak and untrustworthy King John.  Facing disaster, he calls for help from a former outlaw - Robin Hood.  The Earl of Locksley As King Philip II's army rips through the Norman defences; Robin - the Earl of Locksley - leads a savage mercenary force into battle under the English banner, supported by his loyal lieutenant Sir Alan Dale.  But defeat is only one castle away.  The Iron Castle The most powerful fortress in Christendom, only Chateau Gaillard can resist the French advance.  Robin and Alan must defend this last bastion against overwhelming force - for if the Iron Castle falls, Normandy will fall with it.  The Iron Castle is by Angus Donald and is due to be published in July 2014.

The Inside Man is by Jeff Abbott and is due to be published in December 2014.  When Sam Capra's best customer - and friend - is murdered outside his Miami bar, Sam decides to seek justice.  Determined to figure out the connection between his friend's death and a beautiful stranger, Sam infiltrates the Varelas, one of Miami's most prominent - and dangerous - families.  He faces a powerful but unstable mastermind intent on dividing his business empire between his three very different adult children.  It's not long before he realises that these formidable siblings may hold murderous secrets of their own.  Sam is inexorably drawn into this shadowy family drama, amplifying painful echoes of his own shattered relationships as he goes undercover.  And in his quest to unearth the killer before his cover is blown, Sam discovers one of the world's 'dark corners'; a place where laws are inconsequential, and no amount of money or power can save you...

Omens, the first instalment in Kelley Armstrong's exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally.  Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.  Their success, however, is short-lived.  While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel's past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.  Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it.  Olivia's convinced it's another omen, a sign of impending danger.  But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago - the same woman Olivia found dead in her car.  Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning.  But why?  And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?  Olivia's effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don't want revealed.  Visions is due to be published in August 2014.

Death of an Avid Reader is by Frances Brody and is due to be published in October 2014.  A lady with a secret Kate Shackleton's sterling reputation for courageous sleuthing attracts the attention of the venerable Lady Coulton.  Hidden in her past is a daughter, born out of wedlock and given up to a different family.  Now, Lady Coulton is determined to find her and puts Kate on the case.  A mysterious killing in the library's basement But as Kate delves deeper into Lady Coulton's past, she soon finds herself thrust into a scandal much closer to home.  When the body of the respected Horatio Potter is found in the Leeds Library basement, the quiet literary community is suddenly turned upside down with suspicions, accusations, and - much to Kate's surprise - the appearance of a particularly intelligent Capuchin monkey!  The most puzzling case in Kate's sleuthing history yet. Convinced an innocent man has been blamed, Kate sets out to discover the truth.  Who would want Dr Potter dead?  Does Lady Coulton's missing daughter hold a vital clue?  As the stories start to emerge in the seemingly quiet Leeds Library, Kate is learning fast that in this case, she can't judge a book by its cover ...

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