Sunday, 25 January 2015

Books to look forward to from Bloomsbury

A war criminal on the run.  A mercenary hunting him down. A man caught in the crossfire.  Private Investigator Makana has a new client: the powerful art dealer Aram Kasabian. Kasabian wants him to track down a priceless painting that went missing from Baghdad during the US invasion. All the dealer can tell Makana is that the piece was smuggled into Egypt by an Iraqi war criminal who doesn't want to be found.  The art world is a far cry from the shady streets and dirty alleyways of the Cairo that Makana knows, but he discovers that this side of the city has its own dark underbelly. Before long, he finds himself caught between dangerous enemies on a trail that leads him into the darkness of war and which threatens to send the new life he has built for himself up in flames. The Burning Gates is by Parker Bilal and is due to be published in February 2015.

The Mime Order is by Samantha Shannon and is due to be published in January 2015. Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London. As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

The Case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste is by Malcolm Pryce and is due to be published in March 2015.  It was Tuesday the second of December 1947 when Jenny the Spiddler walked into my office: almost a month before they nationalised my mother. Jack Wenlock is the last of the Railway Goslings: that fabled cadre of railway detectives created at the Weeping Cross Railway Servants' Orphanage, who trod the corridors of the GWR trains in the years 1925 to 1947. Sworn to uphold the name of God's Wonderful Railway and all that the good men of England fought for in two world wars, Jack keeps the trains free of fare dodgers and purse-stealers, bounders and confidence tricksters, German spies and ladies of the night. But now, as the clock ticks down towards the nationalisation of the railways Jack finds himself investigating a case that begins with an abducted great aunt, but soon develops into something far darker and more dangerous. It reaches up to the corridors of power and into the labyrinth of the greatest mystery in all the annals of railway lore - the disappearance in 1915 of twenty-three nuns from the 7.25 Swindon to Bristol Temple Meads, or the case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste. Shady government agents, drunken riverboat captains, a bandaged bookseller, a missing manuscript, a melancholic gorilla and a 4070 Godstow Castle engine - the one with a sloping throatplate in the firebox and the characteristic double cough in the chuffs - all collide on a journey that will take your breath away.

Haunted by his failure to prevent the violent murders of two innocent women, Gibraltarian
lawyer Spike Sanguinetti joins an old flame, Detective Sergeant Jessica Navarro, for a holiday on Corfu’s beautiful northeast coast. There they meet philanthropist Leo Hoffmann, scion of the powerful Hoffmann banking family. Leo has recently unearthed an important archeological site, but the discovery of the body of a young Albanian, bludgeoned to death, halts progress. Reluctantly, Spike agrees to defend the local man accused, but as he digs deeper, he finds an island paradise full of deadly secrets – secrets that some will go to any lengths to let lie …  Sleeping Dogs is by Thomas Mogford and is due to be published in April 2015

Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins is by James Runcie and is due to be published in May 2015. The loveable full-time priest and part-time detective, Canon Sidney Chambers, continues his sleuthing adventures in 1960's Cambridge. On a snowy Thursday morning in Lent 1964, a stranger seeks sanctuary in Grantchester's church, convinced he has murdered his wife. Sidney and his wife Hildegard go for a shooting weekend in the country and find their hostess has a sinister burn on her neck. Sidney's friend Amanda receives poison pen letters when at last she appears to be approaching matrimony. A firm of removal men 'accidentally' drop a Steinway piano on a musician's head outside a Cambridge college. During a cricket match, a group of schoolboys blow up their school Science Block. On a family holiday in Florence, Sidney is accused of the theft of a priceless painting. Meanwhile, on the home front, Sidney's new curate Malcolm seems set to become rather irritatingly popular with the parish; his baby girl Anna learns to walk and talk; Hildegard longs to get an au pair and Sidney is offered a promotion. 

Under the heartless vault of the Greenland's artic sky the body of a girl is discovered. Half-naked and tied up, buried hundreds of miles from any signs of life, she has lain alone, hidden in the ice cap, for twenty-five years. Now an ice melt has revealed her. When Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen is flown in to investigate this horrific murder and he sees how she was attacked, it triggers a dark memory and he realises this was not the killer's only victim. As Simonsen's team work to discover evidence that has long since been buried, they unearth truths that certain people would rather stayed forgotten, disturbing details about the moral standing of some of Denmark's political figures are revealed and powerful individuals are suddenly working against them. But the pressure is on as it becomes clear that the killer chooses victims who all look unsettlingly similar, a similarity that may be used to the investigators' advantage, just so long as they can keep the suspect in their sights.  The Girl in The Ice is by Lotte & Søren Hammer and is due to be published in June 2015.

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