Thursday, 22 October 2015

Books to Look Forward to from Quercus Books

Coffin Road is by Peter May and is due to be published in January 2016.  A man is washed up on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris, barely alive and borderline hypothermic. He has no idea who he is or how he got there. The only clue to his identity is a map tracing a track called the Coffin Road. He does not know where it will lead him, but filled with dread, fear and uncertainty he knows he must follow it. A detective crosses rough Atlantic seas to a remote rock twenty miles west of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. With a sense of foreboding he steps ashore where three lighthouse keepers disappeared more than a century before - a mystery that remains unsolved. But now there is a new mystery - a man found bludgeoned to death on that same rock, and DS George Gunn must find out who did it and why. A teenage girl lies in her Edinburgh bedroom, desperate to discover the truth about her father's death. Two years after the discovery of the pioneering scientist's suicide note, Karen Fleming still cannot accept that he would wilfully abandon her. And the more she discovers about the nature of his research, the more she suspects that others were behind his disappearance. Coffin Road follows three perilous journeys towards one shocking truth - and the realisation that ignorance can kill us.

I talked to my mother the night she died, losing myself in memories of when we were happiest together. But I held one memory back, and it surfaces now, unbidden. I see a green post-box and a small hand stretching up to its oblong mouth. I am never sure whether that small hand is mine. But if not mine, whose? Louise Redmond left Ireland for London before she was twenty. Now, more than two decades later, her heart already breaking from a failing marriage, she is summoned home. Her mother is on her deathbed, and it is Louise's last chance to learn the whereabouts of a father she never knew. Stubborn to the end, Marjorie refuses to fill in the pieces of her daughter's fragmented past. Then Louise unexpectedly finds a lead. A man called David Prescott ...but is he really the father she's been trying to find? And who is the mysterious little girl who appears so often in her dreams? As each new piece of the puzzle leads to another question, Louise begins to suspect that the memories she most treasures could be a delicate web of lies.  What She Never Told Me is by M R McQuaile and is due to be published in March 2016.

Retribution is by Steffen Jacobsen and is due to be published in February 2016. On a warm
Autumn afternoon, Tivoli Gardens - Denmark's largest amusement park - is devastated by a terrorist attack. 1,241 people are killed. The unknown bomber is blown to bits; the security forces have no leads. One year later, the nation is still reeling, and those behind the attack are still at large. Amidst the increasingly frustrated police force, Superintendent Lene Jensen is suffering the effects of tragedy closer to home. Everyone is aware the terrorists may soon strike again. Then Lene receives a strange call. A young desperate Muslim woman needs her help, but by the time Lene reaches her she's already dead - supposedly suicide. Already suspicious, Lene's initial investigations suggest that the woman was unknowingly part of a secret services research project. Silenced by her superiors, Lene turns to her old ally Michael Sander to dig deeper. But with even her allies increasingly adamant her actions are a risk to national security, Lene begins to understand that finding the truth might be the most dangerous thing of all.

Ruth Galloway's friend Cathbad is housesitting in Walsingham, a Norfolk village famous as a centre for pilgrimages to the Virgin Mary. In an attempt to stop a malevolent cat from escaping, Cathbad sees a strange vision in the graveyard beside the cottage: a young woman dressed in blue. Cathbad thinks that he may have seen the Madonna herself but, the next morning, the woman's body, dressed in white nightdress and blue dressing-gown, is found in a ditch outside Walsingham. DCI Nelson and his team are called in and establish that the dead woman was a recovering addict being treated at a nearby private hospital. Ruth, a devout atheist, has managed to avoid Walsingham during her seventeen years in Norfolk. But then an old university friend, Hilary Smithson, asks to meet her in the village. When Ruth arrives at the Blue Lady cafe, she's amazed to discover that her friend is now a priest. Hilary has been receiving vitriolic anonymous letters targeting women priests - letters containing references to local archaeology and a striking phrase about a woman 'clad in blue, weeping for the world.' Then another woman is murdered - a priest. As Walsingham prepares for its annual Easter re-enactment of the Crucifixion, the race is on to unmask the killer before they strike again. Ruth has got herself tangled up in a grisly mystery play ...  The Woman in Blue is by Elly Griffiths and is due to be published in April 2016.

Arnaud Mars – a former police divsionnaire on the run after being implicated in a seismic defence contracts scandal – has been found dead in Africa.  The Smith & Wesson that killed him belongs to Commandant Sacha Duguin, a longstanding friend of Lola’s.  Who was really behind Mars’ death?  And what is it that has made Duguin the ideal scapegoat?  Lola joins forces once again with her partner-in-crime-fighting, Ingrid Diesel, in an investigation that will take them from France to Africa to Hong Kong.  Shadows and Sun is by Dominique Sylvain and is due to be published in June 2016.

When a young Pakistani bride falls to her death from a window, Rosie has to navigate the
story with care, trying not to upset the girl's devastated family or the local Pakistani community. After talking to the family, however, Rosie becomes convinced that there is more to the story than a tragic accident, and that something is being kept from her and the police. Meanwhile, on the other side of Glasgow, Nikki and Julie, two prostitutes, find themselves in trouble when a client dies during an assignment and it looks like one of them is to blame. Their problems become far worse though, when a briefcase they steal from the dead man turns out to contain some very valuable rough diamonds and several fake passports. It's clear it belonged to some serious criminals, and now they have much more to worry about than a dead body. Investigating the Pakistani girl's death, Rosie has been talking to Laila, another young girl from the community, who has voiced her fears of being forced into marrying a much older man in Pakistan. When Laila disappears, Rosie is sure her fears have been realised. Then Nikki contacts her asking for help, and Rosie senses a parallel with her current case. Sure enough, as Rosie flies to Pakistan to try and rescue Laila, it becomes clear that the 'accidental' death, Laila's disappearance and the briefcase are all linked - and once back in Glasgow, she, Julie and Nikki discover just how much danger they are in...  Rough Cut is by Anna Smith and is due to be published in January 2016.

The Man Who Wanted to Know is by M A Mishani and is due to be published in June 2016.Called on a stormy day to his first murder scene as the new commander of investigations, Inspector Avraham Avraham is astounded to discover he knows the victim: a middle-aged woman who had been assaulted in the past. His only lead is an eyewitness claiming he saw a policeman going down the building's staircase a few minutes after the murder. Eager to solve his first murder case, Avraham is determined to follow this lead even though it puts him in conflict with the entire police force. It'll take him to Mazal Bengtson - a young woman who doesn't know anything about the murder. She remembers the day of the storm for a different reason. And she will change everything Avraham thought about the case.

SIX FOUR. THE NIGHTMARE NO PARENT COULD ENDURE. THE CASE NO DETECTIVE COULD SOLVE. THE TWIST NO READER COULD PREDICT. For five days in January 1989, the parents of a seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter's kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. They would never see their daughter again. For the fourteen years that followed, the Japanese public listened to the police's apologies. They would never forget the botched investigation that became known as 'Six Four'. They would never forgive the authorities their failure. For one week in late 2002, the press officer attached to the police department in question confronted an anomaly in the case. He could never imagine what he would uncover. He would never have looked if he'd known what he would find.  Six Four is by Hideo Yokoyama and is due to be published in March 2016.

The Other Side of Silence is by Philip Kerr and is due to be published in May 2016.  Bernie Gunther has done various jobs since the war. Now it's the 1950s and he's working in a hotel on the Cote D'Azur. It's winter, and the Riviera is empty and a little sad. In a bar one evening he bumps into Herr Leuthard, an acquaintance from the war, who offers him a most enticing job. Leuthard owns the Grand Hotel du Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. It's the best hotel on the Cote D'Azur and everyone has heard of it. Leuthard knows of Bernie' skills and thinks he could use them. Bernie's not so sure, says his detective days are over and he couldn't find a missing person in a phone booth. No matter, Leuthard tells him, I need a concierge, not a detective. A good concierge has to be like a detective. He's expected to know things, to fix things - sometimes he has to know things he's not supposed to know, and do things that others wouldn't want to do. Pleasing guests can be a tricky business, especially the ones with a lot of money. It sounds like a cushy number for a man like Bernie Gunther. And so begins a new adventure for him, where he'll discover just how many bad people pass through the doors of the Grand Hotel du Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

A volatile Zimbabwe and the jungles of the Congo are the battlefields for a deadly game of cat and mouse in Africa's wildlife wars. Canadian researcher Michelle Parker jumps at the chance to visit the famed mountain gorillas, but she is wary of the man offering it, a professional big game hunter, Fletcher Reynolds. He represents everything that she has fought against - the slaughter of animals for material gain - but she is reassured by his apparent support for the stamping out of poaching. Ex-SAS officer Shane Castle has been recruited by Fletcher to spearhead the anti-poaching campaign. Shane has seen what bullets can do to both man and animal. He makes Michelle start to doubt the choices she has made.  Safari is by Tony Park and is due to be published in March 2016.

Once a year, Corso Bramard receives a message from the man who destroyed his life. He left the police after a serial killer he was tracking murdered his wife and daughter, but fifteen years later he is still taunted by his old adversary. Mocking letters arrive at his home outside Turin, always from a different country, always typed on the same 1972 Olivetti. But this time the killer may have gone too far. A hair left in the envelope of his latest letter provides a vital clue. Bramard is a teacher now - no gun, no badge, just a score to settle. Isa, an academy graduate whose talent just about outweighs her attitude is assigned to fight his corner. They're a mismatched team, but if they work together they have a chance to unmask the killer before he strikes again - and to uncover a devastating secret that will cut Corso Barmard to the bone.  The Bramard Case is by Davide Longo and is due to be published in May 2016.

A Spring Betrayal is by Tom Callaghan and is due to be published in April 2016.   We uncovered the last of the bodies in the red hour before dusk, as the sun stained the snowcaps of the Tian Shan mountains the colour of dried blood and the spring air turned sharp and cold ...Inspector Akyl Borubaev of Bishkek Murder Squad has been exiled to the far corner of Kyrgystan, but death still haunts him at every turn. Borubaev soon finds himself caught up in a mysterious and gruesome new case: several children's bodies have been found buried together - all tagged with name bands. In his search for the truth behind the brutal killings, Borubaev hits a wall of silence, with no one to turn to outside his sometime lover, the beautiful undercover agent Saltanat Umarova. When Borubaev himself is framed for his involvement in the production of blood-soaked child pornography, it looks as though things couldn't get any worse. With the investigation at a dangerous standstill, Borubaev sets out to save his own integrity, and to deliver his own savage justice on behalf of the many dead who can't speak for themselves ...

A bloody and tragic run-in with ivory hunters in Mozambique left Mike Williams, former Australian Army officer, in despair. A year on, the authorities are on the poachers' trail and need his help to catch them. Now, as an overland tour guide, he must choose between his duty to keep the young tourists in his care safe, and his hunger for retribution. Thrown into the mix is tenacious English journalist Sarah Thatcher, who is determined to cover the story. She'll risk anything and anyone for a scoop, but little does she realize the danger that lies ahead. The murderous hunters and the innocent travellers are on a parallel journey through Africa's most spectacular locations. Eventually their paths will cross and Mike will have his shot at revenge. But at what cost? Far  Horizon is by Tony Parks and is due to be published in May 2016.

Shot Through the Heart is by Isabelle Grey and is due to be published in March 2016. Who can you turn to, if not the police? Essex, Christmas Day. As the residents of a small town enjoy their mince pies, shots ring out in the street. Five people are gunned down before the lone shooter turns his weapon on himself. Grace Fisher, now Detective Inspector, is tasked with making some sense of this
atrocity - all the more sensitive because the first of the victims was one of their own: a police officer. The case throws her back together with crime reporter Ivo Sweatman, but as she investigates it becomes clear that the police connection goes much deeper than she thought. As the evidence of corruption grows and she is obstructed at every turn, Grace knows she is walking further into danger. Then, her young key witness disappears ...What far-reaching compromises will Grace have to make to safeguard the innocent?

Dungeness, Kent Police Sergeant William South has a reason for not wanting to be on the murder investigation. He is a murderer himself. But the victim was his only friend. A quiet, reticent birdwatcher, South finds himself paired with the strong-willed Detective Sergeant Alexandra Cupidi, newly recruited to the Kent coast from London. Together they find the body, violently beaten, inside a wooden chest. The man's sister, broken hearted, cannot guess why he was murdered. But soon - too soon - they find a suspect: Donnie Fraser, a drifter from Northern Ireland. His presence in Kent disturbs William - because he knows him. As a boy, South and his mother fled their home in County Armagh, and, for many reasons, he has never looked back. If the past is catching up with him, South wants to meet it head on. For even as he desperately investigates the connections, he knows there is no crime, however duplicitous or cruel, that can compare to the great lie of his childhood. The Birdwatcher is a crime novel of suspense, intelligence and powerful humanity, that forces open scars from old terrors and faces the fear of retribution.  The Birdwatcher is by William Shaw and is due to be published in May 2016.

A Woman Much Missed is by Valerio Varesi and is due to be published in February 2016.  A few days before Christmas, with Parma gripped by frost, Ghitta Tagliavini, the elderly owner of a student guesthouse in the old town centre, is found dead in her apartment by Commissario Soneri himself. The investigation that follows holds a painful, personal element for Soneri. Tagliavini's guesthouse is where he met his late wife Ada, and where the young couple spent unforgettable hours in each other's company. But the present can embitter even the sweetest memories. An old photograph of Ada with another man sends Soneri into a spiral of despondency, ever more so when he realises her death may be linked to Tagliavini's sideline as a backstreet abortionist. And his retrospective jealousy is compounded when he learns that Ghitta rented her rooms by the hour for the illicit liaisons of Parma's rich and powerful. Did Ada have a part to play? Though Soneri would like nothing more than to be allowed to drop the case, he doggedly persists, uncovering at last, along with the truth behind Tagliavini's death, rife corruption at Parma's rotten heart and a raft of ghosts from Italy's divisive past.

The Wednesday Club is by Kjell Westö and is due to be published in May 2016. 1938. Hitler's expansionist policies are arousing both anger and admiration, not least in the 'Wednesday Club' in Helsinki. Something of a relaxed gentlemen's club, the group's members are old friends of lawyer Claes Thune. They socialise, discuss politics and drink together, but this year it is apparent that the political unrest in Europe is having an effect on the cohesion of the club. Thune, who has returned home after several years serving as a diplomat in Moscow and Stockholm, has recently divorced and is at something of a loss; he runs his law practice without any great enthusiasm, and the growing political anxiety and the chaos in his own life feel like two sides of the same coin. Fortunately he has the assistance of his new secretary, Matilda Wiik. But behind her polished exterior Matilda is tormented by memories of the Finnish Civil War, when at the age of just seventeen she experienced things she has been trying to forget ever since. Then one day her memories catch up with her. When the Wednesday Club gathers for a meeting in Thune's office, she hears a voice she had hoped she would never have to hear again. She is suddenly plunged back into the past, but this time she is no longer a helpless victim.

One time government agent Piet Hoffmann is on the run: both from the life prison sentence he escaped, and from the Polish drug mafia he double- crossed. Only Hoffmann’s handler, Erik Wilson knows he now hides in Cali, Columbia living under a false identity with his wife Zofia and sons Rasmus and Hugo.  But life on the run is precarious. And so when Hoffmann, in order to survive, accepts employment as a bodyguard and hit man for the Columbian cocaine mafia, and is simultaneously approached by the US DEA to infiltrate the same cartel.  He chooses to say yes to both. Hoffmann has a new lucrative double life. However, Hoffmann’s successful balancing act is short-lived.  When Timothy D Crouse, Chairman of the US House of Representatives, is kidnapped while on a trip to Columbia, US forces settle on a new enemy for their War on Terror.  This gives the cartel and the US government the same problem Pet Hoffmann.  Condemned and hung out to dry by both sides, Hoffmann is stranded.  Yet help will come from the most unusual of figures – the stubborn, ascorbic Swedish detective who has doggedly tracked his whereabouts, DC Ewert Grens – the enemy who Hoffmann once tricked – will now become the only ally he can trust.  Three Minutes is by Roslund and Hellström and is due to be published in June 2016.

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