Friday, 1 January 2016

Books I am looking forward to in 2016 (Part 1)

So, I have done my list of favourite books for 2015 and you can read the list here.  Looking forward to the first six months of 2016 there are a number of books that I am looking forward to reading and they are as follows –

Mourad Hafiz appears to have dropped out of university and disappeared. Engaged by his family to try and find him, Makana comes to believe that the Hafiz boy became involved in some kind of political activity just prior to his disappearance. But before he can discover more, the investigation is sidetracked: a severed head turns up on the riverbank next to his home, and Makana finds himself drawn into ethnic rivalry and gang war among young men from South Sudan. The trail leads from a church in the slums and the benevolent work of the larger-than-life Rev. Preston Corbis and sister Liz to the enigmatic Ihsan Qaddus and the Hesira Institute.  The fifth installment of this acclaimed series is set in Egypt in December 2005. While Cairo is torn by the protests by South Sudanese refugees demanding their rights, President Mubarak has just been re-elected by a dubious 88 percent majority in the country's first multi-party elections. In response to what appears to be flagrant election-rigging, there are early stirrings of organized political opposition to the regime. Change is afoot and Makana is in danger of being swept away in the seismic shifts of his adopted nation. City of Jackals (Bloomsbury) is by Parker Bilal and is due to be published in July 2016.

Introducing Elizabethan cutpurse and adventurer Jack Blackjack in the first of a brand-new historical mystery series. Light-fingered Jack knows he’s not going to have a good day when he wakes with a sore head next to a dead body in a tavern’s yard. But with the rebel army marching on London, Jack cannot escape the city. Instead he must try to work out who killed the man, a troublesome task as the rebel army comes closer and the death toll mounts. Rebellion’s Message (Severn House) is by Michael Jecks.

Chicago, 1928. Al Capone runs the city but cracks in his rule are starting to show ... In the heavy summer heat, a series of shocking events takes place. A group poisoned in a swanky hotel. A rich white man found dead in a down-and-out neighbourhood he should never have been in. A socialite, known across the city, vanished without trace. Could these events be connected? Is someone trying to bring down Al Capone? Ida and Michael at Pinkerton Detective Agency; Jacob, a police photographer with a personal vendetta; and Dante, working on behalf of Capone himself, are all trying to find answers in the city of jazz, dancing and corruption.  Dead Man’s Blues (Pan Macmillan) is by Ray Celestin.

Nick Alston, a Los Angeles private investigator, is hired to find the kidnapped son of America's richest and most hated man. Hastings, a mob hitman in search of redemption, is also on the trail. But both men soon become ensnared by a sinister cabal that spreads from the White House all the way to Dealey Plaza. Decades later in Dallas, Alston's son stumbles across evidence from JFK conspiracy buffs that just might link his father to the shot heard round the world. Violent, vivid, visceral: Fever City is a high-octane, nightmare journey through a Mad Men-era America of dark powers, corruption and conspiracy.  Fever City (Faber and Faber) is by Tim Baker and is due to be published in January 2016. 

Orphan X (Penguin/Michael Joseph) is by Gregg Hurwitz and is due to be published in April 2016. “Do you need my help?” It was always the first question he asked. They called him when they had nowhere else to turn. As a boy he was chosen, then taken from the orphanage he called home. Raised and trained as part of a top secret programme he was sent to the worst places in the world to do the things his government denied any knowledge of. Then he broke with the programme, using everything he'd learned to disappear. He wanted to help the desperate and deserving. But now someone's on his tail. Someone who has issues with his past. Someone who knows he was once known simply as Orphan X.

A Fever of the Blood (Penguin/Michael Joseph) is by Oscar de Muriel and is due to be published in February 2016. New Year's Day, 1889. In Edinburgh's lunatic asylum, a patient escapes as a nurse lays dying. Leading the manhunt are legendary local Detective 'Nine-Nails' McGray and Londoner-in-exile Inspector Ian Frey. Before the murder, the suspect was heard in whispered conversation with a fellow patient - a girl who had been mute for years. What made her suddenly break her silence? And why won't she talk again? Could the rumours about black magic be more than superstition? McGray and Frey track a devious sychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill - home of the Lancashire witches - where unimaginable danger awaits.

The Promise (Orion) is by Robert Crais and is due to be published in January 2016.  Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are joined by Suspect heroes Scott James and his K-9 partner, Maggie. Loyalty, commitment, the fight against injustice - these are the things that have always driven Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. If they make a promise, they keep it. Even if it could get them killed. When Elvis Cole is hired to locate a woman who may have disappeared with a stranger she met online, it seems like an ordinary case - until Elvis learns the missing woman worked for a defence contractor and was being blackmailed to supply explosives components for a person or persons unknown. Meanwhile, in another part of the city, LAPD
officer Scott James and his patrol dog, Maggie, enter an abandoned building to locate an armed and dangerous thief, only to discover far more than they expected. The fugitive is dead, the building is filled with explosives, and Scott and Maggie are assaulted by a hidden man who escapes in the chaos, all as a bloodied Joe Pike watches from the shadows. Soon, Scott and Maggie find themselves targeted by that man and, as their case intertwines with Elvis and Joe's, join forces to follow the trail of the missing woman as well. From inner-city drug traffickers to a shadowy group of Afghan war veterans with ties to a terrorist cell, the people they encounter on that trail add up to ever-increasing odds, and soon the four of them are fighting to find the woman not only before she is killed ...but before the same fate happens to one of them.

A Time of Torment (Hodder and Stoughton ) is by John Connolly and is due to be published in April 2016. Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so damned himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized. But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death, but was saved; of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade. Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war. Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder. All in the name of the being they serve. All in the name of the Dead King.

The Plea (Orion) is by Steve Cavanagh and is due to be published in March 2016.  For years, respected New York law firm Harland & Sinton has been running a fraud of gargantuan proportions. The FBI are on to them, but they need witnesses to secure their case. When a major client of the firm, David Child, is arrested for murder, the FBI ask con-artist-turned-lawyer Eddie Flynn to secure Child as his client and force him to testify against the firm in exchange for a lesser sentence. Eddie's not a man to be forced into representing a guilty client, but the FBI have incriminating files on Eddie's wife, Christine, and if Eddie won't play ball, she'll pay the price. Eddie agrees, but when he meets David Child he knows this is going to be harder than it sounds. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Eddie is convinced that Child didn't kill his girlfriend and he refuses to send an innocent man to prison. With the FBI putting pressure on him to secure the plea and the formidable Gerry Sinton breathing down his neck, Eddie must find a way to prove Child's innocence while keeping his wife out of danger - not just from the FBI, but from the firm itself. But it's not long before Eddie realises he's part of a dangerous game, with each player willing to kill to get what they want.

The Man Who Wanted to Know (Quercus) 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.

A brand-new historical spy thriller series set in 1930s London, Cambridge and Berlin.  1936 and Europe is on the brink of a cataclysm it cannot foresee. In Berlin, a young woman risks her life to rescue a Jewish dissident. In a London club, two men exchange a vital message. In a country house near Cambridge, an elderly couple are discovered, horribly murdered. It will take Cambridge professor and maverick Thomas Wilde, expert in the Elizabethan spy networks, to put the pieces of a conspiracy that reaches the very highest levels of government. But can he decipher its true meaning before it's too late?  Corpus (Hodder and Stoughton) is by Rory Clements and is due to be published in June 2016.

A Masterpiece of Corruption (Little Brown/ Constable) is by L C Tyler and is due to be published in January 2016.  It is December 1657. John Grey, at his cramped desk in Lincoln's Inn, is attempting to resume his legal career. A mysterious message from a 'Mr SK' tempts him out into the snowy streets of London and to what he believes will be a harmless diversion from his studies. Mr SK's letter proves to have been intended for somebody else entirely and Grey finds himself unwittingly in the middle of a plot to assassinate the Lord Protector - a plot about which he now knows more than it is safe to know. Can he both prevent the murder and (of greater immediate relevance) save his own skin? Both the Sealed Knot and Cromwell's Secretary of State, John Thurloe believe he is on their side, but he is unsure that either is on his. As somebody is kind enough to point out to him: 'You are a brave man, Grey. The life of a double agent can be exciting but very short.' Grey just has to hope that prediction is wrong.

Having shot someone in what he believed was self-defense in the chaotic streets of postwar Berlin, East End Londoner turned spy Joe Wilderness finds himself locked up with little chance to escape. But an official pardon from Burne-Jones, a senior agent at MI6, means he is free to go. His return to London is brief, for another assignment from Burne-Jones puts him into the line of danger again. The operation will take him back to Berlin, where he spent several years working the black market after the war, the city now the dividing line between the West and the Soviets. Khrushchev and Kennedy are playing a game of chicken, gambling with the fate of millions of German lives.  On August 13, 1961, barbed wire is laid down, separating the Soviet controlled sectors from the rest of the city. With an old paramour at threat in the divided city, and the inscrutable Khrushchev developing plans for something that could change the fate of the Cold War, Wilderness is thrust into matters well beyond his control. And meanwhile, MI6's new man in Moscow has to improvise some quite unusual techniques in order to get the information he needs . . .  The Unfortunate Englishman (Corvus/Atlantic) is by John Lawton and is  due to be published in May 2016.

We first met Flavia Albia, Falco's feisty adopted daughter, in The Ides of April. Albia is a remarkable woman in what is very much a man's world: young, widowed and fiercely independent, she lives alone on the Aventine Hill in Rome and makes a good living as a hired investigator. An outsider in more ways than one, Albia has unique insight into life in ancient Rome, and she puts it to good use going places no man could go, and asking questions no man could ask.  In Graveyard of The Hesperides Albia is called in to investigate a long-dead corpse discovered during renovations to a local tavern.  But the investigation will reveal some terrible secrets, and force Albia to question everything that she believes is true about her own life. In Graveyard of The Hesperides (Hodder and Stoughton) is by Lindsey Davies and is due to be published in April 2016.

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