Robert B Parker’s Kickback by Ace Atkins. The iconic, tough-but-tender Boston PI Spenser returns in an outstanding new addition to the New York Times-bestselling series from author Ace Atkins. When he set up a prank twitter account for his vice principal as a joke, seventeen-year-old Dillon Yates never dreamed he could be brought up on criminal charges, but that’s exactly what happened. This is Blackburn, Massachusetts, where zero tolerance for minors is a way of life. Leading the movement is hard-as-nails Judge Joe Scali, who gives speeches about getting tough on today’s wild youth. But Dillon’s mother isn’t buying Scali’s line and she hires Spenser to find out the truth behind the draconian sentencing. Spenser and trusted ally Hawk follow a trail through the Boston underworld and eventually uncover a culture of corruption and cover-ups in the old mill town, where hundreds of kids are sent off to for-profit juvie jails.
Brit Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to British Crime Fiction, Film & TV is by Barry Forshaw. Barry Forshaw is acknowledged as a leading expert on crime fiction from European countries, but his principal area of expertise is in the British crime arena. After the success of earlier entries in the series, Nordic Noir and Euro Noir, he returns to the UK to produce the perfect reader’s guide to modern British crime fiction. Every major living British writer is considered, often through a concentration on one or two key books, and exciting new talents are highlighted for the reader. Forshaw’s personal acquaintance with writers, editors and publishers is unparalleled, so Brit Noir features interviews with (and quotations from) the writers, editors and publishers themselves.
Dodgers by Bill Beverly. When East, a low-level lookout for a Los Angeles drug organisation, loses his watch house in a police raid, his boss recruits him for a very different job: a road trip – straight down the middle of white, rural America – to assassinate a judge in Wisconsin. Having no choice, East and a crew of untested boys – including his trigger-happy younger brother, Ty – leave the only home they’ve ever known in a nondescript blue van, with a roll of cash, a map and a gun they shouldn’t have. Along the way, the country surprises East. The blood on his hands isn’t the blood he expects. And he reaches places where only he can decide which way to go – or which person to become.
‘Hearing footsteps pounding along the street behind him he glanced back, fleetingly worried, then laughed because the street was deserted. All the same, he felt uneasy. Everything looked different in the dark. Then he heard more footsteps approaching, and a hoarse voice called out. Turning his head, he made out a figure hovering in the shadows and as it raised one arm, the barrel of a gun glinted in the moonlight!’ The dead body of unassuming David Lester is discovered in a dark side-street, and DI Geraldine Steel is plunged into another murder investigation. The clues mount up along with the suspects, but with the death of another man in inexplicable circumstances, the case becomes increasingly complex. As Geraldine investigates the seemingly unrelated crimes, she makes a shocking discovery about her birth mother. Murder Ring is by Leigh Russell.
In the woods outside the town of Willnot, the remains of several people have been discovered, unnerving the community and unsettling Dr Lamar Hale, the town’s all-purpose general practitioner, surgeon and town conscience. At the same time, Bobby Lowndes – his military records missing, and followed by the FBI – mysteriously reappears in his hometown, at Hale’s door. Over the ensuing months, the daily dramas Hale faces as he tends to his town and to his partner, Richard, collide with the inexplicable vagaries of life in Willnot. And when a gunshot aimed at Lowndes critically wounds Richard, Hale’s world is truly upended. Willnot is written by James Sallis.
Video journalist Jonas Brand is on a rail journey from Zurich to Basel when stock trader Paolo Contini appears to throw himself from the train to his death. Brand sets his footage of the aftermath of the incident aside to investigate a strange coincidence: two 100-Swiss-franc banknotes bearing the same serial number have come into his possession. Sensing an opportunity to graduate from celebrity journalism to serious investigation, he has the banknotes analysed, with bizarrely contradictory . . . and fatal results. Set in the tangled world of finance, politics and the media, Montecristo is a pacy conspiracy thriller full of betrayal and underhand tactics – a sharp and entertaining demonstration of the topical maxim that some banks are simply ‘too big to fail’. Montecristo is written by Martin Suter.