Sunday, 5 June 2016

Books to Look Forward to from Little Brown and Constable and Robinson


Peter Diamond, the Bath detective brilliant at rooting out murder, is peeved at being diverted to Professional Standards to enquire into a police car accident. Arriving late at the scene, he discovers an extra victim thrown onto an embankment - unconscious and unnoticed. Diamond administers CPR, but no one can say whether the elderly tricyclist will pull through. But why had the man been out in the middle of the night with an urn containing human ashes? Diamond 's suspicions grow after he identifies the accident victim as Ivor Pellegrini, a well-known local eccentric and railway enthusiast. A search of Pellegrini's workshop proves beyond question that he is involved in a series of uninvestigated deaths. While Pellegrini lingers on life support, Diamond wrestles with the appalling possibility that he has saved the life of a serial killer.  One Goes Tonight is by Peter Lovesey.
Killer Look is by Linda Fairsten New York City is one of the fashion capitals of the world, well-known for its glamour and style. Yet high fashion means high stakes, as Alex Cooper quickly discovers when businessman and designer Wolf Savage is found dead in an apparent suicide, days before the biggest show of his career. When Savage's daughter insists his death was murder, the case becomes more than a media sensation. With her own job at the DA's Office in jeopardy, and spiralling into a reliance on alcohol, Alex is not anyone's first choice for help. But she is determined to uncover the grime - and the possible homicide - beneath the glitz. Soon she and police detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace are investigating the family secrets Savage kept so well hidden, even from those closest to him - just as things are about to get deadly on the catwalk.

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation, no website: just a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that. Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make... I See You is by Clare McKintosh

The History of Blood is by Paul Mendleson When the South African Police Service receive a panicked call for help from the wayward daughter of a former Apartheid-era politician, they discover not only her body but, within it, a message which will take Colonel Vaughn de Vries and Don February of the Special Crimes Unit on a journey through their country - and their country's past - to decipher and resolve. As organised crime grips South Africa, new players arrive in Cape Town, determined to exploit the poor and hopeless, promising redemption. While other government agencies snap impotently at the small fish, De Vries, linked by a personal connection, resolves to follow this trail to its source and take it down from the top. As decades old webs of corruption and influence are exposed, and the boundaries of morality blur, his decisions begin to impact on his friends, colleagues and family.

How could the heavily-pregnant bride of the lanimer-man vanish into thin air? Young Mistress Audrey Madur is missing and her husband, responsible for maintaining boundaries and overseeing land use in the burgh of Lanark, is strangely reluctant to search for her. Gil Cunningham, answering the frantic appeal of Audrey's mother, finds himself searching the burgh and the lands round about, questioning family and neighbours. He and Alys uncover disagreements, feuds, adultery and murder, and encounter once again the flamboyant French lady Olympe Archibecque, who is not at all what she seems. And then another lady goes missing.  The Lanimer Bride is by Pat McIntosh. 

The Adventuress is by Tasha Alexander. Lady Emily Hargreaves travels to the south of France where an apparent suicide may be something far more sinister. Emily and husband Colin have come to the French Riviera for what should be a joyous occasion - the engagement party of her lifelong friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, and Amity Wells, an American heiress. But the merrymaking is cut short with the shocking death of one of the party in an apparent suicide. Not convinced by the coroner's verdict, Emily must employ all of her investigative skills to discover the truth and avert another tragedy.


A Great Reckoning is by Louise Penny. Former Chief Inspector Gamache has been hunting killers his entire career and as the new commander of the Surete Academy, he is given the chance to combat the corruption and brutality that has been rife throughout the force. But when a former colleague and professor of the Surete academy is found murdered, with a mysterious map of Three Pines in his possession, Gamache has an even tougher task ahead of him. When suspicion turns to Gamache himself, and his possible involvement in the crime, the frantic search for answers takes the investigation to the village of Three Pines, where a series of shattering secrets are poised to be revealed.

Lord Francis Powerscourt is visited at home in London by the Bishop of Lynchester who wants his advice about the suspect for the death of an aged parishioner. Powerscourt advises that discretion rather than accusation is the best way forward, but this is just the start of his association with the diocese of Lynchester. The death of the parishioner has left available a property in the cathedral close which traditionally the church rents out to a suitable tenant. Four worthy candidates are nominated ...and then one of them, the retail king of the south of England, is found dead in the house, poisoned by strychnine. So once again Powerscourt is summoned by the bishop as this time there is no doubt of foul play. But there are many suspects from which to choose - there are the other candidates who want to live in that very desirable property ...or could it be more complex than that? Very soon Powerscourt uncovers a trail of greed, deception and death which goes straight to the heart of the cathedral itself.  Death Comes to Lynchester Close is by David Dickinson

Precious and Grace is by Alexander McCall Smith. One bright morning, Precious Ramotswe - head of Botswana's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - receives a visitor: a woman from Australia. This woman asks Precious to take on a case: to find the nursemaid who raised her during her childhood in Botswana. The woman wants to thank her for being such an important part of her life. Precious has a history of successfully solving cases, but this one proves difficult and throws up a number of surprises and challenges. Back in her office, next door to the Speedy Motors Garage on Twokleng Road, Precious also has a team to manage: Mr Polopetsi, a part-time science teacher and new assistant at the agency; she mentors Charlie, a former apprentice and young man too handsome and charming for his own good - a man who has gotten himself in deep water; and then there is Precious's tumultuous but heart-warming friendship with her co-director, the fiery Grace Makutsi. Precious and Grace is a story about being a detective, the complexities of human nature, as well as lessons about gratitude and obligation.

Out of Bounds is by Val McDermid.  When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it's as twisted as the DNA helix itself. Meanwhile, Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn to another mystery that she has no business investigating, a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems ...

Ryder Creed, his K9 search-and-rescue dogs and FBI agent Maggie O'Dell find themselves at the centre of a dire and mysterious case. In Chicago, a young man jumps from his thirtieth-storey hotel room; along the Missouri river, a hunter and his son find a lake whose surface is littered with snow geese, all of them dead; and in Southern Alabama, Ryder Creed and his search-and-rescue dog Grace find the body of a young woman who went missing in the Conecuh National Forest ...and it appears she filled her pockets with rocks and walked into the river. Before long Ryder Creed and FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell will discover the ominous connection between these mysterious deaths. What they find may be the most prolific killer the United States has ever know.  Reckless Creed is by Alex Kava.

Atlanta, 1948. In this city, all crime is black and white. On one side of the tracks are the rich,
white neighbourhoods; on the other, Darktown, the African-American area guarded by the city's first black police force of only eight men. These cops are kept near-powerless by the authorities: they can't arrest white suspects; they can't drive a squad car; they must operate out of a dingy basement. When a poor black woman is killed in Darktown having been last seen in a car with a rich white man, no one seems to care except for Boggs and Smith, two black cops from vastly different backgrounds. Pressured from all sides, they will risk their jobs, the trust of their community and even their own lives to investigate her death. Their efforts bring them up against a brutal old-school cop, Dunlow, who has long run Darktown as his own turf - but Dunlow's idealistic young partner, Rakestraw, is a young progressive who may be willing to make allies across colour lines.  Darktown is by Thomas Mullen

Razor Girl is by Carl Hiassen. Key West is a small place, but there are criminal secrets buried everywhere ...When jumped-up reality TV star Buck Nance aggravates the crowd in a Key West bar, he incites a riot and vanishes in the melee. His hapless agent Lane Coolman should have been by Buck's side, but has been accidentally taken hostage by two petty criminals who now think they can turn a quick profit by ransoming an LA talent agent. As the search for Buck continues, the mystery draws in a broad cast of characters from across the island: a delusional fan of Buck's show; the local sheriff who's desperate for re-election; a disgraced cop who now works restaurants on roach patrol; a shady lawyer and his gold-digging fiancee; the gay mayor and his restauranteur partner; a Mafioso hotelier; and a redheaded con artist named Merry who, using a razor blade and a high-speed car, has developed a signature way of luring in her victims. 

Torn is by Anne Randall.  2004 The court case had been harrowing. The fifteen jurors sat in silence while the prosecution produced evidence of how a man with obsessive sado-masochistic fantasies had turned into a killer. Fourteen of the jurors were repulsed. One man was secretly enthralled. A new world of possibility had opened up for him. 2014 When an actress is found dead, the ligature marks suggest that she had been involved in extreme sex games. When DIs Wheeler and Ross begin to investigate her death, they uncover not only an industry with varying degrees of regulation but also a sinister private club where some of Glasgow's elite pay handsomely to indulge their darkest fantasies. Club security is run by Paul Furlan, ex-army veteran and a former adversary of Wheeler. As Wheeler and Ross uncover the secrets and lies surrounding the club, they realise that their investigation is being blocked not just by Furlan but by some of Glasgow's most influential citizens. Meanwhile Skye Cooper, Scotland's latest indie-rock sensation is playing the final gig of his sell-out tour but his dreams of stardom are on a collision course with the obsession threatening to consume him.

The Twelve Clues of Christmas is by Rhys Biowen She may be thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but Lady Georgiana Rannoch cannot wait to ring in the New Year - before a Christmas killer wrings another neck ...On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me - well, actually, my true love, Darcy O'Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I'm snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig. So it's a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol! But then there are three deaths, so-called accidents. Perhaps a recent prison break could have something to do with it ...that, or a long-standing witch's curse. But after Darcy shows up beneath the mistletoe, anything could be possible in this wicked wonderland.

Allotment wars! Lord Bellingham, Carsely's biggest landholder, has enraged locals by saying he is going to sell off their allotments to make way for a new housing development. So when he turns up dead, poisoned by antifreeze, nobody mourns his passing. On another fine summer's day Agatha visits Carsley's allotments where everything looks peaceful and perfect: people of all ages digging in the soil and working hard to grow their own fruit and veg. Agatha feels almost tempted to take on a strip herself ...but common sense soon prevails. She doesn't really like getting her hands dirty. She is introduced to three oldtimers who have just taken over a new strip; Harry Perry, Bunty Daventry and Josephine Merriweather are lamenting the neglected condition of the patch. But as Harry starts to shovel through the weeds and grass his spade comes across something hard so he bends down and tries to move the object. And then he starts to yell ...The body is that of Peta Currie, a newcomer to the village - but who would want to murder her? Blonde and beautiful she's every local male's favourite. And then Lord Bellingham's son engages Agatha to do some digging of her own and very soon Agatha is thrown into a world of petty feuds, jealousies and disputes over land. It would seem that far from being tiny gardens of Eden, Carsley's allotments are local battlefields where passions - and the bodycount - run high!  Pushing up Daises is by M C Beaton.

Passengers boarding the 10.35 train from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston are bound for work, assignations, reunions, holidays or new starts, with no idea that their journey is about to be brutally curtailed. Holly has just landed her dream job, which should make life a lot easier than it has been, and Jeff is heading for his first ever work interview after months of unemployment. They end up sitting next to each other. On board, customer service assistant Naz dreams of better things as he collects rubbish from the passengers. And among the others travelling are Nick with his young family who are driving him crazy; pensioner Meg and her partner setting off on a walking holiday and facing an uncertain future; Caroline, run ragged by the competing demands of her stroppy teenage children and her demented mother; and Rhona, unhappy at work and desperate to get home to her small daughter. And in the middle of the carriage sits Saheel, carrying a deadly rucksack ...  The Silence Between Breaths is by Cath Staincliffe.


The Bone Ritual is by Julian Lees.  Ruud Pujasumarta has seen some gang-perpetrated horror crimes in his time, but the slum murder of a middle-aged woman he is called to is both horrifying and baffling. Mari Agnes Liem has not only been choked to death while tied to her bed, but the murderer has amputated her left hand and left a mah jong tile in her throat. And he has taken the hand with him. Ruud's personal life is a disaster - the whole world seems to know that his wife has left him for another man, perhaps because his (ex) mother-in-law keeps on turning up at his office with food for him. The only bright spot on Ruud's horizon is the imminent arrival of Imke Sneijder from Amsterdam, whom he hasn't seen for fifteen years, when they were both twelve-year-old neighbours before her family moved back to Holland. As Ruud and his department investigate the crime and the others that follow, he begins to realise that the current murderous spree may be linked to events which occured fifteen years ago, at about the time Imke left Indonesia...

1665, and the Great Plague has London in its grip. Everyone who can has fled and the only sounds are the tolling bells and the incessant cry of 'bring out your dead!'. Where better, then, to hide a murdered man than amongst the corpses on their way to the plague pit? John Grey, now a successful lawyer, is called in by Secretary of State Lord Arlington to investigate an unexpected admission to the Tothill pit. The man was, before his murder, known to be carrying a letter from the Duke of York to the French ambassador. But the letter has vanished and Arlington wants it. Grey soon begins to realise why Arlington is prepared to pay well for the document. The contents will compromise not only the duke but many others around him. But Arlington is not the only one trying to recover the letter. Somebody has killed once to try to obtain it - and is prepared to kill again. And Samuel Pepys's offer of help may not be all it seems. So John Grey is forced to set off on a journey through plague-ravaged England to fulfil his commission and keep himself safe from his enemies - if the Plague doesn't get him first.  The Plague Road is by L C Tyler.

Nature versus nurture . . . The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor and a teacher. As random as random can be. Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer. Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources – and genius – at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: there were two one older, one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realises that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil . .  Apprentice in Death is by J D Robb

Death at the Seaside is by Frances Brody.  Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there. Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma's daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma's current gentleman friend. Kate can't help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller's shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby's idyllic facade, it's up to Kate - ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden - to discover the truth behind Felicity's disappearance. And they say nothing happens in August ...


Detective Lotte Meerman is convinced the death of Frank Stapel, a painter and decorator, isn't an accident after she and his widow Tessa find a skeleton in a sports bag in his left luggage locker at Amsterdam Central train station. The remains date from the Second World War and Lotte's colleagues consider it of minor importance ...until forensic tests show that amongst the bones is the arm bone of a crime boss that recently went missing. The Murderer’s Guide to Family is by Anja de Jager

A Time to Die is by Tom Wood.  It takes a bad man to hunt evil If the assassin known only as Victor once had a moral compass, it is long since buried, along with his many victims. Yet some men are so evil even Victor accepts they must die for reasons other than just money. One such is Milan Rados, a former commander in the Serbian army who has escaped trial at The Hague to become a formidable criminal power. Tracking down and killing this brutal man will win Victor a reprieve for his own recent crimes on British soil. But Victor isn't the only one who wants Rados dead. A woman, whose family was butchered on the tyrant's orders, will do anything to see Rados' blood spilled on the snow of Eastern Europe. Now Victor has an unlikely ally - but an army stands between them and justice.

Eden Chase is head over heels in love with her husband Tom. He's the sort of man who doesn't give much away but Eden doesn't mind that - Tom is worth the effort. So when he's accused of a years-old robbery and murder, Eden won't believe it. No, not her Tom - he's not capable of the things they're saying he did. With Tom in prison, it's up to Eden to clear his name. But the deeper Eden goes into the ugly underworld that holds the answers and the closer she gets to the truth, the more danger she's exposed to. Can Eden save her husband before it's too late but, more importantly, is he even worth saving?  Exposed is by Roberta Kray.

A Truth Will Out is by A D Garrett. A mother and child are kidnapped while driving back
from the supermarket. The crime has a surprising number of similarities to a cold case which Fennimore had been lecturing on. Before long, he finds himself drawn into the case. However, at the same time he finds a lead in Paris that suggests his daughter, now missing for six years, might be alive. He enlists the help of his old friend DI Kate Simms, recently returned from the US.

The Two O’ Clock Boy is by Mark Hill. One night changed their lives Thirty years ago, the Longacre Children's Home stood on a London street where once-grand Victorian homes lay derelict. There its children lived in terror of Gordon Tallis, the home's manager. Cries in the fire and smoke Then Connor Laird arrived: a frighteningly intense boy who quickly became Tallis' favourite criminal helper. Soon after, destruction befell the Longacre, and the facts of that night have lain buried ...until today. A truth both must hide Now, a mysterious figure, the Two O'Clock Boy, is killing all who grew up there, one by one. DI Ray Drake will do whatever it take to stop the murders - but he will go even further to cover up the truth.

It's been three months since that night - the night that Detective Micki Dare almost died. Physically, she's healed but the nightmares remain, and she can't shake the feeling that more happened that night than her partner Detective Zach Harris is telling her. The only thing she can do is try to carry on as normal and solve the latest case she and Zach have been assigned to. A string of brutal home invasions are rocking the city and the families targeted have nothing in common. Why were these victims chosen? The deeper Micki and Zach go into the case, the more they realise something isn't right. There's something ...familiar about the person doing this - and it's a familiarity Micki has been trying to forget. Suddenly, this case is hitting too close to home and Micki has to decide if she really wants to learn the truth about that night.  This novel is by Erica Spindler and is currently untitled.

A High Mortality of Doves is by Kate Ellis.  1919. The Derbyshire village of Wenfield is still reeling from four terrible years of war, and now, just when the village is coming to terms with the loss of so many of its sons, the brutal murder of a young girl shatters its hard-won tranquillity. Myrtle Bligh is found stabbed and left in woodland, her mouth slit to accommodate a dead dove, a bird of peace. During the war Myrtle worked as a volunteer nurse with Flora Winsmore, the local doctor's daughter, caring for badly wounded soldiers at the nearby big house, Tarnhey Court. When two more women are found murdered in identical circumstances, Inspector Albert Lincoln is sent up from London, a man not only wounded in war but damaged in peace by the death of his young son and his cold, loveless marriage. Once in Wenfield, Albert begins to investigate the three recent murders and the Cartwright family of Tarnhey Court and their staff fall under suspicion as their hidden lives and secrets are uncovered. With rumours of a ghostly soldier with a painted face being spotted near the scene of the murders, the village is thrown into a state of panic - and with the killer still on the loose, who will be the next to die at the hands of this vicious angel of death?


For Dr William Hardy, professor of Forensic Psychology at New York University, life had been nearly perfect, until the day it was shattered by the sudden and violent loss of his wife. Will’s twelve-year-old daughter, Bernadette, a witness to the crime, has barely spoken since that day. Months after the tragedy, Will learns that a family trust has bequeathed him Godwin Hall, a place Will once visited as a child, a place where he himself observed a terrifying event. In their grief and despair, Will and Bernadette Hardy move to Ohio to start a new life.  But soon they find this small community hides terrors of its own, and only a young, female rookie cop can protect them from what’s coming . . .  The Last Girl is by Richard Montanari

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