Friday, 3 June 2016

Books to look forward to from Quercus

Blackwater is by James Henry.  January 1983, Colchester CID A new year brings new resolutions for Detective Inspector Nicholas Lowry. With one eye on his approaching fortieth birthday, he has given up his two greatest vices: smoking, and the police boxing team. As a result, the largest remaining threat to his health is now his junior colleague's reckless driving. If Detective Constable Daniel Kenton's orange sports convertible is symbolic of his fast track through the ranks, then his accompanying swagger, foppish hairstyle and university education only augment his uniqueness in the department. Yet regardless of this, it is not DC Kenton who is turning station heads. WPC Jane Gabriel is the newest police recruit in Britain's oldest recorded town. Despite a familial tie to top brass, Gabriel's striking beauty and profound youth have landed her with two obstacles: a young male colleague who gives her too much attention, and an older one who acts like she's not there. January 1983, Blackwater Estuary A new year brings a new danger to the Essex shoreline. An illicit shipment, bound for Colchester - 100 kilograms of powder that will frantically accelerate tensions in the historic town, and leave its own murderous trace. Lowry, Kenton and Gabriel must now develop a tolerance to one another, and show their own substance, to save Britain's oldest settlement from a new, unsettling enemy.

Sophie is haunted by the things she can't remember - and visions from the past she will never forget. One morning, she wakes to find that the little boy in her care is dead. She has no memory of what happened. And whatever the truth, her side of the story is no match for the evidence piled against her. Her only hiding place is in a new identity. A new life, with a man she has met online. But Sophie is not the only one keeping secrets. Blood Wedding is by Pierre Lemaitre


Lennox liked Quiet Tommy Quaid. Perhaps it's odd for a private detective to like - even admire - a career thief, but Quiet Tommy Quaid was the sort of man everyone liked. Amiable, easy-going, well-dressed, with no vices to speak of - well, aside from his excessive drinking and womanising, but then in 1950s Glasgow those are practically virtues. And besides, throughout his many exploits outside the law, Quiet Tommy never once used violence. It was rumoured to be the police who gave him his nickname - because whenever they caught him, which was not often, he always came quietly. So probably even the police liked him, deep down. Above all, the reason people liked Tommy was that he you knew exactly what you were dealing with. Here, everybody realized, was someone who was exactly, simply and totally who and what he seemed to be. But when Tommy turns up dead, Lennox and the rest of Glasgow will find out just how wrong they were.  The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid is by Craig Russell

Ivory is by Tony Park. Alex Tremain is a pirate who needs to up his game. He's facing a mounting tide of debts and his crew of ex-military cutthroats are getting restless. A chance raid on a wildlife smugglers' ship promises both bounty and excitement. Unfortunately it also sets the Chinese triads after him. As a pleasing distraction corporate lawyer Jane Humphries lands, literally, in his lap. But once again his luck doesn't last - it turns out her lover is a ruthless shipping magnate backed up by a bunch of deadly contract killers. What Alex needs is one last, big heist. When the South African government makes a controversial decision to reinstate the culling of elephants in its national parks, Alex thinks his luck has finally changed. He couldn't be more wrong ...

Kill Me Twice by Anna Smith.  A beautiful model's death uncovers an ugly conspiracy stretching all the way to Westminster in Rosie Gilmour's darkest case to date. When rags-to-riches Scots supermodel Bella Mason plunges to her death from the roof of a glitzy Madrid hotel, everyone assumes it was suicide. Except that one person saw exactly what happened to Bella that night, and she definitely didn't jump. But Millie Chambers has no one she can tell - alcoholic, depressed herself and now sectioned by her bullying politician husband, who would believe her? And that's not all Millie knows. Being close to the heart of Westminster power can lead to discovering some awful secrets...Back in Glasgow, Rosie's research into Bella's life leads to her brother, separated from her in care years before. Dan is now a homeless heroin addict and rent boy, but what he reveals about Bella's early life is electrifying: organised sexual abuse in care homes across Glasgow. Bella had tracked him down so that they could tell the world their story. And now she's dead. As Rosie's drive to expose the truth leads her closer to Millie and the shameful secrets she has kept for so many years, it becomes clear that what she's about to discover could prove fatal: a web of sexual abuse linking powerful figures across the nation, and the rot at the very heart of the British Establishment...

After the War is by Hervé Le Corre. 1950's Bordeaux. Even now, the Second World War is never far from people's memories, particularly in a city where the scars of collaboration and resistance are more keenly felt than ever. But another war has already begun. A war without a name, far away across the sea, in Algeria, where young men are sent to fight in a brutal conflict. Daniel knows what awaits him. He's heard stories. Patrols, ambushes, reprisals, massacres, mutilations, all beneath a burning north African sun. He has just a month left before he leaves but, haunted by the loss of his parents and sister in the atrocities of the last war, Daniel questions why he is even going to fight in the first place. Meanwhile, past crimes are returning to haunt Albert Darlac, the godfather of Bordeaux: corrupt police chief, fascist sympathiser and one-time collaborator. Before long, a series of explosive events will set off a spiral of violence that will bring the horrific legacy of wars past and present to the streets of Bordeaux.


My husband's lover. They said her death was a tragic accident. And I believed them ...until now. Carmen is happily married to Tom, a successful London lawyer and divorc with three children. She is content to absorb the stresses of being a stepmother to teenagers and the stain of 'second wife'. She knows she'll always live in the shadow of another woman - not Tom's first wife Laura, who is resolutely polite and determinedly respectable, but the lover that ended his first marriage: Zena. Zena who was shockingly beautiful. Zena who drowned swimming late one night. But Carmen can overlook her husband's dead mistress ...until she starts to suspect that he might have been the person who killed her.  Undertow is by Elizabeth Heathcote.

Beneath the Surface is by Jo Spain. Ryan Finnegan, a high-ranking government official, is brutally slain in Leinster House, the seat of the Irish parliament. Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are called in to uncover the truth behind the murder. As the suspects start to rack up, Tom must untangle a web of corruption, sordid secrets and sinister lies. At first, all the evidence hints at a politically motivated crime, until a surprise discovery takes the investigation in a dramatically different direction. Suddenly the motive for murder has got a lot more personal ...but who benefits the most from Ryan's death?

Dr Adam Knox returns from the war in Afghanistan a little rougher, a little wiser, and a lot more inclined to kick it to the ones at the top. The ones in charge. He sets up a clinic in Los Angeles's most notorious district, tending to the vagrant, the vulnerable and the victims of skid row. One night they're beseeched by a Romanian woman who comes in with her son. Her bruises give away a story she's too scared to tell; escaping from traffickers and forced prostitution to try to get her son back. He was kidnapped by his father - who happens to be heir to one of the most influential dynasties on the West Coast. That same night, Knox is called upon for his private health service - cutting out a bullet from a businessman who was cutting himself a shady deal. Impressed by his ability to keep a secret, the impatient patient offers Knox a big tip for some extra work: helping him get revenge on the gangsters who shot him. Knox - and his clinic - need the cash. Playing one team against another, Knox must keep his wits scalpel-sharp. If his diagnosis is on the money, he might be able to trick the gangsters, free the Romanian mother and put the ones at the top in their place for once. Dr Knox is by Peter Spiegelman

The Acid Test is by Élmer Mendoza.  When the mutilated body of Mayra Cabral de Melo, a well-known stripper, is found by the side of a dusty road, detective Edgar "Lefty" Mendieta has personal reasons for bringing the culprit to justice. Mayra had no shortage of ardent, deluded and downright dangerous admirers, and Lefty himself is haunted by one steamy night he spent in her generous company. So begins an investigation that will bring him ever closer to the murderous world of the narcos, who are waging a war of bloody attrition against the Mexican state. The country is a powder keg, waiting for a spark, and Mendieta is about to enter the darkest days of his life. Corrupt politicians, failed boxers and unscrupulous arms dealers all lie in wait across the path to justice - none of which can prepare him for a brush with the F.B.I. when the father of the President of the United States is attacked on vacation. But for all these perils it is the weight of his own murky past that Lefty finds hardest to bear. And as he scratches around for clues, faced with a gallery of suspects who all have a motive and that murderous glint in their eye, the reappearance of Samantha Vald s, now the boss of the Cartel del Pac fico, adds one more piece to an already impenetrable puzzle.


Private investigator Danny Katz is trying to track down his former drug dealer. Ram n and his girlfriend Jenny have both vanished leaving behind a lot of unanswered questions. How come Ram n suddenly found himself in possession of the mother-load of drugs? And is Jenny really who she claims to be? Katz's investigation leads him to the darkest corners of Stockholm's porn industry and once again his old addiction threatens to control him. Ultimately only one thing seems certain - someone is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Katz from discovering the brutal truth.  The Tunnel is by Carl-Johan Vallgren.

The Black Friar is by S G Maclean. London, 1655, and Cromwell's regime is under threat from all sides. Damian Seeker, Captain of Cromwell's Guard, is all too aware of the danger facing Cromwell. Parliament resents his control of the Army while the Army resents his absolute power. In the east end of London, a group of religious fanatics plots rebellion. In the midst of all this, a stonemason uncovers a
perfectly preserved body dressed in the robes of a Dominican friar, bricked up in a wall in the crumbling Black Friars. Ill-informed rumours and speculation abound, but Seeker instantly recognises the dead man. What he must discover is why he met such a hideous end, and what his connection was to the children who have started to disappear from around the city. Unravelling these mysteries is challenging enough, and made still harder by the activities of dissenters at home, Royalist plotters abroad and individuals who are not what they seem...

Lola Jost, once of the Paris Police, is busy fending off boredom with a jigsaw puzzle when Gendarme Capitaine Hardy knocks on her door. Arnaud Mars - a former police divisionnaire on the run after being implicated in a seismic defence contracts scandal - has been found dead in Abidjan in they Ivory Coast. The Smith and Wesson that killed him belongs to Commandant Sacha Duguin, a longstanding friend of Lola's. Lola, convinced of Duguin's innocence, throws off her torpor. Together with her occasional partner in crime fighting Ingrid Diesel - who she must first extract from Las Vegas - she embarks on a journey from Africa back to France via Hong Kong, once again on a quest to clear an old friend's name. Who was really behind Mars' death? And what is it that has made Duguin the ideal scapegoat? Sun and Shadows is by Dominique Sylvain.

Dodger of the Revolution is by James Benmore.  The Artful Dodger faces his most dangerous adventure yet as he leaves Dickensian London and finds himself manning the barricades in defence of liberty, fraternity and larceny in the 1848 Paris uprising. For Dodger, life as a criminal kingpin is losing its allure. Leading a gang of petty thieves from the Seven Dials is not as easy as Fagin made it look and after a year in charge Jack Dawkins has been reduced to a shadow of the man who used to be the envy of every pickpocket in London. Opium-addicted and heavy-fingered, Dodger is fast becoming a laughing stock on his own patch until a chance encounter leads him to Paris and a job like nothing he's had before. In a city alive with rebellion, Dodger must avoid assassins, jilted lovers and revolutionaries, and rediscover his touch if he is to lift his most precious treasure yet. 


Seventeen-year-old Hattie Hoffman is a talented actress, loved by everyone in her Minnesotan hometown. So when she's found stabbed to death on the opening night of her school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of the community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a good friend of Hattie's dad, vows to find her killer, but the investigation yields more secrets than answers; it turns out Hattie played as many parts offstage as on. Told from three perspectives: Del's, Hattie's high school English teacher and Hattie herself, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman is by Mindy Mejia and tells the story of the real Hattie, and what happened that final year of school when she dreamed of leaving her small town behind ...

The Blood Card is by Elly Griffiths. Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but the murder of their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright's possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. The wartime connection and the suggestion of magic are enough for him to put Stephens and Mephisto on the case. Edgar's investigation into the death of Brighton fortune-teller Madame Zabini is put on hold. Max is busy rehearsing for a spectacular Coronation Day variety show - and his television debut - so it's Edgar who is sent to New York, a land of plenty worlds away from still-rationed England. He's on the trail of a small-town mesmerist who may provide the key, but someone else silences him first. It's Sergeant Emma Holmes who finds the clue, buried in the files of the Zabini case, that leads them to an anarchist group intent on providing an explosive finale to Coronation Day. Now it's up to Edgar, Max and Emma to foil the plot, and find out who it is who's been dealing the cards ...

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