Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Books to Look Forward to from Pan Macmillan

July 2016

Fans of Peter James and his bestselling Roy Grace series of crime novels know that his books draw on in-depth research into the lives of Brighton and Hove police and are set in a world every bit as gritty as the real thing. His friend Graham Bartlett was a long-serving detective in the city once described as Britain's 'crime capital'. Together, in Death Comes Knocking, they have written a gripping account of the city's most challenging cases, taking the reader from crime scenes and incident rooms to the morgue, and introducing some of the real-life detectives who inspired Peter James's characters. Whether it's the murder of a dodgy nightclub owner and his family in Sussex's worst non-terrorist mass murder or the race to find the abductor of a young girl, tracking down the antique trade's most notorious 'knocker boys' or nailing an audacious ring of forgers, hunting for a cold-blooded killer who executed a surfer or catching a pair who kidnapped a businessman, leaving him severely beaten, to die on a hillside, the authors skilfully evoke the dangerous inside story of policing, the personal toll it takes and the dedication of those who risk their lives to keep the public safe. Death Comes Knocking is by Graham Bartlett with Peter James.

He has to clear thoughts of Joanne and thoughts of the past out of his mind. He has to think
about himself, his situation. Think about the next hour. The last thirty-two years don't matter; whatever remains of the rest of his life doesn't matter. It's the next hour. In that hour, everything will be decided. Usman Kassar is comfortable in his older brother's shadow, for now. Staying off the radars of the big players lets him plan big scores with little danger of detection. But dangerous jobs will get you noticed, whether you want them to or not. Martin Sivok is a gunman without a target. An outsider in a new city who doesn't know how to make a fresh start. But when you desperately need doors to start opening, someone like Usman might just persuade you to pull at the wrong handle - like the one that opens a safe full of dirty money. Dirty money that the Jamieson organization, one of the most dangerous criminal outfits in town, wants back. Any job can have brutal consequences when it threatens the reputation of Nate Colgan. Nate can't help being frightening; a man with darkness inside him. As the reluctant 'security consultant' for a fracturing criminal organization, he knows that unless he recovers the stolen money quickly, much more than his livelihood will be on the line. But if you've been forced into a job that you know could be your ending, how hard will you fight to keep it? A multi-layered, humane and unnerving portrait of gangland Glasgow, For Those Who Know the Ending is the gripping new novel from the award-winning Malcolm Mackay.

You Will Know Me is by Megan Abbott.  Katie and her husband Eric have made their daughter Devon the centre of their world. Talented, determined, a rising gymnastics star, Devon is the focus of her parents' lives and the lynchpin of their marriage. There is nothing they wouldn't do for her. When a violent hit-and-run accident sends shockwaves through their close-knit community, Katie is immediately concerned for her daughter. She and Eric have worked so hard to protect Devon from anything that might distract or hurt her. That's what every parent wants for their child, after all. Even if they don't realize how much you've sacrificed for them. Even if they are keeping secrets from you ...A mother knows best ...doesn't she?

August 2016

Dead Man's Blues is a gripping historical crime novel from Ray Celestin, Chicago, 1928. In the stifling summer heat three disturbing events take place. A clique of city leaders is poisoned in a fancy hotel. A white gangster is found mutilated in an alleyway in the Blackbelt. And a famous heiress vanishes without a trace. Pinkerton detectives Michael Talbot and Ida Davis are hired to find the missing heiress by the girl's troubled mother. But it proves harder than expected to find a face that is known across the city, and Ida must elicit the help of her friend Louis Armstrong. While the police take little interest in the Blackbelt murder, Jacob Russo, crime scene photographer, can't get the dead man's image out of his head, and so he embarks on his own investigation. And Dante Sanfelippo - rum-runner and fixer - is back in Chicago on the orders of Al Capone, who suspects there's a traitor in the ranks and wants Dante to investigate. But Dante is struggling with his own problems as he is forced to return to the city he thought he'd never see again ...As the three parties edge closer to the truth, their paths cross and their lives are threatened. But will any of them find the answers they need in the capital of jazz, booze and corruption?

The Constant Soldier is by William Ryan.  The pain woke him up. He was grateful for it. The train had stopped and somewhere, up above them, the drone of aircraft engines filled the night sky. He could almost remember her smile ...It must be the morphine ...He had managed not to think about her for months now. 1944. Paul Brandt, a soldier in the German army, returns wounded and ashamed from the bloody chaos of the Eastern front to find his village home much changed and existing in the dark shadow of an SS rest hut - a luxurious retreat for those who manage the concentration camps, run with the help of a small group of female prisoners who - against all odds - have so far survived the war. When, by chance, Brandt glimpses one of these prisoners, he realizes that he must find a way to access the hut. For inside is the woman to whom his fate has been tied since their arrest five years before, and now he must do all he can to protect her. But as the Russian offensive moves ever closer, the days of this rest hut and its SS inhabitants are numbered. And while hope - for Brandt and the female prisoners - grows tantalizingly close, the danger too is now greater than ever. And, in a forest to the east, a young female Soviet tank driver awaits her orders to advance….

None But The Dead is by Lin Anderson. Sanday, one of Britain's northernmost islands,
inaccessible when the wind prevents the ferry crossing from the mainland, or fog grounds the tiny, island-hopping plane. When human remains are discovered to the rear of an old primary school, forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod and her assistant arrive to excavate the grave. Approaching midwinter, they find daylight in short supply, the weather inhospitable and some of the island's inhabitants less than co-operative. When the suspicious death of an old man in Glasgow appears to have links with the island, DS Michael McNab is dispatched to investigate. Desperately uncomfortable in such surroundings, he finds that none of the tools of detective work are there. No internet, no CCTV, and no police station. As the weather closes in, the team - including criminal profiler and Orkney native Professor Magnus Pirie - are presented with a series of unexplained incidents, apparently linked to the discovery of thirteen magic flowers representing the souls of dead children who had attended the island school where the body was discovered. But how and in what circumstance did they die? And why are their long forgotten deaths significant to the current investigation? As a major storm approaches, bringing gale-force winds and high seas, the islanders turn on one another, as past and present evil deeds collide, and long buried secrets break the surface, along with the exposed bones.

September 2016

Chameleon People is the fourth murder mystery in the K2 and Patricia series by Hans Olav Lahlum. 1972. On a cold March morning the weekend peace is broken when a frantic young cyclist rings on Inspector Kolbjorn 'K2' Kristiansen's doorbell, desperate to speak to the detective. Compelled to help, K2 lets the boy inside, only to discover that he is being pursued by K2's colleagues in the Oslo police. A bloody knife is quickly found in the young man's pocket: a knife that matches the stab wounds of a politician murdered just a few streets away. The evidence seems clear-cut, and the arrest couldn't be easier. But with the suspect's identity unknown, and the boy refusing to speak, K2 finds himself far from closing the case. And then there is the question that K2 can't get out of his head: why would a guilty man travel directly to a police detective from the scene of his own brutal crime?

Annie Carter finally believes that life is good. She and Max are back together and she has a new and uncomplicated life sunning herself in Barbados. It's what she's always dreamed of. Then she gets the news that her old friend Dolly Farrell is dead, and suddenly she finds herself back in London and hunting down a murderer with only one thing on her mind ...revenge. But the hunter can so quickly become the hunted, and Annie has been keeping too many secrets. She's crossed and bettered a lot of people over the years, but this time the enemy is a lot closer to home and she may just have met her match ... Stay Dead is by Jessie Keane.

The One Man is by Andrew Gross.  Auschwitz, 1944. Alfred Mendl's days are numbered. But
he has little left to live for - his family were torn away from him, his life's work burned in front of his eyes - until a glimmer of hope arises as he watches a game of chess. To the guards Mendl is just another prisoner, but in fact he holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. The other is working hard for the Nazi war machine. Four thousand miles away, in Washington DC, intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum decodes messages from occupied Poland. After the Nazis murdered his family, Nathan escaped the Krakow ghetto and is determined to support his new country - and the US government knows exactly how he can. They want to send Nathan on a mission to rescue one man from a place no one can break in to - or out of. Even if Nathan does make it in and finds him, can they escape the most heavily guarded place on earth?

A BODY. A COVER UP. A BURIED SECRET. A father who will do anything to solve the mystery of his son's disappearance. A mother who will do anything to find her daughter. The man who tries to keep both parents alive. Sonja Kurtz - former soldier, supposedly retired mercenary - is in Vietnam carrying out a personal revenge mission when her daughter sends a call for help. Emma, a student archaeologist on a dig at the edge of Namibia's Etosha National Park, has discovered a body dating back to the country's liberation war of the 1980s. The remains of the airman, identified as Hudson Brand, are a key piece of a puzzle that will reveal the location of a modern day buried treasure - a find people will kill for. Sonja returns to the country of her birth to find Emma, who since her call has gone missing. Former CIA agent Hudson Brand is very much alive and is also drawn back to Namibia to finally solve a decades-old mystery whose clues are entombed in an empty corner of the desert. An Empty Coast is by Tony Park.

October 2016

It occurred to him that he might not have had anything to do with Strangio's death. It was a
voice in the night, an anonymous voice, that had told him this. A voice in the night that could easily have been the voice of his conscience. Feeling his age, as his birthday rolls round once again, Inspector Montalbano decides to cheer himself up by dealing with a young driver's road rage in his own unique way. But his joy is short-lived, as at police headquarters he receives an angry phone call from a supermarket boss; there's been a robbery at his store and Montalbano's colleague is treating him as a suspect. On arrival at the scene, Montalbano quickly agrees with Inspector Augello that this was no ordinary break-in, but with the supermarket's infamous links to the Mafia creating problems at every turn, this isn't going to be an easy case for the inspector to solve. And to add to Montalbano's burden, the young driver he made an enemy of earlier in the week has returned to police headquarters to report a shocking crime ...  A Voice in the Night is by Andrea Camilleri.

Cold Earth is by Ann Cleeves.  In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main Lerwick-Sumburgh road and sweeps down to the sea. At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water smash through a croft house in its path. Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. In his mind, she shares his Mediterranean ancestry and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity. Then it emerges that she was already dead before the landslide hit the house. Perez knows he must find out who she was, and how she died.

Set against Iceland's volcanic hinterlands, four thirty-somethings from Reykjavik - the reckless hedonist Egill; the recovering alcoholic Hrafin; and their partners Anna and Vigdis - embark on an ambitious camping trip, their jeep packed with supplies. Victims of the financial crisis, the purpose of the trip is to heal both professional and personal wounds, but the desolate landscape forces the group to reflect on the shattered lives they've left behind in the city. As their jeep hurtles through the barren land, an impenetrable fog descends, causing them to suddenly crash into a rural farmhouse. Seeking refuge from the storm, the group discover that the isolated dwelling is inhabited by a mysterious elderly couple who inexplicably barricade themselves inside every night. As past tensions within the group rise to the surface, the merciless weather blocks every attempt at escape, forcing them to ask difficult questions: who has been butchering animals near the house? What happened to the abandoned village nearby where bones lie strewn across the ground? And most importantly, will they ever return home? The Ice Lands is by Steinar Bragi.

November 2016

No Man's Land is by David Baldacci and is a thriller featuring special investigator John Puller, who is pursuing a case that will send him deep into his own troubled past. John Puller's mother disappeared nearly thirty years ago. Despite an intensive search and investigation, she was never seen again. But new allegations have come to light suggesting that Puller's father - now suffering from dementia and living in a VA hospital - may have murdered his wife. Puller is officially barred from working on the case - and faces a potential court martial if he disobeys orders - but he knows he can't sit this investigation out. When intelligence operative Veronica Knox turns up, Puller realizes that there is far more to this case than he had originally thought. He will stop at nothing to discover the truth about what happened to his mother ...even if it means proving that his father is a killer.

At dawn on a lonely stretch of road, a body is found hanging from an ancient gallows the morning after a country show. Hours earlier, DCI Kate Daniels had seen the victim alive. With her leave period imminent, she's forced to step aside when DCI James Atkins is called in to investigate. There's bad blood between them. When Kate discovers that Atkins' daughter was an eyewitness to a fight involving the victim, the two detectives lock horns and he's bumped off the case. It's the trigger for a vicious attack on Kate, exposing a secret she's kept hidden for years and unearthing an even darker one. Shaken but undeterred, Kate sets out to solve a case that has shocked a close-knit village community. As suspects emerge, she uncovers a curious historical connection with a hangman, a culture of systematic bullying, a web of deceit and a deep-seated psychosis, any one of which could be motive for murder.  Gallows Drop is by Mari Hannah.

The Killer is by Susan Wilkins. Kaz Phelps: the sister of a dead gangster on the run from all the sins of her past. Nicci Armstrong: an ex-cop turned security consultant forced to service the global rich who use her city as a playground.  Tom Rivlin: a charming and ambitious Detective Inspector desperate to prove that he is up to the job.  Robert Hollister: a disgraced politician bent on revenge.  Asil Kemal: a Turkish drug baron obsessed with his honour – and also bent on revenge. Viktor Pudovkin: an ex-KGB Russian billionaire anxious to prove his loyalty to his political masters. The Killer moves between organised crime and the police: the underworld, the overworld, the rich and the dispossessed – and between violence and love.

December 2016

To Catch a Killer by Nele Neuhaus.  Detective Pia Kirchhoff is about to leave on her long-
delayed honeymoon when she hears that a woman has been shot while out walking her dog. Then more long-range shootings swiftly follow, and it becomes clear that a highly trained serial killer is on the loose. The victims seem to have just one thing in common: they were all good people with apparently no enemies. So why are they dead? As fear of the sniper grows among local residents, all leave is cancelled for the Frankfurt police department as they are put on red alert. The pressure is on Kirchhoff and her colleague, Oliver von Bodenstein, to find the killer before he can tick another name off his hit list.

A top Russian intelligence agent has defected to the West and the only man with whom he will speak is Kyle Swanson, who busted him out of the U.S. Marine Corps Scout/Sniper School years ago. The defector proves to be an Edward Snowden-type gold mine of amazing secrets about the when, where and how of the Russian President's next grab for lost Soviet territory. But Swanson, now a special contractor with the CIA, soon begins to believe that it is all fool's gold being sprinkled by Moscow to ignite
an open military fight with NATO and the United States. Using his own deadly methods, the sniper sets out to find the truth, but to slow him down, the Russians kidnap Swanson's beautiful friend Calico, the CIA station chief in Estonia. From Italy to the Arctic Circle, Kyle Swanson is on the hunt, convinced that the defector is actually running a complex plot to hand Russia a kingdom in the north. But Swanson seems always to be a step behind - there is a traitor within his own chain of command. To stop the madness, Swanson must deliver a kill shot a hundred miles away from a border bridge in Estonia ... Long Shot is by Jack Coughlin and Donald A Davis.

The Burning Page is by Genevieve Cogman.  Librarian spy Irene has
professional standards to maintain. Standards that absolutely do not include making hasty, unplanned escapes through a burning besieged building. But when the gateway back to your headquarters dramatically malfunctions, one must improvise. And after fleeing a version of Revolutionary France astride a dragon (also known as her assistant, Kai), Irene soon discovers she's not the only one affected. Gates back to the Library are malfunctioning across a multitude of worlds, creating general havoc. She and Kai are tasked with a mission to St Petersburg's Winter Palace, to retrieve a book, which will help restore order. However, such plans rarely survive first contact with the enemy - particularly when the enemy is the traitor Alberich. A nightmare figure bent on the Library's destruction, Alberich gives Irene a tainted 'join me or die' job offer. Meanwhile, Irene's old friend Vale has been damaged by exposure to chaotic forces and she has no idea how to save him. When another figure from her past appears, begging for help, Irene has to take a good hard look at her priorities. And of course try to save the Library from absolute annihilation. Saving herself would be a bonus. Irene's adventures feature stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies.

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