Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Forthcoming Books from Little Brown and Constable Robinson

June 2017

London. 1894. 'I am not a detective, chief constable.' 'No, but you are a poet, a freemason and a man of the world. All useful qualifications for the business in hand.' So says Police Chief Macnaghten to Oscar Wilde, in a Chelsea drawing room in the company of Arthur Conan Doyle. The business they are gathered to discuss is none other than the case of Jack the Ripper, the most notorious murderer in England. And thus the three men set out to solve one of the world's most famous mysteries - the ultimate truth about the identity of Jack the Ripper. Case Closed is Arthur Conan Doyle's account of the events of 1894, the year of the return of Jack the Ripper.   Jack the Ripper: Case Closed is by Gyles Brandreth.

July 2017

The Hidden Room is by Stella Duffy.  Life is good for Laurie and Martha. They have three great kids, a much-loved home in the countryside, and after years of struggle, Laurie's career as an architect is taking off at last. Everything's perfect. Except, it isn't. Someone is about to walk into their happy family and tear it apart. Laurie has been hiding from him for years. The question is, now that he's found her, can she keep her family safe? And just how far will she go to protect them?

The life she wanted wasn't hers. Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is. For Agatha, it's Meghan Shaughnessy's. These two women from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common - a dangerous secret that could destroy everything they hold dear. Both will risk everything to hide the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in a shocking act that cannot be undone.  The Secrets she Keeps is by Michael Robotham.

Dead in the Dark is by Stephen Booth.  How do you prove a murder without a body? Ten years ago, Reece Bower was accused of killing his wife, a crime he always denied. Extensive police searches near his home in Bakewell found no trace of Annette Bower's remains, and the case against him collapsed. But now memories of the original investigation have been resurrected for Detective Inspector Ben Cooper - because Reece Bower himself has disappeared, and his new wife wants answers. Cooper can't call on the Major Crime Unit and DS Diane Fry for help unless he can prove a murder took place - impossible without a body. As his search moves into the caves and abandoned mines in the isolated depths of Lathkilldale, the question is: who would want revenge for the death of Annette Bower?

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past she feels sick. Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Because Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers' party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life knowing herself responsible for Maria's disappearance. But now Maria is back. Or is she? As Maria's messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress, to try to piece together exactly what happened that fateful night. But when another friend's body turns up in the woods outside their old school, Louise realises she can't trust anyone and that she must confront her own awful secret to discover the whole truth of what happened to Maria .... Friend Request is by Laura Marshall.

The Fallen is by Ace Atkins.  Mississippi sheriff Quinn Colson had to admit he admired the bank robbers. A new bank was hit almost every week, and the robbers rushed in and out with such skill and precision it reminded him of raids he'd led back in Afghanistan and Iraq when he was an army ranger. In fact, it reminded him so much of the techniques in the Ranger Handbook that he couldn't help wondering if the outlaws were former Rangers themselves.  And that was definitely going to be a problem. If he stood any chance of catching them, he was going to need the help of old allies, new enemies, and a lot of luck. The enemies he had plenty of. It was the allies and the luck that were going to be in woefully short supply.

Soot is by Andrew Martin.  York, 1799. In August, an artist is found murdered in his home - stabbed with a pair of scissors. Matthew Harvey's death is much discussed in the city. The scissors are among the tools of his trade - for Harvey is a renowned cutter and painter of shades, or silhouettes, the latest fashion in portraiture. It soon becomes clear that the murderer must be one of the artist's last sitters, and the people depicted in the final six shades made by him become the key suspects. But who are they? And where are they to be found? Later, in November, a clever but impoverished young gentleman called Fletcher Rigge languishes in the debtor's prison, until a letter arrives containing a bizarre proposition from the son of the murdered man. Rigge is to be released for one month, but in that time, he must find the killer. If he fails, he will be incarcerated again, possibly for life. And so, with everything at stake, and equipped only with copies of the distinctive silhouettes, Fletcher Rigge begins his search across the snow-covered city, and enters a world of shadows...

Russian Roulette is by Sara Sheridan. Brighton 1956 When Mirabelle's on-off boyfriend, Superintendent Alan McGregor, is taken off a gruesome murder case because the key
suspect is an old school friend, Mirabelle steps in to unravel the tangle of poisoned gin, call girls and high stakes gambling that surrounds the death. It isn't long before McGregor's integrity is called into question and Mirabelle finds herself doubting him. So when a wartime hero's body turns up on the Sussex Downs, she is glad that McGregor is caught up in a mystery of his own as Brighton's establishment closes ranks. Mirabelle is in a dangerous situation though and she doesn't have McGregor watching her back on this one. And when the dead man on the Downs turns out to have been a member of a deadly thrillseekers club, related to the earlier murder, Mirabelle is determined to uncover the truth and free the innocent people who are bearing the brunt of the cover up. As her relationship with McGregor reaches breaking point, she has to draw on all her wartime experience to stand up for what she believes in - even if it means their relationship may not survive.

Where She Went is by B E Jones. TV journalist Melanie Black wakes up one morning next toa man she doesn't remember. It's not the first time - but he ignores her even though she's in his bed. Yet when his wife walks in with a cup of tea he greets her with a smile and to her horror, Melanie comes to realise that no one can see or hear her - because she is dead. But has she woken up next to her murderer? And where is her body? Why is she an invisible and uninvited guest in a house she can't leave; is she tied to this man forever? Is Melanie being punished in some way, or being given a chance to make amends? As she begins to piece together the last days of her life and circumstances leading up to her own death it becomes clear she has to make a choice: bring her killer to justice, or wreak her own punishment on the man who murdered her. 

August 2017

When charred human remains are discovered in the driver's seat of a burning car, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill are brought in to investigate. They soon discover that what appeared to be a terrible accident is, in fact, murder. Delving deeper into the case, they begin the dangerous hunt for a most sinister killer with the power to inflict untold fear and pain on their victims.  Insidious Intent is by Val McDermid.

In 1360 a deputation from Cambridge ventures to the Suffolk town of Clare in the hope that   The Habit of Murder is by Susanna Gregory.
the wealthy Elizabeth de Burgh has left a legacy to Michaelhouse. Yet when they arrive they discover that the report of her death is false and that the college seems destined for bankruptcy. Determined to see if some of its well-heeled citizens can be persuaded to sponsor Michaelhouse, Matthew Bartholomew, Brother Michael and Master Langelee become enmeshed in the town's politics. They quickly discover that a great many other people in Clare have recently met untimely deaths. These killings, combined with the arrogance Lady de Burgh has shown over the refurbishment of the church and the grotesque behaviour of some of her entourage, have created a dangerous restlessness in the town: an atmosphere intensified when yet more murders occur. One of the victims is a fellow traveller of the Michaelhouse contingent, and Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael feel honour-bound to identify his killer. It is a hunt which takes them deep into Clare's murky foundations and which threatens their own survival as well as that of their beloved college.

When a mysterious figure appears on the village green on a cold November day in Three Pines, Armand Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, knows something is seriously wrong. Yet he does nothing. Legally, what can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.  From the moment its shadow falls over Three Pines, Gamache suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. When it suddenly vanishes and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.   In the early days of the investigation into the murder, and months later, as the trial for the accused begins in a Montreal courtroom on a steamy day in July, the Chief Superintendent continues to struggle with actions he’s set in motion, from which there is no going back. “This case began in a higher court,” he tells the judge, “and it’s going to end there.”  And regardless of the trial’s outcome, he must face his own conscience.  Glass Houses is by Louise Penny.

Blame is by Jeff Abbott.The crash that killed him Two years ago, Jane Norton crashed her car on a lonely road, killing her friend David and leaving her with amnesia. At first, everyone was sympathetic. Then they found Jane's note: I wish we were dead together. A girl to blame From that day the town turned against her. But even now Jane is filled with questions: why were they on that road? Why was she with David? Did she really want to die? The secrets she should forget Most of all, she must find out who has just written her an anonymous message ...I know what really happened. I know what you don't remember.

The Weight of Angels is by Catriona McPherson.  What secrets do the dark bones of Dundrennan Abbey hold? A year ago, she was happily married, bringing up her beloved son, running her successful beauty salon and living with her loving husband in her dream house. Now Ali McGovern's dreams are slipping away and all her old ghosts are coming back to haunt her. A job at Howell Hall, the private psychiatric facility near her rented cottage and the ruined abbey, seems too good to be true. But why has the couple who run the place employed her when she is clearly not qualified to do it? How can they afford to pay her so well? And what are they hiding? When a body is discovered in a shallow grave by the abbey on Ali's first day at work, it feels like one last horror. But it's just the beginning of her descent into a nightmare world she never imagined existed so close to home.

The Tarot talks ...but is anyone listening? In the heart of South West London, just a short stroll from the Thames, lies a single row of cottages. Residents may come and go but they all have one thing in common: Tinderbox Lane - small, enclosed, unknown to any iPhone or supermarket delivery van - is the place they call home. Foremost among the residents is Dolly Greene: divorced and permanently broke, she shares her tiny house with her 21-year-old daughter Pippa, who can't afford to leave. Aside from Pippa, the other constant in Dolly's life is her Tarot business, and when Dolly reads the cards for the magnificently voluptuous and highly-sexed Nikki on a stiflingly hot summer's day, her Tarot patter is interrupted by a sudden vision - a flash of Nikki's face, covered in blood and bruises. Death hangs over her - but there is an etiquette to reading Tarot and Dolly will not talk of murder to her client. A few days later when the body of a battered woman is washed up by Chiswick Bridge, Dolly is haunted by the belief that Nikki's time may have come up ...but can she be sure? How far is Dolly prepared to go to act on her intuition? And will Sergeant Raff Williams, the officer assigned to investigate the murder, think Dolly's hunch insane?  The Prime of Ms Dolly Greene is by E V Harte.

A rising political storm is threatening to engulf De Vries and the stability and security of Cape Town.  As the legacy of El Nino scorches Cape Town, threatening it with drought, fire and civil disorder, the city is gripped by two horrific crimes: an explosion in the tourist centre, and the gruesome murder of a seemingly random victim.  In his investigation, Colonel De Vries of the Special Crimes Unit discovers a frightening back story and developing pattern of criminality, and comes to believe that there is more than one killer on the loose, each one with a connection to a man who, as a child, drowned his sister and destroyed his family.  Newly promoted investigator Lieutenant Mike Solarin, working with De Vires, discovers a trail to the perpetrators of the bomb in the city but, when he is recalled and the incident branded work of extremists, he pursues an alternative route, calling into question the role of the political elite, the media, and the police themselves.  Now sharing the single belief that there must be justice at any cost as they struggle to represent victims of so many atrocities.  De Vries and Solarin fight – against gathering forces – to save their city and their country.  Apostle Lodge is by Paul Mendleson.

September 2017

Secrets in Death is by J D Robb.  No one is going to miss Larinda Mars. A ruthless gossip queen with a lucrative sideline in blackmail, there's no lack of suspects when she's murdered in a fashionable New York bar. With so many people wanting her dead, it's going to be a tough case to crack. Lieutenant Eve Dallas may not like this particular victim, but it's her duty to bring the killer to justice. As she digs deeper into Larinda's mysterious past, it becomes clear the reporter had a unique talent for uncovering secrets. Including ones very close to home for Eve and her husband Roarke...Someone was willing to commit murder to keep their secrets hidden. And with Eve now working to uncover the truth, she and her team are heading into serious danger.

Precious Ramotswe has always idolised her father, the late Obed Ramotswe. She feels that she knows all about his life - but does she? Sometimes our parents surprise us, and we discover that things were not quite what we thought them to be. And the same goes for Mma Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe's feisty assistant, who also makes certain discoveries about her own past that cause some surprise. The placid world of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is further disturbed by the arrival in Gaborone of somebody whom Mma Ramotswe - and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, for that matter - definitely do not want to see. Of course calm eventually prevails - as it always does in the timeless world of these remarkable ladies. Tea is served, and life continues.  The House of Unexpected Sisters is by Alexander McCall Smith.

Never Let You Go is by Chevy Stevens.  She thought she'd escaped him forever. But will he ever let her go? Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash fled into the night with her young daughter, leaving an abusive relationship behind. Her ex-husband ended up in jail and Lindsey started a new life. Now, Lindsey is older, wiser and believes she has cut all ties with the past. But when Andrew is released from prison, strange things start happening. Lindsey's new boyfriend is threatened, her home invaded and her daughter followed. Her ex-husband denies all knowledge, but Lindsey is convinced he's responsible. 

It's 1920, and Louisa Cannon dreams of escaping her life of poverty in London, and most of all her oppressive and dangerous uncle. Louisa's salvation is a position within the Mitford household at Asthall Manor, in the Oxfordshire countryside. There she will become nurserymaid, chaperone and confidante to the Mitford sisters, especially sixteen-year-old Nancy - an acerbic, bright young woman in love with stories. But then a nurse - Florence Nightingale Shore, goddaughter of her famous namesake - is killed on a train in broad daylight, and Louisa and Nancy find themselves entangled in the crimes of a murderer who will do anything to hide their secret.  The Mitford Murders is by Jessica Fellowes.

Sleep Like a Baby by Charlaine Harris.

The Girl in the Green Dress is by Cath Staincliffe.  How far would you go to protect your child? Can you really keep them safe? What if who they are puts them at risk? And what if they have blood on their hands? Teenager Allie Kennaway heads off for Prom night, cheered on by dad Steve and her little sister Teagan. But Allie never comes home, beaten to death in an apparent hate crime because of her transgender identity. As police investigate the brutal murder, a crime that has appalled the country, one parent is at her wit's end with her son's behaviour. Are his outbursts and silences hiding something much darker than adolescent mood swings? And if her suspicions are correct, then what does she do? Another parent will fight tooth and nail to save his boy from the full force of the law. After all, blood is thicker than water and everyone should look after their own. But if he succeeds then Allie and her family will never get the justice they deserve. A groundbreaking story of love and hate, loyalty and betrayal, in a world of change.

October 2017

The Well of Ice is by Andrea Carter. Mid-December in Glendara and solicitor Benedicta 'Ben' O'Keeffe is working flat-out on the usual raft of sale closings before Christmas, so the last thing she needs is a complaint about noise emanating from the Oak pub. The one bright spot on the horizon is the anticipation of her first Christmas with Sergeant Tom Molloy. In Dublin to close another sale, she walks out onto the street. Two trams pass each other, and staring at her from across the tracks is Luke Kirby, the man who killed her sister. He approaches her, remorseful, conciliatory, plausible. She walks away. But as she does so, he says something that chills her to the bone. Back in Inishowen, Glendara is in chaos. The Oak has burned down. To make matters worse Carole Kearney, the Oak's barmaid, is missing. And then on Christmas morning, a walk up Sliabh Sneacht results in a gruesome discovery: a body found face-down in the snow. While Molloy and Ben try to find answers, someone is planning a revenge which will have devastating consequences for at least one of Glendara's residents.

Death in the Stars by Frances Brody.

Agatha Raisin and the Witches’ Tree is by M C Beaton.  Toil and trouble in store for Agatha! Cotswolds inhabitants are used to bad weather, but the night sky is especially foggy as Rory and Molly Devere, the new vicar and his wife, drive slowly home from a dinner party in their village of Sumpton Harcourt. They struggle to see the road ahead - but then screech to a halt. Right in front of them, aglow in the headlights of their car, a body hangs from a lightning-blasted tree at the edge of town. But it's not suicide; Margaret Darby, an elderly spinster of the parish, has been murdered - and the villagers are bewildered as to who would commit such a crime, and why. Agatha Raisin rises to the occasion, delighted to have some excitement back in her life as if truth be told, she was getting bored of the long run of lost cats and divorces on the books. But Sumpton Harcourt is an isolated and unfriendly village, she finds a place that poses more questions than answers. And when two more murders follow the first, Agatha begins to fear for her reputation - and her life. That the village has its own coven of witches certainly doesn't make her feel any better...

The Burnings is by Julian Lees.  With discovery comes certain death...When Australian Jillian Parker's scorched remains are discovered in her burnt-out car Ruud Pujasumarta and his team are brought in to investigate what appears at first to be a routine homicide. But when Canadian citizen Anita Dalloway's charred body is found a few days later Ruud finds a banner unfurled by the corpse's feet. A verse from the Quran is scribbled across it, calling for unbelievers to be burned. The killer is targeting Christians. And the team's suspicions are confirmed when a third body, that of English backpacker Emily Grealish, turns up with the same M.O. But who is responsible? Is it the senior Australian diplomat from the embassy who was obsessed by the first victim? The Imam who preaches Sharia law? The Indonesian three-star military general taking backhanders and living a life of luxury in Jakarta? Or the local drug dealer with a score to settle? But Ruud is suspicious that the killer may be someone much closer to home, someone Ruud has trusted for many years. What unravels is a terrifying chain of events for Ruud. And what he discovers puts his and those around him lives in danger.

November 2017

An atmospheric novel about the disappearance of Anna, fifteen, on a cold night in a small town in the Italian mountains close to the Slovenian border. Vogel, a policeman specialising in murder cases, has two suspects: a lonely literature professor who could be connected to the crime; and a teenage boy tracked down via Anna's diary. In true Carissi style, the lines blur between policemen and murderer and Vogel is a potential suspect in the case of Anna's death. Surrounding all this is a media storm with the girl's family at its centre - it culminates in a television interview between Vogel and the professor and a strange and shocking revelation about Anna's death.  The Girl in the Fog is by Donato Carrisi.

Dark Places is by Roberta Kray.  Lolly has always known her mum was different. Sometimes Angela Bruce was ill in a quiet sort of way, but other times she roamed the Mansfield estate shouting about whatever had wormed its way into her head that day. Either way, Lolly was on her own so she learned how to look after herself pretty quickly. Mal Fury has never got over the disappearance of his daughter all those years ago. He hadn't entirely given up hope though because the police never found Kay's body. So when his private investigator turns up a lead that connects Kay to Lolly, Mal needs to find out more. But in doing so, he's delving into a decades-old mystery that could throw Lolly's entire world into chaos ....

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