Getting Carter is by Nick Triplow. The story of Ted Lewis carries historical and cultural resonances for our own troubled times Get Carter are two words to bring a smile of fond recollection to all British film lovers of a certain age. The cinema classic was based on a book called Jack’s Return Home, and many commentators agree contemporary British crime writing began with that novel. The influence of both book and film is strong to this day, reflected in the work of David Peace, Jake Arnott and a host of contemporary crime & noir authors. But what of the man who wrote this seminal work? Ted Lewis is one of the most important writers you've never heard of. Born in Manchester in 1940, he grew up in the tough environs of post-war Humberside, attending Hull College of Arts and Crafts before heading for London. His life described a cycle of obscurity to glamour and back to obscurity, followed by death at only 42. He sampled the bright temptations of sixties London while working in advertising, TV and films and he encountered excitement and danger in Soho drinking dens, rubbing shoulders with the ‘East End boys’ in gangland haunts. He wrote for Z Cars and had some nine books published. Alas, unable to repeat the commercial success of Get Carter, Lewis’s life fell apart, his marriage ended and he returned to Humberside and an all too early demise. Getting Carter is a meticulously researched and riveting account of the career of a doomed genius. Long-time admirer Nick Triplow has fashioned a thorough, sympathetic and unsparing narrative. Required reading for noirists, this book will enthral and move anyone who finds irresistible the old cocktail of rags to riches to rags.
The ghost of a poor Afghan returns to haunt the doctor who once amputated his hand. A mysterious and malignant force inhabits a room in an ancestral home and attacks all who sleep in it. A man who desecrates an Indian temple is transformed into a ravening beast. A castle in the Tyrol is the setting for an aristocratic murderer’s apparent resurrection. In the stories in this collection compiled by Nick Rennison, horrors from beyond the grave and other dimensions visit the everyday world and demand to be investigated. The Sherlocks of the supernatural - from William Hope Hodgson’s 'Thomas Carnacki, the Ghost Finder', to Alice and Claude Askew’s 'Aylmer Vance' - are those courageous souls who risk their lives and their sanity to pursue the truth about ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night. The period between 1890 and 1930 was a Golden Age for the occult detective. Famous authors like Kipling and Conan Doyle wrote stories about them, as did less familiar writers such as the occultist and magician Dion Fortune and Henry S. Whitehead, a friend of HP Lovecraft and fellow-contributor to the pulp magazines of the period. Supernatural Sherlocks is edited by Nick Rennison.
Walden of Bermondsey is by Peter Murphy. When Charlie Walden took on the job of Resident Judge of the Bermondsey Crown Court, he was hoping for a quiet life. But he soon finds himself struggling to keep the peace between three feisty fellow judges who have very different views about how to do their job, and about how Charlie should do his. And as if that’s not enough, there’s the endless battle against the ‘Grey Smoothies’, the humourless grey-suited civil servants who seem determined to drown Charlie in paperwork and strip the court of its last vestiges of civilisation. No hope of a quiet life then for Charlie, and there are times when his real job – trying the challenging criminal cases that come before him – actually seems like light relief.
Ray Boy Calabrese is back in Gravesend: some people worship him, some want him dead . ..but none more so than the ex-con himself. Ray Boy Calabrese is released from prison 16 years after his actions led to the death of a young man. The victim's brother, Conway D'Innocenzio, is a 29-year-old Brooklynite wasting away at a local Rite Aid, stuck in the past and still howling for Ray Boy's blood. When the chips are down and the gun is drawn, Conway finds that he doesn't have murder in him. Thus begins a spiral of self-loathing and soul-searching into which he is joined by Alessandra, a failed actress caring for her widowed father, and Eugene, Ray Boy's hellbound nephew. Gravesend is by William Boyle.
The Fighter is by Michael Farris Smith. In this brilliant novel set against the dark and desolate backdrop of the Mississippi Delta, Jack Boucher, a washed-up bare-knuckle fighter, battles against decades of booze and drug abuse as he returns home to try and save all he has lost. The acres and acres of fertile soil, the two-hundred year old antebellum house, all gone. And so is the woman who gave it to him, the foster mother who saved Jack from a childhood of abandonment in the care system, and now rests in a hospice, her mind eroded by dementia, the family legacy she entrusted to Jack now owned by banks and strangers. And Jack's mind has begun to fail, too, as concussion after concussion forces him to carry around a notebook of names that separate friend from foe and remind him of dangerous haunts to avoid. But in a single twisted night he is derailed. Hijacked by a no-good harmonica player out to settle a score, Jack loses the money that will clear his debt with Big Momma Sweet, the queen of Delta vice, whose deep backwoods playground offers sin to all those willing to pay. Yet this same chain of events introduces an unlikely savior in the form of a sultry, tattooed carnival worker. Guided by what she calls her ‘church of coincidence’, Annette pushes Jack toward redemption in her own free-spirited way, only to discover that the world of Big Momma Sweet is filled with savage danger. Damaged by regret, crippled by twenty-five years of fists and elbows, heartbroken at his own betrayals, Jack Boucher is forced to step into the fighting pit one last time, the stakes nothing less than life or death.
With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He wasGeraldine Steel is reunited with her former sergeant, Ian Peterson. When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the baffling case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered? Class Murder is by Leigh Russell.
Boston PI Spenser and right hand Hawk follow a con man's trail of smoke and mirrors in the latest entry of the iconic crime series. After conning everyone from the cable news shows to the local cops, it looks like the grifter's latest double cross may be his last. Connie Kelly thought she'd found her perfect man on an online dating site. He was silver-haired and handsome, with a mysterious background working for the CIA. She fell so hard for M Brooks Welles that she wrote him a check for almost three hundred thousand dollars, hoping for a big return on her investment. But within weeks, both Welles and her money are gone. Her therapist, Dr Susan Silverman, hands her Spenser's card. A self-proclaimed military hotshot, Welles had been a frequent guest on national news shows speaking with authority about politics and world events. But when he disappears, he leaves not only a jilted lover but a growing list of angry investors, duped cops, and a team of paramilitary contractors looking for revenge. Enter Spenser, who quickly discovers that everything about Welles is phony. His name, his resume, and his client list are nothing but an elaborate fraud. But uncovering the truth won't be easy, as he'll have to keep the mystery man alive long enough to get back his client's money. As the trail winds from Boston to back roads Georgia, Spenser will need help from trusted allies Hawk and Teddy Sapp to make sure Welles's next con is his last. Robert B Parker’s Little White Lies is by Ace Atkins.
It's one of the most successful - and surprising - of phenomena in the entire crime fiction genre: detectives (and proto-detectives) solving crimes in earlier eras. There is now an army of historical sleuths operating from the mean streets of ancient Rome to the Cold War era of the 1950s. And this astonishingly varied offshoot of the crime genre, as well as keeping bookshop tills ringing, is winning a slew of awards, notably the prestigious CWA Historical Dagger. Historical Noir is by Barry Forshaw.
The Ways of the Wolfe is by James Carlos Blake. Twenty years ago, college student Axel Prince Wolfe—heir apparent to his Texas family’s esteemed law firm and its “shade trade” criminal enterprises—teamed up with his best friend, Billy, and a Mexican stranger in a high-end robbery that went wrong. Abandoned by his partners, he was captured and imprisoned, his family disgraced, his wife absconded, his infant daughter Jessie left an orphan. Two decades later, with eleven years still to serve, Axel has long since exhausted his desire for revenge against the partners who deserted him. All he wants now is to see the woman his daughter has become, despite her lifelong refusal to acknowledge him. When the chance comes to escape in the company of Cacho, a young Mexican inmate with ties to a major cartel, Axel takes it, and a massive manhunt ensues, taking the pair down the Rio Grande and into a desert inferno. With his chance to see Jessie now within reach, a startling discovery re-ignites an old passion and sends Axel headlong toward reckonings many years in the making.
It’s been two years since legendary Chicago hitman Sal Cupertine disappeared into theAcross the country, former FBI agent Matthew Drew is now running security for a casino outside of Milwaukee, spending his off-time stalking members of The Family, looking for vengeance for the murder of his former partner. So when Sal’s cousin stumbles into the casino one night, Matthew takes the law into his own hands, starting a chain of events that will have Rabbi Cohen running for his life, trapped in Las Vegas, with the law, society, and the post-9/11 world closing in on him. Gangster Nation is by Tod Goldberg.
The Language of Secrets is by Ausma Zehanat Khan. Detective Esa Khattak heads up Canada's Community Policing Section, which handles minority-sensitive cases across all levels of law enforcement. Khattak is still under scrutiny for his last case, so he's surprised when INSET, Canada's national security team, calls him in on another politically sensitive issue. For months, INSET has been investigating a local terrorist cell which is planning an attack on New Year's Day but their undercover informant, Mohsin Dar, has been murdered. Khattak used to know Mohsin, and he can't let this murder slide, so he sends his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, undercover into the unsuspecting mosque which houses the terrorist cell. As Rachel tentatively reaches out into the unfamiliar world of Islam, and begins developing relationships with the people of the mosque and the terrorist cell within it, the potential reasons for Mohsin's murder only seem to multiply, from the political and ideological to the intensely personal.
Robert B Parker’s The Hangman’s Sonnet is by Reed Farrel Coleman. Jesse Stone, still reeling from the murder of his fiancée by crazed assassin Mr Peepers, must keep his emotions in check long enough to get through the wedding day of his loyal protégé, Suitcase Simpson. The morning of the wedding, Jesse learns that a gala 75th birthday party is to be held for folk singer Terry Jester. Jester, once the equal of Bob Dylan, has spent the last forty years in seclusion after the mysterious disappearance of the master recording tape of his magnum opus, The Hangman’s Sonnet. That same morning, an elderly Paradise woman dies while her house is being ransacked. What are the thieves looking for? And what’s the connection to Terry Jester and the mysterious missing tape? Jesse’s investigation is hampered by hostile politicians and a growing trail of blood and bodies, forcing him to solicit the help of mobster Vinnie Morris and a certain Boston area PI named Spenser. While the town fathers pressure him to avoid a PR nightmare, Jesse must connect the cases before the bodies pile up further.