Autumn 1915. World War I is raging across Europe but Woodrow Wilson has kept Americans out of the trenches--though that hasn't stopped young men and women from crossing the Atlantic to volunteer at the front. Christopher "Kit" Cobb, a Chicago reporter with a second job as undercover agent for the U.S. government, is officially in Paris doing a story on American ambulance drivers, but his intelligence handler, James Polk Trask, soon broadens his mission. City-dwelling civilians are meeting death by dynamite in a new string of bombings, and the German-speaking Kit seems just the man to figure out who is behind them--possibly a German operative who has snuck in with the waves of refugees coming in from the provinces and across the border in Belgium. But there are elements in this pursuit that will test Kit Cobb, in all his roles, to the very limits of his principles, wits, and talents for survival. Paris in the Dark is by Robert Olen Butler
Originally published by Gryphon Books in 1993, Difficult Lives was one of the earliest attempts to track the legacy of original paperback writers such as Jim Thompson, David Goodis and Chester Himes. The individual essays on these three first appeared in literary magazines. Difficult Lives visits a rare moment when daylight was showing around the seams of American society and visions quite in contrast to the sanctioned version drifted to the surface in books one bought off racks in drugstores and bus stations -- stark, bonelike, disturbing books. No Exit Press are to make Difficult Lives available again, doubling our pleasure by pairing it with Hitching Rides, an equal volume of new essays on other crime writers including Derek Raymond, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Patricia Highsmith and Shirley Jackson. Difficult Lives – Hitching Rides is by James Sallis.
The Lonely Witness is by William Boyle. Amy was once a party girl, but now she lives a lonely life. Helping the house-bound to receive communion in the Gravesend neighbourhood of Brooklyn, she knows the community well. When a local woman goes missing, Amy senses something isn’t right. Tailing the woman’s suspicious son, she winds her way through Brooklyn’s streets. But before she can act, he is dead. Captivated by the crime she’s witnessed and the murderer himself, Amy doesn’t call the cops. Instead, she collects the weapon from the sidewalk and soon finds herself on the trail of a killer.
Death Rope is by Leigh Russell. Mark Abbott is dead. His sister refuses to believe it was suicide, but only Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel will listen. When other members of Mark’s family disappear, Geraldine’s suspicions are confirmed. Taking a risk, Geraldine finds herself confronted by an adversary deadlier than any she has faced before… Her boss Ian is close, but will he arrive in time to save her, or is this the end for Geraldine Steel?
One Law For The Rest of Us is by Peter Murphy. Two generations of abuse... one shocking conspiracy... a woman determined to expose it all. When Audrey Marshall sends her daughter Emily to the religious boarding school where she herself was educated a generation before, memories return – memories of a culture of child sexual abuse presided over by a highly-regarded priest. Audrey turns to barrister Ben Schroeder in search of justice for Emily and herself. But there are powerful men involved, men determined to protect themselves at all costs.
Heart Attacks is California’s last secret spot – the premier mysto surf haunt, the stuff of rumour and legend. The rumours say you must cross Indian land to get there. They tell of hostile locals and shark-infested waters where waves in excess of thirty feet break a mile from shore. For down-and-out photographer Jack Fletcher, the chance to shoot these waves in the company of surfing legend Drew Harmon offers the promise of new beginnings. But Drew is not alone in the northern reaches of the state. His young wife, Kendra, lives there with him. Obsessed with the unsolved murder of a local girl, Kendra has embarked upon a quest of her own, a search for truth – however dark that truth may prove to be. In this desolate wasteland the search for the perfect wave becomes a quest for survival, as events lead inevitably to their final, tragic climax. The Dogs of Winter is by Kem Nunn.
On leave from Canada's Community Policing department, Esa Khattak is traveling in Iran, reconnecting with his cultural heritage and seeking peace in the country’s beautiful mosques and gardens. But Khattak’s supposed break from work is cut short when he’s approached by a Canadian government agent in Iran, asking him to look into the death of renowned Canadian-Iranian filmmaker Zahra Sobhani. Zahra was murdered at Iran’s notorious Evin prison, where she’d been seeking the release of a well-known political prisoner. Khattak quickly finds himself embroiled in Iran’s tumultuous politics and under surveillance by the regime, but when the trail leads back to Zahra’s family in Canada, Khattak calls on his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, for help. Rachel uncovers a conspiracy linked to the Shah of Iran and the decades-old murders of a group of Iran’s most famous dissidents. Historic letters, a connection to the Royal Ontario Museum, and a smuggling operation on the Caspian Sea are just some of the threads Rachel and Khattak begin unraveling, while the list of suspects stretches from Tehran to Toronto. But as Khattak gets caught up in the fate of Iran’s political prisoners, Rachel sees through to the heart of the matter: Zahra’s murder may not have been a political crime at all. Among the Ruins is by Ausma Zehanat Khan.
Jack Harper isn’t a bad man, but he’s stuck in a loveless marriage with a mediocre job just trying to keep sober. The only good thing in his life is his son. When an old college friend introduces him to a new extramarital dating website, he tentatively reaches out to find a distraction from his misery. But when he goes to meet up with his steamy online date, he quickly realises it was a dire choice. Soon, Jack finds himself desperately trying to prove his innocence for crimes he did not commit, and the life he once had – unhappy as it was – is nothing but a dream. Now, he’s living his worst nightmare. . . Too Far is by Jason Starr.
Fade to Grey is by John Lincoln. Gethin Grey is the man you call when there’s nowhere else to turn. His Last Resort Legals team investigates miscarriages of justice. But Gethin is running out of options himself: his gambling is out of control, his marriage is falling apart and there’s no money left to pay the wages… Izma M was sent down years ago for the brutal murder of a young woman. In jail he’s written a bestseller and become a cult hero, and now the charismatic fading-film-star Amelia Laverne wants to bankroll Gethin to prove Izma's innocence. For Gethin – low on luck and cash – the job is heaven sent. But is Izma M really as blameless as his fans believe? This seemingly cold case is about to turn very hot indeed…
The Conviction of Cora Burns is by Carolyn Kirby. Birmingham, 1885. Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her. Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora…?
After Brooklyn mob widow Rena Ruggiero hits her eighty-year-old neighbour Enzio in the head with an ashtray when he makes an unwanted move on her, she retreats to the Bronx home of her estranged daughter, Adrienne, and her granddaughter, Lucia, only to be turned away at the door. Their neighbour, Lacey “Wolfie” Wolfstein, a one-time Golden Age porn star and retired Florida Suncoast grifter, takes Rena in and befriends her. When Lucia discovers that Adrienne is planning to hit the road with her ex-boyfriend, she figures Rena is her only way out of a life on the run with a mother she can’t stand. The stage is set for an explosion that will propel Rena, Wolfie, and Lucia down a strange path, each woman running from their demons, no matter what the cost. A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself is by William Boyle.
Iconic, tough-but-tender Boston PI Spenser delves into the black market art scene to investigate a decades-long unsolved crime of dangerous proportions. The heist was legendary, still talked about twenty years after the priceless paintings disappeared from one of Boston's premier art museums. Most thought the art was lost forever, buried deep, sold off overseas, or, worse, destroyed as incriminating evidence. But when paint chips from the most valuable piece stolen, Gentlemen in Black by a Spanish master, arrives at the desk of a Boston journalist, the museum finds hope and enlists Spenser's help. Soon the cold art case thrusts Spenser into the shady world of black market art dealers, aged Mafia bosses, and old vendettas. A five-million-dollar-reward by the museum's top benefactor, an aged, unlikable Boston socialite, sets Spenser and pals Vinnie Morris and Hawk onto a trail of hidden secrets, jailhouse confessions, murder, and double crosses. Robert B Parker’s Old Black Magic is by Ace Atkins.
Ungentlemanly Warfare is by Howard Linskey. A soldier and a spy, an officer but not quite a gentleman, Captain Harry Walsh is SOE’s secret weapon. Loathed by his own commanding officer, haunted by the death of his closest friend and trapped in a loveless marriage, Harry Walsh is close to burn out when he is ordered to assassinate the man behind the ME 163 Komet, Hitler’s miracle jet fighter. If Walsh fails, there is no prospect of allied victory in Europe. Harry Walsh is ruthless, unorthodox and ungentlemanly. He is about to wreak havoc.