Shadows of Athens (Orion) is by J M Alvey. The Persian War is over and an unaccustomed decade of peace has come to ancient Athens. Philocles, an aspiring comic playwright, is making his living as a writer for hire; but this year is the highlight of his career - he has a play in the drama competition at the prestigious Dionysia Festival. The last thing he wants to find on his doorstep the day before is a body with its throat cut. Just who is this dead man? Is it just a robbery gone wrong? With the play that could make his name on the horizon, Philocles must find out who this man is, why he has been murdered - and why the corpse was in his door way. He soon realises that he has been caught up in something far bigger than he could have imagined, and there are players in this game who don't want him looking any further...
After a hectic morning involving two rather irritating cases of mistaken identity, Inspector Montalbano finally arrives in his office ready find out what's troubling Vigata this week. What he discovers is unnerving. A woman on her way home from work has been held up at gunpoint, chloroformed and kidnapped, but then released just hours later - unharmed and with all her possessions - into the open countryside. Later that day, Montalbano hears from Enzo, the owner of his favourite restaurant, that his niece has recently been the victim of the exact same crime. Before long, a third instance of this baffling overnight kidnapping has been reported. As far as Montalbano can tell, there is no link between the attacker and the victims. So what exactly is this mystery assailant gaining from these fleeting kidnappings? And what can he do to stop them? Montalbano must use all his logic and intuition if he is to answer these pressing questions before the kidnapper finds his next victim . .The Overnight Kidnapper (Pan Macmillan) is by Andrea Camilleri.
This Body’s not Big Enough for Both of Us (Titan Books) is by Edgar Cantero. In a dingy office in Fisherman’s Wharf, the glass panel in the door bears the names of A. Kimrean and Z. Kimrean, Private Eyes. Behind the door there is only one desk, one chair, one scrawny androgynous P.I. in a tank top and skimpy waistcoat. A.Z., as they are collectively known, are twin brother and sister. He’s pure misanthropic logic, she’s wild hedonistic creativity. The Kimreans have been locked in mortal battle since they were in utero, which is tricky because they, very literally, share one single body. That’s right. One body, two pilots. The mystery and absurdity of how Kimrean functions, and how they subvert every plotline, twist, explosion, and gunshot – and confuse every cop, neckless thug, cartel boss, ninja, and femme fatale – in the book is pure Cantero magic. Someone is murdering the sons of the ruthless drug cartel boss known as the Lyon in the biggest baddest town in California: San Carnal. The notorious A.Z. Kimrean must go to the sin-soaked, palm-tree-lined streets of San Carnal, infiltrate the Lyon’s inner circle, and find out who is targeting his heirs, and while they are at it, rescue an undercover cop in too deep, deal with a plucky young stowaway, and stop a major gang war from engulfing California. They’ll face every plot device and break every rule Elmore Leonard wrote before they can crack the case, if they don’t kill each other (themselves) first. This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us is a brilliantly subversive and comic thriller celebrating noir detectives, Die Hard, Fast & Furious, and the worst case of sibling rivalry, that can only come from the mind of Edgar Cantero.
Ray Celestin heads to New York City, for the third book in his award-winning City Blues quartet, The Mobster's Lament (Pan Macmillan). Fall, 1947. New York City. Private Investigator Ida Davis has been called to New York by her old partner, Michael Talbot, to investigate a brutal killing spree in a Harlem flophouse that has left four people dead. But as they delve deeper into the case, Ida and Michael realize the murders are part of a larger conspiracy that stretches further than they ever could have imagined. Meanwhile, Ida's childhood friend, Louis Armstrong, is at his lowest ebb. His big band is bankrupt, he's playing to empty venues, and he's in danger of becoming a has-been, until a promoter approaches him with a strange offer to reignite his career . . . And across the city, nightclub manager and mob fixer Gabriel Leveson's plans to flee New York are upset when he's called in for a meeting with the `boss of all bosses', Frank Costello. Tasked with tracking down stolen mob money, Gabriel must embark on a journey through New York's seedy underbelly, forcing him to confront demons from his own past, all while the clock is ticking on his evermore precarious escape plans.
A Book of Bones (Hodder & Stoughton) is by John Connolly. He is our best hope. He is our last hope. On a lonely moor in the northeast of England, the body of a young woman is discovered near the site of a vanished church. In the south, a girl lies buried beneath a Saxon mound. To the southeast, the ruins of a priory hide a human skull. Each is a sacrifice, a summons. And something in the darkness has heard the call. But another is coming: Parker the hunter, the avenger. From the forests of Maine to the deserts of the Mexican border, from the canals of Amsterdam to the streets of London, he will track those who would cast this world into darkness. Parker fears no evil. But evil fears him . .
A Dangerous Man (Simon & Schuster) is by Robert Crais. Joe Pike didn't expect to rescue a woman that day. When Isabel Roland, the lonely young teller at his bank, steps out of work on her way to lunch, Joe Pike witnesses her attempted abduction. Thanks to his quick thinking, the two men are arrested. But the men soon make bail... and not long after, they're found murdered. The police suspect Pike and Isabel had a hand in it, especially when Izzy disappears. Convinced that she has been abducted again, Pike realises it is time to call on Elvis Cole to discover the truth. And then all hell breaks loose.
A Capital Death (Hodder & Stoughton) is by Lindsey Davis. A tragic accident . . . or was it? Emperor Domitian has been awarded (or rather, has demanded) yet another Triumph to celebrate two so-called victories. Preparations are going smoothly until one of the men overseeing arrangements for the celebration accidentally falls to his death from a cliff on the symbolic Capitoline Hill. But Flavia Albia suspects there's more to the incident than meets the eye, as there are plenty of people who would have been delighted to be rid of the overseer. He was an abusive swine who couldn't organise a booze-up in a winery and was caught up in a number of scams, including one surrounding the supply of imperial purple dye and a family of shellfish-boilers. As Flavia finds herself drawn into a theatrical world of carnival floats, musicians, incense and sacrificial beasts, can she see to the heart of the matter and catch those responsible for the unpopular man's untimely death?
This Storm (Cornerstone) is by James Ellroy. New Year's Eve 1941, war has been declared and the Japanese internment is in full swing. Los Angeles is gripped by war fever and racial hatred. Sergeant Dudley Smith of the Los Angeles Police Department is now Army Captain Smith and a budding war profiteer. He's shacked up with Claire De Haven in Baja, Mexico, and spends his time sniffing out fifth column elements and hunting down a missing Japanese Naval Attaché. Hideo Ashida is cashing LAPD paychecks and working in the crime lab, but he knows he can't avoid internment forever. Newly arrived Navy Lieutenant Joan Conville winds up in jail accused of vehicular homicide, but Captain William H. Parker squashes the charges and puts her on Ashida's team. Elmer Jackson, who is assigned to the alien squad and to bodyguard Ashida, begins to develop an obsession with Kay Lake, the unconsummated object of Captain Parker's desire. Now, Conville and Ashida become obsessed with finding the identity of a body discovered in a mudslide. It's a murder victim linked to an unsolved gold heist from '31, and they want the gold. And things really heat up when two detectives are found murdered in a notorious dope fiend hangout.
In Which Mr May Makes A Mistake And Mr Bryant Goes Into The Dark On a rainy winter night outside a run-down nightclub in the wrong part of London, four strangers meet for the first time at 4:00am. A few weeks later the body of an Indian textile worker is found hanging upside down inside a willow tree on Hamstead Heath. The Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to investigate. The victim was found surrounded by the paraphernalia of black magic, and so Arthur Bryant and John May set off to question experts in the field. But the case is not what it appears. When another victim seemingly commits suicide, it becomes clear that in the London night is a killer who knows what people fear most. And he always strikes at 4:00am. In order to catch him, the PCU must switch to night shifts, but still the team draws a blank. John May takes a technological approach, Arthur Bryant goes in search of academics and misfits for help, for this is becoming a case that reveals impossibilities at every turn, not least that there's no indication of what the victims might have done to attract the attentions of a murderer that doesn't seem to exist. But impossibilities are what the Peculiar Crimes Unit does best. As they explore a night city where all the normal rules are upended, they're drawn deeper into a case that involves murder, arson, kidnap, blackmail, bats and the psychological effects of loneliness on Londoners. It's a trail that takes them from the poorest part of the East End to the wealthiest homes in North London - an investigation that can only end in tragedy... The Lonely Hour (Transworld) is by Christopher Fowler.
Out of the Dark (Penguin Random House) is by Gregg Hurwitz. As a boy, Evan Smoak was taken from the orphanage he called home and inducted into a top secret Cold War programme. Trained as a lethal weapon, he and his fellow recruits were sent round the world to do the government's dirty work. But the programme was rotten to the core. And now the man responsible needs things to be nice and clean. All evidence must be destroyed. That includes Evan. To survive, Evan's going to have to take the fight to his nemesis. There's just one problem with that. Jonathan Bennett is President of the United States and Evan isn't his only victim. To save himself - and the country - Evan is going to have to figure out how to kill the most well-protected man on the planet...
Plotters are just pawns like us. A request comes in and they draw up the plans. There's someone above them who tells them what to do. And above that person is another plotter telling them what to do. You think that if you go up there with a knife and stab the person at the very top, that'll fix everything. But no-one's there. It's just an empty chair. Reseng was raised by cantankerous Old Raccoon in the Library of Dogs. To anyone asking, it's just an
ordinary library. To anyone in the know, it's a hub for Seoul's organised crime, and a place where contract killings are plotted and planned. So it's no surprise that Reseng has grown up to become one of the best hitmen in Seoul. He takes orders from the plotters, carries out his grim duties, and comforts himself afterwards with copious quantities of beer and his two cats, Desk and Lampshade But after he takes pity on a target and lets her die how she chooses, he finds his every move is being watched. Is he finally about to fall victim to his own game? And why does that new female librarian at the library act so strangely? Is he looking for his enemies in all the wrong places? Could he be at the centre of a plot bigger than anything he's ever known? The Plotters (Harper Collins) is by Un-su Kim.
The New Iberia Blues (Orion) is By James Lee Burke. Detective Dave Robicheaux first met Desmond Cormier on the backstreets of New Orleans. He was a young pretender who dreamt of stardom whilst Robicheaux had his path all figured out. Now, twenty-five years later, their roles have reversed. When Robicheaux knocks on Cormier's door, he sees a successful Hollywood director. It seems dreams can come true. But so can nightmares. A young woman has been crucified, wearing only a small chain on her ankle, and all the evidence points to Cormier. Robicheaux wants to believe his old friend wouldn't be capable of such a crime - but Cormier's silence is deafening. And he isn't the only ghost from Robicheaux's past which comes back to haunt him...
The Feral Detective (Atlantic Books & Corvus) is by Jonathan Lethem. Phoebe Siegler first meets Charles Heist in a shabby trailer on the eastern edge of Los Angeles. She's looking for her friend's missing daughter, Arabella, and hires Heist - a laconic loner who keeps his pet opossum in a desk drawer - to help. The unlikely pair navigate the enclaves of desert-dwelling vagabonds and find that Arabella is in serious trouble - caught in the middle of a violent standoff that only Heist, mysteriously, can end. Phoebe's trip to the desert was always going to be strange, but it was never supposed to be dangerous...
The year is 1793, Stockholm. King Gustav of Sweden has been assassinated, years of foreign wars have emptied the treasuries, and the realm is governed by a self-interested elite, leaving its citizens to suffer. On the streets, malcontent and paranoia abound. A body is found in the city's swamp by a watchman, Mickel Cardell, and the case is handed over to investigator Cecil Winge, who is dying of consumption. Together, Winge and Cardell become embroiled in a brutal world of guttersnipes and thieves, mercenaries and madams, and one death will expose a city rotten with corruption beneath its powdered and painted veneer. The Wolf and the Watchman (Hodder & Stoughton) is by Niklas Natt och Dag.
It's been a year since Leo Stanhope lost the woman he loved, and came closing to losing his own life. Now, more than ever, he is determined to keep his head down and stay safe, without risking those he holds dear. But Leo's hopes for peace and security are shattered when the police unexpectedly arrive at his lodgings: a woman has been found murdered at a club for anarchists, and Leo's address is in her purse. When Leo is taken to the club by the police, he is shocked to discover there a man from his past, a man who knows Leo's birth identity. And if Leo does not provide him with an alibi for the night of the woman's killing, he is going to share this information with the authorities. If Leo's true identity is unmasked, he will be thrown into an asylum, but if he lies... will he be protecting a murderer? The Anarchists’ Club (Bloomsbury) is by Alex Reeve.
Six confined psychopaths. A killer on the loose. 1935. As Europe prepares itself for a calamitous war, six homicidal lunatics - the so-called 'Devil's Six' - are confined in a remote castle asylum in rural Czechoslovakia. Each patient has their own dark story to tell and Dr Viktor Kosarek, a young psychiatrist using revolutionary techniques, is tasked with unlocking their murderous secrets. At the same time, a terrifying killer known as 'Leather Apron' is butchering victims across Prague. Successfully eluding capture, it would seem his depraved crimes are committed by the Devil himself. Maybe they are... and what links him with the insane inmates of the Castle of the Eagles? Only the Devil knows. And it is up to Viktor to find out.The Devil Aspect (Little, Brown) is by Craig Russell.
Blood & Sugar (Pan Macmillan) is the debut historical crime novel from Laura Shepherd-Robinson. June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock - horribly tortured and branded with a slaver's mark. Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham - a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career - is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He'd said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing . . . To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend's investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family's happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him. And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford .
What is the secret which grips Corvus Hall? Visiting the Great Exhibition to view the wax anatomical models of the famous but reclusive Dr Merlin Strangeway, Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain find a severed arm, perfectly dissected and laid out amongst the exhibits. Assuming it to be a prank by medical students, they return it to Dr Strangeway, who works at Corvus Hall, a private anatomy school run by Dr James Crowe - one of Edinburgh's most revered surgeons and teachers of anatomy. Jem's persistence reveals that a body does indeed lie in the school's mortuary, minus its right arm. But the body has no provenance. More macabre still, its face has been dissected, making identification impossible. Dr Strangeway denies all knowledge, and Dr Crowe seems unwilling to pursue the matter. At Corvus Hall, Will is employed to illustrate Dr Crowe's new anatomy handbook. Soon, it becomes evident that all is not as it should be. Dr Crowe's daughter, Lilith, visits the mortuary in the dead of night and her twin sisters, Sorrow and Silence - one blind and one deaf - exert a malign influence over the students. Organs, freshly dissected, appear in the anatomy museum. Fear grips lecturers and students, even as something unseen binds them in a bloody pact of silence. In a mystery that ranges from the wynds of Burke and Hare's Edinburgh to the dissecting tables of London's notorious anatomy schools, Jem and Will find that the stakes have never been higher. Surgeon’s Hall (Little, Brown) is by E S Thomson.
In a hard-boiled city of crooks, grifts and rackets lurk a pair of toughs: Box and _____. They're the kind of men capable of extracting apologies and reparations, of teaching you a chilling lesson. They seldom think twice, and ask very few questions. Until one night over the poker table, they encounter a pulp writer with wild ideas and an unscrupulous private detective, leading them into what is either a classic mystery, a senseless maze of corpses, or an inextricable fever dream . . . Drunk on cinematic and literary influence, Muscle is a slice of noir fiction in collapse, a ceaselessly imaginative story of violence, boredom and madness. Muscle (Faber & Faber) is by Alan Trotter