Friday, 25 November 2011

Books to look forward to from Simon & Schuster

London, 1811. The twisting streets of riverside Wapping hold many an untold sin. Bounded by the Ratcliffe Highway to the north and the modern wonders of the Dock to the south, shameful secrets are largely hidden by the noise and glory of Trade. But two families have fallen victim to foul murder, and a terrified populace calls for justice. John Harriott, magistrate of the new Thames River Police Office, must deliver revenge up to them and his only hope of doing so is Charles Horton, Harriot's senior officer. Harriott only recently came up with a word to describe what it is that Horton does. It is detection. Plymouth, 1564. Young Billy Ablass arrives from Oxford armed only with a Letter of Introduction to Captain John Hawkyns, and the burning desire of all young men; the getting and keeping of money. For Hawkyns is about to set sail in a ship owned by Queen Elizabeth herself, and Billy sees the promise of a better life with a crew intent on gain and glory. The kidnap and sale of hundreds of human beings is not the only cursed event to occur on England's first officially-sanctioned slaving voyage. On a sun-blasted islet in the Florida Cays, Billy too is to be enslaved for the rest of his accursed days. Based on the real-life story of the gruesome Ratcliffe Highway murders, The English Monster takes us on a voyage across centuries, through the Age of Discovery, and throws us up, part of the human jetsam, onto the streets of Regency Wapping, policed only by Officer Horton. The English Monster is based on the Ratcliffe Highway murders, and is by Lloyd Shepherd. It is due to be published in March 2012.

The Chamber is the pulse-pounding new thriller from the Executive Producer of 24. When Gideon Davis, ex-international peacemaker, is approached by a man claiming to have information about an impending terrorist attack, even though his career with the government is over, something makes him sit up and listen. Calling on Nancy Clement, his old FBI colleague, Gideon decides to hand the evidence over to new boss, Ray Dahlgren. But when Dahlgren refuses to take Gideon seriously, he is left with only one option – to launch his own investigation. Enlisting the help of his brother, Tillman, to infiltrate a white supremacist group that may be involved, Gideon is thrown into the thick of a revenge plot designed not only to overthrow the government but to bring an end to democracy itself. But when things get messy, Gideon and Tillman will need Nancy’s help if they are to slot the final piece of the puzzle into place and prevent disaster. The Chamber is by Howard Gordon and is due to be published in January 2012.

A neutral capital straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul has spent the war as a magnet for refugees and spies. Even American businessman Leon Bauer has been drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs and courier runs for the Allied war effort. Now as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of post-war life, he is given one more assignment, a routine job that goes fatally wrong, plunging him into a tangle of intrigue and moral confusion. Played out against the bazaars and mosques and faded mansions of this knowing, ancient Ottoman city, Leon’s attempt to save one life leads to a desperate manhunt and a maze of shifting loyalties that threatens his own. The new but untitled novel is by Joseph Kanon and is due to be published in May 2012

The Inquisitor is the debut novel by Mark Allen Smith and is due to be published in March 2012. Meet Geiger, a professional torturer whose methods know no bounds. He is about to embark on his most challenging subject yet...himself. Geiger’s business is extracting information. A meticulous torturer, his methods range from the brutal to the psychologically complex, and he will stop at nothing to get the job done. His clients are referred to him from international corporations, government agencies and organised crime; his skills are in worldwide demand. Geiger only has one rule: that he will never work on a child. So when a client presents Geiger with a twelve-year-old boy, his instinct is to walk away. But the alternative – the unknown horror that might await the boy elsewhere – is too awful for him to contemplate. Geiger’s history is a blank page, even to himself. In accepting this assignment in an attempt to save the boy, he will discover that history, no matter how torturous that proves to be.

Good men have stepped over the line. Now they need to cover up their actions, and for that they need to bury Harry Jones... Fifty young Americans are on their way back from a day’s outing to Brussels. But their rapture at returning home is cut short when a bomb blows their plane from the skies above Kent, killing them all. The savage media reaction to the atrocity will sweep away a powerless Prime Minister and his followers at the next election. In nothing less than a coup, Britain is about to be taken over – unless Harry Jones can stop it. But Harry, no longer an MP, finds his path strewn with obstacles. Caught in a web of betrayal by his closest friends, is there anyone who will believe what Harry has to say? The Sentimental Traitor is by Michael Dobbs and is due to be published in February 2012.

The Moscow Option is by Jeremy Duns and is due to be published in February 2012. Double agent Paul Dark must confront his past to save himself and the world. October 1969. Moscow. A terrible mistake twenty- four years ago led to Paul Dark being recruited into Soviet intelligence, and he has paid a heavy price for it. Now locked up in a cell, Dark

has nothing for company but the ghosts of his past when he is woken in the early hours and taken to a secret location. There, he discovers that the Soviets believe they are about to face a nuclear attack by the West – and are planning to strike first as a result. Dark realizes at once that the truth can be found in the final days of the Second World War, and the final mission he undertook as a loyal British agent. Now the fate of the world rests on his shoulders: a traitor long past his best, who is soon the subject of a massive man-hunt. Dark needs to make it to a small Baltic island before it’s too late – and the clock is ticking.

From a prison cell, in which he has been held on suspicion of breaking the Official Secrets Act, Charles Thoroughgood awaits not only his bail, but also the reappearance of the woman whom all the major roads in his life have led back to. After his years in the army and then with MI6, Charles has begun a new chapter in his life with the Secret Intelligence Agency, shadowing the movements of a suspected double agent. Charles knows that he has nothing to hide, and as he casts his mind over the course of recent events, he begins to suspect a more sinister motivation, both personally and politically, behind his incarceration. Uncommon Enemy is by Alan Judd and is due to be published in February 2012.

Snakes & Ladders is by Sean Slater who is in real life Vancover Police Officer Sean Sommerville. When Homicide Detective Jacob Striker discovers that a string of recent suicides might actually be covered-up murders, his investigation quickly leads him to the Riverglen Mental Health Facility. The victims were all patients from the support group overseen by Dr Erich Ostermann. And when Striker discovers Larisa Logan – a friend of his, and a patient of Ostermann – has gone missing, his investigation goes into overdrive. The evidence tells him one very important fact: that Larisa knows something about the murders. Even worse, she is trapped. She can’t return to the hospital because her own life is in danger, her only chance of living is to escape. Racing against time and a chilling adversary, Striker searches desperately for Larisa. It is a dangerous game they play where one move can catapult you to a place of dominance and one wrong step can leave you sliding to your doom. It is a game of psychopaths. It is Snakes & Ladders. Snakes & Ladders will be published in March 2012.

The Elixir is by Dean Crawford and is due to be published in May 2012. While carrying out an autopsy on a body recently brought into a morgue in Santa Fe, county coroner Alexis Cruz makes a surprising discovery. Lodged in the dead man's femur is a musket ball which, carbon dating reveals, was fired some 200 years earlier in the American Civil War. But before she can notify the authorities, Alexis disappears. The DIA call in Ethan Warner and his partner, Nicola Lopez, to find the missing coroner. But the closer they come to unlocking the terrifying truth, the nearer they unknowingly bring a warped and dangerous individual to achieving a catastrophic goal.

It’s 1327 and England is in turmoil. Edward II has been removed from the throne and his son installed in his place. Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, tasked with guarding Edward II, has failed and now rides to Exeter to inform the sheriff of the old king’s escape. In Exeter, the sheriff has problems of his own. Overnight, the body of a young maid has been discovered, lying bloodied and abandoned in a dirty alleyway. The city’s gates had been shut against the lawlessness outside, so the perpetrator must still lie within the sanctuary of the town. When Baldwin de Furnshill arrives, he is tasked with uncovering the truth behind this gruesome murder. But, in a city where every man hides a secret, his task will be far from easy. City of Fiends is by Michael Jecks and is due to be published in June 2012.

The Last Good Man is by Danish duo Anders Rønnow Klarlund and Jakob Weinreich who are jointly known as AJ Kasinski. According to Jewish scripture, there are thirty-six

righteous people on earth. Without them, humanity would perish. In Beijing, a monk collapses in his chamber. A fiery mark has spread across his back and down his spine. In Mumbai, a man who served the poor dies suddenly. Similar deaths are reported around the world – the victims all humanitarians, all bearing the same death mark. In Copenhagen, it falls to veteran detective Niels Bentzon to investigate. He is told to find eight ‘good people’ of Denmark and warn them. But Bentzon is trained to see the worst in people and he becomes increasingly skeptical as he realizes that not everyone perceived to be good is truly good. It is only when Niels meets Hannah that the pair begin to piece together the puzzle. There have been thirty-four deaths and there are two more to come. According to the pattern, Bentzon and Hannah can predict the time and place of the final two. The murders will occur in Venice and Copenhagen. And the time is now. The Last Good Man is due to be published in March 20.

Tideline is by Penny Hancock and is due to be published in January 2012. One winter's afternoon, voice coach Sonia opens the door of her beautiful riverside home to fifteen-year-old Jez, the nephew of a family friend. He's come to borrow some music. Sonia invites him in and soon decides that she isn't going to let him leave. As Sonia's desire to keep Jez hidden and protected from the outside world becomes all the more overpowering, she is haunted by memories of an intense teenage relationship, which gradually reveal a terrifying truth. The River House, Sonia's home since childhood, holds secrets within its walls. And outside, on the shores of the Thames, new ones are coming in on the tide...

Kill Shot is by Vince Flynn and is due to be published in February 2012. For months, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of the men responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians including his own girlfriend in the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing - bullet by bullet. His next target - a Libyan diplomat - should be easy. Prone to drink and currently in Paris without a bodyguard, Rapp quickly tracks the man down and sends a bullet into his skull while he's sleeping. But in the split second it takes the bullet to leave the silenced pistol, everything changes. The door to the hotel room is kicked open and gunfire erupts all around Rapp. When the news breaks that Libya's Oil Minister has been killed along with three innocent civilians and four unidentified men, the French authorities are certain that the gunman is wounded and still on the loose in Paris. As the finger-pointing begins, Rapp's handlers have only one choice - deny any responsibility for the incident and race to do damage control. Rapp has become a liability, and he must not be taken alive by the French authorities. But alone in Paris, on the run from the authorities and from his own employers, Mitch Rapp must prepare to fight for his life.

For generations the Freyls have ruled Springfield, Illinois, capital of a state of great lakes and rivers. Now convicted killer David Marion threatens their invincibility, and he threatens it from within their own ranks. Water: it’s blue gold, and the price on world markets is soaring. When Springfield gets a new mayor, it finds its supply under threat, not only from corporations out for the money but from a disease that appears from nowhere, that nobody can identify and nobody can treat. None of this interests David Marion until his own past surfaces and he finds himself caught between multinational leviathans at war over America’s heartland. The Blue Death is by Joan Brady and is due to be published in April 2012.

34-year-old psychotherapist Siri Bergman is terrified of the dark. Living alone in an isolated area east of Stockholm, she has tried hard to convince herself that she has moved on since her husband, Stefan, died in a diving accident several years ago. But when she goes to bed, Siri leaves all the lights on and she can’t shake the feeling that someone is watching her through the windows at night. So when one night she wakes up to find that the house is pitch black, and the torch she keeps by her bed for back up is not where she thought she’d left it, it seems that Siri’s worst fears have been realized. And when the lifeless body of Sara Matteus, one of her patients, is found floating in the water near Siri’s house, events quickly spiral. It is clear that Siri is in great danger, and she is thrown headlong into the centre of a murder investigation, which will put each of her closest friends under the spotlight and force her to re-live her troubled past. Some Kind of Peace is by sisters Camilla Grebe & Åsa Träff, one is a writer and the other a psychologist. It is due to be published in May 2012.

The Medusa Society is an all-female secret society with a chilling mission. Intent on establishing a new world order, they will set out to destroy New York City and bring down the dollar. Nothing will stand in their way. The new but untitled novel is by Philip Carter and is due to be published in May 2012.

Cold as the Grave is by CWA New Blood Dagger shortlisted author Craig Robertson. November 1992. Scotland is in the grip of its coldest winter in 30 years and Lake Menteith in the Trossachs is frozen over. A young man and woman walk across the ice to the historic island of Inchmahome which lies in the middle of the lake. Only the man comes back. Four months later, as staff prepare the ruined abbey for summer visitors, they discover the remains of the body of a girl, her skull violently crushed. Her identity is unknown. Twenty years on, retired detective Alan Narey is still troubled by the unsolved crime. Determined to relieve her father’s torment, DS Rachel Narey, now returns to Lake Menteith and unofficially ‘reopens’ the cold case. Rachel discovers that the one man her father had instinctively suspected of being the killer has died. The police are not prepared to admit that there is anything more to the accident and Rachel must investigate the link without their help. But when she prepares a dangerous gambit, using a covert email operation to uncover the killer's identity, she puts herself in more danger than she could ever have imagined. Cold as the Grave is due to be published in June 2012.

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