The first book that comes to mind is Master and God by Lindsey Davis (Hodder and Stoughton). For you Falco fans out there, I must stress that this is not a Falco novel. Master and God does feature Domitian – son of Vespasian and brother to Titus. It is the story of three people and their intertwining lives. Domitian an unstable Emperor, Flavia Lucillia a wilful determined single daughter of an imperial freedwoman and Gaius Vinius Clodianus a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Lindsey Davis is known for her attention to detail and historical insight and whilst this is not a Falco novel I am fairly certain that Master and God will no doubt find favour with her longstanding fans.
The Golden Scales by Parker Bilal (Bloomsbury). The Golden Scales is the first in a new series by Bilal set in Cairo featuring an exiled Sudanese private investigator who is attempting to escape his own troubled past. Books set in foreign countries often work or they do not. I am hoping that this will work. The premise sounds good and it will be interesting to see how the author manages to marry the two different cultures (Egyptian and Sudanese) together.
Ever since I read Fade to Blonde by Max Phillips, I have loved the books published by Hard Case Crime. In this case, Lawrence Block’s Getting Off, which I know has already been published in the US, is another book that I am looking forward to reading next year. It is the tale of a beautiful and deadly female serial killer who is working her way across the country tracking down every man she has ever slept with and ruthlessly murdering them.
The Glovemaker by Stacia Brown (Random House) which tells the story of glovemaker Rachel Lockyer during the time of Oliver Cromwell. Lockyer finds herself arrested and accused of murder when the body of a child is found buried. Under a law that presumes that anyone who conceals the death of an illegitimate child is guilty of murder.
The Contract by David Levien (Transworld). Troubled former cop Frank Behr is working for an exclusive Indianapolis investigation when he finds himself on protection duty for Bernard “Cool” Kolodnik. An attempt is made on his client’s life and Behr must get to the bottom of the attempt.
The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey (Transworld). A man wakes up naked unsure of who he is and whilst he is trying to work out himself whom he is there are also others on his trail as well.
The English Monster by Lloyd Shepherd (Simon and Schuster) John Harriott Magistrate of the newly formed Thames River Police Office finds himself investigating a brutal murder. Based on the real life story of the Ratcliffe Highways Murders.
Holy City by Guillermo Orsi (Quercus) Buenos Aires, Argentina. A passenger liner runs aground on the muddy banks of the nearby Rio de la Plata. The passengers are reduced to sleeping in the corridors of hotels and fall easy prey to the city's criminal class, who are always willing to take a wealthy tourist hostage. The first to go missing are a Colombian drug baron and his girlfriend, apprehended by Federal Police who may or may not be all they claim to be. But criminal celebrities of this calibre are a valuable commodity, and their abductor soon finds that the couple has been lifted from under his nose. Into the confusion steps Walter Carroza, a weary but honest cop. With his sidekick and confidante, Veronica Berutti, a policeman's widow and crusading lawyer, he embarks on an investigation that will lead him from the shanty markets of Buenos Aires' Bolivian quarter through layer upon layer of corruption towards the 'Holy Land', a theme park based on ancient Palestine, where a killer with a grisly taste for memorabilia lurks.
Some Other Body (Random House) the second novel in the series by Jason Webster to feature Max Cámara with his love of flamenco and brandy, and occasional doped out high. This time around he stumbles into a web of corruption and violence, uncovering deep animosities and hidden secrets, which also forces him to question his own doubts and desires.
The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye (Headline) August 1845 in New York; enter the dark, unforgiving city underworld of the legendary Five Points...After a fire decimated a swathe of lower Manhattan, and following years of passionate political dispute, New York City at long last formed an official Police Department. That same summer, the great potato famine hit Ireland. These events would change the city of New York for ever. Timothy Wilde hadn't wanted to be a copper star. Timothy soon finds himself on the trail of a brutal killer, seemingly hell bent on fanning the flames of anti-Irish immigrant sentiment and threatening chaos in a city already in the midst of social upheaval. But his fight for justice could cost him the woman he loves, his brother and ultimately his life...
All I Did Was Shoot My Man (Orion) which is the fourth instalment in Mosley’s soon-to-be classic Leonid McGill series In the shadow worlds of New York, PI Leonid McGill is still struggling to ‘go from crooked to slightly bent’. When Zelda Grisham, a woman falsely imprisoned by evidence McGill had planted, reappears in his life, the detective hires a hotshot attorney to help clear her name. Little does he know that powerful enemies are still watching Zelda’s every move.
Taken by Robert Crais (Orion) When the police tell a wealthy industrialist that her missing son has faked his own kidnapping, she hires Elvis and Joe, who find out the boy and his secret girlfriend have been taken. When Cole goes undercover to try to return them, he himself is taken. Now it is up to Pike to retrace Cole’s steps, through the murderous world of human traffickers…
The Namesake by Conor Fitgerald (Bloomsbury) which is the third book in the series featuring Commissioner Alec Blume. When magistrate Matteo Arconti's namesake, an insurance man from Milan, is found dead outside the court buildings in Piazzo Clodio, it's a clear warning to the authorities in Rome - a message of defiance and intimidation. Commissioner Alec Blume, interpreting the reference to his other ongoing case - a frustrating one in which he's so far been unable to pin murder on a mafia boss operating at an untouchable distance in Germany - knows he's too close to it. Handing control of the investigation to now live-in and not-so-secret partner Caterina Mattiola, Blume takes a back seat. And while Caterina embarks on questioning the Milanese widow, Blume has had an underhand idea of his own to lure the arrogant Mafioso out of his hiding place...
Point and Shoot by Duane Swierczynski (Mulholland Books) which is the final book in the Charlie Hardie trilogy. On a day like any other day, Kendra Hardie picks up the phone. A voice says, 'leave the house and you're dead'. Then the line is cut. Kendra hasn't seen her husband Charlie for nearly a decade. He hasn't forgotten about her - but neither have his enemies. And he has a lot of enemies. Charlie thought he could protect her by staying away. But now he has access to secrets his enemies will kill to keep hidden, and they're planning to start with his family. After years in exile, Charlie's arming up...and heading home.
Alpha by Greg Rucka (Mulholland Books)ALPHA Jonathan 'Jad' Bell has spent a lifetime in the US army. He can be relied on to get the job done, whatever happens, whatever the cost. So when someone needs to go undercover at the nation's biggest amusement park, Jad is the obvious choice. Aside from dealing with fights and missing children, his main responsibility is to prevent the nightmare scenario from coming to pass. This is the nightmare scenario: A group of well-trained, highly motivated terrorists infiltrate the park. They cut off all escape routes. They take hostages. They ensure every camera in the world is trained on Wilsonville...and then they turn it into a bloodbath. And on the day the nightmare becomes real, Jad and his team are all that stands between a band of ruthless killers and thousands of innocent people...including Jad's estranged wife and daughter.
Tom-All-Alone's by Lynn Shepherd (Constable and Robinson) London, 1850. Fog in the air and filth in the streets, from the rat-infested graveyard of Tom-All-Alone's to the elegant chambers in Lincoln's Inn Fields, where the formidable lawyer Edward Tulkinghorn has powerful clients to protect, and a deadly secret to hide. Only that secret is now under threat from a shadowy and unseen adversary - an adversary who must be tracked down at all costs, before it's too late. Who better for such a task than young Charles Maddox? Unfairly dismissed from the police force, Charles is struggling to establish himself as a private detective.
Ibrahim Al-Brehm is a respectable husband and a police inspector on Jeddah’s murder squad. But for the past year, he has been having an affair with a woman named Maria. Until one day she disappears. Terrified and with nowhere else to turn, Ibrahim goes to Katya, one of the few women on the force. As she ventures into Saudi Arabia’s underworld, Katya uncovers a murder that connects Maria to a human trafficking ring. Soon Ibrahim realises that the killer is closer to home than he had ever imagined. Kingdom of Strangers by Zoë Ferraris (Little Brown) is a suspenseful story of murder and deception among Saudi Arabia’s shaded alleys, gleaming compounds and vast lonely deserts.
Celebrity in Death by JD Robb (Piaktus) Lieutenant Eve Dallas is no party girl, but she’s managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity- packed bash celebrating a new movie based on one of her famous cases. It’s a little spooky seeing the actress playing her, who looks almost like her long-lost twin. Not as unsettling, though, as seeing the actress who plays her partner Peabody – drowned in the pool on the roof of the director’s luxury building. It’s up to Eve, Roarke and the real Peabody to find the killer in their midst.
An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer (Corvus) Milo Weaver is still haunted by his last job. As an expert assassin for the Department of Tourism, an ultra-secret group of super-spooks buried deep in the corridors of the CIA, he fought to keep himself sane in a paranoid and amoral profession. Now, the Department has been destroyed, and with it Weaver's livelihood. Finally he can spend time with his family - without constantly looking over his shoulder and fixing one eye on the exits. Weaver's former boss is not so settled. Soon, Weaver is sifting through what secrets, lies and misinformation he can extract from the sources he still has on the ground. If his time as a Tourist has taught him anything, it's that nothing and no-one can be trusted - even within the CIA itself...
There are of course others but the above are the ones that initially come to mind.