Friday, 9 December 2011

Forthcoming books to look forward to from Random House Group

Private Games is by James Patterson and is due to be published in January 2012. The world is watching - July 2012: The Games have arrived in London. Preparations have gone flawlessly and the stage is set for one of the greatest ever showcases of sporting excellence. But one man has a devastating plan. Having waited years for this chance, he is now ready for vengeance. A killer is plotting. When Sir Denton Marshall, a key member of the London Olympic organising committee, is found decapitated in his garden, Peter Knight, head of Private London, is called to the scene. Private are working with the organising committee on the security for the Games, so Denton Marshall was a valuable client. But there is a more personal link: Marshall was also the fiancé of Knight's mother. The time for vengeance has come. Having only recently lost close friends and colleagues at Private London in a fatal plane crash, this is another torturous blow for Knight and threatens to push him over the edge. But it soon becomes clear that Denton Marshall's murder is no isolated incident, and that the killer's number one target is the Games itself. As the most talented athletes in the world gather in London, Knight knows he must find Sir Denton's killer. Thousands of lives are at stake...

When she disappeared from her rural hometown, Wendy White was a sweet, family-oriented girl, a late bloomer who'd recently moved out on her own, with her first real boyfriend and a job waiting tables at the local tavern. It happens all the time--a woman goes missing, a family mourns, and the case remains unsolved. Stacy Flynn is a reporter looking for her big break. She moved east from Cleveland, a city known for its violent crime, but that's the last thing she expected to cover in Haeden. This small, upstate New York town counts a dairy farm as its main employer and is home to families who've set down roots and never left--people who don't take kindly to outsiders. Flynn is researching the environmental impact of the dairy, and the way money flows outward like the chemical runoff, eventually poisoning those who live at the edges of its reach.
Five months after she disappeared, Wendy's body is found in a ditch just off one of Haeden's main roads. Suddenly, Flynn has a big story, but no one wants to talk to her. No one seems to think that Wendy's killer could still be among them. A drifter, they say. Someone “not from here." Fifteen-year-old Alice Piper is an imaginative student with a genius IQ and strong ideals. The precocious, confident girl has stood out in Haeden since the day her eccentric hippie parents moved there from New York City, seeking a better life for their only child. When Alice reads Flynn's passionate article in the Haeden Free Press about violence against women--about the staggering number of women who are killed each day by people they know--she begins to connect the dots of Wendy's disappearance and death, leading her to make a choice: join the rest in turning a blind eye, or risk getting involved. As Flynn and Alice separately observe the locals' failure to acknowledge a murderer in their midst, Alice's fate is forever entwined with Wendy's when a second crime rocks the town to its core. So Much Pretty is the debut novel by Cara Hoffman and is due to be published in February 2012.

11th Hour is by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro. Lindsay Boxer is pregnant at last! But her work doesn't slow for a second. When millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, she discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco's most untouchable criminals. And it was taken from her own department's evidence locker. Anyone could be the killer - even her closest friends. Lindsay is called next to the most bizarre crime scene she's ever witnessed: two bodiless heads elaborately displayed in the garden of a world-famous actor. Another head is unearthed in the garden, and Lindsay realises that the ground could hide hundreds of victims. A reporter launches a series of malicious articles about the cases and Lindsay's personal life is laid bare. But this time she has no one to turn to - especially not Joe. 11th Hour is due to be published in March 2012.

In a cold, windswept field on the outskirts of Edinburgh, lies the brutally mutilated body of a young woman. As DI Rob Brennan looks at the tangled mass of limbs and blood, he feels his heart freeze. Like Fiona Gow five years earlier, this girl has been strangled with her own stockings, sexually mutilated and her eyes have been gouged out. Is this the work of an Edinburgh Ripper? The press certainly think so. Rob Brennan is determined to uncover the truth - however painful that might be. But truth is hard to come by in a world of police rivalries, media hysteria and copycat crime. Murder Mile is the second book by Tony Black to feature Detective Inspector Rob Brennan. Murder Mile is due to be published in April 2012.

Chief Inspector Daniel Jacquot is on sick leave recovering from gunshot wounds when Isabelle Cassier, an old friend and sometime lover, pays him a visit. After working for the Judiciaire in Paris following the end of their brief affair, Isabelle has returned to Marseilles and rejoined the homicide squad. And her visit, she tells him, is official. Jacquot's name has appeared in connection with an unsolved murder she's investigating and she wants some answers. What does he know about a dead cop called Gilles Barsin? And just how friendly was he with Jean-Louis Lombard, a notorious dockland villain also known as The Seahorse? The two names spin Jacquot back to his days as a rookie cop, a distant time when the lines between law and disorder were often blurred, when silly mistakes were sometimes made, and friendship came at a heavy price. Now, years later, it looks like someone is spilling the beans. The Dying Minutes is by Martin O’Brien and is due to be published in April 2012.

Meet Francis Ackerman, America's most terrifying serial killer. What excites him most is the game of chance. He likes to play with ordinary people. Innocent people. Someone just like you. If you take part in Ackerman's game, he'll stalk you, then take you prisoner. Will he let you live? Or will you die? There are so many different ways to die, and Ackerman knows them all. It's part of his game. Do you wanna play? Francis Ackerman does. And he's found you... The Shepherd is the debut novel by Ethan Cross and is due to be published in January 2012.

Good Bait is by Cartier Diamond Dagger winner John Harvey and is due to be published in January 2012. When a seventeen-year-old Moldovan boy is found dead on Hampstead Heath, the case falls to DCI Karen Shields and her overstretched Homicide & Serious Crime team. Karen knows she needs a result. What she doesn't know is that her new case is tied inextricably to a much larger web of gang warfare and organised crime, which infiltrates almost every aspect of London society, from the back streets and high rises of Tottenham to the multi-million pound hideaways of the new international entrepreneurs. Several hundred miles away in Cornwall, DI Trevor Cordon is stirred from his day-to-day duties by another tragic London fatality. Travelling to the capital, determined to establish the cause of death and trace the deceased's daughter - an old acquaintance from Penzance - Cordon becomes entangled in a lethally complex situation of his own. A situation much closer to Karen's case than either of them can imagine ...

When a man is found stabbed to death floating in the canal, Commissario Brunetti is convinced he recognises him from somewhere. But with no identification on the body and no reports of people missing from the Venice area, it seems as if he has appeared from nowhere, and the case is at a dead end. It does not take long for Brunetti to realise why he remembers the dead man – he saw him at a demonstration a couple of years ago, where farmers were protesting about European milk quotas. But what was his involvement with the protest, and could it have anything to do with his murder? Having nothing to go on but the distinctive shoes the man was wearing, and a disease that had left his body strangely deformed, Brunetti and Inspector Vianello set out to try and discover the man’s identity. Their investigation eventually takes them to the slaughterhouse at Preganziol, on the mainland. It is there that Brunetti discovers the dead man’s connection with the slaughterhouse, and the world of blackmail and corruption that surrounds it. Beastly Things is by Donna Leon and is due to be published in April 2012.

Private: No.1 Suspect is by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro and is due to be published in April 2012. Since former US Marine Jack Morgan started Private, it has become the world's most effective investigation firm - sought out by the famous and the powerful to discreetly handle their most intimate problems. Private's investigators are the smartest, the fastest, and the most technologically advanced in the world - and they always uncover the truth. When his former lover is found murdered in Jack's bed, he is instantly the number one suspect. While Jack is under police investigation and fighting to clear his name, the mob strong-arms him into recovering $30 million in stolen pharmaceuticals for them. And the beautiful owner of a chain of luxury hotels persuades him to quietly investigate a string of murders at her high-class establishments. With Jack and his team stretched to breaking point, one of his most trusted colleagues threatens to leave Private, and Jack realises he is facing his biggest challenge yet. With more action, more intrigue, and more twists than ever before.

Nothing will ever be the same again...In the heart of Philadelphia's badlands, Homicide Detectives Byrne and Balzano are called out to a particularly chilling crime scene. Once the pillar of the neighbourhood, an abandoned church has become a killing room. At first, it looks like a random act of violence. But then a second body is found, and a third. Each crime scene more disturbing than the last, each murder more brutal. And it soon becomes horrifyingly clear that a cold, calculating and terrifyingly precise mind is at work. With very few leads, and a mastermind who always seems to be one-step ahead, Byrne and Balzano are faced with challenges they could never have imagined as they race against time to hunt down their killer, before it's too late... The Killing Room is by Richard Montanari and is due to be published in February 2012.

Following the shocking events of the previous weeks when Tory Brennan, niece of forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan, and her group of disparate friends discovered that they had somehow been struck down with a canine disease that had changed their DNA, and given them powers that they could neither control nor understand, they have lain low. But with their home under threat and the prospect of separation all too real, they need to find a way to preserve their group. But only one thing will save them: money. And lots of it. And as far as Tory can see, there is only one way they can get enough money quickly: they must find she-pirate Anne Bonny’s legendary treasure. Rumour has it that she hid it in Charleston, but in over 200 years, no one has been able to find it. But with the help of their new-found powers. Tory is amazed to find that they might actually be on the right track. The problem is they aren’t the only ones looking for it, and if that wasn’t dangerous enough, Anne Bonny booby-trapped the trail every step of the way, and there are bodies to prove it. One way or another, the path ahead is fraught with danger. And this time, their special powers may not be enough to get them out of trouble. Seizure is by Kathy Reichs and is due to be published in January 2012.

It was the most renowned and respected shrine in the Roman Empire, sought after for generations, the object of veneration by Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Caligula, Hadrian and the world over. It stood for centuries within a sacred precinct the size of a large town at the heart of the greatest Greek city in the world. Yet at the end of the fourth century AD, it disappeared without a trace, creating the greatest archaeological enigma of the ancient world. What became of the tomb of Alexander the Great. The Tomb of Alexander is the debut novel by Sean Hemingway (grandson of Ernest Hemingway) and introduces readers to hero Tom Carr. The Tomb of Alexander is due to be published in March 2012.

The Fear Index is by Robert Harris and is due to be published in March 2012. His name is carefully guarded from the general public but within the secretive inner circles of the ultra-rich. Dr Alex Hoffmann is a legend - a visionary scientist whose computer software turns everything it touches into gold. Together with his partner, an investment banker, Hoffmann has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that tracks human emotions, enabling it to predict movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But then in the early hours of the morning, while he lies asleep with his wife, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of their lakeside house. So begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence as Hoffmann attempts, with increasing desperation, to discover who is trying to destroy him. His quest forces him to confront the deepest questions of what it is to be human. By the time night falls over Geneva, the financial markets will be in turmoil and Hoffmann's world - and ours - transformed forever.

Welcome to heartland America circa right about now, when the union jobs and family farms that kept the white on the picket fences of towns like Winesburg, Ohio have given way to meth labs, backwoods gunrunners and bare knuckle brawling. The results are, at least, never, ever, boring. Bill’s people are pressed to the brink—and beyond. There is Scoot McCutchen, whose beloved wife falls terminally ill, leaving him with nothing to live for—, which doesn’t quite explain why he brutally murders her and her doctor and flees, or why, after years of running, he decides to turn himself in. In the title story, a man who has devolved from breeding hounds for hunting to training them for dog-fighting crosses paths with a Salvadoran gangbanger tasked with taking over the rural drug trade, but who mostly wants to grow old in peace. As Crimes in Southern Indiana unfolds, we witness the unspeakable, yet are compelled to find sympathy for the depraved. Crimes in Southern Indiana is the debut novel by Frank Bill and is due to be published in January 2012.

Detective Inspector January David is on the hunt for an elusive serial killer but the leads are drying up. The first victim was taken on Halloween and as the months develop more ritualistic murders are discovered. So far, five innocents, each struck down in a public place, have been left dead. Brooke Derry should have been the sixth but she miraculously survives. Meanwhile, January's personal life is in turmoil as he battles the demons which have haunted him all his life. He's desperately seeking his missing sister and his private hell is only intensified by the corruption within his own team. When the killer's picture is leaked to the press, hysteria grips London as the public sees the face of evil and fears they will be next. But no one, including DI David, realises that an unknown vigilante has also seen the front pages and has tracked down the killer and is now holding them captive. January is in pursuit of not just one lost soul, but two... The 2 is the second book to feature Detective Inspector January David by Will Carver and is due to be published in April 2012.

Angelmaker is by Nick Harkaway the acclaimed author of "The Gone-Away World" - A new riveting action spy thriller, blistering gangster noir, and howling absurdist comedy: a propulsively entertaining tale about a mobster's son and a retired secret agent who are forced to team up to save the world. All Joe Spork wants is a quiet life. He repairs clockwork and lives above his shop in a wet, unknown bit of London. The bills don't always get paid and he's single and has no prospects of improving his lot, but at least he's not trying to compete with the reputation of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, his infamous criminal dad. Edie Banister lives quietly and wishes she didn't. She's nearly ninety and remembers when she wasn't. She's a former superspy and now she's...well...old. Worse yet, the things she fought to save don't seem to exist anymore, and she's beginning to wonder if they ever did. When Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. The client? Unknown. And the device? It's a 1950s doomsday machine. And having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator, Edie's old arch-nemesis. With Joe's once-quiet world now populated with mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realises that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she gave up years ago, and pick up his father's old gun... Angelmaker is due to be published in February 2012.

In Her Blood is the first in a series of crime novels starring Catherine Berlin, a civilian investigator whose longstanding heroin addiction is only party of her story. On a bone-chilling February morning, Catherine Berlin, investigator with the Financial Services Agency, finds the almost-headless body of her informant ‘Juliet Bravo’, rolling in a shallow reach of the Thames. That Juliet Bravo’s death is linked to an investigation of local loan shark Archie Doyle is no surprise to Berlin, but when Berlin’s own unorthodox methods are blamed for the murder, she realises bigger predators are circling. To start with, it looks as though Berlin, will pay only with her job. And then, on a routine trip to her GP (on of a dying breed who will still prescribe heroin to long-term addicts) she stumbles across a second body. Suspended, incriminated, and then blackmailed into cooperation by the detective leading the investigation, Catherine Berlin has seven stolen days of clarity within which to solve the crime – and find a new supplier. In Her Blood is by Annie Hauxwell and is due to be published in May 2012.

London, 1649. Oliver Cromwell is running the country, and a law targeting unmarried mothers threatens the life of glovemaker Rachel Lockyer. This is her story.
It is 1649. Charles I has been beheaded, Cromwell is running the country, and a new law targeting unwed mothers and lewd women has been passed. A law that presumes that anyone who conceals the death of her illegitimate child is guilty of murder. When a dead infant is found buried behind the Smithfield slaughterhouse, all fingers point to thirty-nine year old glover's assistant Rachel Lockyer. A fiercely independent woman, Rachel has been carrying on an affair with a married man, a one-time political agitator with a radical group known as The Levelers. Though no one knows for certain that Rachel was even pregnant, she is arrested. So comes an investigation, public trial, and unforgettable characters: gouty investigator Thomas Bartwain, fiery Elizabeth Lillburne and her revolution-chasing husband, Huguenot glover Mary Du Gard, and others. Spinning within are Rachel and William, their remarkable love story, and the miracles that come to even the commonest lives. The Glovemaker is the debut novel by Stacia M Brown and is due to be published in February 2012.

It's summer. A boy is lying on the floor of an Oslo apartment. He is bleeding to death. Outside, the church bells toll, and he begins to tell his story. Autumn. Former police inspector Harry Hole returns to Oslo after three years away. He seeks out his old boss at Police Headquarters to request permission to investigate a homicide. But the case is already closed: the young junkie was shot dead by a fellow addict. Yet Harry is allowed to visit the boy's alleged killer in jail. There, he meets himself and his own history, and he takes on the first impossible case of his career. While Harry tries to uncover the truth, the murdered boy continues his tale. A man walks the dark streets of Oslo. The streets are his and he has always been there. He is a phantom. Phantom is by Jo Nesbo and is due to be published in March 2012.

Bloodman is the debut novel by Robert Pobi and is due to be published in March 2012. For the first time in thirty years, FBI consultant Jake Cole must return to his childhood home in Long Island to look after his estranged and elderly father. But, within hours of being home, Jake is pulled into a double homicide investigation at the request of local sheriff, Mike Hauser. A mother and her young son have been brutally murdered and the local police need Jake – with his photographic memory and ability to recognise killers’ artistic signatures – to help them with this gruesome and baffling case. For Jake, though, this case is personal. He may not know the victims but he is horrified to recognise the killer’s signature as that which was left behind on his own mother, brutally murdered when Jake was just a child and whose murder has never been solved. In a race against time, Jake and Hauser are on the hunt to find this monster – a serial killer who skins his victims alive. Could the ‘bloodman’ of Jake’s nightmares be back?

Black Skies is by Arnaldur Indridason and is due to be published in June 2012. A man is making a crude leather mask with slits for eyes and mouth, and an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a 'death mask', once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves. He has revenge in mind. Meanwhile, with Detective Erlendur absent, his colleague Sigurdur Oli is in the spotlight. A school reunion has left Sigurdur Oli dissatisfied with life in the police force. Iceland is enjoying an economic boom and young tycoons are busy partying with the international jet set. In contrast, Sigurdur Oli's relationship is on the rocks and soon even his position in the CID is compromised: when he agrees to visit a couple of blackmailers as a favour to a friend he walks in just as a woman is beaten unconscious. When she dies, Sigurdur Oli has a murder investigation on his hands. The evidence leads to debt collectors, extortionists, swinging parties. But when a chance link connects these enquiries to the activities of a group of young bankers, Sigurdur Oli finds himself investigating the very elite he had envied. Moving from the villas of Reykjavik's banking elite to a sordid basement flat, "Black Skies" is a superb story of greed, pride and murder.

It’s the weekend of Halloween, and PI John Craine has temporarily closed down his business and gone to stay in a run-down hotel on Hale Island – a small, bleak island just off the coast of Essex. He’s come to hale to get away from it all – the memories and the guilt, and a past that just won’t let go. All too soon Craine stumbles across the dead body of a young girl on the beach. He calls the police, but when they arrive the body has inexplicably disappeared – or did Craine imagine it in the first place? Determined to get to the truth, Craine starts to ask questions. And once more he finds himself tangled up in a deadly network of corruption, fear and violence. But it seems no one on the island is talking. Until the Darkness Comes is by Kevin Brooks and is due to be published by May 2012

It’s Detective Nick Belsey’s summer of trying to behave, and London has decided to go lawless. A stolen vehicle is abandoned, mid-riot, in the shadows of Centrepoint, leading to the discovery of a homeless man bludgeoned to death in his hostel. It seems at first just the nasty edge of a general breakdown, but it leads into the secrets of another age. Under the cover of chaos someone’s been doing historical research, visiting ‘Deep Shelters’, still littered with the remains of 1980s exercises in apocalypse. The trail leads Belsey to a home papered floor to ceiling with photographs of cold-war architecture, maps of the underground tunnels, declassified designs. It’s soon made clear that his own curiosity is unwanted. He is happy to let state secrets lie. Until it becomes personal. With the police force stretched to nothing. Belsey embarks on a chase through a London on edge deep into the strange, paranoid world of JIGSAW, the government’s Joint Inter-Services group for the Study of All-Out Warfare: Doomsday Departure, as it was known. And finally to the core of its secrets. Deep Shelter is the second book by Oliver Harris to feature Detective Nick Belsey. Deep Shelter is due to be published in May 2012.

It is snowing, she's barefoot, but Galya runs. Her captors are close behind her, and she won't go back there, no matter what. Tricked into coming to Belfast with the offer of a good job, all she wants now is to get back home. Her only hope is a man who gave her a cross and a phone number, telling her to call if she escaped. She puts herself at his mercy, knowing she has nowhere else to turn. Detective Inspector Jack Lennon wants a quiet Christmas with his daughter. When an apparent turf war between rival gangs leaves a string of bodies across the city, he knows he won't get it. As Lennon digs deeper he discovers the truth is far more threatening. Soon he is locked in a deadly race with two very different killers. Stolen Souls is by Stuart Neville and is due to be published by January 2012.
The Technologists is by Matthew Pearl and is due to be published in February 2012. Spring 1868, and the population of Boston is being terrorised by technological attacks: first a magnetic storm causes ships in the harbour to collide in flames, then in another bizarre catastrophe every piece of glass in the financial district spontaneously melts - clocks, windows, eyeglasses. Nothing in nature can do this: these are man-made disasters. Someone has unleashed the destructive potential of science on an innocent population. The city's fate relies on four young students of the recently founded Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Marcus Mansfield, a Civil War veteran determined to repay MIT's founder for taking a chance on him, brash Bob Richards, meticulous Edwin Hoyt and the eccentric but brilliant Ellen Swallow, the first woman at MIT, who experiments secretly in a basement laboratory. Together, they are "The Technologists". In a climate of rising hysteria, these four courageous individuals must unite against the forces of darkness to uncover the mastermind before he can stage his greatest outrage.

Max Cámara is feeling low. Ominous cracks have appeared in the walls of his flat; the body of a well-known paella chef has been washed up on the beach; there are rows and threats about abortion clinics; the town hall are set on demolishing El Cabanyal, the colourful fisherman’s quarter on Valencia’s seafront. As Cámara untangles these threads, he stumbles into a web of corruption and violence, uncovering deep animosities and hidden secrets, and forcing him to question his own doubts and desires. Some Other Body is 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. It is due to be published in June 2012.

'If you were to ask me to tell you about my wife, I would have to warn you at the outset that I don't know a great deal about her. Or at least, not as much as I thought I did...' So speaks Alex, the narrator of this unforgettable literary thriller. Alex is in his thirties, a solitary man who has finally found love in the form of his beautiful and vivacious wife, Rachel. When Rachel is brutally murdered one midsummer night by the lake in the grounds of their alma mater, Worcester College, Oxford, Alex's life as he knew it vanishes. He returns to Oxford that winter, and through the shroud of his shock and grief, begins to try to piece together the mystery surrounding his wife's death. Playing host to Alex's winter visit is Harry, Rachel's former tutor and trusted mentor, who turns out to have been involved in some way in almost every significant development of their relationship throughout their undergraduate years. In his exploration of Rachel's history, Alex also turns to Evie, Rachel's self-centered and difficult godmother, whose jealousy of her charge has waxed and waned over the years. And then there are her university friends, Anthony and Cissy, who shared with Rachel her love of Browning and a taste for the illicit. As Alex delves deep into the past to uncover shocking secrets and constantly shifting versions of the truth, it is with these virtual strangers as his guides that he begins to confront the terrifying reality that neither his life, nor his love, are the things he thought them to be. Part love story, part murder-mystery, this is an extraordinary debut from a powerful new voice in fiction, guaranteed to make your heart beat faster and faster... Every Contact Leaves a Trace is by Elanor Dymott and is due to be published in May 2012

It's Manchester, July 1996, the month after the IRA bomb, and the "Evening News" is carrying reports of two murders. On the front page there's a photograph of a glamorous Egyptian woman, a socialite and heiress to an oil fortune, whose partially clothed body has been found in the basement of a block of flats. It would appear that she has been the subject of a sexual attack. In the back pages of the same paper there is a fifty-word piece on the murder of a young prostitute whose body has been found dumped on a roadside near the McVitie's factory. For Bane - fixer, loanshark and legman for one of Manchester's established ganglords - it's the second piece of news that hits hardest. Determined to find out what happened to his childhood sweetheart, he searches through the tribes and estates of his bombed city for answers. It soon becomes clear that the two newspaper stories belong on the same page, and that Bane's world belongs to others - those willing to profit from gun arsenals, human trafficking and a Manchester in decay."The Doll Princess" introduces the mesmeric narrator, Henry Bane, a conflicted man caught up in a mire of evil. The Doll Princess is by Tom Bane and is due to be published in January 2012.

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