Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Forthcoming books to look forward to from Constable & Robinson

The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket.  Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes he doesn't even remember the snatch.  Most people are just a blur to him, nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims.  He has no family, no friends, no connections...But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him when Ishikawa, his first partner, reappears in his life, and offers him a job he can't refuse.  It's an easy job: tie up an old rich man, steal the contents of the safe.  No one gets hurt.  Only the day after the job, does he learn that the old man was a prominent politician, and that he was brutally killed after the robbery.  And now the Thief is caught in a tangle even he might not be able to escape.  The Thief is translated from Japanese and is by Fuminori Nakamura.  It is due to be published in August 2012.

A Time for Patriots is by Dale Brown and is due to be published in August 2012.  When murderous bands of militiamen begin roaming the western United States and attacking government agencies, it will take a dedicated group of the nation's finest and toughest civilian airmen to put an end to the home-grown insurgency.  U.S. Air Force Lieutenant-General Patrick McLanahan vows to take to the skies to join the fight, but when his son, Bradley, also signs up, they find themselves caught in a deadly game against a shadowy opponent.  When the stock markets crash and the U.S. economy falls into a crippling recession, everything changes for newly elected president Kenneth Phoenix.  Politically exhausted from a bruising and divisive election, Phoenix must order a series of massive tax cuts and wipe out entire cabinet-level departments to reduce government spending.  With reductions in education and transportation, an incapacitated National Guard, and the loss of public safety budgets, entire communities of armed citizens band together for survival and mutual protection.  Against this dismal backdrop, a SWAT team is ambushed and radioactive materials are stolen by a group calling themselves the Knights of the True Republic.  Is the battle against the government about to be taken to a new and deadlier level?  In this time of crisis, a citizen organization rises to the task of protecting their fellow countrymen: the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the U.S. Air Force auxiliary.  The Nevada Wing - led by retired Air Force Lieutenant-General Patrick McLanahan, his son, Bradley, and other volunteers - uses their military skills in the sky and on the ground to hunt down violent terrorists.  But how will Patrick respond when extremists launch a catastrophic dirty bomb attack in Reno, spreading radiological fallout for miles?  And when Bradley is caught in a deadly double-cross that jeopardizes the CAP, Patrick will have to fight to find out where his friends' loyalties lie: Are they with him and the CAP or with the terrorists?  With A Time for Patriots, Dale Brown brings the battle home to explore a terrifying possibility-the collapse of the American Republic.

A winter's evening and a trio of unruly youths board a bus and gang up on teenager Luke Donnelly, hurling abuse and threatening to kill him.  The bus is full but no one intervenes until Jason Barnes, a young student, challenges the youths.  Luke seizes the chance to run off the bus but his attackers follow.  Andrew Barnes is dragged from the shower by his wife Valerie: there's a fight in the front garden and Jason's trying to break it up.  Andrew rushes to help and the assailants flee.  Jason shouts to his father to phone an ambulance - Luke is badly hurt.  Minutes later Jason collapses in their living room, he has been stabbed.  The blow proves fatal.  Valerie and Andrew are devastated by the loss of their only child, and react in very different ways to their grief.  Valerie wants justice, revenge even, but Andrew is desperate to find some meaning in Jason's sacrifice, some understanding about what led to such a tragedy.  Luke survived the assault thanks to Jason's actions, but is in a coma.  His mum Louise keeps vigil at his bedside, waiting for him to wake and trying to keep the rest of life as normal as possible for her younger child Ruby.  As his marriage disintegrates, Andrew secretly visits Luke and his mother Louise and a fragile friendship develops.  Meanwhile the press begin to paint a picture of Luke as a less than innocent victim and raise questions about the cost of Jason's heroism.  One of the offenders confesses to the attacks and shows remorse while the others plead not guilty.  Conflicting accounts emerge during the trial.  With some parties prepared to lie, the matter of uncovering what really happened is far from straightforward, and the jury's verdict hard to predict.  Split Second is by Cath Staincliffe and is due to be published in July 2012.  It is a novel that explores the issue of whether to intervene or look the other way and the fall-out from either decision.  "Split Second" tackles questions of bravery, fear, and kindness and depicts the human impact of violent crime.

When Inspector John Carlyle discovers a disorientated girl in a park near Buckingham Palace, he takes it upon himself to find out who she is and where she's from.  His hunt for the identity of this lost girl takes him from Ukrainian gangsters in North London to the lower reaches of the British aristocracy.  Soon, the inspector is on the trail of a child-trafficking ring that stretches from Kiev to London, and back to the palace itself...  Buckingham Palace Blues by James Craig and is the third book in the series to feature Inspector John Carlyle and is due to be publish in August 2012.

Tooth for a Tooth is by T F Muir and is due to be published in September 2012.  What secrets from the past was he about to uncover?  When a woman's skeleton is discovered in a shallow grave, DCI Andy Gilchrist is tasked with finding her murderer.  But a psychic's warnings and markings on a rusted cigarette lighter found among the rotted remains set Gilchrist off on a trail that will take him back 35 years back to his past and on course to find his brother's killer in a fatal hit and run accident.  When dental records from an extracted tooth force Gilchrist to confront the unthinkable - that his brother was her killer - he keeps his fears to himself, only to be suspended on suspicion of destroying evidence.  But Gilchrist battles on in his quest for answers.  Who was the woman?  Why was she murdered?  And was the fatal hit and run really an accident?

Due to financial hardships at Tawcester Towers, the Dowager Duchess has decreed that the only way the family fortunes can be restored is to marry Blotto to an American.  So begins the fourth adventure in the Blotto and Twinks series, and this time the aristocratic sleuthing siblings end up being transported across the Pond to the gangster-ridden hellhole that is Prohibition Chicago.  Reluctantly, Blotto being together with Twinks and his trusty chauffeur Corky Froggett set sail on ocean liner S/S His Majesty.  He feels like a condemned man as waiting him in Illinois is fabulously wealthy heiress Mary Chapstic.  She is the only daughter of meatpacking magnate Hiram P. Chapstick III.  But it's Twinks who discovers early on that all is not as it seems and that Hiram P. Chapstick III is in fact up to his neck in a bootlegging operation run by the notorious Chicago mobster, Spagsy Chiaparelli.  So Blotto and Twinks set out to unmask the villainy of Hiram P. Chapstick III, where a final shootout takes place among the filthy stockyards, abattoirs and caning factories of Chicago's Meatpacking District.  Will Blotto and Twinks ever make it back to dear old Blighty?  Blotto, Twinks and the Bootlegger’s Moll is by Simon Brett and is due to be published in July 2012.

A Brief Guide to James Bond is due to be published in September 2012.  The world's fascination with Bond is unstoppable.  James Bond is the greatest British fictional hero of the post-war era.  He also has a huge following in the US - and around the world - as a legendary Cold War warrior, and now as a daredevil able to take on the villains of the post-Cold War world.  The Bond books are all in print.  With new stories by Sebastian Faulks and Jeffrey Deaver and a forthcoming book by William Boyd and Charlie Higson writing children's versions.  In this comprehensive guide to Ian Fleming, the books, the films and the world that was created out of "007", Nigel Cawthorne uncovers Bond's allure.  It comes with special sections on the main characters - Q, M, the Bond Girls, and the women who first inspired them; the cars, and the incomparable baddies.  It will be the ideal gift for fans and aficionados alike and will be published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of "Doctor No".

His and Her is by M C Beaton and is due to be published in October 2012.  Agatha has fallen in love - again.  This time it's the local gardener, George Marston, she has her eye on.  But competition for his attention abounds.  With her shameless determination, Agatha will do anything to get her man - including footing the bill for a charity ball in town just for the chance to dance with him.  But when George is a no-show Agatha goes looking for him - and finds he has been murdered, having been bitten by a poisonous snake and buried in a compost heap.  Agatha and the rest of her crew plunge into an investigation and discover that George had quite a complicated love life.  And if Agatha now can't have George, at least she can have the satisfaction of confronting those women who have and finding a murderer in the process.
 Ted Bundy.  America's most notorious serial killer.  For two women, he is the ultimate obsession.  One is cop whose sister may have been one of Bundy's victims.  The other is a deranged groupie who corresponded with Bundy in prison - and raised her son to finish what he started.  To charm and seduce innocent girls.  To kidnap and brutalize more women than any serial killer in history.  And to lure one obsessed cop into a trap as sick and demented as Bundy himself...  The Fear Collector is by Greg Olsen and is due to be published in November 2012.

The Fourth Crow is by Pat McIntosh and is due to be published in July 2012.  The crows are gathering above Glasgow, watching the movements of the clergy and townspeople alike...Tied to St Mungo's Cross by the cathedral to be cured of her madness overnight by the saint, the young woman is found in the morning beaten and strangled, still tied to the cross.  But is she who she seems to be?  And who would flout the saint's protection like this?  Gil Cunningham must trace the dead woman and find her enemies, track down the thieves and murderers and identify the watchers in the shadows, particularly the elusive fourth person who holds the secret of what happened that night.  Questioning cathedral staff and apprentice boys, pilgrims and tradesmen, he uncovers only more puzzles.  And then there is another death.  How is it connected to the first?  While his wife Alys deals with the tensions within their family, Gil has to untangle the threads of the mystery to find the 

Pulse is by John Lutz and is due to be published in October 2012.  The infamous transsexual serial killer known as Daniel Danielle escapes from prison during a Florida hurricane and Frank Quinn fears he has returned and is wreaking havoc as the body count rises.  Or it could be a copycat killer working with stunning originality but whoever it is, this evil force must be stopped before another victim is claimed.  Pulse is due to be published in October 2012.

Joey McCarthy is stabbed to death in a pub car park in a random act of violence.  Shortly afterwards Charlotte Stone's terminally ill mother dies and then, within weeks, two of her teenage friends commit suicide.  With her home life disintegrating and both her father and brother racing towards self-destruction Charlotte realises that her own personal nightmare may not be over yet.  When DC Gary Goodhew finds the body of another suicide victim he is forced to recall some deeply buried memories of an earlier death; memories which lead him to Charlotte Stone and the events in her life.  From their individual points of view, they both begin to wonder whether all these tragedies are somehow linked to a bigger picture.  And if they are right, then who will be the next victim?  The Silence is the fourth book in the DC Gary Goodhew series by Alison Bruce and is due to be published in July 2012.

Author Hannah Dennison has two books due out in September 2012.  First, Expose - When an early morning call wakes Vicky from the arms of her dream man, reality had better be worth it - and it is.  A tipster tells her about the secret funeral of local celebrity Scarlett Flemming, organised by her grieving husband Doug.  The entire town is baffled by the sudden death and oddly discreet funeral.  After all, in life Scarlett had hardly been a shrinking violet.  Vicky's suspicions are heightened when she learns of the Flemings' shaky finances - and that Doug has as many admirers as Scarlett had enemies.  And while canvassing suspects and juggling three potential suitors, Vicky must stay one-step ahead of a killer once she realises she's no longer writing an obituary - she's writing an expose!  The second book is Thieves, after a spate of local robberies Vicky's hot on the trail of gypsies, tramps and thieves!  Unaware that their temporary pitches is also the official gathering site for the upcoming annual Morris Man Dance-a-thon, the gypsies have set up their illegal campsite at The Grange - much to the dismay of almost everyone in town.  And when shortly afterwards there is a slew of sliver thefts in the area, blaming the despised uninvited guests makes more than a little sense.  But when the body of an unnamed woman is found in a shallow stream, Vicky suspects there's a connection between the murder and the recent thefts - and she's determined to prove it.  It's a criminal conundrum suited only for the mind of Vicky Hill, Cub Reporter on the "Gipping Gazette", and she's determined to uncover answers and clinch her fourth national exclusive!

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