Thursday, 20 December 2012

Books to look forward to from Constable and Robinson

 Two books by Paul Doiron are due to be published in 2013.  Set in the wilds of Maine, this is an explosive tale of an estranged son thrust into the hunt for a murderous fugitive - his own father.  Game warden Mike Bowditch returns home one evening to find an alarming voice from the past on his answering machine: his father Jack, a hard-drinking womanizer who makes his living from poaching illegal game.  An even more frightening call comes the next morning from the police: they are searching for a cop-killer - and Mike's father is their prime suspect.  Now, alienated from the woman he loves and shunned by colleagues who have no sympathy for the suspected cop killer, Mike must come to terms with his haunted past.  He knows first-hand of his father's brutality, but is he capable of murder?  Desperate and alone, the only way for Mike to save his father is to find the real killer - which could mean putting everyone he loves into the line of fire.  The Poachers Son is due to be published in January 2013.  It was a case no one wanted reopened.  Seven years ago, a jury convicted lobsterman Erland Jefferts of the rape and murder of a wealthy college student and sentenced him to life in prison.  For all but his most fanatical defenders, justice was served.  Then while on patrol one cold March evening, game warden Mike Bowditch receives a mysterious summons.  A woman has reportedly struck a deer on a lonely coast road.  When Bowditch arrives on the scene, he finds blood in the road - but both the driver and the deer have gone missing.  The state trooper assigned to the accident seems strangely unconcerned.  And when the woman is later found brutalized in a manner that suggests Jefferts might have been framed, Bowditch receives an ominous warning from state prosecutors to stop asking questions.  For Mike Bowditch, whose own life was recently shattered by a horrific act of violence, doing nothing is not an option - even if he risks dismantling the relationship, he has carefully rebuilt with his estranged girlfriend.  His clandestine investigation reopens old wounds between Maine locals and rich summer residents and puts both his own life, and that of the woman he loves, in jeopardy.  As he closes in on his quarry, he suddenly discovers how dangerous his opponents are and how far they will go to prevent him from bringing a killer to justice. The Trespasser is due to be published in May 2013.

Death of Yesterday is the 27th book in the Hamish Macbeth series by M C Beaton and it is due to be published in February 2013.  A dead witness.  A forgotten crime.  Hamish Macbeth never had it so hard as in this newest Highlands mystery!  When a local woman tells Sergeant Hamish Macbeth that she doesn't remember what happened the previous evening, he's not unduly worried.  After all, she's been out drinking and he'd prefer not to be bothered with such an arrogant and annoying woman.  But when her body is discovered in a ditch, Hamish is forced to investigate a crime that the only known witness - now dead - has forgotten...

Northeast Mississippi is hill country, rugged and notorious for outlaws since the Civil War, where killings are as commonplace as they were in the Old West.  To Quinn Colson, just back from a tour of Afghanistan, it's home.  But home has changed.  Quinn returns to a place overrun by corruption.  His uncle, the county sheriff, is dead - officially, it was suicide, but others whisper murder.  In the days that follow, it will be up to Colson, now an Army Ranger, to discover the truth - not only about his uncle, but also about his family, friends, hometown and himself.  But once the truth is uncovered, there is no turning back.  The Ranger is by Ace Atkins and is due to be published in March 2013.

The Man From Primrose Lane is by James Renner and is due to be published in January 2013.  Rewind: Once upon a time in Ohio there lived an elderly recluse, 'the man from Primrose Lane'.  He had no friends or family.  He wore mittens all year round.  And one summer’s day, he was murdered.  Fast-Forward: Bestselling author David Neff is a broken man, lonely, desolate and lost ever since his wife's suicide.  But something about the man from Primrose Lane grabs his attention and he decides to investigate the mystery - only to be dragged back into a world he thought he had left behind forever.  Replay: As David gets closer to uncovering the true identity of the man from Primrose Lane, he begins to understand the terrible power of his own obsessions and how they may be connected to the deaths of both the hermit and his beloved wife.

In the dying days of 1850, the young detective Charles Maddox takes on a new case.  His client?  The only surviving son of the long-dead poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his wife Mary, author of Frankenstein.  Charles soon finds himself being drawn into the bitter battle being waged over the poet's literary legacy, but then he makes a chance discovery that raises new doubts about the death of Shelley's first wife, Harriet, and he starts to question whether she did indeed kill herself, or whether what really happened was far more sinister than suicide.  As he's drawn deeper into the tangled web of the past, Charles discovers darker and more disturbing secrets, until he comes face to face with the terrible possibility that his own great-uncle is implicated in a conspiracy to conceal the truth that stretches back more than thirty years.  The story of the Shelleys is one of love and death, of loss and betrayal.  A Treacherous Likeness is by Lynn Shepherd and is due to be published in February 2013.

When a ship-owner is found dead, tied to a bed in one of Reykjavik's smartest hotels, sergeant Gunnhildur Gisladottir of the city police force sees no evidence of foul play but still suspects things are not as cut and dried, as they seem.  And as she investigates the ship owner’s untimely - and embarrassing - demise, she stumbles across a discreet bondage society whose members are being systematically exploited and blackmailed.  But how does all this connect to a local gangster recently returned to Iceland after many years abroad, and the unfortunate loss of a government laptop containing sensitive data about various members of the ruling party?  What begins as a straightforward case for Gunnhildur soon explodes into a dangerous investigation, uncovering secrets that ruthless men are ready to go to violent extremes to keep.  Chilled to the Bone is by Quentin Bates and is due to be published in April 2013.

Two books by Elizabeth Hand are due to be published in June 2013.  Generation Lost – Famous in the seventies as a NYC punk photographer, thirty years later, Cass Neary’s on her way down until an old acquaintance gives her a lifeline.  Sent to interview a reclusive photographer on a wind-lashed island off Maine, Cass stumbles upon a decades old mystery still claiming new victims – and realises that she has one final shot at redemption. Available Dark – Cass finds herself sucked into a vortex of ancient myth and betrayal, vengeance and serial murder, all set against a bone-splintering soundtrack of black metal and the terrifying beauty of the sunless Icelandic wilderness.

The Fear Collector is by Gregg Olsen and is due to be published in January 2013.  For two women, Ted Bundy, America's most notorious serial killer is the ultimate obsession.  One is a 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...

In a heartbeat, life changes.  A sunny, Sunday afternoon, a family barbecue, and Naomi Baxter and her boyfriend Alex celebrate good news.  Driving home, Naomi's recklessness causes a fatal accident, leaving nine-year-old Lily Vasey dead, Naomi fighting for her life, Alex bruised and bloody and the lives of three families torn apart.  Traumatised, Naomi has no clear memory of the crash and her mother Carmel is forced to break the shocking truth of the child's death to her.  Naomi may well be prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving.  If convicted she will face a jail term of up to 14 years, especially if her sister's claim that Naomi was drink driving is proven.  In the months before the trial, Carmel strives to help a haunted and remorseful Naomi cope with the consequences of her actions.  Blink of an Eye is by Cath Staincliffe and is a novel about the nightmare that could be just around the next bend for any one of us.  It is due to be published in April 2013.  

The Circus is the fourth book in the Inspector Caryle series and is due to be published in February 2013.  When the body of journalist Duncan Brown is found in the back of a rubbish truck, Inspector John Carlyle is thrown into the middle of a scandal that threatens to expose the corrupt links between the police, the political establishment and the hugely powerful Zenger media group.  Hunting down Brown's killer, Carlyle finds himself going head-to-head with his nemesis, Trevor Miller.  A former police officer turned security adviser to the Prime Minister, Miller has dirty money in his pockets and other people's blood on his hands.  Untouchable until now, he is prepared to kill again to protect his position - having failed once already to dispose of Carlyle he is not prepared to slip up again...

In April 2013 the first three in the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood are due to be published.  The first is Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates.  Bored socialite Phryne Fisher leaves the tedium of the London season for adventure in Australia!  Tea dances in West End hotels, weekends in the country with guns and dogs...Phryne Fisher - she of the grey-green eyes and diamante garters - is rapidly tiring of the boredom of chitchatting with retired colonels and fox-trotting with weak-chinned wonders.  Instead, Phryne decides it might be amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective - on the other side of the world!  As soon as she books into the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned wives, drug smuggling rings and corrupt cops ...not to mention erotic encounters with beautiful Russian ballet star Sasha de Lisse; England's green and pleasant land just can't compete with these new, exotic pleasures!  Flying Too High is the second book in the series and another runaway adventure with glamorous heroine Phryne Fisher!  Whether foiling kidnappers' plans, walking the wings of a Tiger Moth or simply deciding what to wear for dinner, Phryne handles everything with her usual panache and flair!  Here, the 1920's most glamorous detective flies even higher, handling an abduction and a murder with style and ease ...all before it's time to adjourn to the Queenscliff Hotel for breakfast.  Whether she's flying planes, clearing a friend of homicide charges or saving a child from kidnapping, she handles everything with the same dash and elan with which she drives her red Hispano-Suiza.  In Murder on the Ballarat Train When Phryne Fisher arranges to go to Ballarat for a week, she eschews the excitement of her Hispano-Suiza for the sedate safety of the train.  But as the passengers sleep, they are all overcome by chloroform poisoning.  In the morning, Phryne is left to piece together all the clues: a young girl suffering from amnesia, the body of an old woman missing her emerald rings and rumours of white slavery and black magic ...the last thing Phryne was expecting of this train journey was that she would have to use her trusty Beretta.  32 to save lives!

After a lifetime of travel and experiences, widow Eleanor Trewynn is more than happy to retire to the sleepy village of Port Mabyn in Cornwall - but unfortunately, excitement seems to follow her around!  Her friend and neighbour, artist Nick Gresham, discovers several of his paintings in his shop have been slashed and destroyed.  The finger of suspicion rests on rival local artist Geoffrey Monmouth but when Nick and Eleanor go to have it out with him, they find Monmouth's stabbed body in his studio - and Nick is immediately flagged up as most likely suspect.  DI Scumble and DS Megan Pencarrow, Eleanor's niece, have been assigned to investigate the murder but Eleanor isn't leaving anything to chance - but once she starts investigating she learns Nick is far from being the only candidate with a compelling motive for murder...  Manna From Hades is the first book of three in the Cornish Mysteries series by Carola Dunn, which are due to be published in June 2013.  The second book in the series is A Colourful Death whilst the third is Valley of the Shadow.  A cryptic message spurs Eleanor on a frantic search for a refugee's missing family.  While walking her dog with friends, Eleanor rescues a young half-drowned Asian man out the water.  Delirious and concussed, he talks about his family being trapped in a cave.  While the young man, unconscious by this stage, is whisked away to a hospital, a desperate effort is mounted to find the family of which he spoke.  The local police inspector presumes they are refugees from East Africa, abandoned by the traffickers who brought them in, so while the countryside is being scoured for the family, Eleanor herself descends into a dangerous den of smugglers in a desperate search to find the man responsible while there is still time.

Dark Spaces is by Helen Black and is the fourth book in the series to feature Lily Valentine and is due to be published in April 2013.  Lilly Valentine tries to help a damaged teenager - but has she been horrifically abused, or is she lying to save her own skin?  Having recently split up from the father of her baby, Lilly is not in a happy place, matters being complicated further by the arrival of her ex-husband, needing a sofa to crash out on having been thrown out by his girlfriend.  In the midst of all this Lilly is asked by a child psychologist if she will help one of her patients: a girl currently sectioned having stolen a car while extremely drunk.  While Lilly visits her, she is introduced to Chloe, another unstable teenager who slips Lilly a note saying: 'Help us'.  And then Lilly's client is killed and Chloe accused of her murder.  Her case is not helped by the fact that the words 'Help us' have been carved on the dead girl's stomach....

The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 10 is edited by Maxim Jakubowski and is due to be published in February 2013.  This title features 42 fantastic stories from Britain's best crime writers.  A superb collection of the year's most outstanding short crime fiction published in the UK.  Jakubowski has succeeded, as ever, in showcasing the impressive breadth of crime writing, from cosy tales of detection to noir mayhem and psychological suspense and terror.  There are puzzles to solve, nagging questions about the nature of the society in which we live, but, above all, there is an abundance of first-class entertainment...  Lee Child makes his debut and there is a first story from Neil Gaiman, too, in Sherlockian rather than fantastical mode.  Return offenders include Ann Cleeves, Phil Lovesey and Ruth Rendell, among many other familiar names.  There are a number of newcomers to the series, too, including Nina Allan, Joel Lane and Lisa Tuttle.

 DI Kate Simms is on the fast track to nowhere.  Five years ago, she helped a colleague when she should not have.  She's been clawing her way back from a demotion ever since.  Professor Nick Fenimore is a failed genetics student, successful gambler, betting agent, crime scene officer, chemistry graduate, toxicology specialist and one-time scientific advisor to the National Crime Faculty.  He is the best there is, but ever since his wife and daughter disappeared, he's been hiding away in Scotland, working as a forensics lecturer.  In Manchester, drug addicts are turning up dead and Simms' superior is only too pleased to hand the problem to her.  Then a celebrity dies and the media gets interested.  Another overdose victim shows up, but this time the woman has been systematically beaten and all identifying features removed.  The evidence doesn't add up; Simms' superiors seem to be obstructing her investigation; and the one person she can't afford to associate with is the one man who can help: Fenimore.  Everyone Lies is by A D Garrett, which is the pen name for writing duo Margaret Murphy (founder member of the Murder Squad and former Chair of the CWA) and Professor Dave Barclay a world-renowned forensics expert.  Everyone Lies is due to be published in June 2013.

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