Friday 6 December 2013

Books to Look Forward to from Little Brown

The Verdict is by Nick Stone and is due to be published in January 2014.  Terry Flynt is a struggling legal clerk, desperately trying to get promoted.  And then he is given the biggest opportunity of his career: to help defend a millionaire accused of murdering a woman in his hotel suite.  The only problem is that the accused man, Vernon James, turns out to be not only someone he knows, but someone he loathes.  This case could potentially make Terry's career, but how can he defend a former friend who betrayed him so badly?  With the trial date looming, Terry delves deeper into Vernon's life and is forced to confront secrets from their shared past that could have devastating consequences for them both.  For years, he has wanted to witness Vernon's downfall, but with so much at stake, how can Terry be sure that he is guilty?  And what choices must he make to ensure that justice is done?  Packed with twists, turns and an unforgettable trial scene, The Verdict is the most page-turning British legal thriller in many years.

In the summer of 1358, the physician Matthew Bartholomew returns to Cambridge to learn that his beloved sister is in mourning after the unexpected death of her husband, Oswald Stanmore.  Aware that his son has no interest in the cloth trade that made his fortune and reputation, Oswald has left the business to his widow, but a spate of burglaries in the town distracts Matthew from supporting Edith in her grief and attempting to keep the peace between her and her wayward son.  As well as the theft of irreplaceable items from Michaelhouse, which threatens its very survival, a new foundation, Winwick Hall, is causing consternation amongst Matthew's colleagues.  The founder is an impatient man determined that his name will grace the University's most prestigious college.  He has used his wealth to rush the construction of the hall, and his appointed Fellows have infiltrated the charitable Guild founded by Stanmore, in order to gain the support of Cambridge's most influential citizens on Winwick's behalf.  A perfect storm between the older establishments and the brash newcomers is brewing when the murder of a leading member of the Guild is soon followed by the death of one of Winwick's senior Fellows.  Assisting Brother Michael in investigating these fatalities leads Matthew into a web of suspicion, where conspiracy theories are rife but facts are scarce and where the pressure from the problems of his college and his family sets him on a path that could endanger his own future ...  Death of a Scholar is by Susanna Gregory and is due to be published in June 2014.

There is nothing unusual about billionaire Roarke supervising work on his new property - but when he takes a ceremonial swing at the first wall to be knocked down, he uncovers the body of a girl.  And then another - in fact, twelve dead girls concealed behind a false wall.  Luckily, for Roarke, he is married to the best police lieutenant in town.  Eve Dallas is determined to find the killer - especially when she discovers that the building used to be a sanctuary for delinquent teenagers and the parallel with her past as a young runaway hits hard.  As the girls' identities are slowly unravelled by the department's crack forensic team, Eve and her staunch sidekick Peabody get closer to the shocking truth...  Concealed in Death is by J D Robb and is due to be published in February 2014.

A hit man must be anonymous, amoral...and alone Victor is the face in the crowd you don't see, a perfect assassin with nothing to live for.  However, when an old friend turns to him for help, he finds he can't refuse.  For once, his objective isn't to kill, but to protect.  Hunted through the streets of London by ruthless enemies, Victor needs to be more than just a bodyguard...but his every move leads danger closer to the very person he's vowed to defend.  Better off Dead is by Tom Wood and is due to be published in April 2014.

In the summer of 1889, young Southern belle Florence Maybrick stood trial for the alleged arsenic poisoning of her much older husband, Liverpool cotton merchant James Maybrick.  'The Maybrick Mystery' had all the makings of a sensation: a pretty, flirtatious young girl; resentful, gossiping servants; rumours of gambling and debt; and torrid mutual infidelity.  The case cracked the varnish of Victorian respectability, shocking and exciting the public in equal measure as they clambered to read the latest revelations of Florence's past and glimpse her likeness in Madame Tussaud's.  Florence's fate was fiercely debated in the courtroom, on the front pages of the newspapers and in parlours and backyards across the country.  Did she poison her husband?  Was her previous infidelity proof of murderous intentions?  Was James' own habit of self-medicating to blame for his demise?  Did She Kill Him: A Victorian Tale of Deception, Adultery and Arsenic is by Kate Colquhoun and is due to be published in March 2014.

Face Off is edited by David Baldacci and is due to be published in June 2014.  It is an unprecedented collaboration with twenty-three of the world’s favourite crime writers bringing you original co-written short stories featuring their favourite series characters.  Face Off includes the first meeting of Ian Rankin’s Rebus and Peter James’s Roy Grace; a case for Dennis Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie and Michael Connolly’s Harry Bosch, as well as a page turning mystery staring Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Joseph Finder’s Nick Heller.

Zurich, 1983.  A Roma gypsy lies dead in front of a smart watchmaker's window.  His sacrifice will lead to the discovery of a remarkable treasure, kept hidden by the Nazis for decades.  But this mysterious artefact is much more than it seems - and its power will not be contained...  Widowed physicist Matthias von Holindt has been lost in his own world for far too long.  But when his estranged father is implicated in the murder, Matthias is forced on a desperate hunt for the truth.  Fighting against a secret, sinister cabal, he must race to save the artefact from their evil grasp.  But the quest will have profound and devastating consequences for Matthias himself - and threaten those he loves the most.  Heart-stopping adventure, rich history and a deep, hidden mystery The Stolen is by T S Learner and is due to be published in April 2014.
Stuart Nicklin is the most dangerous killer Tom Thorne has ever put away.  When he
announces that he wants to reveal the whereabouts of one of his earliest victims  and that he wants the cop that caught him to be there when he does it, it becomes clear that Thorne’s life is about to become seriously unpleasant.  Thorne is forced to accompany Nicklin to a remote island off the Welsh coast that is cut off from the mainland in every sense.  Shrouded by myth and legend, it is said to be the resting place for of 20,000 saints and as Thorne and his team search for bones that are somewhat more recent,  it becomes clear that Nicklin motives are far from altruistic.  The twisted scheme of a dangerous and manipulative psychopath will result in many more victims and will leave Tom Thorne with the most terrible choice he has ever had to make.  The Bones Beneath is by Mark Billingham and is due to be published in May 2014.

Joe Parker is Manchester's top criminal defence lawyer and Sam Parker - his brother - is a brilliant detective with the Greater Manchester Police force.  Together they must solve a puzzling case that is chilling Manchester to the bone...Danger sometimes comes in the most unexpected guises.  The Death Collector is charming, sophisticated and intelligent, but he likes to dominate women, to make them give themselves to him completely; to surrender their dignity and their lives.  He's a collector of beautiful things, so once he traps them he'll never let them go.  Joe is drawn into the Death Collector's world when he becomes involved in a supposed miscarriage of justice, and when the case becomes dangerous, Sam is the first person he turns to.  In this gripping thriller, danger lurks for not only the Parker brothers, but also those closest to them.  The Death Collector is by Neil White and is due to be published in June 2014.
Stranded is by Alex Kava and is due to be published in February 2014.  For decades, tired travellers have stopped at rest areas on America's epic highways to rest, refuel and get a bite to eat, but little do they know that one man's rest stop is another's hunting ground.  For years the defenceless, the weary and the stranded have been disappearing along the highways and byways, vanishing without a trace.  When FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell and her partner, Tully, discover the remains of a young woman in a highway ditch, the one clue left behind is a map that will send Maggie and Tully on a frantic hunt crisscrossing the country to stop a madman before he kills again.  As the body count rises and Maggie races against the clock to unmask the monster who's terrorising the nation's highways, she turns for help to a former foe who seems to have an uncanny knack for guessing what the killer's next move will be.  But as she gets closer to finding the killer, it becomes eerily clear that Maggie is the ultimate target.

 You’re Mine Now is by Hans Koppel and is due to be published in January 2014.  Anna and Magnus have a happy marriage, but when, in a moment of madness, Anna has a brief fling with Erik, a man she met at a work conference, she lives to regret more than just her infidelity.  Erik is a disturbed individual who goes to extreme lengths to get Anna's attention, including kidnapping her ten-year-old daughter and attacking her mother.  Before she knows it, Anna's life is in the grip of this psychopathic stalker and she must try desperately to escape his clutches before it's too late...

Trials of Passion is by Lisa Appignanesi and is due to be published in April 2014.  This book journeys into the heart of dark passions and the crimes they impel.  When passion is in the picture, what is criminal, what sane, what mad or simply bad?  Brighton, 1870: A well-respected spinster infuses chocolate creams with strychnine in order to murder her 'lover's' wife.  Paris, 1880: A popular performer stalks her betraying lover through the streets of the city for weeks and finally takes aim.  New York, 1906: A millionaire shoots dead a prominent architect in full view of a theatre audience.  Through court and asylum records, letters and newspaper accounts, this book brings to life a period when the psychiatric professions were consolidating their hold on our understanding of what is human.  An increasingly popular press allowed the public unprecedented insight into accounts of transgressive sexuality, savage jealousy and forbidden desires.  Trials of Passion  teases out the vagaries of passion and the clashes between the law and the clinic as they stumble towards a (sometimes-reviled) collaboration.  Sexual etiquette and class roles, attitudes to love, madness and gender, notions of respectability and honour, insanity and lunacy, all are at play in that vital forum in which public opinion is shaped - the theatre of the courtroom.

The Killer Next Door is by Alex Marwood and is due to be published in June 2014.  No. 23 has a secret.  In this gloomy, bedsit-riddled South London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, a horrifying collection quietly waits to be discovered.  Yet all six residents have something to hide.  Collette is on the run from her ex-boss; Cher is an underage children's home escapee; lonely Thomas tries to make friends with his neighbours; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a 'quiet man' nobody sees try to keep themselves hidden.  And there for them all is Vesta, a woman who knows everything that goes on in the house - or thought she did.  Then in the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes the six into an uneasy alliance.  But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim...As a cloying heat wave suffocates the city, events build to an electrifying climax in this brilliantly constructed, tightly paced thriller.

2014: The Commonwealth Games is coming to Glasgow and security is extra tight, particularly after a mysterious bomb explodes in nearby rural Stirlingshire.  As the opening ceremony for the Games draws ever closer, the police desperately seek the culprits.  But Detective Superintendent Lorimer has other concerns on his mind.  One is a beautiful red-haired woman from his past whose husband dies suddenly on his watch.  Then there is the body of a young woman found dumped in countryside just south of the city who is proving impossible to identify.  Elsewhere in the city people prepare for the events in their own way, whether for financial gain or to welcome home visitors from overseas.  And, hiding behind false identities, are those who pose a terrible threat not just to the Games but also to the very fabric of society.  Alex Gray's stunning new Lorimer novel, set against the backdrop of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, brings the vibrant city to life in a race to stop the greatest threat the city has ever known.  The Bird Did Not Sing is by Alex Gray and is due to be published in March 2014.

'You will never find me.’  Thorkild Christensen stares down at his murdered wife, Karen, and realises he knows almost nothing about her.  How did she fill her days?  Where did she disappear to every Thursday?  Lead investigator Detective Thea Krogh is determined to find out.  And then a second woman is shot dead.  There is seemingly nothing to link the two victims, and the police move on, desperate for a lead.  But someone out there has a deadly secret.  And as events begin to play out - masterminded by a strange and bewitching figure - all of their worlds are about to come crashing down.  The Preacher is by Sander Jakobsen and is due to be published in June 2014.

A lone man, Peanut, escapes a labour camp in the dead of night, fleeing across the winter desert of north-west China.  Two decades earlier, he was a spy for the British; now Peanut must disappear on Beijing's surveillance-blanketed streets.  Desperate and ruthless, he reaches out to his one-time MI6 paymasters via crusading journalist Philip Mangan, offering military secrets in return for extraction.  But the secrets prove more valuable than Peanut or Mangan could ever have known... and not only to the British.  Night Heron is the first of a trilogy of spy novels by Adam Brookes and is due to be published in May 2014.

 In the crisp, early morning hours, the police are called to a suspected murder at a farm outside a small English village.  A beautiful young woman has been found dead, blood all over the cottage she lives in.  At the same time, police respond to a reported female suicide, where a car has fallen into a local quarry.  As DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather the evidence, they discover a link between these two women, a link which has sealed their dreadful fate one cold night, under a silent moon.  Told in a unique way, using source documents that allow readers to interpret the evidence alongside DCI Louisa Smith and her team, Under a Silent Moon is an unsettling and compulsively readable novel that will keep you gripped until the very last page.  Under a Silent Moon is by Elizabeth Haynes and is due to be published in April 2014.

Journey Under the Midnight Sun is by Keigo Higashino and is due to be published in May
2014.  When a man is found murdered in an abandoned building in Osaka in 1973, unflappable detective Sasagaki is assigned to the case.  He begins to piece together the connection of two young people who are inextricably linked to the crime; the dark, taciturn son of the victim and the unexpectedly captivating daughter of the main suspect.  Over the next twenty years, we follow their lives as Sasagaki pursues the case - which remains unsolved - to the point of obsession. 

The old Corpse Bridge is the route taken for centuries by mourners from villages on the western fringes of Derbyshire to a burial ground across the River Dove, now absorbed into the landscaped parkland of a stately home.  When Earl Manby, the landowner, announces plans to deconsecrate the burial ground to turn it into a car park for his holiday cottages, bodies begin to appear once again on the road to the Corpse Bridge.  Is there a connection with the Earl's plans?  Or worse, is there a terrifying serial killer at work?  Back in his job after the traumatic events of previous months, Detective Sergeant Ben Cooper knows that he must unravel the mystery of the Corpse Bridge if he's going to be able to move on with his life.  As the pressure builds, Ben doesn't know whom he can trust and, when the case reaches breaking point, he has to make a call that could put everything - and everyone - at risk...  The Corpse Bridge is by Stephen Booth and is due to be published in June 2014.

In 1665, England is facing war with the Dutch and the capital is awash with rumours of conspiracy and sedition.  These are more frenetic than normal because of the recent sinking in the Thames of one of the largest ships in the navy - a disastrous tragedy that could very well have been caused by sabotage.  As an experienced investigator, Thomas Chaloner knows that there are very few grains of truth in the shifting sands of the rumour-mill, but the loss of such an important warship and the murder of Paul Ferine, a Groom of the Robes, in a brothel favoured by the elite of the Palace of White Hall makes him scent a whiff of genuine treason.  As well as investigating the murder, Chaloner is charged with tracking down the leaders of a fanatical sect known as the Fifth Monarchists.  He suspects his masters are not particularly concerned by their amateur antics, and that the order for him to infiltrate the group is intended to distract him from uncovering some unsavoury facts about Ferine and his courtly associates.  Then, as he comes to know more about the Fifth Monarchists and their meetings on High Holborn, he discovers a puzzling number of connections - to both Ferine's murder and those involved with the defence of the realm.  Connections that he must disentangle before it is too late to save the country.  Murder on High Holborn is by Susanna Gregory and is due to be published in January 2014.

The Stone Wife is by Peter Lovesey and is due to be published in April 2014.  Just as the bidding gets exciting in a Bath auction house, three armed men stage a hold-up and attempt to steal Lot 129, a medieval carving of the Wife of Bath.  The highest bidder, appalled to have the prize snatched away, tries to stop them and is shot dead.  Peter Diamond, head of the murder squad, soon finds himself sharing an office with the stone wife - until he is ejected.  To his extreme annoyance, the lump of stone appears to exert a malign influence over him and his investigation.  Refusing to be beaten, he rallies his team and begins finding suspects and motives.  The case demands that someone goes undercover.  The dangerous mission falls to Sergeant Ingeborg Smith, reverting to her journalist persona to get the confidence of a wealthy local criminal through his pop star girlfriend.  And soon, murder makes a reappearance ...

The First Horseman is by D K Wilson and is due to be published in June 2014.  1536. In the corrupt heart of Tudor London a killer waits in the shadows...The Real Crime Before dawn on a misty November morning in 1536, prominent mercer Robert Packington was gunned down as he crossed Cheapside on his way to early morning mass.  It was the first assassination by handgun in the history of the capital and subsequently shook the city to its core.  The identity of his assassin has remained a mystery.  Our Story Thomas Treviot is a young London goldsmith and a close family friend of Robert Packington.  Through his own upstanding social connections - and some less upstanding acquaintances he has made along the way -, Thomas launches a dramatic investigation into Packington's death.  As Thomas searches for revenge, he must travel from the golden heart of merchant London, to the straw-covered backstreets of London's poorest districts before reaching the country's seat of power: the court of King Henry VIII.  Before long, he is drawn into a dark conspiracy beyond his wildest imaginings and claiming justice for his friend starts to look impossible.  Especially when Thomas realises that Robert wasn't the man he thought he knew...In the first of a new series investigating real unsolved Tudor crimes, D. K. Wilson brings the streets of Tudor London to spectacular life as Thomas Treviot faces a fight to bring the truth to light in the corrupt world of Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII.

A grisly find ...A year on from the mysterious disappearance of Jenny Bercival, DI Wesley Peterson is called in when the body of a strangled woman is found floating out to sea in a dinghy.  The discovery mars the festivities of the Palkin Festival, held each year to celebrate the life of John Palkin, a fourteenth century Mayor of Tradmouth who made his fortune from trade and piracy.  And now it seems like death and mystery have returned to haunt the town.  A faceless enemy ...Could there be a link between the two women?  One missing, one brutally murdered?  And is there a connection to a fantasy website called Shipworld which features Palkin as a supernatural hero with a sinister, faceless nemesis called the Shroud Maker?  Will history repeat itself once again?  When archaeologist Neil Watson makes a grim discovery on the site of Palkin's warehouse, it looks as if history might have inspired the killer.  And it is only by delving into the past that Wesley comes to learn the truth ...a truth that will bring mortal danger in its wake.  The Shroud Maker is by Kate Ellis and is due to be published in February 2014.

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