Monday 28 April 2014

Books to Look Forward to from Mulholland and Hodder and Stoughton

Banks is back and now he’s the one being hunted.  When two boys vanish under mysterious circumstances, the local community is filled with unease.  And when a caravan belonging to one of the youths is burned to the ground, and a bloodstain is discovered in a disused World War Two hangar nearby, things quickly become much more sinister.  Assigned to the case, DCI Banks and his team are baffled by the mystery laid out before them.  But when a motor accident throws up a gruesome discovery, the investigation spins into a higher gear - and in another direction.  As Banks and his team struggle desperately to find the missing boy who holds the key to the puzzle, they find themselves in a race against time where it's their turn to become the prey ... Abattoir Blues is the twenty-second novel in the DCI Banks series by Peter Robinson and is due to be published in July 2014.

Oswald de Lacy was never meant to be the Lord of Somerhill Manor.  Despatched to a monastery at the age of seven, sent back at seventeen when his father and two older brothers are killed by the Plague, Oswald has no experience of running an estate.  He finds the years of pestilence and neglect have changed the old place dramatically, not to mention the attitude of the surviving peasants.  Yet some things never change.  Oswald's mother remains the powerful matriarch of the family, and his sister Clemence simmers in the background, dangerous and unmarried.  Before he can do anything, Oswald is confronted by the shocking death of a young woman, Alison Starvecrow.  The ambitious village priest claims that Alison was killed by a band of demonic dog-headed men.  Oswald is certain this is nonsense, but proving it - by finding the real murderer - is quite a different matter.  Every step he takes seems to lead Oswald deeper into a dark maze of political intrigue, family secrets, and violent strife.  And then the body of another girl is found.  SD Sykes brilliantly evokes the landscape and people of medieval Kent in this thrillingly suspenseful debut entitled The Plague.  The Plague is due to be published in October 2014.
In the wake of a failed attack on America's premier theme park, which put his own daughter at risk, Special Forces operator Jad Bell is sent after the man who arranged it.  But it soon becomes clear that capturing him is just the start: his employer, known only as the Architect, has already set something far worse in motion.  At the centre of it all are two women deep under cover.  One is an American spy whose intel is the only hope they have, but who has lived a lie for so long she cannot be trusted.  And the other is a woman as beautiful as she is deadly, already living in the States, and poised to execute the Architect's plans at a moment's notice.  The stakes are even higher, the clock is ticking, and this time the enemies are hiding in plain sight...  Bravo is by Greg Rucka and is due to be published by July 2014.

Hunter-Killer is by Chris Ryan and is due to be published in September 2014.  Following a suicide bombing in central London, series SAS hero Danny Black is recruited to be part of an assassination squad, directed by a joint MI5/MI6/CIA committee and tasked with hunting down and killing the terrorist cells believed to be planning further atrocities.  Early leads take them to a North London mosque and a one-armed hate cleric, whom the Home Secretary repeatedly tries and fails to expel from the country, a sleazy Saudi prince living in a Park Lane Hotel - on the surface a devout Muslim, he devotes himself to booze, drugs and hookers as soon as his family are out of the building - and a grizzled ex-Regiment guy who is spreading rumours that Diana was assassinated by the SAS in the tunnel in Paris because of her Arab lover.  The trail of clues takes Danny to a training camp in the Yemen, but just as he has the enemy in his sights, he discovers that they are somehow one step ahead of him, and he begins to suspect that they are being topped off by someone close to home.

The Secret Place is by Tana French and is due to be published in August 2014.  The photo shows a boy who was murdered a year ago.  The caption says, “I know who killed him”.  Detective Stephen Moran hasn't seen Holly Mackey since she was a nine-year-old witness to the events of Faithful Place.  Now she's sixteen and she's shown up outside his squad room, with a photograph and a story.  Even in her exclusive boarding school, in the graceful golden world that Stephen has always longed for, bad things happen and people have secrets.  The previous year, Christopher Harper, from the neighbouring boys' school, was found murdered on the grounds.  And today, in the Secret Place - the school noticeboard where girls can pin up their secrets anonymously - Holly found the card.  Solving this case could take Stephen onto the Murder squad.  But to get that solved, he will have to work with Detective Antoinette Conway - tough, prickly, an outsider, everything Stephen doesn't want in a partner.  And he will have to find a way into the strange, charged, mysterious world that Holly and her three closest friends inhabit and disentangle the truth from their knot of secrets, even as he starts to suspect that the truth might be something he doesn't want to hear.

Judged: As he watches, her body drifts below the water's surface, forever altered.  Before he disposes of each victim, he takes a trophy.  It's a sign of his power, and a warning - to the one destined to suffer most of all...Condemned In Grizzly Falls, Montana, Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli are struggling with a new commander and a department in the midst of upheaval.  It's the worst possible time for a homicide.  A body has been found, missing a finger.  Alvarez hopes this means a murderer with a personal grudge, not a madman.  But then a second body turns up...Executed: As the clues begin pointing toward a suspect, Pescoli's unease grows.  She senses there's more to this case than others believe.  A killer has made his way to Grizzly Falls, ready to fulfil a vengeance years in the making.  And Pescoli must find the target of his wrath - or die trying...  Deserves to Die is by Lisa Jackson and is due to be published in July 2014.

Havana in the 1850s is a city as dangerous as it is exotic.  The murder of a humble night watchman at the British Consulate seems to worry neither the Consul nor the police.  But one person cared for the old man.  The enigmatic courtesan Leonarda will not rest until she understands the mystery of his death.  In wintry England, George Backhouse is plucked from obscurity in the Foreign Office and given an unexpected promotion.  His task: to travel to Cuba and take a stand against the illegal slave trade still flourishing there.  But Havana is a tinderbox of intrigue.  As the great powers of the region conspire against each other with increasing ruthlessness for control of the island, Backhouse comes to see that the most innocent of actions could spark a devastating war.  To protect their interests, the powers-that-be in Whitehall are prepared to turn a blind eye to many things. Leonarda will not.  But what of George Backhouse?  Havana Sleeping is by Martin Davies and is due to be published in September 2014.

Who can be trusted, when betrayal is a way of life?  Danny Curnow used to run agents and informers during the Troubles.  Now he lives in quiet isolation in northern France.  The covert world of deception and betrayal he left behind came close to destroying him.  Fifteen years later, when the call comes from his old boss, the stakes are higher, the risks are greater, and if he wants to survive, Danny will have to prove that he has not softened – that he is just as hard and ruthless as before.  Vagabond is by Gerald Seymour and is due to be published in July 2014.

Vendetta is by Dreda Say Mitchell and is due to be published in November 2014.  'If you seek revenge, dig two graves.’  Undercover cop John 'Mac' MacDonagh has been living a double life, infiltrating the network of Reuben Volk, one of London's deadliest criminals.  But the brief definitely didn't include falling in love with a member of Volk's gang: the beautiful and enigmatic Elena Romanov.  Now Elena has been murdered.  Waking in his hotel to discover her battered body in the next room, Mac is left with no clue as to who killed her - or why.  In fact, all the evidence suggests that it was Mac who killed her, but he can't believe that.  Or can he?  With the police on his tail he enters into a race against time.  All he knows is that something is happening at 11pm, something that could help him to uncover the truth.  Was Mac framed?  Or does he really have a dead woman's blood on his hands?

White Lies is by Stephen leather and is due to be published in August 2014.  Dan 'Spider' Shepherd is used to putting his life on the line - for his friends and for his job with MI5.  So when one of his former apprentices is kidnapped in the badlands of Pakistan, Shepherd doesn't hesitate to join a rescue mission.  But when the rescue plan goes horribly wrong, Shepherd ends up in the hands of al-Qaeda terrorists.  His SAS training is of little help as his captors beat and torture him.  Shepherd's MI5 controller Charlotte Button is determined to get her man out of harm's way, but to do that she's going to have to break all the rules.  Her only hope is to bring in America's finest - the elite SEALs who carried out Operation Neptune Spear - in a do-or-die operation to rescue the captives.  White Lies is a fast paced, seat-of-your-pants thriller, which will have you, hooked from the first page until the last.
The Competition is by Marcia Clark and is due to be published in July 2014.  It's every parent's worst nightmare.  A Columbine-style massacre in a crowded high school hall has left the community shocked to the core.  Two students are identified as the killers.  Both are dead, believed to have committed a mutual suicide.  But in the aftermath, as LA Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller dig deeper, they realise that the pieces don't add up.  Did the shooters really kill themselves?  Or are they still on the loose?  When someone starts dropping clues that another horrific crime is in the works, Rachel and Bailey scramble desperately to identify their suspects.  The question now isn't whether they plan to kill again.  It's whether they can be stopped...

 The Suicide Club is a First World War spy thriller set in Occupied Belgium in 1917, and tells the dark, disturbing and untold story of the shadow espionage battle fought behind the lines.  The Suicide Club is by Andrew Williams and is due to be published in November 2014.  August 1917.  Europe is mired in bloody stalemate at Passchendaele.  Soldier spy Sandy Innes is not best pleased to be summoned from his undercover work in Belgium and seconded to British Army Headquarters.  Field Marshal Haig's intelligence chief wants Innes's expertise - and access to his spy network - in preparation for the Big Push he hopes will win the war by Christmas.  But Innes's boss, the wily Mansfield Cumming, head of the new Secret Service, has his own reasons for securing Innes a place on Haig's Staff - there are, he tells Innes, 'concerns' in government about the army's intelligence operation.  Innes deduces that it must be a great deal more serious than that if Cumming's political masters want him to spy on the senior officers of their own army.  Behind the lines at H.Q., his new boss, Brigadier General Charteris, largely ignores Innes’s briefings on the German defences in Belgium.  Instead he discovers he is to be part of an advance assault group that will prepare the way for the British 'breakthrough'.  The other Intelligence Officers have a name for the group: 'The Suicide Club'.  It is clear they have little faith in Charteris and his schemes, and are deeply suspicious of the advice he is offering Haig.  They tell Innes that one of their number questioned the integrity of Charteris's intelligence reports, but died in mysterious circumstances before he could take it further.  As Innes digs deeper, he discovers that the dead man had begun to investigate Charteris's prized spy network in Belgium, Operation Faust.  In what becomes a race against time, Innes must uncover a traitor, protect his own network, and survive membership of The Suicide Club.

Confessions is by Kanae Minato and is due to be published in August 2014.  When Yuko Moriguchi's four-year-old daughter died in the middle school where she teaches, everyone thought it was a tragic accident.  It's the last day of term, and Yuko's last day at work.  She tells her students that she has resigned because of what happened - but not for the reasons they think.  Her daughter didn't die in an accident.  Her daughter was killed by two people in the class. And before she leaves, she has a lesson to teach...But revenge has a way of spinning out of control, and Yuko's last lecture is only the start of the story.  In this bestselling Japanese thriller of love, despair and murder, everyone has a confession to make, and no one will escape unharmed.
On the rain-drenched, wave-lashed, wind-battered Banffshire coast, tiny fishing villages perch on ledges which would make a seagull think twice and crumbly mansions cling to crumblier cliff tops while, out in the bay, the herring drifters brave the storms to catch their silver darlings.  It's nowhere for a child of gentle Northamptonshire to spend Christmas.  But when odd things start to turn up in barrels of fish - with a strong whiff of murder most foul - that's exactly where Dandy Gilver finds herself.  Enlisted to investigate, she and her trusty cohort Alec Osborne are soon swept up in the fisherfolk's wedding season as well as the mystery.  Between age-old traditions and brand-new horrors, Dandy must think the unthinkable to solve her grisliest case yet.  Dandy Gilver and the Reek of Red Herrings is by Catriona McPherson and is due to be published in July 2014.

Also due to be published is a currently untitled Ali Knight novel and is due to be published in November 2014.  Shy and gentle Darren Sears was only eleven when his sister Jodie and six other girls disappeared, presumed murdered by notorious killer Alicia Duvall.  Ten years later, Darren's mother, now sick with cancer, demands Alicia reveal where Jodie's remains are, but her plea ends in humiliation and failure.  Desperate to alleviate his mum's heartbreak, Darren gets a job as a cleaner in the psychiatric hospital where Alicia is committed, hoping he can find out the truth.  But trying to play a serial killer is a very dangerous game... 

There is also a currently untitled book by Fergus McNeill.  Nigel never meant for it to happen.  At first, he just wanted to be Matt's friend.  But when he discovers he can hear what is going on in the flat below him, his fascination with his new neighbour drifts into obsession.  Rearranging his furniture to recreate the layout of the rooms downstairs.  Buying the same clothes, going through his post, his things.  Becoming Matt without him ever knowing.  And it would have been all right, if Matt hadn't brought the girl home.  When things spiral out of control, Detective Inspector Harland has to unravel the disturbing truth.  But there's far more to the case than meets the eye . 

Hayes Bannock is a Texas Ranger, a natural "lawman" who is tough, taciturn, perceptive, and guarded.  Several years ago, his life was derailed by a tragic chain of events, including the death of his wife in a car accident.  Now he's trying to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, Georgia, who has been living with his in-laws for the past four years.  Judge Emory Charbonneau is the presiding judge at Georgia Bannock's custody hearing.  Smart and ambitious, she wants to keep the bench to which she was temporarily appointed, which means winning the upcoming election.  But just as she is about to render her decision in Georgia's custody hearing, a man dressed in painter's coveralls and a mask barges into the courtroom and opens fire.  A beloved bailiff is fatally shot and Hayes rushes to Emory, shielding her with his own body and saving her life -- sparking a dangerous attraction between the two.  A chase ensues, and the shooter is eventually cornered and killed.  But after seeing the dead body in the morgue, Hayes realizes that the man killed was not the same man who opened fire in the judge's courtroom.  The actual shooter is still at large and Emory's life is still in danger.  Who was the shooter's actual target and why?  As Hayes and Emory attempt to track him down, they realize that everyone in the courthouse that day is a suspect, and that nobody is who they seem.  Mean Streak is by Sandra Brown and is due to be published in September 2014.

Death in The Tuscan Hills is by Marco Vichi and is due to be published in October 2014.  Spring, 1967.  The trail of tragedy and destruction that followed the previous winter's flood seems to have died down; Florence is beginning to recover.  But Inspector Bordelli does not feel the same sense of relief - he has not had a moment's peace since his investigation of a young boy's murder went disastrously wrong.  Unsettled and embittered, Bordelli resigns from the force and leaves the city.  He could not continue to work as a policeman while the perpetrators of such a terrible crime were still at large.  Now, in the solitude of his new home in the Tuscan hills, he spends his days cooking, going for long walks, and learning to grow his own vegetables.  But the thought of that case - of justice not served - is constantly with him.  Until fate, in which he has never believed, unexpectedly offers him the chance of retribution.

Everyone keeps telling me I have to move on.  And so here I am, walking down the road where he died, trying to remember him the right way.  A year after her husband Zach's death, Lizzie goes to lay flowers where his fatal accident took place.  As she makes her way along the motorway, she thinks about their life together.  She wonders whether she has changed since Zach died.  She wonders if she will ever feel whole again.  At last she reaches the spot.  And there, tied to a tree, is a bunch of lilies.  The flowers are addressed to her husband.  Someone has been there before her.  Lizzie loved Zach.  She really did.  But she's starting to realise she didn't really know him.  Or what he was capable of ...  Remember Me This Way is by Sabine Durrant and is due to be published in July 2014.

After a hazardous stint in the US law enforcement, Valentine Pescatore is trying to start over in Buenos Aires.  But everything changes when an old friend reappears – just before a terrorist attack.  A call placed to Pescatore’s phone makes him a suspect, and he knows there is only one possible connection.  To clear his name, he must join agents from three countries to track the suspected terrorist who was once his closest confidant.  From the jungles of South America to the streets of Paris, from the mansions of the Spanish Riviera to the compounds of Baghdad The Convert’s Song leads Pescatore on a high-speed chase to stop the deadly convert before he strikes again.  The Convert’s Song is by Sebastian Rotella and is due to be published in December 2014.

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