Monday 31 July 2017

Books to look forward to from Hodder & Stoughton and Mulholland Books

July 2017

A shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course. But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for. When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.  Sleeping in the Ground is by Peter Robinson

Scotland, 1934. Aristocratic private detective Dandy Gilver arrives at Castle Bewer, at midsummer, to solve the tangled mystery of a missing man, a lost ruby and a family curse. The Bewer family's latest wheeze to keep the wolf from the door is turning the castle keep into a theatre. While a motley band of players rehearse Macbeth, the Bewers themselves prepare lectures, their faithful servants set up a tearoom, and the guest wings fill with rich American ladies seeking. Meanwhile, Dandy and her sidekick Alec Osborne begin to unravel the many secrets of the Bewers and find that, despite the witches, murders and ghosts onstage, it's behind the scenes where the darkest deeds are done.  Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is by Catriona McPherson.

The Smack is by Richard Lange. Rowan Petty is a conman down on his luck. Tinafey is a hooker who's tired of the streets. Their paths cross one snowy night in Reno, and they hit it off. An old friend of Petty's turns up with a rumour about a crew of American soldiers who smuggled two million dollars out of Afghanistan and stashed the money in an apartment in Los Angeles. He thinks Petty's just the guy to steal the cash. Petty thinks he hasn't got much to lose. He decides to drive down to L.A. to investigate. Tinafey decides to go with him.  These might be the last decisions they will ever make.

August 2017

Did You See Melody is by Sophie Hannah.  Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can't afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied - by a man and a teenage girl.  A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist - but Cara's fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can't possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder. Cara doesn't know what to trust: everything she's read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?

They say blood is thicker than water. That's not going to stop it being spilled. Life hasn't been easy for the Miller family. Finally, mum Babs has had one bit of luck. She plans to share the profits with her daughters. She thought they'd be pleased... But money always causes trouble, especially when it's desperately needed. Jen wants to make a better life for her kids. Tiff owes a lot of bad men a lot of money. And Dee is worried that her husband is getting back into the criminal life. As the sisters fall out, a gold bullion heist brings more opportunities - and many more dangers. None of them are giving up without a fight...  Blood Money is by Dreda Say Mitchell

The Zealots Bones is by D M Mark. From Hell, Hull and Halifax, may the Good Lord deliver us. In 1849, Hull is a city forgotten and abandoned; in the grip of a cholera outbreak that sees its poorest citizens cut down by the cartload. Into this world of flame and grief comes Mesach Stone, a former soldier, lost upon his way. He's been hired as bodyguard by a Canadian academic hunting for the bones of the apostle Simon the Zealot, rumoured to lie somewhere in Lincolnshire. Stone can't see why ancient bones are of interest in a world full of them...but then a woman he briefly loved is killed. As he investigates he realises that she is just one of many... and that some deaths cry out for vengeance. 

September 2017

The Svalbard archipelago, 1977, Norwegian territory, yet closer to the north pole. Russian engineer Yuri arrives on the last boat to the Soviet mining outpost of Pyramiden, as the Arctic sun disappears for the winter. Yuri still plays by Stalin-era rules: Don't trust anyone; Keep your head down; Look after number one. Yet when a co-worker is found dead deep in the mine, the circumstances appear strange. Against his better judgement, Yuri breaks his own rules, and decides to investigate. At the same time, he begins a stormy love affair with the volatile, brooding Anya. She has come to Pyramiden to meet someone who has not shown himself in three months, if he exists at all. While the whole island is frozen in twenty-four-hour darkness, Yuri enters a dangerous world of secrets and conflicting agendas, where even the people closest to you are not always what they seem.  The Reluctant Contact is by Stephen Burke.

November 2017

Ghosts of the Past is by Marco Vichi.  A family cloaked in secrets. A beguiling woman. A unique setting. Inspector Bordelli is back to solve one of the most difficult cases of his entire career in the sixth book in this atmospheric crime noir series - perfect for fans of Andrea Camilleri.Florence, 1967. It is winter, and one year has passed since the historic and devastating flood of the Arno, though the memories of that day still linger with the stains on the city walls.The anniversary of the flood brings with it a new case for Inspector Bordelli. A local wealthy industrialist - fiercely loved and respected by everyone he knew - has been found murdered in his grand villa in the Fiesole hills, and the killer has left no trace. With no obvious leads to follow, Bordelli is patiently retracing the victim's last days when he encounters an old friend from the war. Inviting the frail man into his home, Bordelli doesn't realise that it is this very friend will lead him ever closer to the secrets at the heart of the mystery . . .

The hunt is on for a serial killer in a thrilling festive crime novel.  It looks like a regular advent calendar. Until DC Becky Greene starts opening doors...and discovers a crime scene behind almost every one. The police hope it's a prank. Because if it isn't, a murderer has just surfaced - someone who's been killing for twenty years. But why now? And why has he sent it to this police station? As the country relaxes into festive cheer, Greene and DS Eddie Carmine must race against time to catch the killer. Because there are four doors left, and four murders will fill them...It's shaping up to be a deadly little Christmas.  The Deaths of December is by Susi Holliday.

Sunday 30 July 2017

The Voices of The Unquiet Dead

On Tuesday there will be no bread in Sarajevo.

I was a law student at the University of Ottawa when I first read those words. Together with other statements made by Bosnia’s representatives at the United Nations Security Council, the words filled my mind like dark and damaged poetry. The war had broken out in Bosnia, a republic of the former Yugoslavia, just as I had begun my study of human rights law. I was quickly to learn that despite the protections promised by international law to civilians under siege, every crime conceivable would soon be committed under the eyes of a culpable United Nations. The war in Bosnia ended in 1995, but it would be years before perpetrators of those crimes would be tried at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The testimony from those trials laid out in detail the nature of the war’s atrocities—statements that were agonising in the story that they told. These were the voices of the people of Bosnia. They spoke of genocide. Of expulsion, torture, concentration camps and mass rape. They described unimaginable suffering in the plainest of words. A boy being led away to a Srebrenica killing field asked his mother to retrieve his bag—a bag soldiers had tossed aside. A husband missing his wife remembered the beauty of the life they had built together. Another mother spoke of being unable to watch children holding hands on their way to school because her own hands were empty. Girls I interviewed years later told me of the fathers, uncles, brothers, and other family members murdered during the Srebrenica massacre.

Those voices and statements never left me. As a student, I spent months in the human rights centre and the government publications library, reading page after page that testified to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. As I conceived of the idea of writing The Unquiet Dead, it seemed nearly impossible to me that I could find a way to tell this story. Until I remembered those voices. I knew they needed to stand on their own in The Unquiet Dead.

I could and did write a dissertation on what happened during the war.
Or I could get to the heart of things in a single sentence.

On Tuesday there will be no bread in Sarajevo.

The Unquiet Dead by Asuma Zehanat Khan 
One man is dead.  But thousands were his victims.  Can a single murder avenge that of many?
Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto: the body of Christopher Drayton is found at the foot of the cliffs. Muslim Detective Esa Khattak, head of the Community Policing Unit, and his partner Rachel Getty are called in to investigate. As the secrets of Drayton’s role in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide of Bosnian Muslims surface, the harrowing significance of his death makes it difficult to remain objective. In a community haunted by the atrocities of war, anyone could be a suspect. And when the victim is a man with so many deaths to his name, could it be that justice has at long last been served?
Buy it from SHOTS A-Store

Friday 28 July 2017

The CWA 2017 Dagger Shortlists

The Crime Writers Association In-conjunction with sponsors Crimefest and The Hazchem Network presented the 2017 CWA Dagger Shortlists in London on Wednesday 26th July [Hosted by Waterstones Piccadilly].

The Full Results from last night can be viewed HERE or downloaded as a .pdf [right click and ‘save as’ to your hard drive].

Shots Magazine obtained permission from the CWA Dagger Liaison Officer Mike Stotter to film the event [it helps as he is also editor-in-chief of Shots Magazine……], so pour yourself a large Gin and watch the proceedings.

All the work the CWA Judges have shortlisted for the 2017 Dagger Awards are well worth exploring, especially prescient for our Summer Holiday Reads - and can all be purchased from the Shots Magazine online bookstore HERE using our search facility.

We present a selection of photographs from the CWA Gathering in London.

More information about Crimefest click Here and remember to book for next year’s event which runs 17-20 May in Bristol in 2018, and we’d urge you to book early as the event is at capacity.

To see what happened at Crimefest 2017 click Here and Here

The winners will be announced at the CWA Annual Dagger Awards on 26th October and we present all the shortlisted work that is in competition for 2017

The CWA Gold Dagger
The Beautiful Dead (Bantam Press) by Belinda Bauer
Dead Man’s Blues (Mantle) by Ray Celestin
The Dry (Little, Brown) by Jane Harper
Spook Street (John Murray) by Mick Herron
A Rising Man (Harvill Secker) by Abir Mukherjee
The Girl in Green (Faber & Faber) by Derek B. Miller

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
You Will Know Me (Picador) by Megan Abbott
The Killing Game (Bookouture) by J S Carol
We Go Around in the Night and Are Consumed by Fire (Myriad Editions) by Jules Grant
Redemption Road (Hodder & Stoughton) by John Hart
Spook Street (John Murray) by Mick Herron
The Constant Soldier (Mantle) by William Ryan

The Pictures (Point Blank) by Guy Bolton
Ragdoll (Trapeze) by Daniel Cole
Distress Signals (Corvus) by Catherine Ryan Howard
Sirens (Doubleday) by Joseph Knox
Good Me, Bad Me (Michael Joseph) by Ali Land
Tall Oaks (Twenty 7) by Chris Whitaker

A Dangerous Place (The History Press) by Simon Farquhar
Close But No Cigar: A True Story of Prison Life in Castro’s Cuba (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Stephen Purvis
The Scholl Case: The Deadly End of a Marriage (Text Publishing) by Anja Reich-Osang
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer (Bloomsbury Publishing) by Kate Summerscale
A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II (Jonathan Cape) by A. T. Williams
Another Day in the Death of America (Guardian Faber Publishing) by Gary Younge

The CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger
The Devil’s Feast (Fig Tree) by M. J. Carter
The Ashes of Berlin (No Exit Press) by Luke McCallin
The Long Drop (Harvill Secker) by Denise Mina
A Rising Man (Harvill Secker) by Abir Mukherjee
By Gaslight (Point Blank) by Steven Price
The City in Darkness (Constable) by Michael Russell

The CWA International Dagger
A Cold Death (4th Estate) by Antonio Manzini, Tr Antony Shugaar
A Fine Line (Bitter Lemon Press) by Gianrico Carofiglio, Tr Howard Curtis
Blood Wedding (MacLehose Press) by Pierre Lemaître, Tr Frank Wynne
Climate of Fear (Harvill Secker) by Fred Vargas, Tr Siân Reynolds
The Dying Detective  (Doubleday) by Leif G W Persson, Tr Neil Smith
The Legacy of the Bones (HarperCollins) by Delores Redondo, Tr Nick Casiter & Lorenza Garcia

The CWA Short Story Dagger
The Assassination by Leye Adenle in Sunshine Noir  (White Sun Books) Edited by AnnaMaria Alfieri & Michael Stanley
Murder and its Motives by Martin Edwards in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards
The Super Recogniser of Vik by Michael Ridpath in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards
What You Were Fighting For by James Sallis in The Highway Kind (Mulholland Books) Edited by Patrick Millikin
The Trials of Margaret by LC Tyler in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards
Snakeskin by Ovidia Yu in Sunshine Noir (White Sun Books) Edited by AnnaMaria Alfieri & Michael Stanley

DEBUT DAGGER sponsored by Orion Publishing Group
For the opening of a crime novel from a writer with no publishing contract.
Strange Fire by Sherry Rankin
The Reincarnation of Himmat Gupte by Neeraj Shah
Lost Boys by Spike Dawkins
Red Haven by Mette McLeod
Broken by Victoria Slotover

The winners of all the above CWA Daggers will be announced at the glittering Dagger Awards Gala Dinner to be held at the Grange City Hotel, London on 26 October. Ann Cleeves will be awarded the Diamond Dagger at the same occasion and Mari Hannah will be presented with the Dagger in the Library award. The after-dinner speaker will be Robert Thorogood, creator and writer of Death in Paradise, and master of ceremonies will be Barry Forshaw, the acclaimed crime fiction expert. Everyone is welcome to attend. For details and a booking form, please visit or email