Thursday 28 November 2019

Books to Look Forward to from PanMacmillan

January 2020

Dora O'Brien had a good start in life, but things went bad when she began to mix with the wrong company. Pregnant by her gangster lover, she found herself on the streets and then in the grips of a bent copper called Donny Maguire.  When her daughter Angel is born, Dora is already under the influence of drink and drugs, and handed around to Donny's mates. Growing up in the shadow of her mother's abusive relationship, Angel is nothing like her mother, but when matters turn murderous, Angel is forced to grow up fast and survival becomes the name of the game.  For some, being on the wrong side of the law is the safest place to be . . . No one uncovers the underworld like Jessie Keane.  The Knock is by Jessie Keane.

An exiled agent. A growing threat. A clandestine war.  The world is changing beyond recognition.  Radical extremists are rising and seek to enforce their ideology globally.  Governments, the military and intelligence agencies are being outmanoeuvred at every step. Borders are breaking down. Those in power are puppets.  The old rules are obsolete. To fight this war a new doctrine is needed.  In a world where nothing is at it seems, where trust is gone, one man will make the difference.  Meet Ex-MI6 agent and man in exile, Scott Pearce.  It's time to burn the espionage rulebook.  Watch Pearce light the fire.  Black 13 is by Adam Hamdy.

February 2020

A Window Breaks is by C M Ewan.  If your family was targeted in the middle of the night, what would you do?  You are asleep. A noise wakes you.  You stir, unsure why, and turn to your partner.  Then you hear it.  Glass. Crunching underfoot.  Your worst fears are about to be realized.  Someone is inside your home.  Your choices are limited.  You can run. Or stay and fight.   What would you do?  If your family was targeted in the middle of the night, what would you do?  You are asleep. A noise wakes you.  You stir, unsure why, and turn to your partner.  Then you hear it.  Glass. Crunching underfoot.  Your worst fears are about to be realized.  Someone is inside your home.  Your choices are limited.  You can run. Or stay and fight. What would you do?

Babes in the Wood is by Graham Bartlett with Peter James takes us to the heart of a murder case that shocked the nation. Both gripping police procedural and an insight into the motivations of a truly evil man, it is a unique account of what became a thirty-two year fight for justice. nnOn 9 October 1986, nine-year-olds Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway went out to play on their Brighton estate. They would never return home; their bodies discovered the next day concealed in a small clearing in a local park. This devastating crime rocked their close-knit community and the whole country.  Following the investigation moment by moment, drawing on exclusive interviews with officers charged with catching the killer, former senior detective Graham Bartlett and bestselling author Peter James tell the compelling inside story of the murder hunt and the arrest of local man Russell Bishop. The trial that followed was one of the most infamous in the history of Brighton policing - a shock result sees Bishop walk free. 'Not guilty.'   Three years later, Graham is working as a junior detective in Brighton CID. A seven year old girl is kidnapped and found wandering naked on the freezing South Downs. When Bishop's name comes up as a suspect, it's clear history had come close to repeating itself. With the law and science against them, the police are frustrated that, still, he would escape justice for the double murder.   Decades later detectives are handed a surprise second chance. Can Bishop finally be made to answer for his horrendous crimes?

The crazy girls, they called them - or at least, Elizabeth liked to think they did. As a teenager in the late 1970s, she was clever, overweight and a perfect victim for the bullies. Then Rachel and her family arrived in town and, for Elizabeth, it was as if a light had been switched on. She was drawn to the bright and beautiful Rachel like a moth to a flame.  Rachel had her own reasons for wanting Elizabeth as a friend, and although their relationship was far from equal, Elizabeth would do anything for Rachel.Then the first body was discovered.  Twenty years on, Elizabeth wants nothing more than to keep the secrets of her teenage years where they belong: in the past. But another body has been found, and she can't keep running from what happened.  Can she?  Our Dark Secret is by Jenny Quintana

March 2020

You are not Alone is by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.  Shay Miller has three strikes against her: no job, no apartment, no love in her life. But when she witnesses a perfectly normal looking young woman about her age make the chilling decision to leap in front of an on going subway train, Shay realizes she could end up in the same spiral. She is intrigued by a group of women who seem to have it all together, and they invite her with the promise: "You are not alone." Why not align herself with the glamorous and seductive Moore sisters, Cassandra and Jane? They seem to have beaten back their demons, and made a life on their own terms - a life most people can only ever envy. They are everything Shay aspires to be, and they seem to have the keys to getting exactly what they want.  As Shay is pulled deeper and deeper under the spell of the Moore sisters, she finds her life getting better and better. But what price does she have to pay? What do Cassandra and Jane want from her? And what secrets do they, and Shay, have that will come to a deadly confrontation?  You are not alone: Is it a promise? Or a threat?

April 2020

Vigata is bustling as the new filming location for a Swedish television series set in 1950. In the production frenzy, the director asks the locals to track down movies and vintage photos to faithfully recreate the air of Vigata at that time. Meanwhile, Montalbano is grappling with a double mystery, one that emerges from the past and another that leads him into the future . . .  Engineer Ernesto Sabatello, rummaging in the attic of his house, finds some films shot by his father between 1958 and 1963, always on the same day, 27 March, and always the same shot: the outside wall of a country house. Montalbano hears the story and, intrigued, begins to investigate its meaning. Meanwhile, a middle school is threatened by a group of armed men, and a closer look at the case finds Montalbano looking into the students themselves and delving into the world of social media.  The Safety Net is by Andrea Camilleri.

Could the courts really order the death of your innocent baby? Was there an illegal immigrant who couldn't be deported because he had a pet cat? Are unelected judges truly enemies of the people?   Most of us think the law is only relevant to criminals, if we even think of it at all. But the law touches every area of our lives: from intimate family matters to the biggest issues in our society.  Our unfamiliarity is dangerous because it makes us vulnerable to media spin, political lies and the kind of misinformation that frequently comes from loud-mouthed amateurs and those with vested interests. This 'fake law' allows the powerful and the ignorant to corrupt justice without our knowledge - worse, we risk letting them make us complicit.  Thankfully, the Secret Barrister is back to reveal the stupidity, malice and incompetence behind many of the biggest legal stories of recent years. In Fake Law, the Secret Barrister debunks the lies and builds an hilarious, alarming and eye-opening defence against the abuse of our law, our rights and our democracy.

May 2020

A Brighton gangster is on trial for conspiracy to murder, following the death of a rival crime family boss. As the jury file into Lewes Crown Court, twelve anonymous people selected randomly from fifty, there is one person sitting in the public gallery observing them with keen interest, and secretly filming them. Later, a group of the accused's henchmen sit around a table with the full personal details of each of the twelve jurors in front of them. They need to influence two of them - a jury can convict if directed on a 10-2 majority verdict but no less. But which two?   When Roy Grace is called in to investigate a murder that has links to the accused and the trial, and the suspicion that an attempt has been made to intimidate jurors, he finds the reach and power of the accused's tentacles go higher than he had ever imagined.  Find Them Dead is by Peter James.

She had lived a lie for thirteen years, and the perfect life as she had known it was about to change forever.  Everyone remembered Sara and Shannon Carter, the little blonde haired sisters. Their Dad was the local GP and they lived in the beautiful house on the hill. Their best friend, Brinley Booth, lived next door. They would do anything for each other but everything shifted on that fateful day when Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were stabbed fourteen times with a pair of scissors in what has become the most talked about double murder of the modern age.  The girls were aged ten and twelve at the time. One, nicknamed the Angel of Death, spent eight years in a children's secure unit accused of the brutal killings. The other lived in foster care out of the limelight and prying questions. Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down one of the sisters, persuading her to speak about the events of that night for the first time.  Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and Brinley Booth, now a journalist, is tasked with covering the news story which brings to light fresh evidence and triggers a chain of events which will have devastating consequences.  When I was Ten is by Fiona Cummins.

Arriving at her new exclusive school at sixteen, all Alia wants to be is accepted.  Sent to live in India with her grandparents by her nomadic parents, she knows that happiness will come if she can befriend the two most popular girls in her year, Sabah and Noor.  Before she knows it Sabah and Noor’s intoxicating world of excitement and privilege is open to her, and for the first time Alia feels she where she belongs. But with the excitement comes jealousy, and privilege resentment, and Alia finds that it only takes one night for her bright new world to shatter around her.  Now fifteen years later, Alia is a young minister in the Indian Government, trying to broker alliances with her party’s enemies and keeps her secrets in the past.  But that fateful night is always there and now someone is determined to reveal the truth about her role in what happened that night.  All the can see is how far Alia has come and how much she has to lose.  And some secrets are too important to stay.  Can You See Me Now is by Trisha Sakhlecha.

For Ruth, a new mother recovering from postpartum psychosis, every day is difficult and, after months spent hearing voices in the walls and trusting no one, she's no longer confident in her own judgement. Neither, it seems, is anyone else.   So, when she hears a scream from the local petrol station one night, she initially decides it must be her mind playing tricks again. The police, too, are polite but firm: she must stop calling them every time she thinks she hears something. And her husband is frustrated: he'd hoped Ruth was getting better at last.   Ruth can't quite let it go . . . What if there was a scream? What if it was someone in trouble? Someone who needs Ruth's help?  The Hidden Girls is by Rebecca Whitney.

The Last Trial recounts the final case of Kindle County's most revered courtroom advocate, Sandy Stern.  Already eighty-five years old, and in precarious health, Stern has been persuaded to defend an old friend, Pavel Pafko. A former Nobel Prize-winner in Medicine, Pafko, shockingly, has been charged in a federal racketeering indictment with fraud, insider trading and murder.   As the trial progresses, Stern will question everything he thought he knew about his friend. Despite Pafko's many failings, is he innocent of the terrible charges laid against him? How far will Stern go to save his friend, and--no matter the trial's outcome--will he ever know the truth? Stern's duty to defend his client and his belief in the power of the judicial system both face a final, terrible test in the courtroom, where the evidence and reality are sometimes worlds apart.  Full of the deep insights into the spaces where the fragility of human nature and the justice system collide, Scott Turow's The Last Trial is a masterful legal thriller that unfolds in page-turning suspense--and questions how we measure a life.

June 2020

From the brothels and gin-shops of Covent Garden to the elegant townhouses of Mayfair, Laura Shepherd-Robinson's Daughters of Night follows Caroline Corsham, as she seeks justice for a murdered woman whom London society would rather forget . . .  Lucia's fingers found her own. She gazed at Caro as if from a distance. Her lips parted, her words a whisper: 'He knows.'  London, 1782. Desperate for her politician husband to return home from France, Caroline 'Caro' Corsham is already in a state of anxiety when she finds a well-dressed woman mortally wounded in the bowers of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. The Bow Street constables are swift to act, until they discover that the deceased woman was a highly-paid prostitute, at which point they cease to care entirely. But Caro has motives of her own for wanting to see justice done, and so sets out to solve the crime herself. Enlisting the help of thieftaker, Peregrine Child, their inquiry delves into the hidden corners of Georgian society, a world of artifice, deception and secret lives. But with many gentlemen refusing to speak about their dealings with the dead woman, and Caro's own reputation under threat, finding the killer will be harder, and more treacherous than she can know . . .

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Books to Look Forward to from Orion Publishing (Incl Trapeze, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, Gollancz and Orion)

January 2020

Backlash is by Marnie Riches. Keep your enemies close and your neighbours closer...  When Private Investigator Beverley Saunders is tasked with going undercover, she relishes the chance to disguise herself as a cleaner in order to get close to Manchester bad boy Anthony Anthony, aka 2Tone. Anthony's neighbours are suspicious of his wealth and sick of his anti-social behaviour, and Bev's just the woman they need to find out what's going on behind closed doors.  As Bev begins to infiltrate Anthony's world, she soon realises she's in danger - and this time, she might be too far in to get out. Alongside her sidekick Doc, Bev must fight to discover the truth - but when people begin to die, she has to ask herself - is exposing Anthony worth risking her own life?

Can you ever really know your neighbours?  When human remains are found in a ground floor flat, the residents of Nelson Heights are shocked to learn that there was a dead body in their building for over three years.   Sarah lives at the flat above and after the remains are found, she feels threatened by a stranger hanging around the building.  Laura has lived in the building for as long as she can remember, caring for her elderly father, though there is more to her story than she is letting on.  As the investigation starts to heat up, and the two women become more involved, it's clear that someone isn't telling the truth about what went on all those years ago...  The Woman Downstairs is by Elisabeth Carpenter.

February 2020

Things will never be the same again... Ben is driving on the motorway, on his usual commute to the school where he works.  A day like any other, except for Adam, who in a last despairing act jumps in front of Ben's car, and in killing himself, turns the teacher's world upside down.  Wracked with guilt and desperate to clear his conscience, Ben develops a friendship with Alice, Adam's widow, and her 7-year-old son Max. But as he tries to escape the trauma of the wreckage, could Ben go too far in trying to make amends?  The Wreckage is by Robin Morgan-Bentley

Witness X is by S E Moorhead.  She's the only one who can access the truth...  Fourteen years ago, the police caged a notorious serial killer who abducted and butchered two victims every February. He was safe behind bars. Wasn't he?  But then another body is discovered, and soon enough, the race is on to catch the real killer. Neuropsychologist Kyra Sullivan fights to use a new technology that accesses the minds of the witnesses, working with the police to uncover the truth. Will Kyra discover the person behind the murders, and if so, at what cost? And how far will she go to ensure justice is served.

False Value is by Ben Aaronvitch.  Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with emigre Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner's brand new London start up - the Serious Cybernetics Company.  Drawn into the orbit of Old Street's famous 'silicon roundabout', Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant's favourite son.  Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological - and just as dangerous.

One Fatal Mistake is by Tom Hunt.  Her son accidentally kills a man.  They cover it up.  Then everything goes wrong.  When eighteen-year-old Joshua Mayo takes a man's life in a terrible accident, he leaves the scene without reporting the crime to the police. He hopes to put the awful night behind him and move on with his life. But, of course, he ends up telling his mother, Karen, what happened.  Karen has raised Joshua on her own in Cedar Rapids, Iowa--and she'd thought they'd finally made it. He was doing well in school and was only months away from starting college at his dream school. After hearing his dark confession, she's forced to make a choice no parent should have to make. A choice that draws them both into a web of deceit that will change their lives forever--if they can make it out alive.

The Holdout is by Graham Moore.  One juror changed the verdict. What if she was wrong?  Ten years ago we made a decision together... Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a
billion-dollar fortune, vanishes on her way home from school. Her teacher, Bobby Nock, is the prime suspect. It's an open and shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed.   Until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, persuades the rest of the jurors to vote not guilty: a controversial decision that will change all of their lives forever.  Ten years later, one of the jurors is found dead, and Maya is the prime suspect.  The real killer could be any of the other ten jurors. Is Maya being forced to pay the price for her decision all those years ago?

March 2020

Against all odds, Aydin Torkal - aka Sleeper 13 - broke free from the terrorist group that took him as a child and raised him into a life of violence and hate.   In the two years since, he's been tracking and killing all those responsible. But he's not done yet.  Now living a secret life in London, he receives a surprise visit from Rachel Cox of MI6. She needs his help to infiltrate a sinister new terrorist cell who've taken root in the USA. Aydin is initially reluctant. But when he learns that a member of the group is the brother of Aziz Al-Addad, 'the Teacher' responsible for Aydin's horrific upbringing, his mind is changed.   Aydin thought he'd broken free from life as an insurgent. But in order to scupper their deadly plans, he must now convince the world's most dangerous terrorist cell that he's one of them.  He must do it before the world suffers another deadly attack.  He will have to do it on his own.  He is IMPOSTER 13.  Imposter 13 is by Rob Sinclair.  

An international disaster.  A plane on route from London to New York City has disappeared out of the sky. This breaking news dominates every TV channel, every social media platform, and every waking hour of the Metropolitan Police and US Homeland Security.   A private tragedy.  The love of DCI Kate Daniels' life was on that aircraft, but she has no authority to investigate. This major disaster is outside of her jurisdiction and she's ordered to walk away.  A search for the truth.  But Kate can't let it lie. She has to find out what happened to that plane - even if it means going off book. No one is safe. And there are some very dangerous people watching her.  Without a Trace is by Mari Hannah.

Hi Five is by Joe Ide.  Christiana is the daughter of the biggest arms dealer on the West Coast, Angus Byrne. She's also the sole witness and number-one suspect in the murder of her boyfriend - found dead inside her Newport Beach boutique. Angus will do anything to save his daughter and he thinks private eye Isaiah Quintabe is just the man for the job - an offer IQ soon learns he can't refuse.  The catch: Christiana has multiple personalities. Five radically different ones - among them, a naive shopkeeper, an obnoxious drummer in a rock band and a wanton seductress.  IQ's dilemma: no one personality saw the entire incident. To find out what really happened the night of the murder, Isaiah must piece together clues from each of the personalities - before the cops catch up.

April 2020

She’s got nowhere left to hide. A year ago, in desperation, Felicity Lloyd signed up for a lengthy research trip to the remote island of South Georgia. It was her only way to escape.  And now he is coming for her.  Freddie Lloyd has served time for murder. Out at last, he's on her trail.  And this time, he won't stop until he finds her.  Because no matter how far you run, some secrets will always catch up with you….  The Split is by Sharon Bolton.
Blood Relations is by Jonathan Moore.  Who is Claire Gravesend?  So wonders PI Lee Crowe when he finds her dead, in a fine cocktail dress, on top of a Rolls Royce in the most dangerous neighbourhood in San Francisco.   Claire's mother doesn't believe the coroner: her daughter did not kill herself. But the questions about the Gravesend family pile up fast.  Until Crowe finds their secret home in San Francisco. Sleeping in an upstairs bedroom, he finds Claire and as far as he can tell, she's alive…

Last night my sister was murdered. The police think I killed her.  I was there. I watched the knife go in. I saw the man who did it.  And heard him laugh because he knows he'll never get caught.  He knows I have prosopagnosia - I can't recognise faces.  And if I don't find the man who killed my sister, I'll be found guilty of murder.  Remember Me is by Amy McLellan.

You Can Trust Me is by Emma Rowley.  You can trust me.  But can I trust you?  Olivia is the domestic goddess who has won millions of followers by sharing her picture-perfect life online. And now she's releasing her tell-all autobiography.  For professional ghost-writer Nicky it's the biggest job of her career. But as she delves deeper into Olivia's life, cracks begin to appear in the glamorous facade. From the strained relationship with her handsome husband, to murky details of a tragic family death in her childhood, the truth belies Olivia's perfect public image.  But why is Olivia so desperate to leave an old tragedy well alone? And how far will she go to keep Nicky from the truth?

Alison is more alone than she's ever been. She is convinced that her ex-husband Jack is following her. She is certain she recognises the strange woman who keeps approaching her in the canteen.  She knows she has a good reason to be afraid. She just can't remember why.  Then the mention of one name turns her life upside down.  Alison feels like she's losing her mind . . . but it could just lead her to the truth.  All in Her Head is by Nikki Head. 

The Devil You Know is by Emma Kavanagh.  How do you get away with murder? You lead the world to believe that it has already been solved.  Rosa Fischer has lived a perfectly normal life. That is, until the day that she discovers that she is not Rosa Fischer after all. That she is someone entirely different. But who?   She struggles to unpick the lies that surround her until finally she is left with a crime - one that was solved decades ago. A family dead in a barn, and a baby girl left to be found.  The thing about closed cases - no-one is investigating them. And when Rosa begins to dig deeper beneath the layers of the family annihilation, she discovers that all is not as it seems, and that the answers provided all those years ago may not be quite right.   Because if the dead people are not who you believe the dead people to be, who are they?   And what happened to the ones who were mourned in their place?

May 2020

Never Forget is by Michel Bussi.  BEFORE.  A man running along a remote clifftop path on an icy-cold February morning.  A woman standing on the cliff's edge.  A red scarf on the ground between them.  AFTER  The man is alone - paralysed by fear.  The woman is on the beach below - dead.  The red scarf is now perfectly - and impossibly - arranged around the woman's broken neck.  A handful of seconds. Two lives colliding. WHAT HAPPENED?

All Fall Down is by M J Arlidge.  "You have one hour to live."  Those are the only words on the phone call. Then they hang up. Surely, a prank? A mistake? A wrong number? Anything but the chilling truth... That someone is watching, waiting, working to take your life in one hour.  But why?  The job of finding out falls to DI Helen Grace: a woman with a track record in hunting killers. However, this is one case where the killer seems to always be one step ahead of the police and the victims.  With no motive, no leads, no clues - nothing but pure fear - an hour can last a lifetime...

The hero of The Poet and The Scarecrow is back in a new thriller. Jack McEvoy, the journalist who never backs down, tracks a serial killer who has been operating completely under the radar - until now.  Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, McEvoy realizes he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he's ever encountered.  McEvoy investigates - against the warnings of the police and his own editor - and makes a shocking discovery that connects the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. But his inquiry hits a snag when he himself becomes a suspect.  As he races to clear his name, McEvoy's findings point to a serial killer working under the radar of law enforcement for years, and using personal data shared by the victims themselves to select and hunt his targets.  Fair Warning is by Michael Connelly.  

June 2020

'The Sleeping Nymph': a work of art of magnetic beauty, painted by a young partisan fighter during the last days of the Second World War. A painting carrying a shocking secret hidden in the red pigment on the canvas, made with the blood of a human heart.   But whose heart? There is no body, no confession. Only that faint trace of blood. And that's what leads commissioner Teresa Battaglia - herself hiding an unspeakable truth - to the Resia Valley, in the north eastern part of Italy: a perfect genetic enclave protected for centuries from the outside world.   The valley and the portrait are the only clues for a murder that occurred more than 70 years before. A red thread leading to the shadow of someone hell-bent on protecting a sacred secret.  The Sleeping Nymph is by Ilaria Tuti.

Inside Out by Chris McGeorge.  Kara Lockhart has just commenced a life sentence in HMP New Fern - the newest maximum security woman's prison in the country. She was convicted of a murder she is adamant she didn't commit.   One morning she wakes up to find her cellmate murdered - shot in the head with a gun that is missing. The door was locked all night, which makes Kara the only suspect. There is only one problem - Kara knows she didn't do it and she has no idea who did.   Being the only one who knows the truth, Kara sets about trying to clear her name, unravelling an impossible case, with an investigation governed by a prison timetable. Kara starts to learn more about her fellow prisoners, finding connections between them and herself that she would never have imagined.   Indeed it seems that her conviction and her current situation might be linked in strange ways...

The Unwanted Dead is by Chris Lloyd.  On the first day of the Paris Nazi occupation, four Polish refugees are gassed in a railway truck. A fifth commits suicide later that day. Paris police detective Eddie Giral is determined to find out what happened...   But as he investigates, he is led to shocking evidence backing up the rumours of atrocities coming out of Poland.   As Eddie tries to bring the killers to justice and uncover the truth, he finds himself in a more dangerous and sinister world than any he’s known before... 

Two sisters. One guilty of murder. A trial to discover the truth.  Alexandra Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body. She believes her sister killed him.   Sofia Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body. She believes her sister did it.   Both women are to go on trial together, in front of one jury. One of these women is lying. One of them is a murderer. Sitting in a jail cell, about to go on trial for murder, you might think that this is the last place she expected to be.   You’d be wrong. Fifty-Fifty is by Steve Cavanagh.  

July 2020

Dead Doubles is by Trevor Barnes.  The Portland Spy Ring was one of the most notorious spy cases from the Cold War. It seized international attention and revealed the shadowy world of deep cover KGB spies operating under false identities ('illegals').  The CIA's revelation to MI5 that a KGB agent was stealing crucial secrets from the sensitive submarine research base at Portland in Dorset looked initially like a dangerous but contained lapse of security by a British man and his mistress. But the unsuspecting couple passed the secrets to a Canadian businessman, Gordon Lonsdale. Lonsdale in turn led MI5's spycatchers to an innocent-looking couple in suburban Ruislip called the Krogers, who were transmitting the vital information to Moscow. A sudden defection forced the arrest of the spy ring.  The Krogers were discovered to be two of the most important Russian 'illegals' ever. The Americans had been searching for them for years. In a previous undercover life they had been a conduit to the KGB atomic spies at Los Alamos. And Lonsdale was no Canadian, but a senior KGB controller called Konon Molody - who years later turned out to have been running other key Soviet agents in the UK.

Like Mother, Like daughter is by Elle Croft.  How far would you go to reveal the truth about your own family?   Imogen Brown is a normal 16-year-old... and she feels like she doesn’t belong. She thinks her parents, Kat and Dylan, are hypocrites, playing the perfect family. But they’re in financial difficulty and Kat is trying to work things out, to save her tight-knit family.   One Friday evening, her parents have their biggest fight yet. When Kat goes to wake Imogen the next day, she’s not in her bed, and no one has seen her since school the previous day. Imogen has gone missing. 

Imperfect Women is by Araminta Hall.  Three women. Three best friends. Three untimely deaths   Eleonor, Nancy and Mary met at college and have been friends ever since, through marriages, children and love affairs.   So when Nancy is brutally murdered, Eleonor and Mary are determined to uncover her killer. But as each of their stories unfold, they realise that there are many different truths to find, and many different ways to bring justice for those we love... 

Neon is by G S Locke.  A detective desperate for revenge. A hitwoman with one last job. A killer with both on his list.  Detective Matt Jackson has reached the end. His beloved wife, Polly, is the latest victim of 'Neon' - a serial killer who displays his victims in snaking neon lights - and he can't go on without her.  Unable to take his life, Jackson hires a hit-woman to finish the job. But on the night of his own murder, he makes a breakthrough in the case, and at the last minute his hit-woman, Iris, is offered an irresistible alternative: help Jackson find and kill Neon in return for the detective's entire estate.  What follows is a game of cat and mouse between detective, hit-woman and serial killer. And when Jackson discovers it's not a coincidence that all their paths have crossed, he begins to question who the real target has been all along...

Hunted is by Alex Knight.  You're woken early by the doorbell. It's a young girl, the daughter of the love of your life. She's scared, covered in blood, she says her mother is hurt.  You let her in, try to calm her down, tell her you're going to get help. You reach for your phone, but it lights up with a notification before you touch it.  It's an Amber alert - a child has been abducted by a dangerous suspect.  The child is the girl standing in front of you.  The suspect? You.

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Books to Look Forward to from Bloomsbury

January 2020

Arthur Conan Doyle was not just the creator of the world's greatest detective, he was also an intrepid global traveler - and travel writer. His descriptions of the journeys he made and the adventures he embarked upon - from the Arctic to the Alps, West Africa to Egypt and across every ocean in between - are brought to life with insight, humour and exceptional evocations of place. Conan Doyle’s Wide World: Sherlock Holmes and Beyond is by Andrew Lycett.

February 2020

Between the To Evils is by Eva Dolan.  As the country bakes under the relentless summer sun, a young doctor is found brutally murdered at his home in a picturesque Cambridgeshire village. Is his death connected to his private life - or his professional one? Dr Joshua Ainsworth worked at an all-female detention centre, one still recovering from a major scandal a few years before. Was he the whistle-blower - or an instigator? As Detective Sergeant Ferreira and Detective Inspector Zigic begin to painstakingly reconstruct Dr Ainsworth's last days, they uncover yet more secrets and more suspects. But this isn't the only case that's demanding their attention - a violent criminal has been released on a technicality and the police force know he will strike again: the only question is who will be his first victim.

The Cambridge Spies continue to fascinate - but one of them, John Cairncross, has always been more of an enigma than the others. He worked alone and was driven by his hostility to Fascism rather than to the promotion of Communism. During his war-time work at Bletchley Park, he passed documents to the Soviets which went on to influence the Battle of Kursk. Now, Geoff Andrews has access to the Cairncross papers and secrets, and has spoken to friends, relatives and former colleagues. A complex individual emerges - a scholar as well as a spy - whose motivations have often been misunderstood. After his resignation from the Civil Service, Cairncross moved to Italy and here he rebuilt his life as a foreign correspondent, editor and university professor. This gave him new circles and friendships - which included the writer Graham Greene - while he always lived with the fear that his earlier espionage would come to light. Agent Moliere: The Life of John Cairncross, the Fifth Man of the Cambridge Spy Circle is by Geoff Andrews.

March 2020

It's the winter of 1948. The four great railway companies have just been nationalised and Jack Wenlock – the last of a fabled cadre of railway detectives – is thrown out onto the street.  Penniless, with new bride Jenny to support, and hiding from a murderous organisation called Room 42, Jack's prospects look bleak.  But then a letter arrives from a mysterious Cornish Countess revealing that Jack's mother – long believed to be dead – may have survived a shipwreck off the coast of Java. Seizing the opportunity to track down his only remaining family member, Jack and Jenny board a boat heading East.   The trail takes them to a run-down Siamese hotel where a motley assortment of drifters has washed up. Here a spy, an assassin, a deserter, an old soldier and a fading Hollywood movie star all await the arrival of a missing part for a flying boat and a journey that will take them into the realm of myth.  But if Jack is ever to see his mother again, he has to stop them…  The Corpse in the Garden of Perfect Brightness is by Malcolm Pryce

April 2020

A Bangladeshi camp. A British ambassador. A Harley Street doctor. Investigative journalist Casey Benedict is used to working on stories that will take her from the bottom to the top of society - stories with a huge human cost. And her latest case is no different. A frantic message is found hidden in clothes manufactured for the British high street. They take the girls... Casey and her team at the Post know they are on the brink of a major expose but identifying the factories in which the clothes have been made is one challenge, following the trail of those taken is another. Their attempts to find the girls will take Casey from her London newsroom across the world and into the very heart of families who will be destroyed if what she uncovers is ever revealed.  The Dead Line is by Holly Watt

June 2020

Post Mortem is by Gary Bell QC.  Once a petty criminal  now a highly respected QC Elliott Rook has years of legal experience  - and he will need everyone of them if he is to see his latest client acquitted.  A batch of tainted drugs has killed thirteen inmates at a London prison and a vulnerable young officer, Charli Meadows has been charged with smuggling them into prison.  Charli insists that she is innocent but as Rook begins to investigate the charges that first saw the prisoners incarcerated a threatening note arrives at Rook’s flat, warning him off the case.  

Monday 25 November 2019

Books to Look Forward to from Head of Zeus.

January 2020

The Other You is by J S Monroe.  Is he who you think he is? Kate used to be good at recognising people. So good, she worked for the police, identifying criminals in crowds of thousands. But six months ago, a devastating car accident led to a brain injury. Now the woman who never forgot a face can barely recognise herself in the mirror. At least she has Rob. Kate met him just after her accident, and he nursed her back to health, in his high-tech, modernist house on the Cornish coast. When she's with him, the nightmares of the accident fade, and she feels safe and loved. Until, one day, Kate looks at Rob anew. And knows, with absolute certainty, that the man before her has been replaced by an impostor. Is she right? Have her old recognition skills returned? Or is it all in her damaged mind?

... though there is no fixed line between wrong and right,  There are roughly zones whose laws must be obeyed. It is New Year's Eve, nearly six weeks into an off-and-on blizzard that has locked Alaska down, effectively cutting it off from the outside world. But now there are reports of a plane down in the Quilak mountains. With the National Transportation Safety Board unable to reach the crash site, ex-Trooper Jim Chopin is pulled out of retirement to try to identify the aircraft, collect the corpses, and determine why no flight has been reported missing. But Jim discovers survivors: two children who don't speak a word of English.  Meanwhile, PI Kate Shugak receives an unexpected  and unwelcome accusation from beyond the grave, a charge that could change the face of the Park forever.  No Fixed Line is by Dana Stabenow.  

House on Fire is by Joseph Finder.  Nick Heller, private spy, exposes secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. At the funeral of his good friend Sean, an army buddy who struggled with opioid addiction, a stranger approaches Nick with a job. The woman is a member of the Kimball family, whose immense fortune was built on opiates. Now she wants to become a whistleblower, exposing evidence that Kimball Pharmaceutical knew its biggest money-maker was dangerously addictive. Nick agrees instantly - but he soon realizes the sins of the Kimball patriarch are just the beginning. Beneath the surface are the barely concealed cabals and conspiracies: a twisting story of family intrigue and lethal corporate machinations.

I am the Night is by Ethan Cross.  Marcus Williams and Francis Ackerman Jr. are both killers. But while Williams is tortured by the deaths he has caused, Ackerman takes pleasure in his murders. Williams is a former New York City homicide detective. Ackerman is a serial killer. And both men are about to become unwilling pawns in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of US government. They will be plunged deep into a hellish underworld of murderers and killers. They will find that there is more that connects them than divides them... and that their lives depend on it.

February 2020.

Sean Tennant and Molly Winter are living quietly and cautiously in Houston when a troubled, obsessive stranger shatters the safety they have carefully constructed for themselves. Sean is at a shopping mall when Henry Alan Keen, scorned by a woman he's been dating, pulls out a gun at the store where she works and begins shooting everyone in sight. A former soldier, Sean rushes toward Keen and ends the slaughter with two well-placed shots - becoming a hero with his face plastered across the news. But Sean's newfound notoriety exposes him to the wrath of two men he thought he had left safely in his past. One of them blames Sean for his brother's death. The other wants to recover a treasure that Sean and Molly stole from him. Both men are deadly and relentless enemies, and Sean and Molly will need to draw on all their strength and devotion to each other if they hope to elude them. Thus begins a cross-country chase that leads from Texas to Montana, from Tennessee to New York to Michigan, as the hunters and their prey grow ever closer and, in a heart-stopping moment, converge.  The Good Killer is by Harry Dolan.

The Last Drop of Blood is by Graham Masterton.  It started with the judge. He was about to sentence five of Cork's most notorious criminals. But his body has just turned up, beaten and broken, on an isolated road in his burned-out car. Now four members of a rival gang have been shot, and in retaliation three civilians have been blown up. To Katie's horror, Cork is becoming a gang battleground like Dublin. Can Katie save the city? Can she save herself?

Robert Ludlum's ™ The Treadstone Resurrection is by Joshua Hood.   Operation Treadstone has nearly ruined Adam Hayes. The top-secret CIA Black Ops program trained him to be a nearly invincible assassin, but it also cost him his family and any chance at a normal life. Which is why he was determined to get out. Working as a cabinet-maker in rural Oregon, Adam thinks he has left Treadstone in the past, until he receives a mysterious email from a former colleague, and soon after is attacked by an unknown hit team at his job site. Adam must regain the skills that Treadstone taught him - lightning reflexes and a cold conscience - in order to discover who the would-be killers are, and why they have come after him now. Are his pursuers enemies from a long-ago mission? Rival intelligence agents? Or, perhaps, someone inside Treadstone? His search will unearth secrets in the highest levels of government and pull him back into the shadowy world he worked so hard to forget.

Nga-Yee, a librarian, lives a quiet life with her fifteen-year-old sister Siu-Man. After a difficult, impoverished upbringing and the deaths of their parents, they are finally finding a bit of stability. Then one day, Nga-Yee comes home to find her teenage sister has jumped to her death. Was it suicide, or was she pushed? And does it have anything to do with a recent trip on the Hong Kong subway which left Siu-Man silent and withdrawn? Nga-Yee cannot rest until she knows the truth about her sister - even if that means tracking down her sister's friends one by one and making them confess. Part detective novel, part revenge thriller, Second Sister is by Chan Ho-Kei and explores themes of sexual harassment, internet bullying and teenage suicide - and vividly captures the zeitgeist of Hong Kong today.

March 2020

New Year's Eve, London. Outside the Hope & Glory pub, a man has been left to die. A victim of extraordinary violence, he will never walk or speak again. He remains in hospital, nameless, until criminal defence lawyer Sarah Kellerman walks onto his ward.  Sarah barely recognises the man she once worked with - he was honourable and kind - what was he involved in? Who wanted him dead? But in her race to uncover the truth, Sarah comes to realise there are two men in her life that she never really knew at all...  From one of crime fiction's most compelling voices, One Dark, Two Light is by Ruth Mancini and is where the personal and criminal collide, as Sarah works to bring dark secrets into the light.

The wife of a prominent local judge is shot and killed on Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett's turf. But as Joe investigates, all signs point to the shot having been taken from an impossibly long distance. Joe has seen a lot in his time as warden, but he's never seen a killing like this. How could the shooting have been arranged? And who else is in the cross hairs? At the same time - just as he's adjusting to the arrival of a new baby, his first child - Joe's best friend Nate Romanowski is attempting to decipher a startling grizzly attack in the area. Beset by threats both man-made and natural, the two men must go to great lengths to figure out how to keep their loved ones safe.  Long Range is by C J Box.  

The Message is by Mai Jia.  China, 1941.  While war rages in Europe, Japan has established itself as the supreme power in Asia. The beautiful province of Hangzhou has become a stronghold of the Japanese puppet government. One day, five officers from the code-breaking department are escorted to an isolated mansion outside the city. One of them has been sharing secrets with the communists. No-one is leaving until the traitor is uncovered. It should be a straightforward case of sifting truth from lies. But as each code-breaker spins a story that proves their innocence, events are re-framed, and what really happened is called into question again and again. Part revisionist history, part playful meta-fiction, The Message is at once an absorbing and cerebral spy thriller. 

Crooked River is by Preston & Child.  Before he can return to New York from Miami, Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is called to investigate something very strange that has happened on the west coast of Florida. Dozens of human feet, identically clad in blue have washed up on beaches. All exhibit unmistakeable signs of violence. Beyond that, nothing is known about the feet, except that they are fresh and haven't been in the water long. Pendergast reluctantly makes his way to the barrier islands off South Florida to investigate a case he believes to be outside his area of expertise and his interest. Once there, he finds the case both disturbing and intriguing, and is drawn into the mystery almost against his will. A preliminary pathology report indicates the feet were chopped, torn, or even wrenched from their bodies in the crudest of ways. Over the next few days, still more continue to wash in, until the number tops one hundred. Soon the case begins to take a most surprising and complex turn, and Pendergast finds it necessary to call in Special Agent Armstrong Coldmoon for a risky and very specific undercover assignment. And when, at last, the true origin of this awful gift from the sea becomes clear, the former partners are forced to confront an enemy, and a horror, more powerful and deadly than any they have faced before.

April 2020

Mortmain Hall is by Martin Edwards.  1930. A chilling encounter on London's Necropolis Railway leads to murder. At the Old Bailey, a man accused of a 'blazing car' killing escapes the gallows after a surprise witness gives sensational evidence. And journalist Jacob Flint finds himself framed for murder.To save himself, Jacob needs to discover what links these strange events to a remote estate on a northern coast, Mortmain Hall. At Mortmain Hall, an eccentric female criminologist hosts a gathering of people who have narrowly escaped the consequences of miscarriages of justice. But the house party culminates in tragedy when a body is found beneath the crumbling cliffs.  Is the death an accident or the result of an ingenious plot to get away with murder? An eclectic mix of suspects and victims includes a radical publisher risen from the grave, a fake medium with a sinister past, and a cricketer mauled to death by an escaped lion. Jacob sets out to uncover the labyrinthine secrets of Mortmain Hall, alongside a woman whose relentless quest for the truth might just bring down the British establishment...Who can we turn to, if justice betrays us?

Old enemies... Francis Ackerman Jr. is one of America's most prolific serial killers. Having kept a low profile for the past year, he is ready to return to work - and he's more brutal, cunning, and dangerous than ever. New threats... Scarred from their past battles, Special Agent Marcus Williams cannot shake Ackerman from his mind. But now Marcus must focus on catching the Anarchist, a new killer who drugs and kidnaps women before burning them alive. Hidden terrors... Marcus knows the Anarchist will strike again soon. And Ackerman is still free. But worse than this is a mysterious figure, unknown to the authorities, who controls the actions of the Anarchist and many like him. He is the Prophet - and his plans are more terrible than even his own disciples can imagine. I am Fear is by Ethan Cross.

Tobias Hawke was the tech genius boss of the British Institute for Deep Learning. Now his body has been found in his lab: he has been brutally murdered. Hawke was on the brink of an astonishing breakthrough in the field of Artificial Intelligence. His creation, 'Syd', a machine-learning device that mimics human thought, promised to change the face of humanity forever. But, in the wake of her creator's murder, Syd has gone into emergency shutdown procedure. What secrets are her neural networks hiding? Michael North, ex-assassin and spy-for-hire, is the man to find out. But he can't work alone. Teenage hacker Fangfang, and Hawke's widow, a prize-winning ethicist, have their own reasons to solve the murder. But can they uncover the truth before it's too late?  Curse the Day is by Judith O’Reilly.

May 2020

Freddy left her childhood home in Newhaven twenty-two years ago and swore never to return. But now her parents are dead, and she's back in her hometown to help her brothers manage the family fishmonger. Nothing here has changed: the stink of fish coming up from the marshes; the shopping trolleys half-buried by muddy tides; the neighbours sniffing for a new piece of gossip. It's not what Freddy would have chosen, but at least while she's here she'll get to see her childhood best friends, Toni and Mags. At school, the three of them were inseparable. The teachers called them the Mermaids for their obsession with the sea, and with each other. Then Mags goes missing, and Freddy must decide. Go back home to her new life, or stay in Newhaven and find her friend?  Death of a Mermaid is by Lesley Thomson

X Ways to Die is by Stefan Ahnhem.  X Ways to Die continues the tense, multi-stranded story which begun with Motive X. It is at once an explosive, high-voltage thriller and a fearless exploration of the darkest side of human nature. To enter Stefan Ahnhem's world, with its interwoven plotlines and sprawling cast of characters, is to put yourself in the hands of a master storyteller.
In Fate: Death Notice 2 by Zhou Haohui a terrifying killer crowd-sourced his victims online.  Playing a deadly but ingenious game of cat and mouse with his pursuers.  That killer only known by his online handlers as Eumendies, murder civilians and police with impunity.  Now Sergeant Zheng Haoming of the Chengdu Police Department is determined to hunt him down and avenge his colleagues.

June 2020

All of Us is by A F Carter.  It’s not enough that Carolyn Grand endured a horrific childhood that sent her father to jail for thirty years. It’s not enough that she was given to a foster family who pushed her over the edge. It’s not enough that five Carolyn Grands are forced to share a single body. It’s not enough that she spent years in two psychiatric hospitals, was fed psychotropic drugs that left her little more than a zombie. It’s not enough that all five Carolyns struggle every day to remain independent, to pay the rent, to put dinner on the table. It’s not enough that the unreformed and unrepentant father who destroyed Carolyn’s childhood, newly released from prison, has once again thrust himself into her life. Carolyn Grand now has to defend herself against a charge of murder. 

1914: Sixteen-year-old Etterly, running from something, hides inside the trunk of a tree and disappears. The police search but find no trace. Her family and friends wrack their brains, but come up with nothing. And so slowly life returns to normal. The hole in the tree is boarded up and the village of Sackwater moves on. Only Etterly's best friend, Betty, clings to hope, insisting she can hear her friend calling for help. 1940: A skeleton is discovered buried in the woods. Though most clues have long since decayed, it is wearing the necklace Etterly had on the day she went missing. Long haunted by her friend's fate, Detective Betty Church is determined to solve the case once and for all.  The Ghost Tree is by M R C Kasasian.

Blood of the Wolf is by Graham Hurley.  Berlin, 1942.  For four years, the men in field grey have helped themselves to country after country across Western Europe. For Werner Nehmann, a journalist at the Promi - the Ministry of Propaganda - this dizzying series of victories has felt like a party without end. But now the Reich's attention has turned towards the East, and as winter sets in, the mood is turning. Werner's boss, Joseph Goebbels, can sense it. A small man with a powerful voice and coal-black eyes, Goebbels has a deep understanding the dark arts of manipulation. His words, his newsreels, have shaken Germany awake, propelling it towards its greater destiny and he won't let - he can't let - morale falter now. But the Minister of Propaganda is uneasy and in his discomfort has pulled Werner into his close confidence. And here, amid the power struggle between the Nazi Chieftains, Werner will make his mistake and begin his descent into the hell of Stalingrad...