Sunday, 5 April 2020

Books to Look Forward to from Orion Publishing

July 2020

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 on the cliff - adrenaline pumping through his veins.  The woman is on the beach below - dead.  The red scarf is also on the beach -   beautifully (and impossibly) wrapped around the woman's broken neck. What happened? Two lives colliding by chance?  Or a revenge decades in the making?  Never Forget is by Michel Bussi.

How to Be Nowhere is by Tim MacGabhann.  Life is finally on the right track for reporter
and recovering addict Andrew: he is slowly coming to terms with the murder of his photographer boyfriend Carlos, pursuing sobriety and building a new home with a new partner. Andrew has almost forgotten about the story that ruined his life - but that story hasn't forgotten about him, and a series of deadly threats forces him into helping the very man whose gang murdered his boyfriend and left him homeless.

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.  This astonishing but true story of MI5's spyhunt is straight from the world of John le Carre. It criss-crosses the world between the USSR, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Europe and the UK, and ends with dramatic spy swaps familiar to viewers of Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies. This extraordinary story is a fascinating vignette of the Cold War stand-off between the USSR and the West, and a case that fully justified the West's paranoia about infiltration and treachery.  Dead Doubles: The Portland Spy Ring is by Trevor Barnes.

The only thing the three women had in common was their husband. And, as of this morning, that they're each accused of his murder.  Blake Nelson moved into a hidden stretch of land - a raw paradise in the wilds of Utah - where he lived with his three wives:  Rachel, the chief wife, obedient and doting to a fault.  Tina, the other wife, who's everything Rachel isn't.  And Emily, the youngest wife, who knows almost nothing else.  When their husband is found dead under the desert sun, the questions pile up.   What are these women to each other now that their husband is dead? Will the police uncover the secrets each woman has spent her life hiding? And is one of them capable of murder...?  Black Widows is by Cate Quinn.

Fifty-Fifty is by Steve Cavanagh.  Two sisters on trial for murder. They accuse each other.  Who do YOU believe?  '911 what's your emergency?'  'My dad's dead. My sister Sofia killed him. She's still in the house. Please send help.'  'My dad's dead. My sister Alexandra killed him. She's still in the house. Please send help.'  One of them is a liar and a killer.  But which one?

Like Mother, Like Daughter is by Elle Croft.  If what they said was true, then the grotesque and the monstrous ran in her blood. It was imprinted within her very core, her DNA, a part of every cell in her body.   Kat's children are both smart and well-adjusted. On the outside.  Kat has always tried to treat Imogen and Jemima equally, but she struggles with one of her daughters more than the other.   Because Imogen's birth mother is a serial killer. And Imogen doesn't know.  They say you can't choose your family, but what if your family chooses you?

August 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.  Painted in Blood is by Ilaria Tuti.

Nancy, Eleanor and Mary met at college and have been friends ever since, through marriages, children and love affairs. Nancy married her college sweetheart and is now missing that excitement of her youth.  Eleanor put her career above all else and hasn't looked back, despite her soft spot for Nancy's husband.  Mary fell pregnant far too young and is now coping with three children and a mentally unwell husband.  But when Nancy is killed, Eleanor and Mary must align themselves to uncover her killer. And as each of their stories unfold, they realise that there are many ways, different truths to find, and many different ways to bring justice for those we love...  Imperfect Women is by Araminta Hall.

Inside Out is by Chris McGeorge.  Cara 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 Cara the only suspect. There is only one problem - Cara knows she didn't do it and she has no idea who did.   Being the only one who knows the truth, Cara sets about trying to clear her name, unravelling an impossible case, with an investigation governed by a prison timetable. Cara 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 Dance of the Serpents is by Oscar De Muriel.  There are many bad days in Edinburgh police's subdivision 'The Commission for the Elucidation of Unsolved Cases Presumably Related to the Odd and Ghostly'. And in the pantheon of the worst days - today takes the podium.  Because the English Inspector Ian Frey, and his Scottish boss 'Nine-Nails' McGray are called into a meeting in the middle of the night with none other than the Prime Minister himself.  And he tells them that Queen Victoria - the most powerful woman in the world - wants them both dead.

September 2020

Thomas Bexley has become a drunkard and recluse, haunted by terrible visions of the dead.  But when he learns of a spate of kidnappings – in which his dear friend and former mentor, Elijah hawthorn, is the lead suspect – Thomas embarks on a journey to find the missing Hawthorn and prove his innocence,  Though as the mystery of Hawthorn’s disappearance deepens, so too does Thomas’s apparently growing insanity.  How can Thomas be certain of the truth when he can’t trust anybody around him, not even himself …?  Letters from the Dead is by Sam Hurcom.

The Unwanted Dead is by Chris Lloyd.  Paris, June 1940.   The Nazi occupation of Paris begins. Detective Eddie Giral - a survivor of the last World War - watches helplessly on as his world changes forever. But there is something he still has control over.   Finding whoever is responsible for four murdered refugees: the unwanted dead, forgotten amid the headlines.  To do so, he must tread carefully between the Occupation and the Resistance, all the while becoming whoever he must be to survive in this new and terrible order descending on his home.

October 2020

When struggling photojournalist Harper tries to return a dress she bought that morning for a job that's fallen through something catches her eye: the same little girl who was waiting there that morning is still there.  The sales assistant doesn't know   whose she is. The security guard at the mall hasn't had anyone come looking for her. Same goes for the local police, and the media.   In fact, no one seems to be looking for little May at all.  Harper knows from bitter experience what awaits May in Child Protection Services. But, without any clues, how do you put the needle back in the haystack? And who would just leave a child like this? And what if finding her home was the worst thing   you could do?  Take Me Home is by Alex Hart.

Nowhere to be Found is by Louisa de Lange.  She found the body.  Now Lucy Barker is missing … Lucy Barker has disappeared, and her distraught husband Scott says he has no idea where she is.   But rumours abound about this seemingly perfect couple. Why is Scott behaving so strangely? And why was Lucy lying to him about where she went every Tuesday night?  Then, while investigating the recent murder of man found floating in a lake, DS Kate Munro learns that it was Lucy Barker who discovered the body and called the police.  Now she must find out if the two crimes are connected. Before Lucy's time runs out . . .

Also due to be published in October is the new John Rebus book entitled A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin.

November 2020

33 big secret.  When sisters Celine and Pip get a call telling them their mother has died, the two women are forced to return to their family home in Arundel to pick up the pieces. But someone is missing - their sister, Vanessa, brutally murdered years ago and the victim of an unsolved .  . As the sisters confront ghosts from the past, the discovery of another body in the town throws new light on Vanessa's death. Could there be more to her case than the police first thought? And what do the mysterious women of Two Cross Farm, the women's commune in Arundel, have to do with it? What secrets are lurking behind their gates?  Two Crosses is by Isabel Ashdown.

Murder at the Castle is by M B Shaw.  After uncovering the mystery of the mill, amateur sleuth iris Grey returns with another crime to solve.

December 2020

Fool Me Twice is by Jeff Lindsay.  Riley Wolfe, the master thief and master of disguise is back with Fool Me Twice, with a bigger take and much higher stakes.  Can he steal a fresco in Rome, an actual painted wall, for the arms dealer who has captured him and threatened him in the most personal way?   If anyone can get away with it, it's Riley Wolfe. He's always liked a challenge, and there is nothing more satisfying than robbing, and perhaps even double-crossing, the rich!

Faith Diamond grew up on the wrong sides of the track.  With a family incapable of abiding by the law, her future is more about survival than dreams.  But then a series of prostitutes are murdered, necks broken and stripped naked , their only connection the pimp, Marshall Vella – a man connected in more ways than one with the Diamond family.  And Faith is forced to consider the possibility that the people in her life might be more evil than even she could ever imagined.   Loaded is by Niki Mackay

The List is by Cary Jones. Beth Belmont runs every day, hard and fast on the trail near home. She knows every turn, every bump in the road. So when she spots something out of place - a slip of white paper at the base of a tree - she's drawn to it.  On the paper are five names. The third is her own.  Beth can't shake off the unease the list brings. Why is she on it? And what ties her to the other four strangers?  Then she discovers that the first two are dead. Is she next?  Delving into the past of the two dead strangers, the truth Beth finds will lead her headlong into her darkest, deadliest and most dangerous nightmares...

January 2021

Buenos Aires, 2001:  the streets are overflowing with protestors, frustrated by the Government’s inability to face a mounting economic crisis.  Inspector Alzada is convinced of the futility of yet another doomed Argentinean attempt at democracy and is determined to remain a detached bystander.  But the disappearance of a woman from one of the city’s wealthiest families brings back painful memories of Alzada’s work in the Buenos Aires police force during the Dirty War of the 80s, a war that tore a nation apart and destroyed the inspectors family for ever.  Repentance is by Eloĺsa Dĺaz

The Wanted is by Holly Seddon. What would you do if you found your name on a hit list? And your late husband put it there?  Things go from bad to worse for Marianne when she discovers that not only has her seemingly ordinary late husband, Greg, been accessing the dark web, but that her name is also on a hit list on his laptop.  Marianne must figure out whether Greg was trying to protect her or whether he was complicit in the conspiracy to murder her.  As she is pulled deeper into an underworld that Greg was seemingly hostage to, she gets closer to meeting Sam – the assassin hired to kill her.

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