A long, hot summer in Wiltshire is broken by a sudden downpour. Flash floods bring something sinister to the surface - a human skeleton. When forensic testing matches the bones to a man named Lee Geary, reported missing nine years earlier, the case is passed to DI Matt Lockyer. Geary was a known drug user, so it could be a simple case of misadventure, but Lockyer isn't so sure. Geary was a townie, and had learning disabilities, so what was he doing out on the Plain all alone? Lockyer soon learns that the year he disappeared, Geary was questioned in relation to another crime - the murder of a young woman named Holly Gilbert. With the help of DC Gemma Broad, Lockyer begins to dig deeper, and discovers that two other persons of interest in the Holly Gilbert case have also either died or disappeared in the intervening years. A coincidence? Or a string of murders that has gone undetected for nearly a decade...? Laying out the Bones is by Kate Webb.
The Last Word is by Elly Griffiths. Natalka and Edwin, whom we met in The Postscript Murders, are running a detective agency in Shoreham, Sussex. Despite a steady stream of minor cases, Natalka is frustrated, longing for a big juicy case such as murder to come the agency's way. Natalka is now living with dreamer, Benedict. But her Ukrainian mother Valentyna has joined them from her war-torn country and three's a crowd. It's annoying to have Valentyna in the tiny flat, cooking borscht and cleaning things that are already clean. To add to Natalka's irritation,Benedict and her mother get on brilliantly. Then a murder case turns up. Local writer, Melody Chambers, is found dead and her family are convinced it is murder. Edwin, a big fan of the obit pages, thinks there's a link to the writer of Melody's obituary who pre-deceased his subject. The trail leads Benedict and Edwin to a slightly sinister writers' retreat. When another writer is found dead, Edwin thinks that the clue lies in the words. Seeking professional help, the amateur investigators turn to their friend, detective Harbinder Kaur, to find that they have stumbled on a plot that is stranger than fiction.
Oxford, city of rich and poor, where the homeless camp out in the shadows of the gorgeous buildings and monuments. A city of lost things - and buried crimes. At three o'clock in the morning, Emergency Services receives a call. 'This is Zara Fanshawe. Always lost and never found.' An hour later, the wayward celebrity's Rolls Royce Phantom is found abandoned in dingy Becket Street. The paparazzi go wild. For some reason, news of Zara's disappearance prompts homeless woman Lena Wójcik to search the camps, nervously, for the bad-tempered vagrant known as 'Waitrose', a familiar sight in Oxford pushing his trolley of possessions. But he's nowhere to be found either. Who will lead the investigation and cope with the media frenzy? Suave, prize-winning, Oxford-educated DI Ray Wilkins is passed over in favour of his partner, gobby, trailer-park educated DI Ryan Wilkins (no relation). You wouldn't think Ray would be happy. He isn't. You wouldn't think Ryan would be any good at national press presentations. He isn't. And when legendary cop Chester Lynch takes a shine to Ray - and takes against Ryan - things are only going to get even messier. Lost and Never Found is by Simon Mason.
Farewell Dinner for a Spy is by Edward Wilson. 1949: William Catesby returns to London in disgrace, accused of murdering a 'double-dipper' the Americans believed to be one of their own. His left-wing sympathies have him singled out as a traitor. Henry Bone throws him a lifeline, sending him to Marseille, ostensibly to report on dockers' strikes and keep tabs on the errant wife of a British diplomat. But there's a catch. For his cover story, he's demobbed from the service and tricked out as a writer researching a book on the Resistance. In Marseille, Catesby is caught in a deadly vice between the CIA and the mafia, who are colluding to fuel the war in Indochina. Swept eastwards to Laos himself, he remains uncertain of the true purpose behind his mission, though he has his suspicions: Bone has murder on his mind, and the target is a former comrade from Catesby's SOE days. The question is, which one.
Last Seen is by Anna Smith. Life has changed for Private Investigator Billie Carlson. After years of chasing down every lead possible, she's finally found her son, Lucas, and brought him safely home to Glasgow. One afternoon, Billie gets a call from an unknown number. The man on the end of the phone refuses to tell her his name, but he explains that his brother, Omar, is being held in prison after stabbing two men outside a block of flats. He wants Billie to investigate what happened that night and find out any information that might help Omar. Reluctantly, Billie takes on the case. But as she starts to untangle what happened that night, she can't shake the feeling that she's being watched. With Lucas depending on her, Billie is determined to avoid any dangerous encounters. But trouble seems to have a way of tracking her down....
Some people think foxes go around collecting qi, or life force, but nothing could be further than the truth. We are living creatures, just like you, only usually better looking. Manchuria, 1908: A young woman is found frozen in the snow. Her death is clouded by rumours of foxes, believed to lure people into peril by transforming into beautiful women and men. Bao, a detective with a reputation for sniffing out the truth, is hired to uncover the dead woman's identity. Since childhood, Bao has been intrigued by the fox gods, yet they've remained tantalizingly out of reach. Until, perhaps, now. Snow is a creature of many secrets, but most of all, she's a mother seeking vengeance. Hunting a murderer, the trail will take her from northern China to Japan, with Bao following doggedly behind. And as their paths draw ever closer together, both Snow and Bao will encounter old friends and new foes, even as more deaths occur. The Fox Wife is by Yangsze Choo.
The Winter Visitor is by James Henry. Essex, February, 1991. The weather is biting cold. Everyone would rather be somewhere warmer, which is why it's a big surprise when a wanted drug smuggler, Bruce Hopkins, risks a return to his old haunts in Colchester after a decade long exile on the Costa del Sol. Lured back by a letter from the wife Hopkins left behind, no one is more surprised than him when he finds himself abducted and stripped bare only to be sent to a watery grave in the boot of a stolen Ford Sierra. The police wonder if it could be retaliation from a Spanish gang, sending a warning to their English counterparts? DS Daniel Kenton is teamed up with the unorthodox DS Brazier to investigate a crime wave which takes in not only the murder of an expat dope smuggler, but a sophisticated arson attack on a Norman church and the unexpected suicide of an ageing florist. Could there possibly be a thread that connects them?
Red Menace is by Joe Thomas. Live Aid, July 1985. The great and the good of the music scene converge to save the world. But the TV glitz cannot disguise ugly truths about Thatcher's Britain. Jon Davies and Suzi Scialfa have moved on since the inquest into the death of Colin Roach, but they're about to be drawn back into the struggle - Jon by his restless curiosity and Suzi by the reappearance of DC Patrick Noble. Noble's other asset, the salaried spycop Parker, is a pawn in a game he only dimly comprehends. First, he's ordered to infiltrate the Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham; next will come Wapping, ground zero of a plot to smash the print unions. But who is Noble working for, and how far can he be trusted? The Iron Lady is reforging the nation, and London with it. Right to Buy may secure her votes, but who really stands to benefit? Corruption is endemic and the gap between rich and poor grows wider by the day. Insurrection seems imminent - all that's needed is a spark.
How to Solve Your Own Murder is by Kristen Perrin. Frances always said she'd be murdered... She was right. In 1965, seventeen-year-old Frances Adams was told by a fortune teller that one day she'd be murdered. Frances spent the next sixty years trying to prevent the crime that would be her eventual demise. Of course, no one took her seriously - until she was dead. For Frances, being the village busybody was a form of insurance. She'd spent a lifetime compiling dirt on every person she met, just in case they might turn out to be her killer. In the heart of her sprawling country estate lies an eccentric library of detective work, where the right person could step in and use her findings to solve her murder. When her great-niece Annie arrives from London and discovers that Frances' worst fear has come true, Annie is thrust into her great-aunt's last act of revenge against her sceptical friends and family. Frances' will stipulates that the person who solves her murder will inherit her millions. Can Annie unravel the mystery and find justice for Frances, or will digging up the past lead her into the path of the killer?
The Silver Bone is by Andrey Kurkov. Kyiv, 1919. The Soviets control the city, but White armies menace them from the West. No man trusts his neighbour and any spark of resistance may ignite into open rebellion. When Samson Kolechko's father is murdered, his last act is to save his son from a falling Cossack sabre. Deprived of his right ear instead of his head, Samson is left an orphan, with only his father's collection of abacuses for company. Until, that is, his flat is requisitioned by two Red Army soldiers, whose secret plans Samson is somehow able to overhear with uncanny clarity. Eager to thwart them, he stumbles into a world of murder and intrigue that will either be the making of him - or finish what the Cossack started. Inflected with Kurkov's signature humour and magical realism, The Silver Bone takes inspiration from the real life archives of crime enforcement agencies in Kyiv, crafting a propulsive narrative that bursts to life with rich historical detail.
Her Last Summer is by Emily Freud. No body. No crime? Twenty years ago, Mari vanished while backpacking through Thailand with her boyfriend, Luke. He was accused of murder, but has always insisted he's innocent. Besides, her body was never found. Now, he's finally ready to talk. And filmmaker Cassidy Chambers wants to be the one to uncover what really happened, back then, in the dark of the jungle. But as she delves deeper into the past, Cassidy begins to fear what lies ahead, and the secrets buried along the way.
May 2024The Wild Swimmers is by William Shaw. The body of a local woman is found washed up on the Folkstone shoreline. Cupidi must find the missing link between a group of wild swimmers, an online dating profile and a slippery killer who feels remarkably close to home. In the latest instalment of the D S Cupidi series low tide reveals a mysterious crime.
Between Two Worlds is by Olivier Norek. Undercover police officer Adam Sirkis needs to flee Syria. He knows it's a risk and he's ready for it. First, he sends his wife and daughter to Libya, where they will find boat heading for the Italian coast. Meanwhile, Adam himself winds up in France in theCalais Jungle, the infamous camp for migrants awaiting passage to the UK. Bastien Miller, a police lieutenant freshly transferred to the Calais police force, arrives at about the same time as Adam. His wife is depressed and his teenage daughter isn't exactly happy with the move. When a murder occurs in the Jungle, Adam and Bastien team up to get to the bottom of it. Between Two Worlds is one of these vital books that illuminate an impossible political and humanitarian situation without sugar-coating it in any way.
The Man in Black and Other Stories is by Elly Griffiths. Here are bite-sized tales to please and entertain every thriller taste as well as all Elly Griffiths' fans. There are ghost stories and mini cosy mysteries; tales of psychological suspense and poignant vignettes of love and loss. There's a creepy horror story to make you shiver and a tale narrated by Flint, Ruth Galloway's cat, to make you smile. These stories illustrate the breadth and variety of Elly Griffiths' talent. Even the darkest of them is leavened with light touches of humour.
The Trial is by Jo Spain. 2014, Dublin: at St Edmunds, an elite college on the outskirts of the city, twenty-year-old medical student Theo gets up one morning, leaving behind his sleeping girlfriend, Dani, and his studies - never to be seen again. With too many unanswered questions, Dani simply can't accept Theo's disappearance and reports him missing, even though no one else seems concerned, including Theo's father. Ten years later, Dani returns to the college as a history professor. With her mother suffering from severe dementia, and her past at St Edmunds still haunting her, she's trying for a new start. But not all is as it seems behind the cloistered college walls - meanwhile, Dani is hiding secrets of her own.
The White Circle is by Oliver Bottini and is the final book in the Black Forest Investigations series. Louise Bonì, Chief Inspector of the Freiburg criminal police, gets intelligence from an informer that two guns have been bought from a Russian criminal network. Desperate to prevent a fatal act of violence, Bonì is swift to investigate. Before long she identifies the vehicle used to collect the weapons, but the car's owner has a watertight alibi. The man driving that night was Ricky Janisch, a neo-Nazi and member of the extreme right-wing group, the Southwest Brigade. Bonì and her team put Janisch under surveillance, and identify others belonging to the extreme right. The further they probe, the more shocking their discoveries. Could this be part of a much more powerful neo-Nazi network which will stop at nothing? And how will they prevent an attack when the perpetrators are always a step ahead and they don't know the target? By the time Bonì pinpoints the victim, it may already be too late . . .
Nordland. A region in the Norwegian Arctic; a remote valley that stretches from the sea up to the mountains and the glacier of the Blue Man. It is May. In Nordland it's a time of spring and school-leavers' celebrations - until Daniel, a popular teenage boy, goes missing. Conflicting stories circulate among his friends, of parties and wild behaviour. As the search for Daniel widens, the police open a disused mine in the mountains. They find human remains, but this body has been there for decades, its identity a mystery. The story is told through characters impacted by these events: misanthropic Svea, whose long life in the area stretches back to the heyday of the mines, and beyond. She has cut all ties with her family, except for her granddaughter, Elin, a young misfit. Elin and her friend Benny, both impacted by Daniel while alive, become entangled in the hunt for answers, while Svea has deep, dark secrets of her own. The Long Water is by Stef Penney.