Ripping Reads: new titles, offbeat books and indie authors

As the days shorten and the autumn evenings draw in, it’s time to settle down on the sofa for some mystery, intrigue and blunt force trauma. So here’s a selection of cracking crime-thrillers, detective novels, action adventure; mystery, horror, fantasy, and Nordic noir, featuring notables such as James Bond, Jack Reacher and Lisbeth Salander, no less. Plenty to keep you wide-eyed and staring into the wee small hours…

MAKE ME by Lee Child

MakeMeThere aren’t many authors whose full-price new releases we feel are worth the high price; eight quid for an ebook! Sheesh. Lee Child is one (John Connolly and Roger Ellory are two others). Each new Jack Reacher novel is something to savour, because every time Child tries something different, pushing his own formula in a slightly different direction, playing with expectations yet rewarding the faithful audience. In 20 books, Reacher has grown and developed, reflecting the changes in American society and world geopolitics – yet he can still be relied upon to give the bad guys a solid thumping. This one’s at the top of the list for a reason.

THE CORRUPTION OF CHASTITY by Frank Westworth

Corruption of ChastityA philosophical investigation into the mindset of an assassin which mixes killer women, a jaded hitman, strange sex, musical interludes, mysterious conspiracies and blood-spattered, rollicking action sequences. A gritty mix of Eurocrime and contemporary noir, ideal for fans of the Dragon Tattoo / Lisbeth Salander books. ‘Chastity’ is the second book in the Killing Sisters series, but it stands alone perfectly well if you’ve not read the first. ‘The writing comes in outbursts of tough, streamlined elegance. Oftentimes it is paired with sharp and punchy dialogue, astutely delivered.’

CITY OF STRANGERS by Louise Millar

City of Strangers coverThe author’s previous psychological thriller was lauded for its creepy atmosphere and startling plot twist. In this book, Grace Scott returns from honeymoon with her new husband to find a man lying dead in their home. They don’t know who he is or where he’s come from. Months later, a note sends Grace to Amsterdam, Paris and Copenhagen on a journey which becomes more dangerous the closer she comes to the truth. Billed as a gripping story of deception, lies and corruption (although the blurb sounds a tiny bit pedestrian to us, but we’ll let you know when we’ve read it…)

WHERE DEATH IS A HUNTER by Christopher Stookey

DeathHunterA medical mystery which tackles head-on hospital death, betrayal, a doctor’s self-doubt, and the search for redemption. Life is good for Dr Hannah until her patient dies unexpectedly during a routine operation. The investigation reveals a basic medical error – her fault, apparently. Yet there’s a number of puzzling inconsistencies which drag Hannah back from a malaise of recrimination. Has she been framed? By whom why? And if she didn’t make a mistake, then why did her patient really die the operating table?

WALK IN THE FLESH by Peter Bailey

WalkFleshAfter terrorists killed his wife, scientists used nanotechnology to turn Neil into something that was not quite human. As a man he was unpleasant, dangerous and of little use. As wetwear, he is unpleasant, very dangerous and extremely useful. He kills without mercy, then erases the evidence by destroying his temporary body. The aftermath is someone else’s problem… A fast-paced near-future thriller, with a heavy slant on satire and social commentary on society’s increasing dependence on technology.

THE GOLD CLUB by David Haskell

GoldClubA white-collar crime thriller in which corporate conspirators steal clients and cash from under the snout of their employer. The rogues take one risk too many and corporate security start to zero in on them. Treachery and sabotage turns friends into enemies, and the perils of public exposure, financial ruin, prison terms, and even more dire consequences threaten to send the whole enterprise crashing down.

TRIGGER MORTIS: A JAMES BOND NOVEL by Anthony Horowitz

TriggerThe fourth reboot in the Bond book franchise goes back to Fleming’s basics. Set shortly after Goldfinger, it gives 007 a romp around the Nurburgring in the German Grand Prix while Pussy Galore keeps Bond’s bed warm back in Blighty. Expect a slick, professional homage for the mass market; nothing edgy or particularly challenging. Apart, perhaps, from some corny dialogue if the title is anything to go by…

12:07 THE SLEEPING by L Sydney Abel

1207An imaginative mix of horror, fantasy, mystery and suspense, almost guaranteed to stop you sleeping soundly. ‘The Sleeping’ are guardians of the underworld who feed from the tormented souls sent there. In our world, they haunt those whom they believe belong in hell. They enter our realm to claim their victim, until the wrongly-given soul is taken. Remember; stay awake, because when they come for you and take you, there is no going back. If you give up fighting, then you might as well give up living…

LOST GIRL by Adam Nevill

LostGirlIt’s 2053 and climate change has left billions homeless and starving; easy prey for the pandemics that sweep across the globe. Easy prey, too, for the violent gangs and people-smugglers who thrive in the crumbling world where ‘King Death’ reigns supreme. A little girl has been snatched and the police aren’t interested. Amid floods, hurricanes and global chaos, who cares about one more missing child? So her father must find his child, alone against the odds…

SELF DEFENSE AGAINST VAMPIRES by JA Khan

VampiresDon’t take this book too seriously. It claims to be ‘written by a professional vampire hunter with aeons of active vampire slaying experience,’ and will teach you everything you need to know from vampire anatomy and physiology, to the early signs of vampirism and vampire slaying techniques. It comes recommended by one Harker, J, who says it offers: ‘practical, sincere and damned effective advice, I would hate to be a vampire knowing this book is out there! You can stake your life on it!’

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB by David Lagercrantz

SpidersWebThe violent misadventures of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist continue, albeit without Stieg Larsson. Reviews so far have been mixed; some say it’s a fair approximation of the original Millennium trilogy, while others note that Lisbeth’s complex character has been detuned and simplified, making her more like the person who appeared in the US film than the original, Scandinavian, brutally tempered-through-torment ultimate survivor . If you’ve read it, let us know what you think…

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More ripping reads to follow in our next round-up. Authors / publishers: feel free to drop an email or find us on Facebook if you’d like your title to be mentioned next time around…

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