Criminal encounters: new books and recommended reads

The dead bodies are really starting to stack up! There are just too many excellent new crime-thrillers and murder mysteries to cram into one update this month. So here’s an initial assortment of killer priests, Nordic noir, American blues, black comedy, private eyes, psychological thrillers, Scandi crime and savage assassins. Look out for more next week…


ColdLondonExpect caustic wit and knuckle-cracking head-smacking brawls and brutality from the master of Brit grit in this new pitch-black comedy of errors. A killer priest goes on the rampage across London and an egotistical Hollywood action movie star seeks revenge when is his precious comic book collection is stolen. Meanwhile, a gangster’s dreams of going legit swiftly turn pear-shaped when one of his bouncers accidentally kills a regular customer from the club. Hard-boiled humour at its best.

CHARCOAL JOE by Walter Mosley

CharcoalA new Easy Rawlins investigation is a thing to treasure. It’s LA in the 1960s, things are going swell and Easy has started a new detective agency. But then his man Mouse brings Easy a troubling case, where a talented young man has been charged with the murder of a white guy. The accused is a friend of Charcoal Joe, however, and no one wants to cross paths with Charcoal Joe. Racial tensions, social divides, razor-sharp writing and some of crime’s most compelling characters deliver genuine emotional impact to Easy’s fourteenth outing.


AssassinIn the savage world of hired guns, Malakai is a legend, a trigger-puller without peer. His childhood innocence twisted by an abusive father, blood and bullets have become his religion. He sells his lethal skills, the quintessential lone wolf assassin. Contracted to stop a powerful Japanese crime syndicate from blackmailing the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he uncovers a traitor and the chaos and carnage escalate. As a pair of ruthless assassins hunt him down, Malakai knows the only way to survive is to fight fire with hellfire – all the way to a scorched earth showdown. Hard-hitting, unflinching crime fiction.

CASTLE LAW by CJ Somersby

CastleLawAnother kick-ass espionage action thriller featuring female agent Alex, tasked with protecting a Russian defector against all comers. A CIA team unexpectedly arrives at the door of her English country mansion, and Alex is ordered to keep a SMERZ spy safe until the morning. But someone is determined to ensure they don’t survive the night. Breathless action aplenty.

A DIVIDED SPY by Charles Cumming

Divided spyThe third book in the Thomas Kell espionage series sees the cynical, world-weary agent return to active service when an old enemy appears on the scene. Revenge slips down the agenda, however, when the Russian in question has information about a potential terrorist attack in the UK. Cumming writes complex and credible stories of contemporary espionage which explore the realities of modern geopolitics; threats from Islamic groups, the precarious position in Ukraine, how the UK’s influence has waxed and waned. Mature writing, carefully crafted.


LindaA black comic thriller of two estranged brothers — an accountant and con-man talent agent —up to their necks in the virtual quicksand of LA’s San Fernando Valley during the hottest summer in Southern California history. The root cause of their problems could be the missing $75,000, or the sadistic, loan shark dwarf and his vicious giant, or the psycho-comedian cop on the case, or the coke-snorting dentist, or the deranged zombie real estate developer. To repair the head-on collision the brothers have made of their lives, they summon their mother back from the dead to clean up the wreckage. And then discover that screwing with the laws of nature is a violent, bloody, hysterical, and hilarious idea…

RIOT SCORE by Simon Maltman

RiotScoreSomething truly unusual: an ebook which blends a crime story with new original street photography. The photo were taken during a riot in Belfast and the author then wove a story – not about the riot as such, but intersecting with the events that took place during the day. Available from the author.

PEN 33 by Roslund and Hellström

Pen33This is a new edition of the first Ewert Grens investigation: extremely explicit Scandi Crime which explores Stockholm’s darkest underbelly. Pen 33 will be too strong for some stomachs and tackles head-on the full awfulness of child abuse. We’re huge fans of this series BUT think that the publisher should have flagged-up the change of title so it’s more obvious that this is a re-print. If you’ve read ‘The Beast’, then you’ve already read Pen 33. It is brilliant, but we wouldn’t want to buy it twice!

DADDY DEAREST by Paul Southern

DaddyDAn estranged father’s weekend with his beloved five-year-old daughter turns into a nightmare when she gets into the lift of a city centre tower block and goes down without him. She vanishes without a trace. It sets off a race against time, and a nationwide manhunt, to find her. As the police investigation closes in, suspicion falls on those closest to her – with devastating consequences. Daddy Dearest is a terrifying story of love, obsession and psychological meltdown. A thought-provoking fast-paced psychological thriller, with twists and turns aplenty.


More ripping reads will 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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