Start stacking the shelves for your summer holiday – this week’s list of cracking crime fiction includes Nordic noir, international espionage, murder mysteries, Scandi crime, literary fiction and historical investigations: thrillers, killers and all-action assassins, from world-class writers and newly discovered indie authors.
HELLFIRE by Karin Fossum
The 12th Inspector Sejer investigation is very welcome; Fossum’s exploration of the darker side of Norwegian society is always rewarding and inevitably unsettling. In Hellfire, a mother and child are found brutally murdered. Meanwhile, another mother, dying of cancer, confesses to her 21-year-old son that he is adopted. The man who abandoned them, with whom the boy is obsessed, is not his real father. Why do we lie to those closest to us? Fossum once again explores the bleak secrets of the human psyche in her typically understated style – seeking to shed light on what drives people to commit the most horrific of crimes.
CITY OF JACKALS by Parker Bilal
A brilliant mix of sardonic social commentary and literary fiction, this series is set in the complex and corrupt environment of Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt. In Cairo, a severed head washes up on the banks of the Nile. The police turn a blind eye. It is just another victim in a series of ritual killings of refugees. But PI Makana feels the pull of his Sudanese past and is impelled to seek justice for the murdered emigrants. This is the fifth in the series, but works perfectly well as a stand-alone if you’ve not tried the others.
THE LONDON CAGE by Mark Leggatt
A man who doesn’t exist discovers a weapon that doesn’t exist. The CIA had hoped it would be buried for centuries, but the retreat of the glaciers has revealed a Cold War secret that could bring down the defence systems of every country on the planet. Connor Montrose must find a way to take control of the destructive power and stop the global race towards armageddon. He’s faced with the choice of betrayal or survival, but either way, he’ll lose.
THE GAMBIAN DILEMMA by Frank Demain
Detective Inspector Elspeth Sanderson travels to the Gambia to interrogate a gigolo, suspected of murdering his widowed benefactress. While there, Elspeth re-ignites and old passion with significant consequences. On her return to England, Elspeth concentrates on the victim’s dysfunctional family, all of whom have strong motives for her murder. The investigations reveal a hornet’s nest of sexual goings-on and intrigue. On top of that, Elspeth’s personal future takes a dramatic turn…
THE LOVER’S PORTRAIT: AN ART MYSTERY by Jennifer S Alderson
When a Dutch art dealer hides his artwork, rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer, he leaves a treasure trove of modern masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, presumably lost forever. That is, until American art history student Zelda Richardson sticks her nose in and learns about the concealed collection. Zelda’s discoveries make her a target of someone willing to steal – and even kill – to find the missing paintings…
THE DEVIL’S DUE by LD Beyer
This historical thriller is set in 1919, when the Irish people rose up to claim their freedom and their land. Poorly trained, vastly outnumbered and severely short on guns and ammunition, a relatively small force nonetheless brought the battle to British forces in Dublin, Limerick and Cork, and on the lonely roads and fields in between. As the fighting raged, Frank Kelleher and Kathleen Coffey—a young couple with plans for the future—were torn apart. This is Frank’s tale: his fall from grace, his dreams, and his quest for redemption.
NEXT OF SIN by Lisa Gordon
A recurring dream haunts young lawyer Gaby who seeks help to recall a shocking event. A series of deaths dating back decades are believed to be accidents, but Gaby – the only witness – finally remembers something far more sinister. Someone she loves is a killer. But who will believe her? The scales of justice are rigged in favour of her adversaries, so Gaby must explore her past, knowing that it will change her future forever.
THE HANGING GIRL by Jussi Adler-Olsen
The idiosyncratic Department Q team of Mørck, Assad and Rose return to investigate another cold case. Less gritty and unremittingly miserable than some Scandi crime, this Danish series blends quirky humour with its intricate investigations and occasionally comedic characters. In The Hanging Girl, the team start with an unsolved case where a young woman is found hanging from a tree. Soon they must stop a string of new murders by a skilled manipulator who refuses to let anything (or anyone) get in the way.
THE BORMAN FACTOR by Robert LaLonde
The first in a new series of Canadian PI murder-mysteries. A reporter is murdered in a public place in broad daylight. Police have no witnesses, no leads, no motive and no suspects. The victim’s wealthy family hire an elite specialist in corporate espionage to find the killer and bring him to justice. A story of greed and corruption points to a land developer who builds skyscrapers worth billions of dollars and leads all the way to the mayor’s office. Will Nick Borman solve the crime or will he be the next victim of a vicious and cold-blooded killer?
THE TIME TO KILL by Mason Cross
This cat-and-mouse killer thriller promises non-stop action and ratcheting tension. When Carter Blake left his job with Winterlong, a top-secret government agency, he was offered a hush deal along with some others. However, when an old member of his team turns up dead, he knows that he must be next. Blake may be the best there is at tracking down people who don’t want to be found, but Winterlong taught him everything he knows. If there’s anyone who can find him – and kill him – then it’s them.
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…