Enjoy the long dark evenings with this selection of just-released classic crime, short stories, military thrillers, political intrigue, espionage adventures, police procedurals and whodunnits. The murders occur in days gone by or the here-and-now, from award-winning writers, indie authors, small publishers and famous names…
RULER OF THE NIGHT by David Morrell
Classic crime. Immerse yourself in Victorian London: opium-eating investigator Thomas De Quincey discovers a gruesome murder in a locked compartment aboard a steam train. Together with his resourceful daughter, he pursues the killer back to fog-bound London to enlist their allies at Scotland Yard. Ultimately, De Quincey must confront two ruthless adversaries: this terrifying enemy, and his own opium addiction which endangers his tormented soul. This is the final part of a trilogy, so you might want to start with ‘Murder As A Fine Art’.
SERPENTS IN THE CITY by HN Wake
Political thriller. A timely and insightful investigation featuring Mac Ambrose, an ex-CIA spook who’s turned her back on the agency. She’s taken a private job as a favour, one which involves the blackmail of a US senator and seedy goings-on with a live-streaming news service. As Mac attempts to uncover who is undermining the senator, she attracts the attention of her old colleagues – and not in a good way. Right on the zeitgeist with dark rumblings about the integrity of democracy and media manipulation, ‘Serpents’ blends gritty politics, dark conspiracies and personal atonement. It features a cast of well-developed, quirky and engaging characters, with wince-inducing action scenes and vibrant dialogue.
FULL REVIEW COMING SOON.
THE STONER STORIES by Frank Westworth
Short stories. These six quick thrillers introduce the early adventures of covert operative JJ Stoner, who uses sharp blades and blunt instruments to discreetly resolve tricky situations for the British government. The self-contained stories follow Stoner’s progress from his final days as a serving soldier to his first private contract, and into the shadow land of the deniable asset. Wryly written, Stoner goes from stone-cold killer to wise-cracking comedian in a heartbeat – and every tale comes with its own bitter twist. This anthology includes an all-new, previously-unpublished story and additional exclusive material; an insight into the author’s inventive methods of dealing with death, and an intimate encounter with an ice cold killer. FULL REVIEW COMING SOON.
GHOSTS OF THE VIKINGS by Marsali Taylor
Scottish whodunnit. If you’ve been seduced by the mysteries of the Shetland Isles, here’s a chance to explore more in the company of ship’s skipper and amateur investigator Cass Lynch. Intrigue and rivalry abound when an opera company starts a Scottish tour – and then a Viking treasure hoard is discovered. As the storm brews and the lights go out, even Cass’s much-loved yacht can’t provide a refuge from a ruthless killer. Out at the beginning of December; perfect if you enjoy Ann Cleeves.
MURDER UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE edited by Cecily Gayford
Classic crime. This anthology presents ten classic crime capers with a festive twist, including a locked room mystery solved with a flourish on Boxing Day; blackmail on Christmas Eve; a body slumped in a chair on Christmas morning, still listening to carols, and the midnight theft of a gift intended for a saint. These are other puzzles pull together famous fictional detectives, from Lord Peter Wimsey to Sherlock Holmes, Cadfael to Father Brown with stories by Ngiao Marsh, Ellis Peters, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, and Dorothy L Sayers among others.
BASIC ELEMENT by Wendy Cartmell
Police procedural. The papers call him the Choker. Investigators Crane and Anderson call him a sadomasochist. He doesn’t consider himself a killer or very much out of the ordinary: it’s just that he has an addiction – a deadly addiction. So whatever you call him, the Major Crimes team have to find him. And fast. Because time is running out. It won’t be long before he kills again. Available for 99p only during launch week (be quick!)
FULL REVIEW COMING SOON.
BULLETS TEETH AND FISTS 2 by Jason Beech
Short stories. An inventive collection of fast-paced criminal capers, stack full of ‘didn’t see that coming’ moments. The plots zigzag across the Atlantic, with tales set in the UK and USA. A woman flees from her dead boyfriend’s family – who’d like to feed her to their pigs. A former pop star humiliates himself to a crowd of smartphones in the hope of a social media-charged escape from his burger van. A father goes too far to protect his daughter. A gang member, after the robbery of a Saudi prince, strips the other members of their money and it all ends in mayhem.
FULL REVIEW COMING SOON.
SPY ON SPY by John Day
Espionage adventure. A rip-snorting WW2 romp, almost in the boy’s own tradition. A secret team of hastily-trained German spies are sent to infiltrate England at the end of the 1943, and set up technical equipment which will help Hitler win the war with his new wonder weapon. Their charismatic leader is an intriguing, multi-faceted character who must run the gauntlet of British intelligence officers, avoid being bombed during a raid, and somehow survive to be reunited with the first woman he’s ever loved. Traps, treachery and tradecraft abound.
THE BROTHER by Joakim Zander
World crime. An international mystery which explores social exclusion, isolation and how young people can be radicalised by extremists. It starts with immigrant children growing up in the slums of Stockholm; the younger boy being lured into a life of low-level crime among street gangs. His older sister tries to protect him but has to flee to the USA, abandoning her brother and exposing herself to exploitation by predatory men. Years later, she hears a rumour that her brother is dead, killed by a US drone in Syria. What happened to transform an innocent child into one of the CIA’s most wanted men?
NIGHT SCHOOL by Lee Child
Military thriller. Jack Reacher’s 21st outing takes him back to his days in the army, sent to investigate a terrorist cell in Germany. Unusually, this episode sees our archetypal loner teamed up with agents from the FBI and CIA, acting on the world stage of international jihadi conflict and convoluted geopolitics. Some reviewers feel JR is better in smaller, more intimate situations where his unique skillset pays dividends. We’ll wait for the paperback to come out before we decide!
A VOICE IN THE NIGHT by Andrea Camilleri
Eurocrime. Idiosyncratic investigator Inspector Montalbano returns, feeling his age but ably backed-up by his regular supporting cast. Colleague Mimi Augello uncovers what looks like mafia involvement in a supermarket robbery; meanwhile, Montalbano gives a young driver short shrift but this rebounds on him when the driver reports a particularly shocking crime. Early reviews suggest that after a couple of less-than-wonderful outings, this is Montalbano at his best: crafty, quirky and comedic, yet deadly serious when it matters.
NO MAN’S LAND by David Baldacci
Military thriller. A rapid page-turner where two protagonists collide. The first, John Puller, is looking for justice. The other simply seeks revenge. Puller may be the US Army’s most tenacious investigator, but he’s not equipped to face the truth about his mother’s disappearance thirty years ago. New evidence suggests that Puller’s father may be the killer: how badly does he need to know the truth? The trail of deception soon links his story with that of a wronged ex-con, set on a path of revenge against the people who took away his humanity…
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 (please share this post to assist your fellow scribblers. Thanks!)