Top 10: A summer of crime

Summer is on the way and many of us have vacations planned. Thinking about what I take to read will occupy as much time as packing clothes and I’m sure if you love crime fiction you’re just the same. This year I have a space-saving Kindle, so at least I don’t have to lug five or six books with me. I’ve done some looking into which books to take with me and there seems to be an abundance of interesting new crime releases on the way from publishers large and small. Perhaps my RoughJustice summer reads list will give you some ideas too. Here are my top ten picks – all books which are being released this summer – in order of release date. Roughly…

This Dark Earth by John Hornor Jacobs
Jacobs’ debut Southern Gods was a mash-up of cosmic horror, Southern gothic and noir. It’s been described as the bastard child of Lovecraft and Jim Thompson. His latest is a post-apocalyptic thriller that again promises to trample over genre boundaries. Expect a fast, visceral read.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Burning Midnight By Loren D Estleman
Amos Walker is a Detroit private eye of the old school – and by that I mean he could have been written by Chandler – and trouble is his business. The series endures I think because of Estleman’s ability as a stylist; no-one does the classic private eye better, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
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Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig
Another book mixing horror and noir, Mockingbird brings us the further adventures of Miriam Black, the young woman cursed with being able to see the death of every person she touches. Blackbirds, its predecessor, is a great mix of grit and grime and I gave it five stars on this site.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Last Kind Words by Tom Piccirilli
The first in a new series about a criminal family, the Rands. This is no dynasty though, more burglars, pickpockets and card sharps. Less Godfather, more like The Grifters. Piccirilli writes men and family almost as well as Peter Temple, and in my book that’s praise indeed. This book will be noir to the bone.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
Nobody else can make being exiled in a foreign country, waiting for the inevitable betrayal, and the kick of the jackboot breaking down your door, seem so romantic. However, if you don’t fancy an early death and an anonymous grave then read the book instead. Seriously, this veteran of the best seller lists is a master at creating atmosphere in his wartime spy thrillers.
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The Kings of Cool by Don Winslow
This is a prequel to Savages, which was arguably Winslow’s breakout book about the drugs business. In truth, he has a string of first rate thrillers behind him with a style that owes a little to Elmore Leonard. No bad thing, I say. Oliver Stone’s adaptation of Savages should only add to the buzz surrounding this book.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Joy Brigade by Martin Limon
This is the latest to feature seargents Sueno and Bascom, American military police working on the border between North and South Korea. The unusual setting works very well for this procedural, and the author is able to call on first hand experience to make the locale convincing. Recent books in the series have taken the duo away from the compound and surrounding Ville, and more into the country itself, and this is set to continue.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Bryant and May and the Invisible Code by Christopher Fowler
This will be the 10th book following the geriatric detectives from the Peculiar Crimes Unit. The series can be read as Fowler’s love letter to England’s capital city and its history. As ever, the duo will have to fight not just villainy but a sceptical Home Office which thinks their methods are as archaic as the detectives themselves.
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The Twenty-Year Death by Ariel S Winter
This looks really interesting. It’s really three books in one, each set in a different time, each written in the style of a different giant of the mystery genre. Hard Case Crime has published some real winners in hardback recently such as The Comedy is Finished and Getting Off. This looks like another. Because it’s HCC the cover is a beauty.
Pre-order now on Amazon

A Wanted Man by Lee Child
The 17th in the Jack Reacher series, this follows Worth Dying For chronologically. The plot is being kept under wraps but you know by now what you’re getting with Jack Reacher: razor-sharp plotting and a satisfyingly intelligent hero whose time in the army left him less than inclined to accept authority. Still not sure about Tom Cruise playing the role of Reacher in the film of One Shot though. That’s a bit of a stretch.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Well, these books should keep me going for a while! Let us know what you think of them, and any other books you plan to read this summer.

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