Welcome to fascist Britain… and more!

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On the Radar- This week’s new books report focuses in on four very different books that share the same release date – 25 October. And there’s a fascinating range of concepts in this week’s selection, starting in 1952 with a vision of what life could have been like in Britain had the Nazis won the War. Then, Susan Hill picks up the baton with the story of a mysterious killer who doesn’t seem to exist. We’ll head back to the dying days of the Victorian age where Oscar Wilde is on the trail of a killer in Reading Gaol, and round things off with a trip to 1960s Italy and two cases that are perplexing Inspector Bordelli and his assistant, Piras.

Dominion by CJ Sansom
Probably best known for his Shardlake series set during the reign of Henry VIII, CJ Sansom’s latest novel takes us into the smog-filled streets of London in 1952 – however, in this scenario Britain didn’t win the War and the country finds itself under a dark authoritarian rule. Churchill is running a resistance organisation, building pressure against the German overlords. Civil servant David Fitzgerald finds himself on a rescue mission to free his friend Frank Muncaster, who has been incarcerated in a Birmingham mental hospital. It’s an assignment fraught with danger and even David’s wife Sarah also finds herself being drawn into a world more dangerous than she could have imagined. As they try to hide in the London smog, they find themselves pursued by Gestapo Sturmbannfuhrer Gunther Hoth.
Pre-order on Amazon

A Question of Identity by Susan Hill
Novelist Susan Hill is well known within the horror genre as well as being an established in crime fiction. Her most famous novel, The Woman in Black, has been adapted for both stage and screen. A Question of Identity is the seventh book in the Simon Serrailler which began in 2009.

Duchess of Cornwall Close is a mixture of bungalows, flats and new builds – sheltered accommodation built to house the elderly. But a serial killer is hiding in the shadows. How do you find a man who doesn’t exist? A man who likes to kill, and will leave the same telltale signature with each victim. An elderly woman is dragged from her bed and strangled with a length of flex. The circumstances behind her death are bizarre, but DCS Simon Serrailler and his team must keep some of the details of the woman’s murder secret. When Serrailer’s former sergeant Nathan Coates discovers a name, the team find themselves hunting for a ghost.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol by Gyles Brandreth
The sixth book in Tory-turned-crime writer Gyles Brandreth’s series sees Irish novelist Oscar Wilde pitting his wits against a variety of criminal masterminds. It’s 1897 and newly released from Reading Gaol, Wilde has escaped to Dieppe. He’s sharing tales of his incarceration with a stranger over a drink. When a prison warder and the chaplain at the prison are murdered, it’s to Wilde that the governor turns to for assistance.
The hardcover is out already, or you can pre-order the Kindle edition which comes out 25 October.

Death in Sardinia by Marco Vichi
Florence 1965 and Inspector Bordelli returns to investigate his third case in this series by Italian crime writer Marco Vichi. A loan shark with a reputation for blackmail and ruining people’s lives is found dead – a pair of scissors sticking through his throat. Bordelli has a difficult investigation on his hands – a victim who attracted nothing but deep hostility and to make matters worse, he’s without his trusty sidekick Piras who is convalescing at his parents’ home in Sardinia. However, Piras has his own mysterious death to deal with.
A print copy is available now on Amazon, or you can pre-order the Kindle version which is released 25 October.

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