On the radar — This week’s book report includes a new psychological thriller from International Latino Book Award Winner, Cecilia Velastegui, and the latest release from Edgar-nominated writer Paul Doiron. Mark Peterson returns as well with the follow-up to his debut novel Flesh and Blood, and Newcastle’s own Howard Linskey’s back with a third instalment in his David Blake gangland series.
A Place of Blood and Bone by Mark Peterson
Martin Blackthorn was a brilliant young biochemist with a bright future ahead of him whilst studying at Oxford. However, all that changed when he met John Slade during a behavioural experiment. On the surface John appeared normal. That was until it came to inflicting pain, and Martin instantly recognised him as someone without inhibitions or moral qualms. In other words, the perfect subject for a series of experiments that Martin had never dared to attempt before.
Twenty years later, Brighton police officer DS Minter has been called to the scene of a bizarre murder – the dismembered body of a local woman on a station platform. When another body is found, Minter has to consider the possibility that he may be dealing with a serial killer – one with an off-the-scale IQ who acts with chilling brutality. A Place of Blood and Bone is out now.
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The Dead by Howard Linskey
Gangster David Blake is back in Newcastle, and his empire has grown. He’s now running three cities, but he’s about to hit something of a setback when his bent accountant is arrested for murder. The man up for a long stretch until he puts £5 million of Blake’s money out of reach. Blake finds himself with a dilemma – fix the acquittal of a child killer or face losing the cash he needs to bankroll his blossoming empire. But this is only the start of his problems. Serbian gansters have moved onto his patch and are starting to hoover parts of it up, a crazed Russian oligarch is attempting to move in on his drug supply line, and the police are closing in on him. The Dead is out now, and follows on from The Drop and The Damage.
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Trespasser by Paul Doiron
Mike Bowditch is the Maine game warden we were introduced to in Poacher’s Son. Now he’s back for a second outing. Mike’s called to the scene of a car accident involving a deer, but when he arrives neither the woman driver nor the deer is there. The matter is passed on to the state police but the details of the disappearance bear a striking similarity to another case seven years earlier – the rape and murder of a college student. Erland Jefferts was given a life sentence for the crime but when the missing woman is found, Mike realises that she has been brutalised in a way that is intended to frame Jefferts for this latest crime. Warned off by the police, Mike can’t let go of the investigation but he’s dealing with people more dangerous than he could ever have realised and they will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from coming out. Trespasser is out now.
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Missing in Machu Picchu by Cecilia Velastegui
Author Celia Velastegui was born high up in the Andes in Ecuador, and that’s where her latest novel is set. Four 30-something professional women decide to go on the trip of a lifetime on the Inca Trail, but their journey of discovery quickly turns from adventure to living nightmare. Floods and mudslides destroy parts of the trail and cutting them off from the outside world and leaving them to trust their hike leader, Rodrigo. But can he really be trusted? With no alternative but to follow him, the women find themselves journeying higher up the trail to Machu Picchu where he tries to manipulate them into participating in an ancient ritual. Unknown to the women, they have been followed and watched over by two elderly indigenous women – Taki and Koyam, who know the true extent of the danger they are in, but can they save them in time? Missing in Machu Picchu is out on 4 June.
Pre-order now on Amazon