When the ink ran hot in Fleet Street

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On the Radar — This week we have a wonderful reprint of a long-lost Golden Age novel, a visionary and deeply scary account of crime and corruption in the heartlands of Argentina, and much more! Hold onto what is left of the halcyon days of summer, because some great new reads are hitting the market in the coming weeks.

FatalityFatality in Fleet Street by Christopher St John Sprigg
Oleander Press is reprinting a series of Golden Age crime novels set in London. The series is grouped under the title London Bound, and this is the third in what promises to be a very popular collection. Christopher St John Sprigg was a Marxist writer and poet, and he was killed at the age of 30, fighting with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. This book was first published in 1933 and, as the name suggests, is set in the hub of the pre-War newspaper industry. It’s a murder mystery as well as an early political thriller. False clues and multiple suspects abound, all within earshot of the clattering presses of The Mercury, while the car-crash politics of mainland Europe make for a compelling backdrop. Fatality In Fleet Street is out now.
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Under_This_Terrible_SunUnder This Terrible Sun by Carlos Busqued
A man spends his waking hours smoking dope and daydreaming in front of daytime television. When he receives a mysterious phone call telling him that his mother and brother have been murdered he must drag himself out his narco-haze, and travel to a remote Argentinian village to identify the bodies. When Centarti reaches the village he realises that despite the deaths, his troubles are only just beginning. He is drawn into a web of corruption and violence from which he finds it impossible to escape. This is the debut novel from Busqued, but it has only recently been translated from Spanish (by Megan McDowell). It charts a journey towards psychological disintegration and physical destruction. Under This Terrible Sun is available now for Kindle.
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WitchofMapleParkThe Witch of Maple Park by Robert Tell
This is the latest from the versatile Michigan-based author, and introduces a dour and cynical PI with the entirely appropriate name of Harry Grouch. It begins on Staten Island on Christmas Eve, 1843. A woman and her child have been found butchered by someone wielding an axe. Family member Polly Bodine is adjudged to be the killer, and dubbed The Witch of Maple Park. Then it shifts to Detroit 150 years later. A jazz singer is brutally murdered and dismembered with an axe. Her sister-in-law Polly Marlowe is chief suspect. Are the two cases linked by some strange historical thread? Déja vue? A bizarre coincidence? The supernatural? Grouch and his amour Judy Pacas have to make the call. The book is available now.
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The-Crooked-BeatThe Crooked Beat by Nick Quantrill
Cast aside the Humberside puns like ‘The road to Hull is paved with good intentions’ and ‘Hull is other people’. Nick Quantrill’s Joe Geraghty books have won much acclaim, and this is the third in the series. Hull was once a premier fishing port, but with the decimation of the North Sea fishing fleet, the city has declined. Unscenic and unloved, it has become a dangerous and wounded place. Urban regeneration has been fighting a losing battle with poverty and desperation. PI Joe Geraghty, trying to help out his feckless brother, is drawn into a vortex where ruthless smugglers and violent men threaten to destroy him and those he loves. The book promises to be as dark and edgy as The Clash song from which it takes its title. Publication date – 2 September.
Pre-order now on Amazon

MastersofWarMasters of War by Chris Ryan
Chris Ryan is the pseudonym for a British Special Forces operative who has turned his hand to fiction. Crime fiction? His books just about squeeze into the genre as there is certainly a whole wide world of criminality taking place in this story. The backdrop is the ongoing tragedy being acted out on a daily basis in war-torn Syria. As the great powers prevaricate and hop about like maidens on the edge of a cold swimming pool, a young SAS soldier becomes entangled with the murky underworld of international politics. He discovers to his cost that those calling the shots are not the politicians, but private security services, arms dealers, big business exporters, and mysterious international fixers and facilitators. Masters of War goes on sale today.
Pre-order now on Amazon

backlashBacklash by Lynda La Plante
East London. White van land. Dodgy geezers. Abduction, murder and mayhem. This is very much home territory for the bestselling author and scriptwriter. On the mean streets of Hackney, few, apart from her family, bother about the case of a 13-year-old girl abducted five years earlier. DCS James Langton failed to solve the crime then, and this shortcoming is never far from his mind. New events tug at his memory, however, and a confession appears to join all the historical dots. With the help of DCI Anna Travis, Langton fights against time to solve an old crime, and put right more recent wrongs. Lynda La Plante’s work may be sniffed at by some crime fiction purists, but her pedigree is unassailable. It’s out already in hardback and for Kindle, while the paperback arrives today.
Buy now on Amazon

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