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Murder taken lightly

4 Mins read

On The Radar — Our selection this week starts off rather light-heartedly – if murder can ever be taken lightly – with a novelisation from the American TV series, Monk. But after that we go back in time, get gritty and modern Glasgow, and there’s a new Tania Carver novel on the way too. They tend to guarantee dark story lines and vicious killers. There’s more too, so read on…

Mr MonkMr Monk Gets Even by Lee Goldberg
This is the 15th novel in the Mr Monk series, all based on the TV show Monk. Natalie Teeger, the story’s narrator, is working as a police officer in New Jersey and her daughter Julie takes her place as Adrian Monk’s temporary assistant. Monk investigates a series of apparent accidental deaths and suicides, but he suspects they were all murders. After accusing a man of these murders, his old foe Dale the Whale escapes from prison and Captain Leland Stottlemeyer, of the San Francisco police, is framed for helping him escape. Monk is then put on the task of getting his private life in order and finding out the truth behind the series of murders and Dale’s escape. This is out now for Kindle.
Buy now on Amazon

Victorian MysteryA Victorian Mystery Quartet by Brian Thompson
The central character is Bella Wallis, a mysterious and glamorous widow who leads a double life in Victorian London. This is the fourth in a series of Bella Wallis tales, and the four stories – The Widow’s Secret, The Sailor’s Ransom, The Player’s Curse and The Whole Story – are packaged together in a compendium edition. The action is not confined to London, but also takes in Cornwall, Paris, and the unlikely crime scene of a cricket match. Readers can expect kidnap, anarchist bomb attacks, a search for the owner of a mysterious cigar case, and even some tasteful cross-dressing. The quartet will be published by Chatto & Windus in hardcover on 19 September.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Blood-CityBlood City by Douglas Skelton
Douglas Skelton is an established writer who has chronicled the real life criminal history of Scotland and its major cities. This is his first foray into crime fiction, and the book is set in familiar territory for followers of Tartan Noir – Glasgow. Skelton’s tale features a central character, Davie McCall. Years of childhood abuse have left him bitter and brooding about his past, and pondering his future among the drug dealers, heavy boys and cut-throats of the Glasgow criminal underworld. He strikes up an unlikely relationship with one of city’s more feared godfathers – Joe ‘the Tailor’ Klein. Blood City is out now.
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Dolls-House-CarverThe Doll’s House by Tania Carver
Tania Carver is the pseudonym for the husband and wife writing team Martyn and Lynda Waites. DI Phil Brennan of the Major Incident Squad comes across the most bizarre and stomach-churning crime scene he has ever encountered. He is called to a suburban house whose interior is decorated exactly like a life-sized doll’s house, complete with a life-sized doll. Turns out she’s not a doll, though but a human woman – pink-cheeked, blonde pigtailed, pink-dressed – yet covered in blood and utterly eviscerated at the tea table. As Brennan investigates and turns over more stones, he uncovers ever more unpleasantness and realises that he must act fast. The next murder has already been planned and the victim is all too close to home. The Doll’s House is out today as a paperback.
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QuestThe Quest by Nelson De Mille
Two reporters, a mercenary soldier, and a beautiful photographer are caught in the upheaval of an Ethiopia being ripped apart by civil war. When they meet a dying priest, Father Armando, who has escaped from a bombed-out jungle prison, he reveals to them an incredible secret – the location of Christ’s cup from the Last Supper, hidden in a remote monastery. In the best tradition of such fictional searches, they encounter murderous tribesmen and rival searchers who will stop at nothing to find the hallowed treasure. De Mille is a much decorated former soldier who began his writing career with a string of NYPD detective novels. The Quest is out 19 September.
Pre-order now on Amazon

OctoberListThe October List by Jeffery Deaver
Gabriela’s life is relatively normal. Then, out of the blue,  she gets word that her six-year-old daughter has been taken. She’s given an ultimatum: pay $500,000 and find a mysterious document known as the October List within 30 hours, or she’ll never see her child again. This a classic race against time thriller with an enticing hook from the publishers – “Gabriela waits desperately for news of her abducted daughter. At last, the door opens. But it’s not the negotiators. It’s not the FBI. It’s the kidnapper. And he has a gun.” Deaver has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony Award, and a Gumshoe Award. He was recently shortlisted for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Best International Author. The October List is out 26 September.
Pre-order now on Amazon

GimmeShelterGimme Shelter by Rob Gittins
Gittins is an award-winning screenwriter, and this is his first novel. It is set in the hidden world of witness protection. A young female officer, Ros, has to pit her wits against a cunning and resourceful psychopath, who is determined to hunt down her witness. Set in Wales, the story gives us struggling and sometimes incompetent police officers who are barely adequate to the task, as they come up against sexual deviants and torture junkies. Note that this is a book where the writer does not flinch from descriptions of graphic violence. Gittins has written for Heartbeat, Casualty and The Bill, and is currently the longest serving writer on EastEnders. Gimme Shelter is out now.
Buy now on Amazon

Claus of Death by Gayle Trent
Gayle Trent is a prolific American writer who uses several pseudonyms, but writes the Myrtle Crumb novellas under her own name. In Claus of Death, Myrtle goes undercover. When Tansie and Melvia drop in to tell Myrtle that the mall Santa committed suicide, Myrtle smells a Christmas rat, as no self-respecting Santa would kill himself right there in Santa Land! She gets a job as Mrs. Claus to investigate Santa’s death and stumbles into a dangerous situation. In this third installment of the Myrtle Crumb mysteries, the sassy, sixty-something sleuth gets a job as Mrs. Claus to investigate the mysterious death of a mall Santa. Myrtle struggles to wrap up the case before Christmas while trying to avoid  becoming the killer’s next victim. Though Christmas themed, it’s available good and early: 17 September. See the author’s Facebook page for more.

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