W is for… Grafton?

On the Radar — September usually brings the crime fiction publishers out of their deck chairs and into the sales market, and 2013 is no exception. This week’s report brings you a period witchcraft mystery, drama in the NYPD, a student game that goes badly wrong, a martial arts fighter battling ninja crooks and the 23rd in Sue Grafton’s popular series of ‘alphabet’ novels. And there’s more too, so read on…

BladeofDishonourBlade of Dishonor by Thomas Pluck
‘Rage Cage’ Reeves threw one wrong punch, and the judge gave him a choice: the Marines or a prison sentence. There was only one option really, but when the mixed martial arts fighter returns from his spell with the USMC, he finds that his battles are not over. His wheelchair-bound grandfather runs an Army-Navy store, and has become embroiled in a centuries-old battle between ninja and samurai over a priceless and powerful Japanese sword. This type of book used to be called ‘men’s fiction’, but in these gender conscious days, let’s just settle for rip-roaring adventure. Available from 10 September. Find out more here.

WisforWastedW Is For Wasted by Sue Grafton
Kinsey Millhone seems to have been around for ever, and Sue Grafton has patiently and inventively worked her way through literally an alphabet of adventures. Fans of Kinsey will be delighted to be reunited with the admirable, tinnitus-suffering PI, who has battled a tragic upbringing to make a name for herself in the unforgiving world of law enforcement. Continuing the alphabetical thread, the phrases ‘wasted lives, wasted time, and wasted opportunities’ are central to this story. The book promises to be strong in characterisation, while avoiding stereotypes, as Kinsey struggles to link two apparently unrelated deaths. This will be released on 10 September.
Pre-order now on Amazon

DeadlyHeatDeadly Heat by Richard Castle
There is a certain amount of debate about who Richard Castle actually is, but if you enjoy fast-paced, glossy, crime thrillers set in an authentically described New York, then Deadly Heat may be for you. Be warned that this is a fictional world, featuring fictional characters, written by a fictional author. If you can be be bothered to penetrate this tangled and sticky web of pseudonyms, then a fast-paced and realistic crime thriller set in the savage streets of New York City may well repay the reading. You can buy Deadly Heat from 13 September.
Pre-order now on Amazon

BlackChalkBlack Chalk by Christopher J Yates
Students get up to a lot of nonsense. They always have, and probably always will. Hormones, freedom from parents and a certain feeling of invulnerability make for a heady mix, which most participants hope to put behind them, and shudder at the recollection in later years. After more than a decade, the silly forfeits and childish dares should have become nothing more than embarrassing memories. But the student antics in Black Chalk have developed a life of their own. And they are real. Dangerously real. Christopher J Yates was born and raised in Kent and studied law at Oxford University. He now lives in New York City. Black Chalk is on sale from 19 September.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Devil’s Revenge by KN Shields
The-Devils-RevengeFollowing on from The Salem Witch Society, KN Shields’ second novel featuring the Maine detective Archie Lean and criminologist Perceval Grey has arrived. It’s 1893 and a corpse is found. It’s identified as that of a man who was buried a few days earlier. The pair follow their instincts and use their investigative skills to solve a case which has murderous echoes of the past. Dark secrets, a cunning and devious murderer, a richly authentic period background and a labyrinth of death, deceit and revenge. Oh, and did we mention the occult. It has that too, so what’s not to like? The Devil’s Revenge is already available for Kindle, and arrives on 26 September in print.
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Let It BurnLet It Burn by Steve Hamilton
Alex McKnight is a hard-bitten retired Detroit cop who has left the job behind and gone to live upstate. His past is hard to shake off, however, and he still misses the cut and thrust of being a lawman, and bringing down the lowlifes. His partner is dead, his marriage is just a memory, but when a call from his old sergeant tells Alex that a guy who he helped put away has served his term, and is due, any day, to walk free, Alex cannot resist being drawn back into the game. He fires up his truck and heads for Motown like a moth flies near the flame. This is the 10th in Steve Hamilton‘s popular and award-winning series, and Let It Burn is out now.
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adoginwater100A Dog in Water by Kazuhiro Kiuchi
We started off with ninja and samurai adventures, so we’ll close On the Radar this week on a related note with some new crime fiction from Japan. Kazuhiro Kiuchi is a manga and script writer of some importance, penning the YA series Be-Bop High School which has sold a cool 70 million copies in his home country. Now Kiuchi has turned his hand to hardboiled crime stories set in a world of high finance, drugs, corruption and so forth. When a former cop becomes a private investigator, his first client has a staggering request: murder someone. Apparently there are no yakuza in this book – the author prefers to avoid all those clichés about Japanese crime. We are also assured that no canines were submerged in the making of this novel. It’s out now.
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