People are strange

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On the Radar — We’ll start off this week with some World War II intrigue. There are other crime releases set in Stockholm, Texas and Liverpool too, but we’re making a special effort not to overlook Whitley Bay. And, we’ve also got a book featuring a modern monk who solves crimes. Eclectic, as always, here’s what’s On the Radar…

City of StrangersThe City Of Strangers by Michael Russell
In 1939, both the Irish Republic and The United States of America saw themselves remote from and uninvolved in the desperate descent into mayhem that characterised the beginning of The Second World War. But murder – criminal murder – knows no boundaries, either historical or political, and when two deaths, one in a well-heeled district of Dublin, and the other beneath the sky-scrapers of Manhattan, seem to be linked, Garda Sergeant Stefan Gillespie becomes involved in a desperate gambling game, with human lives as the chips, played out against a world descending into chaos. Released today in print, it follows last year’s The City of Shadows. Only £1.99 for Kindle.
Buy now on Amazon

Blind AlleyBlind Alley by Danielle Ramsay
The run-down Northumberland seaside town of Whitley Bay is the setting for Blind Alley, the third book in the series featuring DI Jack Brady. Ramsay says she takes her inspiration from Walter Mosley, and although it may seem a far stretch from the mean streets of LA as walked by Easy Rawlins, Ramsay sees Whitley Bay as a decaying, dark and secretive place, ideal for sudden death and violence. Three savage sexual assaults shock the town, and everyone demands answers. Brady, an archetypal maverick cop, with a chequered personal and professional history, faces his most difficult investigation yet, as many of the clues point to a man, who despite being a criminal, is held in grudging respect by Brady – a respect which seems to be mutual. The Kindle version is out today, and it will be available in paperback in January.
Buy now on Amazon

GameGame by Anders de la Motte
Dark and moody crime fiction from Scandinavia does tend to get us excited here at CFL, but this one’s a bit different and it definitely has a modern twist. Henrik ‘HP’ Pettersson is a petty criminal who ‘finds’ a phone on a Stockholm train. Fiddling with it, as you do, he’s drawn into a game which sends him on various missions in the city. His actions are recorded and posted online. Meanwhile, detective Rebecca Normén is also being drawn into something – finding messages left in her locker. Will her path cross with HP’s? Are they playing the game, or is the game playing them? You can try the first five chapters on Kindle here. Released 5 December.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Epic JusticeEpic Justice by Wayne Epperson
Solid, no-nonsense Atlanta investigator Frank Knott rides – or at least drives – again. After his debut in Crime and Corruption in Texas, and its more substantial sequel Chasing Bad Guys, Knott stars in his most complex and involved case yet. As you might infer from the titles, there is nothing elliptical or enigmatic about either Epperson or his alter-ego Knott. This is very much shoot-from-the-hip stuff, both literally and metaphorically. Now, “Out in the west Texas town of El Paso”, Knott doesn’t exactly fall in love with the Mexican girl of Marty Robbins’ classic song, but instead falls foul of some serious bad guys who are feeding sensitive government information to criminal gangs. Epic Justice is available now.
Buy now on Amazon

Silent WifeThe Silent Wife by ASA Harrison
When the Canadian writer Susan Harrison died in April this year, the world lost a great literary talent at the unreasonable age of 65. Her debut novel, 10 years in the writing, charts a marriage of over 20 years being sucked into a vortex of mutual animosity and distrust. When murder seems a perfectly logical exit strategy from a relationship with a psychological health somewhere between cholera and typhoid, you know that you are in for a harrowing, but brilliant read. The Kindle version came out in July but it’s available in print from 21 November.
Buy now on Amazon

a_psychiatrist_screamsA Psychiatrist Screams by Simon Parke
Monks make quite good detectives, at least in fiction. Ellis Peters (Edith Pargetter) entertained us for years with the exploits of Brother Cadfael, aided and abetted by Derek Jacobi, while William of Baskerville was brought to life by Umberto Eco in The Name of the Rose. Simon Parke is a former clergyman who has written several philosophical books where he engages in conversation with such luminaries as Jesus, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle. More prosaically, he has created a modern monk detective – Abbot Peter. The debut novel was  A Vicar Crucified (May 2013), but the good Abbot is back, together with feisty  DI Tamsin Shah, and here they try to solve the riddle of a murder at a Halloween party in a haunted Elizabethan mansion. The latest Abbot Peter story is out now.
Buy now on Amazon

downamongthedeadmenDown Among the Dead Men by Ed Chatterton
Finally, this week, our new crime book radar takes us to Liverpool for Ed Chatterton’s second crime novel. It begins with DCI Frank Keane investigating a horrific murder in the suburbs of the city. Meanwhile, script-writer Dean Quinn is working on a new film and will do anything to prevent his set being disrupted as the police investigate. Parts of the story take place in the tunnels beneath the city, before departing to Los Angeles, and Australia. It’s out today.
Buy now on Amazon

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