Santa’s sack of new crime releases…

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On the Radar — This is our last latest books news column for 2013, so let’s look at what Santa Claus has brought. We begin with an outing for Washington DC’s busiest psychological profiler, Alex Cross. Scottish author Malcolm Mackay rounds off his Glasgow Trilogy, and there’s a long-awaited return for Lawrence Block’s erudite and scholarly burglar, Bernie Rhodenbarr. Peter James has given Roy Grace some temporary garden leave, and introduces us to a new character. A Merry Christmas, from OTR! Please join us back here on 2 January for the first report of 2014. It’s already looking like an exciting new year of crime is on the way…

Sudden Arrival100The Sudden Arrival Of Violence by Malcolm MacKay
In the 1930s, Glasgow was regarded as Britain’s answer to Chicago, so prevalent was the gang culture in Scotland’s largest city. As recently as 2008 a survey claimed that there were around 170 criminal gangs operating within the G postcode area. This is the backdrop to the final part of Mackay’s trilogy. In part one, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, we were introduced to Calum MacLean, a youthful but deadly hitman. This was followed by How A Gunman Says Goodbye, where MacLean has to go up against his old professional mentor. Now, he’s had enough, and to exit the business he must try and escape the clutches of his paymaster, mobster Peter Jamieson. Out on 16 January 2014.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Dead Letter DropDead Letter Drop by Peter James
Peter James has won a huge fan-base for his masterly tales of Brighton copper Roy Grace, and has managed to bridge the gulf between readers who casually pick up their books during their weekly supermarket shop, and those who are intrinsically interested in crime fiction. Grace has been temporarily sidelined, and James introduces us to a new protagonist, Max Flynn. Flynn is an undercover agent, who has to turn his eagle eyes on someone from his own side. He is faced with problem piled upon dilemma, and must call on all his professional resources to avoid making a fatal mistake. Available on 2 January 2014.
Pre-order now on Amazon

AloneAlone by Kendra Elliot
Kendra Elliot, who lives and works in America’s Pacific Northwest, has a good line in single word titles. This book is the latest in a series, following Hidden (2012), Chilled (2012), Buried (2013) and Veiled (2013). Here, Dr Victoria Peres, a forensic investigator, is faced with the beautiful but bizarre deaths of six young girls. All dressed in white, their bodies are found arranged in a perfect circle. This is a forensic mystery laced with romance and a keen eye for atmosphere and landscape. Out on 7 January 2014.
Buy now on Amazon

Alex Cross RunAlex Cross, Run by James Patterson
By my reckoning, this is the 20th outing for Patterson’s iconic Washington DC cop, Alex Cross. The prolific Patterson and his co-authors are as close as you can get to a writing machine. Love it or loathe it, Patterson’s brand is undeniably popular, and he deserves credit for channeling huge funds in the direction of charitable causes. As Cross battles yet another fiendish villain, expect appearances from his best buddy John Sampson, and Mama Nana his seemingly immortal grandmother. Here, Cross must get the better of Elijah Creem, a plastic surgeon with a penchant for under age sex, and a supporting cast of equally unsavoury and murderous villains. Available now in hardback and Kindle, but out in paperback on 2 January 2014.
Buy now on Amazon

The Shroud makerThe Shroud Maker by Kate Ellis
This is the 18th in a series of well received novels featuring DI Wesley Peterson. Kate Ellis is a native of Britain’s North West – Manchester and Liverpool – but Peterson does his business in England’s largest south western county, Devon. Don’t expect an exclusive diet of cider and cream teas, though. This is gritty crime featuring spite, revenge and strangling, set in a breathtaking landscape. In Ellis’s books, history is woven seamlessly into the plot, and once again, shadows from the past are cast over the patchy sunlight of the present. Out on 2 January.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Burglar SpoonsThe Burglar Who Counted The Spoons by Lawrence Block
Renowned for his two major characters, Matt Scudder and Bernie Rhodenbarr, the 75-year-old New York author shows no signs of taking it easy. After a gap of nearly a decade, Block has answered the repeated query from his many fans: “When are you bringing Bernie back?” Perhaps surprisingly for a bestselling mainstream writer, Block has decided to take the electronic route with this new escapade for his bookseller-turned-burglar. Aided by his lesbian accomplice Carolyn Kaiser, Bernie returns to his evening job with a trawl through the houses and apartments of America’s most privileged citizens. Published for Kindle on 25 December.
Buy now on Amazon

The Dark AngelThe Dark Angel by Dominique Silvain
The author is a French journalist and writer of crime fiction, and she lives in Japan. In Dark Angel, we meet Lola Jost, a retired police officer, grumpy and not coping well with retirement, but kept sane by jigsaws and red wine. Her partner in crime solving is Ingrid Diesel, a rather exotic masseuse. Set in Paris, the story sees the pair investigating the murder of Vanessa Ringer, a young neighbour. The beautiful Vanessa has been strangled, but her killer has added a bizarre and macabre postcript – Vanessa’s feet have been cut off. Expect a vivid and realistic Paris backdrop, a sprinkling of sex, and witty dialogue. The book was translated into English by Nick Caistor, and is available now.
Buy now on Amazon

adeadlyjusticeA Deadly Justice by Kathy Bennett
Kathy Bennett knows the true face of crime better than most of us – she served 29 years with the LAPD and was Officer of the Year in 1997. She’s taken that experience into her writing and A Deadly Justice is a second outing for her lead detective, Maddie Divine. When Divine and partner Donovan are faced with a murder, a series of burglaries and a rape, little does the detective realise that not only are the cases linked, but they are linked to her past in an unexpected way. Expect all the heat of an authentic LA night of crime with this ebook. Out now.
Buy now on Amazon

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