Charlie Parker hunts the wolf, and more…

On the Radar — Plenty to look forward to as March comes to a close, including John Connolly’s latest Charlie Parker mystery and new titles from Jo Nesbo and Gordon Ferris. We’ve even got some crime fiction from Moldova for you to try, so read on…

The Wolf in WinterThe Wolf in Winter by John Connolly
The most haunted and obsessive of all modern crime investigators is back. Charlie Parker inhabits the outwardly mundane world of contemporary America, but as he goes about his business, the dark fingers of the past are always tugging at his clothes, and his conscience, for attention. Last year, Parker made it into our list of the top dozen PIs, in some exalted company, and you can read his file here. With The Wolf in Winter Irish author Connolly puts Parker back in business for his 12th appearance, as he is drawn into a case in the exclusive gated community of Prosperous, Maine. As usual there will be a touch of the supernatural as Parker arrives to investigate the death of a homeless man. To be published on 10 April.
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A Nasty Piece of WorkA Nasty Piece of Work by Robert Littell 
Littell has certainly been busy! Last week we gave you the heads-up on his new dramatisation of the life of double agent Kim Philby, and this week he returns with something closer to the present. When an veteran of Afghanistan returns, he retires to what he hopes will be the peace and quiet of the New Mexico desert. Having set himself up as a PI, Lemuel Gunn meets an alluring woman with an equally exotic name – Ornella Neppi. Omella has been trying to run a bail bond business, but without much luck. When Gunn agrees to help find a particularly elusive runaway, Emilio Gava, it isn’t long before the former CIA operative begins to suspect that neither Neppi nor Gava are quite who they seem to be. Published on 27 March.
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HustleHustle by Tom Pitts
Tom Pitts describes himself as having received his education at first hand on the streets of San Francisco. He has produced several short stories in the pulp sub-genre and his latest work is a long way from being a jolly April Fool caper. Expect pimps, whores, drugs, and gutter level violence, all played out in the city where Pitts learned his skills. The book is peopled with lost souls like Donny, Dustin, Bear and Big Rich who interact sometimes with brutality but occasionally with compassion, as they try to find their next fix and operate their next scam. Hustle will be released in USA on 1 April. For UK publications, watch this space!
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GallowglassGallowglass by Gordon Ferris
Ferris has created a heady crime fiction cocktail. Mix standard Glasgow Grit, Tartan Noir, a redoubtable hero – Douglas Brodie –  and top it off with a dash of the threadbare and desperate world of Britain in the years immediately after World War II. Gallowglass completes a quartet preceded by The Hanging Shed, Bitter Water and Pilgrim Soul. Truth Dare Kill which is unconnected with this series. In Gallowglass Brodie has the tables turned when, instead of investigating murders, he becomes the major suspect when a banker is murdered. Remember that in those grim and grimy post-war years, the noose was the standard penalty for murder. We reviewed Ferris’ first book Truth Dare Kill here. Gallowglass will be available on 3 April.
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The QuickThe Quick by Lauren Owen
The Quick takes place as the 19th century turns to the 20th in both London and Yorkshire. Charlotte Newbury sits alone in a crumbling mansion, while her artistic brother, James – a budding poet – has left his Oxford college to seek fame in the capital. When he goes missing, Charlotte has to try to pick her way through what is a totally alien landscape to her, with its foggy streets, secret societies and freakish characters in order to find him. Author Lauren Owen is Yorkshire born-and-bred, and an Oxford graduate, The Quick is available on 3 April.
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MissingYouMissing You by Harlan Coben
Coben has won just about every literary award available, and his books featuring the exploits of sports agent Myron Bolitar are known to millions of readers. He has, however, never been afraid to branch out and write standalone novels. In his latest NYPD detective Kat Donovan explores the dangerous world of internet dating sites. One of her discoveries opens a mystery almost two decades old as she seeks to learn the truth about a former fiancé. Not only are old hurts rekindled, her investigations reveal details which threaten both her personal composure and the relationship between herself and her parents. Published on 10 April.
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The SonThe Son by Jo Nesbo 
Jo Nesbo is something of a rockstar to many crime fiction fans, and the Norwegian begins his latest tour of Britain in late April, and you can check his appearances here. In the meantime, his many fans have his new standalone novel to look forward to. Sonny is in prison, but he is viewed by inmates and wardens as something of a saint. Not only does he behave himself, but he has set himself up as something of a father-confessor to the unfortunates, and has taken upon himself the power to wash away the sins of his fellow criminals. Things change when, during one of the confessions, he hears something about his own family. His saintly demeanour is cast aside as he plans to break out of prison, and avenge a wrong visited on his own father. Last year Jo Nesbo talked to us about his life and writing. The Son is out on 10 April.
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bessarabian nightsBessarabian Nights by Stela Brinzeanu
Human trafficking from Eastern Europe is the hot topic in crime fiction at the moment, and hardly a week goes by without a new slant on the subject. Usually, however, we read about it from the standpoint of law enforcement agencies. This book is different. The author herself came from the former Soviet Republic of Moldova, which is reckoned to be the poorest country in Europe. Now living in England, Brinzeanu tells the tale of two friends who have escaped the rigours of their homeland to seek a better life in London. When Ksenia disappears while on holiday in Italy, Larisa believes that her friend has been taken by traffickers, and is determined to save her. Both help and hindrance come from unexpected quarters, though, and Larisa finds that as well as battling superstition and medieval beliefs, she has put herself in serious danger. Out now.
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