Death Can’t Take a Joke

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On the Radar — This week our new books column brings you novellas, short stories and novels from writers across the spectrum of crime fiction. We’ve got Anya Lipska’s second novel entitled Death Can’t Take a Joke, a new one from Laura Lippman and 12 short stories from Jeffrey Deaver. But there’s plenty more too, so read on and discover the latest releases…

The-StolenThe Stolen by TS Learner
TS Learner describes herself as thriller writer, provocateur and maverick. In 2010, her debut the Sphynx drew readers into the world of archaeology, hidden secrets and ancient mysteries that resonated in the modern world. In her latest book she revisits similar territory, and the story opens with the corpse of a Roma gypsy found under the window of a smart Zurich jeweller’s shop. As local police investigate the death, a brooding and reclusive widower, Matthias von Holindt, is drawn into the investigation when his father becomes a suspect. What ensues involves a priceless but bloodstained piece of art, the ghosts of Nazi predators, and their secretive modern counterparts. The Stolen is out on 27 March.
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Death Can't Take A JokeDeath Can’t Take a Joke by Anya Lipska
In her debut novel, Anya Lipska explored her own Anglo-Polish heritage to bring us an unholy alliance between East End fixer Janusz Kiszka and the young police woman Natalie Kershaw. Now, their paths cross again as the Pole sets out to avenge the death of a friend. The murky waters of Eastern European crime gangs are disturbed when the ill-matched pair combine forces to solve an apparent suicide in London’s financial district. Lipska lives in Northeast London and confesses to being a semi-professional drinker and smoker of other people’s fags. However, when her first novel came out in 2011, she showed that there is more to her than that. Read our review of Where the Devil Can’t Go here. Her new book is out on 27 March.
Pre-order now on Amazon

FederalesFederales by Christopher Irvin
From the chilly streets of London to the reeking suburbs of a Mexico riven by violence, drugs, toothless authority and sudden death. Mexican Federal Agent Marcos Camarena is fighting a losing battle, but fight he does. In a land where rival drug enforcers are free with their use of chainsaws, and decapitation is the standard cure for treachery, this is a story of one man who is finally tipped out of his desire for a quiet life into a world where he has to lay his life on the line just to stay sane. At 126 pages, Federales is a quick read, and it’s out now.
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afterimgone100After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman  

Laura Lippman made her name with an 11-novel series featuring Baltimore reporter Tess Monaghan. In her latest she tells a story which, while still set in the Maryland city, spans the years between 1959 and the present day. Roberto ‘Sandy’ Sanchez is a retired Baltimore detective who works cold cases to supplement his pension, and now he tries to pick over the traces of murder mystery which goes back a quarter of a century. A missing pretend-millionaire, his girlfriend, and a tangled web of young women, some of whom may have met a savage end, all pose a serious challenge to Sanchez if he’s to solve the case and save his own life. It’s out now.
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DLDream Land by Keith Nixon
When you have a down-and-out called Konstantin Boryakov who claims to be an ex-KGB operative, you might be expecting a Moscow, Berlin or London setting. But think on. The enigmatic Konstantin, has just been released from the depths of the notorious Lubyanka prison, but is now adrift in the unlovely English seaside town of Margate. With only scant clues as to why he is in Kent, Boryakov must deal with various members of the local criminal class before he can find the answers. Keith Nixon, who also writes for our site, introduced us to Konstantin in his 2013 novel The Fix, but Dream Land is the first in a series of novellas exploring the Russian’s back story, and is out now.
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wildernessWilderness by Campbell Hart
This story is set in the bitterly cold winter of 2010, which Campbell Hart experienced at first hand, and the initial premise of the story – a bus stuck in an impenetrable snowdrift – is based on an actual incident. The story introduces DI John Arbogast, who is settling into a new job working with the Major Crime and Terrorism Squad of Strathclyde Police. As rescuers reach the stranded bus, they find only a near naked woman handcuffed to one of the seats. Of the driver, and another passenger – a young girl – there is no sign. With a previous failure weighing on his mind, Arbogast is determined to prove himself with this investigation, his first in the new job. As he gets closer to the truth, he uncovers a nasty web of trafficking, paedophilia, and a bitter family feud. Wildreness is out now.
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Trouble In MindTrouble In Mind by Jeffery Deaver
This is a collection of 12 short stories by the popular and bestselling author. He is perhaps best known for his character Lincoln Ryme, the quadriplegic former NYPD cop turned forensic analyst. Rhyme features in one of the stories here. Among other tales with a typical Deaver twist, we have a rich landlady murdered by her tenants, a movie scout (another Deaver character called John Pellam) who is stranded in a mountain town with fatal consequences, a race-against-time attempt to catch a gang of terrorists, and a young women savagely done to death in a parking garage. The collection is out today.
Buy now on Amazon

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