Lincoln Rhyme versus the skin collector

On the Radar — Fans of Jeffery Deaver can rejoice this week because his disabled detective Lincolne Rhyme is back, along with assistant Amelia Sachs, and they’ve got another serial killer case on their hands. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though, because we also have eight other new crime releases. Even if you’re not a Deaver believer, you’re sure to find something for your TBR list this week. From a mystery involving new mothers to a drug dealer’s epiphany, and from World War I to The Edge of Sanity, your crime fiction hunger will surely be sated…

The Skin CollectorThe Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver
To rework Samuel Johnson’s old adage, “When a man is tired of serial killer novels, he is tired of life.” Agree or disagree, millions worldwide have been thrilled and chilled in equal measure by the books of the Illinois-born author Jeffery Deaver. His most remarkable hero is the quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme, and his assistant Amelia Sachs. Former lawyer Deaver weaves a fascinating tale here, as the killer strikes by using a lethal poison to tattoo cryptic messages onto the skin of his victims. Rhyme and Sachs are horrified to find that the current killings, perpetrated beneath the streets of New York, link back to an earlier case which both would rather forget. Our writer Death Becomes Her identified an earlier Rhyme and Sachs story as one of the books which hooked her into the wonderful world of crime fiction. The Skin Collector is published on 8 May.
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Can Anybody Help MeCan Anybody Help Me? by Sinéad Crowley
In her debut novel, the Dublin-based journalist explores the sometimes controversial world of parenting websites, which provide an information exchange to largely housebound mothers of young babies. This facility does not come without a potential cost, however, as new mum Yvonne finds out. When she finds an online friend who seems to share her joys and anxieties, she spends more and more time divulging details of her own life, with its hopes and fears. Then, in what may just be a chilling coincidence, Yvonne’s virtual friend disappears from the chat room at the same time as police announce that they’ve found the body of a young woman. Yvonne’s heart sinks as she realises that the dead woman could be her missing confidante. She shares her fears with Sergeant Claire Boyle of the Garda Síochána. Boyle is initially skeptical but, about to go on maternity leave herself, she is eventually drawn into a terrifying conspiracy. Available on 1 May.
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Ticket To OblivionTicket to Oblivion by Edward Marston
The author is nothing if not inclusive in his six distinct series of historical crime fiction. Working chronologically, he has written mysteries set in Norman and Shakespearen times; the late 17th century; the early 18th century; in Victorian times and the age of steam; and, finally during the Great War. It’s during WWI that A Ticket to Oblivion is set, on the home front. It’s another outing for Marston’s Inspector Colbeck – also known as the Railway Detective. Former barrister Colbeck has an uneasy relationship with his superior, Superintendent Tallis, but they must put their differences aside to investigate the baffling disappearance of a young woman and her maid from a train between Paddington and Oxford. Has the girl simply run away, or are there darker forces at work? It’s out today.
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Stay-God-Sweet-AngelStay God, Sweet Angel  by Nik Korpon
Stay God, Sweet Angel takes us to Baltimore in the current day. This is a world of drug dealers, transient relationships and violent loyalties – which can be as short-lived as the gap between fixes. The main character is Damon, who thinks he has life at his fingertips as he satisfies his own addiction to video games while his clients become addicted to the drugs he sells them. He has a long-suffering girlfriend who, despite Damon’s many shortcomings, wants to marry him. But then murder, a vanishing, and sexual intrigue combine to shatter Damon’s ordered existence with all the drama of a snow globe smashing into a brick wall. The writing has been described as noir, edgy and aggressive – tit might make you grateful that you don’t live in Damon’s fragile universe. Available from 25 April.
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COLDER WAR_jacketA Colder War by Charles Cumming
Cumming won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012 for Best Thriller of the Year. His latest novel is set in Istanbul, for generations the meeting point of East and West. Perhaps, in this digital age, the city’s relevance as a centre of intrigue has diminished, but when Thomas Kell is hired to investigate the suspicious death of the agency’s Head of Station, the ancient streets and impressive architecture regain their significance. In the best traditions of John le Carré and Len Deighton, the action spins between the major cities of Europe as former MI6 man Kell seeks to identify a breach of security in Britain’s top intelligence agency. Cumming was born in Scotland, and his authentic description of MI6 can be attributed to the fact that he was once invited to join their ranks. A Colder War is out today.
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The Edge Of SanityThe Edge of Sanity by Sheryl Browne
In the classic film Chinatown John Houston’s monstrously evil Noah Cross says, “Mr. Gittes, most people never have to face the fact that at the right time and the right place, they’re capable of anything.” Daniel Connor has already suffered the unspeakable tragedy of losing a child, but if he thinks he has reached emotional rock bottom he must think again. Now, he has to ‘be capable of anything’. He has been taken prisoner, force-fed heroin, and now confronts the fact that his wife and surviving child have been snatched by the psychopathic Charlie Roberts. Roberts may be a violent killer, but he has reckoned without the blind intensity generated when an innocent man faces the annihilation of his family. Published on 30 April.
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Dantes PoisonDante’s Poison by Lynne Raimondo
In her previous novel, Dante’s Wood, Lynne Raimondo introduced us to her blind psychiatrist, Mark Angelotti. Now he’s back, and in his Chicago home territory he investigates a new treatment which promises to restore his sight. The novel balances courtroom drama with the more physical threats faced by investigators on the streets. Journalist Rory Gallagher (no relation to the awesome Irish guitarist) is dead after what might have been a homicidally administered drug overdose. As Angelotti uncovers several uncomfortable truths, he must think smarter, move faster and act more decisively to combat those who underestimate him because of his disability. Published on 6 May.
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But For The GraceBut For The Grace by Peter Grainger
Former DCI David Conrad Smith, after bringing to justice the killer of four young women in Accidental Death, has been seriously affected by the stress of his work, and has stepped down to be a relatively humble Detective Sergeant. Now, with December snow threatening Norfolk, Smith must investigate a death at a care home for the elderly. The manager of the home says, bleakly but accurately, “We are living in the departure lounge, and flights leave with monotonous regularity.” However, a post mortem reveals something decidedly unnatural about this particular flight to heaven, and Smith and his team are faced with a difficult and delicate search for the truth. Available now.
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The Murder BagThe Murder Bag by Tony Parsons
Parsons is a familiar voice to those who grew up reading his features in the New Musical Express during the punk and new wave era. His fiction breakthrough was with his 1999 bestseller Man and Boy. Now he turns his considerable talent to our favourite genre – crime fiction. This is the first in what promises to be a series, featuring a London detective, Max Wolfe. His publicists tell us that Wolfe has joined The Homicide Division of London’s West End Central. Wolfe’s first case is to try to discover why a group of middle-aged and successful men – all alumni of an exclusive independent school – are being targeted by a particularly brutal killer. You can watch the animated trailer below. Out on 8 May – watch for our review, soon.
Pre-order now on Amazon

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1 Comment

  1. Sheryl Browne Reply

    THANK YOU! I hadn’t realised I was featured here, David. So sorry (I blame life. It really does drive you to the edge sometimes ;)) Love your outline of The Edge of Sanity! Really appreciated.

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