In the crosshairs of a killer

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On the Radar — We start off this week with the latest Maeve Kerrigan novel, which sees the police in the firing line as a serial killer turns his attention the law. We have new 14th century crime fiction from Susanna Gregory, an interesting book inspired by Hungarian history, and also a trip to the bushlands of Kenya for the new Mollel mystery. Oh, and before we forget, there’s also a book featuring what must be the world’s first detective with dementia. Lots of diversity this week, so do read on and let us know which ones you’ll add to your TBR pile.

The KillThe Kill by Jane Casey
Casey introduced us to DC Maeve Kerrigan in The Burning (2010). Now, a nameless killer is not targeting random vulnerable women, nor any of the other conventional victims of common or garden deranged murderers. In the cross hairs are none other than Kerrigan’s fellow officers. Those who should be the defenders of the vulnerable have become the target of a devious and resourceful killer. Kerrigan and her boss, DI Derwent, must unravel the most complex mystery they have ever faced to protect their fellow officers – and themselves. Expect a taut police procedural, but one with hints of romance and personal attraction between the main protagonists. Jane Casey was born and brought up in Dublin, and has been twice shortlisted for the Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award. The Kill will be available from 5 June. We’ll be bringing you a review soon.
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On GuardOn Guard by Karl Vadaszffy 
Just when you thought that every possible combination of historical background and distinctive character had been covered, along comes a surprise. The Hungarian uprising of 1956 was brutally crushed by Krushchev’s Red Army is but today it’s just a footnote in history. However, for Detective Sergeant Michael Varga the events are scarred on his consciousness. His father, a noted fencer, was forced to flee Budapest during the turmoil. Now, as former members of József Varga’s fencing club are being found dead, Michael has to investigate a complex conspiracy which threatens to sour both the memory of his father’s sporting legacy, and his own professional future. A sensation on Kindle, it’s now available as a paperback.
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The One You FearThe One You Fear by Paul Pilkington
This is second book in the Emma Holden trilogy, and is a newly edited and expanded edition of a novella that was published in late 2013. In The One You Love, aspiring actress Emma Holden’s fiancé was kidnapped and his brother left for dead in a London flat. Emma, helped by a close circle of friends faced danger and threats from unexpected sources as she tried to save her lover. The sequel promises to be a scary and gripping read, with stalkers, secrets and a reprise of the themes prevalent in the first book, including menace from the least-expected sources. Emma attempts to move on from the trauma of Dan’s abduction. Some have suggested that The One You Love merited a longer and more complex sequel than the first edition of The One You Fear, but you must be the judge of whether this revised version fits the bill. You can do so on 5 June.
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Hell's gateHell’s Gate by Richard Crompton
We first met the Kenyan detective Mollel in The Honey Guide last year and it was reviewed here.With his wife dead – whe was killed during a terrorist attack on the US embassy in Nairobi – Mollel has a hard promise to keep. The Massai warrior promised his late wife that he would bring up their son giving him the best opportunities that Western civilisation could offer. When he finds himself exiled from his Nairobi comfort zone and in a fly-blown bush township, he has to make some hard decisions. He suspects that the local police have run out of patience with the criminal justice system, and are dealing out their own brand of vigilante law. Does he investigate the deaths of several local criminals, or does he opt for the easy life, and hope for a rapid transfer back to Nairobi? It’s out today, so watch for our review.
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The ThreeThe Three by Sarah Lotz
Think of dates which scorch themselves into a nation’s collective memory. Think New York, 11 September, 2001. Think London, 7 July 2005. Think Dallas, 22 November, 1963. This book is based on fictional events which shocked the world on 12 January, 2012. On that day, four airplanes come down in dramatic fashion in different parts of the world. The only survivors, each from a different disaster, are three children. Carers, psychologists and doctors attempt to bring the three children through their trauma. However, when a charismatic cult insists that they were spared for a greater purpose, those who have the children’s best interests at heart have to work within a sensational media frenzy, and something far more sinister. Sarah Lotz is a screenwriter and novelist who also writes novels under the name SL Grey with author Louis Greenberg. She is based in Cape Town. The Three is out now.
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Death of a ScholarDeath Of A Scholar by Susanna Gregory
As long running series go, the adventures of Matthew Bartholemew are up there with the best of them. The healer, investigator, teacher and senior proctor of a university college in 14th century Cambridge first appeared in A Plague on Both Your Houses (1996). Now, amid a very contemporary sounding feud between two colleges – one ancient and well established, the other newly founded and anxious to make its mark – Bartholemew splits his time between keeping the peace within his own family. and investigating murders that seem to be linked to the new college’s ambitious chief benefactor. Expect immaculate period detail and crafty plotting from an author who is a former coroner, but now a senior academic in present day Cambridge. We reviewed one her books from a different series here. Death Of A Scholar will be published on 5 June.
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Elizabeth Is MissingElizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Creating a central character in a detective novel, and avoiding cliche, must be a constant challenge to writers. Few authors can have taken the risk of putting an elderly lady with dementia centre stage. Maud’s brain is distinctly less organised that it once was: she forgets names; she returns home from shopping to find that her shelves filled with the items she’s just bought; in her pockets she finds notes written by herself, but what do they mean? Against this unlikely background Maud is faced with the task not only of tracing a missing friend, but linking that disappearance to that of her own sister, decades earlier. The author completed her MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in 2011 and her debut novel will be out on 5 June.
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Plastic FantasticPlastic Fantastic by Keith Nixon
We took a quick look at Nixon’s first installment in this series here and now the mysterious Russian intelligence officer turned vagrant returns. Konstantin Boryakov still walks the mean streets of Margate, but he now has a new love interest. She is none other than Fidelity Brown, AKA Plastic Fantastic, who earns a living of sorts as a rubber-clad dominatrix. Unfortunately, Fidelity is in trouble with a deeply unpleasant loan shark, and when things start to get rough, Boryakov reluctantly has to use his KGB training to restore equilibrium – and neutralise Nasty Nikos. The author plans to release six Konstantin novellas, and hopes to publish them every six weeks or so. Plastic Fantastic is out now.
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