Here comes the sun

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On the Radar — Adrian McKinty’s latest book heads up our new releases this week. His recent work has been set in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, but this time he takes us to the South Seas and back to 1906. Among other writers competing for your attention this week are Ed Kurz with a gritty tale about bygone New York; Charles Stross returns with another occult-tinged crime thriller; and Alan Hamilton with a disturbing tale about a terminally ill man in 1930s Liverpool.

The Sun is GodThe Sun is God by Adrian McKinty
McKinty is best known for his Sean Duffy novels, but now he takes us just about as far away as you can possibly go from the rain-soaked streets of Northern Ireland. The huge island currently known as Papua-New Guinea has been in and out of many colonial hands over the years, but this book is set on an island off the main land mass in 1906, and the Germans are in charge. The colonists on Kabakon have developed a bizarre lifestyle involving nudism and a diet of coconuts. When one of their number dies in mysterious circumstances, former military policeman Will Prior gets involved. His pursuit of the truth behind the death of Max Lutzow takes him under the skin of harmless eccentricity, and into the heart of real danger. Out on 10 July.
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The Red HillThe Red Hill by David Penny
David Penny is not exactly a new author. Decades ago he wrote science fiction under a pseudonym, but now he returns to the fray with a novel set in 15th century Spain. The Christians, spearheaded by the fearsome Inquisition, are driving the Moorish settlers back to their North African heartlands. Thomas Berrington is a surgeon working for The Sultan of The Emirate of Granada. As the Moorish rule collapses he and court eunuch Jorge are drawn into the investigation of a series of murders. The most celebrated victim has been one of the wives of Abu l-Hasan Ali, the Sultan himself. Out now.
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Unknown UnknownsUnknown Unknowns by Adam Bromley
Bromley is an established comedy writer for TV, working for programmes like The Now Show. In his first novel he adopts a slightly different tone in a tale which involves middleweight diplomats, a Russian General, and a post-Soviet republic that doesn’t officially exist. The title pays homage, of course, to the enigmatic utterances of Donald Rumsfeld, the former American Defence Secretary who worked for both Ford and Bush. In the book, junior diplomat Kat Foster seizes the chance to atone for a major career faux-pas as she attempts to get the better of the Iron Men in the Kremlin. The book is out now.
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A Better WorldA Better World by Marcus Sakey
First came Brilliance in 2013, and in the second book in the series once again we have futuristic crime fiction based on a simple but alarming concept. Within our society are a handful of people who are, basically, brilliant. Their brains operate on a different level from those of normal people, and their perceptive abilities are out of the ordinary. What if the mental powers of these ‘brilliants’ were to be harnessed by terrorist organisations, whose aim is to destabilise and wreck normal society? What if emergency phone calls go unanswered, and fanatics can overpower the rule of law? Sakey’s tale of a dystopian future is available now.
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TheRhesusChartThe Rhesus Chart by Charles Stross
The Laundry Files series might not sound that gripping, but this is the fifth in the series, so Charles Stross is clearly doing something right. Readers of a certain age can never hear or read the word Rhesus without being reminded of the immortal words of Tony Hancock in The Blood Donor. “Rhesus? Those are monkeys… How dare you… I did not come here to be insulted by a legalized vampire!” But blood groups are, indeed at the core of this story, as are vampires. When financiers in the City of London are threatened by something called The V Syndrome, Bob Howard, an operative with an intelligence agency called The Laundry, has to find the antidote. Out today.
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asfaskA short film about Serial Killing by Alex Radcliffe
The grisly deeds of Fred and Rose West, who tortured, raped and killed dozens of young girls in their Gloucester home, is one of the vilest chapters in British criminal history. Although the events in this book mirror the dark deeds that gripped a nation when the case came to court in 1995, we view proceedings from separate angles – the defence barrister for Ruth Webb (Rose West), the detective who handled the original murder enquiry, and a young journalist making the eponymous film. Eddie Webb (Fred West) has already committed suicide, and so Ruth must face justice on her. Was she forced into the decades of depravity in their home, or was she the instigator? The Kindle version is out now.
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WorldOfTroubleWorld of Trouble by Ben H Winters
This is the third book in a trilogy which began in 2013 with The Last Policeman, and continued in Countdown City. We are in a pre-apocalyptic USA, with an life-destroying asteroid speeding towards Earth. The ultimate Doomsday scenario is having a corrosive effect on society. Law and order is breaking down. Workers are walking off the job and a flood of refugees is fleeing from the probable impact zone. But still, there is crime, and still it must be solved. Detective Hank Palace is The Last Policeman, and while society crumbles around him, he faces what may be his last task – to save his sister. Whether or not there is a Bruce Willis waiting in the wings to save the day we can’t say, but you can find out when the book is released on 15 July.
Pre-order now on Amazon

the-forty-two-frontThe Forty-Two by Ed Kurtz
Kurtz takes us back to the grisly, grimy, glory days of New York’s 42nd Street in 1979. Flea pit movie theatres showing low-budget shlock horror films, cheap pornos, low-brow humour and Kung Fu epics. Kurtz is a wholesome Virginia boy, but he was fascinated by the sheer sleaze of the block between 7th and 8th Avenue. His homage to the lurid imaginings of his youth is both a love story and a crime novel. Charley McCormick is watching a horror movie double feature, nervously aware of the beautiful young woman sitting next to him. When the lights come back on, and the girl is discovered dead, Charlie is forced into a nightmare world where the thrills and spills are not just celluloid – they are for real. Out now.
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StalemateStalemate by Alan Hamilton
Walter Bruce loves chess. He loves the bloodless cut and thrust, and he is well aware of the endless metaphors that the game provides for real life. His marriage is loveless, but functioning. This is 1930, and they did things differently then. Divorce was a last resort, and the done thing was to ‘rub along’ with each other, despite the lack of love and emotional frigidity. When Bruce is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he sharpens his focus. His wife has been offering her favours away from the marital bedroom. When she shows little interest in nursing him in his decline, Bruce decides to liven up his final months with an act of revenge. What’s the worst they can do if he gets caught? Hang him? Stalemate is available now.
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Dead EndDead End by Shirley Wells
Crime fiction buffs do love a series. The challenge for the writer is to satisfy the long-running fan base, but also to provide something which is instantly accessible to a new reader. This is the seventh episode in the annals of private investigator Dylan Scott, whom Shirley Wells first brought to our attention in 2010 with Presumed Dead. Then, Scott was freshly kicked out of the police force – an action mirrored by his wife – and is was having to cope with his live-in mother. Now someone who Scott has rubbed up the wrong way has decided that revenge is a dish best served cold, and is threatening his life. There is no shortage of suspects, as Scott has upset many a criminal over the previous few years. But who hates him enough to actually pull the trigger, rather than actually wish him dead? The answer will be revealed on 7 July.
Pre-order now on Amazon

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