Something more sinister

On the Radar — If you’re looking for dark tales of murder and mystery, you’ve come to the right place. This week, new additions to the crime fiction bookshelf include Graham Ison’s latest WWI-set Hardcastle novel, a futuristic tale by Dean Koontz, some new Scottish crime fiction, and more. You’ll even find one book in which the American mafia take on Russian terrorists. Read on and discover something new for your TBR pile…

hardcastles-quartetHardcastle’s Quartet by Graham Ison
The solidly dependable London cop Hardcastle and his faithful colleague Marriott have been working to keep the peace on the streets of London. Meanwhile young men from Britain, France and Germany have been slaughtering each other in the trenches of The Western Front. Previous books in the series have been set against the various WWI  backdrops, and we reviewed Hardcastle’s Traitors here. Hardcastle’s Quartet is set in June 1918, and over in Europe the German army has shot its bolt. When the wife of a Royal Navy officer is found dead in her Westminster house, the police are tempted to register it as suicide. Hardcastle may be ponderous, but he is no fool, and he soon suspects something more sinister. The investigation opens out into something which has ramifications far beyond the blacked-out streets of London. Out on 31 July.
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THE-CITYThe City by Dean Koontz
Koontz has always been a ‘genre-bender’, and has never been afraid to mix good old fashioned crime with futuristic and metaphysical elements. The City in question here is New York, and the author combines a rite of passage story with a discourse on jazz, the changing world of popular music, the war in Vietnam, and a bomb plot involving political agitators. An African American boy with prodigious musical talent takes centre stage, but his world is peopled with ancestral ghosts – real and imagined – as well as a Japanese WWII internee, a womanising father and a talented mother reduced to working in a Five and Dime. The City will be available on 31 July.
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an-evil-mindAn Evil Mind by Chris Carter
This is a sixth outing for the ex-criminal behaviour psychologist and lead detective with the Ultra Violent Crime Unit of the LAPD, Robert Hunter. It’s set in the wide open spaces of Wyoming, but the crimes Hunter must investigate are worthy of the darkest alley off the meanest street in Chicago, NY or LA. When a truck crashes into a car parked outside an isolated cafe, and the wrecked car contains a couple of severed heads, the local police immediately call in the FBI. The owner of the car is the obvious suspect, but he refuses to speak to the Bureau, and demands to see a former college chum – Robert Hunter. Hunter’s investigation reveals a nationwide conspiracy which has the FBI gasping in disbelief. We took a brief look at the previous Robert Hunter novel, One By One,here. An Evil Mind will be published on 31 July.
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The Night HunterThe Night Hunter by Caro Ramsay
The Glasgow detective duo of Anderson and Costello has been around for a while now. In the latest episode of their partnership they have to contend not only with a killer who stalks and kills young women, but a well-meaning former policeman who has been hired by a relative of one of the victims. The suggestion that Billy Hopkirk should leave it to the professionals cuts absolutely no ice with the retired cop. Helped by Elvie McCulloch, whose missing sister may be one of the victims, Hopkirk manages both to help Anderson and Costello, and get under their feet at crucial moments. Ramsay has gained a determined following over the last few years, and her name sits comfortably alongside such luminaries as Rankin, McDermid, MacBride and Mina. This book is out on 31 July.
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The WolfWolf by Lorenzo Carcaterra
You probably won’t need a Masters in Investigative and Forensic Psychology to work out that this is a novel about organised crime. The central character, Vincent Marelli, might as well have graduated from the Michael Corleone School of Business Ethics. The Camorra, his organisation, takes a cut of almost every dollar spent, honestly or dishonestly, at home or abroad. Marelli runs rings round official crime agencies, but when he makes a mistake and brings tragedy down on his family, he soon finds that he is not facing criminal rivals, but Russian terrorists. Carcatterra invites us compare the motives and morality of the terrorists and the mobsters as they lock horns in a bloody and remorseless battle. Wolf is out on 29 July.
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The Perfect Stranger ArtThe Perfect Stranger by Wendy Corsi Staub
Like so many other people in today’s alternative universe of blogs and social media, Landry Wells has known dark times. She shared rather more of her soul with virtual online friends than was wise and it led to misery. Now, with her life more or less back on track, she hears that one of these friends is dead, the victim of what appears to be a motiveless crime. She decides to attend the funeral well aware that she will come face to face, for the first time, with other members of the online clique. She realises that these people know more about her inner thoughts and feelings than her actual family, and it also dawns on her that one of these people may actually be the killer. Available on 29 July.
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Silent KillSilent Kill by Peter Corris
Cliff Hardy is certainly the longest serving Australian PI, and possibly the most prolific creation by a living CriFi writer. The Dying Trade was published in 1980 and, nearly 40 books later, the grizzled Sydney investigator shows no signs of retiring. Hardy doesn’t usually stray far from his New South Wales heartland, but in this story he has to operate in the political hotbed of Canberra and the rough and tumble underbelly of Darwin. Having been hired as minder to a controversial public figure, Hardy ends up investigating both kidnap and murder. As usual, he and the police force have an ambivalent relationship, but in this case Hardy needs all the help he can get, including the assistance of a smart and resourceful indigenous Australian investigator. Smart Kill is out now.
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