Dealing in seaweed

5 Mins read

On the Radar — It is to Jim Kelly that we owe our eccentric headline this week. In his upcoming release At Death’s Window, we’ll be treated to a scenario where drug dealers muscle in on the samphire market. Never before, to our knowledge, has an edible seaside plant lead to such death and destruction. That’s a great place to start but we also have moose murders in Maine, vigilantism in Liverpool, Henry VII, a sleepy crow, stolen hairbands and a child snatched from the cradle. Eclectic? Yes. Excellent? Hopefully that too. Enjoy this week’s On the Rader and let us know if any of these make your TBR list.

At Death's WindowAt Death’s Window by Jim Kelly 
DI Peter Shaw and DS George Valentine are used to battling drug dealers and other opportunist criminals in King’s Lynn, but when they discover a deadly trade in a locally picked delicacy called samphire they are knee-deep in extortion, profiteering and murder. The coastal plant has been a staple of the local Norfolk people for generations, but when London gastro pubs are prepared to pay silly money for a strand or two of the edible plant, then the criminal fraternity sees a window of opportunity. A murderous struggle between local vested interests and men more used to dealing in white powder than green seaweed provides the greatest challenge yet for Shaw and Valentine. Out on 31 October. Read our appreciation of Jim Kelly’s writing here.
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Massacre Pond UKMassacre Pond by Paul Doiron
This is the fourth outing for the Maine backwoods game warden Mike Bowditch, and we revieweed the last novel Trespasser here. It’s a warm October, and Bowditch shakes his head in sorrow when he confronts the carcasses of seven moose, presumably killed as a form of protest against a plan by a rich environmental activist to create a park which will cost hundreds of local jobs. Seven dead moose is one thing, but it gets a lot more serious when human bodies are added to the death toll. Expect an insider’s grasp on what it’s like to live in the vast and wooded wilderness of Maine, but also look forward to a murder mystery set amid evocative and challenging scenery. Out today. Watch for our review soon.
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The Dying PlaceThe Dying Place by Luca Veste
Liverpool is becoming a favoured city for those looking for an evocative location for crime novels. Luca Veste talked to us in 2012, and explained his choice of the city as the setting for his debut Dead Gone. Now, DI Murphy and DS Rossi are back, but this time they are investigating the worrying possibility that a vigilante group is finally taking its revenge on young troublemakers who’ve been making life a misery for decent folk. Much as they understand the concept summary justice, there is law, there is legal process, and they must protect it. Available from 23 October. Watch for our review soon.
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LamentationLamentation by CJ Sansom  
Here we are transported back to the dying days of England’s most powerful king. Henry VIII, once a virile huntsman and musician, is now bloated, diseased and on his death bed. Amid the struggle for succession, and the bitter rivalry between Catholic and Protestant, courtier and investigator Matthew Shardlake struggles to serve several masters, and a compelling mistress – Henry’s last queen, Catherine Parr. The political intrigue of the time makes modern politics look like a nursery school spat, and Shardlake must put his own life on the line to protect those he serves. Christopher Sansom won the 2005 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger for his book Dark Fire. His historical interest is not confined to the 16th century. In 2012 we took a brief look at Dominion, a novel set in a 1950s Fascist Britain. Lamentation is available from 23 October.
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WakeningTheCrowWakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory
Stephen Gregory takes us into Edgar Allan Poe territory with this psychological chiller. Oliver Gooch runs a bookshop in a converted church – bought and paid for with the accident insurance he had taken out for his daughter Chloe. Chloe is now brain damaged after the accident which proved so lucrative for her father. The family become ensnared by the sinister combination of a lame and bedraggled crow – which Oliver rescues – and the bizarre gift of what purports to be a milk tooth from the childhood mouth of Poe himself. The novel is a study of guilt, obsession and nemesis. Out for Kindle on 28 October and in print next month.
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The Silent GirlsThe Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad 
Frank Raith is a former cop. Now he is a PI, and is doing his best as a single parent. When the Vermont police are puzzled by an abandoned Chevvy Monte Carlo – and can’t locate the teenage girl who owns it – Raith becomes involved in searching for her. However, before long others start to disappear. The blurb says it’s for those who enjoy Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbo and Greg Iles. To be published on 28 October.
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Star Of The EastStar of the East by Tasha Alexander
With a heroine called Lady Emily Christmas, it’s a good guess we’re in the cosy camp with Star of the East. The series is set in the 1890s in cities across Europe and follows the adventures of a young Victorian widow about to come out of mourning after the death of her husband. This is the 10th Lady Emily book, and we start with Ala Kapur Singh, a powerful Punjabi maharaja who has come to England after receiving the Order of the Star of India. In a plot reminiscent of Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, a priceless piece of jewellery – in this case a maang tika hair-piece – goes missing. When it is found, apparently in the possession of Lady Emily, the amateur investigator must prove both her own innocence and the guilt of the actual thief. Out 28 October.
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Can't Find My Way HomeCan’t Find My Way Home by Carlene Thompson
The prolific West Virginian author returns with a story set in the small community of Genessa Point, where everyone remembers that awful day 20 years ago when a man and a teenage girl were attacked in local woodland. Brynn Wilder’s father Jonah was identified as a serial killer at the time but Tess Cavanaugh survived. When Brynn’s brother returns to Genessa Point – and promptly disappears – she must put the ghosts of the past aside, and push hard at closed doors until she finds out the real truth about her own past. Suspense and romance. To be published on 27 October.
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My Sister's GraveMy Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni 
The author jokes that as a child with many siblings he had little chance to talk, so he wrote. Since 2008, he’s been writing legal thrillers, but now Robert Dugoni has turned out a stand-alone crime novel about the corrosive effect a brutal act can have on a small American town. When Sarah Crosswhite is murdered, her older sister Tracy is determined to find out the real identity of the killer, no matter how many local sensibilities she tramples on, and how many small town dignitaries are pulled into the mix. Her determination to get to the truth certainly upsets the order of things in the town. On the shelves from 1 November.
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from the cradleFrom the Cradle by Louise Voss and Mark Edwards
Parents off for a night out. Teenage babysitter. Dire consequences. It all has a terribly topical ring to it. But for Helen and Sean Philips this is not some remote headline in a red-top newspaper. It is not a 20-second sound bite on a commercial radio newsflash. It is their child. Their loss. Their tragedy. Their daughter – three-year-old Frankie – is missing. In one sense this is a standard police procedural, with DI Patrick Lennon at the helm, but for readers who have their own children, it is a horrible scenario brought vividly to life. In 2012, we interviewed the authors, which you can read here. Published on 1 November. Watch for our review.
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