Hollywood is going ape

On the Radar — Let’s start off with the most off the wall sounding book this week, then look at a set of further new releases that includes all-action heroes, hitmen, strange customs in backwater towns, bloody battles in Northern Ireland, and Bloody Marys to was them down with. Will any of these new releases make your TBR pile?

13 Hollywood Apes13 Hollywood Apes by Gil Reavill
The book starts with a gruesome mass killing in the foothills of Santa Monica. Before you roll your eyes in despair at yet another serial psycho novel, you need to know that the deceased were all residents of the Odalon Animal Sanctuary – and they were chimpanzees, each and every one. Called to the scene, Malibu cop Layla Remington scratches her head to work out what kind of crime has been committed, and is none the wiser when a survivor of the massacre – a young male called Angle – slowly recuperates under the watchful eyes of a local veterinarian. It isn’t as if Angle is going to finger the villains, but when the battered and bruised hominid is chimp-napped the case becomes even more bizarre, and human victims are added to the bodycount. Published on 16 December.
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the-apostle copyThe Apostle by JA Kerley
Detective Carson Ryder of Mobile, Alabama, is back but this time minus his long term partner in crime-solving Harry Nautilus, who has retired. Book number 12 in the series sees the psychological profiler investigating a series of grisly murders of young women. Do the crimes have a religious aspect to them, and are they connected to the intriguingly named media preacher Honus Schrum? The paths of Ryder and Nautilus – who is now working as a driver cum bodyguard in Florida – converge, and the pair peel back the layers of deceit in the billion dollar industry of media evangelism. We reviewed The Killing Game, a previous Carson Ryder story, in July 2013. The Apostle is out on 18 December.
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chimeraChimera by Celina Grace
Detective Sergeant Kate Redman has appeared in four earlier titles all set in the fictional English town of Abbeyford. It is the night of the town’s annual festival when the mythical Abbeyford Wyrm is celebrated. Olly Chandler persuades his girlfriend to leave the candy floss and the fairground rides behind, and the pair go to an abandoned cottage for a smoke, and whatever might follow. They don’t bargain on finding a decomposing corpse, and when others are found around the town Detective Sergeant Kate Redman has to set aside studying for her inspector exams to track down the killer and decide if the deaths are linked to a series of local robberies. Available from 14 December.
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Duke City HitDuke City Hit by Max Austin
Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this is the second in the Duke City Trilogy and focuses on Vic Walters, a man of modest appetites and lifestyle. He only works a few days each month, but then how long does it take to track down someone and kill them? He is the most efficient and sought after hitman in the state – and beyond – but when someone seems to be doing his job for him, he senses a problem. His life becomes even more complex when he’s caught up in a blood feud between drug cartels, and then downright difficult when a young stranger walks into his life and asks to become his apprentice. On the digital shelves from 16 December.
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FirepointFire Point by Sean Black
Ryan Lock is an all-action hero cast from a similar mould to Jack Reacher. The author is said to have researched the novels by working as a bodyguard, spending time in a maximum security prison in the US, and undergoing high intensity survival training in the Arizona desert. Accompanied by his right hand man Ty Johnson, Lock is in LA, on the case of one of the city’s more eccentric cults. They are a long way from being harmless hippies and have plans to spread their message in a way that will make the civilised world sit up and take notice. Out on 18 December.
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angel-meadowAngel Meadow by Bill Rogers
In Victorian times Angel Meadow was one of Manchester’s most notorious slums. Now it provides the backdrop to a shooting. A woman lies dead, but as DCI Tom Caton investigates he finds her death has links to the darkest days of the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. Under pressure from his superiors to shelve the case, Caton digs his heels in and is determined to get to the truth. Read our review of A Venetian Moon, also by Bill Rogers, here. Available from 19 December.
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Down Among The DeadDown Among the Dead by Steve Finbow
This book is set in Northern Ireland in 1988, when the bloodshed seemed interminable and conflict irresolvable, but also in London two decades later where a veteran of the violence is in the autumn of his days. Michael O’Connor is torn between the rosy glow of nostalgia, and a sense of guilt for the his earlier misdeeds. He measures his life by his trips to the bookies, and how many pints of the dark stuff he can afford each night, but when the past is so deeply etched in blood and guilt, he is about to find out that the passage of 20 years does not equal atonement. Published on Kindle on 13 December.
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Bloody Mary ConfessionBloody Mary Confession by Jack Erickson
This novel does not feature the vengeful English queen, but the cocktail named after her. When a marriage made in heaven goes wrong – between a star baseball player and a beautiful Hollywood star – it seems that time heals all wounds. The pair learn to lead separate lives and put the past behind them. Years later, when Max and Amanda are temporarily reunited, they become hooked together after an unexplained death and unwise words after an intimate dinner. Author Jack Erickson says that his earliest literally influences came via Franklin D Dixon’s Hardy Boys mysteries. Out on 14 December.
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