Back to Barchester

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On the Radar — Anthony Trollope visits his own fictional cathedral city of Barchester in our headline title this week, while in the present day we have novels featuring international corruption, a failed journalist hunting a beautiful missing musician, and a serial killer whose knowledge of surgery is matched only by his obsessive tidiness. Add into this mix a noir-ish visit to a 1950s Leeds, and we have nine new titles to tickle even the most jaded crime fiction palate.

Barchester MurdersThe Barchester Murders by GM Best
It is quite an audacious undertaking to have a famous author walk into his most celebrated fictional creation. Not only does Anthony Trollope visit Barchester, but finds himself a suspect in a murder enquiry. Lovers of the bickering and scheming clerics in the six Barsetshire novels (1855-1867) will be delighted to find many of the characters revived. Newcomers will not be disadvantaged – this is a standalone murder mystery which begins with the stabbing of an almshouse resident, and continues with the uncovering of a decades-old secret which could bring down an ambitious clergyman. Out on 30 January.
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Breaking CreedBreaking Creed by Alex Kava
Breaking Creed is set in present day Atlanta, where the authorities are fighting the influx of narcotics from Colombia. This novel is definitely one for dog lovers, as handler Ryder Creed has his squad of canine comrades specially trained to sniff out unwelcome imports. In this case though, the freight is not the marching powder, but human beings. Creed puts his career on the line by taking a special interest in one of the young people being used and abused by the traffickers. Available from 27 January.
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The Heart CollectorThe Heart Collector by Jacques Vandroux
Not a romance. No. Here we have a killer who, as the title states, literally collects hearts. Despite the combination of delicate surgery and basic butchery, no forensic traces are left and investigator Nadia Barka is left  clueless until she is approached by a mild-mannered IT technician who says he has the key to solving the mystery. His secret? His premonitions. The book first appeared in France as Au Cœur du Solstice in 2013 but this new English translation will be available on 1 February.
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Dead Girl WalkingDead Girl Walking by Chris Brookmyre
Former journalist Chris Brookmyre introduced us to the acid-tongued Jack Parlabane in Quite Ugly One Morning (2011). Now, Parlabane has lost the lot – job, wife and self-respect. The disappearance of a glamorous musician gives him a chance to turn things around. His search takes him from Scotland to the streets of Europe, but the job is no sinecure. Savage Earth Heart, the band at the heart of this mystery, belie their warm on-stage rapport with a corrosive mix of petty jealousies and plain animosity. Published on 22 January.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Dark Briggate BluesDark Briggate Blues by Chris Nickson
If you cut Chris Nickson open, you would probably find the word ‘Leeds’ engraved on his heart. We reviewed Gods of Goldhis Victorian mystery set in the city, last year and in his latest book he looks at the city in the 1950s. Private detective Dan Markham must take all the work he can get, but when he sets out to investigate an unfaithful husband, he becomes embroiled in a murder enquiry. Expect period detail, hot passion and cool jazz played in a cellar club on Briggate in the city centre. Out now.
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The ExitThe Exit by Helen FitzGerald
Like many 20-somethings who have failed to secure glittering careers, Catherine’s world is clothes, make-up and social media. Her mum, fed up of her daughter slumped at home, gets her to work in a care home for the elderly. She is diverted from the daily grind of bedpans and dementia by an 82-year-old resident who claims that her life is being threatened. Is Rose just imagining things? What exactly is going on in Room 7? Catherine decides to investigate the old lady’s fears. Out on 5 February.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Behind Closed DoorsBehind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes
A police intelligence analyst by day, Elizabeth Haynes uses her experience to create crime fiction by night. We were introduced to Detective Inspector Louise Smith in Under A Silent Moon in 2013. She makes her second appearance in a mystery which involves a girl who apparently went missing on a Greek island a decade earlier, but then reappears, as if nothing had happened, in her home town. The deeper Smith and her colleagues delve into Scarlett Rainsford’s stories the more sinister secrets they discover. Published on 29 January.
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Skin In The GameSkin in the Game by Tomas Byrne
Ontario-born writer Tomas Byrne brings us a fast-paced tale of international intrigue. Oxford Professor Joe Hawkins is not your ordinary academic. His CV says he was once a top operative in the US State Department. When his younger brother goes missing, against a background of corrupt investment banking with links to some very dangerous people, Hawkins must put his old skills to use again. He teams up with MI6 psychiatrist Kate Farrow to track down his brother, and also to discover what secrets are locked in the mind of a terrorist suspect who has lost his memory due to torture. Available from 30 January.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Everything BurnsEverything Burns by Vincent Zandri
It’s not every novel that has a best-selling crime writer as the main character, but Zandri’s latest gives us just that. Reece Johnston has the literary world at his feet, and despite a shattered marriage, things look pretty good. Especially for someone who was a pyromaniac with a long record of instability and mental illness. Zandri admits that Johnston’s efforts to reconnect with his estranged wife have a strong autobiographical element to them, but the fiction comes in when Johnston identifies an enemy who has serious grudges against him, and is determined to bring him down. Will he have to fall back on his fire-starter skills to resolve things? Published on 1 February.
Pre-order now on Amazon

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