A Song of Shadows, and more…

On the Radar — Fans of Harlan Coben, and of John Connolly’s brooding PI Charlie Parker will be as excited as bunnies we head into Easter. Both these big name authors feature this week with new releases. But there’s more too… What is the collective noun for a number of psychopaths? Whatever it is, we have some of those, a legal thriller, a bunch of police procedurals and the tale of a synaesthesiac – which is almost as hard to say as it is to spell!

song-of-shadows-uk-225A Song of Shadows by John Connolly
Anyone new to this series could do worse than to read our Guide to John Connolly’s Charlie Parker. And the Maine detective is back after narrowly surviving a hail of shotgun fire, and is recuperating in an isolated seashore village. Trouble – and corpses – seem to follow Parker around whatever his state of health, and he is soon drawn into an investigation of deaths linked to the impending prosecution of two elderly men who had served in Nazi death camps. Aided by his two long-time lethal buddies, Angel and Louis, Parker encounters evil beings both of this world and from the depths of Hell. Click to read our review of the previous Parker novel, The Wolf in WinterPublished on 9 April. Watch for our review.
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The StrangerThe Stranger by Harlan Coben
In this novel about secrets, lies and deception, we meet Adam. His life is perfect, with a great job, a beautiful wife and two fine sons. Perfect, that is, until The Stranger arrives, and what he has to say to Adam turns the perfect dream into a living nightmare. Adam is forced to question his wife’s fidelity, and what follows is a complete unraveling of every certainty in his life. Corinne’s secret life of deception is just the beginning: what is hidden behind her duplicity is something far darker and much more menacing. The Stranger is out now, and you can also click the link and read what we thought about Coben’s 2014 novel Missing You.
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Double VisionDouble Vision by Colby Marshall 
Dr Jenny Rame is an FBI profile who has synaesthesia. This condition causes emotions, sounds and other stimuli to appear in the mind as flashes of colour. Double Vision is her second outing after Colby Marshall’s debut, Colour Blind, and here she focuses her abilities on a six-year-old girl who has witnessed a brutal mass shooting. Only Molly can identify the killer, but she has issues of her own, in that she is obsessed with numbers and the mystery of the patterns they create. Can the two of them combine their unusual skills to bring a killer to justice? Published on 7 April.
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SwansongSwansong by Damien Boyd
This is the fourth book featuring DI Nick Dixon. Author Damien Boyd is a solicito, and has brought his knowledge of the Crown Prosecution Service to the series, which began with As the Crow Flies. Now, a teenage schoolgirl is murdered at her exclusive boarding school. Isobel Swan has not only had her throat cut, but her ring finger has been severed. Despite the gruesome MO, the police investigation gets nowhere. Dixon poses as a trainee teacher and is sent to work at the school in the hope that answers to the puzzle lie in its classrooms, corridors and dormitories. Available from 7 April.
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The fatherThe Father by Tom O Keenan
Glasgow is a favourite setting for dark and gritty crime novels and in this debut we are introduced to one of its gloomier residents, Sean Rooney. Despite his training as a forensic profiler, Rooney is in thrall to mental illness, alcoholism, and despair. When DCI Jacqueline Kaminski runs into a wall of silence and mystery while attempting to bring a serial beheader to justice, she is forced to turn to Rooney. Despite his broken state, he is a man whose own self-loathing and hatred for his life – and all those in it – comes close to the state of the mind of the human monster who is operating unchecked on the the streets of Glasgow. Published on 9 April.
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NormalNormal by Graeme Cameron
We stay in psycho territory with this tale of a man so ordinary, so unremarkable and so dull that he doesn’t have a name. He’s the man you stand behind at the supermarket checkout and instantly forget. He’s the man who blends into his suburban landscape as comfortably as the postman or the open-all-hours shop on the corner. He’s a little bit different, though. In a hidden basement beneath his garage there is specially constructed cage, and in that cage sits a young woman, and she may not be long for this world. The author lives in Norfolk, and has injected a healthy dose of black humour into this, his first full-length conventional novel. Out on 9 April.
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Grant of ImmunityGrant of Immunity by Garret Holms
This is a legal thriller, but one with a dark background of murder and sexual violence. A crooked LAPD cop has not only murdered and raped a woman, but years later he seeks to inflict the same crimes on the woman’s daughter. She survives the assault, but when she and her brother look to put the cop through the legal system, he turns the tables on them, and it is his victim who ends up in the dock. The cop – Babbage – doesn’t stop there, and soon a judge is sucked into his web of murder, rape and blackmail. Available on 7 April.
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The Detectives SecretThe Detective’s Secret by Lesley Thomson
In December 2014 we interviewed Lesley Thomson about her writing and her Detective’s Daughter series. This is the third novel featuring Stella Darnell, the daughter of a police superintendent who owns a cleaning business but has become an investigator. In October 1987, a weatherman assured UK TV viewers that a hurricane wasn’t going to happen. Hours later it did, causing widespread damage. A very human tragedy on that night is mirrored 26 years later. Another violent storm, another mysterious death. Stella and her eccentric friend Jack become involved in the case and soon realise that the two deaths might be linked. This title is published on 9 April, and you can click the link to read our review of Ghost Girl, the second Detective’s Daughter book.
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