Billingham’s back…

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On the Radar — Yes, if you love a good police procedural featuring DI Tom Thorne then it’s time to prime your evidence bags and don your latex gloves. Shoe protection is optional. The latest Mark Billingham novel has been announced and Time of Death is our lead book as we bring you this week’s new releases. Lots of historical crime fiction too, with a trio of books set in Victorian times, and another set in Vienna during the Cold War. There’s pulp noir too, a legal thriller and more. Let us know which books you’ll be adding to your TBR this week.

Time of DeathTime of Death by Mark Billingham
DI Tom Thorne, who we last met in a grim adventure on a remote Welsh island in The Bones Beneath is still playing away in this latest story. Rather against his wishes, he is in the Cotswolds with his fellow cop – and partner – Helen Weeks. His antique shop visits are interrupted when Helen learns that the husband of an old school friend in the Midlands has been arrested on suspicion of abduction. Helen insists they drive north, ostensibly to support Linda Bates, but Thorne cannot resist poking his nose into the investigation. As the abduction charge changes to one of murder, Thorne discovers more about the case – and people near to him – than he bargains for. Put 23 April in your diary!
Pre-order now on Amazon

Basic LawBasic Law by J Sydney Jones
Set in post-Cold War Vienna, this is the tale of revolutionary chic, neo-Nazis, memoirs full of secrets, and a world-weary journalist who puts aside his cynicism to investigate the death of his former lover. Reni Müller was the pin-up girl of the radical left in 1970s Germany. Now, two decades later, it seems that she has taken her own life. Sam Kramer attends her funeral and is taken aback when he learns that he has been appointed executor of her estate – the main content of which is a set of potentially explosive memoirs. Kramer discovers that the papers have gone missing, and in his efforts to find them he uncovers secrets which go right to the heart of the modern European political system. Out on 14 April.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Children of SilenceThe Children of Silence by Linda Stratmann
Jack The Ripper was not the only criminal out and about in 1880s London, and in the four previous novels featuring the young lady investigator Frances Doughty, there has been plenty of murder and mayhem. When a man’s remains are found in a canal near Paddington, a woman who suffers from almost unbearable tinnitus is convinced that the sad fragments are all that is left of her missing husband. The police dismiss her claims, so she turns to Doughty for help. Frances discovers the strange and difficult world of the deaf, and uncovers a sinister conspiracy amid the elegant streets and garden squares of Bayswater. We reviewed the 2011 story, An Appetite for Murder, and this latest challenge for the admirable Miss Doughty is out now.
Buy now on Amazon

Losing FaithLosing Faith by Adam Mitzner
Author Adam Mitzner is a Manhattan lawyer and brings his real life experience to bear with this legal thriller. Aaron Littman has made his name with his skilful defence of the indefensible in American courts. Criminals, despots and corrupt rich folks pay well for his silken courtroom skills. But now he is forced to act for a malevolent and blood-stained member of the Russian mafia and he’s soon at the centre of his own legal drama when he becomes a murder suspect. The victim? None other than a high profile female judge who just happens to be Littman’s former lover. Available 14 April.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The UnburiedThe Unburied by Charles Palliser
Charles Palliser made his name in 1989 with his best-selling novel of Victorian England, The Quincux. This was something of a trailblazer for pastiche quasi-Dickensian novels, and now the writer takes us into the tight-knit world of a fiction city in the late 19th century. In 1881, historian Edward Courtine visited Thurchester to seek a fabled manuscript, said to lie in the cathedral library. He becomes embroiled in two mysterious murders – one ancient, and the other of his time. Courtine’s search for the truth about the killings leads him to re-examine his own values, and asks him compelling questions about his own beliefs and loyalties. The Unburied was originally published in 2000, but is re-released today for Kindle and as a paperback.
Buy now on Amazon

Medium DeadMedium Dead by Paula Paul
Also set in Victorian times, this book certainly has a wonderful cover and a delightful cast of real-life personalities including the Queen. However, the main character in Medium Dead is a female doctor, who in those times was not even allowed to use the title. She is determined to follow in her father’s footsteps and tend the sick and dying in Newton-on-Sea. Alexandra Gladstone must bring her natural wit and common sense to bear on a criminal investigation – centred on the violent death of a local spiritualist. Is a certain royal visitor implicated in the killing? Can Alexandra separate the truth from a dark brew of superstition, fancies – and downright lies? Published on 14 April.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Riding In CarsRiding in Cars with Girls by Evangeline Jennings 
This is a collection of short stories, each titled with the name of an iconic vehicle. Read through the tales headed Firebird, Escort, 911, Audi, Trans Am and Crown Victoria, and you will enter a violent and sexy world of feminist noir, revenge, runaway lovers, high class hookers, mafia Dons and stolen muscle cars. With more than just a nod to the LGBT community, this caustic collection of stories takes no prisoners, and promises to be a salutory change for readers tired of police procedurals and cosy crime. Available on 16 April.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Broken ChordBroken Chord by Margaret Moore
State Prosecutor Jacopo Dragonetti is the central character in this Tuscany-set novel. The opera-loving magistrate investigates a death within a family whose jealousies, hatreds and passionate disagreements might well have inspired a contemporary Puccini or Verdi. Ursula von Bachmann has been brutally done to death against the elegant backdrop of her villa. Throw in the toxic ingredients of servants who bear vindictive grudges, children with multiple parents, and a lounge lizard gigolo, and we have a crime mystery which cries out for an anguished Pavarotti aria. Released on 16 April.
Pre-order now on Amazon

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