Planet Normal?

4 Mins read

On the Radar — Yes, that peculiar creation of Harry Bingham – DC Fiona Griffiths – is back with her alternative take on policing in a new mystery set in Wales. We’ve also got psychological thrillers, Alaskan chillers, and historical blood spillers. There’s even visit to the remote Falkland Islands with the excellent Sharon Bolton. Read on…

TTODThis Thing of Darkness by Harry Bingham
“An illegal alien on Planet Normal, travelling on fake papers and in constant danger of being deported.” That’s how British crime fiction’s quirkiest police detective DC Fiona Griffiths describes herself. Here, Fi brings her unique – and sometimes alarming – instincts to bear on several cases which seem totally unconnected. To the bafflement of her superiors, she links two apparent suicides and a string of bizarre burglaries. It turns out they’re all connected to a huge conspiracy involving the financial services and global telecoms industries. Has Fiona finally bitten off more than she can chew? You can find out from 2 July. Meanwhile here’s our review of her last adventure. The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths.
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Follow You HomeFollow You Home by Mark Edwards 
Edwards had already shared best-seller status with his writing partner Louise Voss, but he went solo with The Magpies in 2013. On his own again, he brings us the disturbing tale of a last-fling trip made by Daniel and Laura, a last chance to do something exciting before they settle down and start a family. They go to Romania, and while they don’t exactly meet the present day descendents of Count Dracula and there are no wolves howling at a distant moon, something happens to them which will shape the rest of their lives. Our 2013 interview with Mark Edwards is here but you can read Follow You Home from 30 June.
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Pearls before SwinePearls Before Swine by Liz Todd 
This psychological thriller deals with the rock-and-a-hard-place dilemma of a woman who accidentally discovers that a her husband is leading a double life. She has to decide whether she suffers in silence, or stands up to the deception. When Greta’s decision is taken out of her hands by dramatic events, her suburban life is changed for ever. This is a debut and the Scottish author who winters in Spain is now working on her second novel.Available on 30 June.
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Wrong PlaceWrong Place by MA Comley 
There are plenty of crime fiction lovers who enjoy reading about detective inspectors hunting serial killers in police procedural novels. Melanie Comley brings us all three in this story, featuring DI Sally Parker. Apart from trying to track down a killer who is only too happy to leave DNA at the crime scene, Parker has to deal with an awkward ex-husband and a boss who doubts her commitment to the job. The author is now based in Normandy, and after a successful quartet of books featuring Lorne Simpkins she returns with this new book, which is out on 30 June.
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A Dark LureA Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White 
In this crime story, which has a touch of romance too, we learn that Sarah Baker has survived a terrible ordeal at the hands of a kidnapper known as the Watt Lake Killer. Survived in one sense, but in another she has paid a terrible price in terms of her marriage, family and overall sanity. She has changed her name and is trying to start over, attempting to block out the decade-old horrors of her abduction. Maybe a new job working on a remote ranch will give her new hope and fresh challenges. Her rehabilitation is derailed when a cop who worked on her case becomes convinced that her assailant is still out there and ready to strike again. Published on 1 July.
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My Sunshine AwayMy Sunshine Away by MO Walsh
A cracking title, this, particularly for those who’ll hum along and recall the 1939 song, You Are My Sunshine. It is beautifully significant here as the original performer was the country music star Jimmie Davis, who went on to become Governor of Louisiana, where the novel is set. We are in Baton Rouge during the long hot summer of 1989. It is the end of innocence for 15-year-old Lindy Simpson when she is brutally raped on her way home, and also for the teenage boy who has a crush on Lindy. He is determined to find the rapist, and in doing so he uncovers the darkness at the heart of the suburban paradise where both youngsters have grown up. Out on 2 July.
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The Child of Ill fortuneKitty Peck and the Child of Ill Fortune by Kate Griffin
Kitty Peck’s latest adventure is set in the atmospheric London district of Limehouse in 1881. She has inherited Paradise, a sprawling network of criminality previously ruled by the fearsome Lady Ginger. She travels to Paris to find her estranged brother Joey, who asks that she take a child back to London for him. She reluctantly agrees, but once back home finds that they have been followed. Available on 2 July – watch for our review.
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The Quality of SilenceThe Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton 
From the noise and bustle of Victorian London to the vast and empty stillness of Alaska, where a mother and daughter arrive in search of their husband and father. Yasmin’s chagrin at husband Matt’s failure to meet them at the airport turns to grief when she learns that he is dead. She is determined to find the truth behind his death while he was working as a wildlife photographer. She presses on up country in weather which even hardened locals refuse to face, but she finds out that there is someone – or something – out there in the darkness, and that she and little Ruby are in grave danger. Published on 2 July.
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Little Black LiesLittle Black Lies by Sharon Bolton 
Last summer, A Dark and Twisted Tide was one of our Recommended titles. That was set in London, but here Sharon Bolton transports us to The Falkland Islands. With the 1982 war an ever present legacy in the tiny community – fewer than 3000 souls – it’s no surprise that everyone knows everybody else’s business. When two children die because of a woman’s momentary loss of concentration, a surge of guilt and recrimination threatens to rip the community apart. When another child goes missing old friendships turn into enmity and grief, buried for so long, re-emerges as a desire for revenge. Available on 2 July.
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The Silent OnesThe Silent Ones by William Brodrick 
We have met sleuthing monks before, in the shape of Brother Cadfael and William of Baskerville, but they operated in a medieval setting. Brother Anselm is a present day brother and combines his knowledge of monastic life with his skills as a barrister. In a case that echoes recent real life issues within the Catholic church, Anselm is required to defend a fellow Benedictine against an historic assault charge and he soon finds that the twin powers of church and state are reluctant to give up their secrets. Published on 2 July.
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