Familiarity, no contempt

On the Radar — Several long-standing favourite characters make a reappearance here in our new releases this week including Frieda Klein, Bruno Courrèges, ‘Max’ Maxsted, and Peter Diamond. There are also new books by Karin Slaughter, Brian McGilloway, Cathi Unsworth and – with another Bob Dylan song title – Kay Kendall.

Friday on my MIndFriday on My Mind by Nicci French
We have long been fans of crime-solving psychotherapist Frieda Klein with reviews of Waiting For Wednesday and Thursday’s Children. Now she returns, keeping up the days-of-the-week sequence. A corpse is found in the Thames, and the hospital ID band on its wrist bears Frieda’s name. It isn’t her – phew! – but because she was once the dead man’s lover, Frieda rapidly becomes chief suspect. In order to prove her innocence, she goes underground among London’s down-and-outs, pursued by both the police and the real killer. Out today.
Buy now on Amazon

The Dying SeasonThe Dying Season by Martin Walker
Chef de police Bruno Courrèges is back in his Dordogne heartland. After the birthday of a venerable local celebrity and war hero, a body is found, and the victim posthumously threatens to unearth deadly secrets which may destroy the tranquility of the village of St Denis. Then, a struggle erupts between strident anti-hunting environmentalists and the local chasseurs who will stop at nothing to preserve their ancient rights. We previously reviewed The Resistance Man (2013), and Bruno’s latest escapade is released today.
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Pretty GirlsPretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
The 2014 novel Cop Town got the full five stars on Crime Fiction Lover, but the cops only play a peripheral part in this story. Claire Scott’s wealthy husband, Paul, is stabbed to death as they leave a bar, but this is only the start of her troubles. Two decades earlier, Claire’s sister Julia went missing, and her disappearance has never been solved. Now, fresh tragedy brings Claire and her other sister, Lydia, back together again and what the pair discover about their missing sibling, and Paul, will require the utmost courage and character to overcome. Also out today.
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The Ends of the EarthThe Ends of the Earth by Robert Goddard 
This is the conclusion of Goddard’s trio of post-WWI crime fiction. We’ve reviewed both The Ways of the World (2013) and The Corners of the Globe (2014) and now James ‘Max’ Maxted, flying ace and reluctant spy, embarks on the last chapter of his mission to find out exactly why his diplomat father plunged to his death from a Paris balcony. When his friends Schools Morahan, Sam Twentyman and Malory Hollander arrive in Japan to meet with Max and hunt down the notorious Count Tomura, they are devastated to be shown a photograph of Max lying dead on the floor of a Marseilles house with a bullet through his head. Where do they go from here? It’s on sale today, and our full review will go live shortly.
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Preserve The DeadPreserve The Dead by Brian McGilloway
Brian McGilloway‘s feisty heroine DS Lucy Black returns for another case set in Ulster. A body floating in the River Foyle is not completely unusual, but the others have never been embalmed. With her father manacled to his bed in the secure unit of a local mental hospital, Black has to decide if the Foyle Floater is a grim practical joke or something more sinister. Available from today as a hardback and for Kindle in August.
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Down Among The Dead MenDown Among The Dead Men by Peter Lovesey
It’s an away game in Sussex for Bath detective Peter Diamond as he reluctantly accompanies his boss, who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, to assist at an internal investigation into police incompetence. As he tries to save the career of an old friend, he is drawn into the disappearance of a frumpish art teacher at a girls’ school and her male replacement with a car that might be described as a babe magnet. There are enough dead men to keep any murder buff happy. We’ve previously reviewed The Tooth Tattoo and Cop to Corpse. Published today.
Buy now on Amazon

Rainy Day WomenRainy Day Women by Kay Kendall
Bob Dylan fans will appreciate the title, but The Mighty Zimm does not put in an appearance here, even though the novel is set in 1969 with the Manson Murders and Woodstock as a backdrop. Former CIA operative Austin Starr first appeared in the 2013 book Desolation Row and here she is tracking down a murderer in damp and drizzly Vancouver. A feminist buddy is all set to go down for the killing, but Starr knows different. With her baby in a sling, and a gun in her spare hand she moves effortlessly among the beads, flared jeans, tie-died shirts and burning bras. The paperback edition of this is already available, but for Kindle fans, you can download it from 7 July.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Without The MoonWithout the Moon by Cathi Unsworth
We reviewed Cathi Unsworth’s murder mystery Weirdo back in 2012, but here she follows a similar template to her Bad Penny Blues (2009) in that the action is in London, and based on a real-life murder case. Bad Penny Blues was set in the 1960s, but now she takes us back to the dark and troubled London of the Blitz. Under the cover of the blackout, it is not only Luftwaffe bombs causing havoc. Prostitutes are being mutilated and murdered. DCI Edward Greenaway tries to track down the killer, but he is impeded at every step by criminals for whom World War II is just another opportunity to make easy money. Available on 9 July.
Pre-order now on Amazon

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