William Wallace writes crime

On the Radar — There’s more than just a touch of tartan among this week’s new releases. We have gore in Glasgow, an emergency in Edinburgh, anarchy in Alloa, and even an author called William Wallace. Meanwhile, away from the bonny land we’ve got sin in Sacramento, killings in Kassel, savagery in Somerset and a bloodbath in Ballymena.

Nobody's HeroNobody’s Hero by James Craig
In his ninth outing, London DI John Carlyle has to contend with a tabloid journalist who wants to blame him for all the criminal woes afflicting the capital, and a splendidly incompetent petty criminal who has spent most of his adult life in prison. These are minor irritations compared with the succession of schoolgirls that have gone missing, whom Carlyle must find. Click to read our interview with James Craig, and our review of Sins of the Fathers, which came out earlier this year. Nobody’s Hero is published on 6 August.
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Ways To DieWays to Die in Glasgow by Jay Stringer
Not the self-help book that nobody wants to read, but an excoriating tale of Glasgow at its worst. When an ex-gangster goes missing leaving a house like the Marie Celeste and his pet dog dead on the floor, both the police and the criminal underworld start paying attention. Throw into the mix a reluctant PI, and a DI whose eyelids are propped open with matchsticks after working the shift of death, and we have a novel that will give VisitScotland sleepless nights. Ways to Die in Glasgow is out on 1 August. In 2012, Jay Stringer talked to us about his work, and we also reviewed Old Gold, his previous novel.
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Heads Or HeartsHead or Hearts by Paul Johnston
In our 2012 feature Scottish crime fiction: writers to watch we pinpointed Paul Johnston as a name to keep an eye on. His character, Quint Dalrymple, is back in another futuristic story. This time it’s 2033 and Edinburgh has declared independence from the rest of the country. Former cop Dalrymple has to deal with a whole host of nastiness, including a carefully planted human heart and a decapitated body. Set against an impending referendum to decide the city’s future, the book sees Dalrymple pitching in to rescue political stability and solve the grisly crimes. Already available in hardback, the book is out for Kindle from 1 August.
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Dead Heat With The ReaperDead Heat with the Reaper by William Wallace
Two pulp novellas make up this latest book from the self-proclaimed publishers of lowlife literature, All Due Respect. In Legacy, a man with a short while to live decides to spend his $400,000 creating as much mayhem as he can, provided the Reaper doesn’t beckon first. The Creep tells the story of a badly disfigured Afghan veteran whose subsequent misanthropy is matched only by his love of hard liquor. When a kindly nurse begins to act out a Beauty and the Beast scenario, things seem to be on the up for Alan Baldocchi and his new friend. That’s until a gang of juvenile gangbangers decide to spoil the party. Out on 1 August.

Evil Never DiesEvil Never Dies by TR Ragan
Californian Theresa Ragan has a successful history writing in different genres, including romance, but her PI heroine Lizzy Gardner works in a more visceral and gritty world. After trying to solve crime the legal way, personal grief compels Gardner to take a more Old Testament approach to dealing with offenders, and she vows vengeance on a sadistic ritual killer who has brought terror to Sacramento. Can she keep her own demons quiet enough to trap the Sacramento Strangler? Available on 4 August.
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Last DateLast Date by UA Siebert
Did Adrian Richter kill his new girlfriend? The police in the German town of Kassel think so. And as she was the latest victim of a serial killer, they also think they can bring the terror to an end. Richter follows the classic crime fiction route of having to find the true killer in order to prove his innocence. On the run from the police, he’s convinced that the killer’s identity is linked to the internet dating site where he first contacted his girlfriend. The book has been translated from German by Elena Mancini, and is out on 4 August.
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Close Your EyesClose Your Eyes by Michael Robotham
Clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin leads a lonely life, trying to combat the onset of Parkinson’s disease. For six years he has been estranged from his wife and daughters. When he tries to bring about a reconciliation it seems to go well until he’s drawn into the hunt for a brutal killer who has committed a double murder at a remote property in rural Somerset. This is the eighth in the series featuring O’Loughlin and his various side-kicks. We interviewed Michael Robotham in 2012 and we’ve reviewed his books Watching You and Life or Death. Close Your Eyes is out on 6 August.
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Stark realitiesStark Realities by Peter Carroll
After a spell working in London, DI Adam Stark is back in Alloa in Scotland’s Lowlands. When he and his squad investigate a suicide by drowning it turns into something much more sinister. With his personal life at something of a crossroads, and a local criminal gang renewing their feud with him, Stark rapidly realises that all is not sweetness and light on the bonnie banks of the River Forth. We reviewed Peter Carroll’s previous Adam Stark story, Stark Contrasts, back in 2013. Stark Realities is out now.
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Barlow By The BookBarlow by the Book by John McAllister
Two years ago we looked at John McAllisters previous book The Station Sergeant and called it “…a rip-roaring, good old fashioned whodunnit.” In Barlow by the Book we go back to 1960s Ireland when bathrooms were a middle-class luxury, and teenagers became ecstatic if they were allowed to use a telephone. Ballymena Station Sergeant Barlow has a whole world of trouble cascading onto his grizzled head. For some reason his mentally ill wife has been released from the institution holding her, and Barlow accidentally discovers a dark secret about her childhood. When his daughter gets shot in a brutal robbery, his warrior instincts take over… Barlow’s back on 6 August.
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