Give thanks for crime fiction

On the Radar — Today we wish our American readers a happy Thanksgiving and we hope you enjoy the holiday. Here at Crime Fiction Lover HQ it’s just another Thursday but we’re still thanking the good lord for all the crime fiction provided. This week we’re reporting on Dean Koontz’s latest, and we’ve got novels about prospective presidents, international athletes, massage parlour mayhem plus books by two of our good old friends, Andrez Bergen and Paul D Brazill. Read on…

Ashley BellAshley Bell by Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz seems to have been around forever, and before he dropped the middle initial R from his name, he was well known for his edgy novels which mixed horror, sci-fi and straightforward crime. He adds to the mix here with a dash of medical thriller. After Bibi Blair confounds her doctors by not only surviving a fatal prognosis, but bouncing back livelier than before, she is told that she must go in search of another woman – the titular Ashley Bell. Her search for Ashley brings her into conflict with some seriously dangerous people, and Bibi finds herself deeply embedded in the criminal hinterland of southern California. Available in USA from 8 December, on sale in UK from January.
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The Short DropThe Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmons
The world’s biggest and costliest job application – that for President of the United States – provides the backdrop here, as hopeful candidate Benjamin Lombard is drawn into a cold case crime. The crime? The unsolved disappearance of his daughter 10 years earlier. Gibson Vaughn loved the missing girl like a sister, and when he is recruited to head up a covert operation to find out what happened to Suzanne Lombard, his investigation soon brings him into conflict with Lombard’s powerful backers. They have staked millions of dollars on their man’s success, and are not prepared to sit back and let a trivial matter like the fate of his daughter ruin their plans. Published on 1 December.
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Dig Two GravesDig Two Graves by Kim Powers
Confucius say, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” The implication is that the second grave is for he who seeks revenge. For instance, against an international athlete… Ethan Holt is now a humble college lecturer, but his glorious past featured an Olympic triumph in the mind and body sapping decathlon. Someone clearly has a score to settle with Holt, however, and they kidnap his daughter. The kidnapper doesn’t demand money. Instead, Holt is forced to do a series of increasingly challenging physical tasks – the modern day version of the Labours of Hercules. Out on 4 December.
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MemoRandomMemoRandom by Anders de la Motte
We interviewed Anders de la Motte  in 2013 on the back of his successful debut novel Game. Here he returns with another book based on his own career as a police officer and security consultant. Stockholm cop David Sorac heads up a unit dedicated to combating organised crime in the city. He has his own unique and well protected network of informers, but when he suffers a major stroke, he comes to his senses in a hospital bed remembering only that he had this network – but not who they were. Colleagues gather at his bedside to offer support, but can he trust them? Available from 3 December.
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A Better Goodbye smallA Better Goodbye by John Schulian
Is Los Angeles the world’s most popular setting for crime fiction? The LA criminal underbelly attracts another writer here, and we are in the greasy world of massage joints that have more for sale than relief from aches and pains. Nick Pafko used to earn his living in the boxing ring, but since he ended up on the canvas once too often, he is forced to work the door of the parlour where the star attraction is a young woman called Jenny Yee. Nick tries to keep Jenny and her co-workers from coming to harm, but he rapidly realises that dissatisfied punters are the least of his worries. Published on 4 December.
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Once Shadows FallOnce Shadows Fall by Robert Daniels
Robert Daniels brings us down to earth in Atlanta, Georgia, where officer Beth Sturgis has battled years of sexism to join the APD Homicide squad. When a serial killer seems to be working his way from the outer suburbs towards the city centre, Sturgis has to seek the help of a retired agent called Jack Kale. Can Kale keep his personal demons at bay long enough to lend his insight to the pursuit of the killer, or is he adding more to the problem than the solution? Out on 8 December.
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Small ChangeSmall Change by Andrez Bergen
With his off-beat pulp style featured in both comics and novels, here Andrez Bergen leads us into the bizarre world of Roy Scherer, a PI whose eyes are more focused on the weird phantasms of the occult than Chandler’s mean streets. Helped by nerdy assistant Suzie Miller, Scherer combats criminals for whom a standard Smith and Wesson load will do little harm. Only the silver-plated variety of bullet will damage these people! We have a variety of stories and collaborations in our archives for Andrez Bergen and clicking the link will take you straight there. On the shelves from 11 December.
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Cold To The TouchCold to the Touch by Cari Hunter
As winter grips the Derbyshire landscape and its inhabitants, police officer Sanne Jensen feels as if she has the world and all its woes on her shoulders. She has a dispiriting number of cases that resolutely refuse to be solved, and she is struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, and the problems it will certainly cause among her colleagues. The proverbial straw that looks certain to break the camel’s back is the violent death of a local drug dealer. Why should society care about one less parasite preying on the vulnerable? Sanne has a sixth sense that there is far more to this case than meets the eye. Published on 14 December.
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Kill Me QuickKill Me Quick by Paul D Brazill
Brit grit is the writing movement led by Hartlepool-born Warsaw resident Paul D Brazill. His new book certainly wins the cover of the week award, and it tells of the seedy resort of Seatown, with its cast of woeful tribute acts, down-at-heel petty crooks, terminal gamblers and assorted prostitutes. Seatown is home to Mark Hammond. He’s been away for years, but now he has to return. There are no civic receptions or yellow ribbons for Hammond – just a whole bunch of guys who have scores to settle. We have a veritable feast of the author’s work on our digital shelves, as well as an entertaining interview so if you want to learn more follow this link. Kill Me Quick is out on 13 December.
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Check out last week’s new releases by clicking here.

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