Belle de Jour, and more

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On the Radar — In addition to welcome returns for some series stalwarts such as DCI Claire Winters and DI Tony McLean, our bulletin this week features another gritty exposé of the reality behind South Africa’s Rainbow Nation image. We’ve also got an intriguing crime debut from a writer better known for her exploits between the sheets – none other than Belle de Jour herself, Brooke Magnanti.

The Turning TideThe Turning Tide by Brooke Magnanti 
This is the debut crime thriller from the writer better known as Belle de Jour, whose secret life as a call-girl entranced readers and television viewers. Stepping away from London’s sinning elegance, the author takes us into the world of Erykah Campbell. Twenty years married, she is used to a mundane urban life but becomes entangled in a poisonous web of deceit involving a decomposed body on a Hebridean Island, the travails of the Scottish Labour Party, and the 24/7 media monster that chews up human lives and spits out the remains. Available from 25 February.
Pre-order now on Amazon.

The Damage DoneThe Damage Done by James Oswald 
Edinburgh cop Tony McLean returns to investigate a series of savage killings, which appear to be linked to some of the most powerful movers and shakers in the Scottish capital. Asking the right questions of the wrong people puts McLean’s career on the line, and his new enemies don’t hesitate to dredge up tragedies from his past to bring him down. James Oswald began as a self-published author and wrote this wonderful feature for us on how not to self-publish your crime novel. Available from 25 February.
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Jonathan DarkJonathan Dark or the Evidence Of Ghosts by AK Benedict 
A buzz has developed around this London-based novel which has a supernatural tingle to it. During years of blindness, Maria King has learned to know and love the city through its smells and sounds, and through the evidence of her own fingertips. An operation to restore her sight has been technically successful, but Maria does not like what she sees, and chooses to wear a blindfold. She crosses the path of DI Jonathan Dark when she is threatened by a serial killer whose previous success has come to haunt the police officer. As well as the odd ghost, we meet The Ring, a powerful and unscrupulous cabal of people who straddle the worlds of entertainment, politics, and organised crime. Out on 25 February.
Pre-order now on Amazon

NowhereNowhere by Roger Smith
We interviewed Roger Smith in 2012, and his unflinching accounts of life in post-apartheid South Africa have won many admirers. We reviewed Ishmael Toffee, Capture and Sacrifices, and now Smith returns with another bleak account of the real life beneath the republic’s chosen façade as a beacon of diversity. It begins a the highest level when the president murders his wife, but the web of corruption dives down into the impoverished slums of the rural poor in the Northern Cape. Joe Louw, an incorruptible cops tasked with exonerating the president, meanwhile police detective Disaster Zondi has to bring in the leader of an Afrikaner white power movement for the murder of a black youth. Available on 23 February.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Out Of The BluesOut of the Blues by Trudy Nan Boyce
This police procedural has an unmistakable whiff of Southern Noir about it as it’s set in Atlanta, Georgia. Rookie homicide cop Sarah Alt is given a cold case to keep her from under the feet of the established officers. Did blues musician Michael Anderson take a drugs overdose, or were others responsible for his death? With the main evidence coming from a convicted felon who is languishing in the penitentiary, Alt must cope with the powers in religion, business and the police force in Boyce’s debut novel. Published on 23 February.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Jump CutJump Cut by Libby Fischer Hellmann 
The first outing for heroine Ellie Foreman was back in 2006, but now she returns with a bang for a fifth mystery. Ellie is a film-maker from Chicago, and is hired to make a soft-focus, schmoozy profile of a hard-bitten aviation company. She grits her teeth and produces a suitably saccharin promo video, but is baffled when the firm’s vice president gets antsy and bins the film. What was in the footage to upset the abrasive Ms Hollander? When a man who might have the answer has an unfortunate encounter with a subway train, Ellie smells a rat, finding herself in a deadly tussle with some powerful and unscrupulous people. On the shelves from 29 February.
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The Principle Of EvilThe Principle of Evil by TME Walsh
In the second book featuring DCI Claire Winters it is the middle of winter and a woman’s body has been discovered in a frozen lake. The murderer clearly has a unique and grotesque way of working and, as Winters fears, there is more to come from the corrupt and twisted mind of the killer. To bring the carnage to an end, Winters must make a potentially dangerous journey… into the depths of a psychopath’s mind. Claire Winters first appeared last year in For All Our Sins and this is out on 25 February.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Click here to discover last week’s new releases.

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