No turkeys this week…

4 Mins read

On the Radar — Well, we say there are no turkeys this week, but at first glance there is one on the cover of TM Causey’s The Saints of the Lost and Found. But a closer look reveals it’s an angelic jacket, and the book has an excellent title. Set way down in Louisiana, it sounds pretty interesting too. There are also British police procedurals from the ever reliable authors Alex Gray, MJ Arlidge and Clare Donoghue. Max Allan Collins is back on the scene with another Mickey Spillane collab, and there’s lots more to choose from.

The Darkest GoodbyeThe Darkest Goodbye by Alex Gray
Detective Superintendent William Lorimer is like a Glaswegian Reg Wexford, with his happy marriage and avuncular manner. In The Darkest Goodbye he is called in to help a rookie detective with the strange case of an elderly woman killed in her own home. Even more baffling is the thought that the case might be connected to the death a notorious local drug dealer. We interviewed Alex Gray in 2013, and reviewed an earlier Lorimer novel, The Bird That Did Not Sing, in 2014. Out now.
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Little Boy BlueLittle Boy Blue by MJ Arlidge
In MJ Arlidge’s latest, DI Helen Grace returns for her fifth police procedural mystery. She finds she has to tread very carefully as she has certain connections with the victim of a Southampton nightclub killing. Trying to keep her complex private life out of the public eye and conceal it from her superiors isn’t easy. When the murderer comes calling again, Grace is faced with an agonising choice. She could end up destroying her career, or the fragile relationships at home. Available on 10 March.
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Murder Never KnocksMurder Never Knocks by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
As well as writing some excellent hardboiled in his own right, Max Allan Collins has been completing and bringing to print old manuscripts left behind by the great pulp author Mickey Spillane. The process began with Lady, Go Die in 2012 and several more have been released since. The newest is Murder Never Knocks, where Spillane’s classic PI Mike Hammer survives an attempt on his life, and then tries to work out who would be dumb enough to take a pop at him. He and partner Velda have to work as security at a celebrity party where they stand out like a pair of very sore thumbs. We interviewed Max Allan Collins in 2012, and if you want to learn more about the original Mike Hammer, you can always open his PI Case File. It’s out on 8 March.
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Modesty BlaiseModesty Blaise: Ripper Jax by Peter O’Donnell and Enric Badia Romero
Ripper Jax is the latest in a collection of stories featuring the comic strip heroine whose adventures first appeared in The London Evening Standard in May 1963. As well as the titular Ripper Jax, we have The Maori Contact, Honeygun and Durango. The four strips date from 1995-96, and are accompanied by an article by Simon Barnes, entitled Modest Morality. Publisher Titan Books promises bigger and clearer graphics than earlier editions of the stories. Published on 4 March.
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Trust No OneTrust No One by Clare Donoghue 
The South London detective team of DI Mike Lockyer and DS Jane Bennett entered the police procedural stakes in 2014 with Never Look Back, which comes highly recommended on Crime Fiction Lover. Their third case involves divorce, shared custody, child protection – and the death of a parent. Nothing is harder to deal with for police officers than breakup – and murder – within the family unit, and for Jane Bennett, returning to work after a traumatic incident, this is hardly a gentle re-introduction to the job. As she and Lockyer investigate the death of Richard Taylor, they have no problem in writing a list of suspects. But finding the right one is a different matter. Out on 10 March.
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Off The GridOff the Grid by CJ Box 
Wyoming. The Red Desert. 9320 square miles of sand, sun and suffering. Suffering, that is, if you are a human being like Nate Romanowski, forced into the inhospitable territory to search for terrorists. If he succeeds, the FBI will steam-clean his very grimy criminal record. Or so they say. This is billed as the 16th in the Joe Pickett series. Joe is a game warden – a decent happily married man, who is no shoot-em-up hero He’s just an honest guy with a conscience. His old buddy Nate takes centre stage here, but their two paths converge for a dramatic denouement in the desert. Available from 8 March.
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The Saints Of The Lost And FoundThe Saints of the Lost and Found by TM Causey 
Hands down winner of the best cover – and maybe the best title – this week is this Southern gothic chiller from Toni McGee Causey. She is best known for her Louisiana caper series featuring Bobbie Faye, but this is darker fare. Avery Broussard has an unwelcome gift. She can see missing things. Like many paranormal faculties it is as much a curse as a benefit, but when she returns to the Louisiana she thought she had left behind forever she’s drawn into a destructive spiral of family hatred while trying to help the FBI trace a missing child. Published on 8 March.
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Spy GamesSpy Games by Adam Brookes 
The title pretty much wraps it up, but the games are not ones where the opponents shake hands at the end and have a beer. Philip Mangan is a journalist suspected of being a British intelligence agent by the Chinese. Then after a terrorist attack in East Africa, he’s approached by a Chinese agent with information on the perpetrators. The story also involves the murder of an MI6 agent, with further action zipping between an Oxford College, Hong Kong and Washington DC. Mangan and his real spy buddy Tricia Patterson try to stay out of the crossfire between international terror gangs and the state agents hunting them. The hardback came out last year, but the paperback will be available from 10 March.
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Last week we looked at Reykjavik druglords, and more. To see last week’s new releases click here.

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