Life and death in Hull

On the Radar — Nick Quantrill has established himself as one of the top voices in British crime fiction in recent years and we lead with his new release, once again set in Kingston upon Hull, in the southern reaches of good old Yorkshire. Other titles this week feature a crate picking record dealer, some new Scottish crime fiction and a trip to British Columbia. Read on and choose your next crime read.

The Dead Can't TalkThe Dead Can’t Talk by Nick Quantrill
The city of Hull is undergoing a transformation as it prepares to be European City of Culture 2017, and writers like Nick Quantrill are playing their part by making Humberside a formidable crime fiction setting. In The Dead Can’t Talk he tells the tale of a downbeat copper, Anna Stone, and her search for the truth about her missing sister. She has an unlikely ally in the former jailbird Luke Carver, and together they upset enough powerful people to convince them that they are on the right track. Published on 12 May. Nick Quantril spoke to us in this 2011 interview and we gave five stars to his atmospheric thriller The Crooked Beat (2013).
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Vinyl DetectiveThe Vinyl Detective by Andrew Cartmel 
Subtitled Written In Dead Wax, this is the first in a series featuring a nameless young fellow who scratches out a living by scouring charity shops for rare jazz recordings, and then selling them at a mark-up to enthusiasts on eBay. He finds an absolute gem, which should keep him in moderate luxury for months, but in doing so he becomes involved in the murder of a record store owner. His dalliance with a fellow collector – the beautiful Nevada Warren – only adds to the complications. Out on 10 May.
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Blood TormentBlood Torment by TF Muir
Just as with his previous book, The Meating Room (2014), the title of TF Muir’s suggests there will be carnage. St Andrews copper DCI Andy Gilchrist is investigating the disappearance – and possible murder – of a three-year-old girl, but finds he has serious opposition. The missing girl’s mother is the daughter of a powerful and well-connected former politician who, having been driven from public office because of his bully boy tactics, has put his knuckleduster approach to work in the world of business. Gilchrist soon learns that blood ties are the most difficult knots to unpick. The book is available now and you can read Muir’s take on Tartan noir in this guest column.
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The Second LifeThe Second Life of Nick Mason by Steve Hamilton
Hamilton is no stranger to readers of CFL, and you can check our review of his 2012 novel A Cold Day In Paradise and Let It Burn (2013). Now he steps aside from his established  character, Michigan PI Alex McKnight, and brings us the tale of convict Nick Mason. Mason is doing serious time, but just five years into his term, he receives an amazing offer – freedom. It comes with a hefty price-tag, however. Gang boss Darius Cole runs his criminal syndicate from behind the same prison bars that Mason has just said goodbye to. Cole needs a tough, ruthless and efficient operator out on the streets and Mason is just the man. Trapped between a rock and a hard place, Nick Mason must try to put his life back together while steering a dangerous course between the law and a criminal empire. Published on 17 May.
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Green River FallingGreen River Falling by RJ McMillen 
This is the third installment of the Dan Connor mystery series, and it involves the oil industry on Canada’s west coast. The book cover gives just a hint of native art, and Connor, an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is drawn into the investigation of a series of deaths, the prime suspect being a member of the indigenous Haida people. The author has spent over 30 years sailing the remote Pacific Northwest on a 36-foot sailboat she and her husband built, visiting the remote coastal communities where her family worked in the early 1900s. Her latest book is published on 26 May.
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Nitro MountainNitro Mountain by Lee Clay Johnson
The title refers to the scarred and broken landscape of a coal mining corner of West Virginia, where the miners have left the land little more than a disemboweled corpse. The town of Bordan, Virginia, is home to a collection of misfits, some of whom have ambitions to escape via their love of country music, while others just hope they can raise the cash to get the next fix of their drug of choice. With much of the narrative focusing on a psychopath named Arnett, there is murder and corruption in the air. When we checked, Amazon said then book is published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, but further investigation reveals that the story contains graphic violence and sexually explicit material suitable only for adults. You can judge for yourself on 17 May.
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Lost and Gone ForeverLost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian
Victorian London is the setting for this tale of the embryonic days of Scotland Yard. The previous book in the series was The Yard (2012) and there, the city was still recovering from the scandal surrounding the failure of the police to bring Jack The Ripper to justice. Now, former police officer Nevil Hammersmith has lost his job, but has set himself up as a private investigator. His personal cause célèbre is the disappearance of a former colleague, Inspector Walter Day, but he learns that he shares his search with a mysterious pair of bounty hunters. Expect all the usual tropes of cobbled streets, fog, saucy ladies of the night and caped scoundrels. Out on 17 May.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Hunting In The ZooHunting in the Zoo by RH Johnson
Johnson introduced us to New York cop Detective Pete Nazareth in Widow Taker (2015), next came A Measure of Revenge in March this year, and hard on its heels comes this latest episode. A city cop’s worst nightmare – an urban sniper – has become a reality in one of the city’s five historic boroughs. Staten Island is the rifleman’s chosen killing ground, and Pete Nazareth will need his own killer instinct and his hard-won street smarts to outwit a psychopath. On the shelves from 15 May.

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