Dark, deadly tartan tales a-woven

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On the Radar — This week’s On the Radar column begins with three deadly tales from the tomes of Tartan noir, as a trio of Scottish authors each weave their own blood-splattered stories of murder and mayhem. We start off with a Stuart Macbride standalone that looks a real treat for fans of the Aberdonian. It’s Hammer time again, too, with a new novel from Denmark featuring Konrad Simonsen, and we’ve also got the new Sharon Bolton standalone and a book of LA stories by women authors. Enjoy…

A Dark So Deadly by Stuart Macbride
DC has Suicide Squad; Stuart Macbride has gone one better with… The Misfit Squad! Maybe there’s something of a New Tricks telly series vibe in this a standalone too. Or Department Q, even. It’s centred around a group of outcast Police Scotland officers, sidelined for a number of reasons and saddled with all the cases no-one else wants. But when an ancient mummy turns up at a local tip and everyone else is ‘too busy’ to work out where it came from, there’s a chance for the Misfits to show they’re not so rubbish after all – particularly when one of their number works out a link between the artefact and three missing young men. Out 20 April and watch for our review!
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Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre
Jack Parlabane is back. His rollercoaster career might be back on the rails but it can’t last. The favour he needed to get there is being called in. Sam Morpeth has her own problems. Her mother is in prison and Sam is caring for a sister with learning difficulties. She has an online presence as hacker ‘Buzzkill’ but now she is being blackmailed. Brookmyre has weaved a tale of cybercrime and industrial espionage. Hot on the heels of the award-winning Black Widow this thriller was on our list of most wanted books for 2017. Released 20 April and full review coming soon.
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Game Over by Quintin Jardine
The Edinburgh-based detective Bob Skinner returns for his 27th novel, and this time veteran Scottish author Quintin Jardine plunges him into the world of footballers and their wives. Supermodel Annette Bordeaux has been battered to death in her flat. Her footballer husband has an alibi but other members of his club don’t look so squeaky clean. Former Chief Constable Skinner’s old team are on the case and he can’t resist getting involved. But as they work to nail their perp, Skinner’s own solicitor daughter ends up representing the suspect. Out 20 April.
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The Owl Always Hunts at Night by Samuel Bjork
You know when a killer thinks they’re an artist? When they pose the body for discovery, and the whole idea that someone can do that just creeps you out? That’s how this book starts and it’s Mia Krüger and Holger Munch who investigate in this new translation from Norway. They have so few clues, the case stalls, but then a young hacker finds something that suggests the killer has a much bigger plan than one posed corpse. Striking cover. Find out more on 20 April.
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The Killer on the Wall by Emma Kavanagh
In crime fiction land, bodies are like buses – they tend to come along in groups. That’s certainly true of Emma Kavanagh’s latest. When 15-year-old Isla Bell discovers three bodies propped up against Hadrian’s Wall, her easy-going, uncomplicated life disintegrates. Skip forward 20 years, and Isla is now a forensic psychologist, studying the brains of serial killers. How will she cope when one has her in his sights and more bodies begin to appear at the Roman wall? Out 20 April.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Lake by Soren and Lotte Hammer
Danish brother and sister writing team Soren and Lotte Hammer write procedurals that are worth paying attention too, particularly if you miss Wallander. Konrad Simonsen has a style about him that will certainly appeal to fans of the great Swede. Here he’s confounded by the discovery of a woman’s body in, as the title suggests, a lake. Nothing to identify her, no obvious missing persons case she could be linked to – what’s a Dane to do? In cases like this, could human trafficking be the cause? We reviewed his last case, The Vanished, and this one arrives 20 April.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton
A new standalone from the pen of Sharon Bolton is always something to celebrate and there’s been quite a pre-release buzz about this one, which is out 20 April. It opens wth two equally dramatic occurrences. In the wild Scottish borders, a young woman is murdered; nearby, a hot air balloon falls from the sky, leaving only one survivor as witness to the crime. Jessica Lane has seen the killer, and he has seen her. It’s the starting point for an epic life-or-death pursuit which looks bound to end in tears.
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Last Resort edited by Matt Coyle, Mary Marks and Patricia Smiley
With an introduction by Michael Connelly, this is an anthology of short stories with the city of Los Angeles as their setting. They’re all written by members of Sisters in Crime, and in many of the stories the city is used as a beckoning light for the misfits, mystics and freaks of America, who roll into town desperate and inevitably slide towards trouble. In all, some 16 authors have contributed including Avril Adams, Laurie Stephens and Mae Woods. It’s a great place to discover rising talents. The paperback is available, and you’ll be able to get it on Kindle from 17 April.
Buy now on Amazon

Ice Cold Alice by CP Wilson
Cold-hearted serial killer or vigilante hero? Alice is hunting down abusive spouses before killing them with surgical precision. Her public persona, exquisitely named Tequilla Mockingbird, is splashing it all over her blog. DI Kathy McGuire, a grandmother, may be in the twilight of her career but she has to find the killer. Two strong female protagonists go toe-to-toe in a story that poses plenty of moral questions. Wilson has taken the standard formula and turned it on its head. You won’t know who to root for in this twisting thriller. Released 20 April by Bloodhound Books.
Pre-order on Amazon

Need more crime fiction? Here are last week’s releases.

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