The latest from Japan

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On the Radar — This time last year, Tetsuya Honda’s The Silent Dead became one of our Recommended reads, testifying to the notion that there’s some wonderfully innovative and gripping Japanese crime fiction available in translation. The book introduced Reiko Himekawa, a rookie female detective in the Tokyo force. Like Michael Connelly’s new character Renée Ballard and Karin Slaughter’s Kate Murphy, Reiko has a tough job to do made tougher by the sexism of her colleagues. Fascinating reading? You bet. Plus we’ve got books about missing parents, a trip to Botswana with Michael Stanley and two new examples of Welsh crime fiction. What’s your poison?

Soul Cage by Tetsuya Honda
Out on 18 July, this new novel from the author who brought us The Silent Dead delivers a new case for Lieutenant Reiko Himekawa of the Tokyo police. It begins with the discovery of a severed hand on the outskirts of the city. When that hand is connected to the disappearance of a contractor called Kenichi Takaoka, who has gone missing and whose garage is covered in his blood, Reiko realises she’s got a murder to solve. Step one, find the rest of the body. Read our review soon here on Crime Fiction Lover.
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A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
The author of the highly rated The Couple Next Door is back with another dark and twisty domestic thriller, out 27 July. It’s a normal evening for Karen Krupp as she prepares dinner and waits for her husband to get home from work. Then she wakes up in hospital after crashing her car in a dangerous part of town, and with no memory of the incident or how she got there. The police think she was up to no good, but her husband Tom thinks different. Gradually, bit by bit, a new picture of Karen starts to emerge and suddenly he doesn’t know who to believe…
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The Orphans by Annemarie Neary
Jess Considine and her brother Ro were just youngsters when their parents disappeared, apparently abandoning them on a beach in Goa in 1992. Jess is now a corporate lawyer in London with all the pressures of family and work but Ro is less settled and can be elusive. He has been doggedly searching for their parents and then uncovers new evidence that their mother may still be alive. It’s a novel that is offering a detailed exploration of the suffering of the family, studying the characters and how they find their way through the trauma and grief. Out on 27 July.
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Dying to Live by Michael Stanley
The death of a bushman in the Kalahari in Botswana triggers a new case for Detective Kubu Bengu. Intriguingly, the postmortem reveals organs that are much younger than his apparent age. And, inexplicably, there is a bullet lodged in muscle with no apparent entry wound. Michael Stanley is the penname of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip who were interviewed for Crime Fiction Lover here. This is now the sixth in the series, which has a gritty dark edge as Kubu delves into African smuggling, gangsterism and corruption. Now available in ebook and print.
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Friend Request by Laura Marshall
These days of overwhelming social media make a perfect hunting ground for the savvy crime writer and it’s Facebook that finds its way into the heart of Laura Marshall’s debut novel, out 27 July. All Facebookers receive out-of-the-blue friend requests; some are worth following through on, others go straight into the trash. But what if you receive a message from someone who’s been off the radar for quite a while? Like 25 years? And more than that, they’re dead? That’s what happens to Louise Williams, and suddenly, life is about to get very complicated. This book is already up for two awards even though it’s not even out yet.
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Give Me the Child by Mel McGrath
Dr Cat Lupo, a highly accomplished child psychologist, is caught unawares when little Ruby Winter arrives at her doorstep with the police. Cat is desperate for another child of her own and it turns out that Ruby is her husband’s daughter from a one-night stand. A tense psychological thriller unfolds as Cat voices her concerns about Ruby, while her own past psychosis looms in the background. Award-winning Mel McGrath is already well known for her Edie Kiglatuk novels, the brilliant Inuit detective, under the penname MJ McGrath. Released 27 July.
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Unforgivable by Mike Thomas
It’s so nice to get out of the cliched crime fiction cities of London, New York and LA once in a while. Former cop Mike Thomas served in some of Cardiff’s toughest neighbourhoods for 20 years, and here he’s writing about what he knows. First, a bomb goes off in a busy souk, then another one tears into a mosque. But this isn’t Tripoli or Baghdad. It’s Cardiff and DC Will MacReady is raring to go on the case. Is this to be his first big investigation, or is he going to be sidelined to work on a knife attack instead? Out 27 July. We previously reviewed the author’s Ugly Bus, now being filmed for the BBC.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Where She Went by BE Jones
Don’t you just love it when an author finds a new twist on a familiar story? Not for the first time, TV journalist Melanie Black wakes up one morning next to a man she doesn’t remember. One night stands are nothing new to Melanie, but this time the guy can neither see or hear her, and nor can his wife who suddenly walks in with a cup of tea. So here’s a novel where our main character is dead. But who killed her, how did she die and is this guy the murderer? Welsh author BE Jones’ latest is available from 27 July in print, and is already available for Kindle.
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The Fever Tree by Richard Mason
Originally published in 1962, The Fever Tree was post-war British author Richard Mason’s final novel. The book sees English adventurer Richard Birkitt accepting a communist mission to assassinate the country’s king. He travels to India, and then to Nepal, but the on the way he meets a young Indian woman trapped in an unhappy marriage, and the priorities of his mission begin to change shape. It’s out now for Kindle and will be available 10 August as a paperback from Bello, Macmillan’s imprint for republished classic crime.
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