Murder is the word

On the Radar — Anthony Horowitz’s last book, Magpie Murders, took the author out of the YA mainstream and into the adult crime fiction mainstream with a clever plot that played with the crime writing process, and the notion that fictional and real crimes can be linked on many levels. He does that again with The Word is Murder, our lead book this week. It’s bound to be a popular read. This week also brings us some new Italian noir, with a title that has moved from screen to page, and a nice selection of thrillers to choose from.

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The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
Moving to Century, Anthony Horowitz has a new publisher, but he’s carrying on in the same vein as his last hit mystery Magpie Murders with a new book entitled The Word is Murder. Like Magpie Murders, one of the main characters is an author – and this time it’s Horowitz himself in the story. A woman has just made her funeral plans, and six hours later she is found strangled. Could it be that she has arranged her own death as well? If so, maybe that secret will go to the grave with her. Or is someone else responsible? Horowitz joins with his new fictional detective Daniel Hawthorne to try and solve the case. On sale 24 August.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Suburra by Carlo Bonini and Giancarlo de Cataldo
Get ready for some Noir Italiano as criminals, politicians, and the Mafia clash in this Rome-based crime thriller. The sleepy coastal town of Ostia is slated for a huge development that will turn it into Italy’s own Las Vegas. Someone is going to make a lot of money but blood will be spilled in the power struggle. Inspired by recent political scandals, Suburra promises a noir portrayal of a great city steeped in corruption. If this all sounds rather cinematic then Netflix agrees with you. The streaming service part-financed the well-received 2015 film and its original series, also entitled Suburra, will be available to watch online in September. Review coming soon. Released 24 August.
Pre-order now on Amazon

99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter
Don’t take sweets from strangers. While the title of this thriller reminds us of the 80s hit by German singer Nena, its tagline will evoke images of children snatched by predators. This story delivers on the implicit promise when a young girl, Grace, goes missing on the way back from the shops. Mother Emma is distraught and wider family secrets are soon tumbling out. It transpires that another girl went missing in similar circumstances in the past. The domestic noir shelf may be a crowded one these days but this debut psychological thriller is ticking all the genre boxes. Emotional tension and twists galore are promised. Out 24 Aug.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Taking Liberties by Helen Black
Liberty Chapman has worked hard to leave the past behind her. The eldest of four children, she spent much of her early life protecting her siblings from their abusive father. Then he killed their mother, and they ended up in the foster care system. Liberty worked hard, got her law degree and became a solicitor – but when she is asked to handle a case in the city she grew up in, Liberty’s carefully constructed facade looks in danger of crumbling… Out 24 August.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Kill Me Twice by Simon Booker
Author and screenwriter Simon Booker knows how to spin a plot, and how to innovate with his concepts. Here we learn of Karl Savage, an abusive husband who died in an arson attack at the hands of his wife, Anjelica. It’s an open and shut case, until Anjelica enlists the help of investigative journalist Morgan Vine to prove her innocence. That sounds like an uphill task, until Morgan spots the ‘dead’ Karl strolling past her window. What really happened that night? Expect plenty of twists and turns from an author who has been described as ‘a cross between Val McDermid and Stephen King’. Out 24 August.
Pre-order now on Amazon

An Unlikely Betrayal by Jack Probyn
On 25 August, self-published author Jack Probyn releases his first crime novel and it introduces his rookie detective character Jake Tanner. A barrister and his family have been brutally murdered in their upmarket London home. Well, all but one of them, because the eldest daughter isn’t dead. She has been kidnapped. Just as Tanner gets to grips with the case, a ransom demand comes in with a two-hour deadline. Tick, tick, tick, tick… boom. Read it and find out what happens.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Read about last week’s new releases here.

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