A crime book is a gift you give yourself

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On the Radar — The first week of March is a big one on the crime fiction calendar with plenty of new books coming out, and we’ve got some of the best for you here in On the Radar. Our top pick this week is William Boyle’s new novel and if you loved his debut, Gravesend, you better check out A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself. Whether it’s that or another title, we reckon a crime novel is a gift you give yourself too, so go for it!

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A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself by William Boyle

This novel, which starts off in New York and goes off in all sorts of directions, was on our most wanted list for 2019 and it lands on 5 March. As well as a mob widow who has lamped her neighbour with an ashtray, it’s got a porn star called Wolfie and a Chevy Impala, and has been described as Thelma and Louise meets Goodfellas. That’s a tall order but the word on the street is that author William Boyle has the pedigree, so watch for our review in due course.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

With cunningly creative and highly original psychological thrillers such as The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, Peter Swanson has made quite a name for himself. Now he’s back with a new book that’ll have you thinking.  Illustrator Hen is bipolar, but she finally seems to have found some peace when she and her husband move to a Boston suburb. Her only problem is with the neighbours. Hen knows there’s something off about Matthew but her husband Lloyd doesn’t see it, and dismisses her fears out of hand. But what if Hen is right and the man next door really is a killer? Out 5 March.
Pre-order now on Amazon

A Gift for Dying by MJ Arlidge

Troubled teenager Kassie Wojcek is a loner who likes to cut school, has a difficult relationship with her widowed mother and does a little drugs. She also sees death and knows exactly how and when people are going to die – but that’s not possible, is it? Forensic psychologist Adam Brandt is called out to see Kassie after she is arrested for assault and he dismisses her claims out of hand. But a serial killer is terrorising Chicago, and Kassie seems to have the inside track on his next move… Out 7 March.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Freefall by Jessica Barry

Allison survives a plane crash, but her problems are only just beginning in this debut thriller that’s out of 7 March and has already been snapped up by a Hollywood production company. Suddenly, Allison’s perfectly constructed life begins to crumble and she finds herself on the run, desperately trying to outwit the stalker who seems to know her every move. Meanwhile, Allison’s mother Maggie refuses to accept the official line that her daughter is dead. Allison is out there somewhere and Maggie is determined to find her before it’s too late. It’s out 28 February in the US.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Thunder Bay by Douglas Skelton

Meet reporter Rebecca Connolly, a young woman who likes nothing more than a juicy story to cover. They’re pretty few and far between on the Highland Chronicle, so when she sniffs a front page splash, Rebecca is soon hot on the trail. 15 years ago, Roddie Drummond was charged with the murder of his partner Mhairi but the case was not proven and Roddie left the island of Stoirm. Now he’s back for his mother’s funeral and as old animosities resurface, Rebecca digs deeper into the mysteries surrounding Mhairi’s death – but it’s a dangerous strategy, and one she may come to regret. Out 7 March.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Here’s a psychological thriller that peels away the layers of a marriage, and winds its way towards a killing. Maddie and Ian live the comfortable life with their son Charlie in Kansas. When Maddie has an accident and attends counselling, she starts to unravel her relationship with Ian and thinks he might have PTSD from his time in the British Army. Now questions start to arise about Charlie’s safety and the couple’s crazy past in the Balkans, England, Iraq and New York. Out 7 March
Pre-order now on Amazon

This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us by Edgar Cantero

This is different. So different that we’re tempted to call it screwball crime fiction, even. It came out last year in the US and now This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us has landed in the UK. It has two main detective characters, they’re twins, and they happen to occupy the same body. It’s not a case of schizophrenia, but genetic chimerism – an actual condition in which two distinct genotypes are found in the same organism. Here it means that A and Z Kimrean (see what he did there?) solve crimes together sharing the same brain. The mystery itself? Well this comes straight from the blurb: “When the sons of a cartel boss are being murdered one by one, Kimrean must go to the sin-soaked streets of San Carnal, California, to face every plot device Elmore Leonard wrote to crack the case.” Wow.
Buy now on Amazon

Read about last week’s new crime novels here.

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