The dead, the dead, the dirty old dead

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On the Radar — Remember when we thought Harry Hole was dead, but he came back to feature in subsequent novels? More recently, we thought Val McDermid had put Carol Jordan and Tony Hill to sleep – not like pets but more like characters who have been around in her literary consciousness a wee bit too long. Well, she’s changed her mind and fans can rejoice as we bring you news of the latest in that Scottish crime series. We’ve got more Scottish crime featuring death via Lin Anderson, a Dane with an American political thriller, Jane Tennison’s return and a bitter family crime novel set in Montana – all in this week’s On the Radar.

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How the Dead Speak by Val McDermid

She painted herself into a bit of a corner with Insidious Intent, but Scottish crime author Val McDermid has had two years to come up with a cunning plan and create another novel featuring Carol Jordan and Tony Hill. We wondered if we’d ever see them again, but apparently we will on 22 August. The dramas of the previous book loom large in number 11 in the series, with Carol and Tony struggling in the aftermath. They are apart and barely coping, but when skeletal remains found on a building site turn out to belong to a killer who is supposedly very much alive and in prison, Tony and Carol are destined to be reunited once again.
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The Washington Decree by Jussi Adler-Olsen

This was not expected from Jussi Adler-Olsen, the Danish author of the fabulous Department Q series, with all its dark humour. The Washington Decree is a standalone set in the US in which the pregnant wife of the country’s new Democrat president, Bruce Jansen, is murdered on election night. What’s prompted it? Could it be his vow to control gun violence? Strangely, the chief suspect in the case is the father of Dorothy ‘Doggie’ Rogers, among President Jansen’s most ardent political supporters and one of a crew of five campaigners who have worked for the past 16 years to get into the White House. The response to this novel will be interesting as it sees guns confiscated and international travel curtailed…
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The Bitterroots by CJ Box

The fourth book in CJ Box‘s Cassie Dewell series lands on 13 August, and inside you’ll meet the ex-cop, who has turned private detective, as she tries to exonerate a man accused of a violent assault against a young woman. She’s doing it as a favour for a friend, and soon finds that Blake Kleinsasser might be the victim of a set-up orchestrated by his own family – the infamous Kleinsassers of the Iron Cross Ranch, Montana. It’s a part of the country where family roots run deep into the land, and the book takes its title from the Bitterroot Range. The wilderness and beauty of Montana is often a feature of CJ Box’s novels including Vicious Circle, from his long-running Joe Pickett series.
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The Dirty Dozen by Lynda La Plante

You can forget any similarities to the 1967 movie of the same name, in the fifth Jane Tennison novel, the ‘dirty dozen’ of the title refers to a bunch of tough, misogynist, sail-close-to-the-edge members of the Met’s Flying Squad. It’s 1980, and they’re none too happy when Tennison is added to their ranks – the Sweeney is no place for a woman, after all. That attitude is like a red rag to our bullish heroine, who sets out to prove them all wrong. Daft recklessness or inspired police work? You decide. It’s out on 22 August, in the meantime, you can read our interview with the author.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Time for the Dead by Lin Anderson

The latest episode in the popular Scottish-based crime fiction series featuring forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is out now, and it sees her returning to her roots on the Isle of Skye. She’s soon in the thick of not one but two murder investigations, which could have links to Glasgow and also much further afield. What is the connection to a group of army medics, who visited an island activities centre while on leave from Afghanistan – and could something that happened to them while they were on duty have a bearing on the Skye deaths? Read our review of the previous book in the series, Sins of the Dead.
Buy now on Amazon

Read about last week’s new crime novels here.

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