On the Radar: Berlin is burning

From post-truth politics to COVID-19 and on to the climate emergency, our world’s real problems are driving many readers to take refuge in crime fiction. We’ve seen a lot more interest in historical crime, which takes you away to bygone eras where we can be certain of the outcomes – at a macro level at least. And so our lead book this week is The Night of Shooting Stars, set in 1944 Berlin, where Hitler and his Nazi followers are getting increasingly tetchy… We’ve also got some new hardboiled crime from Robert White, two novels by well-loved Scottish crime authors and an international thriller to get your crime fiction loving heart racing.

The Night of Shooting Stars by Ben Pastor

The Night of Shooting Stars by Ben Pastor

When a strange clairvoyant who found fame during the last days of the Weimar Republic is murdered, Martin Bora is confused as to why he’s called in to investigate. Some of his superiors are super touchy about the case and, in the summer heat, Berlin is filling up with refugees – driven there by the War, which is turning in favour of the Allies. There is something political about this murder, and there are rumours of another plot against Hitler, meaning Bora has to tread very carefully. The Night of Shooting Stars is the seventh in Ben Pastor’s Martin Bora series, a character who is similar in many ways to Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther but plays thing more low key. Watch for it on 13 August.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Northtown Blitz by Robert White

Northtown Blitz by Robert White front cover

Indie crime fiction author Robert White is back with a second novel featuring his private detective character Raimo Jarvi. Jarvi is enjoying his reputation as a detective who gets things done, and is approached by Bella Cinciarelli who wants to know what really happened to her sister. The coroner says the death was by natural causes but Bella thinks it was murder. After a bit of digging, Jarvi determines that Bella’s brother in law was involved in the death. Trouble is, James delCorelli is a lawyer and county commissioner – a big wheel in Northtown. Solving the case will give Jarvi some powerful enemies. Northtown Blitz is out now.
Buy now on Amazon

The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson

The Innocent Dead by Lin Anderson front cover

They’ve been described as ‘the best Scottish crime series since Rebus’, so a new crime novel by Lin Anderson featuring forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is surely something to celebrate – and it’s out on 6 August, so not too long to wait. The discovery of a child’s remains in a peat bog outside Glasgow is set to reopen old wounds in a close-knit community and it’s up to Rhona to work out exactly what happened to Mary McIntyre all those years ago. But as she edges ever-closer to the truth in this cold case, it seems that some memories are best left undisturbed…
Pre-order now on Amazon

A Song of Isolation by Michael J Malone

A Song of Isolation by Michael J Malone front cover

The cult of celebrity – and just how easy it is to knock our idols off their pedestals – is at the heart of A Song of Isolation by Michael J Malone, a contemporary psychological thriller that’s out now for Kindle. Film star Amelie Hart is the media’s darling, but when she gives it all up for the love of a regular bloke with a normal job, the gossip writers are aghast. Then Amelia’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on child sexual abuse charges and she is reluctantly forced to flee the country while Dave languishes in jail. Meanwhile Damaris, the young victim at the centre of the story, is trying to make sense of an adult world.
Buy now on Amazon

Meet Your Maker by Matthew Mather

Meet Your Maker by Matthew Mather front cover

Michael Mather’s new international techno thriller takes us from the UN in New York to the heart of the Eastern European underworld. Interpol rookie Delta Devlin has just seen her father shot at the UN, and it’s soon revealed that ex-KGB man Yuri Korshunov was trying to kill the Ukranian prime minister using a 3D printed gun. As her father lies in a coma, and Russian troops mass on the Ukranian border, Devlin tries to work with hackers to track down Korshunov. Is the assassination somehow linked to a dead body found in the heating ducts of a Kiev hotel, and other bizarre murders? Meet Your Maker is out now.
Buy now on Amazon

Read about last week’s new crime novels here.

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