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On the Radar: Don’t panic it’s just James Ellroy

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Typically, we don’t collect statistics here at Crime Fiction Lover. We like forensics but we’re not forensic, so to speak. But if you asked which author is cited as an influence the most by crime writers we’ve interviewed, it would probably be James Ellroy. Whether you love or loath his down and dirty scat-like prose, the man is a living legend – and this week we begin with his latest novel.

However, as towering as Ellroy is in his murder mystery majesty, he won’t quite overshadow the excellent selection of novels also included in this week’s On the Radar report. Innovative concepts, high levels of suspense, procedural accuracy – whatever takes your fancy there’s a taste of it here, and the geographic locations skip from the UK to Cuba and then across to Sweden. Enjoy.

Widespread Panic by James Ellroy

Widespread Panic by James Ellroy front cover

The demon dog of American literature is back, and in this standalone novel he returns to his favourite place and his favourite era – LA of the 1940s and 50s. Widespread Panic introduces Freddy Otash, an ex-cop who now digs up dirt on celebrities for a smut-riddled gossip mag called Confidential. From bugs and wiretaps to outright violence and extortion, Freddy will go low down to get the lowdown. But, while a cop, he shot a man who didn’t deserve to die, and when Horvath’s wife is later murdered, all the pills and bourbon in the world can’t salve Freddy’s need for redemption. It’s out 15 June.
Pre-order now on Amazon

I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood

I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood front cover

He was once a rich banker, nowadays Xander Chute takes his chances as a down-and-out on the streets of London. One night he gets lucky though, and rests his head in an empty Mayfair flat – but when the owners come home unexpectedly, Xander manages to hide. And witnesses an argument, followed by a murder. But who is going to believe a homeless man when the police can find no sign of a crime being committed? Then when a body is found and Xander comes under suspicion, who should any of us believe? Imran Mahmood won lots of followers with his debut You Don’t Know Me, and his latest gripping psychological thriller is out on 10 June.
Pre-order now on Amazon

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox front cover

And now for something completely different, courtesy of Sirens author Joseph Knox. Back in 2011 Manchester University student Zoe Nolan left a party and was never seen again. Seven years later, struggling writer Evelyn Mitchell finds herself drawn into the mystery. She interviews Zoe’s friends but there are some glaring disparities in the tales they tell. Who knew the real Zoe and what happened to her? Struggling to put the pieces together, Evelyn turns to someone else for help and guidance – none other than crime writer Joseph Knox! Told you it was completely different, didn’t we? Find out more when True Crime Story is released on 17 June.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Transparency of Time by Leonardo Padura

The Transparency of Time by Leonardo Padura front cover

There’s a hint of The Maltese Falcon about Leonardo Padura‘s latest novel, but with its fascinating Cuban setting we’re sure this book is as unique as they come. When the ageing detective Mario Conde is commissioned to find the stolen statue of a black Madonna, he discovers that he must trace its history in order to understand who has taken it and why. Folded into a story going back to the Crusades and taking in the Spanish Civil War are two murders, both related to the theft of the artefact. You’ll be able to get your hands on The Transparency of Time from 10 June.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Mammon in Malmö by Torquil MacLeod

Mammon in Malmo by Torquil MacLeod front cover

British author Torquil MacLeod is what you might call a Scandibrit, setting his novels in Sweden. In 2010, he began his Malmö Mysteries with Meet Me in Malmö and both the consonance and investigations have continued ever since. Mammon in Malmö is the eighth book in the series and it sees former police detective Anita Sundström taking on a case as a private detective. Someone has stolen a set of paintings which were looted from Hungary by the Nazis. Meanwhile, her old colleagues in the Criminal Investigation Squad are trying to solve the murder of… yup… a private detective. It’s out 6 June.
Pre-order now on Amazon

For Any Other Truth by Denzil Meyrick

For Any Other Truth by Denzil Meyrick front cover

The Scottish-based series featuring DCI Jim Daley reaches its ninth outing and he’s faced with a real puzzle. When a light aircraft crash-lands at Machrie airport, Daley and colleague Brian Scott are soon at the scene. But what at first seems like a simple case of mechanical failure goes right out the window when it is revealed that both occupants were dead before the plane even took off. Over in Kinloch, a local fisherman is in the wrong place at the wrong time and finds himself in danger. And back at the nick, things get uncomfortable for Ch Supt Carrie Symington when the past catches up with her. Plenty to get your teeth into, then, in Denzil Meyrick’s For Any Other Truth – and it’s out now.
Buy now on Amazon

Click here to read about last week’s new crime novels.

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