On the Radar: Crime through the ages

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December gets underway with some gripping mysteries and brutal crimes for detectives to solve both in the present day, and back in the past. We lead off our new books report with author Luke McCallin filling in some of the back story behind his popular German detective Gregor Reinhardt, who previously featured in The Pale House. There’s brand new Japanese crime fiction with Devotion of Suspect X author Keigo Higashino returning, a gritty Paris crime story from Gerald Jay and another novel that delves into the past with Andrew Ostrer’s The Spanish Claimant. For anyone looking to discover fresh talent on the crime bookshelf, check out Hannah Morrissey’s interesting debut which rounds off our report.

Where God Does Not Walk by Luke McCallin

Where God Does Not Walk by Luke McCallin front cover

Luke McCallin’s trio of WWII novels featuring German officer come investigator Gregor Reinhardt began with The Man from Berlin Set in Sarajevo in 1943. This new addition takes us back to Reinhardt’s youth as a 19-year-old lieutenant on the Western Front in World War I. When one of his men, a man he has come to see as a friend, is accused of blowing up the battalion HQ and is executed, Reinhardt investigates for himself. The powers that be want the matter closed but Reinhardt’s responsibility is to the men of the trenches not the brass. A conspiracy emerges that not only reflects on how things were in the trenches but hints towards the coming Nazi regime. Someone has to be blamed for the war… Out 9 December.
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Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino

Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino front cover

Tokyo police consultant Manabu Yukawa, AKA Detective Galileo, is back and when it comes to impossible-to-solve crimes, he’s the man. The bones of a popular young girl who disappeared three years before emerge in the ashes of a burned-out house. There’s a clear suspect and plenty of persuasive circumstantial evidence but no actual proof. It’s impossible to charge the suspect, who taunts the family of the victim and this isn’t the first time he’s been suspected of a heinous crime. Two decades earlier the same person was acquitted of another murder due to lack of evidence. Chief Inspector Kusanagi of the Homicide Division is tormented by the thought he could get away again and turns to his college friend, physics professor Detective Galileo, to help solve two seemingly impossible murders. New Japanese crime fiction out on 14 December.
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The Hanged Man’s Tale by Gerald Jay

The Hanged Man's Tale by Gerald Jay front cover

Inspector Paul Mazarelle of the Paris Directive is on the trail of a serial killer across the poverty riven back alleys and rich districts of the city. The body of a man is found hanging inside one of the Paris canal tunnels. The only clue is the tarot card in his pocket – the Hanged Man. Mazarelle is convinced a man railroaded into prison is innocent and so sets off to find the real killer. He has a quick-fire temper and is impulsive and a nose for crime. The Quai des Orfevres homicide detective dives into the underworld and tackles white supremacists blaming the immigrant community for everything to uncover a conspiracy, risking his own life. Out 7 Dec, this is the final novel by American literary author Gerald Jay Goldberg who sadly passed away last year.
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The Spanish Claimant by Andrew Ostrer

The Spanish Claimant by Andrew Ostrer front cover

This thriller delves into recent and ancient Anglo-Spanish history for events that coalesce in the modern day to form a high stakes conspiracy. A grand Spanish family seeks redemption after being responsible for the loss of Gibraltar to the British in 1704. While researching his family Pablo Diego de Salinas finds a letter in an old bundle of documents purporting to be from General Franco to his grandfather. If real they contain startling revelations about an agreement made between the Generalissimo and Churchill during World War II. Meanwhile, Nick Simpson is reluctant to become involved in a plan to steal a highly classified document until his Spanish wife is kidnapped. DI Ian Norton is assigned to a case that will test him to the limits and needs to find out what links these events.
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Hello Transcriber by Hannah Morrisey

Hello, Transcriber by Hannah Morrissey front cover

Just released, Hannah Morrissey’s debut Hello, Transcriber is a suspenseful mystery featuring a female police transcriber who goes way beyond the job description to solve a troubling case. Hazel Greenlee is privy to all the local secrets of Wisconsin’s Black Harbor district as she records the detectives accounts of gruesome crimes. As an aspiring novelist Hazel thinks a book could be her ticket out of this cold and miserable place. The inspiration alludes her until her neighbour confesses to hiding the corpse of an overdose victim. The suspicious death is linked to a dealer called the Candy Man. When Detective Nikolai Kole sets up a covert operation Hazel joins him. How far will she go for her story?
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Click here to read about last week’s new books.

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