On the Radar: Hello again, Marlowe

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Originally created by Raymond Chandler, Philip Marlowe has inspired legions of hardboiled PIs. His clipped storytelling style is often mimicked but never bettered. So when a skilled author like Joe Ide comes along and writes a novel about the character, we sit up and pay attention. Will it be authentic to the Chandler style? At what point in Marlowe’s timeline will the story take place? What liberties will the author take with the character, and will they pay off? Soon, we’ll be able to start unravelling these mysteries – can’t wait!

Plus, four other fascinating crime novels for you to check out here in this week’s On the Radar column…

The Goodbye Coast by Joe Ide

The Goodbye Coast by Joe Ide front cover

A Philip Marlowe novel? Set in modern-day Los Angeles? Marks for chutzpa must go to Joe Ide for The Goodbye Coast, out on 1 February. The author of the excellent IQ series has reimagined Philip Marlowe as a modern-day private eye, quiet, lonely and remarkably capable and confident. His mettle is tested, however, when he accepts two missing person cases. The first involves the daughter of a faded, tyrannical Hollywood starlet, and the second, a British child stolen from his mother by his father. Marlowe has father issues of his own. Can he set them aside and finally win the approval of a man who has never been able to disguise his disappointment in his PI son? Involving, as it does, one of the defining icons of our favourite genre, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this one…
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Sorry Isn’t Good Enough by Jane Bailey

Sorry Isn't Good Enough by Jane Bailey front cover

It’s the summer of 1966, and England is overwhelmed with World Cup fever. Which is why, when nine-year-old Stephanie’s spiteful friend Dawn goes missing in the woods, no one appears to have any idea what happened to her. Obviously, at least one person is lying, but who? Move onto May, 1997 and Stephanie has put the horrors of her childhood behind her – until, that is, a man starts following her on the train home from London. Suddenly what really happened back then begins to haunt her every waking hour… Sorry Isn’t Good Enough by Jane Bailey is out on 3 February.
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When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash

When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash front cover

When a plane crash-lands on quiet Oak Island, the repercussions are immense for Sheriff Winston Barnes. Alongside the abandoned aeroplane, the body of a local black man, Rodney Bellamy, is found shot on the runway. Barnes is up for re-election, and sickness and bereavement are tearing his family apart. The last thing he needs is to have to handle the anger, resentment and downright racism that bubbles just below the surface in his small town. And the arrival of an FBI pilot sent in to help is about to make the job even tougher. When Ghosts Come Home by award winning author Wiley Cash is out on 3 February. We loved his novel This Dark Road to Mercy in 2014.
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The Long Weekend by Gilly Macmillan

The Long Weekend by Gilly Macmillan front cover

In recent years there have been plenty of crime books where a bunch of women taking a break away together get into serious difficulties. You can add Gilly Macmillan’s The Long Weekend to that list, but this one (out on 3 February) is a little bit different. Ruth, Jayne and Emily are already out of sorts when they arrive at a barn conversion in the bleakest corner of Northumberland. Their menfolk were meant to be there too, but came up with excuses not to go. Then a mysterious package arrives, with a note saying one of the husbands has been murdered. When there’s a storm brewing and there is no mobile phone signal, it’s time to panic. Gilly Macmillan was one of our six women to watch in 2016.
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Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins front cover

Ooh, the chance to sail to a remote island off the coast of Hawaii! Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Lux and Nico certainly think so, and they’re soon enjoying the trip of a lifetime on their beautiful new home. But they’re not alone – another group is already there and suddenly the island paradise doesn’t seem quite so appealing. Someone goes missing. Then a body surfaces and Lux starts to wonder if any of them are going to make it back to shore alive… Not long to wait to find out what happens, because Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins is published on 28 January.
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Click here to read about last week’s new crime novels.

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