On the Radar: Life’s a beach…

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…and then you read crime fiction!

This week our news column starts off on a beach in the South of France for a crime story with a different pace and tone to many. French author Marion Brunet captures the characters, scenes and situations in a way that gets so close you can feel their breath on your skin. It’s both moving and unnerving, but why else do we read crime fiction, right? That’s not all – we’ll take you to Florida, Manitoba, Cambridge and Nevada with a rich selection of mysteries and thrillers to choose from.

Vanda by Marion Brunet

French crime novel Vanda by Marion Brunet

Vanda is beautiful, in her 30s, arms covered in tattoos, her skin so dark that some take her for a North African. She had dreams of being an artist, but instead Vanda is a cleaner at a psychiatric hospital and lives in a derelict shack on the beach near Marseille with her young son, Noé. But when Noé’s father, Simon, turns up unannounced after seven years, Vanda’s precarious way of life is threatened. She’s simmering with pent up rage, but just how far is Vanda prepared to go to protect her boy? Seems like we’re about to find out. Vanda by leading French noir novelist Maron Brunet is out on 22 April. Read our review of Summer of Reckoning here.
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After Everything You Did by Stephanie Sowden

After Everything You Did by Stephanie Sowden crime novel

Debut author Stephanie Sowden’s book opens with a startling scenario. A woman wakes in a hospital bed in Florida. She’s alone, badly hurt – and handcuffed to the bed rail. Known only as Reeta Doe, she is accused of murdering four women, but Reeta remembers none of this and as FBI agents question her, it becomes clear that she isn’t faking. Her only hope is a journalist named Carol, who can follow the trail of devastation Reeta left in her wake and maybe come up with answers. But with the trail leading back to a shadowy religious cult, is Reeta prepared to hear the truth? After Everything You Did is out now.
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Fifty-Four Pigs by Philipp Schott

Fifty-Four Pigs by Philipp Schott crime novel

Canadian small animal vet Philipp Schott sticks to what he knows with the launch of a new cosy series featuring Dr Peter Bannerman, veterinarian and amateur detective. Fifty-Four Pigs trots into town on 19 April, and this crime debut sounds like a tempting mix of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and All Creatures Great and Small. A murder occurs after a swine barn explodes near a lakeside Manitoba town, and Bannerman can’t resist sticking his nose into the investigation — after all, his friend Tom is the prime suspect. But when a second death occurs, the would-be detective realises all too late that he is desperately out of his depth…
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To Become an Outlaw by Peter Murphy

To Become an Outlaw by Peter Murphy crime novel

Peter Murphy‘s eighth novel featuring lawyer Ben Schroeder, To Become an Outlaw, is out on 21 April and it opens in South Africa. It’s 1964 and the country is in the depths of apartheid when Danie du Plessis meets Amy Coetzee and they fall in love. But he is white and she isn’t, so they flee the country and settle in Cambridge. They’re married with children when the past reappears in the shape of Art Pienaar, who convinces the couple to help in dangerous schemes to undermine the South African regime. Then Pienaar is murdered, and Danie finds himself in the dock. Can Ben Schroeder persuade a jury that Danie deserves his freedom?
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The Distant Dead by Heather Young

The Distant Dead by Heather Young crime novel

Heather Young’s debut, The Lost Girls, won the Strand Award for Best First Novel. Now she’s back with The Distant Dead, out now on Kindle and on 26 April in print. Life is about to get complicated in a small Nevada town. First, Sal Prentiss walks into a fire station, pale with shock after making a grisly discovery. Meanwhile in a nearby middle school, Nora Wheaton is worried when her colleague is late for work. Adam Merkel left a university professorship in Reno to teach middle school in Lovelock seven months ago, now he is dead. He’d taken Sal under his wing and the boy is broken with grief – but Nora knows she must gain Sal’s trust if she is to get to the truth.
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Click here to read about last week’s new crime books.

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