On the Radar: Hello, Hawthorne, my old friend…

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Thursday 18 August will be an interesting day for crime fiction lovers this year. It’s a date when a lot of important releases hit the shelves, setting the tone for our Autumn reading. Four of our books this week will arrive on the 18th and they’re all exciting, however our lead book is The Twist of the Knife by Anthony Horowitz. It’s the fourth in what must be one of the cleverest series going and features the author himself in the hot seat.

Crime fiction from Down Under seems to be bigger than ever and we’ve three new antipodean novels for you, including debuts by Michael Bennett and Benjamin Stevenson, plus the latest from Sherryl Clark. And British Asian author Naseem Khan rounds off the selection with a new book set in 1950s Mumbai.

The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz

The Twist of the Knife by Anthony Horowitz front cover

The Word is Murder, The Sentence is Death, A Line to Kill – each title thus far in Anthony Horowitz’s Hawthorne series has alluded to writing. The Twist of a Knife is the latest and while it’s a bit more of a stretch, wegeddit… However, the title is totally apt because the first big twist is that Anthony Horowitz, himself a character in the series, is arrested for murder in London. A theatre critic who assassinated his latest play has been… well… assassinated. There’s one person who can help him – the trouble is he has recently alienated the former police detective Hawthorne by refusing to write another book about Hawthorne’s exploits. And, as readers will know, there’s a hard side to Hawthorne – he’s not a man to cross. The Twist of a Knife comes out 18 August.
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Better the Blood by Michael Bennett

Better the Blood by Michael Bennett front cover

Māori author Michael Bennett’s debut Better the Blood is a book to look out for – it’s already caught the eye of Val McDermid, who picked it as one of her New Blood releases and interviewed Bennett at this year’s Harrogate Festival. Hana Westerman is a tenacious Māori detective who is juggling single motherhood and the pressures of her career in Auckland’s Central Investigation Branch. It all threatens to come tumbling down when a mysterious video leads her to a man hanging in a secret room. There’s a serial killer on the loose and Hana’s investigations will take in an historic crime that leads back to the brutal, bloody colonisation of New Zealand. Better mark those diaries for 18 August.
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Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

Award-winning Aussie stand-up comedian and author Benjamin Stevenson’s darkly humorous murder mystery Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone comes out on 18 August. Read it, and you may never see a get together with relatives in the same way again! The Cunningham family is having a reunion at a remote mountain resort – then the snow starts to fall, everyone is trapped and tensions that were bubbling under the surface erupt, big time. Because the only thing this lot has in common is that they’ve all killed someone. And oh look! There’s a body…
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Mad Bad and Dead by Sherryl Clarke

Mad, Bad and Dead by Sherryl Clark front cover

Judi Westerholme is in a fix. She’s trying to co-run the local pub while caring for her orphaned niece — but things are about to get even more complicated in Sherryl Clarke’s Mad Bad and Dead, out now. Complications like threatening, late-night phone calls and discovering one of her employees, Kate, shot dead. Judi suddenly finds herself caught up in a murder investigation, as well as the hunt for the Kate’s 14- year-old daughter, who has been missing since her mother was killed. And if that’s not enough for her to cope with, there’s her relationship with Melbourne-based DS Heath to sort too.
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The Lost Man of Bombay by Vaseem Khan

The Lost Man of Bombay by Vaseem Khan front cover

The body of a white man is found frozen in the Himalayan foothills near Dehra Dun and he is dubbed the Ice Man by the national media. But who is he? How long has he been there? Why was he killed? All questions to be answered in The Lost Man of Bombay, latest in Vaseem Khan’s Malabar House series, set in 1950s Bombay, and out on 18 August. It’s up to Inspector Persis Wadia and Metropolitan Police criminalist Archie Blackfinch to solve the mystery. As the pair dig deeper they uncover a trail left behind by the enigmatic Ice Man – a trail leading directly into the dark heart of a conspiracy.
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Read about last week’s new novels here.

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