On the Radar: The Antichrist returns

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Welcome to our first new books column of 2023, where we bring you the latest from the rising star of British crime fiction, Janice Hallett. Yes, The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels is coming soon and in its pages the Antichrist returns. Not literally, mind. The Devil’s child sits alongside a new serial killer thriller, a historical PI procedural, and two highly imaginative near future techno thrillers. There’s no better way to start the new year than with some crime fiction. Am I right?

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett front cover

Fans of The Twyford Code, rejoice! Janice Hallett is back with another confounding mystery. The Alperton Angels were notorious – a cult who brainwashed a teenage girl and convinced her that her newborn baby was the Antichrist. They were intent on killing the child, but when their deadly plot was uncovered they committed suicide rather than face justice. The mother and child vanished into the care system. Two decades later, true crime author Amanda Bailey is writing a book on the Angels and wants to find the baby, but so does rival author Oliver Menzies. The pair decide to collaborate to uncover something horrifying. The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels is out on 19 January, and you can read more about it in our interview with Janice Hallett here.
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The Drift by CJ Tudor

The Drift by CJ Tudor front cover

The author behind The Chalk Man is back with another twisted psychological thriller. The Drift, out on 19 January, is literally chilling, taking place in the middle of a snowstorm. There’s a killer on the loose – but who is their target? Hannah awakens to a confusion of mangled metal and shattered glass after the coach taking her group from a secluded boarding school careers off the road, trapping her with a handful of survivors. Meg awakes in a cable car with five other people – and no memory of how she got there. Meanwhile, Carter and his companions are stuck in an isolated ski chalet. Within one of those groups a killer lurks, but which one is it?
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Trouble by Katja Ivar

Trouble by Katja Ivar front cover

Set in Helsinki in 1953 in the heart of the Cold War, Trouble is the third book in Katja Ivar‘s series featuring Hella Mauzer, and it comes out on 19 January. Hella, now a reluctant private investigator, is asked by her former boss at the Helsinki murder squad to do a background check on a member of the Finnish secret services, and she takes the dull job on the condition that she is given access to the files concerning the death of her family in 1942. Back then, Colonel Mauzer, his wife and other family members were killed by a truck in a hit and run incident. An accident, file closed, they said. But not for Hella, whose unwelcome investigation leads to someone who would prefer to see her stopped dead in her tracks.
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In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan

In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan front cover

Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK – gone in the blink of an eye. It’s a statistic that troubles DCS Kat Frank, a widowed single mother who heads a pilot programme that has her paired with Artificially Intelligent Detective Entity Lock. It’s an uneasy pairing, until the two cold cases they are looking into become active and that blend of AI versus human experience, logic versus instinct suddenly kicks into gear. With lives on the line, can the pair work together before someone else becomes another statistic? A debut that offers something original, In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan is out on 19 January.
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A Stolen Memory by David Beckler

A Stolen Memory by David Beckler front cover

The second thriller in David Beckler’s trilogy featuring journalist Antonia Conti is set in London in the near future. GRM runs private prisons and its shady practices include a programme to alter prisoners’ memories, removing those that led to their criminal behaviour. When Conti hears rumours that the technology has deadly side effects, she decides to investigate. Then a stolen lorry ploughs into a whistle-blower’s car, leaving him dead and her trapped in the burning vehicle. Is GRM behind it? As other deaths are uncovered with links to her investigations and to GRM, she enlists the help of old pal DI Russell Chapman to get to the truth. A Stolen Memory is out on 19 January.
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