On the Radar: Those Ozark dogs are howlin’

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It seems like ages since we’ve been to the Ozarks, the Southern mountain range that seems to be such a great setting for rural noir crime fiction. Eli Cranor is back with his second book to fix that, though. That’s our lead book this week, but we think choosing the next title to add to your reading pile might be hard because we’ve also got a 1950s Irish mystery by John Banville, Carol Wyer putting her cop character Kate Young in a real pickle, a very creepy looking mystery set in Scottish academia, and a debut from Megan Davis that gets mean and nasty in Paris. Here’s the lowdown on the latest crime novels to hit the streets…

Ozark Dogs by Eli Cranor

Ozark Dogs by Eli Cranor front cover

His debut, Don’t Know Tough, made the shortlist in last year’s CFL Awards. Now Eli Cranor is back with a new book, out on 4 April. Ozark Dogs is set in small-town Arkansas, where a long-running feud between two families is about to explode. Vietnam War veteran Jeremiah Fitzjurls takes over the care of his granddaughter, Joanna, when her father is jailed for murder. She is taught to fight and shoot and to stay away from the Ledfords, who are notorious meth dealers and fanatical white supremacists. But the Ledfords have scores to settle and are out for revenge, and when Joanna is taken as payment for a long-overdue blood debt it’s clear that a powerful powder keg is about to explode in what could be a rural noir masterpiece.
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The Lock-Up by John Banville

The Lock-Up by John Banville front cover

Let’s head to Dublin in the 1950s, where the body of a young women is found in a lock-up garage, an apparent suicide. As pathologist Dr Quirke and Detective Inspector Strafford investigate, it becomes evident that this was foul play, a theory supported by the victim’s sister, a reporter in London who returns home to learn the truth and help them out. The mystery deepens as the trio uncover links to a wealthy German family in County Wicklow, and to investigative work she may have been doing in Israel. With relations between the two men strained, and their investigation taking them back to the final days of the World War II, can they fit together the hidden puzzle? The Lock-Up by John Banville is out on 6 April.
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A Truth for a Truth by Carol Wyer

A Truth for a Truth by Carol Wyer front cover

Carol Wyer’s series featuring Detective Kate Young reaches a blistering finale in A Truth for a Truth, out on 6 April. As we reach book four, crooked cop Supt John Dickson is about to get his comeuppance. But when Kate finally confronts Dickson and accidentally shoots and kills him, she’s forced to cover her tracks before anyone can pin his death on her. Now she’s in charge of the murder investigation – and new information uncovers the dastardly deeds of another corrupt officer, DI Harriet Khatri, who is involved with sex traffickers. Can Kate stay one step ahead of the traffickers and bent cops and bring Harriet to justice? And can she really get away with murder?
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The Bequest by Joanna Margaret

The Bequest by Joanna Margaret front cover

Ready for a debut novel set in the world of academia? Then put 6 April in the diary, because that’s when The Bequest by Joanna Margaret is published in the UK. Running from a disastrous affair with a colleague, Isabel Henley leaves the US to begin a PhD in Scotland. There she meets Rose Brewster, an old classmate, and the pair become friends. But then Rose vanishes and suicide is suspected – until Isabel receives a cryptic message which proves Rose is alive but being held captive by people who don’t want her to complete her research. As Isabel steps into her friend’s shoes, she uncovers a chain of betrayal and treason going back centuries. Can she solve a 400-year-old mystery?
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The Messenger by Megan Davis

The Messenger by Megan Davis front cover

Alex is wealthy and entitled, treading an easy path to success in the Parisian elite his father mingles with – although the pair don’t see eye to eye. Instead, Alex rebels, roaming the streets of Paris with his new-found friend Sami and learning how to survive. Skills that are about to come in useful after Alex’s father is killed and he and Sami end up imprisoned for murder. Seven years later, Alex is released and sets out to find the real killer. But can he handle the truth? The Messenger, a gritty debut thriller by Megan Davis, is published on 30 March.
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Click here to read about last week’s new crime books.

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