On the Radar: Russian interference

3 Mins read

Wait. <Tap. Tap. Tap.> What’s this on the radar? Is it? No, it can’t be… Is it working? Maybe the Russians messing with our comms?

Oh, wow, it is real! A new novel in Martin Cruz Smith’s Renko series is on the way and it’s the lead book this week in our news column this week. So many authors point to Martin Cruz Smith as an influence, we know readers will be excited to meet Renko again now, over four decades after he first appeared. Plus, there’s plenty more to discover with books by Tasha Sylva, Jonathan Gabel and Antonia Lassa, plus a funky crime anthology edited by Gary Phillips.

Independence Square by Martin Cruz Smith

Independence Square by Martin Cruz Smith front cover

Arkady Renko has overcome many adversaries over the course of Martin Cruz Smith’s 10-book series, but this time the battle is personal: Renko has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and confined to a desk job by his superiors to keep him out of the way. Strangely enough, he is feeling an odd sense of hope as a rebellion bubbles in Russia. Politician Leonid Lebedev is advocating for change and when Karina, a staunch supporter of Lebedev and member of the Forum, goes missing, Renko is asked by her father to find her. Then Alex, another Forum member and a close friend of Renko’s son, is found dead after sending Renko a cryptic message. Can he work out the link and solve the case? Independence Square will even take him to Ukraine. Out 11 May.
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Skin Deep by Antonia Lassa

Skin Deep by Antonia Lassa front cover

Skin Deep is Antonia Lassa’s first novel to appear in English. Although written in Spanish, it’s set in Biarritz, France, where Inspector Canonne has arrested eccentric loner Émile Gassiat for the murder of a wealthy woman in a shabby seaside apartment. Case closed as far as Canonne is concerned, but lawyer-turned-investigator Larten begs to differ. With the support of Gassiat’s friends, who believe he is innocent, Larten’s hunt for the truth takes him to the bustle of Paris as he seeks to demonstrate that the man in prison is innocent, despite all the evidence – and to uncover the true killer behind a series of bizarre murders. Translated by Jacky Collins, you can grab a copy on 30 April.
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The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva

Guest Room by Tasha Sylva front cover

Ready for a psychological thriller by a debut author? You got it! Cash-strapped Tess is forced to rent out her late sister’s old room to pay the bills, and develops an unhealthy interest in her B&B guests and their belongings. There’s no harm in a bit of snooping, right? Teasing herself with forbidden glimpses into the lives of strangers is a momentary thrill for Tess, and the closest she’s felt to anyone since the mysterious death of her sister, Rosie. But things turn dark when Arran takes the room. A curious Tess finds his salaciously detailed diary, which chronicles his infatuation with a beautiful stranger. It all seems pretty harmless at first, but then Arran’s entries begin to take on a more menacing tone. Tasha Sylva’s The Guest Room is out on 11 May
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Private Destiny by Jonathan Gabel

Private Destiny by Jonathan Gabel

Investigative journalist Rick Thompson feels like America’s best days are behind him in Private Destiny by Jonathan Gabel, a mix of humour and pulp that’s out now. Rick is struggling to stay clean on the streets of a New York City ravaged by The Sickness, a drug epidemic that is spiralling out of control. His career has hit the skids, until he stumbles onto a case that ties the biggest corporation in the state to the epidemic, which could lead not only to the greatest story of his career but might also be the answer to curing all those afflicted around him. Until Rick’s ex shows up to his apartment with something that will bring them deeper into this conspiracy than he could have ever wanted… This is also a debut novel.
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Get Up Offa That Thing edited by Gary Phillips

Get Up Offa That Thing edited by Gary Phillips front cover

On 1 May you’ll be able to dip into 14 short stories by crime fiction authors, all inspired by The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, who now and then did a bit if crazy crime himself. Editor Gary Phillips has pulled together a whole slew of award-winning authors from the crime, horror and comic book genres, whose words will make it funky from cover to cover. These include Lisa Morton, James Ziskin, Gar Anthony Haywood, Mysti Berry and John M Floyd. Published by Down and Out Books, Get Up Offa That Thing promises plenty of fun in bite-sized crime morsels, we’re just not sure about that cover design.
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Click here to read about last week’s new books.

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