On the Radar: Her next job is in cyber

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From the Monkeewrench series to Millennium and on to today’s techno thrillers, we love it when new technologies quickly evolve into new kinds of crime and new ways of catching crooks. At the moment, this subgenre seems to be surging forward with crypto currency, the Dark Web and AI inspiring authors everywhere. This week our lead book is a techno thriller by the English author Ruth Ware – a writer who loves to experiment in new areas. In addition, we’ve got something fascinating for fans of Lawrence Block, a Celia Fremlin reprint, a Cornish thriller by Sarah Sheridan and a political thriller by Anne Pitoniak.

Let’s round up those books!

Zero Days by Ruth Ware

Zero Days by Ruth Ware front cover

Ruth Ware is back, and this time she’s in cyberspace! Jack and her husband Gabe are the best penetration specialists in the business, hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. It soon becomes clear that the police have only one suspect in mind – her. She has all the skills to find Gabe’s killer, but as the net closes around Jack she is forced to go on the run to clear her name. Who can she trust when everyone she knows could be a suspect? And with the police and the killer after her, can Jack get to the truth before her time runs out? Zero Days is out now.
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The Autobiography of Matthew Scudder by Lawrence Block

The Autobiography of Matthew Scudder front cover

Since his 1976 debut in The Sins of the Fathers, Matthew Scudder has aged in real time. So has his creator, Lawrence Block, and both of them will hit 85 this year — but when the multi award-winning author was charged with writing a book about his protagonist, he made a decision. “There were certainly stories to be told, but that didn’t mean I was the person to tell them. If Matt Scudder was to have a memoir, he ought to write it himself,” says Block. His creation has taken up the challenge, and the result is The Autobiography of Matthew Scudder, which comes out on 24 June and is something of an eye opener.
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Uncle Paul by Celia Fremlin

Uncle Paul by Celia Fremlin front cover

Originally published in 1959, Uncle Paul by Celia Fremlin – described as Britain’s answer to Patricia Highsmith – has been reprinted with a wonderfully evocative new cover. It was Fremlin’s second novel, and consolidated the success of her suspenseful debut The Hours Before Dawn. Fifteen years ago Uncle Paul was exposed as a murderer by his wife Mildred, and sent to prison. Now he is free again, and set on revenge – which could really put the kibosh on the holiday plans of Isabel and her sister Meg who are on a family break at the seaside. Meanwhile, their half-sister Mildred has returned to a nearby coastal cottage where her husband was arrested over a decade ago. What could possibly go wrong? You can find out on 27 June.
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The Key by Sarah Sheridan

The Key by Sarah Sheridan front cover

Psychological thriller fans will be happy to hear that Sarah Sheridan is back, with The Key – set in Cornwall and out now. For generations, Grace Haythorpe’s family has claimed that they’re somehow related to the scandalous Trengrouse clan who live in Godwyne Castle. Grace thinks their history would make a great book and a nice little money spinner, and sets out to ingratiate herself with the current inhabitants. But as she starts to get to know the household staff, the elderly Lady Alexandra, and several of her descendants, an untimely and mysterious death looks likely to give Grace’s book a more gruesome twist than she bargained for. Is it time for her to beat a hasty retreat?
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Our American Friend by Anna Pitoniak

Our American Friend by Anna Pitoniak front cover

If political thrillers float your boat, then mark 29 June on the calendar – it’s when Our American Friend by Anna Pitoniak is published as a paperback. Paris, 1974. Lara Orlov and her family arrive from Moscow at the height of the Cold War, thanks to her father’s position as a diplomat. Decades later, journalist Sofie Morse is taking time off after several chaotic years covering Washington politics. But when she gets a call from the office of First Lady Lara Caine, her curiosity is piqued. Sofie, like the rest of the world, knows little about Lara — only that she was born in Soviet Russia and raised in Paris before marrying Henry Caine, the brash future president. After decades of staying under the radar, Lara is finally ready to speak candidly about her past — but why has she decided to break her silence?
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Click here to read about last week’s new crime books.

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