On the Radar: A dead author’s story

3 Mins read

Yes, it’s true, we are too close to our subject, but we do love it when mysteries themselves entwine authors, manuscripts, plot lines and other literary elements so that crime fiction begets crime fiction begets crime fiction… and so on. Anthony Horowitz is a master in this respect, and Catriona Ward’s Looking Glass Sound is particularly effective. There are others we could mention but right now we want to draw your attention to Lying Past by Scotland’s queen of crime, Val McDermid, in which an author’s storyline runs very close to events in a murder case. Coincidence? Oh, noooo – it looks like a goodie.

But if that doesn’t take your fancy, we’ve got two dashes of historical crime fiction (from Tom Mead and Sharon Virts), a Welsh action thriller by debut author KH Dando and a cosy mystery set in France from Ian Moore. Scroll on and maybe you’ll discover your next crime read.

Past Lying by Val McDermid

The Lying Past by Val McDermid, US front cover

The unfinished manuscript of a dead author gives Karen Pirie pause for thought in Val McDermid’s Past Lying, the latest in the popular series featuring the Edinburgh based police detective, out on 12 October in the UK and 12 November in the US. The work interests Pirie because the plot is chillingly similar to the unsolved case of Lara Hardie, an Edinburgh University student who vanished from her own doorstep. As she digs deeper, Pirie uncovers a spiralling game of betrayal and revenge, where lies are indistinguishable from the truth, and there’s more than one unexpected twist in store in this cold case investigation.
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The Murder Wheel by Tom Mead

The Murder Wheel by Tom Mead front cover

We love the cover of this book, which conjures up the golden age of crime that inspired Tom Mead to write it. We’re in London, the year is 1938 and young lawyer Edmund Ibbs has a new client: a woman accused of shooting her husband in the already infamous ‘Ferris Wheel Murder’ case. But Ibbs finds himself on the other side of the law when a second suspicious death occurs. The time, it’s during a magic act at the crowded Pomegranate Theatre, and he is accused of the crime. Luckily, Joseph Spector, illusionist turned highly respected sleuth is at the show and with the help of Inspector Flint of Scotland Yard he determines to sniff out who is innocent… and who is guilty. The Murder Wheel is published on 12 October.
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Veil of Doubt by Sharon Virts

Veil of Doubt by Sharon Virts front cover

When three-year-old Maud Lloyd dies, it isn’t the first tragedy to befall her mother, Emily, a young widow in Reconstruction-era Virginia, whose husband and three other children all died of mysterious illnesses. When Maud succumbs to an unexplained malady, the town suspects foul play and soon Mrs Lloyd is charged not only with poisoning the child but also with murdering her other children, husband and aunt. At first Powell Harrison, a soft-spoken, brilliant attorney declines to take on the case, but soon finds himself inextricably drawn into it. Based on a true story, Veil of Doubt by Sharon Virts is part true crime, part medical and legal thriller and all historical crime fiction. It’s out on 10 October.
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Lies After Death by KJ Dando

Lies After Death by KJ Dando front cover

It was five years ago that Tom Crane’s world was turned upside down when his wife was followed and killed in a tragic car accident. Despite a thorough investigation, her killer was never found, leaving Crane to live in the shadow of her death. But now, Crane, who is ex-army and works as a fixer for the wealthy and powerful, has started to receive mysterious letters and phone calls from someone claiming to know the truth about what happened to his wife. Can he trust what they say, or is someone manipulating him based on his grief? You can find out when Lies After Death by KJ Dando is published on 7 October.
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The Man Who Didn’t Burn by Ian Moore

The Man Who Didn't Burn by Ian Moore front cover

Out on 12 October, The Man Who Didn’t Burn launches a new series for Ian Moore, author of Death and Croissants. The charred corpse of an English expat is found on a Loire Valley hillside, and the police turn to juge d’instruction Matthieu Lombard to find the perpetrator. But far from being a simple investigation, instead Lombard discovers a wealth of secrets, grudges and feuds in the idyllic town of Saint-Genèse-sur-Loire. He begins to suspect that the remaining members of the Comité des Fêtes know more about the death than they are letting on and as he digs deeper, he finds himself being drawn into the past…
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Click here to read about last week’s new books.

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