On the Radar: Crimes a plenty

3 Mins read

Thomas the Tank Engine once sang that there were jobs for everyone – jobs a plenty. Over here in our genre, a ‘job’ means something different and indeed there are crimes for everyone in this week’s On the Radar column. We’ve got murder by drowning and murder by arson. We’ve got drug heists and art heists. And we get things going with a nasty-sounding historical thriller that gets into medical thriller territory in our first book, the latest from Jane Jesmond.

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A Quiet Contagion by Jane Jesmond

A Quiet Contagion by Jane Jesmond front cover

Real events are blended with a smartly constructed fictional plot in Jane Jesmond’s A Quiet Contagion, a historical medical conspiracy thriller. In Coventry in 1957, a catastrophe occurs at the pharmaceutical lab where 16-year-old Wilf is working for the summer. The incident is covered up but 60 years later Wilf commits suicide by jumping from a railway bridge at Coventry station. This is the story of how his granddaughter Phiney; journalist Mat Torrington, who witnessed the death; and Wilf’s widow, Dora, investigate exactly what happened all those years ago. What they uncover is shocking. Already available for Kindle, the paperback comes out 28 November.
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The Drowned by David Arrowsmith and Christina Gustavson

The Drowned by David Arrowsmith and

Let’s head to Sweden’s frozen wilderness, where suspended kriminalkommissarie Gustav Kjällström discovers a girl lying half dead in the snow outside his cabin in the woods. He’s about to get dragged back into his former life as a detective in Sala — and the case that made his name 15 years ago: the Lady in the Lake killings. As more bodies are discovered, Gustav realises these new deaths share key similarities with the crimes perpetrated by his nemesis Arvid Öberg. But Öberg is under lock and key in the ultra-secure psychiatric facility in Sala, isn’t he? The Drowned, an indie collaboration between Brit David Arrowsmith and Swede Christina Gustavson, is out now.
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The Dead of Sled Run by Jean Rabe

The Dead of Sled Run by Jean Rabe front cover

It’s the most murder-filled time of the year, and as Christmas approaches in Sled Run a raging fire destroys the home of Chief Deputy Oren Rosenberg and kills two people. Sheriff Piper Blackwell and Detective Basil Meredith believe Oren was targeted and are tasked with finding motive and means before more than the holiday burns bright. Was it an accident or could Oren have brought it all upon himself? With many clues reduced to ashes, the race is on for Piper and Basil to catch the culprits before they strike again. Jean Rabe’s The Dead of Sled Run came out this week.
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Hash by F Ritchie

Hash by F Ritchie front cover

Back in the 1990s, a small, highly organised criminal gang ruled supreme in the south-west of the Netherlands — and were never caught. The gang members came from all over Europe, and all strata of society. They each had specialist skills and spoke at least three languages. Their audacious targets, meticulous planning and ruthless execution gave them legendary status and struck fear into their enemies, although they never killed anyone. In 2022, a gang member approached the author and revealed his story for the first time for this tell-all true crime story. Hash by F Ritchie is out now.
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Hanging the Devil by Tim Maleeny

Hanging the Devil by Tim Maleeny front cover

This caper from Poisoned Pen Press, written by Tim Maleeny, kicks off with a helicopter crashing through the roof of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco’s Chinatown, part of an audacious art heist. An 11-year-old girl is the only witness as her uncle is killed and the culprits make off with a statue worth millions. The terrified girl is taken under the wing of Sally Mei and private detective Cape Weathers, who begins his hunt for the gang members who pulled it off. Hanging the Devil was released this week for Kindle and arrives next month in print.
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Click here to read about last week’s new books.

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