On the Radar: Everyone on this site is a suspect

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OK, everybody, it’s time to get metafictional. We think the most interesting new book in this week’s report is one in which the author himself plays a role in the mystery – Everyone on This Train is a Suspect, from the Australian author Benjamin Stevenson. But we could be wrong, and if you think we are then don’t hesitate to break through the third wall and give us your own verdict in the comments below.

There’s plenty to choose from, and there’s definitely room for multiple points of view in this narrative….

Everyone on This Train is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

Everyone on This Train is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson front cover (US)

Award winning Aussie comedian Benjamin Stevenson has also won praise for his crime writing — his debut, Greenlight, was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut Crime Fiction. Stevenson’s third novel, Everyone on This Train is a Suspect, is out on 30 January in the US and unsurprisingly it features a rail journey. Six crime authors are on their way to a book festival, travelling on the iconic Ghan between Darwin and Adelaide. But when one of them is murdered, the remaining writers, including Stevenson himself, decide to put their heads together and solve the crime. It can’t be too hard, can it?
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The Bad Weather Friend by Dean Koontz

The Bad Weather Friend by Dean Koontz front cover

Some people are just too nice for their own good and Benny Catspaw is one such example. His goodness is about to get him into deep, deep trouble. Benny’s cheerful outlook on life is severely tested when he loses his job, his reputation, his fiancée and his favourite chair in quick succession. Could things be looking up when he receives an inheritance from his uncle? Er, no – because what turns up is Spike, seven feet tall and out to ‘help’ Benny deal with the people who are intent on bringing him down. Dean Koontz fans rejoice! The veteran American author’s latest foray into the crime fiction genre, The Bad Weather Friend, is published on 1 February.
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Jurymen May Dine by Nick Boreham

Jurymen May Dine by Nick Boreham front cover

Meet Tony Quirke. He’s an ordinary sort of guy with a nothing-special financial job in London and the central character in indie author Nick Boreham’s Jurymen May Dine, out on 28 January. Tony’s life takes an unexpected turn when he is called up for jury duty on a murder trial and he’s the only member of the panel who doesn’t think the young man in the dock is guilty. The defendant is eventually convicted by a majority verdict and thus begins Tony’s quest to discover the truth of the matter. What he uncovers is about to turn his nondescript life upside down…
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Twenty-Seven Minutes by Ashley Tate

Twenty-Seven Minutes by Ashley Tate front cover

Debut author Ashley Tate arrives on the crime fiction scene with a bang on 1 February. Twenty-seven Minutes is described as a twisty psychological thriller filled with dark secrets – like why, on the fateful night of a car crash that killed his sister, Phoebe, did it take Grant Dean 27 minutes to call for help? As the anniversary of Phoebe’s death approaches, Grant is haunted by what happened. So is Becca, who was in the car too – but will they ever tell? Local girl June also lost someone that night – her brother Wyatt, who disappeared and has not been seen for 10 years. Now someone is ready to share the true story with June…
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The Murder After the Night Before by Katy Brent

The Murder After the Night Before by Katy Brent front cover

Molly Monroe knows the office Christmas party must have been good last night, because she has a raging hangover, no memory of what happened and a strange man in her bed. She’s also trending on social media and her best friend is dead. So begins the darkly humorous The Murder After the Night Before by Katy Brent, out 1 February. The police are convinced that Molly’s friend Posey died in a tragic accident, but she knows it was murder. As Molly goes viral for all the wrong reasons, she sets out to find Posey’s killer, but there are people who are determined to stop her at any cost.
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Someone Rotten Riding the Rails by Kris Bock

Someone Rotten Riding the Rails by Kris Bock front cover

And we’re back on track, closing the report with a book set on a train… Former war correspondent turned would-be private investigator Kate Tessler takes on another case in Arizona in Kris Bock’s engaging and funny Someone Rotten Riding the Rails, published on 30 January. At the behest of local police and the FBI, Kate and her team go undercover at a wedding which will unite two Russian crime families. The nuptials are to take place on an historic train in the Grand Canyon – scenic, remote and no mobile phones allowed. Kate is posing as a local journalist covering the story, her sister Jen as the photographer, but things get more than a little tense when the groom disappears and is eventually found dead.
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Check out last week’s new crime novels here.

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