On the Radar: Farewell, Don Winslow

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Good news: the final story in Don Winslow’s Danny Ryan trilogy is here.

Bad news: its author is retiring. He’s one of the finest in the genre and he will be missed.

And now, our roundup of the latest crime releases which also includes a new Judge Dee story, a retro LA mystery from Gary Phillips, lava flowing in Hawaii and… what’s this?… a political occult thriller. Wow.

City in Ruins by Don Winslow

City in Ruins by Don Winslow front cover

We crime fiction lovers have encountered the end of series before, but with City in Ruins Don Winslow goes a step further – out on 2 April, the final part of the Danny Ryan trilogy also marks the author’s retirement from writing. In the past Danny Ryan has been a dock worker, an Irish mob soldier and a fugitive from the law, but now he has embraced respectability as a Las Vegas casino mogul and the billionaire silent partner in a group that owns two lavish hotels. Life is sweet, until things turn sour over Ryan’s plans to snap up a piece of prime real estate and build a glitzy resort. It triggers a bitter war with Ryan and everything he holds dear in the crosshairs. Does he still have it in him to fight this one last battle… and win?
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The Murder of Mr Ma by SJ Rozan and John Shen Yen Nee

The Murder of Mr Ma front cover

Taking its inspiration from Sherlock Holmes and, um, martial arts, The Murder of Mr Ma by SJ Rozan and John Shen Yen Nee arrives on 2 April. We’re in London in 1924, where shy academic Lao She and larger-than-life, opium addicted Judge Dee Ren Jie meet, and decide to work together to solve the murder of a man Dee met while serving in the Chinese Labour Corps in World War I. The investigation ramps up a notch with the death of a second man. A butterfly sword was weapon of choice on both occasions; can Dee and Lao piece things together and unmask the killer? Find out in this unusual mix of traditional gong’an crime fiction and the Sherlock Holmes canon.
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Ash Dark as Night by Gary Phillips

Ash Dark as Night by Gary Phillips front cover

Los Angeles crime photographer and occasional private eye Harry Ingram is back in Gary Phillips’ Ash Dark as Night, out on 2 April. It’s 1965, and as summer temperatures rise, there are riots in the Watts neighbourhood of LA. Harry is in the thick of it, capturing everything on film – including a photograph of an unarmed activist being shot down by the cops. The image appears lost when Harry is beaten up and put in hospital, his camera mislaid in the melee until his girlfriend Anita tracks it down and the photo becomes front page news. Harry is supposed to be resting, but the recuperation plan is put on hold as he goes in search of a man who disappeared during the riots.
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Molten Death by Leslie Karst

Molten Death by Leslie Karst front cover

Let’s head to Hawaii on 2 April, when Molten Death, the first in Leslie Karst’s Orchid Isle cosy crime series, is released. Retired caterer Valerie Corbin and her wife Kristen have come to the Big Island for a spot of tropical R&R. Valerie has recently lost her brother and the couple of looking forward to great food and vibrant culture. However a trip to see an active lava flow turns macabre when Valerie spots a leg in the midst of the red hot landscape – before it vanishes from sight. She is convinced of foul play, but with no evidence who is going to believe her?
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The Hollow Tree by Philip Miller

The Hollow Tree by Philip Miller

Old friends are brought together for a wedding, but tragedy strikes before any vows have been uttered as politics and the occult combine in Philip Miller’s The Hollow Tree, published on 4 April. Investigative reporter Shona Sandison is a guest at the wedding of her closest friend and former workmate, Vivienne. So is Vivienne’s reclusive school friend, Dan, but the night before the nuptials Dan jumps from a roof and dies. The only witness to the suicide is Shona, who also saw the occult tattoos covering Dan’s body, and heard the weird, mystical phrases he was chanting before he jumped. She’s determined to find out more, and her digging leads Shona to a small town in the north of England where dark secrets have been buried for 20 years.
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Click here to read about last week’s new releases.

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