On the Radar: Wrong Hands, right good reads

3 Mins read

Right, then. Are you ready for our latest weekly tour of the world of crime fiction? It starts and ends in Lancashire, with stops in Florence, the Canadian prairies, the Idaho woods plus a little vintage Hollywood glamour for good measure. It’s a week of ballroom dancing with the latest from Mark Billingham, there are stabbings and rituals, weird glowing things and some friends you just can’t trust. All the ingredients are here – all you need to do is choose the book you wanna grab first!

The Wrong Hands by Mark Billingham

The Wrong Hands by Mark Billingham front cover

Mark Billingham’s foray into the world of cosy crime continues with The Wrong Hands, second in the DS Declan Miller series, out 20 June in the UK and 23 July in the US. Expect murder, mayhem and plenty of laughs in a book that opens with two local scallywags stealing a briefcase from a man in the toilets at Blackpool railway station – only to find that the bag in question contains two severed hands. There are connections to town gangster Wayne Cutler, who may or may not be responsible for the death of Miller’s wife, Alex. Guided by the advice of his dead spouse’s ghost and the members of his ballroom dancing class, is the grieving, wisecracking detective destined to end up as hero or villain this time?
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A Divine Fury by DV Bishop

A Divine Fury by DV Bishop front cover

Let’s head to Florence in the autumn of 1539, where Cesare Aldo, once an officer for the city’s most feared criminal court, has been demoted to patrolling the streets after dark. One rainy night he comes across a man lying dead at the feet of Michaelangelo’s David. The body has been posed to look like a crucifixion, so there were clearly religious motives. As more bodies appear much to the consternation of the Florentine citizens, it is clear that Aldo is up against an unholy murderer who is preparing to strike again… and again. An intriguing slice of historical crime by CWA Dagger winner DV Bishop, A Divine Fury is published on 20 June.
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Correction Line by Craig Terlson

Correction Line by Craig Terlson front cover

Author Craig Terlson was brought up in the Canadian prairies, and they’re the setting for Correction Line, a noirish crime novel with a side order of magic, out now. Encyclopaedia salesman Roy Blake’s life is about to hit a hairpin bend after he meets Lucy, an ex-palm reader living in a secluded house. It’s the second visit there that causes all the problems – because Lucy is gone, her dog left tied up in the basement. And that’s where Roy sees a row of glowing mason jars and two men with shotguns arrive upstairs and start trashing the place. After barely escaping with his life, Roy is pulled into a world of bowling hustlers, assassins, strange healing liquids and people who take baseball way too seriously.
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The Nature of Disappearing by Kimi Cunningham Grant

The Nature of Disappearing by Kimi Cunningham Grant front cover

Emlyn is a wilderness guide, who lives alone in Idaho and has few friends – just the way she likes it. Once, things were very different, but three years ago Tyler, the love of her life, left Emlyn half dead at the side of the road. Back then she had a best friend, Janessa; these days, they barely speak. Past and present collide when Tyler turns up with the news that Janessa is missing, and the pair must reluctantly join forces to find her old friend. As they head into the wilderness, Emlyn begins to suspect that Janessa isn’t the only one in danger. The Nature of Disappearing by Kimi Cunningham Grant is published on 18 June.
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The Unforgettable Loretta, Darling by Katherine Blake

The Unforgettable Loretta, Darling by Katherine Blake front cover

Prolific children’s author Karen Ball changes both pen name and genre for The Unforgettable Loretta, Darling, which comes out on 18 June. Katherine Blake’s debut is set in the heart of Tinseltown, where we find Lancashire born Loretta – who has wangled her way all the way to the bright lights of Golden Age Hollywood. She soon realises that danger lurks behind all the glitz and glamour, but our Loretta isn’t a lass to be easily disheartened. Los Angeles may have its secrets, and so does our heroine. Because Loretta isn’t her real name, and there’s more than lipstick and face powder hidden inside her beauty case…
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