Graham Masterton- White Bones One wet November morning, a field on Meagher’s Farm gives up the dismembered bones of eleven women. In this part of Ireland, unmarked graves are common. But these bones date to 1915, long before the Troubles. What’s more, these bones bear the marks of a meticulous executioner. These women were almost certainly skinned alive. Detective Katie Maguire, of the Cork Garda, is used to dead bodies. But this is wholesale butchery. Her team think these long-dead women are a waste of police time. Katie is determined to give them justice. And then a young American tourist goes missing, and her bones, carefully stripped of flesh, are discovered on the same farm. With the crimes of the past echoing in the present, Katie must solve a decades-old ritualistic murder before this terrifying killer strikes again. (1 March Head of Zeus)
Andrew Pyper- The Demonologist Professor David Ullman is among the world’s leading authorities on demonic literature. Not that he’s a believer. He sees what he teaches as a branch of the imagination and nothing more. So when offered a luxury trip to Venice to consult on a ‘phenomenon’, he accepts, taking his 11-year-old daughter Tess with him. Amidst the decadent splendour of the city, David makes his way to the address he’s been asked to visit. What he witnesses in the tiny attic room shakes him to the core: a man restrained in a chair, clearly insane. But what David hears the man say is worse. The voice of his father, dead for 30 years, repeating the last words he ever spoke to his son. Words that have left scars – and a mystery – behind. Terrified, David is determined to leave with Tess as quickly as possible. But he can’t shake the feeling that something is following him. And then, before his eyes on the roof of their hotel, Tess disappears. But before she falls into the Grand Canal’s waters, she utters a plea: Find me. (5 March Orion) SEE MY REVIEW: Andrew Pyper- The Demonologist.
Tom Bale- The Catch How far do you go for a friendship? That’s the question Daniel Wade is forced to ask when a simple favour has fatal consequences. For the sake of his old schoolmate, Robbie – and more importantly for Robbie’s sister, Cate – Dan agrees to go along with a lie. But soon he’s sucked into a conspiracy that threatens to consume them all. How hard do you fight for a fortune? For Gordon and Patricia Blake, the dead man held the key to a glorious future. Now that future has been ripped from their grasp, and the Blakes want to know why. Then they want revenge. How can you hope to survive? With a ruthless predator on their trail, Dan realises that evading justice is the least of their worries. All that matters now is staying alive… (7 March Preface) SEE MY REVIEW & Q&A WITH TOM BALE HERE: An Interview With Tom Bale- The Catch.
Doug Johnstone- Gone Again. As Mark Douglas photographs a pod of whales stranded in the waters off Edinburgh’s Portobello Beach, he is called by his son’s school: his wife, Lauren, hasn’t turned up to collect their son. Calm at first, Mark collects Nathan and takes him home but as the hours slowly crawl by he increasingly starts to worry. With brilliantly controlled reveals, we learn some of the painful secrets of the couple’s shared past, not least that it isn’t the first time Lauren has disappeared. And as Mark struggles to care for his son and shield him from the truth of what’s going on, the police seem dangerously short of leads. That is, until a shocking discovery… (7 March Faber & Faber) SEE MY REVIEW: Doug Johnstone- Gone Again
Alex Gray- The Swedish Girl Eighteen-year-old Kirsty Wilson can’t believe her luck when she lands a room in a luxury Glasgow flat owned by the beautiful Eva Magnusson, a wealthy fellow student from Stockholm. But her initial delight turns to terror when Kirsty finds the Swedish girl lying dead in their home and their male flatmate accused of her murder. Kirsty refuses to accept that he is guilty and, inspired by family friend Detective Super-intendent Lorimer, sets out to clear his name. Meanwhile, Lorimer calls on his trusted colleague, psychologist Solly Brightman, to help unravel the truth behind the enigmatic Eva’s life and death. But it is not long until another woman, bearing a marked resemblance to Eva, is brutally murdered in Glasgow. Horrified, Lorimer and his team realise that Kirsty could be right. Is it possible that Glasgow’s finest detective has put the wrong man behind bars? And is there a cold-blooded killer out there orchestrating the death of their next innocent victim? (7 March Sphere)
Johan Theorin- The Asylum An underground passage leads from the Dell nursery to St Patricia’s asylum. Only the children enter, leaving their minders behind. On the other side, heavily guarded and closely watched, are their parents – some of the most dangerous people in the country. Jan has just started working at the nursery. He is a loner with many secrets and one goal. He must get inside the asylum.What is his connection with one of the inmates, a famous singer? What really happened when a boy in his care went missing nine years ago? Who can we trust when everyone has something to hide? (14 March Doubleday)
Alexander Soderberg- The Andalucian Friend Living a quiet life in the suburbs, Sophie Brinkmann is captivated by the handsome and sophisticated Hector Guzman. She has no idea that beneath Hector’s charm lies something far more dangerous. Hector is the head of an international crime syndicate. He is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants now is the total annihilation of his rivals. Before she can fully grasp the extent of Hector’s world, Sophie is trapped within it. Her house is under surveillance, her family is at risk. Hector is at war – with Russian hit men, South American drug traffickers, German gangsters – and now Sophie is too. But who can she trust when even the people who have sworn to uphold the law are as dangerous as those dedicated to breaking it? If Sophie is to get out alive, and with her integrity intact, she will have to summon everything within her to navigate this intricate web of moral ambiguity, deadly obsession and ruthless killers. (14 March Harvill Secker) SEE MY REVIEW:Alexander Soderberg- The Andalucian Friend.
Cath Staincliffe- Bleed Like Me The Journey’s Inn, Lark’s Estate, Manchester. Three bodies have been found, stabbed to death in their beds. The husband and father of two of the victims has fled. The police are in a race against time to find him – especially when they discover his two young sons are also missing. Having survived a near-fatal attack, DC Janet Scott is quietly falling apart. And her best friend and colleague DC Rachel Bailey is reeling from a love affair gone bad. DCI Gill Murray is trying to keep the team on track, but her own family problems are threatening tip her over the edge. Finding the desperate man is their top priority. But none of them knows where he is going or what he intends to do next. Or what will they have to do to stop him… (14 March Bantam Press) SEE MY REVIEW: Cath Staincliffe- Bleed Like Me (Scott & Bailey 2
Outsiders- Italian Stories These stories are linked by common themes of belonging, dislocation and identity, and together they take the pulse of a country in turmoil. In ‘The Opposite of Death’ Roberto Saviano writes about a town in southern Italy haunted by the war in Afghanistan, where one by one its sons are dying. Carlo Lucarelli (‘Ferengi’) explores the colonial war in Eritrea through the eyes of a maid working for a sick man who begs her to end his suffering. Piero Colaprico’s ‘Grade C’ is a breathless Milanese crime thriller in miniature, while Valeria Parrella’s ‘The Prize’, set during World War II, reminds us that revenge is a dish best served cold. Contains stories by Roberto Saviano, Carlo Lucarelli, Valeria Parrella, Piero Colaprico, Wu Ming, and Simona Vinci. (14 March MacLehose Press) SEE MY FEATURE HERE: Outsiders- Six Italian Stories.
Philip Kerr- A Man Without Breath It is winter, 1943. Bernie Gunther has left the Criminal Police and is working for the German War Crimes Bureau based in Berlin. Reports have been circulating of a mass grave hidden in a wood near Smolensk. The grave’s whereabouts are uncertain until, deep in the Katyn Forest, a wolf digs up some human remains. Rumour has it that the grave is full of Polish officers murdered by the Russians – a war crime that is perfect propaganda for Germany. But it needs a detective of subtle skill to investigate this horrific discovery. Cue Bernie Gunther…(14 March Quercus)
Camilla Lackberg- The Lost Boy On a late summer’s night, a young woman jumps in her car, her hands slippery with blood on the steering wheel. Taking her five-year-old son, Nathalie flees to the only safe haven she knows: the island of Gråskär off the coast of Fjällbacka. Meanwhile, Detective Patrik Hedström has barely stepped foot inside his office following a lengthy sick leave before he catches a murder investigation. A man has been murdered in his home: the victim, Mats Sverin, was the council’s financial director, heading up a regeneration project worth millions. But when Patrik and his team start digging into the dead man’s life, all they can uncover is unanswered questions. Why was Mats in such a rush to return to his home town of Fjällbacka after years in Gothenburg? And is it pure coincidence that Mats’s childhood sweetheart Nathalie has also suddenly returned to the area? Mats visited Nathalie on Gråskär before his death. The locals call the island ‘The Ghost Isle’ they say that it’s haunted, and that the dead have something to tell the living. But will anyone get close enough to uncover the dark secrets that lurk there? (14 March HarperCollins)
Owen Laukkanen- Criminal Enterprise From the outside, Carter Tomlin’s life looked perfect: a big house, pretty wife, two kids—a St. Paul success story. But Tomlin has a secret. He’s lost his job, the bills are mounting, and that perfect life is hanging by a thread. Desperate, he robs a bank. Then he robs another. As the red flags start to go up, FBI Special Agent Carla Windermere homes in on Tomlin from one direction, while Minnesota state investigator Kirk Stevens picks up the trail from another. The two cops haven’t talked since their first case together, but that’s all going to change very quickly. Because Carter Tomlin’s decided he likes robbing banks. And it’s not because of the money, not anymore. Tomlin has guns and a new taste for violence. And he’s not quitting anytime soon. (21 March Putnam)
Kevin Sampson- The Killing Pool Detective Chief Inspector Billy McCartney discovers a headless corpse in the scrubland close to Liverpool docks. The slaying carries all the hallmarks of a gangland hit – a message from the underworld to snitches, cops and rival gangs. One mile away, a girl staggers into a run-down bar, dazed and confused. The bar’s owner, a career criminal called Shakespeare, cannot get a word out of her. DCI McCartney is all too well aware that the clock is ticking. The body was one Kalan Rozaki, youngest brother of a notorious crime family – except Kalan is no criminal. For almost a year his brothers have been under full-time Drug Squad surveillance as McCartney slowly closed the net on their heroin trafficking. McCartney’s chief informant on the case is someone with insider knowledge of the Rozaki clan’s operation…their newly deceased baby brother, Kalan. McCartney’s investigation into Kalan’s murder peels back layer after layer of a decades-long dynasty of drug smuggling. (21 March Jonathan Cape) SEE MY REVIEW HERE: Kevin Sampson- The Killing Pool
Roberto Constantini- The Deliverance of Evil On 11 July 1982, Elisa Sordi was beautiful. Commissario Michele Balistreri was fearless. Italy was victorious. A killer was waiting…On 9 July 2006, with Sordi’s case twenty-four years cold, and Balistreri haunted by guilt and regret, Italian victory returned. And so did Sordi’s killer. But this time Michele Balistreri would be ready. This time he would fear no evil. (28 March Quercus)
Mo Hayder- Poppet The mentally ill patients in Amberly Secure Unit are highly suggestible. A hallucination can spread like a virus. When unexplained power cuts lead to a series of horrifying incidents, fear spreads from the inmates to the staff. Amidst the growing hysteria, AJ, a senior psychiatric nurse, is desperate to protect his charges. Detective Inspector Jack Caffery is looking for the corpse of a missing woman. He knows all too well how it feels to fail to find a loved one’s body. When AJ seeks Caffery’s help in investigating the trouble at Amberly, each man must face a bitter truth in his own life. Before staring pure evil in the eye. (28 March Bantam Press)
Luke Delaney- Cold Killing DI Sean Corrigan is not like other detectives. The terrible abuse he suffered in childhood hasn’t stopped him enjoying family life with his wife and two daughters, or pursuing an impressive career with South London’s Murder Investigation Unit. But it has left him with an uncanny ability to identify the darkness in others – a darkness he recognises still exists deep within his own psyche and battles to keep buried there. Now Sean’s on the trail of the most dangerous killer he’s ever encountered. The perpetrator has no recognisable MO, leaves no forensic evidence and his victims have nothing in common. But Sean knows they were all murdered by the same man. Now all he has to do is find the evidence, convince his bosses and stop the killing before his adversary gets too close to home… (28 March HarperCollins)