After Harrogate last year, I returned home with more books than I anticipated and this year vowed not to do the same – ha! that went well. On Saturday I was shopping in Harrogate for a light weight re-usable bag I could take my clothes home in, as my wheel-able suitcase was full of books! As it transpired my suitcase got its own lift home, which was just as well as I’d never have juggled my case, bag, rucksack and walking stick on the train! So thanks to Robert/Bob Barker for playing chauffeur for me.
Where did my plans go so wrong? Well anyone who follows my Book Hauling posts will know it’s been getting seriously out of hand – wait until you’ve seen this month’s haul (aside from these). So it was never going to be easy. In addition I think I’ve let my dark side slip over the past year. As well as not reading at all for a good 6 months, when I did read, not surprisingly it was lighter, cheery optimistic stuff. When I got to Harrogate I realised I’d been out of the loop – was I the only person who hadn’t heard of Will Dean? Well actually no, there was my non crime reading friend Sheila of course, but then I had to point out Lee Child to her. So while I’m not the speediest reader, I could usually be relied upon to have the book on my Kindle at least, even if I hadn’t read it. But I realised there were so many books that I’d missed, that as well as the many freebies, I also had a mini spending spree. While I did pick up some Kindle bargains, the rest were all in hard copy so no hiding those from the OH. It’s amazing how handing him a signed ‘Jack Reacher’ can smooth the way. That and the fact that my suitcase had already arrived before me so I’d been rumbled. So sit back, grab a cuppa and see if there’s anything you fancy or might have been missed. For those more hard-core readers, sorry you might be disappointed, I might be re-exploring my darker side, but I’m still a wimp at heart.
To Catch a Killer by Emma Kavanagh (due 24th January 2019)
I’ve been watching you DS Alice Parr.
I saw you trying to save the poor young woman you found in the park.
The woman I tried to kill.
I’ve been waiting for you to find her family. To find someone who cares about her.
But you can’t can you?
You’ve never had a case like this.
I know everything about you. You know nothing about me.
Even though I’m the man you’re looking for.
And you will never catch me..
No Way Out by Cara Hunter (due 20th Dec 2018)
DID YOU SEE ANYTHING ON THE NIGHT THE ESMOND FAMILY WERE MURDERED?
From the author of CLOSE TO HOME and IN THE DARK comes the third pulse-pounding DI Fawley crime thriller.
It’s one of the most disturbing cases DI Fawley has ever worked.
The Christmas holidays, and two children have just been pulled from the wreckage of their burning home in North Oxford. The toddler is dead, and his brother is soon fighting for his life.
Why were they left in the house alone? Where is their mother, and why is their father not answering his phone?
Then new evidence is discovered, and DI Fawley’s worst nightmare comes true.
Because this fire wasn’t an accident.
It was murder.
The Trailing Spouse by Jo Furniss (due 14th August)
Do you really want to know the truth?
Amanda Bonham moved halfway around the world to be with the man she loves. Although expat life in Singapore can be difficult, Edward Bonham is a dream husband and a doting father to his teenage daughter, Josie.
But when their maid dies in an apparent suicide—and Amanda discovers the woman was pregnant and hiding a stash of drugs prescribed to Edward—she can’t help but wonder if her perfect husband has a fatal flaw. And if he can’t resist temptation under their own roof, what does he get up to when he travels?
Camille Kemble also has questions for Edward. Recently returned to Singapore, Camille is determined to resolve a family mystery. Amid a jumble of faded childhood memories, she keeps seeing Edward’s handsome face. And she wants to know why.
For one woman, the search for answers threatens everything she has. For another, it’s the key to all she lost. Both will follow his trail of secrets into the darkness to find the truth.
Freefall by Jessica Barry (due 31st January 2019)
Surviving the plane crash is only the beginning for Allison.
The life that she’s built for herself – her perfect fiancé, their world of luxury – has disappeared in the blink of an eye. Now she must run, not only to escape the dark secrets in her past, but to outwit the man who is stalking her every move.
On the other side of the country, Allison’s mother is desperate for news of her daughter, who is missing, presumed dead. Maggie refuses to accept that she could have lost her only child and sets out to discover the truth.
Mother and daughter must fight – for survival and to find their way through a dark web of lies and back to one another, before it’s too late…
The Whisper Man by Alex North (due 13 June 2019)
If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken…
Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a fresh start.
But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys. Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’.
Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home. Except that now another young boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.
He says he hears a whispering at his window…
She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge (due 10 January 2019)
Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust?
“A dark, deep, terrific thriller and a scorching portrait of friendship and its betrayal” Nicci French
On a hot July night in 1983, six school friends go camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and young Aurora Jackson is dazzled to be allowed to tag along.
Thirty years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens is called to the scene, but he already knows what’s waiting for him: Aurora Jackson, found at long last.
But that’s not all. The friends have all maintained their innocence, but the body is found in a hideaway only the six of them knew about.
It seems the killer has always lurked very close to home…
Giveaways and Wins
The Old You by Louise Voss
Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?
The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham
A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…
When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?
The Party by Lisa Hall
When Rachel wakes up in a strange room, the morning after a neighbour’s party, she has no memory of what happened the night before. Why did her husband leave her alone at the party? Did they row? Why are Rachel’s arms so bruised? And why are her neighbours and friends so vague about what really happened?
Little by little, Rachel pieces together the devastating events that took place in a friend’s house, at a party where she should have been safe. Everyone remembers what happened that night differently, and everyone has something to hide. But someone knows the truth about what happened to Rachel. And she’s determined to find them.
Presumed Dead by Mason Cross
‘What do you know about the Devil Mountain Killer?’
Adeline Connor was the Devil Mountain Killer’s final victim. After she was gunned down, the murderer disappeared and the killing spree ended.
Carter Blake has been hired to do what he does best: to find someone. But this time he’s hunting a dead girl – Adeline Connor’s brother is convinced she’s still alive.
But this town doesn’t want an outsider digging up old business. And as Blake gets deeper into the case, it starts to become clear that the murders didn’t ju st stop fifteen years ago.
The killer is on the hunt again.
The Killing Habit by Mark Billingham
How do you catch a killer who is yet to kill?
We all know the signs. Cruelty, lack of empathy, the killing of animals. Now, pets on suburban London streets are being stalked by a shadow, and it could just be the start.
DI Tom Thorne knows the psychological profile of such offenders all too well, so when he is tasked with catching a notorious killer of domestic cats, he sees the chance to stop a series of homicides before they happen.
Others are less convinced, so once more, Thorne relies on DI Nicola Tanner to help him solve the case, before the culprit starts hunting people. It’s a journey that brings them face to face with a killer who will tear their lives apart.
Savages:The Wedding by Sabri Louatah
A Saturday in May. Paris.
It’s the eve of the French presidential elections – ‘The Election of the Century’ say the newspaper headlines – and Chaouch, the nation’s first Arab candidate, has victory in his sights. It has been a long campaign, and with his wife Esther and daughter Jasmine by his side, he spends the remaining hours with close advisors in a hotel in Nimes. Much of the dinner table chatter revolves around Jasmine’s boyfriend; Fouad Nerrouche, a well-known actor with the same Algerian origins as her father, who has just publicly endorsed Chaouch’s candidacy. However shallow it may seem, it’s difficult to ignore the influence of celebrity support in this complex and unpredictable race . . .
The same day. Saint-Etienne.
The Nerrouche family is frantically preparing for a grand wedding, and Fouad himself is there to help out. But younger cousin Krim – who has recently lost his job – is becoming increasingly agitated, and no one knows why. As the day goes on, it becomes clear that the cousin’s problems go far deeper than unemployment. Krim has been stealing from a local gang leader and after being discovered, found himself indebted to his powerful cousin, Nazir – Fouad’s brother. Nazir is a very shady figure, and is heavily involved in a dark underworld of crime. Together, their plans will cause Fouad’s two very different worlds to meet in a way no one would have dared to imagine. Within a few hours, the threads start to unravel, and the collision between the destiny of a family and the hopes of a country becomes inevitable.
Or the Bull Kills You by Jason Webster
Either you kill the bull, or the bull kills you – traditional proverb.
Chief Inspector Max Cámara hates bullfighting but one hot afternoon in Valencia he has to replace his boss, judging a festival corrida that stars Spain’s most famous young matador. That night, he is summoned back to the bullring where the young matador’s dead body now lies, naked and mutilated.
As the city prepares for Fallas, the five day festival of fireworks and celebrations, and the politicians work feverishly towards an election, Cámara hunts down his prey through the city’s streets and bars. But as he follows the trail of death, money, corruption and sex in search of the killer, he must also battle his own demons and desires…
Then She was Gone by Lisa Jewell
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl.
She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.
Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet.
But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter.
Because his daughter is the image of Ellie.
Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.
What really happened to Ellie? And who still has secrets to hide?
Insidious Intent by Val McDermid
‘Murdered people don’t kill themselves . . .’
A quiet night on a country road. The stillness shattered by a car engulfed in flames, and a burned body discovered in the driver’s seat. As the investigation unfolds, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill quickly realise that this is more than just a tragic accident. And so begins the hunt for a truly terrifying killer, someone who believes he is invisible, untraceable and untouchable.
As other victims are found to have met the same terrible fate, and with more women at risk, Tony and Carol are drawn into a dark and twisted web of fear and revenge that will force them to question their own ideas of justice . . .
The Twenty-Three by Linwood Barclay
The day begins like any other Saturday – a shower, coffee, breakfast. But suddenly, all hell breaks loose in the town of Promise Falls. People are dying in the street – the hospital and emergency services are overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Is it mass food poisoning, a virus, or something more sinister? Has someone, rather than something, caused this?
Detective Barry Duckworth is already investigating two murders and an explosion at the town’s drive-in. He starts to wonder if these crimes and the new attacks are connected to the mysterious incidents in Promise Falls involving the number twenty-three.
But who is sending these deadly messages, and how can they be stopped?
Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville
DCI Serena Flanagan is forced to confront a disturbing case from her past: the murder conviction of a 12-year-old-boy who has just been released from prison
DCI Serena Flanagan hasn’t heard the boy’s name in years.
Not since the blood on the wall and the body in the bedroom.
Not since she listened as he confessed to brutally murdering his foster father.
But now Ciaran Devine is out of prison and back in her life. And so is his brother, Thomas – the brother that Flanagan always suspected of hiding something.
When Ciaran’s probation officer comes Flanagan with fresh fears about the Devines, the years of lies begin to unravel, setting a deadly chain of events in motion.
The Lost by Mari Hannah
‘He was her child. The only one she’d ever have. It would kill her to learn that he was missing.’
Alex arrives home from holiday to find that her ten-year-old son Daniel has disappeared.
It’s the first case together for Northumbria CID officers David Stone and Frankie Oliver.
Stone has returned to his roots with fifteen years’ experience in the Met, whereas Oliver is local, a third generation copper with a lot to prove, and a secret that’s holding her back.
But as the investigation unfolds, they realise the family’s betrayal goes deeper than anyone suspected. This isn’t just a missing persons case. Stone and Oliver are hunting a killer.
Game Point by Malcom Hollingdrake
DCI Bennett faces the most harrowing case of his career. A psychopath, who escaped capture, is hell-bent on revenge and executes a series of events that will not only impact on Bennett physically but will have emotional and professional consequences.
A body is found with its fingers amputated, then an investigative journalist, embroiled in the pornography and drugs scene, is murdered.
Bennett’s team is faced with some baffling evidence. Hatpins and bicycle spokes become pivotal to the inquiry but the police struggle to connect the evidence.
It is only when a Detective Sergeant from the team is kidnapped that Bennett realises that he is the true target.
Can Bennett solve the case before it’s too late? How many people will he lose in the process?
Sleeping in the Ground by Peter Robinson
A shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course.
But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for.
When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.
The Midnight Line by Lee Child
Jack Reacher is having a bad day.
It would be a dumb idea to make it worse.
Reacher sees a West Point class ring in a pawn shop window. It’s tiny. It’s a woman cadet’s graduation present to herself. Why would she give it up? Reacher was a West Pointer too, and he knows what she went through to get it.
All he wants is to find the woman.
He’ll have to go through bikers, cops, crooks, and low-life muscle.
If she’s ok, he’ll walk away. If she’s not … he’ll stop at nothing.
Best advice: stay out of his way.
The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite
She’ll do anything for you…
My name is Alex, and my world has been shattered.
My husband has left me.
My children won’t speak to me.
My friend Carrie is the only person I have.
She’s the only one I can trust to keep all my secrets.
She’d never do anything to let me down.
This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.
Still Life by Louise Penny
The discovery of a dead body in the woods on Thanksgiving Weekend brings Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his colleagues from the Surete du Quebec to a small village in the Eastern Townships. Gamache cannot understand why anyone would want to deliberately kill well-loved artist Jane Neal, especially any of the residents of Three Pines – a place so free from crime it doesn’t even have its own police force.
But Gamache knows that evil is lurking somewhere behind the white picket fences and that, if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will start to give up its dark secrets…
No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister
The police say she’s guilty.
She insists she’s innocent.
She’s your sister.
You loved her.
You trusted her.
But they say she killed your child.
Who do you believe?
Her Name was Rose by Claire Allan
Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.
When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.
And then she makes a decision she can never take back.
Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?
But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.
I, Witness by Niki Mackay
They say I’m a murderer.
Six years ago, Kate Reynolds was found holding the body of her best friend; covered in blood, and clutching the knife that killed her.
I plead guilty.
Kate has been in prison ever since, but now her sentence is up. She is being released.
But the truth is, I didn’t do it.
There’s only one person who can help: Private Investigator Madison Attallee, the first officer on the scene all those years ago.
But uncovering the truth means catching a killer.
It Was Her by Mark Hill
Twenty years ago, Tatia was adopted into a well-off home where she seemed happy, settled. Then the youngest boy in the family dies in an accident, and she gets the blame.
Did she do it?
Tatia is cast out, away from her remaining adopted siblings Joel and Poppy. Now she yearns for a home to call her own. So when she see families going on holiday, leaving their beautiful homes empty, there seems no harm in living their lives while they are gone. But somehow, people keep ending up dead.
Did she kill them?
As bodies start to appear in supposedly safe neighbourhoods, DI Ray Drake and DS Flick Crowley race to find the thinnest of links between the victims. But Drake’s secret past is threatening to destroy everything.
Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’
Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.
Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.
This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.
But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.
Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.
The Devil’s Claw by Lara Dearman
Following a traumatic incident in London, Jennifer Dorey has returned to her childhood home in Guernsey, taking a job as a reporter at the local newspaper.
After the discovery of a drowned woman on a beach, she uncovers a pattern of similar deaths that have taken place over the past fifty years.
Together with DCI Michael Gilbert, an officer on the verge of retirement, they follow a dark trail of island myths and folklore to ‘Fritz’, the illegitimate son of a Nazi soldier. His work, painstakingly executed, has so far gone undetected.
But with his identity about to be uncovered, the killer now has Jennifer in his sights.
Dark Pines by Will Dean
An isolated Swedish town.
A deaf reporter terrified of nature.
A dense spruce forest overdue for harvest.
A pair of eyeless hunters found murdered in the woods.
It’s week one of the Swedish elk hunt and the sound of gunfire is everywhere. When Tuva Moodyson investigates the story that could make her career she stumbles on a web of secrets that knit Gavrik town together. Are the latest murders connected to the Medusa killings twenty years ago? Is someone following her? Why take the eyes? Tuva must face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the killer and write the story. And then get the hell out of Gavrik.
Behind her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…
Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…
Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.
But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?
Death in the Woods by Bernie Steadman
Soon after DI Hellier returns home to Exeter under a cloud, the body of a talented young singer is found in the woods.
When her death reveals links to the boss of a recording studio, a predatory gang and a school music teacher, Hellier knows he has his work cut out.
Before any more innocent people are put in danger, Hellier will need to untangle the web of lies and work out which of many suspects are guilty of murder.
But will he solve the case in time?
A Fatal Obsession by Faith Martin
Oxford, 1960. There’s a murderer on the loose and two unlikely heroes are poised to solve the case.
Meet Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday – smart, enthusiastic and always underestimated.
In the hope of getting her out of the way, Trudy’s senior officer assigns her to help coroner Clement Ryder as he re-opens the case of a young woman’s death. She can’t believe her luck – she is actually going to be working on a real murder case.
Meanwhile, the rest of the police force are busy investigating a series of threats and murders in the local community, and Clement can’t help but feel it’s all linked.
As Trudy and Clement form an unlikely partnership, are they going to be the ones to solve these crimes before the murderer strikes again?
The Scent of Guilt by Tony J Forder
Twelve years after he left Peterborough under a cloud, DI Bliss returns to the city and the major crimes team. Having spent years policing organised crime, Bliss is plunged straight into the heart of a serial murder investigation.
Meanwhile, Penny Chandler has been promoted to DS and has been working in
London on the Met’s sexual crimes team. But when two rapes are reported on her old patch in Peterborough, Chandler volunteers to interview the victims.
Chandler joins the hunt for the attacker and soon notices a possible link between the rapes and Bliss’s murder investigation. Could the same man be responsible?
Just as both cases seem to stall, a call comes in from an ex-policeman who knows of unsolved cases in the USA with a similar MO. Bliss finds himself travelling to California to hunt for a killer whose reach may have stretched further than anyone could possibly imagine.
But in order to catch the murderer, Bliss must discover the killer’s motive. A motive which should have remained buried in the past…
If you made it this far, thanks and well done – you’ll probably need another cuppa now.