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Enter the criminal underworld and solve a complex case all from the comfort of your favourite reading nook. Have a look at our Crime/Mystery selection to get your hands on the latest and greatest case and get mystery solving! You might also be interested in our Thriller and Suspense categories.
Longlisted for the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger 2016. ‘Dead Pretty’ is a distinctive, stimulating and provocative read. This is the fifth DS McAvoy novel, but my first, it’s wonderful when you come across a new author and find their books are right up your ever so slightly twisted alley. DS McAvoy is a rock solid mountain of a man and most definitely someone you would want on your side. The policing team have previously taken a bit of a battering, but there is no rest for the wicked as a murder investigation is next on their list. This story doesn't just capture your attention, it also stamps up and down all over it. At times there is a biting sparsity to the writing, at others the descriptive detailing surprises and almost forces you to stop and think, so you can imagine the gangs of words all together in the flesh. David Mark releases enough information to allow your suspicions to be released and wander about on the smug side, but is still capable of deviously lopping off their legs with an unexpected hit. So, excuse me while I rush off to read the first four in the series and then wait impatiently for the next! ~ Liz Robinson
February 2016 Book of the Month and eBook of the Month. Simply unputdownable, this is a thrilling tale, and as you read, it just keeps getting better and better. Jane is witness to a terrible crime, and suddenly finds herself with information about a terrorist attack, maverick DI Ray Mason from the Met Counter Terrorism Command is on the case. Mason may be the figment of Simon Kernick’s imagination, but oh, how I hope there is someone just like him out there in reality! While Jane and Ray tell their tales in the first person, both flick back to moments that shaped their lives, helping you to get to know them, to understand how they tick. Kernick expertly builds layers upon layers of intrigue and tension, just as everything starts to fall into place, even more action barges in and delivers a good kicking. Perfect for anyone who likes an adrenaline rush, ‘The Witness’ is a spectacularly fast moving and captivating read. ~ Liz Robinson
Sarie, a young 19-years old Philadelphia bright college student is busted for possession of illegal pills kept in the jacket of a handsome friend she's in thrall of and forced to become an informer by narcotics cop Wildey. Unwilling to give up the object of her crush, she instead plans to snitch on the drug dealers further up the line and protect her would be paramour. Think Nancy Drew meets Breaking Bad! Both gritty and affectionate, the fast unfolding story soon sees her juggling the dangers of corrupt cops and hardened criminals, as evidenced through the perspective of the young girl's private diaries and a third person narrative that roars down those mean streets in fifth gear thriller mode. An acute sense of place, striking characters and family ties, all said an almost perfect read that will keep your breath on hold and a smile on your face. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
An enthralling murder investigation set in stunning Alpine scenery where the scheming, shrewd, mercenary of a man in command appears to have materialised from the Dark Ages. Don’t be too hasty to make up your mind though, this is a novel that steadily reels you in, the author is quite happy to set you on a crooked path with dead ends and trip hazards along the way. Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone makes you wonder if a particularly devious criminal mind is required in order to catch one, but is there more to him than initially meets the eye? Translated from Italian, its fascinating to see the differences in police procedures, local politics and village life and as you read, you really are transported to another place. This is a fabulously different slice of crime fiction, that just begs to be consumed in one sitting. ~ Liz Robinson
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Fiction and Breakthrough Author Award 2016. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016. February 2016 Debut of the Month. The title refers to a Bible quote and two 10-year old girls are greatly mystified as to its meaning and where to find God. They spend the hot summer of 1976 looking for answers. Set in a small town housing estate, the girls’ avenue is a close-knit community of busy bodies. They all know everyone else’s business, they all have secrets they are trying to hide. Beautifully told in multi first-person narratives and nipping in and out of several houses, many of these secrets are drip-fed to us. At its heart is the disappearance of Mrs Creasy from No 8 and the neighbours ostracising Walter Bishop from No 11 whose house mysteriously burnt in 1967. Then there was the “taking of a baby” in the same year. All these mysteries and more bounce round the houses in a charming tale of ordinary folk sweltering in the heat. I loved it. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
This is a thriller with a very dark edge, sinister and gripping. Was Libby’s brother, Ben, really responsible for the murder of their parents and will the truth be more painful to bear? A compelling read. Now a major motion picture starring Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Christina Hendricks. Click below to view the trailer for the film adaptation of this book.
Following the death of Duke Cadogan, talented young rider Duncan Claymore inherits his large estate. Duncan is finally riding high. He's put his demons behind him and is well on his way to achieving his dream of becoming Champion Jockey. However, Cadogan's wealth proves to be illusory, with a manor house and grounds mortgaged to the hilt and a list of creditors who include the formidable George Pleasance. And Duncan's rival on the field, Sandy Sanderson, looks set to shatter his ambitions. Events take a dark turn when it appears someone has been sabotaging the horses on Duncan's trainer's yard. Down on his luck, out of favour and broke, Duncan has to try to engineer a return to good fortune, restore his reputation and bring down his father's enemy of old, William Osborne.
Shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2016. Another mighty impressive debut by a British author despite its sprawling American background and themes. Baker has the audacity to revisit the web of conspiracies surrounding the JFK assassination and despite the sterling previous contributions to the fictional subject by James Ellroy, Don De Lillo and even Stephen King, comes up trumps. This is noir at its darkest, with a palette of doomed characters, femmes fatales who are deadlier than the male, losers and no winners, sprinkled with unsettling appearances by real-life characters like Howard Hughes, Marilyn Monroe, J. Edgar Hoover and a whole cast list of names dragged into the cesspool of that fatal day in Houston. Add a merciless killer with a conscience, a writer obsessed by the killing but unaware of his true identity and connection to it and a fallen FBI agent now seeking redemption as private eye, and you have a cauldron of intrigue like no other. Considering the subject matter, I was not expecting to even like the book, but was blown away. ~ Maxim Jakubowski Maxim Jakubowski January 2016 Highly Recommended.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The late (and much missed) Ed McBain is best remembered for his classic 87th Precinct police procedural novels, but this timely reissue by the innovative Hard Case Crime imprint reminds us of his protean talents. Hardboiled at its hardest, this novel was originally published 60 years ago (as 'The Proposition' by Hunt Collins) and follows the corpse-littered travails of a literary agent whose unpopular partner with a surfeit of female lovers has been murdered, with a Hollywood deal worth millions at stake. A trail of femmes fatales and shady individuals of all ilk, fast-paced pulp dialogue, evocative descriptions of places, people and feelings and a gripping first person narrative voice make this a true page turner and a testimony to McBain's storytelling talent as well as an exemplary thriller that hasn't aged one bit. Also features a bonus short story starring private eye Matt Cordell from the also recently resurrected 'The Gutter and the Grave'. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
'This case was different from anything Vera had ever worked before. Two bodies, connected but not lying together. And nothing made her feel as alive as murder.' The Moth Catcher is the seventh book in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series - now the major ITV detective drama Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A chilling tale of kidnap and implacable revenge, this is a striking debut by a young American lawyer which goes in the absolute opposite direction you thought it would and even qualifies for rightful comparisons with Gone Girl, Girl on the Train and, more unexpectedly, The Silence of the Lambs. When a pregnant 16-years old is brutally kidnapped and forced into a van, the aggressors are soon on the defensive as the victim rapidly turns out to be anything but vulnerable, and surprisingly cold, manipulative, cruel and infinitely talented in the art of strike back. The methodic way by which she plots to save her unborn child and take absolute revenge on her attackers is distinctly scary and even though the reader is rooting for her all along, she is not the sort of heroine you would like to take tea with! Powerful and full of twists all the way to an explosive finale, a gripping read.
Another intriguing and fascinating mystery from the author of ‘The Sea Detective Series’. Oceanographer Cal McGill finds himself in a small Scottish costal town attempting to solve a 26 year old mystery. Violet was abandoned as a baby, the day before her mother walked into the sea and disappeared. This story has a menacing depth to it, it has a more intimate feel than the first in the series, and we get to know more about Cal. Cal is 29 years old, yet it feels as though he has an old soul, I felt his love for the ocean, his kindness, yet he is somehow set apart. Mark Douglas-Home’s writing dances on the darker of life, though whether covering world wide issues, or more family orientated problems, an empathy shines through. ‘The Woman Who Walked Into The Sea’ is a gripping tale, full of family drama, with the twist of a mystery, and an enigmatic investigator, what more you could want! The Sea Detective series:1. The Sea Detective2. The Woman Who Walked into the Sea3. The Malice of Waves
Murderous, Mysterious, Machination
From the suave to the sleazy, the saint to the sinner; from the sensitive to the sanguine, the sexy to the squalid, we just can’t resist a good sleuth. Here you’ll find immersive crime stories to feed your fascination for conspiracy, your love for psychological sorcery, to make your hairs stand up on the back of your neck, to make your blood run cold and adrenaline fill your nervous system. Whether you’re after a classic like; Poirot (Agatha Christie), Rebus (Rankin) or Morse (Colin Dexter); or a more contemporary crime confrontation from the likes of, Michael Connelly, Gillian Flynn or J.A Lance, there’s something here to float the most demanding of boats. Have a look at our Books of the Month from this and previous months for a head start to a great next read.
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