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Crime and mystery: police procedural

The Dying Squad

The Dying Squad

Author: Adam Simcox Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/07/2021

Vividly bold and full of attitude, in fact it's gutsy as heck, this provocative supernatural crime novel takes a fabulous premise and nails its colours to the mast. While on a drugs operation Detective Joe Lazarus is suddenly faced with his own dead body and a new partner from the other side. I have to confess that while reading I completely forgot to make any notes for my review as I just sank in and was consumed. The live side smacked me in the face with its gritty reality, while the dead side just blew me away. I could see, feel, taste and smell purgatory, it menaced into existence as a fully formed entity in my minds eye. Adam Simcox writes with the most imaginative, smirky, thought-provoking pen. I really had no idea where this reading journey was going to take me, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to learn that this is the first in a series, I will be camping outside my local bookshop when the next book is due. Chosen as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month, The Dying Squad is a fabulously unique novel that feels as real and yet outrageously inventive as can be. A standing ovation from me to Adam Simcox, absolutely blimmin loved it!

Star Books
Girls Who Lie

Girls Who Lie

Author: Eva Björg Ægisdottir Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/07/2021

A chilling tone and unsettling plot is wrapped up inside this cracking police procedural and psychological thriller. West Iceland CID investigate the death of a woman who went missing seven months previously. While suicide was the initial assumption, it's only when Marianna’s body is found that they can establish murder. This is the second in the Forbidden Iceland series, I recommend starting with The Creak on the Stairs which was a bestseller in Iceland, winning the Blackbird Award. While a police procedural, the other characters share the stage which ensures there are some fascinating trails of information to follow. In this book Eva Björg Ægisdottir cements the characters of the policing team. The vivid descriptions and haunting quality of the writing, which is so well translated by Victoria Cribb, ensured I could see and feel Iceland. Two stories sit side by side, each twisting around the other and allowing tension and intrigue access while themes of child neglect and social issues are thoughtfully handled. Girls Who Lie slithers and suggests and coils towards its thought-provoking conclusion, and I will be following this series with interest.  

Books of the Month
For Any Other Truth

For Any Other Truth

Author: Denzil Meyrick Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2021

A twisty, intricate, and action-packed crime novel based in Scotland full of schemes, intrigue, and shenanigans. This is the ninth book in the DCI Daley series, which started with the truly fabulous Whisky from Small Glasses. Denzil Meyrick has also penned a collection of linking short stories in One Last Dram Before Midnight, and has stepped back into the past of one of my favourite characters in a tale from Kinloch, in A Large Measure of Snow. In other words, there is a fascinating world awaiting you if you’ve not yet visited Kinloch. Kick-starting straight into action, a crash-landing plane heralds chaos and change. Climate protestors, politics, blackmail, and greed all feature and sub-plots run amok, gleefully getting under the feet of Daley and Scott. This pairing is the glue that holds the series together, yet the other characters are wonderful creations in their own right. Hamish and Annie are much loved, and you may find yourself reading between your fingers at certain parts! For Any Other Truth demands that you keep on your toes as it splinters thoughts and catches emotions unawares.  

eBooks of the Month
The Law of Innocence

The Law of Innocence

Author: Michael Connelly Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/05/2021

THE TRIAL OF A LIFETIME. BUT WILL IT BE HIS LAST? Heading home after winning his latest case, defense attorney Mickey Haller - The Lincoln Lawyer - is pulled over by the police. They open the trunk of his car to find the body of a former client. Haller knows the law inside out. He will be charged with murder. He will have to build his case from behind bars. And the trial will be the trial of his life. Because Mickey Haller will defend himself in court. With watertight evidence stacked against him, Haller will need every trick in the book to prove he was framed. But a not-guilty verdict isn't enough. In order to truly walk free, Haller knows he must find the real killer - that is the law of innocence...

Left You Dead

Left You Dead

Author: Peter James Format: Audiobook Release Date: 13/05/2021

NO BODY. NO TRACE. NO CRIME? Niall and Eden Paternoster start their Sunday the same way they always do – with a long drive, a visit to a country house and a quick stop at the local supermarket on the way home. But this Sunday ends differently – because while Niall waits and waits in the car park for Eden to pick up supplies, Eden never returns. She’s not waiting for him at home, and none of their family or friends have heard from her. Gone without a trace, Niall is arrested on suspicion of her murder. When DS Roy Grace is called in to investigate, it doesn’t take long to realize that nothing is quite as it seems – and this might be his most mysterious case yet . . . Sunday Times number one bestseller Peter James returns with the latest installment in his award-winning Roy Grace novels – now a major TV series.

Audiobooks of the Month
Into Deadly Storms

Into Deadly Storms

Author: Judi Daykin Format: Ebook Release Date: 18/03/2021

DISCOVER ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING CRIME THRILLERS YOU'LL READ THIS YEAR Detective Sara Hirst has moved from London to Norfolk Police’s Serious Crimes Unit. Under the brooding skies of North Norfolk, Sara faces her toughest case yet and finds that great beauty sometimes conceals great violence. Too many secrets. Too much pain. Too many leads. Dawn breaks as a dog-walker finds a dead body, half-naked and wrapped tightly in an old groundsheet. Sara is first on the scene. Who is the victim? And who will be next? Sara must take on some of Britain’s most wanted criminals if she’s to find out the truth. This crackling, twisty thriller set within the mysterious beauty of the east coast will have you flying through the pages right till the gripping end. Fans of Joy Ellis, J.M. Dalgliesh, Matt Brolly, Rachel Lynch and Angela Marsons, get ready for your next favourite detective.

eBooks of the Month
The Jigsaw Man

The Jigsaw Man

Author: Nadine Matheson Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/02/2021

Detective Inspector Angelica Henley is just back at work after a six-month break because of more than one personal reason. Not least of which, her last encounter with a vicious serial killer called Philip Olivier, aka The Jigsaw Man. But her return is not going to be relaxed or simple – there is someone out there reproducing the Jigsaw Man’s crimes, and it looks like Angelica is going to have to get Olivier’s help to catch this latest killer. What will working with one of her deadliest foes do to Angelica’s life and mind? Not for the faint-hearted but definitely one to pick up if you like a well-written, clever tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat till the end.  Selected by Dororthy Koomson, Our Summer 2021 Guest Editor. Click here to read the full Guest Editor piece.

Bluebird, Bluebird

Bluebird, Bluebird

Author: Attica Locke Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/03/2018

My friend Alafair Burke told me to read this book or she would stop talking to me. She was right to put the threat at that level because this is simply one of the best books I’ve read in the last ten years. Like Alafair, Attica is both a writer and a lawyer, so she really understands her material. The thing that got me right out of the gate is that the narrator is a black Texas Ranger. We don’t often see police procedurals written from the perspective of black law enforcement officers, or in the rare cases that we do, those officers tend to come across as anti-heroes. Attica takes on the racial issues at the core of this story with an unblinking eye, and the reader is all the better for her honesty.  You can see why this woman has won or been shortlisted for just about every major award there is, including the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction (for Pleasantville in 2016) Selected by our Early Summer Guest Editor 2021 Karin Slaughter