Crime and mystery: police procedural

Picture You Dead

Picture You Dead

Author: Peter James Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/09/2022

Discover the darkness that lurks around every corner in the latest instalment of Peter James’s award-winning detective series, which is now a major ITV programme starring John Simm as Roy Grace.

The Siege

The Siege

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/06/2022

An enthralling, rewarding, and ever so satisfying debut crime thriller. Covering ten hours, from beginning to end, a far-right extremist takes nine people from an immigrant support group hostage. Author John Sutherland is a retired Borough Commander with the Metropolitan Police, during his time in the job he was a hostage negotiator, in other words he knows his stuff. Not only that, he is also a gifted, passionate, and compassionate speaker and I’ve listened to his inspiring words on several occasions at Literary Festivals. This may be his debut novel, but he already has two non-fiction books to his name, Blue: A Memoir and Crossing the Line are both fascinating books about policing. When I knew he was venturing into fiction I grabbed a proof just as fast as I could with one question on my mind, could his knowledge and abilities translate into a novel? Yes, yes they can. If you’ve read his books, newspaper articles or his blog, heard him on the TV, at talks or worked with him then you will know he is principled, honourable, thoughtful, and that clearly comes across in his writing. Yet being from the policing family means he has seen it all, experienced the highs and lows that this job throws at you. So while the tone is unmistakably him, calm with no fuss or bluster, it feels real, right up in your face real. The three main characters have equal billing, concentrating in turn on their lives, who they are, what makes them tick. There is a straightforward clarity to the writing that ensures the words hit with intensity. As the story gained momentum, as the lives of these people began to really matter to me, I couldn’t put the book down. At one point I cried, and I know how good a book is by how it makes me react, how it makes me feel. So, this novel joins our LoveReading Star Book community, it also sits as a Liz Robinson Pick for its month of publication. For those of you who have been waiting, hand-on-heart, it’s worth it. The Siege is not only thrilling and entertaining, it’s also engaging and meaningful, and comes with the hugest of ticks in the must-read box from me.

Star Books
Girl, Forgotten

Girl, Forgotten

Author: Karin Slaughter Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/06/2022

A girl with a secret… Longbill Beach, 1982. Emily Vaughn gets ready for prom night, the highlight of any high school experience. But Emily has a secret. And by the end of the evening, she will be dead. A murder that remains a mystery… Forty years later, Emily’s murder remains unsolved. Her friends closed ranks, her family retreated inwards, the community moved on. But all that’s about to change. One final chance to uncover a killer… Andrea Oliver arrives in town with a simple assignment: to protect a judge receiving death threats. But her assignment is a cover. Because, in reality, Andrea is here to find justice for Emily – and to uncover the truth before the killer decides to silence her too…

Lying Beside You

Lying Beside You

Author: Michael Robotham Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/06/2022

Powerful and addictive reading heaven. Cyrus is called in to help investigate the case of a missing woman while preparing for the release of his brother from a secure psychiatric hospital. If you haven’t yet met Cyrus and Evie then I would advise starting with the first in the Cyrus Haven series Good Girl, Bad Girl, which I absolutely adored and was chosen as the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger winner for 2020. We are now at book three, and I have camped out for each new addition. I read Lying Beside You in one absolutely thrilling sitting, I was as hooked as a hooked thing can be. Cyrus and Evie are equally fascinating, the separate traumas from their childhoods create an invisible thread that ties them together. The calm and the storm that they individually offer shapes an unforgettable pairing that is one of my favourites in the book world. Michael Robotham knows how to capture and hold the readers interest as Cyrus and Evie tell their own stories in alternating short sharp shocks of chapters. The other characters feel fully fleshed even if only on the page for a short time and oh, how I absolutely loved the addition of Elias to the tale, someone who has been a shadowy figure until now. The pace of the plot is brilliantly handled, and while I wanted to gallop through as quickly as I could, there are undercurrents of empathy and compassion that hold you to the here and now. Lying Beside You is just as good, just as compelling and ferociously readable as the first two in the series, and joins them as a LoveReading Star Book.

Star Books
The Shadows of Men

The Shadows of Men

Author: Abir Mukherjee Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/06/2022

Calcutta, 1923. When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can officers of the Imperial Police Force, Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surendranath Banerjee track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath? Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this 'unmissable' (The Times) series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?

Star Books
The Murder Book

The Murder Book

Author: Mark Billingham Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/06/2022

A satisfyingly shocking and oh-so-readable novel, make sure you’re sitting comfortably when you begin! When your home life feels settled you have the most to lose, and Tom Thorne comes to realise this in the most horrifying way when the past screams hello. The Murder Book is the eighteenth in the addictive Tom Thorne series which began with the fabulous Sleepyhead, and Mark Billingham’s writing is as on-point as ever. These police procedurals have it all, a tight knit policing team, flawed characters that you’d still want on your side, and twisty plots alongside skilful writing. The writing is such that I do believe you could read this as a standalone even with the references to what has gone before, but of course, this being Mark Billingham, I have to recommend that you go back and start at the beginning. This is a book that fires-up and teases the accelerator, gradually building up until it hits top speed and then, well, it just doesn’t let up. I was genuinely fearful for Thorne and co, for their physical and mental welfare, as their opponent is truly terrifying. I read late into the night, not wanting to leave them, desperately needing to know the outcome. With a hoard of reading gold to discover, The Murder Book electrifies as it corkscrews through to a heart-pounding conclusion. Highly recommended, and a LoveReading Star Book.

Star Books
The Death of Remembrance A D.C.I. Daley Thriller

The Death of Remembrance A D.C.I. Daley Thriller

Author: Denzil Meyrick Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2022

It’s been a rollercoaster of a decade for DCI Jim Daley. Fresh from the mean streets of Glasgow, he arrived in the fishing community of Kinloch on Scotland’s west coast to investigate the washed-up body of a young woman 10 years ago. Thankfully for fans of Denzil Meyrick’s bestselling detective, the drama and body count in this small corner of the world isn’t showing any sign of slowing! Violence, prejudice, deceit and corruption bubble under the surface of this latest outing for Daley and less-than-sober sidekick, Brian Scott. Life in gangland Glasgow may seem a lifetime ago for the unorthodox duo, but the discovery of a fisherman’s body on the shoreline and the reappearance of a notorious criminal force them both to relive events from their murky past. Meyrick’s storytelling skills are second to none, weaving together a narrative that spans time and location without dropping an inch of suspense along the way. And what a compelling cast of characters that come out to play in this special anniversary novel! From mystic old Hamish to the most brutal of Glasgow criminals, Meyrick treats each with just the right touch to ensure authenticity. His use of Scots dialogue is gritty and hilarious in equal measure, with Brian Scott’s turn of phrase the real star of the show. The Death of Remembrance is a compelling novel from one of Scotland’s favourite writers – expect high drama…and high praise.

The Botanist

The Botanist

Author: M. W. Craven Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/06/2022

As far as booky thrills, entertainment, and satisfaction goes, I declare this is pure reading gold and a LoveReading Star Book. Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are back, their skills are needed for two investigations. They unofficially involve themselves in the first after their friend Estelle Doyle is arrested for murder, and in the second a formidable poisoner is courting social media. The Washington Poe series sits towards the very top of my favourites of all time. It started with the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award Winning The Puppet Show and here we are at book five, each and every one has been fabulous and The Botanist joins the team in swaggering style. I’m actually not quite sure how M.W. Craven does it, he maintains the most exquisite balance of blurt-worthy humour, eyebrow-raising plots, and as for the characters! Each and every person to step on the page becomes fully formed in my minds-eye, even if on the page for a moment. I rubbed my hands with glee when I realised that we had a locked room mystery on our hands and my second, third, and fourth thoughts were feverishly working away in the background as I settled in and sank into the pages. Poe and Tilly, or the reactions of others to Poe and Tilly had me snorting with laughter. They are almost polar opposites, and their friendship is heart-warming in its genuine simplicity. The plot more than happily allowed me to feel chuffed as I started to work certain aspects out before it slammed the door shut again. Oh, and I loved, loved, loved that ending! Sharply focused with on-point humour, and somehow joyfully warming while hunting the most chilling of foes, The Botanist is my current favourite of the series (each one always is). Yet again I will be haunting the book aisles until the next appears.

Star Books
Little Drummer

Little Drummer

Author: Kjell Ola Dahl Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/05/2022

With two spectacularly contrasting settings and two oh-so different officers you’ll find yourself with an eloquently compelling novel on your hands. A murder investigation enters the heavyweight corporate world of international deals and exploitation. Award-winning Kjell Ola Dahl began writing in 1993, this book in his successful Oslo Detective series was first published in Norway in 2003 and is just as bitingly relevant today. Little Drummer is book four to be translated into English, and as ever, Don Bartlett does a cracking job, fully immersing you in the story. Gunnarstranda and Frolich make a fabulous pairing, even though they are only together on the page on a handful of occasions. With Frolich jetting off to Kenya, and journalist Lise on the scene, Gunnarstranda still holds his own in Oslo. The fiercely political and social aspects of this novel are highlighted when you consider that this was written twenty years ago, human greed, power, and corruption are our constant companions. Little Drummer is as chillingly Nordic Noir in the dry heat of Africa as it is in Oslo, ensuring an absolutely thrilling and rewarding read.

eBooks of the Month
The Dark Hours

The Dark Hours

Author: Michael Connelly Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2022

A CRIME BURIED FOR YEARS. AND ONE THAT'S JUST BEGUN... 'An authentic, topical and terrifying thriller: one of Michael Connelly's very best' THE TIMES 'Yet another superb thriller from a writer at the top of his game' SUNDAY EXPRESS 'Consistently excellent' MAIL ON SUNDAY * * * * * A MURDER YEARS IN THE MAKING A murder in the middle of a street party seems a senseless tragedy. But the victim had a dark past which came back to haunt him. THE DEEPER YOU LOOK Detective Renee Ballard connects the killing to an unsolved case last worked by ex-LAPD legend Harry Bosch. But then a new crime shatters the night shift... THE DARKER IT GETS The Midnight Men are a deadly pair of predators who stalk the city during the dark hours and disappear without a trace. Ballard once believed her job was to bring the truth to light. In a police department shaken to the core by protests and pandemic, both cases have the power to save her - or end her... * * * * * CRIME DOESN'T COME BETTER THAN CONNELLY: 'One of the very best writers working today' Sunday Telegraph 'The pre-eminent detective novelist of his generation' Ian Rankin 'The best mystery writer in the world' GQ 'A superb natural storyteller' Lee Child 'A master' Stephen King 'Crime thriller writing of the highest order' Guardian 'America's greatest living crime writer' Daily Express 'A crime writing genius' Independent on Sunday

The Dying Squad

The Dying Squad

Author: Adam Simcox Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2022

DYING IS HELL . . . SOLVING YOUR OWN MURDER IS PURGATORY When Detective Inspector Joe Lazarus storms a Lincolnshire farmhouse, he expects to bring down a notorious drug gang; instead, he discovers his own dead body and a spirit guide called Daisy-May. She's there to enlist him to the Dying Squad, a spectral police force made up of the recently deceased. Joe soon realises there are fates far worse than death. To escape being stuck in purgatory, he must solve his own murder. A task made all the more impossible when his memories start to fade. Reluctantly partnering with Daisy-May, Joe faces dangers from both the living and the dead in the quest to find his killer - before they kill again.

Star Books
Death of the Black Widow

Death of the Black Widow

Author: James Patterson Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2022

A stunning stand-alone thriller following a Detroit cop's hunt for a serial killer like no other, from the bestselling authors of The Noise You never forget your first case. Officer Walter O'Brien is called to a murder scene on his first night with Detroit PD. A terrified young woman has bludgeoned her attacker with shocking skill. She is also a brilliant escape artist. Her flight from police custody makes the case impossible to solve - and, for Walter, impossible to forget. His fascination with the missing, grey-eyed woman approaches obsession. And when Walter discovers that he's not alone in his search, only one thing is certain . . . The string of murders didn't begin in his home city - but he's going to make sure it ends there.