CRIME FICTION ROUND-UP
There are so many psychological thrillers at the moment, it’s hard to pick a winner, but Watching Edie by Camilla Way (Harpercollins) really is outstanding. Expecting a baby and on her own, Edie tries to get rid of long-lost school friend Heather, who has reappeared. That won’t stop the dark secret they share from unravelling, though.
Lovers of 1970s pulp will enjoy the latest from Max Allan Collins, Quarry In The
Black (4 October, Hard Case Crime). With its handpainted jacket and a story that sees the hitman Quarry facing tough choices as he guns for a civil rights activist, the book continues a series that Collins first started 40 years ago.
You’ll get a deeper sense of the past with A Death At Fountains Abbey (Hodder & Stoughton) by Antonia Hodgson. Set in 1728, it’s the third in her Thomas Hawkins series. Hawkins is sent to Yorkshire, where former Chancellor of the Exchequer John Aislabie has a ledger listing financial misdoings that could bring down the government. Missing Jo Nesbo’s detective Harry Hole? If so try Rage by Zygmunt Miloszewski (Amazon Publishing). The author uses writing devices similar to Nesbo as his acerbic hero Prosecutor Szacki investigates a skeleton found in the vaults beneath the Polish city of Olsztyn, and tracks a vigilante who’s killing domestic abuse perpetrators.
The dry humour of Poland is supplanted with a zanier Italian brand in Mario Giordano’s Auntie Poldi And The Sicilian
Lions (Bitter Lemon Press). Recently arrived in Sicily after the death of her husband, Auntie Poldi finds a corpse on the beach, becomes a suspect, and falls for the detective investigating.
South African writing duo Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip work under the pseudonym
Michael Stanley, and their Botswana CID man Detective Kubu has his hands full in A Death In The
Family (Orenda). Not only has Kubu’s father been murdered, but the apparent suicide of a local official points to corruption involving Chinese mining companies. Black Night
Falling (Faber & Faber) is the second novel by Rod Reynolds featuring his rugged reporter Charlie Yates. The author evokes the American South of the 1940s once again as Yates goes to help a friend in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where past crimes are bubbling to the surface.
You’ll discover another Southern setting, another second novel, and another promising young author with Arrowood by Laura Mchugh (Century). Arden Arrowood returns to her childhood home on the Mississippi and starts digging into the case of twin girls who disappeared a decade earlier.
There is nothing southern at all in The Dead Don’t
Boogie by Scottish author Douglas Skelton (Contraband). As Dominic Queste searches for a missing girl, he goes from coastal Saltcoats to the East End of Glasgow, via a mire of violence and black humour. James Henry made his name writing the Jack Frost prequel stories based on R.D. Wingfield’s character. Now he’s come up with his own detective, DI Nick Lowry, who’s fighting crime in 1983 Essex in Blackwater. It’s drugs, murder and foppish haircuts as 100kg of illicit powder are smuggled into Colchester via the Blackwater Estuary.