Saturday, April 25, 2015

Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike Book 3 - Career of Evil

The title of the third book in Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike series has just been announced. From the author's website:

Career of Evil

The third Robert Galbraith crime novel, featuring private detective Cormoran Strike, will be published in autumn 2015 by Sphere.  Robert Galbraith’s previous two novels, The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm, have both been international number 1 bestsellers.  More details to come soon, including publication date.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary, April 2015, 416 pages, Headline, ISBN: 1472207726

Reviewed by Michelle Peckham.
(Read more of Michelle's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

This is the second novel from Sarah Hilary, following on from her highly successful first novel featuring DI Marnie Rome, SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN.

This time, Marnie is faced with the task of how two small boys met their death in a bunker. Mr Doyle discovers their bodies when digging at the end of his garden, to make a vegetable patch. He lives with his family in a newly built house, has two children, with a third on the way, and is fostering a difficult fourteen-year-old teenager called Clancy.

Who are the children? How did they end up in the bunker? DNA testing only shows familial DNA present in the bunker, and this doesn’t help to identify the children. How were the homes built, without anyone knowing about the bunkers? Or did the builders, Merrick Homes, know about them, and could they have something to do with the buried children? And who is Alison/Esther, an inmate at Lawton Down Prison, about to be released on license, a character that appears in interspersed chapters. She clearly bears a huge guilty conscience for something, even though she has already been punished, by being locked up in prison.

Marnie’s first task is to try to discover the children’s identity, as this may throw up some clues as to why they were left to die. Eventually, she and her team do work out who they are. Then comes the huge roller-coaster of clues, with twist and turns, as DI Rome and her team try to work out who is telling the truth, and who is lying, until eventually they work out the unhappy truth, partly revealed through a the climactic ending.

Once again, Sarah Hilary has managed to pull together a well plotted novel, and DI Marnie Rome makes for a tenacious detective.

Michelle Peckham, April 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: A Cold Killing by Anna Smith

A Cold Killing by Anna Smith, March 2015, 432 pages, Quercus, ISBN: 184866429X

Reviewed by Amanda Gillies.
(Read more of Amanda's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Another, long-awaited novel, featuring my favourite, feisty crime reporter, Rosie Gilmour. There seems to be no end to Anna Smith’s talents and she has produced yet another brilliant book that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. This is her fifth book about Rosie’s fight to expose the truth in her Glasgow-based newspaper and it is even more attention grabbing than her earlier offerings. Smith is herself an award-winning journalist, and you wonder just how much of herself is written into her excellent character. There seems to be no end to the lengths that Rosie will go to for a good story and she frequently has to go into hiding – from the good guys as well as the bad – after her headlines hit the front page.

A COLD KILLING is no exception. Rosie has just come back from spending some time hiding in Bosnia, after being put on a hit list by some unpleasant characters that tried to kill her in her last outing. Almost as soon as her plane lands on UK soil, she finds herself up to her neck in another investigation. A retired academic is shot, in an apparent execution, while sitting in a cafe with a friend. Hot on the heels of a good story, Rosie soon discovers that the elderly gentleman is a lot more interesting than was initially thought. She also finds out that a mystery woman has been seen fleeing from the scene, close behind the men who carried out the shooting. Finding out the identity of the woman and the reason why she was in the café could possibly hand Rosie one of her best stories yet. The only trouble is that you get the feeling she might just be putting her life on the line in the process. Again.

I love to read novels that have strong female protagonists and Rose Gilmour is up there with the best of them. She is brave, independent, loves what she does and is prepared to do anything to get the stories out. Smith is also an excellent wordsmith and her stories are wonderfully crafted, as well as being exciting and gripping. I always enjoy books by this author and am already impatient to see what she will publish next!

Highly Recommended.

Amanda Gillies, April 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Website Updates: April 2015

I've updated the main files on the Euro Crime website today. Euro Crime includes both British and other European crime fiction writers (that have been published in English); non-British/European born crime writers who are strongly associated with British/European crime fiction (eg. Donna Leon), and crime writers in translation from outside of Europe.

Just a couple of reminders regarding the New Releases page:

1. The main by month/by author pages refer to when a book is published (in English) anywhere in the world however the 'by category ie historical, translated etc' is specific to the UK eg Emily Brightwell's series which was published in the US in the 1990s (and on) is only now being published in the UK and so her books appear in the 2014 Historical list.

2. When a book is released "early" in ebook I am taking the publication date as to be when the print edition comes out (this is the rule we use for determining Petrona Award eligibility).

As always, if you spot something wrong or missing, please do let me know.

NB. The Petrona Award 2015 shortlist is here.

NB. Win tickets to CrimeFest - here

Here's a summary of the usual updates:

The Author Websites page now lists 1036 sites.

In Bibliographies there are now bibliographies for 2202 authors (11006 titles of which 2913 are reviewed).

I've added new bibliographies for: Cathy Ace, Bernhard Aichner, Roberto Ampuero, Saul Black, Jenny Blackhurst, Michel Bussi, Ian Caldwell, Steve Cavangh, Catherine Chanter, Jamie Doward, Cecilia Ekback, Isabelle Grey, Kate Hamer, Martin Holmen, Anna Jaquiery, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Renee Knight, J S Law, Clare Mackintosh, Elmer Mendoza, Lucy Ribchester, T R Richmond, S D Sykes, S K Tremayne and Ruth Ware.

I've updated the bibliographies (ie added new titles) for: Catherine Aird, M J Arlidge, Quentin Bates, Belinda Bauer, Nancy Bilyeau, Cara Black, Robin Blake, Britta Bolt, Cilla & Rolf Borjlind, Jorgen Brekke, Simon Brett, Neil Broadfoot, Christopher Brookmyre, Helen Cadbury, Susanna Calkins, Dorothy Cannell, James Carol, Tania Carver, Kate Charles, Lee Child, Anne Cleeland, Ann Cleeves, John Connolly, F G Cottam, Colin Cotterill, James Craig, Neil Cross, Arne Dahl, Lindsey Davis, Maurizio De Giovanni, Luca di Fulvio, David Dickinson, Margaret Duffy, Ruth Dugdall, Elizabeth J Duncan, Patrick Easter, Sam Eastland, Rampo Edogawa, Kate Ellis, Gordon Ferris, Helen FitzGerald, Christopher Fowler, Alastair Gunn, C S Harris, Tessa Harris, Mel Healy, Mick/M Herron, Sarah Hilary, Casey Hill, Hjorth-Rosenfeldt, Bruce Holsinger, Alex Howard, Paul Johnston, M R C Kasasian, Philip Kerr, Bill Kitson, Leena Lehtolainen, Howard Linskey, M L Longworth, Stuart/Stuart B MacBride, Torquil MacLeod, Michael J Malone, Scott Mariani, David Mark, Edward Marston, Colette McBeth, Patricia Melo, Paul Mendelson, Deon Meyer, Denise Mina, Miyuki Miyabe, Peter Murphy, Jo Nesbo, Nele Neuhaus, Chris Nickson, Martin O'Brien, Kristina Ohlsson, Tony Parsons, Ben Pastor, Karen Perry, Malcolm Pryce, Caro Ramsay, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, Mike Ripley, Priscilla Royal, Leigh Russell, Fay Sampson, Mark Sennen, William Shaw, Anna Smith, Vidar Sundstol, Dominique Sylvain, Paul Thomas, Lesley Thomson, Rebecca Tope, Nicola Upson, Martin Walker, Minette Walters, Louise Welsh, Timothy Williams and Emily Winslow.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Review: Eeny Meeny by M J Arlidge

Eeny Meeny by M J Arlidge, May 2014, 448 pages, Century, ISBN: 1405914874

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

This debut novel from M J Arlidge was absolutely astounding, one of the best stories that I have read so far this year and very likely to be included in my top five books of the year. The plot was very absorbing and I was truly gripped until the breathtaking conclusion.

A young couple awake, very disorientated, trapped and days without food or water. There is no escape. Instead there's a gun loaded with a single bullet and a mobile phone with charge enough only to deliver a short message: when one of you kills the other, the survivor will walk free.

Southampton Detective Inspector Helen Grace is assigned the case and has to interview Amy, the girl who killed her boyfriend Sam, in order to escape the hellish captivity of nearly two weeks. Amy is very thin, filthy dirty and feeling very subdued and guilty because she has killed. She says that she and Sam had been abducted by a woman who had drugged them. Helen accepts her story and soon there are other couples being kidnapped, starved and then given unacceptable choices.

How can Helen and her team track the perpetrator of these dreadful crimes?

This compulsively written police procedural races on to the exciting conclusion. The author, who is male, has worked in television for the last fifteen years specialising in high-end drama productions. For the last five years, Arlidge has produced a number of crime serials for ITV and is currently working on a major adaptation for BBC.

This absolutely sensational story introducing the damaged detective, DI Helen Grace to readers has been followed by two other stories, with the fourth, LIAR LIAR, due for publication in September 2015. So I have three other exciting stories to look forward to from this very gifted author. Extremely well recommended.

Terry Halligan, April 2015.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Series Revival: Paul Johnston

Paul Johnston is returning to Quint Dalrymple after a gap of 14 years with Heads or Hearts being published by Severn House this month.

Heads or Hearts is the sixth in the series with the first book, Body Politic, having been released in 1997. 

Publisher's blurb: Maverick ex-cop Quint Dalrymple returns to investigate a series of gruesome murders in a near-future independent Edinburgh. Independent Edinburgh, 2033. The Council of City Guardians has been forced to relax its grip on citizens and the borders are no longer secure. Then a human heart is found on a football pitch. Maverick investigator Quint Dalrymple is called in - but before he makes much progress, a citizen's headless body floats down a canal. Quint uncovers a link to the planned referendum over Edinburgh joining a reconstituted Scotland. But who is behind the killings and mutilations? Are the city's notorious gangs responsible, or does the solution lie with the rulers of Edinburgh and other former Scottish states? Quint must dig deep to save the Council from collapse, and to retain both his head and heart...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: The Caveman by Jørn Lier Horst tr. Anne Bruce

Today's review is courtesy of CrimeTime's Bob Cornwell who I hope can be persuaded to contribute again!

The Caveman by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (352 pages, February 2015, Sandstone Press Ltd, ISBN: 1910124044)

Back at work after his brief suspension from duty in THE HUNTING DOGS, Horst’s knockout 2013 Glass Key winner, Chief Inspector William Wisting leafs through the case file of Viggo Hansen, whose miraculously preserved body had been found, finally, in front of his TV set, an estimated four months dead. Disturbingly he had been a neighbour of Wisting’s, living just three houses away. A routine investigation has revealed no suspicious circumstances, and Wisting is first inclined to allow the report to be filed. Just then, Wisting’s computer beeps and another case calls. The file remains on the top of the filing tray.

But the death of Viggo Hansen proves to be of more immediate interest to Wisting’s daughter Line, an investigative journalist for VG, a prominent Norwegian tabloid. Christmas looms and her own fragmenting family is on her mind. Line would like to know just how the shrivelled body of Viggo Hansen remained undiscovered for four months, especially in a country deemed (in recent UN reports) as one of the best in which to live. UK readers may be reminded of Dreams of a Life, Carol Morley’s memorable 2011 documentary, reconstructing the life of Joyce Vincent, three years dead in a north London bedsit. Meanwhile Wisting’s own investigation develops quickly. A plastic folder found on a corpse discovered in a ‘pick your own Christmas tree’ plantation yields fingerprints identified as belonging to someone ‘Wanted by the FBI’. Ten Most Wanted? Yes. Serial Killer? Yes.

This is the eighth book featuring Wisting and his daughter, the fourth since Karen Meek and Maxine Clark alerted me to DREGS (UK, 2011), the first of Anne Bruce’s crisp English translations. Have no fear of entering the series at this late stage. Sandstone have provided, since CLOSED FOR WINTER (UK, 2013) the second title in English, a helpful two-page profile of series developments to date. And with Horst recently achieving his first review in the (UK) mainstream press, his time might have come.

That hint of serial killer, though some hearts might sink at this overworked development (they include mine), probably won’t do him any harm. Serial killers are, of course, rare in Nordic countries, but ex-policeman Horst, scrupulous in his regard for reality, simply imports the phenomenon (like Arne Dahl before him). At the same time of course, he relishes the opportunity to take his procedural expertise in a new direction. No spoilers here, by the way. I’m giving nothing away here that isn’t revealed in the first sixty pages. (I’ll leave the reader to uncover the chilling concept of the “caveman” for themselves.)

The two plot strands, of course, complement each other. The cracks in fragmenting modern societies are those in which society’s less desirable elements also live and operate. And, like HUNTING DOGS, those two strands combine to create a well-plotted and surprising narrative of uncommon urgency. Horst writes in pacy, dispassionate prose, the narrative like DOGS divided equally (and a trifle predictably in the middle section of the book) between Wisting’s investigation and that of his daughter. Wisting is observant, methodical, in total command of his team; Line is her father’s daughter, but this time seeking not only facts, but the emotional truth of the life she is investigating .

Some readers may be disappointed that whilst Line returns home to live with her father (more easily to explore the life of Hansen, his recent neighbour), the relationship between Line and her father, whilst instinctively protective, remains one of cool (though growing) mutual respect. In fact, consistent with the theme of the book, there is more than a hint that the rules that govern increasingly complex professional lives, may also serve to encourage the space between people.

It’s a thought-provoking book – and, as in the gripping climax, an exciting one, as the two investigations merge in a well-engineered and entirely unexpected way. Then, if you haven’t already, do go back and read THE HUNTING DOGS.

Bob Cornwell
April 2015