Berlin to Bangkok – 11 new crime releases

On the Radar — Never, ever complain that we don’t bring you variety, or that the radar tower at CriFi Towers doesn’t scan the deepest and darkest recesses of crime fiction. In a bumper pre-Christmas news bulletin, our crime stories range across the civilised world, and include one or two places where the use of that adjective might be questioned. Post-war Berlin, darkest Essex, Singapore, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Canada, the Shetlands, Texas, New York, Boston, London and the erotically charged red light district of Bangkok – don’t say we are not global!

Then We Take BerlinThen We Take Berlin by John Lawton
John Lawton is a fairly reclusive author, but his novels featuring the louche but beguiling Scotland Yard detective Frederick Troy are widely admired. Here, he starts in the world of the 1940s and 50s that he has almost made his own, and introduces us to John Holderness, a minor London criminal who has been called up to serve in the RAF. The reluctant hero is facing a prison term for insubordination when he is recruited by the intelligence services, who have noticed that Holderness, or ‘Joe Wilderness’, as he has come to be known, has an extremely high IQ. Fans of Lawton will relish the period background, and the book is available now at just 79p on Kindle. You can also read our appreciation of the Frederick Troy novels here.
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East of Innocence100East Of Innocence by David Thorne
Daniel Connell is a brooding rough-diamond-made-good who has given up a lucrative legal career in The City due to get away from the fools and bullies. He now runs a shabby legal practice in the less than lovely heartlands of the English county of Essex. Connell has a fractious relationship with his father – a bitter man who used to be something of a gofer for local crime bosses. As Connell is compelled by one of the mobsters to oil the wheels of a dodgy conveyancing job, he becomes involved in the murky world of prostitution, people trafficking and extortion. He also must also shine an uncomfortable light on the darker corners of his own family history. Available on 2 January 2014.
Pre-order now on Amazon

smokescreenSmokescreen by Khaled Talib
Khaled Talib is a 48-year-old native of Singapore, and in this book he makes fire from the already combustible kindling of the Israeli secret service, Palestinian activists, the turmoil in Egypt, and American foreign policy. On the criminal front, a journalist in Singapore is framed for murder, so we can expect authenticity, as Talib is himself a Singapore journalist, but hopefully not one who has fallen foul of the city state’s criminal justice system! The plot is loosely based on the ill-fated Lavon Affair 0f 1954, in which Israeli Intelligence agents recruited a group of Egyptian Jews to carry out a brutal bombing campaign, in the hope that the carnage would be blamed on The Muslim Brotherhood. Smokescreen is out now.
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The Kept GirlThe Kept Girl by Kim Cooper
Expect a very high profile launch campaign for this title early next year. The main, and frankly intriguing, selling point is not that the book is set in 1929 Los Angeles, nor that it is yet another homage to a certain Chicago-born alumni of Dulwich College. No, in the year that the Graf Zeppelin flew into LA from Japan, and Wall Street well and truly crashed, we are faced with a sinister cult of murderers who claim that they are doing the bidding of angels. Up against them is a young writer called Raymond Chandler, helped by a determined young police officer with a smart mouth and and a world weary philosophy. Remind you of anyone? The Kept Girl will be published in early January 2014.
Find out more here

Entry IslandEntry Island by Peter May
Peter May is the author of, amongst other books, the highly regarded Lewis trilogy. If you want a snapshot of May’s style, you can read our review of The Chessmen. If you had to use just three words to describe why May has a loyal and devoted following, they would be ‘sense’, ‘of’ and ‘place’. May shows here that his writing skills do not just rely on his love of the Shetlands. A Canadian detective, Sime Mackenzie, flies out to investigate the murder of a millionaire in his luxurious Gulf of St Lawrence home. As Mackenzie’s investigation takes shape, a tangle of insomnia, haunted dreams, and an enigmatic connection with his family’s ancient history pose challenges that test every fibre of his courage and resolution. Entry Island is available now on Kindle, and the print version will be released on 26 December.
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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00073]Price of Justice by Alan Brenham
Alan Brenham is actually Alan Brehr, a law enforcement officer and educator who has spent time on the front line, as well as preparing rookie cops for one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. Price of Justice is set in Austin, Texas, where Jason Scarsdale is struggling to keep his career as a detective on track. Consumed by grief and guilt at the recent death of his wife, he has the distasteful task of investigating the deaths of two local paedophiles. Scarsdale is trying be both mum and dad to his young daughter, but is distracted by his attraction to a female colleague with a tragic past and a potentially dangerous future. Out now.
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Swann Dives InSwann Dives In by Charles Salzberg
Salzberg introduced us to the quixotic investigator Henry Swann in Swann’s Last Song (2008). The slightly punning title gave a flavour to the quirky tale of a skip-tracer – an operative who tracks down people on the run from either the civil or criminal justice system. Traumatised by the events in Swann’s Last Song, our hero has been working at a menial but undemanding job. Lured back into the PI game, he discovers that the world of dealers in rare books and manuscripts is not exactly bound in luxurious leather. The story is largely dialogue-driven, and takes us to Boston, New York and London. Available now.
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Cold As IceCold as Ice by Lee Weeks
This is the follow-up to last year’s Dead of Winter, where we were introduced to a rather wet-behind-the-ears police officer, DC Ebony Willis, and the grim streets of North London. When a woman’s body is found in the icy waters of a suburban canal, Willis is convinced that there has been foul play, despite her more experienced colleagues marking the death down as an unfortunate accident. Ever in the thick of things, Willis puts herself right at the heart of the hunt for a savage killer, as she makes herself available to pose as the next victim. Cold As Ice is available now.
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sacrificeSacrifice by Max Kinnings
In Kinnings’ first book in this series, Baptism, we met the blind hostage negotiator Ed Mallory. His was blinded when one of his operations which went badly wrong, and new Mallory must use all his remaining senses to stay in the job. In Baptism, he faced an underground train hi-jacking. Here, he tries to face down a nameless but murderous criminal who has kidnapped a disgraced former City financier and his family. The kidnapper is a victim of the financier’s greed and incompetence, and Kinnings quotes the third American president: “Sometimes the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Jefferson might have added, “and bankers.” Sacrifice is out now.
Buy now on Amazon

Bangkok CowboyBangkok Cowboy by Ron McMillan
On the humid and dangerous streets of the Thai capital, almost anything can happen, and probably will. On Soi Cowboy, a red-light district in Bangkok, it is a given that this short thoroughfare will produce a long list of crimes, deceptions, violent acts and deeds of depravity. Mason is a British Army veteran who is washed up trying to earn a living as a PI among the libidinous tourists and raddled expats in SE Asia’s least salubrious holiday venue. McMillan pursues a good line in puns, as Mason is partnered with a Thai buddy called… wait for it… Dixie. Dixie is an alluring ladyboy, but it is no laughing matter when the pair have to battle a local mobster and save a missing American accountant. Available now.
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thecandidateThe Candidate by Daniel Pembrey
We’re not quite sure what to make of Kindle Singles – they seem to be just like normal digital books, only shorter. Like novellas. The Candidate is set in Luxembourg, where Nick Thorneycroft is working as a headhunter recruiting executives for a Russian corporation. When a perfect candidate swoops by who’s too elusive to recruit, an ex-girlfriend turns up unexpectedly, and there are upheavals in Russia, it looks like Nick’s own head is on the line. At 159 pages, new author Daniel Pembrey’s The Candidate has gone to the top of the Kindle Singles UK thriller chart. “I am a former Amazon employee and now a full time author. Gamekeeper to poacher, you could say!” says Pembrey.
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