Will you answer?

On the Radar — This week’s new releases report begins with a sinister video phone call from a killer who wants to show off their handiwork. Will you be answering the call of Chris Carter’s latest thriller? There are another TEN novels for you to survey this week, featuring everything from skeletons in Norwich to Washington intrigue, and even some whale killing on the Faroe Islands. It’s our biggest ever On the Radar offering – do let us know which books you’re planning to pick up in the comments beneath.

The Caller by Chris Carter
Number eight in the series featuring LAPD Detective Robert Hunter is out on 23 February. Hunter is a man with a unique selling point – he’s a genius who uses his supreme skills as a criminal profiler to get inside the head of a killer. Carter’s own background as a criminal psychologist must have come in pretty handy here. Prepare to meet a new depth of evil, in a serial murderer whose modus operandi will definitely turn the stomach. Suddenly, you’ll want to memorise simple details about your nearest and dearest and accepting a simple Skype call will never be the same again.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Chalk Pit, Elly GriffithsThe Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
They have found boiled human bones in underground tunnels beneath Norwich. Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist, is called in and soon finds these are no historical relics. DCI Harry Nelson, father to Ruth’s young daughter, is investigating the disappearance of homeless rough sleepers. The strands are soon entwined. Griffiths has a well established cast of characters, an atmospheric setting in the Norfolk landscape and a gift for storytelling. No surprise that the last book in this series was given a five-star review by us here. This is now the ninth in the Galloway series and it will be released 23 Feb.
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Ragdoll, Daniel ColeRagdoll by Daniel Cole
A body is found but, gruesomely, it is made up of dismembered parts coming from six victims. The London duo tasked with tracking down the Ragdoll Killer are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter. The high concept plot betrays its origins as a screenplay for a television pilot that Cole has now re-written as a novel. A twisted serial killer and a gory premise lead us down a dark rabbit hole with echoes of Se7en. This debut novel from Debut Cole has had social media dizzy in anticipation. The book is released 23 Feb, and we have a review planned.
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Written in Bones, James OswaldWritten in Bones by James Oswald
There is a body hanging in a tree in The Meadows, the parkland in the centre of Edinburgh. The victim has a colourful past: disgraced ex-cop and then criminal kingpin before morphing into a philanthropist. He also seems to have been dropped from a great height. Detective Inspector Tony McLean and the team are back in this seventh book in the series to investigate. There are Rankin-esque overtones in a police procedural that delves into Edinburgh’s dark underbelly – but Oswald has been known to add a dash of the paranormal. We reviewed the last book in the series here. Released 23 Feb and our review is coming soon.
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The Follower by Koethi Zan
It was the summer of 2013 when Koethi Zan’s The Never List was published, to great fanfare… and a five star review on Crime Fiction Lover. Now she is back, with another stand-alone thriller that sounds as dark and disturbing as the first. Julia and Cora live very different lives – one is a happy and contented, loved and cherished daughter, the other is the downtrodden wife of a psychopath, but when their worlds collide and they are trapped together, the pair realise they must pool resources if they are to survive. But who can they trust to set them free? Out 23 February.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott
She’s been described as ‘the UK’s e-publishing sensation’, with sales figures that other authors can only dream of, and we’ve been following Rachel Abbott’s meteoric rise since the start, with Only the Innocent. The Sixth Window, out on 21 February, is number five in the DCI Tom Douglas series and we find our hero investigating the apparent suicide of a teenage girl. But what prompted her to jump? Meanwhile, across the city of Manchester, another young girl is hearing voices…

The Shining City by Tom Rosenstiel
Here’s a book chiming with current American politics, though the president in The Shining City seems a little more diligent than the one currently in the role. He’s hired Peter Rena and Randi Brooks to vet a Supreme Court nominee, a political maverick that stirs opinion among congress members, the press and more. As they investigate Judge Madison, a series of killings is going on in the background. Soon, it looks as though the judge might be the killer’s next target and as well as satisfying the president, their next role becomes to keep the man safe. A political thriller from one of America’s top political journalists, arriving on 21 February.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Truth Itself by James Rayburn
James Rayburn is the pseudonym of South African neo-noir author Roger Smith, the man behind the excellent Disaster Zondi series. He’s writing under a different name here because the content is completely different – The Truth Itself is a bit of a high concept international thriller. It features Kate Swift, who surprises everyone by killing two gunmen that have attacked the Vermont school attended by her six-year-old daughter. This blows her cover, because really Kate is a CIA assassin in hiding, and she’s being hunted by agents for turning whistleblower. She flees to Canada, Germany and Thailand, where she hook-up with Harry Hook, a disgraced former agent who might be able to help. Watch for our review and grab your copy on 21 Feb.
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The Killing Bay by Chris Ould
Here’s one for fans of Nordic noir, sort of. Although author Chris Ould lives in England’s Westcountry, he’s written a novel set in the Faroe Islands, which were settled by the seafaring Vikings generations ago. The book follows on from The Blood Strand, and centres on the murder of a local woman who was helping a protest group stop ‘the grind’ – the Faroese practice of rounding up pilot whales, driving them ashore, then slaughtering them with knives. Erla Sivertsen has been killed and possibly raped, and transplanted British cop DI Jan Reyna must investigate. It’s on sale from 21 February. Review on the way!
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Cross Purpose by Claire MacLeary
Arriving on the shelves on 23 Feb 2017, this book has been called Scotland’s answer to Happy Valley. It features Maggie Laird and her neighbour Big Wilma, who decide to start up their own detective agency after Maggie’s policeman husband suddenly dies. Their first case deals with a badly mutilated body, and the investigation takes these mature, urban women into the sink estates of Aberdeen where police corruption and gang activity could be behind the murder. The friendship and loyalty of the pair are juxtaposed with the gritty reality of crime as well as dark humour.
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Agents of the State by Mike Nicol
The South African writer and academic Mike Nicol usually sets his stories in Cape Town, but this time opts for international espionage. Agent Vicki Kahn’s mission is to catch a child trafficker – but this is a child trafficker with a difference. She’s a top fashion model with political connections and things get even more complicated when Vicki Kahn’s quarry is herself killed. Meanwhile, Kahn’s private detective boyfriend is working a separate case – the murder of a rebel colonel from the Central African Republic in broad daylight, in Cape Town. Find out what happens on 21 February. We’ll bring you the review soon.
Pre-order now on Amazon

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