Gyles Brandreth does the Ripper thing

On the Radar — Were your socks knocked off when you found out that Gyles Brandreth – former Tory MP and TV personality – has written a novel based on the Jack the Ripper case? Well, it floored one or two of the CFL team, that’s for sure. We’ve been floored in a different way too, by some of the great-looking new releases this week as we report on the return of the Good Thief, a Norwegian novel featuring Bergen detective Varg Veum and the intriguing book Fierce Kingdom. Read on…

Jack the Ripper: Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth
Who better to solve the Jack the Ripper case than Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and lead detective Police Chief Macnaghten? It may seem fanciful but TV presenter Gyles Brandreth has taken the real-life friendship between Wilde and Conan Doyle as a starting point. Macnaghten was also Wilde’s neighbour and so we have a novel angle to a notorious case that has been retold countless times. Ex-politician and general wordsmith Brandreth has blended these curious facts into a murder mystery, writing about a return of the Ripper in the year 1894, six years after the real-life Whitechapel murders. Out 22 June.
Pre-order on Amazon

Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam by Chris Ewan
Republished by the author himself, The Good Thief’s Guide series of humorous crime-inspired travel books returns on 20 June. You can accompany the thief to Las Vegas, Berlin, Paris, Venice or the Dutch capital. In this particular episode, Charlie Howard is approached by an American who wants him to steal two identical and worthless monkey effigies from separate addresses. Just the sort of thing he’s perfect for, but he says ‘no’ and that might just be his undoing. We’ll be bringing you a review of the Vegas story soon.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen
Death comes a’knocking at myriad doors in this feverishly awaited addition to the Varg Veum series from Norway – out now for Kindle, 15 June in print. Veum is still in mourning following the death of Karin, the love of his life and he has turned to his other great love – aquavit – to dull the pain. Then traces of child pornography are found on his computer and he is thrown into prison. But who has planted the material and how can he clear his name and/or get his revenge from behind bars? This is Veum’s toughest case yet and one that will test him to the very limit… Watch for our review.
Buy now on Amazon

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
The ‘fierce kingdom’ of the title is that place where parents – mothers in particular – go to find the strength and courage to do anything to protect their children. Anything. And so it happens that Joan and her son Lincoln are at the zoo one day, they’re trapped, and there’s a man with a gun looking for them. We expect it to be tense, and there’s a buzz going around about this book, but you’ll be able to find the full verdict in our review. Released 15 June.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Sherlock Holmes: The Labyrinth of Death by James Lovegrove
Out now, James Lovegrove’s pastiche on Holmes dabs a touch of steampunk and fantasy into the mix but the gentleman detectives will be familiar to all. Holmes and Watson are called in by an anxious high court judge whose daughter is missing. Hannah Nicholls was herself investigating the disappearance of a friend and, adding a suitably sinister tone, a religious sect called the Elysians is implicated. There have already been three deaths from this group but they need to infiltrate the cult to find out more. The previous Lovegrove book Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows was reviewed here.
Buy now on Amazon

The Fear of 13 by Nick Yarris
Subtitled ‘Countdown to execution’, this is the the author’s true story. Sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a woman he had never met, Yarris spent 22 years on Death Row, submitting appeal after appeal – he was finally freed after DNA tests proved him to be an innocent man. The story of how Yarris managed to survive the horrors of the American penal system is a complex and fascinating one. Previously published with the subtitle: 7 Days to Live, this is a newly edited story with additional information. Out 15 June in print, available now for Kindle.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Mayfly by James Hazel
Lawyer Charlie Priest is attacked by a man searching for information. Priest is an ex-policeman with a serial killer brother and his own mental health concerns. The next day a mutilated body is discovered in the woods and it turns out to be the attacker. Priest is the prime suspect and has to clear his name but he soon runs up against the House of Mayfly – a secret society with antennae going all the way back to the end of World War II. We are promised some gore in a gruesome and macabre thriller with a compelling protagonist. Available 15 June.
Pre-order on Amazon

Men on the Hill by Oliver E Cadam
Detective DCI David Lehrer has had his share of difficulties policing the Suffolk ports and London. He has moved to the Lake District in the north of England but this step-down to retirement is not smooth as all is not well in this rural idyll. There are plenty of tensions with the local economy tanking, dwindling tourism and countryside vandalism. Two families are living on a remote Lakeland hillside harbouring petty resentments and mutual jealousies. Murder soon raises its ugly head and Lehrer again finds himself exploring the seamier side of human nature. This is the second in the DCI Lehrer series. Out now.
Buy now on Amazon

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