Marshes, monkeys, kings and assassins…

On the Radar — Can’t wait to tuck into Karen Dionne’s novel, The Marsh King’s Daughter. It’s said to be like Room in that the main character was born in captivity. Claustrophobic. And it’s said to be like The Revenant on account of it involving an insane hunt for some terrible force-of-nature killer. This week we’ve also got monkeys doing no evil, drug mules, assassins, and murderous dictators, among other things. But let’s start off with The Marsh King.

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The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne
If the title sounds familiar, then you’ve probably read Hans Christian Andersen, whose tale is quoted at the start of this book, released this week. There’s no hint of fairy tale in this thriller though – the Marsh King of the title is a notorious child abductor. Similar to Room, his daughter, Helena, was born in captivity, the child of one of his victims, and now her father has escaped from maximum security prison, she’s  the only person who has the skills to track him. But with her own children in danger, is that such a great idea?
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The Fourth Monkey by JD Barker
The Fourth Monkey Killer, more simply known as 4MK, has had veteran Detective Sam Porter on the case for years. The first three monkeys ’see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ are well known but 4MK has added ‘do no evil’ and is exacting serial killer style vigilante revenge on those that do. Porter has been receiving a steady trickle of grisly mementos from the bodies of the victims. It’s an intriguing serial killer tale set in Chicago with exotic, stomach churning murders and an obsessive cop in the chase. Our review is coming soon and it is out now for Kindle and on 27 June in print.
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American Static by Tom Pitts
Steven is a drug mule on his way to San Francisco when he gets beaten-up and his weed is stolen. A man named Quinn steps in to help but the return favour is to find his daughter, Teresa, in San Francisco. Quinn has plenty of secrets and a mile-wide violent streak. With a chasing pack including cops and other sadists life soon gets complicated for Steven. This promises to be a fast-paced, dark and edgy thriller that’s out now in paperback. Pitts has pedigree – his novel Hustle received a five-star review. The ebook is released 26 June and our review is coming soon.
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The Final Hour by Tom Wood
People known by a single name are usually a force to be reckoned with – think of Pele or Beyonce – and enigmatic assassin Victor is no exception. The third book in the Victor series, out 29 June, sees our hero caught in the crosshairs, target of a US intelligence official who wants him caught, fast. But when the chips are down, can this habitually lone wolf go against all his instincts and trust another person with his life?
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Murder in Saint Germain by Cara Black
Private investigator Aimee Leduc is in Paris in 1999 when she is met by Suzanne Lesage from a counterterrorism squad. Lesage is convinced that she is being hunted down by a vengeful Serbian warlord called Marco Vladic. Only he is supposed to be dead. Aimee takes on the case but she’s got another one on the boil and an eight-month-old baby to handle. Initial investigations raise nothing but then members of Suzanne’s team begin to die. This is now the 17th outing for Black’s stylish Parisian PI with a complicated personal life. Released 22 June.
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The Ultimatum by Karen Robards
A new series from Karen Robards is cause for celebration if romantic suspense is your bag. Meet Bianca St Ives, high-end thief, card sharp and mistress of disguise. She runs a multinational business with her father, making a living by swindling con artists out of the money they’ve pinched and returning it to their victims – Robina Hood, 21st century style. Then a mission goes awry and Bianca’s father is killed. Or is he? It’s up to Bianca to find out what really happened… Out now.
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Foreign Relations by Rebecca Forster
On 1 July look out for the second book featuring Finn O’Brien and his partner Cori Anderson of the Wilshire division of the LAPD. It starts in hellish fashion, as a woman hurtles from an overpass and her car explodes into a ball of flames. An accident? Finn doesn’t think so and soon he is investigating amongst a community of African exiles living in LA looking for a vengeful Third World despot. The author was a writing instructor at UCLA and has published over 35 crime and crime-related books.
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Choose Your Parents Wisely by Tom Trott
This is the second book featuring the Brighton private detective Joe Grabarz. He is searching for a missing girl but it is bringing back bitter memories of his first case and some hard learned lessons. It seems half of Brighton, including the police and a small army of concerned citizens, are also out looking. Trott’s debut novel You Can’t Make Old Friends took us on a ride around the low spots and seamier side of Brighton. As the deliciously retro noir cover suggests Grabarz is an old school hard-boiled PI with his own moral code in a dirty world. Out now.
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Catch up with last week’s new releases here.

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