The flavour of French noir

On the Radar — This week sees new releases from two of France’s finest contemporary novelists: Fred Vargas and Pascal Garnier. So, get ready for a holiday featuring murder and intrigue that will take you from Paris to the wild mountains of Western France. We’ve also got news on Tess Gerritsen’s latest, trouble in the American wilderness, and a serial killer in Northern Ireland. Read on and decide which books will make it into your to-be-read pile.

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The Accordionist by Fred Vargas
Louis Kehlweiler is the second of French author Fred Vargas’ Three Evangelists. Having appeared in Dog Will Have His Day, the former special investigator returns here to help a young accordionist out of a tight spot. Clement Vanquer is wanted for murder because he was seen playing outside the apartments of two Parisienne women who were killed. The musician is lying low with Marthe, an ex-prostitute who happens to be friends with Kehlweiler. Interesting dust cover with this one – it’s printed with a distressed look to it. Out 17 August.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Low Heights by Pascal Garnier
We are in France again with this week’s second book, but well away from the bustling capital. Low Heights takes us to a mountain village, where elderly Edouard Lavenant has moved with his nurse, Therese. Lavenant has a temper, and when a man shows up claiming to be the old man’s long lost son, he takes things one step too far. As the cover suggests, vultures will be circling above in the latest by an author who some claim is the heir to Georges Simenon. We’ve previously reviewed The Front Seat Passenger. Out 14 August.
Pre-order now on Amazon

I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen
Number 12 in the much-loved Rizzoli and Isles series sees the duo working together on a most perplexing case. Homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are called to the scene when a horror movie producer is murdered. Her eyes have been removed, but Isles is stumped as to cause of death and when another victim is found a couple of days later, she again struggles at the autopsy. Dark and deadly secrets are behind the deaths, but is the one person who can unravel the mystery willing to spill the beans? Out 10 August but if you can’t wait that long, read our Tess Gerritsen interview here.
Pre-order on Amazon

A Promise to Kill by Erik Storey
Former ranch hand, wilderness guide, dogsled musher, hunter, bartender and locksmith Storey must surely find writing a book a bit of a comedown? Luckily, in Clyde Barr he has created a character who likes to live on the edge. Here, loner Barr’s plans for a solitary summer of hunting and horseback riding go awry when he finds himself in the middle of a battle to save a Native American reservation. Never one to turn down a challenge, Barr is soon embroiled in a fight that threatens to turn bloody. Out 10 August.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Little Bird by Sharon Dempsey
There’s a killer on the streets of Belfast. Declan Wells is a forensic psychologist disabled due by a car bomb during the Troubles. Horrifically, his daughter is murdered at her sister’s wedding. It’s all very personal for him. Taking on the investigation is Welsh detective, Anna Cole, newly arrived with the Police Service Northern Ireland and who is leaving behind her own ghosts. She soon finds the grim memento of a dead bird with its eye removed at the scene. Complicated personal relationships and Belfast, a city with more character than most, promise a debut serial killer thriller to savour. Available now.
Buy now on Amazon

Blood Orange by Brenda Smalling
It’s the mid-1980s and the living is easy in rural Florida, but trouble is emanating from the orange glades. There’s been a sudden influx of cocaine and Sheriff Gabe McAllister is struggling to find a way to stop the drugs from entering his county. He’s helped in the fight by Nora Hollister, but as things turn nasty and Nora’s neighbour is killed, she and Gabs must battle their growing attraction as well as the dangerous cartels. Out 5 August.
Pre-order now on Amazon

Dark Water by Simon Thould
Alex Rafter is a former soldier and sniper with the kind of skills that come in handy to track down a missing girl, Jacqueline. That’s what the girl’s mother, Madeleine, reckons when she appears at his cabin door. Rafter strikes off into the New Forest to hunt for her with his rescued dog, Lonely. He needs some help from Gabriel Montero, another former soldier, and some local Hell’s Angels as he traces Jac to downtown Southampton. With his own nightmares never far behind and people traffickers looming ahead Rafter is soon embroiled in a fast-paced thriller. Out 3 Aug.
Pre-order on Amazon

Read about last week’s new releases here.

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