The Final Hour

Posted on: June 23, 2017

Friday Reads

The Final Hour

by Tom Wood

This week Jennie in editorial is recommending The Final Hour by BBC Radio 2 Book Club bestseller, Tom Wood:

Bestselling author, Tom Wood returns with a unique and gasp-inducing Victor the Assassin thriller that turns all your expectation on their head . . .

Agent Antonio Alvarez has been tracking a dangerous murderer for years, a nameless hitman responsible for numerous homicides. The Agency deflected him away from his search, but he didn’t give up, piecing together clues and hearsay. Now a promotion has allowed him to pursue this man with a hand-picked team and bring him to justice.

Only problem is, the murderer has vanished.

Thousands of miles away, the assassin known as Victor has stopped working – recently he began to care; he made mistakes. Now he has a choice: whether to give up the life or return to being a cold-hearted weapon. But there’s another killer who needs his help – and she might be harder to refuse . . .

All while the good guys are closing in on him.

If you’re after a fast-paced and thrilling novel, this is going to keep you on the edge of your seat until you’ve turned the very last page.

Match Up

Posted on: June 16, 2017

Friday Reads

For the first time ever . . . Lee Child’s Jack Reacher teams up with Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan to unmask a cunning killer. Val McDermid’s Tony Hill and Carol Jordan work with Peter James’s Roy Grace on a very unusual murder case. These are just some of the never-been-before pairings in Match Up.

For me, there are few things more exciting than my favourite fiction characters coming together.  When Nancy Drew met the Hardy Boys . . . when Mickey Mouse met Roger Rabbit . . . and, of course, when The Simpsons met The Griffins. You can imagine my delight, then, when I heard about an epic anthology featuring co-written stories from the world’s best thriller writers, bringing together some of my favourite characters. Edited by Lee Child, this one-of-a-kind collection delivers eleven short stories, each one as brilliant as the last. From foot fetishists to Rambo, there is something for everyone and it’s an absolute must-read for crime fans.

The Frangipani Tree Mystery

Posted on: June 2, 2017

Friday Reads

Krystyna Green, publishing director at Constable, recommends The Frangipani Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu.

This is Ovidia’s first in a new series, The Crown Colony Mysteries.  The Frangipani Tree Mystery is set in Singapore in 1936, where the British abdication crisis and rising Japanese threat seem far away. When the nanny looking after the Acting Governor’s daughter dies suddenly, Mission School educated local girl SuLin – an aspiring journalist trying to escape an arranged marriage – takes her place. But then another murder at the residence occurs and it takes all SuLin’s traditional skills and intelligence to help British born Chief Inspector Thomas LeFroy solve the murders – and escape with her own life.

Ovidia herself is based in Singapore and is a bit of a celebrity due to her appearance on a long-running TV quiz show out there; older people recognise her in the street!  We asked her what inspired her to write this and Ovidia says: ‘The Frangipani Tree Mystery has its roots in an historical book I tried to write while spending three months in South Korea, in the Toji Cultural Centre. I think it was being away from Singapore and trying to explain Singapore to people who knew nothing about it that made me think more about what it means to be Singaporean. It also made me realise how much I love this island city I’ve always taken for granted, and how little I know about its history. Also, both my parents died recently and this book is set in pre-World War II Singapore, when they would have been growing up, and researching and writing it gave me a chance to think about their lives back then. My late mother was a great fan of Agatha Christie and I think she would have liked this book.’

And we are sure all of you will too!

A High Mortality of Doves

Posted on: May 26, 2017

Friday Reads

This week Ellie in editorial is recommending A High Mortality of Doves:

On this sunny bank holiday weekend, where better to escape to than the past? Specifically 1919. From the pen of the incredible author of the Wesley Peterson novels, Kate Ellis has written a brilliant and shocking historical thriller that’ll take you on a twisty and unexpected journey – even if you’re just sitting at home.

Barely a year after the end of WW1 and the Derbyshire village of Wenfield is still reeling from four terrible years of war, and now, just when the village is coming to terms with the loss of so many of its sons, the brutal murder of a young girl shatters its hard-won tranquillity. Myrtle Bligh is found stabbed and left in woodland, her mouth brutally slit to accommodate a dead dove, a bird of peace. And then two more women are found murdered in identical circumstances. With rumours of a ghostly soldier with a painted face being spotted near the scene of the murders, the village is thrown into a state of panic – and with the killer still on the loose, who will be the next to die at the hands of this vicious angel of death?

A powerful story of loss, malice and deception, Kate Ellis’s novel will keep you guessing all the way through to its final, unexpected twist. What other book would you want keeping you company in the garden?

The Bone Ritual

Posted on: May 19, 2017

Friday Reads

The Bone Ritual

by Julian Lees

This week’s recommended read The Bone Ritual comes from Krystyna Green, Publishing Director at Constable:

Location is everything in this debut police procedural-with-a-difference from Julian Lees, who himself has spent the past 20 years living in South East Asia. His protagonist, Ruud Pujasumarta, is an Indonesian detective based in the capital city, and as we become immersed in the novel, it’s Jakarta that springs to life with its sights and smells, the heat, dirt and dust rising from the streets, the local fast food available at every corner, and the noise… it’s just the overwhelming multicultural, multiracial feel of the place that thrills and makes you want to visit!

The crimes Ruud and his team have to solve are gory, complex – and surprising – but while their investigations tick every box in what you would expect from a thrilling crime novel, it’s the city that stays in your mind long after you’ve turned the final page.  Fortunately we plan to return to Jakarta – and Ruud! – later on this year as we have book 2, The Burnings, coming in October.

Secrets of Death

Posted on: May 12, 2017

Friday Reads

Secrets of Death

by Stephen Booth

This week Jennie in editorial is recommending Secrets of Death:

If you’re looking for a weekend away, where better to go than the atmospheric and stunning Peak District. This also happens to be the location of Stephen Booth’s most daring and clever Cooper & Fry thriller yet.

Locals living in the Peak District are used to having tourists descend on its idyllic landscape, however one summer brings a different kind of visitor – one that leaves behind bodies and secrets . . .

A series of suicides throughout the Peaks throws Detective Inspector Ben Cooper and his team into a race against time to find a connection to these seemingly random acts – without predicting where the next body will turn up. And what if there is one victim whose fate wasn’t suicide at all?

An utterly compelling and page-turning read, Secrets of Death is full of unexpected twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end.

The City of Lies

Posted on: May 5, 2017

Friday Reads

The City of Lies

by Michael Russell

This week’s recommended read The City of Lies comes from Ellie in Editorial:

If you can’t get enough of historical thrillers, Michael Russell is your man. Evocative and compelling, The City of Lies is the fourth book featuring likeable Irish detective Stefan Gillespie. This outing sees Stefan travelling right to the heart of Nazi Germany on a sensitive mission for the Irish government. But that’s not all that’s going on… In Ireland, four people lie brutally murdered at a Wicklow racing stable – a riot at an Irish racecourse has unlikely connections to a British double agent and the German embassy in Dublin – and in Berlin an Irishwoman waits to be guillotined for a murder she didn’t commit. As per usual, Detective Inspective Stefan Gillespie is forced back into a world where crime, espionage and politics converge – all as Hitler’s invasion of England grows increasing likely…

With so much on the line, Stefan’s exploits are complex but always compelling. The Independent describes the author’s style as ‘easy, fluent, clear, always calm and never over-heated. The result is an exciting comfort read, which sounds like a paradox but isn’t.’ So as the weather continues to disappoint (despite the promises of summer), grab yourself a copy of The City of Lies and lose yourself in the darkness of WWII Europe…

Murder on the Pilgrims Way

Posted on: April 28, 2017

Friday Reads

This week’s recommended read Murder on the Pilgrims Way comes from Krystyna Green, publishing director at Constable:

Murder on the Pilgrims Way is Julie Wassmer’s fourth book in her Whitstable Pearl Mystery series, which is really taking off now; the Daily Mail has charged Julie with ‘putting Whitstable on the map’ while the recent Sunday Times article on Pearl’s Whitstable has sent TV production companies banging on Julie’s door – she has form, after all, being a former EastEnders scriptwriter!

This time around we move inland, away from the coast, to a perfect country house which has been turned into a hotel-cum-cookery school – and of course murder is on the menu.   Pearl has been sent to the Villa Pellegrini by her mother – it’s a birthday surprise, but Pearl feels it’s a bit of busman’s holiday as she knows how to cook… and really doesn’t like the Italian celebrity chef who is tutoring the group.  And then the first murder happens…

With longer days here and warmer weather on the horizon (honestly!) this is a perfect aperitif to whet your appetite for summer, when thoughts turn to alfresco dining, drinking down by the river – and murder, naturally.  This is The Crime Vault, after all!

The Fourteenth Letter

Posted on: April 14, 2017

Friday Reads

The Fourteenth Letter

by Claire Evans

As the long Easter weekend begins, Ed in editorial is recommending The Fourteenth Letter:

Here’s something fun, macabre and fascinating for the brightening spring: a lose-yourself-in-it debut set as one world – that of Queen Victoria and the cosy certainty of Empire– was withering, and another one less predictable, one budding. This latter was a time when electricity was like magic, ideas such as eugenics were heading down very dark paths, and in which America was becoming the glamorous centre of the world.

In this milieu Evans sets in chain a mystery centred around timid legal clerk William Lamb, who becomes embroiled in an underworld of violence, a clandestine upper-class cult and his own search for identity after the murder of an aristocratic bride at her engagement party. It’s immense fun – author Claire Evans knows a thing or two about storytelling, having worked for a long time with BBC Drama and now for the producers of The Missing. Best of all is native American criminal on the run Savannah Shelton, who teaches young William just what a hero looks like, all swagger and quips.

Perfect entertainment.

Still Dark by Alex Gray

Posted on: April 7, 2017

Friday Reads

Still Dark

by Alex Gray

This week, Lucy from Sphere is shouting about Still Dark by Alex Gray:

The sun may be shining but this week I’m recommending Still Dark, Alex Gray’s brilliant new novel. It’s been said that Gray ‘brings Glasgow to life in the same way Rankin does Edinburgh’ and this is certainly true of her latest outing, which takes the reader to the seedy underbelly of Glasgow’s city streets and explores the darker side of humanity. The story starts with a traumatic incident that leaves DCI Lorimer suffering from PTSD. As he struggles to return to duty, Lorimer spots a link between the deaths of a number of known addicts and a previous case involving the euthanasia of vulnerable patients. It’s gripping, pacy and at times very affecting – Gray truly is the queen of Glaswegian crime fiction and I can’t recommend this enough.