A crime fan’s delight plus thrillers – new this week

The hangman's song

Our crime novel of the week is James Oswald The hangman’s song 

Bit Ian Rankin-ish, it’s the third Inspector McLean book, set in Edinburgh.

 The body of a man is founding hanging in an empty house. To the Edinburgh police force this appears to be a simple suicide case. Days later another body is found. The body is hanging from an identical rope and the noose has been tied using the same knot. Then a third body is found. As McLean digs deeper he descends into a world where the lines of reality are blurred and that the most irrational answers become the only explanations.

Crime translation of the week is The ghost riders of Ordebec  by French Fred Vargas, a Crime Writers Association Dagger winner  ‘People will die,’ says the panic-stricken woman outside police headquarters. She has been standing in blazing sunshine for more than an hour, and refuses to speak to anyone besides Commissaire Adamsberg. Her daughter has seen a vision: ghostly horsemen who target the most nefarious characters in Normandy. Since the middle ages there have been stories of murderers, rapists, those with serious crimes on their conscience, meeting a grizzly end following a visitation by the riders
Bates, Q  Chilled to the bone When a shipowner is found dead, tied to a bed in one of Reykjavik’s smartest hotels, sergeant Gunnhildur Gisladottir of the city police force sees no evidence of foul play but still suspects things are not as cut and dried as they seem. And as she investigates the shipowner’s untimely – and embarrassing – demise, she stumbles across a discreet bondage society whose members are being systematically exploited and blackmailed. But how does all this connect to a local gangster recently returned to Iceland after many years abroad, and the unfortunate loss of a government laptop containing sensitive data about various members of the ruling party?

Hilary  Someone else’s skin  Some secrets keep you safe, others will destroy you. Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. Dependable; fierce; brilliant at her job; a rising star in the ranks. Everyone knows how Marnie fought to come back from the murder of her parents, but very few know what is going on below the surface

James, PD  Death in holy orders       This story is set in an Anglican theological college on a desolate stretch of the East Anglian coast. When the body of one of the students is found, his wealthy father demands that Scotland Yard should re-examine the verdict of accidental death

Marias  The infatuations Every day, María Dolz stops at the same cafe. And every day she watches a couple following the same routine. Then one day they aren’t there. She comes across a photograph of the man, lying stabbed in the street. When the woman returns with her children, who are then collected by a different man, a new light is shed on the death. Crime translated from Spanish

McDermid  Cross and burn  Guilt and grief have driven a wedge between long time crime-fighting partners psychologist Tony Hill and ex-DCI Carol Jordan. But just because they’re not talking doesn’t mean the killing stops. Someone is killing women. Women who bear a disturbing resemblance to Carol Jordan. And when the evidence begins to point in a disturbing direction, thinking the unthinkable seems the only possible answer. Cornered by events, Tony and Carol are forced to fight for themselves and each other as never before Crime/thriller

McNamee  Blue is the night  1949. Lance Curran is set to prosecute a young man for a brutal murder, in the ‘Robert the Painter’ case, one which threatens to tear society apart. In the searing July heat, corruption and justice vie as Harry Ferguson, Judge Curran’s fixer, contemplates the souls of men adrift, and his own fall from grace with the beautiful and wilful Patricia. Within three years, Curran will be a judge, his 19-year-old daughter dead, at the hands of a still unknown murderer, and his wife Doris condemned to an asylum for the rest of her days. In ‘Blue Is the Night’, it is Doris who finally emerges from the fog of deceit and blame to cast new light into the murder of her daughter – as McNamee once again explores and dramatizes a notorious and nefarious case

Parrish  The little death When the headless body of a male escort is found in the aptly named Devil’s Garden, P.I. Louis Kincaid’s client is in the frame. Determined to clear his name, Louis is forced to delve behind the bedroom doors of the wealthiest women in the county as he uncovers a series of similar murders

Robb  Thankless in death  Murder doesn’t stop for Thanksgiving. As the household of NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke prepares for an invasion of family and friends, an ungrateful son decides to stop the nagging from his parents – by ending their lives. Soon Jerald Reinhold is working his way through anyone who has ever thwarted him in his path to an easy life. Eve is increasingly frustrated in her efforts to cover all the potential victims as Jerald stays a terrifying step ahead. As the festivities begin, Eve is desperate to identify which victim on Jerald’s long list will be the next, so she can stop the killing spree

Seaman  The killing of Emma Gross  Dusseldorf prostitue Emma Gross has been murdered and the police have charged Peter Kurten – the ‘Vampire of Dusseldorf’, the first man ever to be called a serial killer. Murderer, yes, but did he commit this particular crime? The arresting officer, Thomas Klein, thinks not, even though Kurten has confessed. These are the dying days of Weimar Germany, the police force is increasingly divided between right and left. It is a dangerous time. Klein thinks that the real killer is somewhat closer to home. Yet the only people who can help him include a Communist journalist and the victim’s friends

Simenon  The carter of ‘la providence’ Maigret is sent to investigate the murder of a woman found in a stable at a canal lock. While carrying out his investigation, he gets acquainted with the eccentric crew of the yacht ‘Southern Cross’. Sir Lampson, the owner of the yacht and husband of the victim, Mary, and also his boatswain, Willy, attract Maigret’s suspicions as Willy was also Mary’s lover. However, the autopsy of Mary’s body reveals certain details that point Maigret’s attention to a barge called ‘The Providence’ Translated from French

Thomas  Dangerous Davies the last detective Peter Davison stars as Detective Constable Dangerous Davies in the new ITV comedy drama Dangerous Davies, The Last Detective. His latest case leads him to the unsolved murder of 17-year-old Celia Norris. This is Davies’s chance to prove his mettle Detective/mystery

Tope  Shadows in the Cotswolds When Thea Osborne agrees at the last minute to house-sit for Oliver Meadows as a favour to her mother, she expects a few days of peace with her spaniel, Hepzie. Uncomfortable with the news of her mother’s sudden involvement with an old flame, and Thea herself unsure of how to deal with her feelings for Drew Slocombe, she hopes that some time alone in the historic town of Winchcombe will help to clear her head. But, as usual, Thea quickly finds herself at the centre of a dark mystery when she discovers a dead body in the gardens of the house Crime


Brannan  Extinction    An extraordinary discovery in the Sahara desert will turn history on its head. A series of unexplained phenomena create shockwaves across the globe – a huge religious statue moves its arm, and there’s a spate of floods and earthquakes. Many think it’s the end of the world. Investigative journalist Alyssa Durham receives a call from an old friend claiming that these phenomena may not be entirely natural, but when he is assassinated in front of her, she finds herself on the run for her life

Coben, H  Six years Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for – but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for more than a decade, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life – a time he has never gotten over – is turned completely inside out

Evanovich, Janet  The chase Con artist Nicolas Fox and FBI agent Kate O’Hare return in this adventure from Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg – and the stakes are higher than ever

Fraser  Errors of judgment Behind the elegant doors of Caper Court, the elite barrister’s chamber, are the hard choices, the ethical dilemmas, the overlap between the personal and the professional, the sacrifices, the deceitful politics, the affairs and the corruption. Life at the Bar is gritty behind the gloss and Leo Davies QC is at the centre of another Caper Court drama Legal thriller

Glynn  Graveland A Wall Street investment banker is shot dead while jogging in Central Park. Later that night, one of the savviest hedge-fund managers in the city is gunned down outside a fancy Upper West Side restaurant. Are these killings part of a coordinated terrorist attack, or just coincidence? Ellen Dorsey has a hunch that it’s neither

Griffin  Hazardous Duty  The Presidential Agent adventures return in the most harrowing novel yet in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series. Mexican drug cartels are shooting up the streets of Laredo and El Paso. Somali pirates are holding three U.S. tankers for ransom. The President is fed up and has what he thinks is a pretty bright idea-to get hold of Colonel Charley Castillo and his merry band and put them on the case   Spy thriller

Loubiere  The stone boy  When the elderly Madame Preau returns to her own house after several years spent in a convalescent home, she immediately notices that the neighbourhood has changed. A new family has moved in next door and, from her window, she watches their three children playing in the garden after school. Two of the children seem perfectly healthy, but Madame Preau is struck by the third child, who seems listless and stands apart from the others. When she reports this to social services, they refuse to believe her. Cut off some years ago from her own grandson, she begins a mission to help this boy, even when those around her start to fear for her sanity. Thriller/suspense translated from French

Mills  Robert Ludlum’s The utopia experiment  With U.S. intelligence agencies wracked by internal power struggles and paralyzed by bureaucracy, the President was forced to establish his own clandestine group – Covert-One. It is only activated as a last resort. When Christian Dresner of Dresner Industries unveils a device that will revolutionise the world – the Merge, a personal computer that communicates directly with your brain – army microbiologist Colonel Jon Smith is assigned to assess its military potential. In addition to giving you the ability to control all your applications using only your mind, the Merge also gives you perfect eyesight, infrared vision, and incredibly accurate aim with a gun Suspense

Naughtie  The madness of July Will Flemyng was a spy who turned to politics and is rising to the top in the 1970s. But when a bizarre death, on one hot summer day in London, starts to unravel some of the most sensitive secrets of his government, he’s drawn back into the shadows of the Cold War and begins to dance with danger once more. Buffeted by political forces and the powerful women around him, and caught in interlocking mysteries he must disentangle, Flemyng faces his vulnerability and learns, through betrayal and tragedy, more truth about his world than he has ever known. Spy thriller by Radio 4’s Today presenter

Parker  Stalk me  When Holly is involved in a road crash, she crawls from the wreckage and is violently assaulted by the driver of the other vehicle. Before Holly blacks out, she sees tourists recording the event, prompting Holly to attack the crowd herself. Waking from months in a coma, she finds out that the clip of her attacking the onlookers has gone viral. Holly can’t bring herself to watch, until she realises they’re the only key to understanding what happened. But the people who recorded her misery are being methodically murdered, and Holly begins to realise that her accident conceals a dark secret Suspense/thriller

Rollins  Innocent blood  A vicious attack at a ranch in California thrusts archaeologist Erin Granger back into the fold of the Sanguines, an immortal order founded on the blood of Christ and tasked with protecting the world from the beasts haunting its shadows. Following the prophetic words found in the Blood Gospel – a tome written by Christ and lost for centuries – Erin must join forces with Army Sergeant Jordan Stone and Father Rhun Korza to discover and protect a boy believed to be an angel given flesh. But an enigmatic enemy of immense power and terrifying ambition seeks the same child – not to save the world, but to hasten its destruction Suspense

Smith  Lion plays rough  Leo Maxwell is a criminal defense attorney on the lookout for the big case that will make his reputation. When a mysterious woman hires him to defend her brother on a murder charge he thinks he may have found it. But things are not what they seem – he’s been set up to become the number one enemy of both a vicious gangland boss and the police. Hounded by threats from all sides, he finds himself with a price on his head and framed for murder. Leo’s a marked man unless he can somehow turn the tables. But as the bodies pile up and Leo closes in on the truth, he discovers that it is far more sinister than he imagined and forces him to question everything that he holds dear