Thriller round up

Looking for a thriller to read? These new ones might fit the bill.The laughing monsters

The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson –Freetown, Sierra Leone. A city of heat and dirt, of guns and militia. Alone in its crowded streets, Captain Roland Nair has been given a single assignment. He must find Michael Adriko – maverick, warrior and the man who has saved Nair’s life three times and risked it many more. The two men have schemed, fought and profited together in the most hostile regions of the world. But on this new level – espionage, state secrets, treason – their loyalties will be tested to the limit

Patrick Hoffman’s debut is The White Van, a heist thriller set in San FranciscoThe Whites intercutting the stories of addict Emily, who is lured to a hotel room by Russian gangsters and drugged so that she is pliable enough to use as a stooge in a bank robbery, and Leo Elias, a hapless, alcoholic cop whose “investigation” into the robbery goes horribly wrong. Hoffman is a former private investigator in San-Fran and captures the world well with pared-down prose. With black comedy and suspense, The White Van channels ‘Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake to exhilarating and unexpected effect’.

The Whites by Harry Brandt – Billy Graves is still a New York cop working nights despite being a former member of a group of officers who called themselves the Wild Geese – “a tight crew given a ticket to ride in one of the worst precincts of the East Bronx”. These Geese each had their “whites” –  criminals who committed awful offences but were clever and devious enough to get away. After Graves finds one of his whites stabbed to death, he hears that other Geese’s whites have met a similar fate. Justice or something more sinister? The Whites is chilling stuff, especially when Graves’s family is tormented by a stalker, and explores the limits of loyalty and integrity.

The white vanGun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty – Belfast, 1985. Gunrunners on the borders, riots in the cities, ‘The Power of Love’ on the radio. And somehow, in the middle, Detective Inspector Sean Duffy is hanging on, a Catholic policeman in the hostile Royal Ulster Constabulary. Duffy is initially left cold by the murder of a wealthy couple, shot dead while watching TV. And when their troubled son commits suicide, leaving a note that appears to take responsibility for the deaths, it seems the case is closed. But something doesn’t add up, and people keep dying. Soon Duffy is on the trail of a mystery that will pit him against shadowy US intelligence forces, and take him into the white-hot heart of the biggest political scandal of the decade.  Anyone missing Inspector Banks might like McKinty

Peter Swanson – The Kind Worth Killing begins as a homage to Strangers on a Train, with dotcom chancer Ted Severton meeting ethereal-but-tough Lily in a bar at Heathrow. As they share the journey home, he makes a confession: his wife is having an affair – and he, Ted, wants to kill her. Far from being horrified, Lily understands his impulse completely … This is a smart, addictive novel about warped affinities – broken, damaged souls finding each other and making mayhem. Swanson knows how to get readers rooting for psychopathic monsters: simply show how they became what they are.  The Girl With a Clock for a Heart was his debut thriller in2014.

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