Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Publishing Deal - Jesper Stein

Danish author Jesper Stein is to be published in English with the first of five books purchased by Mirror Books being published in July; Unrest is being translated by David Young.

From The Bookseller:
Mirror Books has acquired a five-book series by "Scandi noir sensation", Jesper Stein.

The third bestselling author in Denmark, with over 250,000 copies sold, Stein has already won "huge critical and commercial success" across Denmark, but this is the first time his work is being translated into English, said the publisher.

The first title in the series, Unrest, is due for publication in the UK on 19th July 2018.
Drawing on his experience of working as a crime reporter on a Danish newspaper, Stein introduces his "rough-hewn and complex" homicide detective, Axel Steen.

When the bound, hooded corpse of an unidentified man is found propped up against a gravestone in the central cemetery, Steen is assigned the case. Rogue camera footage soon suggests police involvement and links to the demolition of a nearby youth house, teeming with militant left-wing radicals.  But Axel soon discovers that many people, both inside and out of the force, have an unusual interest in the case – and in preventing its resolution.

With a rapidly worsening heart condition, an estranged ex-wife and beloved five-year-old daughter to contend with, Axel will not stop until the killer is caught, whatever the consequences. But the consequences turn out to be greater than expected – especially for Axel himself.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Review: Lock 13 by Peter Helton

Lock 13 by Peter Helton, December 2017, 224 pages, Severn House Publishers Ltd, ISBN: 0727887661

Reviewed by Geoff Jones.

(Read more of Geoff's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Bath based Artist/Private Investigator Chris Honeysett is financially embarrassed yet again. At least his partner Annis has found a lucrative assignment at a wealthy man's house, painting a mural. Their friend Tim has found love with Rebecca. When Chris is asked by an insurance company to investigate the suspicious death of a man they believe is still alive it seems his problems are over.

Before he can get too involved in this investigation, he is concerned that Verity, his life model, has vanished and some unsavoury characters are keen to find her. The police seem uninterested in trying to locate her and a visit to a Travellers site proves dangerous to Chris. He borrows a narrow-boat and leaves Bath behind. He hasn't reckoned on so many locks and being followed. He meets many characters including a naked rambler...

Can he find Verity? Can he earn money from the insurance company? Can he rely on Annis and Tim to help?

This is the seventh book in this excellent series. The author also writes a police procedural, but on balance I prefer this one. Chris stays just on the right side of the law (well nearly) and the description of Bath and the surrounding area add to the enjoyment. Highly recommended.

Geoff Jones, April 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Awards News: Theakston Crime Novel of the Year 2018 - Longlist

The Theakston Crime Novel of the Year longlist has been announced. Details below as appeared in The Bookseller:
The prize was created to celebrate "the very best in crime fiction" and is open to UK and Irish crime authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1st May 2017 to 30th April 2018.

The winner is announced at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, hosted in Harrogate each July.

The shortlist of six titles will be announced on 27th May, followed by a six-week promotion in libraries and in W H Smith stores nationwide. The overall winner will be decided by the panel of judges, alongside a public vote, and announced at an award ceremony hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson on 19th July, the opening night of the 16th Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. The winners will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier.

The awards night will also feature the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, with past recipients including P D James, Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill and Colin Dexter.

The longlist in full:

Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
The Midnight Line by Lee Child (Bantam)
The Seagull by Ann Cleeves (Macmillan)
Little Deaths by Emma Flint (Picador)
The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
The Dry by Jane Harper (Abacus)
Spook Street by Mick Herron (John Murray)
A Death at Fountains Abbey by Antonia Hodgson (Hodder)
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly (Hodder)
Sirens by Joseph Knox (Transworld)
The Accident on the A35 by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Saraband)
You Don't Know Me by Imran Mahmood (Penguin)
Insidious Intent by Val McDermid (Little, Brown)
The Long Drop by Denise Mina (Vintage)
A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker)
Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin (Orion)
The Intrusions by Stav Sherez (Faber)
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner (The Borough Press)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Review: Friends and Traitors by John Lawton

Friends and Traitors by John Lawton, April 2018, 352 pages, Grove Press, ISBN: 1611856221

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

It is 1958. Chief Superintendent Frederick Troy of Scotland Yard, newly promoted after good service during Nikita Khrushchev's visit to Britain, is not looking forward to a Continental trip with his older brother, Rod. Rod was too vain to celebrate being fifty so instead takes his entire family on 'the Grand Tour' for his fifty-first birthday: Paris, Sienna, Florence, Vienna, Amsterdam. Restaurants, galleries and concert halls. But Frederick Troy never gets to Amsterdam.

After a concert in Vienna he is approached by an old friend whom he has not seen for years - Guy Burgess, a spy for the Soviets, who says something extraordinary: 'I want to come home.' Troy dumps the problem on MI5 who send an agent to de-brief Burgess - but the man is gunned down only yards from the embassy, and after that, the whole plan unravels with alarming speed and Troy finds himself a suspect.
As he fights to prove his innocence, Troy finds that Burgess is not the only ghost who returns to haunt him.


This book is a very clever merger of fact and fiction, spread over a long period of time, when we first meet Frederick Troy he is contemplating going into the 'Police' and by the end of the book he is a Chief Superintendent at Scotland Yard. It chiefly details the contact that Troy has over the years with Guy Burgess and his fellow espionage contacts.

I have read almost all of the historical mystery books by John Lawton and my only complaint is that he is just not prolific enough! I appreciate that he writes a lot for TV but to write only eight Inspector Troy books and three others, that is just not good enough. So please John I do hope you write a lot more. Strongly recommended.

Terry Halligan, April 2018.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

New Releases - April 2018

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in April 2018 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). April and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.
• Anthology - Ten Year Stretch (ed. Martin Edwards)
• Arlen, Tessa - Death of an Unsung Hero #4 Lady Montfort, Edwardian Era
• Bannalec, Jean-Luc - The Fleur de Sel Murders #3 Commissioner Dupin
• Black, Tony - Her Cold Eyes #4 DI Bob Valentine
• Bolton, Sharon - The Craftsman
• Bussi, Michel - Time is a Killer
• Candlish, Louise - Our House
• Connolly, John - The Woman in the Woods #16 Charlie Parker, PI, Maine
• Conway, Aidan - A Known Evil #1 Detective Michael Rossi, Rome
• Cross, Mason Presumed Dead #5 Carter Blake, USA
• Dahl, Kjell Ola - The Ice Swimmer #8 Gunnarstranda and Frolich, Oslo Police
• Davis, Lindsey - Pandora's Boy #6 Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of Marcus Didius Falco
• Dazieri, Sandrone - Kill the Angel #2 Colomba Caselli and Dante Torre
• Dugdall, Ruth - The Things You Didn't See
• Duncan, Elizabeth J - The Marmalade Murders #9 Penny Brannigan, Nail salon owner, North Wales
• Fairfax, John - Blind Defence #2 William Benson and Tess de Vere, Lawyers
• Fraser, Anthea - Sins of the Fathers
• Grimes, Martha - The Knowledge #24 Richard Jury
• Gustawsson, Johana - Keeper #2 Roy & Castells
• Hampton, Nell - Lord of the Pies #2 Kensington Palace Chef
• Harvey, John - Body & Soul #4 Retired Detective Inspector Elder, Cornwall
• James, Ed - In for the Kill #4 DI Fenchurch, London
• Jardine, Quintin - A Brush with Death #29 Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Skinner, Edinburgh
• Jones, Philip Gwynne - Vengeance in Venice #2 Nathan Sutherland
• Kelly, Lesley - Songs by Dead Girls #2 The Health of Strangers series
• Kerr, Philip - Greeks Bearing Gifts #13 Private Detective Bernhard Gunther, 1930s Berlin
• Kiernan, Olivia - - Too Close to Breathe #1 DCS Frankie Sheehan
• Kline, Penny - The Sister's Secret
• Leon, Donna - The Temptation of Forgiveness #27 Commissario Guido Brunetti, Venice
• Lucius, Walter - Angel in the Shadows #2 Heartland Trilogy
• Malliet, G M - In Prior's Wood #7 Max Tudor, Vicar
• Manning, Max - Now You See (apa Don't Look Now) #1 DCI Fenton
• Marland, Stephanie - My Little Eye #1 DI Dominic Bell and Clementine Starke
• McGowan, Claire - The Killing House #6 Paula Maguire, Forensic psychologist, Northern Ireland
• McPherson, Catriona - Scot Free #1 Last Ditch Mysteries
• Miller, Derek B - American by Day
• Nesbo, Jo - Macbeth
• Newham, Vicki - Turn a Blind Eye #1 DI Maya Rahman
• Nugent, Liz - Skin Deep
• O'Sullivan, Darren - Our Little Secret
• Perry, Anne - Dark Tide Rising #24 Inspector Monk
• Raven, Jaime - The Rebel
• Richardson, Matthew - The Insider
• Riches, Marnie - The Girl Who Got Revenge #5 George McKenzie, Amsterdam
• Robson, Amanda - Guilt
• Scragg, Robert - What Falls Between the Cracks #1 Porter & Styles, Police Officers
• Smith, Anna - Blood Feud #1 Kerry Casey, Glasgow
• Taylor, Andrew - The Fire Court #2 Ashes of London series
• Thomson, E S - The Blood #3 Jem Flockhart, Apothecary, 1850s
• Thomson, Lesley - The Death Chamber #6 Stella Darnell
• Thorne, D B - Perfect Match
• Thorpe, Annabelle - What Lies Within
• Tope, Rebecca - The Staveley Suspect #7 Persimmon Brown, Florist, Lake District
• Vichi, Marco - Ghosts of the Past #6 Inspector Bordelli, Florence, 1960s
• Westerson, Jeri - The Deepest Grave #10 Crispin Guest, ex Knight, Medieval times
• Wolff, James - Beside the Syrian Sea (March release)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

TV News: Kiss Me First & The City & The City



A six-part adaptation of Lottie Moggach's Kiss Me First begins on Channel 4 on Easter Monday/2 April at 10pm:
Kiss Me First moves between the real and virtual animated worlds. When Leila (Tallulah Haddon) stumbles across Red Pill, a secret paradise, hidden on the edges of her favourite game, she meets Tess (Simona Brown). Tess is everything that Leila is not: hedonistic, impulsive and insatiable. So when Tess turns up in Leila's real life uninvited, Leila's world is forever changed. But then a member of the group mysteriously disappears and Leila begins to suspect that maybe the hidden sanctuary isn't the digital Eden its creator Adrian claims it to be. Now, Leila's real journey begins.


On Friday 6 April at 9pm, BBC2 begins a four-part adaptation of China Mieville's The City & The City, which stars David Morrissey.

From the BBC website:
The body of a dead girl is found at Bulkya Docks, on the border between Beszel and Ul Qoma - two cities with a division like no other. Resident of the crumbling city of Beszel and inspector of the extreme crime squad, Tyador Borlu takes on the case, assisted by officer Lizbyet Corwi. The girl's body was seen dumped on the wasteland by a yellow van, and Detective Naustin presumes the girl must have been a hooker. Cases like this are run of the mill for Borlu, but he notices strange similarities to an old case.

The body was found in an area with lots of cross-hatching with Ul Qoma. Commissar Gadlem thinks this is a case for Breach - the secret police who ruthlessly patrol all cross-border crime. Gadlem thinks maybe someone else should take it on, and that maybe it is too personal for Borlu - but Borlu insists he can handle it.

As Unificationists protest that Ul Qoma and Beszel should become one city, Borlu receives a call from someone who says she was friends with the dead girl and identifies her as an American student called Mahalia Geary. Mahalia lived in Ul Qoma but wound up dead in Beszel. Borlu starts to worry as the friend admits she is not phoning from Beszel, she is illegally calling from Ul Qoma. Mr and Mrs Geary fly in from America to see their daughter's body, and Borlu and Corwi are put on baby-sitting duty. Gadlem knows that Borlu made an illicit phone call, and the case is being taken to the Oversight Committee - he wants to invoke Breach.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Review: Bring Me Back by B A Paris

Bring Me Back by B A Paris, March 2018, 384 pages, HQ, ISBN: 0008244871

Reviewed by Geoff Jones.

(Read more of Geoff's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

Finn lives with Layla very happily but has anger management issues. On a holiday in France, Layla disappears. Finn is interviewed by the police, a search is made but Layla is never found. Finn however has not told the police that he had a violent quarrel with Layla before she disappeared.

Twelve years later and Finn has relied on friendship with a work colleague – Harry, and a policeman – Tony, who led the search for Layla, to help him grieve. Finn has a relationship with Ruby who owns the Jackdaw Pub. However he finishes with her to take up with Layla's sister Ellen.

Finn lived with Layla in St. Mary's in Cornwall, although they met and lived in London and he now lives with Ellen in Simonsbridge in the Cotswolds along with Peggy, Finn's dog.

There are various unsubstantiated sightings of Layla, but suddenly small Russian dolls are found which have a connection between Layla and her sister. They had lived with their parents on the Isle of Lewis. Their mother died and their father was a violent drunk. Finn starts getting emails – could they be from Layla or someone who is holding her? Finn keeps these secret from Ellen. Do Harry and Ruby know more than they are admitting?

BRING ME BACK is an unusual book from an author I have not read before. You have to suspend belief at some of the foolish things that Finn does. It is actually a study in mental breakdown, but exactly whose, you will have to read the book to discover. Recommended.

Geoff Jones, March 2018