A small shot of Reacher

On the Radar — Ping… ping… ping… Ah, our radar has detected a new short story by Lee Child, so Reacher fans will be rejoicing. But also in the depths of the crime fiction ocean this week we’ve picked up a Gone Girl-alike, something featuring drugs mules, some dark looking German crime fiction and even a book featuring a sleuthing Christopher Marlow. Is it a good week for your reading pile? Read on and find out…

Not A DrillNot a Drill by Lee Child
Anything new from from Lee Child always creates a buzz, even if it’s only a short story. With a new full-length Reacher novel planned for later in the summer, Child deals the addicts a fix to keep them going. Ever the wanderer, Reacher drifts into Charlie Parker territory – an isolated town in the forests of Maine. One thing that you can always guarantee with Reacher is that if trouble is anywhere around, it will always find him. As he hikes a pleasant trail, the big man finds it taped off, and the area swarming with his former brothers-in-arms, the military police. What is the secret hidden in the forest, and how does it involve the sleepy town of Naismith? Not A Drill is available now, exclusively as an eBook.
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The Good GirlThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica
With Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl being made into a film by David Fincher, The Good Girl arrives looking similar to Flynn’s hit novel. Inside, you’ll meet Mia Dennett, from a wealthy family but teaching in a tough neighbourhood. Falling for a few lines from a stranger in a bar, she is kidnapped, apparently as part of an extortion plot. But when she is taken, not to the group who have employed the kidnapper, but to a remote country cabin, the plot, as they say, thickens. There is an even more bizarre turn of events when Mia is returned to her frantic parents unharmed, but with no memory of what has happened, or who she is. This disturbing psychological thriller is the debut novel by Kubica, who lives with her family near Chicago. It will be available on 1 August.
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Dark Of NightDark of Night by Marios Savva
This is definitely one for those who like their crime fiction a little out of the ordinary. The small town of Whitesands was notorious for a series of killings some years earlier, but when the FBI were at their wits’ end, the case was solved by a police officer from London’s Scotland Yard. Now, years later, Jake Blakewood is Sheriff of Whitesands. He and his assistant, Native American Bobby ‘Chief’ Two Feathers have settled down to a peaceful existence where nothing more dramatic than a cat stuck up a tree challenges their crime solving capacities. This all changes when what at first appears to be a traffic accident turns out be an assault by someone… or something. Whatever the explanation, it kills victims by dismembering them. Out now.
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The Cold Cold SeaThe Cold Cold Sea by Linda Huber
Colin and Maggie are facing every parent’s worst nightmare. While holidaying in Cornwall, their daughter Olivia goes missing. One minute she is there the next she’s gone. Has she drowned? If so where is the body? Maggie refuses to leave the site of her three year-old’s disappearance, and as her sanity begins to fray at the edges, we are introduced to another mother and daughter, not far away, with problems of a very different kind. Are the families linked by the mystery? Linda Huber was born in Glasgow, but she now lives and works in Switzerland. This is her second novel. There is a video trailer for The Cold Cold Sea here and the book is out on 1 August.
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The Mothers Of The DisappearedMothers of the Disappeared by Russel D McLean
Set in the Scottish City of Dundee, this is the fourth in the author’s series featuring former policeman J McNee. A grieving mother asks McNee to investigate the murder of her young son. The apparent culprit is facing a life in prison for the crime, to which he pleaded guilty, so what’s the problem? Well, it’s that the convicted killer has committed suicide, and it looks more and more as if the child’s death has its roots in the murky background of an organised crime syndicate. It’s published on 1 August by Severn House.
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The Immortal GameThe Immortal Game by Mike Miner
Set in Boston’s gangland, this unashamedly pulp offering features a PI called Dylan Thomas Lonagan. How’s that for a bit of celtic crossover? Lonagan is hired by mobster Richard ‘Red’ Scarlotti to find his missing son. He also has a past that he drags around behind him like a sack of boulders. When he finds that his search for the missing boy has landed him smack dab in the middle of a mob turf war, he has to call in the cavalry. In this case it comes in the form of Red Scarlotti’s brother, Whitey. Whitey is a hitman, but one with a human side. The Immortal Game is published by Gutter Press, and is out now.
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The Dark MeadowThe Dark Meadow by Andrea Maria Schenkel
Andrea Maria Schenkel is from the Bavarian city of Regensburg. Her debut novel was Tannöd (2006), which was a fictional account of a horrifying real-life crime in the 1920s. Schenkel writes about insular rural communities. In her latest novel we are in post-war Bavaria, where Afra Zauner returns to her parents’ house, pregnant – and single. Both her parents and near neighbours vent their shame and anger on Afra, and she is found dead. Her killer is never found, but many years later, events conspire to lay the whole horrid affair wide open, and the community shatters as old wounds are opened. The book, translated by Anthea Bell, is out on 7 August.
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The Blind MuleThe Blind Mule by Russell S Babcock
Russell Babcock is a successful criminal defence attorney in San Diego. In this, his first novel, he sets out to present an insider’s view of what really goes in in the criminal justice system of The Golden State. A ‘blind mule’ is an innocent party who is duped into carrying narcotics across the border – in this case between San Diego and Tijuana. Mark Porter, the fictional attorney in the book, is making a successful living out of defending blind mules in court. Unfortunately for him, the biter is bit when he drives across the border to meet his girlfriend and, on his return, a sniffer dog finds cocaine in his car. It is left to Porter’s trainee Jason Spurlock to find the truth, and get his new boss out of jail. Available now.
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Traitors StormTraitor’s Storm by MJ Trow
This is the latest outing for the author’s Elizabethan detective, Christopher Marlowe. The year is 1588 and King Phillip of Spain is planning to invade England using his armada. What could possibly go wrong? The novel is full of real-life characters such as Drake and Walsingham, and shows that spying is probably the second oldest profession. Click to read a review of Crimson Rose, an earlier Kit Marlowe story. Traitor’s Storm is already available in UK, but is out in USA on 1 August.
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