Crime Thriller Books Out This Week:

It never gets easier deciding what to read next, does it? Here are few of this week’s new releases to send you into a further spiral of indecision.

UnknownHarlan Coben‘s latest stand-alone thriller is called Six Years and is now available in hardback, paperback and as an e-book.

Coben has some interesting things to say about writing. He puts it down to three things – inspiration, perspiration and… desperation. ‘If I didn’t write?’ he asks. ‘What would I do with myself?’ He’s a prolific author because he says that if he didn’t write he’d hate himself, his life would be out of balance.

Which, of course, is why he’s so prolific. According to the official blurb, the story of Six Years unravels something like this:

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.

As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart – and who lied to him – soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction.

Unknown-3Thanks to the success of Tell No One, Coben has managed to successfully balance writing stand-alones with his Myron Bolitar series of novels. Another author who has evolved from series to stand-alone novels is Mark Billingham – although you’ll be happy to hear Tom Thorne does make a cameo in the excellent Rush of Blood, which is now out in paperback.

And Thorne’s back in Billingham’s next book – The Dying Hours, which is out next month – and there are big changes afoot for him.

Billingham‘s a big inspiration for those of us who like home-grown police procedurals, and you can read some of his thoughts on writing in this fine Guardian interview right here.

Unknown-2South African writer Lauren Beukes is gaining a big reputation for her novels, which combine thrills and fantasy, and her latest, The Shining Girls, has a genius concept – it’s about a time-travelling serial killer.

Behold the blurb:

Chicago 1931. Harper Curtis, a violent drifter, stumbles on a house with a secret as shocking as his own twisted nature – it opens onto other times. He uses it to stalk his carefully chosen ‘shining girls’ through the decades – and cut the spark out of them.

He’s the perfect killer. Unstoppable. Untraceable. He thinks…

Chicago, 1992. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Tell that to Kirby Mazrachi, whose life was shattered after a brutal attempt to murder her. Still struggling to find her attacker, her only ally is Dan, an ex-homicide reporter who covered her case and now might be falling in love with her.

As Kirby investigates, she finds the other girls – the ones who didn’t make it. The evidence is … impossible. But for a girl who should be dead, impossible doesn’t mean it didn’t happen…

The Shining Girls is available in hardback, paperback, and e-book.

imagesLiz Marklund’s Lifetime, is about what happens following the murder of Sweden’s most famous policeman and the disappearance of his four-year-old son – suspicion falls on his wife. Lifetime is the eighth novel to feature Marklund’s news reporter protag Annika Bengtzon. Lifetime is available as an e-book and in paperback.

images-1And staying in Sweden, Two Soldiers by Roslund and Hellstrom once again features their cop Ewert Grens. It’s a tale of gang warfare, and of kids drifting into criminality. Their books often feature prisons and question the nature of criminality — Hellstrom is an ex-con, and very much involved in a Swedish rehabilitation organisation. Two Soldiers is now available in all the usual formats.

So the, more books to add to the must-read pile. *rolls eyes*

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