Crime Thriller Book Update: Cole, Morton, Freeman and Siggurdardottir

Here’s some books out this week that you may want to add to the pile.

Unknown-5Mary Higgins Clark has published nearly fifty books, selling over 80 millions copies in the States alone, where all of her thrillers are still in print. Higgins Clark writes every day from 8am till 2pm – or up to 17 hours a day, if she’s nearing completion of a novel – that’s a hell of a work ethic for an 83-year-old.

She published her first suspense novel, Where Are The Children? back in 1974. And for the one after that, A Stranger Is Watching,  banked a cool $1.5 million contract. Nearly forty years later, she’s still writing.

Here’s the blurb for her latest, Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting, which is available in hardback, and on kindle, from tomorrow:

Hannah Connelly, a twenty-eight-year old designer and rising star in the fashion world, is plunged into a web of horror and grief when she learns that Connelly Fine Reproductions, the family owned furniture business founded by her grandfather, has been levelled by an explosion in the middle of the night. Everything has been destroyed – the warehouse, the showrooms, and the mansion where priceless antiques have been on permanent display. Worse, to escape the flames, Hannah’s older sister, Kate, had jumped from a window and is now hospitalized in a medically induced coma, suffering from life-threatening injuries.

The fire marshal on the scene is openly suspicious that someone, maybe even Kate, intentionally planned the explosion. Agonized with worry, Hannah can’t understand why Kate would be in the warehouse at that hour of the night. What Hannah does not know is that Kate is most at risk from the people who have access to her in the hospital room. One of them is determined not to let her regain consciousness. That person is out to thwart Hannah, too, as she pursues her quest for the truth.

Unknown-11Brian Freeman’s another thriller writer dedicated to the cause. He estimates he probably wrote a million words before he got published. His latest, The Cold Nowhere – I’m liking that title very much – is out in hardback, paperback and kindle tomorrow.

Behold the blurb:

Ten years ago, six-year-old Catalina Mateo hid under the porch of her family home while a knife butchered her mother and a bullet killed her father.

Now, a rough-sleeping orphan, Cat arrives at the house of Detective Jonathan Stride, pleading for protection. Covered in blood and drenched in the icy waters of Lake Superior, she claims to have narrowly escaped a cold-blooded killer.

Stride’s raw instinct is to protect Cat, whose late parents’ case – and his personal guilt associated with it – still sends a shiver down his spine. As a result, he takes the troubled teenager under his wing without as much as a second thought.

However, Stride’s partner Maggie Bei is not convinced. She doubts the sincerity of this beautiful young streetwalker who has so easily won Stride’s trust, and now sleeps in his house with a butcher’s knife under her pillow. As Stride continues to care for Cat, Maggie’s suspicions solidify, and a single question occupies the void between them: should Stride be afraid for, or of, this terribly damaged girl?

Unknown-7Martina Cole’s latest crime novel, The Life, comes out in paperback tomorrow. Cole is a phenomenon, with a dedicated readership and a string of bestsellers behind her. Cole’s signature stories of gangsters and the tough women who loved them, are instantly recognisable. Books such as The Take and The Runaway have been adapted for telly.

In typically gripping Cole fashion, The Life is a hard-edged tale of East End geezers. Immerse yourself in the blurb:

The Bailey brothers are gangsters determined to make their mark in the world. Peter and Daniel are chalk and cheese in many ways – Peter’s calm exterior belies his ruthless nature, while Daniel’s penchant for spectacular violence is legendary – but together they are unstoppable. From the late seventies they rule London’s East End and, when their sons join the business, it seems that no one can touch the powerful Baileys.

Although it’s never easy at the top; there is always someone waiting to take you down – sometimes even those closest to you… Lena Bailey is determined to shield her youngest child Tania from the Life. But when a terrible tragedy occurs, Tania’s eyes are opened to their world in a way that forces her to make an irrevocable choice that will determine her future.

Unknown-1If you like your crime novels more, er, genteel, and to unfold across decades, Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper is out in paperback tomorrow.

Morton, an Australian writer, has sold three million copies of her works. The Secret Keeper looks to have a typically epic sweep, as you can see from this blurbage:

1961: On a sweltering summer’s day, while her family picnics by the stream on their Suffolk farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel hides out in her childhood tree house dreaming of a boy called Billy, a move to London, and the bright future she can’t wait to seize. But before the idyllic afternoon is over, Laurel will have witnessed a shocking crime that changes everything.

2011: Now a much-loved actress, Laurel finds herself overwhelmed by shades of the past. Haunted by memories, and the mystery of what she saw that day, she returns to her family home and begins to piece together a secret history. A tale of three strangers from vastly different worlds – Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy – who are brought together by chance in wartime London and whose lives become fiercely and fatefully entwined.

UnknownYrsa Sigurdardottir’s Someone To Watch Over Me is out on kindle tomorrow. It’s the fifth novel to feature her quirky heroine Thora Gudnundsdottir. Thora’s precinct is the cold city of Reykjavik and beyond that,  the breathtaking landscape of Iceland.

Sigurdardottir writes both adult and children’s novels when she’s not doing her other job – as a civil engineer.

James Ellroy was a golf caddy and a petty criminal, Ian Fleming was an intelligence officer, Dashiell Hammett was a Pinkerton Detective. We all love to write, it’s what sustains us, it nourishes us, but sometimes it doesn’t pay all the bills. So I got to wondering: what’s your other job? Don’t be shy.

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