Crime Thriller Book Log: Deaver, French, Wood, Bingham & Hoag

We’re creeping towards some semblance of summertime, which means there’s going to be a lot of books published over the coming months to keep you thrilled and chilled by the pool.

So here are some books – a small sample, anyway – that you’ll be able to buy from tomorrow.

imagesMr. Jeffery Deaver’s got another book out. A new Lincoln Rhyme, in fact. It’s called The Kill Room.

He’s a hard-working author, Deaver. As you’d expect from someone who’s been writing since he was ten years of age. However, Deaver only started writing commercial fiction in his thirties. Rhyme, a quadriplegic criminologist, is perhaps his most-successful character.

Deaver imagined him as a Sherlock Holmesian character – someone who solves crime using only his mind. Since Rhyme’s first appearance in The Bone Collector in 1997, he’s appeared in ten novels, the latest of which is available from tomorrow in hardback and ebook.

The blurb will enlighten you further:

Robert Moreno, an American citizen living in South America, is shot in the Bahamas by a sniper. The killing was commissioned by the U.S. government, who received a tip-off that Moreno was planning a terrorist attack on a U.S. oil company headquarters. But this intelligence was fatally incorrect: anti-American Moreno ordered a protest at the oil company, not an attack.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are drafted in to investigate. While Sachs traces Moreno’s steps in New York, Rhyme travels to the scene of the crime in Nassau, where he finds himself on a dangerous path trailed by the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discover that not all is what it seemed. Can they achieve justice and escape with their lives intact?

Unknown-1Waiting For Wednesday by Nicci French is the  third novel in the Frieda Klein series.

Here’s some blurb:

Ruth Lennox, beloved mother of three, is found by her daughter in a pool of her own blood. Who would want to murder an ordinary housewife? And why?

Psychotherapist Frieda Klein finds she has an unusually personal connection with DCI Karlsson’s latest case. She is no longer working with him in an official capacity, but when her niece befriends Ruth Lennox’s son, Ted, she finds herself in the awkward position of confidante to both Karlsson and Ted.

When it emerges that Ruth was leading a secret life, her family closes ranks and Karlsson finds he needs Frieda’s help more than ever before.

But Frieda is distracted. Having survived an attack on her life, she is struggling to stay in control and when a patient’s chance remark rings an alarm bell, she finds herself chasing down a path that seems to lead to a serial killer who has long escaped detection. Or is it merely a symptom of her own increasingly fragile mind?

Because, as Frieda knows, every step closer to a killer is one more step into a darkness from which there may be no return . . .

Nicci French is, of course, two people – married writers Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. They describe Nicci French as the mysterious third person in their marriage.

Nicci French has been writing books since The Memory Game in 1997, psychological thrillers featuring strong women and moody men. French’s other books include Killing Me Softly, Catch Me When I Fall and Secret Smile – I remember that last one was made for telly, with David Tennant as a rotter.

Gerrard and French write alternate chapters and then edit each other’s work. There’s a fascinating description of how they work together here.  I can’t think of any other married couples who have written crime together, with the exception of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, who wrote the Martin Beck series – and they even wrote in the same room!

Waiting For Wednesday is will be available in hardcover and ebook from tomorrow.

We reviewed The Distinguished Assassin on Monday, and here comes another Unknown-3professional killer. Tom Wood’s enigmatic killer known only as Victor returns in his third book, The Game, which is released in paperback.

Lock ’n’ load for the blurb:

Victor is the perfect killer. He has no past. He will stop at nothing. And he can find you anywhere.

In sweltering Algiers, ultra-efficient hitman Victor executes a fellow assassin. But when the CIA comes calling, Victor must pose as his victim to identify the dead man’s next mark, a mission that takes him across Europe to the bloody streets of Rome. Working alongside a group of vicious mercenaries, Victor faces an impossible choice: to do what’s right, or to sacrifice the only thing he cares about . . . his life.

The Game is the follow-up to Victor’s adventures The Hunter and The Enemy.

In this one Victor makes the mistake that all former assassins make – he tries to lead a peaceful life. Because that always works. As soon as you start to meditate and commune with the little creatures outside your log cabin, someone’s going to show up in a helicopter to make you an offer you can’t refuse, as sure as eggs is eggs.

Unknown-2The 9th Girl is the latest Tami Hoag thriller to feature her homicide detectives Kovac and Liska. Like Deaver, Hoag started  early — writing a story about a pony at the age of nine — and went on to become a Romance writer, authoring 16 titles in five years!

Since then she’s been writing thrillers — series and standalones — racking up sales of 35 million across the world.

Crikey, I almost forgot the blurb:

THE 9TH GIRL focuses on the ninth unidentified body to turn up in Minneapolis in 2012, nicknamed Jane Doe 9. When Kovac and Liska take on the case, they discover a shocking fact: This victim has been found without any identifiable characteristics, except for those that peg her as an adolescent girl.

Before the investigation is through, the case will take the two detectives deep into the life and death of a teenage girl who wanted nothing more than to be ‘normal’. They will come perilously close to the bullies who tormented her, the twisted family dynamics that may have contributed to her death, and ultimately to the haunting details of a young love that just may hide the secret of Jane Doe 9’s terrible fate.

The 9th Girl. Hardcover. Ebook. Tomorrow.

Harry Bingham’s novel Love Story, With Murders features his troubled Unknownprotagonist Fiona Griffiths.

We like Harry because he also runs the Writers’ Workshop, a consultancy for first-time novelists, and the Festival of Writing in York, which people tell me is one of the best festivals out there for writers. He’s also written two books about writing, How to Write and Getting Published.

Anyway, you’re probably looking at your watch by now, so here’s some blurb:

The second novel featuring recovering psychotic DC Fiona Griffiths opens with as intriguing a pair of murders as you could imagine. Firstly, part of a human leg is discovered in a woman’s freezer, bagged up like a joint of pork. Other similarly gruesome discoveries follow throughout a cosy Cardiff suburb, with body parts turning up in kitchens, garages and potting sheds. And while the police are still literally putting the pieces together, concluding that they all belong to a teenage girl killed some ten years earlier, parts of another body suddenly start appearing, but this time discarded carelessly around the countryside clearly very shortly after the victim – a man – was killed.

Mysteries don’t come much more macabre or puzzling than this. Who were the two victims, and what connection could they have shared that would result in this bizarre double-discovery?

Love Story, With Murders is available in hardback and ebook tomorrow.

Going back to Nicci French, briefly — that whole business of writing partners fascinates me. I know of plenty of scriptwriting teams — that seems to be a very common partnership — and, of course, creatives work together in advertising, but are you part of a novel-writing team?

If you are, let me know how it works. Do you write novels as part of a writing team? What’s your own process?

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