Crime Thriller Book Log: Brookmyre, Fowler, Seymour & Robotham

I’m super busy today, so I’ll type fast, you read fast, and we’ll get this done and dusted in no time.

UnknownChris Brookmyre’s good, isn’t he? His McLeod and Sharp series has seen the author, known for his comic eye, move into darker crime territory. Flesh Wounds is the third in the series, and the blurb informs us thus:

Private investigator Jasmine Sharp’s father was murdered before she was born, and her mother went to self-sacrificing lengths in order to shield her from the world in which he moved. Since her mother’s death, all she has been able to learn is his first name – and that only through a strange bond she has forged with the man who killed him: Glen Fallan. But when Fallan is arrested for the murder of a criminal her mother knew since childhood, Jasmine is finally forced to enter his domain: a place where violence is a way of life and vengeance spans generations.

Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod has one major Glaswegian gangster in the mortuary and another in the cells for killing him – which ought to be cause for celebration. Catherine is not smiling, however. From the moment she discovered a symbol daubed on the victim’s head, she has understood that this case is far more dangerous than it appears on the surface: deeper than skin, darker than blood; something that could threaten her family and end her career.

As one battles her demons and the other chases her ghosts, these two very different detectives will ultimately confront the secrets that have entangled both of their fates since before Jasmine was even born.

I have no idea how Mr. Brookmyre writes his books. All I can tell you with any confidence is that he supports St. Mirren FC. Flesh Wounds is out tomorrow in hardback and e-book.

Unknown-1Michael Robotham has the kind of writing schedule that doesn’t sound at all bad. He wanders down to the beach in Sydney of a morning, gets some breakfast in a café, and then starts writing – in longhand, at least 500 words a day.

His latest novel, Watching You, features the reappearance of Joe O’Loughlin, his clinical psychologist with family problems and Parkinson’s to contend with. Watching You is out tomorrow. Hardback. E-book. In the words of Maroon 5, it goes something like this:

Marnie Logan often feels like she’s being watched. Nothing she can quite put her finger on – a whisper of breath on the back of her neck, or a shadow in the corner of her eye – and now her life is frozen. Her husband Daniel has been missing for more than a year. Depressed and increasingly desperate, she seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin. Joe is concerned by Marnie’s reluctance to talk about the past, but then she discovers a book packed with pictures, interviews with friends, former teachers, old flames and workmates Daniel was preparing for her birthday. It was supposed to be a celebration of her life. But it’s not the story anyone was expecting…

Unknown-2Following on from the end of his tremendous Bryant And May series, Christopher Fowler unveils more London Gothic with his stand-alone thriller Plastic, which is available now in ebook and out tomorrow in paperback. Fowler has a rather terrific blog he updates every day and which you should check out – he discusses books, movies, his beloved London; all sorts, basically. The blurb for Plastic:

June Cryer is a shopaholic suburban housewife trapped in a lousy marriage. Discovering her husband’s infidelity with her flight attendant neighbour, she loses her her home, her husband and her credit rating, but she has been offered a solution: a friend needs someone reliable to act as caretaker in a spectacular London high-rise apartment. It’s just for the weekend, but there’s good money in it…

Seizing the opportunity to escape, June moves into the penthouse only to find that there s no electricity and no phone. She must flat-sit until the security system comes back on. When a terrified girl breaks into the flat and June makes the mistake of asking the neighbours for help, she finds herself embroiled in an escalating nightmare, trying to prove that a murderer exists. For the next 24 hours, she must survive on the streets without friends or money, solve an impossible crime, and fight off the urge to buy a new wardrobe.

Unknown-3Former ITN reporter Gerald Seymour travelled the world’s hotspots for many years and his journalistic instincts have stood him in good stead when it comes to nosing out a compelling narrative. His first novel Harry’s Game was an extraordinary success when it was published back in 1975, and he’s written 28 novels since.

Known for their meticulous research, his military thrillers have restlessly roamed the world’s flashpoints. His latest, The Corporal’s Wife, available on ebook and in hardback tomorrow, is set in the Middle East.

This is the moment that MI6 has been working for: an Iranian caught in a ‘honey trap’ and flown to a safe house for interrogation. He may only be a Corporal in the Revolutionary Guard, but as chauffeur to a top general, he knows the location of secret nuclear and military sites and often overhears unguarded conversations in the car. It’s a coup to put the Brits one up on the Americans and Israelis.

But the Corporal won’t talk unless they bring his wife out of Iran, too. So the SAS are asked to find the woman and smuggle her out of Tehran – but they turn it down as an impossible risk.

Which is how three former soldiers hired from a London agency and Zach Bennett, a university drop-out recruited for his Persian language skills, find themselves about to cross the world’s most dangerous frontier on a mission that will mean certain death if they are caught.

And the Corporal’s wife is not the kind of person they were expecting. In fact, the fiery, independent, beautiful Farideh is not like anyone Zach Bennett has ever met in his life.

Anyway, must dash. No wait —

I’m still thinking of Robotham ambling down that beach, going for a nice breakfast, and then cracking on. What about you, how do you settle into your writing regime of a morning? A cup of tea? The school run and a bath bun? Or do you fit your writing around other stuff? Let me know!

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