Crime Thriller Book Log: McBride, Kernick, May & Whitney

Just because Christmas is over, don’t think you’re finished spending. You have that book voucher from your auntie in your pocket, and that other one from last year in the kitchen drawer that you haven’t even touched.

Luckily, those kind people who publish books are here to help you by releasing what is known in the trade as product. How this works is, your favourite authors spend countless hours writing stories and then someone puts a cover on them and sells them in shops.

So you may know this already, no need to get so touchy about it – what have I told before about dealing with those negative emotions? Let’s get on with it, before we fall out.

Look, books — out tomorrow!

The Missing And The DeadThe Missing And The Dead is Stuart McBride’s ninth Logan McRae novel. Ninth! Where do the years go, eh? His McRae novels are set in the Granite City – that’s Aberdeen to you – although in this latest one McRae finds himself out in the cold of the countryside. I’ve a feeling carnage is just around the corner, however.

The blurb is wearing its Hunters:

One mistake can cost you everything…

When you catch a twisted killer there should be a reward, right? What Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae gets instead is a ‘development opportunity’ out in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire. Welcome to divisional policing – catching drug dealers, shop lifters, vandals and the odd escaped farm animal.

Then a little girl’s body washes up just outside the sleepy town of Banff, kicking off a massive manhunt. The Major Investigation Team is up from Aberdeen, wanting answers, and they don’t care who they trample over to get them.

Logan’s got enough on his plate keeping B Division together, but DCI Steel wants him back on her team. As his old colleagues stomp around the countryside, burning bridges, Logan gets dragged deeper and deeper into the investigation.

One thing’s clear: there are dangerous predators lurking in the wilds of Aberdeenshire, and not everyone’s going to get out of this alive…

The Final MinuteThat Simon Kernick like his thrills. He’s got these three protagonists — Dennis Milne, Mike Bolt and Tina Malone, who all take it in turns to feature in his explosive novels, and occasionally team-up. For his latest novel, The Final Minute, it’s Tina’s turn to take centre-stage:

The blurb is positively breathless with anxiety:

‘It’s night, and I’m in a strange house.

The lights are on, and and I’m standing outside a half-open door.

Feeling a terrible sense of forboding, I walk slowly inside.

And then I see her.

A woman lying sprawled across a huge double bed.

She’s dead. There’s blood everywhere.

And the most terrifying thing of all is that I think her killer might be me …’

A traumatic car-crash. A man with no memory, haunted by nightmares.

When the past comes calling in the most terrifying way imaginable, Matt Barron is forced to turn to the one person who can help.

Ex Met cop, turned private detective, Tina Boyd.

Soon they are both on the run .….

RunawayPeter May’s new novel is called Runaway, and it’s based on the time he and some pals ran away to London to be rock stars and ended up sleeping at Euston station. He’s already turned the experience into a song, and now it’s a crime novel, with a bit of murdery stuff added.

The blurb is struggling with the bridge:

In 1965, five teenage friends fled Glasgow for London to pursue their dream of musical stardom. Yet before year’s end three returned, and returned damaged.

In 2015, a brutal murder forces those three men, now in their sixties, to journey back to London and finally confront the dark truth they have run from for five decades.

Runaway is a crime novel covering fifty years of friendships solidified and severed, dreams shared and shattered and passions lit and extinguished; set against the backdrop of two unique and contrasting cities at two unique and contrasting periods of recent history.

May is doing a tour in Scotland to plug the book, by the way, and you can get details on those places and dates here.

The Liar's ChairAnd just to show that we don’t just plug grizzled veterans here, Rebecca Whitney’s book The Liar’s Chair is her debut novel.

Interestingly, she’s put the playlist of the music she listened to while writing the novel on Spotify — David Shire’s excellent soundtrack to The Conversation is in there — and the mood board for the novel, which features more toxic domestic drama, is on Pinterest.

Oh, wait, lets not forget the blurb:

Rachel Teller and her husband David appear happy, prosperous and fulfilled. The big house, the successful business . . . They have everything.

However, control, not love, fuels their relationship and David has no idea his wife indulges in drunken indiscretions. When Rachel kills a man in a hit and run, the meticulously maintained veneer over their life begins to crack.

Destroying all evidence of the accident, David insists they continue as normal. Rachel though is racked with guilt and as her behaviour becomes increasingly self-destructive she not only inflames David’s darker side, but also uncovers her own long-suppressed memories of shame. Can Rachel confront her past and atone for her terrible crime? Not if her husband has anything to do with it . . .

A startling, dark and audacious novel set in and around the Brighton streets, The Liar’s Chair will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the final page has been turned. A stunning psychological portrait of a woman in a toxic marriage, Rebecca Whitney’s debut will show that sometimes the darkest shadow holds the truth you have been hiding from . . .

 

 

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