I’m in no mood to repeat myself today, so pay attention. There’ll be no opportunity to ask questions afterwards because I’ve got to shoot off. All you need to know – and I suggest you write this down – is that there’s been a quality crop of crime novels released this week. To wit:
Tom Thorne is back in Mark Billingham’s latest blockbuster, The Bones Beneath. The blurb does a nifty line in alliteration:
Tom Thorne is back in charge – but there’s a terrifying price to pay. Stuart Nicklin, the most dangerous psychopath he has ever put behind bars, promises to reveal the whereabouts of a body he buried twenty-five years before. But only if Thorne agrees to escort him.
Unable to refuse, Thorne gathers a team and travels to a remote Welsh island, at the mercy of the weather and cut off from the mainland. Thorne is determined to get the job done and return home before Nicklin can outwit them.
But Nicklin knows this island well and has had time to plan ahead. Soon, new bodies are added to the old, and Thorne finds himself facing the toughest decision he has ever had to make…
By my count, this is the twelfth novel to feature Thorne. Remote Welsh island, bodies, a dangerous psychopath – I’m going to hazard a guess that shit is going to go down.
The Bones Beneath is out in hardback, paperback and on kindle.
So Andy McNab has got a new one out. Oh, I see, you say, tapping your nose, another Nick Stone adventure.
Well, no actually. McNab has been powering forward with his highly successful Nick Stone novels about a former special forces operative – about to become a rip-roaring cinema action franchise, if reports are to be believed – but he’s also embarked on another series about, um, former special forces operative Tom Buckingham. Fortress is the second in the Buckingham series.
The blurb can kill you with a teaspoon:
Camp Bastion: SAS trooper Tom Buckingham finds himself in deep trouble for taking down a renegade Afghan soldier. Instead of being proclaimed a hero, he’s made a scapegoat for the incident and drummed out of the regiment.
On his return to Britain, disillusioned and embittered, Tom’s unique services are quickly snapped up by charismatic entrepreneur, Vernon Rolt, a powerful billionaire with political ambitions, very few scruples and a questionable agenda.
With riot on the country’s streets, a government in disarray and a visit from the American president imminent, there has never been a better time to make a play for power.
But, as Tom will soon discover, in the affairs of state, hidden forces are always at work and he is quickly drawn back into the covert world of intelligence and special forces which he knows so well. He will have to decide where his loyalties lie and who his real friends are, if he is to intervene in a spiralling sequence of events which involve terrorism, insurgency and, ultimately, assassination…
Fans of John Harvey’s jazz loving, world weary protag Charlie Resnick – very much a trailblazing figure for the modern British fictional copper – will be in a bittersweet frame of mind about the release of Darkness, Darkness. It’s the latest Resnick novel – the twelfth – but it’s also, apparently, the last. The mean streets of Nottingham will be a bit meaner from now on.
The blurb knows how to whip up a sandwich:
Thirty years ago, the Miners’ Strike threatened to tear the country apart, turning neighbour against neighbour, husband against wife, father against son – enmities which smoulder still. Resnick, recently made up to inspector, and ambivalent at best about some of the police tactics, had run an information gathering unit at the heart of the dispute.
Now, the discovery of the body of a young woman who disappeared during the Strike brings Resnick out of virtual retirement and back into the front line to assist in the investigation into her murder – forcing him to confront his past in what will assuredly be his last case.
The first Resnick novel, Lonely Hearts, was published way back in 1989.
Paul Finch’s protag has the best best name in crime-fiction, DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg, but that may all change when I finally unleash my own fictional copper on the world, DI Carl ‘Cor’ Blimey.
Finch’s new novel The Killing Club, the follow-up to his successful Heck novels Sacrifice and Stalkers, resides at the gutsy end of the crime spectrum. Finch himself is a prolific novelist and screenwriter whose output restlessly roams genres, from crime to horror, science-fiction and fantasy.
The blurb really shouldn’t be let near the cutlery drawer:
DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is used to bloodbaths. But nothing can prepare him for this.
Heck’s most dangerous case to date is open again. Two years ago, countless victims were found dead – massacred at the hands of Britain’s most terrifying gang.
When brutal murders start happening across the country, it’s clear the gang is at work again. Their victims are killed in cold blood, in broad daylight, and by any means necessary. And Heck knows it won’t be long before they come for him.
Brace yourself as you turn the pages of a living nightmare. Welcome to The Killing Club.
The Killing Club is available as an ebook and in paperback.
Bring the car round, I’m out of here.