Books Monthly
July 2024

New fiction for 2024

Stuart MacBride: In a Place of Darkness

Published 20th June 2024


Detective Constable Angus MacVicar has just landed his dream job – transferred out of uniform and assigned to Oldcastle’s biggest ongoing murder investigation: Operation Telegram, hunting the 'Fortnight Killer'. Every two weeks another couple is targeted. One victim is left at the scene, their corpse used as a twisted message board. The second body is never seen again.
This should be the perfect chance for Angus to prove himself, but instead of working on the investigation’s front line, he’s lumbered with the forensic psychologist from hell. A sarcastic know-it-all American, on loan from the FBI, who seems determined to alienate everyone while dragging Angus into a shadowy world of conspiracies, lies, and violence. It’s been twelve days since the Fortnight Killer last struck, and the investigation’s running out of time. Angus's shiny new job might just be the death of him…

In a Place of Darkess is far darker than the recently published YOU LIKE IT DARKER by Stephen King - and it also happens to be Stuart MacBride's best book since the last of his Logan MacRae books. And I have just finished reading it for the second time. Angus MacVicar is a giant both in stature and in terms of his influence on what goes on in this superlative thriller. The murders are gruesome and not for the faint-hearted; there is a superb cast of characters, including DI Monroe, DSs Massie and Sharp, and the US criminal psychologist, Dr Fife, drafted in to help catch the deranfed killer who is murdering two people every fortnight. Some people turn out not to be who you think they are, and Stuart manages to mislead us to an extraodrinary extent as Angus and his bosses attempt to catch the killer before the next two weeks are up. This book will propel Stuart to the top of the bestseller list in no time at all - it's far and away the longest of his books (I think), and the tension ramps up on every page, to the extent that you're never quite certain the goodies are going to triumph over the baddies. This is an absolutely terrific roller-coaster of a ride, an object lesson in how to write detective fiction in the modern age, and it gets a full five stars from me!

Richard Osman: We Solve Murders

Published 12th September 2024


A brand new series.

An iconic new detective duo.

And a thrilling new murder to solve . . .
Steve Wheeler is enjoying retired life. He does the odd bit of investigation work, but he prefers his familiar habits and routines: the pub quiz, his favourite bench, his cat waiting for him when he comes home. His days of adventure are over: adrenaline is daughter-in-law Amy’s business now.

Amy Wheeler thinks adrenaline is good for the soul. As a private security officer, she doesn’t stay still long enough for habits or routines. She’s currently on a remote island keeping world-famous author Rosie D’Antonio alive. Which was meant to be an easy job . . .

Then a dead body, a bag of money and a killer with their sights on Amy have her sending an SOS to the only person she trusts. A breakneck race around the world begins, but can Amy and Steve stay one step ahead of a deadly enemy?

J D Kirk: A Killer of Influence

Published 12th September 2024

Following a convention in the Scottish Highlands, eight social media influencers vanish without a trace, leaving their followers – and families – in a state of shock, and the police clueless as to their whereabouts.

And then, the livestreams begin.

Broadcast live from their squalid underground cells, the young influencers are forced into a sadistic battle for survival.

With each livestream, their captor pits them against each other in a twisted competition for likes. The influencer with the fewest positive reactions faces a gruesome end – live on camera.

As the likes increase and the death toll rises, DCI Jack Logan and his team must traverse both the Scottish wilderness and the darkest corners of the internet to try and save the remaining captives.

But how do you catch a killer who is always one click ahead?. . ?

Dreda Say Mitchell & Ryan Carter: Girl, Missing

Published 4th July 2024


THE FINAL DETECTIVE JANE TENNISON THRILLER - AND THE PREQUEL TO TV HIT PRIME SUSPECT - FROM SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING CRIME FICTION ICON, LYNDA LA PLANTE. Now available to pre-order in hardback, eBook and audiobook. DETECTIVE JANE TENNISON'S POLICE CAREER HANGS IN THE BALANCE: A SINGLE STEP FROM GLORY - OR RUIN. While she has elbowed her way into an elite team investigating non-domestic murders, there is nothing elite about her first assignments: a missing teenager cold case and an apparent suicide Tennison suspects is, in fact, murder. But as she uncovers explosive evidence, Tennison's new colleagues watch like vultures circling prey. And, one by one, the cases no one else wanted are taken from her - and the glory along with them. Now Tennison has had enough: of the rampant sexism, snide remarks and undermining. It's time to take what is rightfully hers from those who have held her back. She just has to do what she does best: find her prime suspect . . .

Ann Cleeves: The Dark Wives

Published 27th August 2024


Vera Stanhope, star of ITV’s Vera, returns in the eleventh novel in Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller Ann Cleeves’ acclaimed series.
'Like Rendell and James before her, like McDermid and Rankin today, Ann Cleeves is one of our secret chroniclers, charting – under cover of a series of expertly plotted and mesmerising crime novels – how we live now' Mick Herron. A body is found by an early morning dog walker on the common outside Rosebank, a care home for troubled teens. The victim is Josh, a staff member, who never showed up to work. DI Vera Stanhope is called out to investigate. Her only clue is the disappearance of fourteen-year-old resident Chloe. Vera can’t bring herself to believe that a teenager is responsible for the murder, but even she can’t dismiss the possibility.
Vera, Joe and new team member Rosie are soon embroiled in the case, but when a second body is found near the Three Dark Wives standing stones in the wilds of the Northumbrian countryside, folklore and fact begin to collide. Vera knows she has to find Chloe to get to the truth, but it seems that the dark secrets in their community may be far more dangerous than she could ever have believed. . .

Lisa Jewell: Breaking the Dark

Published 4th July 2024

Meet Jessica Jones: a private investigator and retired super hero based out of Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, who goes from job to job as a hard living, rough talking, loner.

And then a wealthy Upper East Side woman pays her a visit. Amber Randall is concerned about her twin sixteen-year-olds, Lark and Fox, who have acted and looked very different since they returned from spending the summer with their British father in the UK. She tells Jessica that her children have unnaturally perfect skin for teenagers and have lost all the tics and habits that made them who they were. They are not Lark and Fox, she tells Jessica. Something has happened to them.

To find out more, Jessica travels to Essex to talk to their father and once there meets Belle who is living a curiously isolated existence in a run-down farmhouse with her guardian Debra. Jessica knows that Lark and Fox had spent the summer with Belle―but can this unworldly teenager really be responsible for Lark and Fox's new personas?

Jessica soon discovers that, behind Belle and Debra, evil geniuses are playing a dangerous game with technology in order to make the world a "better place", not caring who gets hurt, maimed or even killed in the process. Can Jessica stop them from wreaking destruction on a whole generation of young people?

Nothing is certain in Lisa Jewell's gripping and most imaginative novel yet.

Louise Candlish: Our Holiday

Published 4th July 2024

Charlotte and Perry long for summers at Cliff View, their gorgeous holiday home overlooking the turquoise waters of Pine Ridge. And now that city friends Amy and Linus have bought a property nearby, they plan lazy weeks of sun, sea and sipping rosé on Charlotte’s summerhouse veranda.

But there’s trouble in paradise…

A rising tide of resentment towards second-home owners is heading their way and small acts of criminal damage are escalating into something more menacing. By the end of the summer, families and friendships will be torn apart and Pine Ridge will be known for more than its sun-drenched beaches.

It will be known for murder…

Robert Harris: Precipice

Published 29th August 2024

Summer 1914. A world on the brink of catastrophe.

In London, 26-year-old Venetia Stanley – aristocratic, clever, bored, reckless – is having a love affair with the Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith, a man more than twice her age. He writes to her obsessively, sharing the most sensitive matters of state.

As Asquith reluctantly leads the country into war with Germany, a young intelligence officer is assigned to investigate a leak of top secret documents – and suddenly what was a sexual intrigue becomes a matter of national security that will alter the course of political history.

Seamlessly weaving fact and fiction in a way that no writer does better, Precipice is the thrilling new novel from Robert Harris.

BJane Crittenden: Summer Ever After

Published 1st July 2024

Ten years ago, while travelling before starting a cookery apprenticeship, Alice fell head over heels for Barcelona: the food, the sun and the gorgeous Andy Hall…Family tragedy sent her back to London, but now, finally, she’s been given the chance to return. Only to find herself working alongside none other than Andy, the only man to ever break her heart.

The decade apart has changed them both, though he still has his frustratingly good looks―and is Alice imagining it or does the spark that always existed between them still burn just as brightly? Not ready to risk getting hurt again, she focuses on exploring the culinary delights of the city, and begins to remember a life she once dreamed of…

As Alice rediscovers a world of possibilities under the hot Spanish sun, could there be a second chance for Andy and the love they used to share? Perhaps the vibrant flavours of Barcelona might just be the ingredients for everlasting love?

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