Crime fiction debuts to look out for in March 2016

In my series of monthly post this looks forward to crime fiction debuts being published in March 2016.

3 March 2016

41UrW7G50YLWhat She Never Told Me by Kate McQuaile (from Quercus)

Louise Redmond left Ireland for London before she was twenty. Now, more than two decades later, her heart already breaking from a failing marriage, she is summoned home. Her mother is on her deathbed, and it is Louise’s last chance to learn the whereabouts of a father she never knew.

Stubborn to the end, Marjorie refuses to fill in the pieces of her daughter’s fragmented past. Then Louise unexpectedly finds a lead. A man called David Prescott . . . but is he really the father she’s been trying to find? And who is the mysterious little girl who appears so often in her dreams? As each new piece of the puzzle leads to another question, Louise begins to suspect that the memories she most treasures could be a delicate web of lies.
 
Kate McQuaile is a graduate of the Faber novel-writing course. She lives in London and works as a journalist, but is originally from Drogheda in Ireland.
You can find a review on For Winter Nights.

10 March 2016
51vobdbodVLThe Teacher by Katerina Diamond (from Avon)
The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall. Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end. As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again. But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community. And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him? Described by the publisher as “a shocking and compelling new crime thriller – NOT for the faint-hearted!”

 

Katerina Diamond was born in Weston in the seventies. She moved to Thessaloniki in Greece and attended Greek school where she learnt Greek in just 6 months. After her parents’ divorce, they relocated to Devon. After school, and working in her uncle’s fish and chip shop, she went (briefly) to university at Derby, where she met her husband and had two children. Katerina now lives in the East Kent Coast with her husband and children.

 

51tWxpZPcoLThe Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis (from Pan Macmillan)
An old lady dies alone in a cold Edinburgh flat surrounded by the few objects she accrued over a lifetime: a faded emerald dress, a brazil nut engraved with the ten commandments – and six orange pips sucked dry. A few days later Margaret Penny is asked to discover the identity of the dead woman.  The objects left behind will unravel Mrs Walker’s real story: a story rooted in the London grime and moving from the 1930s to the present day, a story of children abandoned and lost, of beguiling sisters and misplaced mothers, of deception and thievery, family secrets and the very deepest of betrayals. For in uncovering the astonishing tale of an old woman who died alone, Margaret will finally discover her own story too…

 

Mary Paulson-Ellis is based in Edinburgh. Although this is her debut novel she has had many short stories pushed and also runs run creative writing workshops for adults and children.

 

41++mkcHLELMaestra: The Most Shocking Thriller You’ll Read This Year by L S Hilton (from Zaffre Publishing (an imprint of Bonnier Publishing Fiction)
By day, Judith Rashleigh is a put-upon assistant at a London auction house. By night she’s a hostess in one of the capital’s unsavoury bars. Desperate to make something of herself, Judith knows she has to play the game. She’s learned to dress, speak and act in the interests of men. She’s trying to be a good girl. But after uncovering a dark secret at the heart of the art world, Judith is fired and her dreams of a better life are torn apart. So she turns to a long-neglected friend. A friend that kept her chin up and back straight through every past slight. A friend that a good girl like her shouldn’t have.

The film rights to Maestra were picked up Columbia Pictures within days of a manuscript landing in the US. Billed as a cross between The Talented Mr Ripley and Fatal Attraction, Maestra is described as ‘glorious, murderous fun’. The book even has its own website – http://uk.maestrabook.com

L.S. Hilton grew up in England and has lived in Key West, New York City, Paris, and Milan. After graduating from Oxford, she studied art history in Paris and Florence. She has worked as a journalist, art critic, and broadcaster, and is presently based in London.


15 March 2016

51shsQZM0hLWicked Game by Matt Johnson (from Orenda Books)
 2001. Age is catching up with Robert Finlay, a police officer on the Royalty Protection team based in London. He’s looking forward to returning to uniform policing and a less stressful life with his new family. But fate has other plans. Finlay’s deeply traumatic, carefully concealed past is about to return to haunt him. A policeman is killed by a bomb blast, and a second is gunned down in his own driveway. Both of the murdered men were former Army colleagues from Finlay’s own SAS regiment, and in a series of explosive events, it becomes clear that he is not the ordinary man that his colleagues, friends and new family think he is. And so begins a game of cat and mouse – a wicked game – in which Finlay is the target, forced to test his long-buried skills in a fight against a determined and unidentified enemy.

Wicked Game is a taut, action-packed, emotive thriller about a man who might be your neighbour, a man who is forced to confront his past in order to face a threat that may wipe out his future, a man who is willing to do anything to protect the people he loves. But is it too late?

 Originally a self-published work, in 2015, the rights to Wicked Game were acquired by London based publishers Orenda Books. Wicked Game has been edited, re-worked before being published in ebook format in December and in paperback this March. Matt Johnson is a retired soldier and Police Inspector, he witnessed horrific scenes in the aftermath of the London terrorist attacks during a career spanning nearly 25 years. Matt will be appearing on one of the ‘Fresh Blood’ panels at Crimefest in May.

17 March 2016

519GLug9RdLDeath in Profile by Guy Fraser-Sampson (from Urbane Publications) 
The genteel façade of London’s Hampstead is shattered by a series of terrifying murders, and the ensuing police hunt is threatened by internal politics, and a burgeoning love triangle within the investigative team. Pressurised by senior officers desperate for a result a new initiative is clearly needed, but what?

 

Intellectual analysis and police procedure vie with the gut instinct of ‘copper’s nose’, and help appears to offer itself from a very unlikely source – a famous fictional detective. A psychological profile of the murderer allows the police to narrow down their search, but will Scotland Yard lose patience with the team before they can crack the case?

 

Guy Fraser-Sampson is an established writer best known for his series of ‘Mapp and Lucia’ novels which have been featured on BBC Radio 4 and optioned by BBC television. This is his debut work of detective fiction, and the first title in the Hampstead Murders series. You can find Guy on twitter – @GuyFSAuthor.

24 March 2016

61Jr5vpd-CLThe Primrose Path – Rebecca Griffiths (from Sphere)
As a teenager, Sarah D’Villez famously escaped a man who abducted and held her hostage for eleven days. The case became notorious, with Sarah’s face splashed across the front of every newspaper in the country. Now, seventeen years later, that man is about to be released from prison. Fearful of the media storm that is sure to follow, Sarah decides to flee to rural Wales under a new identity, telling nobody where she’s gone. Settling into the small community she is now part of, Sarah soon realises that someone is watching her. Someone who seems to know everything about her . . .

 

Rebecca Griffiths grew up in rural mid-Wales and went on to gain a first class honours degree in English literature. After a successful business career in London, Dublin and Scotland she returned to mid-Wales where she now lives with her husband, a prolific artist, and their dog and pet sheep the size of sofas.

 

81Anbi7JaBLGone Astray by Michelle Davies (from Pan Macmillan)
A chilling page-turner told from the perspective of the unsung hero of the police: the Family Liaison Officer who is thrust into the heart of the crisis. When a child goes missing, DC Maggie Neville is assigned to support and investigate the family before the domestic dynamics reach breaking point.

 

Michelle Davies has been writing for magazines for twenty years, including on the production desk at Elle, and as Features Editor of Heat. Her last staff position before going freelance was Editor-at-Large at Grazia magazine and she currently writes for a number of women’s magazines and newspaper supplements. Michelle has previously reviewed crime fiction for the Sunday Express‘s Books section.

 

Michelle lives in London with her partner and daughter and juggles writing crime fiction with her freelance journalism and motherhood. Gone Astray is her first novel, and the sequel is Wrong Place. You can chat to Michelle on Twitter – @M_Davieswrites

 

41gGiKjw4LLThe Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore
Dr. Caleb Maddox is a crack San Francisco toxicologist leading a ground-breaking study of the human pain threshold based on minute analysis of chemical markers. He has also just broken up with his artist girlfriend after she discovered a shocking family secret in his past. Seeking solace, Caleb finds a dark, old-fashioned saloon called House of Shields, and is mesmerised when a beautiful woman materialises out of the shadows, dressed like a 1940s movie star. The enigmatic Emmeline shares a pouring of absinthe with him, brushes his arm and vanishes.

 

As he pursues her through the brooding, night-time city, desperate to see her again, he simultaneously becomes entangled in a serial murder investigation that has the police stymied – men gone missing, fished out of the bay, with no clue as to how they met their end – until Caleb’s analysis of the chemical markers in their bodies reveals that each one was tortured to death. Also present are some of the key components of absinthe. As Caleb finally looks forward to a night spent alone with Emmeline, part of his mind wonders if behind the seductive vision is something utterly terrifying…

 

This is a gripping thriller about obsession and damage which follows a man unmoored by an unspeakable past. Blending timeless noir narratives with fascinating, accurate CSI detail, it’s told with masterful pacing and a growing sense of menace that is truly chilling.

 

Jonathan Moore is an attorney with the Honolulu firm of Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda. Before completing law school in New Orleans, he was an English teacher, the owner of Taiwan’s first Mexican restaurant, and an investigator for a criminal defense attorney in Washington D.C. Having written two horror / thrillers (Close Reach and Redheads, which was short-listed for the Bram Stoker Award) this is his debut in crime fiction.

 

51ap77tbGlLSisters and Lies by Bernice Barrington (from Penguin)

One hot August night, Rachel Darcy gets the call everyone fears. It’s the police. Her younger sister Evie’s had a car crash, she’s in a coma. Can Rachel fly to London right away? With Evie injured and comatose, Rachel is left to pick up the pieces of her sister’s life. But it’s hard fitting them together, especially when she really doesn’t like what she sees. Why was Evie driving when she doesn’t even own a licence? Who is the man living in her flat and claiming Evie is his girlfriend? How come she has never heard of him?

The more mysteries Rachel uncovers the more she starts asking herself how well she ever really knew her sister. And then she begins to wonder if the crash was really the accident everybody says it is. Back in hospital, Evie, trapped inside an unresponsive body, is desperately trying to wake up. Because she’s got an urgent message for Rachel – a warning which could just save both their lives . . .

 

Bernice Barrington grew up on a farm in north Longford. Her passion has always been for stories and she created her first publication, The White Elephant magazine, at eleven. She studied English and German at Trinity College, completed an MA in writing and then became a journalist. She continued to write fiction in her spare time. Sisters and Lies is her first novel. She lives in Dalkey, Co Dublin with her husband.

 

91duu3F4jTLSiren by Annemarie Neary (from Hutchinson)
Róisín Burns has spent the past twenty years becoming someone else; her life in New York is built on lies.  A figure from her Belfast childhood flashes up on the news: Brian Lonergan has also reinvented himself. He is now a rising politician in a sharp suit. But scandal is brewing in Ireland and Róisín knows the truth. Armed with the evidence that could ruin Lonergan, she travels back across the Atlantic to the remote Lamb Island to hunt him down. But Lonergan is one step ahead; when Róisín arrives on the island, someone else is waiting for her…

 

Siren was recently featured in the Independent’s iPaper as one of their Top 10 Book Club Reads for 2016.

 

Annemarie Neary was born in Northern Ireland and educated in Dublin, at Trinity College, where she studied literature, and King’s Inns, where she qualified as a barrister. She has been a waitress, cherry-picker, civil servant dealing with cross-border smuggling and peat bogs (not necessarily at the same time), legal researcher, au pair, chambermaid and hoer of German parks. Most of her career has been spent working as a lawyer in London. She has lived on Clapham Common for more than 20 years with her husband and three sons. Annemarie has a Masters in Venetian Renaissance art from the Courtauld Insitute, and Venice is something of an obsession. This is her crime fiction debut but she had a historical novel, A Parachute in the Lime Tree, published in 2011.

30 Mar 2016

When East, a low-level lookout for a Los Angeles drug organisation, loses his watch house in a police raid, his boss recruits him for a very different job: a road trip – straight down the middle of white, rural America – to assassinate a judge in Wisconsin. Having no choice, East and a crew of untested boys – including his trigger-happy younger brother, Ty – leave the only home they’ve ever known in a nondescript blue van, with a roll of cash, a map and a gun they shouldn’t have. Along the way, the country surprises East. The blood on his hands isn’t the blood he expects. And he reaches places where only he can decide which way to go – or which person to become.

Bill Beverly was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He studied literature and writing at Oberlin College, including time in London studying theatre and the Industrial Revolution. He then studied fiction and pursued a Ph.D. in American literature at the University of Florida. His research on criminal fugitives and the stories surrounding them became the book On the Lam: Narratives of Flight in J. Edgar Hoover’s America. He now teaches American literature and writing at Trinity University in Washington D.C. and lives with his wife, the poet and writer Deborah Ager, and their daughter Olive, in Hyattsville, Maryland.


For previous ‘debuts’ posts see January and February.

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