Crime fiction debuts to look out for in May 2016

This is a look forward to the crime fiction/thriller debuts being published in May 2016.

5 May 2016

51kK3pJFJkLDeath at Whitewater Church: An Inishowen Mystery by Andrea Carter (from Constable) out in paperback

When a skeleton is discovered, wrapped in a blanket, in the hidden crypt of a deconsecrated church, everyone is convinced the bones must be those of Conor Devitt, a local man who went missing on his wedding day six years previously. But the post mortem reveals otherwise.

Solicitor Benedicta ‘Ben’ O’Keeffe is acting for the owners of the church, and although an unwelcome face from her past makes her reluctant to get involved initially, when Conor’s brother dies in strange circumstances shortly after coming to see her, she finds herself drawn in to the mystery. Whose is the skeleton in the crypt and how did it get there? Is Conor Devitt still alive, and if so is there a link? What happened on the morning of his wedding to make him disappear?

Negotiating between the official investigation, headed up by the handsome but surly Sergeant Tom Molloy, and obstructive locals with secrets of their own, Ben unravels layers of personal and political history to get to the truth of what happened six years before.

Andrea was a barrister for seven years, prior to that she worked as a solicitor on the Inishowen Peninsula, Co Donegal. She comes from Ballyfin, Co Laois, and studied law in Trinity College Dublin.

51KtA4krsJLThe Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan (from Penguin)

After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she’s letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.

Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by her new uncle.

Jasper says he’s all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door …

Vanessa Ronan was born in Houston and in her 28 years has lived in Texas, Mexico, New York, Edinburgh, and Dublin, where she now lives with her Irish husband. Among other things, she has been a dancer, a PA, a barmaid, a literature student, a dance teacher, and now, a writer. Home-schooled by her literature teacher parents, Vanessa began writing as soon as she learned the alphabet. The Last Days of Summer is her first novel.

A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (from Harvill Secker)
Captain Sam Wyndham, former Scotland Yard detective, is a new arrival to Calcutta. Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War, Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force. But with barely a moment to acclimatise to his new life or to deal with the ghosts which still haunt him, Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that will take him into the dark underbelly of the British Raj.

A senior official has been murdered, and a note left in his mouth warns the British to quit India: or else. With rising political dissent and the stability of the Raj under threat, Wyndham and his two new colleagues – arrogant Inspector Digby and British-educated, but Indian-born Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID – embark on an investigation that will take them from the luxurious parlours of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city.

This was the winner of the Harvill Secker/Daily Telegraph crime writing competition – you had more about his journey to publication on Dead Good. Abir was born in London, but grew up in the West of Scotland. Married, with two small children, he now lives in London and has spent the last twenty years working in finance. A Rising Man is his first novel and the first in a new series starring Captain Sam Wyndham and ‘Surrender-Not’ Banerjee.

16 May 2016

91+coDa61SL-2Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus (from Orenda Books)

Already released in e-book during March 2016 this is the paperback release of this debut.

Jerry has a traumatic past that leaves him subject to psychotic hallucinations and depressive episodes. When he stands accused of stealing a priceless Van Gogh painting, he goes underground, where he develops an unwilling relationship with a woman who believes that the voices she hears are from God. Involuntarily entangled in the illicit world of sex-trafficking amongst the Hollywood elite, and on a mission to find redemption for a haunting series of events from the past, Jerry is thrust into a genuinely shocking and outrageously funny quest to uncover the truth and atone for historical sins.

 A complex, page-turning psychological thriller, riddled with twists and turns, Epiphany Jones is also a superb dark comedy with a powerful emotional core. You’ll laugh when you know you shouldn’t, be moved when you least expect it and, most importantly, never look at Hollywood, celebrity or sex in the same way again.

Michael Grothaus is a novelist and journalist who spent years researching sex trafficking, using his experiences as a springboard for his debut novel Epiphany Jones. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri in 1977, he spent his twenties in Chicago where he earned his degree in filmmaking and worked for institutions including The Art Institute of Chicago, Twentieth Century Fox, and Apple. As a journalist he regularly writes about creativity, tech, subcultures, sex and pornography, the effects of mass media on our psyches, and just plain mysterious stuff for publications including Fast Company, VICE, Guardian, Engadget, and more. He s also done immersion journalism at geopolitical events including the Hong Kong protests against Beijing in 2014. His writing is read by millions of people each month. Michael lives in London.

17 May 2016

51iEbpIJ4MLLittle Bones by Sam Blake (from twenty7)

Attending what seems to be a routine break-in, troubled Detective Garda Cathy Connolly makes a grisly discovery: an old wedding dress – and, concealed in its hem, a baby’s bones. And then the dress’s original owner, Lavinia Grant, is found dead in a Dublin suburb. Searching for answers, Cathy is drawn deep into a complex web of secrets and lies spun by three generations of women.

Meanwhile, a fugitive killer has already left two dead in execution style killings across the Atlantic – and now he’s in Dublin with old scores to settle. Will the team track him down before he kills again? Struggling with her own secrets, Cathy doesn’t know dangerous – and personal – this case is about to become…

Originally to be called ‘The Dressmaker’ you may be interested to read an article in Writing.ie about the change of title (for info Sam Blake is the pseudonym of Vanessa O’laughlin, founder of Writing.ie).

19 May 2016

Sockpuppet by Matthew Blasted (from Hodder and Stoughton)

Twitter. Facebook. Whatsapp. Google Maps. Every day you share everything about yourself – where you go, what you eat, what you buy, what you think – online. Sometimes you do it on purpose. Usually you do it without even realizing it. At the end of the day, everything from your shoe-size to your credit limit is out there. Your greatest joys, your darkest moments. Your deepest secrets.

If someone wants to know everything about you, all they have to do is look.

But what happens when someone starts spilling state secrets? For politician Bethany Leherer and programmer Danielle Farr, that’s not just an interesting thought-experiment. An online celebrity called sic_girl has started telling the world too much about Bethany and Dani, from their jobs and lives to their most intimate secrets. There’s just one problem: sic_girl doesn’t exist. She’s an construct, a program used to test code. Now Dani and Bethany must race against the clock to find out who’s controlling sic_girl and why… before she destroys the privacy of everyone in the UK.

Matthew’s first career was as a professional child actor. From the age of ten, he had roles in TV dramas, in film and on stage at theatres including the Royal Court. After graduating from Oxford with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, he began a career in online communications, consulting for a wide range of clients from the BBC to major banks. Since 2008, he has been in public service, using his communication skills to help the British population understand and manage their money. In 2012 Matthew took the Writing a Novel course at Faber Academy. Sockpuppet is his first novel.

The Trap by Melanie Raabe translated by Imogen Taylor (from Mantle)

In this twisted debut thriller, a reclusive author sets the perfect trap for her sister’s murderer–but is he really the killer? For 11 years, the bestselling author Linda Conrads has mystified fans by never setting foot outside her home. Haunted by the unsolved murder of her younger sister–who she discovered in a pool of blood–and the face of the man she saw fleeing the scene, Linda’s hermit existence helps her cope with debilitating anxiety. But the sanctity of her oasis is shattered when she sees her sister’s murderer on television. Hobbled by years of isolation, Linda resolves to use the plot of her next novel to lay an irresistible trap for the man. As the plan is set in motion and the past comes rushing back, Linda’s memories–and her very sanity–are called into question. Is this man a heartless killer or merely a helpless victim?

Melanie Raabe grew up in Thuringia, Germany and attended the Ruhr University Bochum, where she specialized in media studies and literature. After graduating, she moved to Cologne to work as a journalist by day and secretly write books by night.


For previous ‘debuts’ posts see JanuaryFebruaryMarch and April.

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13 comments

    1. I like reading about places I know – lets you get really drawn into the book without having to concentrate too much on the detail of the author’s description.

  1. I look forward to checking a few of these out. Thank you for posting up this list.
    My favorite of 2016 so far has been Edward Dreyfus’ ‘Midnight Shrink’ (http://www.docdreyfus.com).
    A psychologist who treats patients in the dark hours from a van on Skid Row gets pulled into a murder mystery.
    I couldn’t put this one down once I got through the first chapter. Totally captivating plot that takes unexpected directions with some powerful themes.
    Highly recommended.

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