Deborah Bee

Crime fiction debuts to look out for in July 2016

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

14 July 2016

91QomHzKjQLThe Last One by Alexandra Oliva (from Michael Joseph)

When Zoo agrees to take part in a new reality TV show, In the Dark, she knows that she will be tested to the limits of her endurance. Beating eleven competitors in a series of survival tasks deep in the forest, living on camera at the extremes of her comfort zone, will be the ultimate challenge before she returns home to start a family.

As the contestants are overcome by hunger, injury and psychological breakdown, the mind games, tricks and hazards to which Zoo is subjected grow dark beyond belief. This isn’t what she signed up for: the deserted towns and gruesome props, the empty loneliness. Is this a game with no end? And what is happening away from the cameras’ gaze? Discovering the truth will be just the beginning…

A graduate of Yale University, Alexandra grew up in a small town deep in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School University and undertook intensive wilderness survival training while researching The Last One. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their brindled mutt, Codex.  You can find her on Twitter – @ali_oliva

51H4yvOvnALThe Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (from Bantam Press)

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall. Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying. Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour. Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone. You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there. What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

Shari worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before turning to writing fiction. She has written two critically acclaimed literary novels. The Couple Next Door is her suspense debut. You can find Shari on Twitter – @sharilapena

isbn9781472234766The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola (from Tinder Press)

It is 1837 and the city streets teem with life, atmosphere and the stench of London. Sarah Gale, a seamstress and mother, has been sentenced to hang for her role in the murder of Hannah Brown on the eve of her wedding.

Edmund Fleetwood, an idealistic lawyer, is appointed to investigate Sarah’s petition for mercy and consider whether justice has been done. Struggling with his own demons, he is determined to seek out the truth, yet Sarah refuses to help him. Edmund knows she’s hiding something, but needs to discover just why she’s maintaining her silence. For how can it be that someone with a child would go willingly to their own death? You can see my review here.

Anna lives in Camberwell, London, not far from where the murder at the heart of The Unseeing took place. The Unseeing is Anna’s first novel. She is currently working on her second, which is about a collector of folk tales and fairy lore on the Isle of Skye who realises that girls are going missing.

Anna studied English at Pembroke College, Oxford, before becoming a criminal justice solicitor. She divides her time between writing, reading, lawyering, and child-wrangling. Ann is on Twitter – @AnnaMazz

28 July 2016

91bc2zNbEVLThe Last Thing I Remember by Deborah Bee (from Twenty7)

Released on Kindle in February this is the paperback publication date of this debut.

Sarah is in a coma. Her memory is gone – she doesn’t know how she got there. And she doesn’t know how she might get out. But then she discovers that her injury wasn’t an accident. And that the assailant hasn’t been caught. Unable to speak, see or move, Sarah must use every clue that she overhears to piece together her own past. And work out who it is that keeps coming into her room

Deborah studied fashion journalism at Central St Martins in the ’80s. She has worked at various magazines and newspapers including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, The Times and the Guardian, as a writer, fashion editor and later as an editor. Currently, she is a director of creative marketing.


For previous ‘debuts’ posts see JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay and June.

Crime fiction debuts to look out for in February 2016

This look at forthcoming debuts seems to work well as a monthly collection so here we are looking forward to books being published in February 2016. For a list of debuts in January see here.

11 February 2016

51wdK96oR+LStasi Child by David Young (from twenty7)

This is the publication date for the paperback version of this historical thriller, an ebook version having been released in October 2015.

Set in East Berlin in 1975, the main protagonist, and the investigator, is Oberleutnant Karin Müller, the only female head of a murder squad in the Deutsche Demokratische Republic. She is called to investigate the body of a young girl who has been discovered at the foot of the infamous Wall. Evoking the period and the Cold War atmosphere this is a great novel for anyone enjoying Deutschland 83.

You can read my review here. You can catch up with David on Twitter @djy_writer

51rlVozsupLBehind Closed Doors by B A Paris (from MIRA)

The shout line for the debut from this Franco-Irish author is “Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie”. This sets the scene for a psychological thriller exploring a flawed relationship.

Jack and Grace seem to be the perfect couple but behind the facade lies a different story. Told by alternating between the present and the past, the early reviews of this suggest that BA Paris has written a gripping and disturbing debut portraying a poisonous relationship.

Follow B A on Twitter @BAParisAuthor

15 February 2016

41kNvwMBZCLJihadi: A Love Story by Yusuf Toropov (from Orenda Books)

An American Muslim living in Northern Ireland, although the author or co-author of a number of nonfiction books as well as writing plays, this is Toropov’s debut novel.

A former intelligence agent stands accused of terrorism, held without charge in a secret overseas prison. His memoir is in the hands of a brilliant but erratic psychologist whose annotations paint a much darker picture. As the story unravels, we are forced to assess the truth for ourselves, and decide not only what really happened on one fateful overseas assignment but who is the real terrorist. Peopled by a diverse and unforgettable cast of characters, whose reliability as narrators is always questioned, and with a multi-layered plot heaving with unexpected and often shocking developments.

Yusuf tweets @LiteraryStriver

25 February 2016

91YMbqYiNfLThe Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis (from Two Roads)

Yes, it’s that Janet Ellis, and this debut is attracting a lot of attention, particularly as it sounds darker than many people would have imagined a former Blue Peter presenter would have written. Or perhaps that’s the explanation… One piece of information I have been able to glean is that Janet recently attended the ‘Curtis Brown Creative’ writing school.

There does seem to be some difference of opinion on whether this is crime fiction or not. It is definitely historical – set in 1763 and the main character is 19 year-old Anne Jacob. A coming-of-age novel with a strong female lead I have seen this described as both violent and bawdy.

You can find Janet on Twitter @missjanetellis. If you’re interested in buying a copy you might be interested to know that Goldsboro Books have a limited edition available.

Crime fiction debuts seem to be a bit thin on the ground in February – let me know if there are any I’ve missed.