April
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 Richard Montanari --- Deviant Ways --- Signet (pbk) (0 45 118911 6) --- Out on 25th April. See Review
Deviant Ways is an erotically charged thriller that tracks a pair of vicious killers -- and the homicide detectives who must bring their rampage to an end -- into a dark, twisted rabbit hole of subterranean sex, suburban voyeurism, kidnapping and murder. Deviant Ways is where Blue Velvet meets Sea of Love.
The story . . . Something has come over Andrea Heller. After seven years of marriage to her voyeur husband, Matt, it seems she has a few ideas of her own. Like calling herself Abigail. And dressing a little sexier. And sitting on the other side of the bar, pretending to be single.
And watching what happens . . .
But there's another couple watching, too. They call themselves Saila and Pharaoh, but only after sundown. And it is after sundown that some terrible things are happening in the singles clubs in Cleveland. In six months, three women in their twenties have been found brutally murdered -- their flower tattoos unceremoniously removed.
And each step that homicide detective Jack Paris takes to bring the madness to an end beckons him closer to the heart of his own forbidden impulses, and nearer the understanding that no one -- not the man standing next to him at the precinct, nor the woman in his bed -- is who he or she appears to be. When Paris ultimately discovers the terrifying secrets of The Swing Set, and the stakes become personal, he comes to know one certainty: To enter the minds of Saila and Pharaoh is to enter a world from which no one ever fully returns.
Deviant Ways probes the primal fantasies that live within us all, and pushes the boundaries of modern sexual etiquette to a fiery new limit. New thriller writer Richard Montanari boldly invades Thomas Harris' territory, creating a Red Dragon-like atmosphere of unrelenting sexual tension, murder, perversity and an evil that grabs and won't let go.
Deviant Ways marks a stunning debut for Richard Montanari, vaulting him into the front rank of new psychological thriller writers.
Praise for Deviant Ways . . .
"Richard Montanari's debut novel is savvy and sharp and as well written a thriller as Silence Of The Lambs; psychologically dark, strangely erotic and definitely hard to put down. A winner." Nelson DeMille, author of Spencerville and The Charm School
"A heavy breathing debut . . . " Kirkus Reviews
"Scary as hell . . . absolutely great." Kinky Friedman
"A chilling story . . . razor-sharp writing." The Plain Dealer
A writer since 1989, Richard Montanari's short fiction, profiles, features, essays and both film and literary criticism have appeared in The Chicago Tribune Magazine, The Detroit Free Press Magazine, St. Anthony Messenger, WordPerfect for Windows Magazine and scores of other regional and national publications. He has also sold clothing on London's Oxford Street, worked a construction crew, run an escort service, offended thousands as weekly film critic for a pair of big-city alternative weeklies. He is currently working on his second novel. Visit Richard's Web Site to learn more about Deviant Ways and the author.
Carol O'Connell --- Killing Critics Hutchinson (0 09 179198 7) 15.99 --- Out on 18th April. See Review 1 & Review 2
"The new wave of art was first heralded by the graffiti artist who attacked the city walls - artist attacks architecture. Then it progressed to the vandal artist who scarred the art of others - artist attacks art. And now we see a further escalation in the performance-art murder of Dean Starr - artist attacks artist. This is the new wave - Art Terrorism." So wrote Andrew Bliss, art critic, alcoholic, and serious, state of the art Bloomingdales' shopper. Bliss was not celebrated for his radical opinions, and no one suspected he might know something about a terrible crime committed twelve years earlier in one Avril Koozeman's galleries.
Inspector Louis Markowitz, who commanded the Special Crimes Section in New York, had worked on that original double homicide, and now his adopted daughter, Detective Sergeant Kathy Mallory, wants to reopen the old case - against the Department's wishes. A number of people in high places are also very keen that their secrets remain buried with the dead.
"Mallory is one of the most original and intriguing detectives you'll ever meet" Carl Hiaasen
Born in 1947, Carol O'Connell studied at the California Institute or Arts/Chouinard and the Arizona State University. For many years she survived on occasional sales of her paintings as well as freelance proof-reading and copy-editing. But with the huge commercial and critical success of her first two novels, Mallory's Oracle and The Man Who Lied to Women, Carol O'Connell is now writing full time.
Iain Pears --- Death and Restoration HarperCollins (0 00 232590 X) 14.99 See Review
"An elegant and amusing book, perfect for those who love a clever puzzle." Frances Hegarty, Mail on Sunday (of Giotto's Hand) The monastery of San Giovanni on Rome's Aventine hill has few treasures - only a painting doubtfully attributed to Caravaggio. So Flavia di Stefano of Rome's art police is surprised to receive a tip-off that a raid is being planned on the building.
The raid happens, but the thieves are disturbed and snatch the wrong painting, a curious icon of the Madonna remarkable only for the affection in which it is held by the local population. Or is this what the thieves wanted all along? Does the legend of the icon's miraculous powers hold any clue? And who murdered the French dealer found in the Tiber soon afterwards?
With the help of Jonathan Argyll, Flavia works her way through the intricacies of monastic and police politics and ends by getting a bigger surprise than she could possibly have imagined.
Iain Pears won the Getty Scholarship to Yale University and worked for Reuters in Rome. He is the author of The History of Modern Painting and lives in Oxford.
Mike Ripley --- Family of Angels HarperCollins (0 00 232587 X) 14.99 Out on 25th April. See Review
"The talented Mr Ripley..." (Observer) "quite the deftest hand in comic crime" (Literary Review)
Most families have a skeleton in the cupboard; Fitzroy Maclean Angel has a mortuary....
For the first time, cab-driving, trumpet-playing Angel has to turn his streetwise talents to solving problems deep in the bosom of his own family, notably to finding his missing brother and then getting him out of one of the most outrageous drug deals of the decade.
And if keeping his own parents apart isn't enough, Angel is also involved (albeit part time and only as a consultant) with a family of East End gangsters and a very dubious scam involving stolen diesel fuel and empty beer barrels.
Along the way, he renews his friendship with Sophie, a recently disgraced airline stewardess, and also has to face an old and very dangerous enemy, which might just mean that Angel has to make the ultimate sacrifice.
In his seventh outing, Angel has to face up to highly moral questions about parents and fatherhood. But he tries not to let them get in the way of the rollercoaster and rapid-fire one liners for which he has become famous.
Since his first Angel novel was published in 1988, Mike Ripley has been compared to the young Len Deighton and the English equivalent of Elmore Leonard. He lives quietly in East Anglia, where nothing ever happens.
Peter Robinson --- Wednesday's Child Constable (0 09 47569 0 2) 14.99 Out on 25th April. See Review
When two polite and well-dressed social workers appear at Brenda Scupham's door claiming to investigate reports of child abuse, Brenda makes every effort to be cooperative. Her feelings of maternal inadequacy and her fear of authority lead her to comply with their requests concerning her seven-year-old daughter Gemma. Even when they say that they must take Gemma overnight for tests, Brenda quickly agrees. It is only when they fail to return Gamma the following afternoon that Brenda realises something has gone terribly, unthinkably wrong.
Why would anyone want to abduct Gemma Scupham? Obviously she's not a ransom candidate, since she and her mother live in sordid circumstances and poverty. As days go by with no sign of the child, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and Detective Superintendent Grishorpe begin to lose hope of finding her alive. There have been numerous cases of child abductions throughout England, motivated by sexual deviancy or even Satanic sacrifices. Grishorpe is particularly concerned that there are two abductors, a man and a woman. What kind of couple would kidnap and quite possibly murder an innocent child? The desire to solve the Gemma Scupham case turns into a passionate commitment.
"This is police procedural writing at its best achieving the illusion the reader is following a real investigation rather than a contrived one. The absorbing account has some of the step-by-step fascination of Hillary Waugh's classic Last Seen Wearing, though it doesn't share that book's semi-documentary style." Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine (USA)
"A model of the English police procedural... Thorough credible characters... combine with a seamless plot." Publisher's Weekly (USA)
"His Alan Banks is a marvellous character... Robinson keeps us in suspense until, literally, the very last sentence. A great story." Gary Crawford, Mostly Murder (USA)
"This best work yet... The ending, even though the reader is prepared, still comes as a shock. You really won't put this down until the final paragraph." Globe & Mail (Canada)
Peter Robinson grew up in Leeds, Yorkshire. He emigrated to Canada in 1974 and attended York University and the University of Windsor, where he was a Writer in Residence in 1993.
James Sallis --- The Long Legged Fly No Exit Press (1 874061 48 3) 4.99 Out on 25th April. See Review
There are those who vanish into the steaming New Orleans night - and it is Lew Griffin's job to find them. A prisoner of the bottle, his past and his skin, Griffin knows every hidden corner of Hell...and is on intimate terms with the demons who dwell there. But the disappearance of a militant woman activist is about to set Griffin on a roller coaster careering towards rock bottom - carrying the brilliant tormented black PI ever closer to a nightmare that threatens to hit him where he lives....and more brutally than he has ever imagined possible.
"James Sallis is doing some of the most interesting and provocative work in the field of private eye fiction. His New Orleans is richly atmospheric and darker than noir." Lawrence Block
"Speaking of Jim Sallis in the same tone as Poe and Dostoevski is not over blowing on my part. His early work indicates a mind and a talent of uncommon dimensions." Harlan Ellison
Lisa Scottoline --- Running From the Law HarperCollins (0 00 232595 0) 14.99 See Review
"A terrific new legal thriller from one of the brightest and fastest rising stars in crime fiction"
Rita Morrone is a fast-talking, wise-cracking poker player - as well as being one of the toughest trial lawyers in Philadelphia. Whether she's at a card table or before a jury, she loves taking risks, hates to lose, and can't resist a challenge....
So when the Honourable Fiske Hamilton, a distinguished federal judge (and her prospective father-in-law), is accused of sexually harassing her young secretary, Morrone agrees to take on the defence of what becomes one of the most notorious cases in the country.
But suddenly the game turns serious, and the action deadly. Morrone finds herself at the centre of a murder case, with her client the prime suspect. Bluffing her way into the murder investigation, Morrone uncovers shocking evidence, and a twisted hidden life.
When the killer abruptly and viciously ups the ante, Morrone decides to end the lethal game. She lays it all on the line for the highest stake ever - her life.
Filled with surprising plot twists, compelling characters, stinging wit and gripping suspense, Running From the Law demonstrates why Lisa Scottoline is one of the strongest players in the legal thriller game.
Lisa Scottoline was a trial lawyer before turning to writing full time. Her books have twice been nominated for the prestigious Edgar award.
Andrew Taylor --- The Mortal Sickness NEL Paperback 5.99 --- Out on 18th April. See Review
When a spinster of the parish is found bludgeoned to death in St John's, the finger of suspicion points at the new vicar, who is already beset with problems. Some parishioners disapprove of Alec Sutton's religious leanings; others disagree with his refusal to sell the church's most valuable possession, the Lydmouth chalice, to pay for urgent repairs. Someone is sending very nasty anonymous letters about him to prominent townsfolk. And now, along with the murder, the Lydmouth chalice is missing....
An elegant crime novel that will appeal to readers of P D James and Elizabeth George, this is murder writing at its most sophisticated. It combines nostalgia with realism, emotional impact and the strong characterisation of the best of modern crime fiction.
In the second Lydmouth mystery, award-winning Andrew Taylor brings the reader to a fully realised world, a provincial society in disturbing times. A whydunnit as much as a whodunnit, it confirms the promise of his first Lydmouth novel, An Air That Kills.
Andrew Taylor is the author of the award-winning William Dougal crime series and thrillers including the critically acclaimed The Barred Window. He also reviews crime fiction for The Independent.
"A fine, atmospheric thriller" The Mail on Sunday
"Remarkable talent... he follows in the fine... tradition of Agatha Christie - but outshines her with his vivid characterisation. Wicked and wonderful." Yorkshire Post.
"The Mortal Sickness is a telling and atmospheric portrait of British Society at a time of turmoil, a fresh reminder to his fans of how gripping and enlightening Andrew Taylor manages to consistently be." Val McDermid, The Manchester Evening News
"Wonderfully subtle" H.F.R.Keating
Domini Taylor--- Pig in the Middle --- Little & Brown (0 316 91403 7) 15.99
The pig in the middle is Connie, sister to Juno and Jackie Saville. They believe they call her Pig out of affection, she knows thay do so because she doesn't share their sleek good looks or their sharp intelligence. All through her life she is certain that one day the time will be ripe for her to prove that it is she who wields the ultimate power in the Savile family, and the day does come for her to take that irrevocable destructive step.
Mark Timlin --- Find My Way Home --- Gollancz (0 575 06300 9) 15.99 Out 14th April. See Review
"They found Harry Stonehouse's head on a barge carrying garbage to some Godforsaken part of Essex. They found his torso in Stamford Bridge. They found his right hand in a skip in Waterloo, and his left leg under a bush in Regent's Park. Harry was always a geezer who liked to get around"
Harry Stonehouse had been a cop, a good one - straight, unlike Nick Sharman. After taking early retirement he'd landed a job at a security firm. Now he's dead and his wife wants Nick to find out who killed him and why.
Nick's been taking a close look at Hell just recently and doesn't care too much about anything beyond the next Jack Daniels. But Harry had been a friend, and he'd screwed his wife and he feels sorry for her. Big mistake.
In an unlikely partnership with ex-DI Robber, Sharman sets off in pursuit - and finds himself swept along in the deadly aftermath of a 20 million heist. And with that much money at stake, betrayal, double-crossing and murder are just the basis for negotiation...
Mark Timlin's Nick Sharman thrillers have established him as Britain's leading writer of hardboiled detective fiction. Born in south London, where he still lives, he worked for many years in the rock'n'roll business but is now a full-time writer. Following a successful pilot in 1995, a TV series starring Clive Owen as Sharman is due for transmission by Carlton TV in Autumn 1996.
"Britain's most exciting contemporary crime novelist." Derek Raymond
"Britain's only convincing private eye novelist" The Face
"Mean streets, sleazy bars, brutal bent coppers... as British as a used condom in a fogbound London taxi" Observer
"Well f***ing hard" Loaded
Elise Title--- Bleeding Hearts --- Little & Brown (0 316 87954 1) 14.99.
Dr Melanie Rosen is a respected psychoanalyst, currently assisting the San Francisco police in profiling a killer whose victims are successful career women. When Melanie is killed and horribly mutilated it seems the killer had to know of her interest in him. Her sister, Sarah, is devastated but determined to do all she can to track down the culprit. Then she starts receiving extracts of her sister's diaries - very private journals which reveal a side of Melanie her sister had never suspected. They show a woman who delights in danger and degradation, in sadistic sex and masochism and they reveal a truth about their upbringing which Sarah is forced to recognise as authentic and the cause of her sister's fate. To force the killer into the open, Sarah allows herself to be wooed by him and the result is a novel of outstanding tension, the heart-stopping revelation a denoument of blinding emotion.
Elise Title was a psychotherapist for fifteen years and also worked with inmates in high-security prisons. This is her first venture into psychological suspense. She lives in New England.
Nick Tosches --- Trinities Bantam Pbk 5.99 --- Out on 11th April. See Review
Trinities is a tale of evil. At its heart is the battle for control of the world's multibillion-dollar heroin trade - a fight to the death between America's last generation of Sicilian Mafiosi and ruthless Asian druglords. Set against a vivid backdrop that reaches from the streets of Brooklyn and Chinatown to the remote and secret power circles of Italy and the Orient, it is populated with characters for whom horrifying acts of violence are part of everyday life: ageing Mafia dons, opium warlords of the Shan highlands, and, drawn into their deadly vortex, a man whose journey is as compelling as the conflagration that rages around him.
Trinities is daring, malevolent, incendiary. A gritty, stylish thriller that is as elegant as it is brutal, it takes us deeper into the worlds of Asian drug traffickers and the Mafia than any novel has before.
"Lots of blood, sweat and tears. An audacious and superior thriller" Sunday Telegraph
"A lean, ambitious, well-told tale. Trinities is a galloping pulp masterpiece" Washington Post.
Nick Tosches is the author of two landmark biographies, Hellfire and Dino, about Jerry Lee Lewis and Dean Martin respectively. He has written for Esquire, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. He lives in New York City.
Margaret Yorke --- A Question of Belief --- Little & Brown (0 316 87893 6) 15.99
Philip Winter had been accused of rape. The jury had seen through the vindictive facade of the woman and found him innocent, a victim of another person's failure. But neither his family nor his employers accept the court's verdict and, unable to cope with their rejection, he finds himself part of the anonymous, ever-moving, homeless society. His drifting eventually lands him a nightwatchman's job at a cosmetics factory, where they are wary of the activities of an animal rights group. Philip is grateful for a semblance of security in his life, not knowing that his fate has once more landed in the hands of an obsessed woman.
Margaret Yorke's career as a novelist has spanned thirty years, and she has been ranked alongside P.D.James and Ruth Rendell as one of Britain's leading contemporary crime writers.
"No crime writer compares in extracting unease, fear and evil from such placid surfaces." The Times


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