Books

On the Radar: How about… playgroup noir?

Right? I mean, who knew? Could playgroup noir become a thing? We like to stay ahead of the curve but English author Katherine Faulkner might soon be appearing on literary festival panels around the world discussing this new corner of crime fiction. Her novel The Other Mothers made quite a splash on its Kindle and hardback release in the summer arrives soon as a paperback. Get ready also for blood-dripping Christmas puzzles, private detectives in New York, a burned out ex soldier and some Dead Sweet Nordic noir from Iceland in this week’s On the Radar.

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The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner

Could playgroup noir be the Next Big Thing in crime fiction? If so, Katherine Faulkner is ahead of the game with The Other Mothers, released as a paperback on 5 December. Ex journalist and new mum Tash could really do with a scoop to get her freelance career back on track, but with a baby to look after she’s drawn a blank. Until Tash joins the local playgroup and meets the other mothers there. Sleek, sophisticated and successful, they are everything she longs to be – a far cry from her cramped little flat and ever-growing pile of unpaid bills. These women seem to have everything. But they also have their secrets, and not everyone can be trusted.
Order now on Amazon or Bookshop.org

The Christmas Jigsaw Murders by Alexandra Benedict

The Christmas Jigsaw Murders by Alexandra Benedict front cover

Some people would rather die than have to complete a jigsaw, but someone is taking that literally in Alexandra Benedict’s The Christmas Jigsaw Murders, out now. Just a few days before Christmas, renowned puzzle setter, loner and Christmas sceptic Edie O’Sullivan finds a hand-delivered gift on her doorstep. Inside is a jigsaw with just six pieces, and together they show part of a crime scene – blood-spattered black and white tiles and part of an outlined body. There’s also a chilling note, signed by ‘Rest in Pieces’, threatening the deaths of at least four people before Christmas Eve. Can Edie use her skills to stop the killer, before it’s too late?
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Shadow Dance by Martin Ott

Shadow Dance by Martin Ott front cover

West is a young man, but he’s already seen and done things that could make your blood curdle. He reaches breaking point and goes AWOL after several tours in Afghanistan as a POW prison guard, heading for Los Angeles in search of Solomon, his childhood best friend. But the world in which Solomon exists is dark and dangerous, and West soon finds himself caught in the web of an Iranian family and its patriarch, Big Z Pourali, a former wrestler with a dark side — and side businesses that put his dancers, employees and family in peril. Can West get out, and stay sane in the process? It’s great to bring you some indie crime fiction this week and Shadow Dance by Martin Ott is out on 5 December.
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The Mayors of New York by SJ Rozan

The Mayors of New York by SJ Rozan front cover

Private investigators Lydia Chin and Bill Smith find themselves thrust into the mystery behind the disappearance of a teenage boy in SJ Rozan‘s The Mayors of New York, out on 5 December. The teenager in question is the son of New York’s first female mayor and the sleuths are first told that he’s run away. But something doesn’t quite fit. Why did the boy leave? Who else is searching for him, and why? And what is his twin sister hiding? With the press and the NYPD being kept in the dark, Lydia and Bill turn to the only contacts they think will be able to help: the neighbourhood leaders who are the real ‘mayors’ of New York.
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Dead Sweet by Katrín Júlíusdóttir

Dead Sweet by Katrin Juliusdottir front cover

Debut author Katrín Júlíusdóttir arrives on the Nordic noir scene on 7 December with Dead Sweet, after serving as the country’s finance minister then working in the finance industry. Translated by Quentin Bates, Dead Sweet begins when Óttar Karlsson, a wealthy and respected government official and businessman, is found murdered after failing to turn up at his own surprise birthday party. The police are at a loss until young police officer Sigurdís finds a well-hidden safe in Karlsson’s impersonal luxury apartment. There’s evidence of shady business dealings, and a US phone number found inside the safe, with papers showing regular money transfers to an American account, lead Sigurdís to Minnesota – where suddenly, the investigation strikes chillingly close to home…
Order now on Amazon or Bookshop.org

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