Sunday Salon: Spring books

TSSbadge3 Now that Professor Petrona's extremely generous Christmas present, a subscription to the Bookseller, has started arriving, I shall be more reliably informed than hitherto about what books will be appearing in the next few months. So without further ado, here is what to look out for this spring (April 2009):

Long Lost by Harlan Coben (Orion), a new Myron Bolitar novel. Myron is a sports agent, and here a former girlfriend gets in touch out of the blue (i.e. we have probably not heard mention of her in previous titles). She's a suspect in a murder case, and only Myron can help.

Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child (Bantam): Jack Reacher is on a subway at 2 a.m. in New York, and becomes suspicious of a fellow passenger who is exhibiting "all the signs of a would-be suicide bomber". Let's hope he's better at this activity, and what to do about it, than the Metropolitan Police.

The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith (Simon and Schuster) is the second novel by the author of the phenomenally successful and highly-regarded Child 44. In this book, it is 1956 in the Soviet Union: Stalin is dead and Khrushchev is promising transformation of the whole country. But there are many who cannot forget the Stalin years and former KGB officer Leo Demidov and his family are in danger from someone who bears a grudge.

About Face by Donna Leon (Heinemann) is the new Commissiario Brunetti novel – this outing being accompanied by a practical walking guide to Venice by Toni Sepeda (same publisher). I have often hoped that "placeist" crime-fiction (and other) novels could be accompanied by travel guides to the relevant literary scenes, so maybe this is the start of a welcome trend.

My Soul to Take is the eagerly awaited second title from Yrsa Sigurdadottir (Hodder), again featuring lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir, this time investigating a murder at a health resort. The author will be attending CrimeFest at Bristol in May, I'm delighted to say.

The Kill Call by Stephen Booth (HarperCollins) is the ninth in the DS Diane Fry/DC Ben Cooper series set in Derbyshire. This time they become entangled in the violent world of hunting and hunt saboteurs.

Bleed a River Deep (Macmillan) is Brian McGilloway's third Inspector Devlin novel, a superb series set in the borderlands between Northern Ireland and Eire.

Another eagerly-awaited Irish novel is Dark Times in the City by the extremely talented Gene Kerrigan (Harvill), this one set in the Dublin underworld. Danny Callagan is having a quiet drink in the pub when two men with guns enter. On impulse Callagan intervenes to save a man's life, an action that will have vicious consequences.

Comfort to the Enemy is the latest from master Elmore Leonard (Weidenfeld and Nicholson), this one a novel comprising three linked stories charting the career of lawman Carl Webster.

War Damage by Elizabeth Wilson (Serpent's Tail) is set in the aftermath of the Second World War, when a body is discovered on Hampstead Heath after one of socialite Regine Milner's legendary Sunday house parties. 

Henning Mankell, better known for his Wallendar crime novels, has a "literary" novel coming out. In Italian Shoes, a man living in self-imposed exile on a Swedish island is visited out of the blue by the only woman he ever loved, whom he abandoned 40 years earlier. They drive to a lake in northern Sweden, where he discovers she has a surprise in store. There is a chance the author will visit the UK when the book is published.

Among the rest of April's crime fiction are Black Out by Lisa Unger; debut novel Daemon by Daniel Surarez; Fatal Cut by June Hampton; Mystery Man by Bateman; The Edge by Chris Simms; The Black Monastery by Stav Sherez; The Little Victim by R. T. Raichev; Close-up by Esther Verhoef; Bone Man's Daughters by Ted Dekker; and The Devil's Bones by Jefferson Bass.

As a postscript, three new Doctor Who novels are also scheduled: The Slitheen Excursion by Simon Guerrier; Judgement of the Judoon by Colin Brake; and Prisoner of the Daleks by Trevor Baxendale.

That's just April.


8 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Spring books

  1. I just removed a comment by “Charlotte” as it was in effect an advertisement and link for a book ordering service. I would have just removed the link and left in the comment, but under this new Type Pad system, one can no longer edit comments, only let them be published or not.

  2. Thanks for this post, Maxine. I will look forward to the Kerrigan book as I read Little Criminals just after Christmas and thought it was superb.

  3. Agreed, Kim, I thought it was fantastic, too. I highly recommend his second, The Midnight Choir – now out in paperback – not exactly a sequel but concerning some of the same characters. Very bleak.

  4. I pick up maybe 5 to 6 books a year to read, but I got a copy of Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy. It is I have to say a great read. Dekker’s work is always good but with first time author Healy, this book is outstanding. I had to make myself put it down because I was not doing any work at my office (I was getting stares from my coworkers). The website for the book is
    Publisher’s Weekly sums it up like this:
    Master of evangelical Christian suspense, Dekker (Thr3e; Blink; Skin) joins first-time author Healy in this thriller, no less fast-moving than the Christy Award–winning author’s solo prose, but also more gripping as it plunges into the life of a woman with frayed and painful family relationships. When a tragic auto accident leaves Shauna McAllister’s brother brain-damaged and erases her recent memories, she discovers she has a paranormal ability to steal memories from others, a capability that will either get her killed or unveil hidden sides of the very people she thought she could trust. Against this background, she attempts to uncover the ugly truth about her father’s dark secrets and to upend his run for president of the United States. True to Dekker’s penchant for twists that keep you guessing till the very last page, Kiss also attempts to return to snappier dialogue and more logical plotting than Skin. A psychological suspense thriller that shines light into black-market child trafficking, Dekker’s latest will satisfy Christian fiction lovers who want complex characters and who believe in the stark realities of true good and heinous evil.

  5. Interesting, “Shauna”, that you are signing in from this book’s website. So your comment is not exactly independent 😉 Could you by any chance be involved in its publicity?

  6. In many ways reading fast is not a particular advantage, since as a result even a long-awaited and then much-loved book is over far too quickly. It’s also hellishly expensive, particularly if you’re like me and read a lot of stuff that’s not stocked by local libraries and needs to be bought. (Even if I started reading more in English, the libraries I have access to are really hit and miss on Euro crime.) I do re-read, a lot (I don’t have much of a choice!), but it’s rather irritating.
    As an illustration: I was recently in Berlin for a few days, and bought five paperback crime novels on Monday, none of them particularly short. As of Saturday night, I’ve finished four of them and am holding off on number five by the skin of my teeth. I’m home sick at the moment, but even so…and this was on top of a fair chunk of Richard Strauss’s collected letters I’m reading for my PhD.
    Those five books cost me forty euros, which is actually a rather good price, but on my PhD budget it’s a hefty slice of my weekly income and means the next fortnight’s meals will involve a lot of soup and lentils. I don’t really mind the spending, and I don’t have many other expensive vices, but I’d prefer to get a bit more bang for my book buck! Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be able to read more slowly, no matter how hard I try. This probably explains my preference for seriously weighty volumes…I may be the only person on the planet who wished Girl with a Dragon Tattoo was longer!
    I realise this my ability to speed-read seems more like something one would gloat about than a cause for complaint, but in practical terms it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!
    (And apologies for the digression.)

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