Paperbacks in January and February

I thought I would pass on some information from The Bookseller's Paperback Preview (not available online), announcing the books due for UK PB publication early this year and predicting the hits.

Stephanie Bateson, Asda's book buyer, predicts that Chelsea Cain's Sweetheart (Pan, 6 Feb), "in the vein of the best American slasher crime books of the last couple of years", will be mega-popular. Not for me, but maybe for you. She also thinks The Reapers by John Connelly (Hodder, 19 Feb) and In the Dark by Mark Billingham (Sphere, 2 April) will hit the mark.

Geoff Briley, senior buyer at Gardiner's books, thinks that Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs (Arrow, 23 April) will be a big seller, as "we are given a more personal look at our unlikely heroine". Again, not for me - I've read the first three or four of the series and decided to rest it there. I'm extremely positive about another of Geoff's tips, though: The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (Orion, 28 May).

Among the crime novels due out in PB this month are Where are you Now?, Mary Higgins Clark's latest excellent thriller (Pocket books), The Murder Exchange by Simon Kernick, When will there be Good News? by Kate Atkinson, and The Perk by Mark Giminez (Sphere) – apparently after his last novel, The Abduction (not read by me), this author is making a welcome return to legal thrillers. Flesh House by Stuart MacBride, who did very well in the Euro Crime reviewers' poll of 2008, is out in Jan (Harper), and I have to mention The Road (Cormac McCarthy, Picador) – obviously already out in paperback but this month brings the film tie-in edition. The film, that is, which stars one Mr Viggo Mortensen, plus beard.

In February, we have Careless in Red by Elizabeth George (Hodder) to look forward to, as well as Chasing Darkness by the superb Robert Crais (Orion), Scream for Me by Karen Rose (Headline), City of Fear by Alafair Burke (Avon), and An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson (Faber), described as "a very satisfying plot-driven period piece.

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