One of my Christmas presents was a renewal of last year's present of a gift subscription to The Bookseller, the UK "trade" publication. I like it a lot because it tells you lots of tempting information about upcoming titles. There were a few glitches in my renewal, partly to do with the snow, but order now seems to be restored. In the first issue of 2010 (8 Jan), there are various previews and selections of the books that will be on sale in paperback in the UK this year. I'll mention a few here for those who still have not spent their Christmas book tokens.
One new initiative is "Indies for Indies", in which The Bookseller identifies books that deserve support – perhaps from independent publishers or new authors – that won't get supermarket or "3 for 2" exposure. Top of the list is Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer by Luigi Guicciardi (Herisila, March), which is the first book from a new publisher specializing in Italian crime. Apparently this novel is "the start of a series low on gore but high in colour". One for my list, then. As ever, Euro Crime was on the case early with this one.
The Bookseller's panel have chosen their favourites from the forthcoming paperbacks for the year. Not many crime novels are included – Ruth Rendell's The Monster in the Box (April), Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante (April), and The Neighbour by Lisa Gardner being the sum total.
The Channel 4 book club picks are predicted to sell well – crime choices among those rae Blacklands by Belinda Bauer (on TV on 24 Jan; out now, and available on various promotions at a very reasonable price) and The Way Home by George Pelecanos (on TV 7 March; highly recommended by one of my favourite blogs, Material Witness). The Rapture by Liz Jensen is another choice which is sort of crime-ish – on TV on 21 Feb.
There are so many paperbacks in the 2010 list that I am going to mention only a few – those that interest me. Of the January releases, I can recommend Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark, which is a typical novel by the "queen of suspense"; Simon Beckett's Whispers of the Dead is also well worth a read. In February, we can look forward to Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid, The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith (guiltily, I still have Child 44 unread on my shelf), Skin and Bones by Tom Bale (a very good, exciting thriller), and The Missing by Jane Casey which I haven't read but am looking forward to. In March, I am looking forward to What to do When Someone Dies by Nicci French. About Face by Donna Leon is out in paperback, and I expect a lot of people will be pouncing on The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by the late Stieg Larsson, when it comes out in paperback in April. John Harvey's Far Cry is also out in April (despite being previously mis-announced as January), as is Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell (another one on my shelf to read). If anyone has not read The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin, that's also out in April and I cannot recommend it too highly.
Michael Connelly's excellent The Scarecrow is out in May, as is Three Weeks to Say Goodbye by C. J. Box. Skipping to July, I am looking forward to Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay, and The Twelve by Stuart Neville. Tooth and Claw by Nigel McCrery is worth a read if you have a spare couple of hours. The best August news is that The Complaints by Ian Rankin is finally out in paperback. Sophie Hannah's A Room Swept White and U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton are other August titles, as is Where The Dead Lay by David Levien (on my shelf and one I am looking forward to reading after enjoying his debut, City of the Sun). The Disappeared, M. R. Hall's follow-up to the excellent The Coroner, is in paperback in September, as is Henry Porter's The Dying Light.
Peter James's Dead Like You is scheduled for October, as is The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (translated by the incomparable Don Bartlett). Possibly even more exciting is that Liza Marklund's Red Wolf is out the same month.
Of course, I have only highlighted very few titles from the long list of upcoming paperbacks – I am sure there will be news of many other great reads as the year continues.
(Links in the above post go to reviews of the books at Petrona, Euro Crime or Material Witness.)