"Summer sizzlers", the Bookseller calls them. Paperbacks due to be published in the UK in July, that is. The "biggie" is a book with the initials TLS by the author DB, accompanied by the words "a lot of summer suitcases will be delighted". I wonder for how many more years we will be seeing that type of comment as part of news about an upcoming book, and when it will be automatically assumed that readers will just be downloading an e-version from somewhere?
Ah well, for the moment anyway, many of us still have covers and printed versions to look forward to, even though it will be a strain on the suitcase (in my case, certainly) compared with an iPad or an e-reader. And if you aren't tempted by TLS/DB, there's plenty of crime fiction to look forward to – perhaps top of the sales list will be Linwood Barclay's third novel to be published in the UK, Fear the Worst (Orion), "another terrific thriller", apparently. It shares at least one element with his second book, Too Close To Home – a picture of a fence on the cover.
As usual I am not going to mention all the paperbacks due out in July as there are so many of them. Among those that caught my interest is Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman. I enjoyed her debut but was disappointed by her second, so have not read more. This new title, however, marks a change of publisher from Penguin to HarperCollins and is a "horribly topical tale about teenage girls being enticed out through internet dating", a theme that also is central to Val McDermid's Fever of the Bone. The Bookseller highly recommends Hoffman's novel of "fast-paced, short chapters of the events seen through different eyes."
My pick of the month is definitely Truth by Peter Temple (Quercus). Featuring some of the same characters as those who were in the Dagger-winning The Broken Shore, Truth is "a harder, darker, more spare tale of corruption and deceit." It is certainly worth finding space in your luggage for this one. Another book I've read in hardback and coming up for paperback release is Nigel McCrery's Tooth and Claw (Quercus), about a synaesthesic detective. Apparently there is talk of a TV series (the author has written two already, Silent Witness and New Tricks).
N. J. (Natasha) Cooper's second Karen Taylor novel, Lifeblood (Pocket), is out. I enjoyed the first, No Escape, set on the Isle of Wight, and this one is apparently set six months later. Another book I'm keen to read is Acts of Violence by Ryan David Jahn (Pan). I have a proof copy in my (long) queue. The novel is apparently about the sad lives of the occupants of a block of flats where a murder happens, and how their problems become entangled with the violence outside. "Highly recommended", again.
Just a few more that I haven't read but which look good: Cambridge Blue by Alison Bruce (Robinson); Loss by Tony Black (Arrow); The Death of a Mafia Don by Michele Giuttari (Abacus); Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan (Ebury); Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (Serpent's Tail). Other novels include The Taken by Inger Ash Wolfe (Corgi), sequel to The Calling; Death by Design by Barbara Nadel (Headline); Look Again by Lisa Scottoline (Pan), which seems like a bit of a departure from her usual themes; The Fourth Assassin by Matt Rees (Atlantic), the fourth of a series which I haven't yet started on but must; and lots more!