New UK fiction for January

Facility Facility Facility Well, things are looking up for fans of good crime fiction who have access to books published in the UK. The Bookseller's listing of new titles for January 2011 (1 October 2010 issue) has some very tempting reads.

First up for me is the only (I think) translated offering, Jo Nesbo's The Leopard (Harvill): eagerly awaited by many, not least for another chance to read an undoubtedly peerless translation by Don Bartlett. I won't repeat the gruesome-sounding plot here, but according to the publisher the sales of Harry's last outing, The Snowman, a Richard & Judy pick, are up 400 % on Nesbo's previous book (The Redeemer, presumably). 

It's also good to know that Elly Griffiths has a new novel out (Quercus), The House at Seas End, in which forensic anthropologist Dr Ruth Galloway investigates some 60-year-old bodies thought to have been involved in a plan to stop a German invasion. I loved The Crossing Places and The Janus Stone, so I am certainly looking forward to this one.

Another novel on my must-read list is The Facility by Simon Lelic (author of the excellent The Rupture). Published by Mantle, this novel is about security and anti-terrorist legislation as experienced by a journalist for a political news site.

Snowdrops by A. D. Miller (Atlantic) looks to be an interesting debut by The Economist's former Moscow correspondent. (The novel is also subject of a feature in the same issue of The Bookseller). The novel is set in "post-Soviet, pre-credit crunch, gold rush Moscow of the mid-noughties" (?!), in which a lawyer looks back over a winter in which he lost his moral bearings.

There really are many other interesting titles, a few of which I'll mention here in case you want to watch out for them. Darkside by Belinda Bauer (Bantam) is set in the close-knit village of Shipcott, as was her first, Blacklands (which I have yet to read). Martin Cruz Smith has a new Arkady Renko thriller out, Three Stations (Macmillan). I stopped reading these after the first three, not sure why as I enjoyed them – well, the first one, Gorky Park,  the most, by a long way. Death and the Maiden by Frank Tallis (Century) is the next in the Liebermann Papers series, set in 1903 Vienna. Apparently an earlier novel, Darkness Rising, has been optioned by the BBC. Other new titles include Shatter the Bones by Stuart MacBride (HarperCollins), First Frost by James Henry (Bantam), an attempt (I would guess doomed) by someone to continue the delightfully idiosyncratic and rude series of R. D. Wingfield; and Do No Harm by Carol Topolski (Fig Tree), an author I haven't tried but who looks interesting in the "psychological thriller" subgenre, this one about a "gynaecologist with a dark secret".  There is also a debut by Araminta Hall that looks worth checking out, Everything and Nothing (HarperCollins), about a shaky marriage and childcare arrangements that go wrong. Likened to Sophie Hannah. Another debut, The Dead Women of Juarez by Sam Hawken (Serpent's Tail) looks good, but strong noir medicine.  There are also new books by the usuals, eg JP, Tami Hoag, Clive Cussler, if you fancy a formulaic read.