Unlawful Acts’ Incident Report covers the world of small press crime fiction for the week of August 19th through August 25th with links to news, reviews, and new releases.
This week we began a new feature at Unlawful Acts, Shoulder Wounds. Jim Thomsen puts together all the books he has recently read and reviews them. This week he reviewed books by Steve Brewer, Eric Beetner, Michelle Campbell, and Elmore Leonard.
How about the results from the survey that an over the last two weeks. Thanks to everyone who participated.
What did I take away from this? First of all I was surprised by the number of people that liked the Book Review section. For this week, I’ve dropped Podcasts and On Writing though I’m sure you’ll find links to items of interests in future Incident Reports – I’m not heartless after all. You’ll also notice Short Stories has been dropped but that’s because I just ran out of time this week. This section always gets the short end of the stick in that way.
Since I will be in St. Petersburg in the beginning of September, how about a Bouchercon survey for the next two week?
Tom Leins interviewed Nigel Bird, author of “In Loco Parentis”
What do you hope that readers take away from the book?
I’d like them to feel something. To experience the sadness, the tension and the humour of Joe’s story. I hope they get an insight into the mind of someone who is struggling to survive and maybe to look at others and see that most people are working really hard to keep afloat. Maybe they’ll see teachers in a different light, too. That they’ll be a little more understanding of how the job can carry too much weight even for those who don’t go so obviously off the rails as they try and cope.
Jennifer Baker’s “When Black Characters Wear White Masks” is a great read.
The “hero’s” journey in these narratives relies on the current/ongoing knowledge and memory of what it means to be Black. In truth, these characters are never truly white, even as they drop anything and everything Black within their lives, be it family and friends, diction, culture, etcetera. To blend into white society as white is a covert operation. The awareness of their true Black self allows race to be a permeating factor. To pass or transform through whiteface is not as simple as a performance, nor is it caricature. Blackface aims to mock and, at its heart, demean; meanwhile, the leap to whiteness, whether enthusiastic or strategic, leaves characters in constant danger. In literature, whiteface is an analysis of how this choice becomes a way of life—and how, once the leap is made, this new life doesn’t necessarily leave characters content.
Kweī Quartey, author of the Inspector Darko Dawson Mysteries, on homicide and the inequality gap at Murder is Everywhere
Besides mere academics, what does this kind of information hold for readers and writers of crime fiction? It may appear as dry information, but behind all statistics are real people. Eudora Welty said, “The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it and offer it to the reader . . .”
That’s why we don’t write about vacuous settings detached from reality. Social inequity, a real thing, holds a particular fascination for me, as does cultural dissonance, but the task—something like wrestling a bull to the ground—is to figure out how and why the Gini Index at the human, micro level sets the stage for murder.
Interview with H. J. Golakai, author of “The Lazarus Effect”
Please could you tell us about the Vee Johnson mystery series, which starts with The Lazarus Effect?
It’s the story about a woman fighting for her life and sanity. Vee is seeing visions of the ghost of a missing girl and doesn’t know why this is happening. But she’s also a very intelligent woman and she knows this is connected to her past as a survivor of the Liberian civil war and she hasn’t yet fully processed the trauma of that. Vee works as an investigative journalist and she convinces her editor to investigate what happened to the 17-year-old girl who went out with her friends one day and never came back. It’s the story of two lost women, a dead girl and a missing girl, finding each other in this life and the afterlife.
David Simon interviewed at The New York Review of Books.
How do the network police procedurals deal with issues race and crime?
They clean it up. How often do rich white people get murdered?
On Law and Order, quite often. Their murderers are Park Avenue matrons and spoiled private-school kids.
They’re protecting the franchise. Those stories are more interesting to the white consumerist audiences coveted by advertising executives. The truth is that violence follows economic deprivation. The vast majority of murders have to do with people who don’t have a lot. They’re chasing after the scraps falling off the table.
I often think about the fourteen- and fifteen-year-olds whose lives I followed with Ed Burns in 1993 for The Corner. DeAndre is dead. Overdose. R.C. is dead. Overdose. Dinky was shot to death. Boo, shot to death. He was fourteen. Tae went to prison. Herbie, I think, is dead. Wayne’s dead.
George Pelecanos, “The Man Who Came Uptown”, interviewed at The New York Times.
Who is your favorite overlooked or underappreciated writer?
David Goodis is largely forgotten today. He was a genuine noir writer whose troubled psyche leapt off the page. I would add Charles Willeford, a singular, radical voice in fiction, to the list.
Michael Pool, author of “Texas Two-Step”, list some classic noir books.
Most crime writers would agree that the noir genre has deep roots in crime fiction’s storied history. In the mid-twentieth century, pulp stories that sold for a quarter-cent per word paved the way for some crime fiction’s most classic novels, en route to eventually spawning the cultural phenomenon that is film noir. Today, many of those same authors are considered legends in the field.
But crime fiction’s seedy underbelly genre never really caught on commercially. The iconic Dashiell Hamett died relatively broke and sick, his body ravaged from years of alcoholism and smoking. When Jim Thompson died, none of his books were in print in the United States.
The American appetite for violence and love of a destructive anti-hero may have permeated the worlds of film and television, but books featuring that kind of protagonist have long struggled to find a mainstream audience.
An excerpt from the introduction of “Lost Films” edited Max Book III and Lori Michelle.
When I was eleven, my mom let me rent Faces of Death on VHS from Hollywood Video. My brother had talked this movie up for years, claiming it was the most hardcore thing he had ever seen. Finally, I would be able to watch it, too. My horror cred would upgrade to a whole new level, and I couldn’t have been more excited. In retrospect, I don’t think my mom exactly understood what she was getting into.
The Evolution of Ross Macdonald: A Family Crisis and Three Novels That Changed the Course of Crime Fiction by Bruce Riordan at CrimeReads
Macdonald’s singular vision of the fragile qualities of justice and mercy was a hard-earned one. In 1959, Macdonald’s daughter Linda Millar disappeared from her dormitory at a private college and became the subject of a high-profile missing persons case. This effect of this incident on Macdonald is documented in Karen Huston Karydes’s study of the era’s crime canon, Hard-Boiled Anxiety. Karydes examines the roots of the anxieties that throb throughout Macdonald’s novels, as well as those of his partners in the holy trinity of hard-boiled crime, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.
From 1960 on, Macdonald’s crime novels would become increasingly personal and his hero, Lew Archer, would become as much a crusading shrink as a private detective, searching for the root causes of violence, looking to understand, rather than solve, crime. In Macdonald’s world, every parent-child relationship is a trap from which there is no escape, every violent crime has roots in the family and every authority figure is complicit. The blood that stains the pages of the Archer novels propels the plots; it also traces the tracks left by the broken parents and damaged children that populate the books.
Other news you can use:
- Brian Lindenmuth continued his profile of Western writers, this time with Louis L’Amour
- Colman Keane’s July book of the month is Alan Parks’s “Bloody January”
- Theresa Talbot, author of “Keep Her Silent”, interviewed at The Belgian Reviewer
- Sarah Hilary, author of “Come and Find Me”, interviewed at BOLO Books’ Composite Sketch
- Over at dru’s book musings, there’s a list of new releases for September mainly of books in series
- The problem with reading e-books before sleeping
- Since I don’t like cats I won’t be linking to the cats and writers story
- Nick Kolakowski, author of “Boise Longpig Hunting Lodge”, on the most dangerous game
- Will Viharo interviewed David Corbett, author of The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday
- Tom Leins interviewed Martin Stanley, author of the Stanton Brothers series
- Toe Six Press to begin GoFundMe campaign
- Interview with Christopher Huang, author of “A Gentleman’s Murder” (Inkshares)
- Zakk At Teom on stars and shit
- From Art Taylor’s The First Two Pages, Paul D. Marks wrote about his short story in the Bouchercon anthology, “Florida Happens: Tales of Mystery, Mayhem, and Suspense from the Sunshine State”
A protégée of Roy Stryker at the U.S. Office of War Information and subsequently at Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), Esther Bubley (1921-1998) was a preeminent freelance photographer during the “golden age” of American photojournalism, from 1945 to 1965. At a time when most post-war American women were anchored by home and family, Bubley was a thriving professional, traveling throughout the world, photographing stories for magazines such as LIFE and the Ladies’ Home Journal and for prestigious corporate clients that included Pepsi-Cola and Pan American World Airways.
I’m including two photographs this week. The first is called “Greyhound Bus Terminal. New York City. 1947” which you might recognize as something I’ve shared before. But I just love it.
The second photograph you might recognize as being used for the cover of one of the many editions of Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt”.
Black Guys Do Read’s Richard Vialet reviewed Laura Lippman’s “Sunburn” (Faber & Faber).
Then, coming up near the end of the novel, I began to suspect that it wasn’t really taking me anywhere. The pace slowed down significantly, and by the end, my fears were confirmed. Not much actually happened here, at least not anything that lived up to the promise of the first half. The book was fine but not as amazing as I was hoping, especially with the great character work that Lippman featured here.
Vanda Symon’s “Overkill” (Orenda Books) reviewed at Bookaremycwtches.
Why would I recommend his book? Because it is a superb read, written by an emerging New Zealand talent, who if the world is fair will draw a huge following in Britain. The characterisation is top notch, with a strong female lead whose vulnerability is neither overwhelming nor disabling for the story or the character herself. She is determined and written so well, that a series of books featuring Sam will be something I hope will be published in this country as well.
Marietta Miles, author of “May” and “Route 12”, reviewed Gabino Iglesias’s “Zero Saints” (Broken River Books) at Do Some Damage.
ZERO SAINTS is completely original. Equal parts noir and horror, Gabino melds his beautiful anger and artistic prose with ease and absolute sincerity. He slices his characters wide open, figuratively and literally, showing their fine and fragile inner-workings. These characters are real and vivid. As you read you can almost sense their presence behind you, an unsettling side-effect.
Richard Parker’s “Never Say Goodbye” (Bookouture) reviewed at Hair Past a Freckle.
Never Say Goodbye is a superb police procedural, with a chilling and accomplished plot set in the labyrinthine streets of London with its long history of vicious murders. There’s a real authenticity to the proceedings throughout too – this is a result tenaciously ground out, with the officers forced to work in a police station where the heating isn’t functioning despite it being a freezing October. The conclusion to the case is breathtakingly shocking and then just when I thought Richard Parker couldn’t spring any more surprises, the ending left me open-mouthed and desperate for the following book.
Chris Thomas’s “The Edge of Sanity” (Bloodhound Books) reviewed at Col’s Criminal Library.
Overall, I enjoyed this one after a hesitant start. There a fair few twists and turns before we get where we are going. At least one of them, I failed to see coming which was hats-off to the author.
Plenty of action, plenty of violence, a fair pace and all loose ends wrapped up at the conclusion.
Paul Doiron’s “Rabid” (Minotaur Books) reviewed at Kevin’s Corner.
Author Paul Doiron has incredible story telling skills as first showcased in The Poacher’s Son which begun the Mike Bowditch Mysteries series. He is at his peak performance in this intense and captivating short story. A tale that is incredibly intense and weighty despite is length as it has the impact of a novel. There is quite a lot packed into the sixty-two page read. Rabid: A Story is one of those reads that can be savored by those of us who have been onboard since the beginning as well as by readers who know nothing about this great series. Paul Doiron is one of those talented authors who, for whatever reason, do not get the national recognition he so richly deserves. Rabid : A Story is a very good read and one that is worthy of your time and your attention.
David Jackson’s “Don’t Make a Sound” (Zaffre) reviewed at damppebbles.
Would I recommend this book? Definitely. This AND the other two books in the DS Nathan Cody series. Make sure you read them in order though as Cody has a traumatic past which is revealed fairly early on in the series (if you suffer from coulrophobia like I do, then be warned!). You also don’t want to miss out on the banter and the undeniable chemistry between Cody and DS Webley (the two do have a romantic history but I love the ‘will they/won’t they’ feel Jackson gives his books!). Dark, utterly compelling and head and shoulders above others in the same genre. The DS Nathan Cody series just keeps getting better and better. I absolutely loved this book and I cannot wait to read book four.
J.D. Rhoades’ “Fortunate Son” (Polis Books) reviewed by Gabino Iglesias.
Ultimately, Fortunate Son works because it achieves a balance between pulpy action and emotional writing, contains bad guys worthy of a 1980s action movie and regular people with a conscience doing what is right, and delivers visceral emotion as well as coldhearted brutality. Fans of solid crime fiction with an emotive angle would be remiss to skip this one.
Ed McBain’s “The Mugger” reviewed by Ben Lelievre at Dead End Follies.
Ed McBain’s 87th precinct novels don’t pull any punches. If you decide to read one, you know exactly what you’re going to get: a working class tragedy that masquerades as a mystery. The detectives are Shakespearean heroes who fight to protect New York city against itself. While they win the individual battles, they are losing the war against a growing sense of chaos. I thought The Mugger was way too telegraphed for me to call it riveting, but its nuances and subtleties kept me coursing through it over two feverish sittings. A thinking man’s summer read. It might just become a tradition here to include these books into summer festivities.
More book reviews:
- Justin Carroll’s “Everything’s Cool” (Self-published) reviewed at Bits about Books: “deviously dark and disturbing psychological thriller”
- Jack Ford’s “Dead Edge” (HQ) reviewed at gingerbookgeek: “move over Jack Reacher, there’s a new hero in town”
- Amanda Jennings’ “The Cliff House” (Orenda Books) reviewed at Have Books, Will Read: “wonderfully atmospheric and a completely hypnotic read”
- Jack Jordan’s “Before Her Eyes” (Corvus Books) reviewed at The Book Review Cafe: “as psychological thrillers go this is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year”
- Laura Lippman’s “Sunburn” (Faber & Faber) reviewed at Beverley Has Read: “a gorgeous noir book with stunning and evocative writing”
- James Lovegrove’s “Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Dust” (Titan Books) reviewed at Books of All Kinds: “intriguing, compelling, addictive, and downright entertaining”
- Betty Rowlands’s “Murder At Hawthorn Cottage” (Bookouture) reviewed at Stardust Book Reviews: ” good old-fashioned who-dunnit with just the right amount of mystery, intrigue and humour”
- Trevanian’s “The Main” (Broadway Books) reviewed at Dead End Follies: “till rich and pertinent over 40 years after publication”
Presiding over the Damned
by Liam Sweeny
(Down & Out Books)
An arson in New Rhodes reveals the body of Julia Mae Jefferson, an eight-year-old African American girl in the city’s North Central District. Jack LeClere, the top homicide detective in the New Rhodes Police Department, is paired with a new partner for the case, Clyde Burris, a former New York City homicide-turned-New Rhodes PD Internal Affairs detective. Jack and Burris have a mutual distrust of each other, but that’s the least of their worries. In the heat of the ashes of that row-house, the search for a brutal killer awaits.
New Rhodes is a city on the edge. An influx of new police recruits aren’t adjusting to the community they serve. A fight during a protest at a defunded community center begins a back-and-forth struggle between the New Rhodes Police and the North Central community that threatens the relationships that Jack and Burris need to find leads in Julia Mae’s case, including the already fractured relationship with the community’s lead activist, Marcus Ellison. A well-intentioned move by Jack to help with her funeral backfires as Ellison discovers the true nature of her murder that same day.
Julia Mae’s world was one of neglect—of a child, and in fact, many of the North Central children—falling through the cracks. Jack and Burris follow her through those cracks and discover an underbelly of abuse and an industry of exploitation in the guise of a daycare center called Mount Vision. Jack and Burris, through their own struggle to build trust in a city where little can be found, find something that even the most cynical activists could never have imagined—a true wolf in sheep’s clothing, and a monster with an SS tattoo and a rebel flag in his window.
To give Julia Mae justice, Jack, Burris and Marcus Ellison must make a temporary peace, and the city must come face-to-face with the fruits of its indifference. (Buy)
edited by Max Booth III and Lori Michelle
(Perpetual Motion Publishing)
From the editors of Lost Signals comes the new volume in technological horror. Nineteen authors, both respected and new to the genre, team up to deliver a collection of terrifying, eclectic stories guaranteed to unsettle its readers. In Lost Films, a deranged group of lunatics hold an annual film festival, the lost series finale of The Simpsons corrupts a young boy’s sanity, and a VCR threatens to destroy reality. All of that and much more, with fiction from Brian Evenson, Gemma Files, Kelby Losack, Bob Pastorella, Brian Asman, Leigh Harlen, Dustin Katz, Andrew Novak, Betty Rocksteady, John C. Foster, Ashlee Scheuerman, Eugenia Triantafyllou, Kev Harrison, Thomas Joyce, Jessica McHugh, Kristi DeMeester, Izzy Lee, Chad Stroup, and David James Keaton. (Buy)
The Untamed West
A collection of twenty-nine tales of the Old West featuring previously unpublished stories by such classic Western writers as James Reasoner, Douglas Hirt, McKendree Long, and Michael R. Ritt. Edited by award winning author, L. J. Washburn. Western Fictioneers is the only writers’ organization devoted solely to traditional Western fiction, and this huge collection will take readers from the dusty plains of Texas to the sweeping vistas of Montana and beyond.
Western Fictioneers was founded in 2010 to promote the oldest genuine American art form, the Western story. Its worldwide membership includes best-selling, award-winning authors of Western fiction, as well as the brightest up-and-coming new stars in the Western field. The organization*s third anthology features original stories by Big Jim Williams, Easy Jackson, Jeffrey J. Mariotte, McKendree Long, Michael R. Ritt, S. D. Parker, James Reasoner, J. L. Guin, J.E.S. Hays, James J. Griffin, Jesse J Elliot, Ben Goheen, Barbara Shepherd, Nik Morton, S. L. Matthews, James Clay, Keith Souter, Tom Rizzo, Matthew P. Mayo, Dorothy A. Bell, L.J. Washburn, Angela Raines, Gordon L. Rottman, Charlie Steel, Douglas Hirt, Dennis Doty, and Cheryl Pierson. (Buy)
In the Dog House
by VM Burns
A killer wants Lilly Echosby to roll over and play dead . . .
Lilly may be losing a husband but she’s gaining a toy poodle. That could be seen as a win-win, since her new adopted pooch Aggie (named after Agatha Christie) is cute and adorable, and Lilly’s dirty dog of a spouse is cheating on her with a blond bimboexcept for one problem: Albert Echosbys just been murdered, and Lilly is the number-one suspect.
With the cops barking up the wrong tree, it’s a good thing her best friend Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson from Chattanooga, Tennessee, decided to take a break from the dog club circuit to pay a visit, along with her own prize pair of poodles. With help from Dixie, her defense attorney daughter, and a blue-eyed man in blue with a K-9 partner, Lilly is determined to collar the real killer. But when a second murder occurs, it’s clear they’re dealing with one sick puppy . . . (Buy)
Over My Shoulder
by Patricia Dixon
‘A fast-paced, chilling read! I was hooked from page one. Over My Shoulder is both addictive and intriguing – a must-read for all crime fiction fans.’ – Linda Huber Bestselling author of Baby Dear
When Freya falls for the manipulative Kane, her life changes beyond her wildest imagination. When the luxurious life she craves gradually becomes intolerable she realises escape is out of reach. Her life has changed and so has she.
She knows that when she least expects it, he will return and make good his promise to exact revenge and ensure she pays the price he fell he is owed.
Can Freya ever be free?
Whoever knew love could be so dangerous?
Following Freya from her carefree twenties up to the present day, Over My Shoulder is an intricate tale of blinkered love and obsession. (Buy)
The Wife Before Me
by Laura Elliot
One evening as the sun is setting, Amelia Madison’s car slides into the sea off Mason’s Pier. Her body is never found.
Two years later, Elena Langdon meets Nicholas Madison. She is grieving the loss of her mother, he is grieving for his wife. Together they can help each other.
Now Elena is living with Nicholas. But Elena doesn’t really know him. She doesn’t know what he is capable of.
And she doesn’t know what really happened to Amelia.
Until the day she discovers the torn page of a letter and the words she reads chill her to the bone.
Elena must find the person who wrote these letters if she is to save herself.
A totally breathtaking page-turner about the darker side of love and what really goes on behind closed doors. This book will have you gripped from the very first page until the dramatic final twist. (Buy)
City of Ink
by Elsa Hart
Following the enthralling 18th century Chinese mysteries Jade Dragon Mountain and White Mirror, comes the next Li Du adventure in City of Ink.
Li Du was prepared to travel anywhere in the world except for one place: home. But to unravel the mystery that surrounds his mentor’s execution, that’s exactly where he must go.
Plunged into the painful memories and teeming streets of Beijing, Li Du obtains a humble clerkship that offers anonymity and access to the records he needs. He is beginning to make progress when his search for answers buried in the past is interrupted by murder in the present.
The wife of a local factory owner is found dead, along with a man who appears to have been her lover, and the most likely suspect is the husband. But what Li Du’s superiors at the North Borough Office are willing to accept as a crime of passion strikes Li Du as something more calculated. As past and present intertwine, Li Du’s investigations reveal that many of Beijing’s residents ― foreign and Chinese, artisan and official, scholar and soldier ― have secrets they would kill to protect.
When the threats begin, Li Du must decide how much he is willing to sacrifice to discover the truth in a city bent on concealing it, a city where the stroke of a brush on paper can alter the past, change the future, prolong a life, or end one. (Buy)
The Other Woman
by Sandie Jones
The most twisty, addictive and gripping debut thriller you’ll read this year.
HE LOVES YOU: Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet.
BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.
AND SHE’LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.
THE OTHER WOMAN will have you questioning her on every page, in Sandie Jones’ chilling psychological thriller about a man, his new girlfriend, and the mother who will not let him go. (Buy)
Bone on Bone
by Julia Keller
Bone on Bone, the next powerful chapter in Pulitzer Prize-winner Julia Keller’s beloved Bell Elkins series, sends readers headlong into the thick of a mystery as young as today’s headlines — but as old as the mountains that hold these lives in a tight grip.
How far would you go for someone you love? Would you die? Would you kill? After a three-year prison sentence, Bell Elkins is back in Acker’s Gap. And she finds herself in the white-hot center of a complicated and deadly case — even as she comes to terms with one last, devastating secret of her own.
A prominent local family has fallen victim to the same sickness that infects the whole region: drug addiction. With mother against father, child against parent, and tensions that lead inexorably to tragedy, they are trapped in a grim, hopeless struggle with nowhere to turn.
Bell has lost her job as prosecutor — but not her affection for her ragtag, hard-luck hometown. Teamed up with former Deputy Jake Oakes, who battles his own demons as he adjusts to life as a paraplegic, and aided by the new prosecutor, Rhonda Lovejoy, Bell tackles a case as poignant as it is perilous, as heartbreaking as it is challenging. (Buy)
Her Final Hour
by Carla Kovach
Melissa Sanderson is the perfect wife and mother. She dotes on her daughter, and lives in her dream home in a quiet cul-de-sac in the suburbs.
But looks can be deceiving.
Something is amiss in that house – all the neighbours think so. Some say Melissa is having an affair. Others say she’s been drinking too much.
Then one night, sirens wake up the whole neighbourhood.
Melissa Sanderson is dead. (Buy)
Run and Hide
by Alan McDermott
(Thomas & Mercer)
There’s only so long you can run for your life.
Eva Driscoll is used to chasing down bad guys, but now the bad guys are chasing her. She knows they won’t stop until she’s dead.
After her brother is killed in a faked suicide, Driscoll teams up with ex-soldier Rees Colback, the one person who can help her find answers. Together they’re determined to uncover why members of his Special Forces squad are dying in mysterious circumstances.
But with every agency in the country in hot pursuit, their only choice is to flee.
The clock is ticking. They can’t run forever. It’s time to make a choice: kill or be killed… (Buy)
Murder at Hawthorn Cottage
by Betty Rowlands
Meet Melissa: cat lover, caring mother… daring detective?
Melissa Craig is absolutely delighted with her new life in an old crumbling cottage, spending her days pruning the primroses and getting to know Binkie, the ginger cat next door. She only wishes she had made the move to the countryside sooner.
But when a knock at the door brings news of a shocking discovery, she suddenly finds herself thrown in to the middle of a baffling mystery: the bones of a young woman have been found in the woods just behind her new home.
Perhaps the little village of Upper Bembury is not as idyllic as it first seemed?
Strange phone calls in the night convince Melissa that the police are barking up completely the wrong tree, so she can’t resist doing a little digging of her own. From the bingo hall to the beauty salon and beyond, her search ruffles a few feathers and uncovers many of the village’s most scandalous secrets, but gets her no closer to finding the culprit…
The discovery of a tatty old photograph in a drawer is the final piece of the puzzle she needs, but as a newcomer in this close-knit community, does Melissa have what it takes to get to the bottom of this extraordinary murder mystery alone?
A joy to read! An absolutely unputdownable whodunnit for fans of Agatha Christie, P.D. James and Faith Martin. (Buy)
by Emma Tallon
Sometimes your enemies are closer than you think
Anna is finally happy. She’s rid of her abusive ex and she’s co-owner of London’s hottest new club, with her best friend Tanya. But she is worried about her boyfriend, Freddie. He’s keeping things from her. And he won’t tell her where he goes in the middle of the night.
Freddie is furious. A girl has gone missing from one of his clubs and the police are all over him. When a familiar face turns up and threatens him, he’s offered a deal – find the girl or Anna will be killed.
With time running out, Freddie risks everything to save Anna’s life. And if there’s one thing Freddie Tyler is known for, it’s that he never gives up. Not without a fight… (Buy)
The Edge of Sanity
by Chris Thomas
In a derelict squat, the Smart Man watches as the new narcotic developed by his shadowy organisation wreaks havoc on it, unsuspecting victims. The drug is now ready for sale on their exclusive darknet marketplace.
Elsewhere, DCI Robert Smith, the retired head of the Cyber Crimes Unit, seeks out crime boss Curtis Slater at his remote farm. He offers to provide Slater with information in exchange for money. But what information is he offering?
Meanwhile, former detective Pete Harris had started a new life, away from the Cyber Crimes Unit, with his daughter and begins to rekindle his relationship with old colleague Grace Brooks.
With his life seemingly complete, Pete’s world comes crashing down as he is drawn into Slater’s game with fatal consequences. He must join forces with his old enemies in a race against time. But can Pete save his daughter and Grace from the clutches of Slater, the Smart Man, and the sinister ringmaster, the Professor?
The Edge of Sanity is a dark and twisty psychological thriller. It can be read as the sequel to the critically acclaimed Enter The Dark or as a thrilling stand-alone. It will appeal to fans of authors like JP Delaney, Mark Edwards and James Swallow. (Buy)
Other new releases:
- Blood in the Water by Sherryl D. Hancock (Vulpine Press)
- The Handsome Squirm by Carlton Mellick III (Eraserhead Press)
- Rattus New Yorkus by Hunter Shea (Lyrical Underground)
- Don’t Get Mad by John Vocale (Black Rose Writing)
- The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood (Killer Reads)
Thanks for stopping by and reading Unlawful Acts’ The Incident Report.