New Releases: Week of April 21

Countdown
by Matt Phillips
(All Due Respect)

Welcome to California. Weed is legal. Grow it. Sell it. Smoke it. Eat it. But the money you make off it—there’s the rub. Bank it, and the Feds will ask questions. Keep it around, and you’ll get robbed. LaDon and Jessie—two hustlers who make selling primo weed a regular gig—hire a private security detail to move and hold their money. Ex-soldiers Glanson and Echo target the cash—they start a ripoff business.

It’s the wild, wild west. Except this time, everybody’s high.

With their guns and guts, Glanson and Echo don’t expect much trouble from a mean son-of-a-gun like LaDon Charles. But that’s exactly what they get. In this industry, no matter how much money there is for the taking—and no matter who gets it—there’s always somebody counting backwards…to zero.

From acclaimed pulp writer Matt Phillips, Countdown is a head-spinning hit of Southern California’s lucrative and not-quite-regulated marijuana industry.


Suspicion
by Leigh Russell
(Bloodhound Books)

Would you trust your instincts… or your husband?

Happily married to the charismatic headmaster of a prestigious boarding school, Louise thinks her life is perfect.

But after hearing that her husband is having an affair, Louise must decide how far she is prepared to go to save her marriage. Confident in her IT skills, Louise cyber bullies her rival.

When the police become involved, Louise realises she has made a dangerous choice as first one woman, then another, is found murdered.

Realising she has taken on more than she intended, Louise has to make another choice and this one could cost her not only her marriage but also her life…

Leigh Russell is the international best-selling author of the Geraldine Steel series and the stand-alone psychological thriller The Adulterer’s Wife. Suspicion is a stunning domestic noir thriller which will appeal to fans of authors like Louise Jensen, Shalini Boland and Lisa Jewell.


Little Darlings
by Melanie Golding
(Crooked Lane Books)

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy’s The Perfect Mother.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.


Drago Descending
by Greg F. Gifune
(Down & Out Books)

Private Investigator David Drago is a former policeman and Gulf War veteran struggling with his combat experiences, his time spent in the psychological ward of a veterans’ hospital, and the darkness of his past. When he is approached by a mysterious client who hires him to locate his missing fiancée, Jesse Greenlaw, Drago hesitantly takes the case. The problem, Jesse is also Drago’s former girlfriend, the love of his life and still an intricate part of the darkness haunting him. Drago’s investigation leads him into a labyrinth of violence, sexual intrigue, black witchcraft and hardcore Satanism. The deeper he digs, the deeper he descends into a dark netherworld haunted by visions of demons and angels alike that blurs the lines between reality and nightmare.

Originally published in 2002 to strong reviews, Drago Descending, Gifune’s noir-occult thriller (and his first published novella), essentially launched the career of a then unknown but promising author who has gone on to become considered by many to be one of the best writers of crime and horror fiction of his generation. Out of print for several years, this vintage Gifune work returns for the first time in this new Author’s Preferred Edition from Down & Out Books, and features an all new introduction from Greg F. Gifune.


Down to the River
Edited by Tim O’Mara
(Down & Out Books)

Down to the River is a collection of twenty crimes stories that take place on or near American rivers from some of the strongest voices in crime fiction writing today. As these stories show, rivers are not only sources of life; they can also be scenes of murder and revenge.

All twenty stories have been generously donated by the writers to show their support for American Rivers, an organization that truly understands America would not be America were it not for our amazing rivers and waterways. The authors and American Rivers believe that rivers connect all of us as Americans and need to be protected and preserved for future generations.

Edited by Tim O’Mara with an introduction by Hank Phillippi Ryan and stories by Reed Farrel Coleman, Bruce DeSilva, Patricia Smith, and more.


The Hoods Take Over
by Ovid Demaris
(Stark House Press)

Alan Avery is out one evening picking up medicine for his pregnant wife’s migraine when he witnesses a brutal murder. Two thugs cut a guy’s throat, then throw his body into their trunk and drive away. When he reports to the police exactly what he has seen, the cops are surprised to find someone who will actually stand up to the hoods in town.

His wife fears the worst, but Alan sticks by his testimony. So when Ricca and Doto are arrested and fingered by Alan, crime boss Marty Kahn springs into action, eventually getting them freed. Now the gangsters are making their own plans–and dealing with Alan is the number one priority on their list.

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