New Releases: Week of May 5

The Furious Way
by Aaron Philip Clark
(Shotgun Honey)

Lucy Ramos is out for blood—she needs to kill a man, but she has no clue how. Lucy calls on the help of aged hit-man, Tito Garza—also known as El Perro of Pedro. Garza’s signature method of killing? Using dogs to maul his targets to death. Now, in his golden years, Garza lives a mundane life in San Pedro, a port town south of downtown Los Angeles. With a backpack full of cash, Lucy persuades Garza to help her murder her mother’s killer, Assistant District Attorney Victor Soto. Together, the forgotten hit-man hungry for a comeback and the girl whose life was shattered as a child set out to kill the man responsible.

But killing Victor Soto may prove to be an impossible task. The newly elected Assistant District Attorney’s wealth and political clout keep him well-insulated. Lucy and Garza’s plan is further complicated when Lucy begins to develop feelings for Victor Soto’s son, Martin. With their romance threatening to derail the mission, Lucy fights to keep Martin out of Garza’s cross-hairs when his violent urges become more unpredictable.

Will Lucy’s feelings for Martin jeopardize everything she’s worked for? Will Garza’s unchecked rage cause innocent people to die? Lucy Ramos and Tito Garza are furious, deadly, and driven by vengeance—but vengeance comes at a price.


Greasepaint & .45s
edited by Ryan Sales
(Down & Out Books)

Clowns are like politics; everyone has an opinion on them. In this collection of short stories you’ll find numerous takes on the world of the painted harlequin entertainer. Often maligned in today’s day and age, the institution of the clown means something to everyone.

And sure, most of these clowns are armed. They’re less than concerned about the moral ramifications of their actions. Hell, they might be demonic. We’ve got it all. Clown cars, rodeos, adultery, robbery, mayhem, balloon animals, self-immolation, big red noses, cremation chambers, a funeral and kids’ TV shows, just to name some.

But for a dad who dresses as the most infamous clown ever to sneak into his son’s party or a woman who uses her costume as a ruse to rob and cheat to a man who’s lifelong companion is a clown apparition, the hair and make-up are just a means to an end.

An untimely end.

Edited by Ryan Sayles and featuring stories by Patricia Abbott, J.L. Abramo, Jen Conley, Jeffery Hess, Grant Jerkins, David James Keaton, Ed Kurtz, R. Daniel Lester, Marietta Miles, Warren Moore, Chuck Regan, Scotch Rutherford, Liam Sweeney, Richard Thomas, James R. Tuck, and Lono Waiwaiole.


Below the Fold
by R.G. Belsky
(Oceanview Publishing)

When the murder of a “nobody” triggers an avalanche.

Every human life is supposed to be important. Everyone should matter. But that’s not the case in the cutthroat TV news-rating world where Clare Carlson works. Sex, money, and power sell. Only murder victims of the right social strata are considered worth covering. Not the murder of a “nobody.”

So, when the battered body of a homeless woman named Dora Gayle is found on the streets of New York City, her murder barely gets a mention in the media. But Clare―a TV news director who still has a reporter’s instincts―decides to dig deeper into the seemingly meaningless death. She uncovers mysterious links between Gayle and a number of wealthy and influential figures. There is a prominent female defense attorney; a scandal-ridden ex-congressman; a decorated NYPD detective; and―most shocking of all―a wealthy media mogul who owns the TV station where Clare works. Soon there are more murders, more victims, more questions. As the bodies pile up, Clare realizes that her job, her career, and maybe even her life are at stake as she chases after her biggest story ever.


The Last Stage
by Louise Voss
(Orenda Books)

At the peak of her career as lead singer of a legendary 1980s indie band, Meredith Vincent was driven off the international stage by a horrific incident. Now living a quiet existence in a cottage on the grounds of an old stately home, she has put her past behind her and come to terms with her new life. When a body is found in the manicured gardens of her home, and a series of inexplicable and unsettling events begins to occur, it becomes clear that someone is watching, someone who knows who she is—someone who wants vengeance. A dark, riveting and chilling psychological thriller, The Last Stage is also a study of secrets and obsessions, where innocent acts can have the most terrifying consequences.


Deep White Cover
by Joel W. Barrows
(Down & Out Books)

As America struggles to gain control of its borders…

Extremist anti-immigrant groups and white-supremacist hate-mongers have begun to combine resources, and ideologies. These new hybrids of hate pose a rising threat, not only to the country’s immigrants, but also to national security.

ATF Special Agent David Ward, undercover as a disgruntled veteran of the Army’s Special Forces, works his way into The Nation, befriending its leaders and learning its secrets…or so he thinks. In truth, the organization’s reach exceeds anything that the seasoned agent could have possibly imagined, something he will learn only when it seems too late to stop the revolution they seek.

Praise for DEEP WHITE COVER:

“In the real world, undercover work is a nasty, blood-covered place. Barrows gets it right.” —Jay Dobyns, New York Times bestselling author and ATF Special Agent (Ret.)


The Unquiet Heart
by Katie Welsh
(Pegasus Books)

In this sequel to the acclaimed The Wages of Sin―and once again set in moody fin de siecle Edinburgh―Sarah Gilchrist finds herself trying to prove her fiancé’s innocence in the midst of his murder trial.

Edinburgh, 1893.

Sarah Gilchrist has no intention of marrying her dull fiancé Miles, the man her family hope will restore her reputation and put an end to her dreams of becoming a doctor, but when he is arrested for a murder she is sure he didn’t commit, she finds herself his reluctant ally.

Beneath the genteel façade of upper class Edinburgh lurks blackmail, adultery, poison, and madness, and Sarah must return to Edinburgh’s slums, back alleys, and asylums as she discovers the dark past about a family where no one is what they seem, even Miles himself.

It also brings her back into the orbit of her mercurial professor, Gregory Merchiston―he sees Sarah as his protege, but can he stave off his demons long enough to teach her the skills that will save her life?


Malibu Bluff
by Janna King
(Pegasus Books)

A fresh crew of seasonaires hit the California coast and make Malibu their playground in the sizzling and suspenseful follow-up to last summer’s must-read debut.

Every summer is designed as a dream for six twenty-something seasonaires chosen by Lyndon Wyld, the founder of her namesake clothing line. This summer takes these influential brand ambassadors to the West Coast, led by last season’s Mia, who has been roped back in after her mother’s death by a sweeter deal and the hope to leave her grief behind for the California sun. Mia is thankful that she won’t have to live with another former seasonaire, Presley, who is now handling Lyndon Wyld’s public relations in Los Angeles after making a meal out of being falsely accused of murder. In Malibu, Mia will share a stunning modern manse with Eve, an outspoken activist; Alex, a gorgeous boundary pusher; Chase, a professional surfer; Oliver, a preppy charmer; and Brandon, the son of Lyndon’s business partner, and the young producer of the brand’s new digital channel, which will up the seasonaires’ social media game. Lyndon has doubled the salary for her flock to loll on Malibu’s beaches, hobnob at Hollywood parties, and live the “planned casual” SoCal lifestyle. Their antics are juicy entertainment for their throngs of fans and followers. But detractors from Mia’s past come back to haunt her. And when the line between what’s real and what’s staged gets blurred, the results could be deadly.


Milwaukee Noir
edited by Timothy Hennessy
(Akashic)

Brand-new stories from: Jane Hamilton, Reed Farrel Coleman, Valerie Laken, Matthew J. Prigge, Shauna Singh Baldwin, Vida Cross, Larry Watson, Frank Wheeler Jr., Derrick Harriell, Christi Clancy, James E. Causey, Mary Thorson, Nick Petrie, and Jennifer Morales.

From the introduction by Tim Hennessy:

Presently, Milwaukee is going through a renaissance–abandoned factories being converted to condos, craft breweries and distilleries pushing out corner taverns–yet at the same time it is among the most segregated and impoverished big cities in the country. The gentrification of neighborhoods outside of downtown bear the impact of twentieth-century redlining efforts, forcing residents out due to housing demand, adding fuel to the affordable-housing crisis. Such an environment and atmosphere make excellent fodder for noir fiction…

The book you’re holding is the first of its kind–a short fiction collection about Milwaukee, by writers who’ve experienced life here. The crime/noir genre at its best can be one of the purest forms of social commentary. I’ve gathered contributors who can tell not just a fine story, but who can write about the struggles and resilience of the people who live here…I’m honored to compile a body of work that represents what I love, and fear, about Milwaukee. I love my city’s lack of pretension; its stubbornness and pride in the unpolished corners. I fear that my city faces an uncertain future–that as it becomes more divided it may pushes our best and brightest to find somewhere else to shine.


Houston Noir
edited by Gwendolyn Zepeda
(Akashic)

Brand-new stories by: Tom Abrahams, Robert Boswell, Sarah Cortez, Anton DiSclafani, Stephanie Jaye Evans, Wanjiku Wa Ngugi, Adrienne Perry, Pia Pico, Reyes Ramirez, Icess Fernandez Rojas, Sehba Sarwar, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, Larry Watts, and Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton.

From the introduction by Gwendolyn Zepeda:

In a 2004 essay, Hunter S. Thompson described Houston as a “cruel, crazy town on a filthy river in East Texas with no zoning laws and a culture of sex, money and violence. It’s a shabby, sprawling metropolis ruled by brazen women, crooked cops and super-rich pansexual cowboys who live by the code of the West–which can mean just about anything you need it to mean, in a pinch.” For what it’s worth, that quote is now posted on a banner somewhere downtown and regularly, gleefully repeated by our local feature writers.

Houston is a port city on top of a swamp and, yes, it has no zoning laws. And that means it’s culturally diverse, internally incongruous, and ever-changing. At any intersection here, I might look out my car window and see a horse idly munching St. Augustine grass. And, within spitting distance of that horse, I might see a “spa” that’s an obvious brothel, a house turned drug den, or a swiftly rising bayou that might overtake a car if the rain doesn’t let up…Overall, this collection represents the very worst our city has to offer, for residents and visitors alike. But it also presents some of our best voices, veteran and emerging, to any reader lucky enough to pick up this book.


Berlin Noir
edited by Thomas Wörtche, translated by Lucy Jones
(Akashi)

Brand-new stories by: Zoë Beck, Ulrich Woelk, Susanne Saygin, Robert Rescue, Johannes Groschupf, Ute Cohen, Katja Bohnet, Matthias Wittekindt, Kai Hensel, Miron Zownir, Max Annas, Michael Wuliger, and Rob Alef. Translated from German by Lucy Jones.

From the introduction by Thomas Wörtche:

Berlin does not make it easy to write noir fiction–or perhaps Berlin makes it too easy. Noir tradition casts a long, influential, and even daunting shadow. Alfred Döblin’s and Christopher Isherwood’s works, some of Bertolt Brecht’s plays, the Morgue poems by Gottfried Benn, M by Fritz Lang, and many other narratives from the first third of the twentieth century, all of which are tinged with noir, set high intellectual standards, and literary and aesthetic benchmarks that are hard to surpass…

Neither Döblin nor Benn, Brecht nor Lang, catered to any crime fiction traditions. They merely steeped their literary projects in a great deal of noir. And so it is with most of the stories in our anthology: they do not necessarily follow the usual patterns of crime fiction, but regard noir as a license to write as they wish, a certain way of approaching the city, and a prism through which its nature is viewed…What’s left is history. It is omnipresent in Berlin at every turn; the city is saturated in a history full of blood, violence, and death.


Death By Dark Waters
by Jo Allen
(Aria)

The charred remains of a child are discovered – a child no one seems to have missed….

It’s high summer, and the lakes are in the midst of an unrelenting heatwave. Uncontrollable fell fires are breaking out across the moors faster than they can be extinguished. When firefighters uncover the body of a dead child at the heart of the latest blaze, Detective Chief Inspector Jude Satterthwaite’s arson investigation turns to one of murder. Jude was born and bred in the Lake District. He knows everyone…and everyone knows him. Except his intriguing new Detective Sergeant, Ashleigh O’Halloran, who is running from a dangerous past and has secrets of her own to hide… Temperatures – and tension – in the village are rising, and with the body count rising Jude and his team race against the clock to catch the killer before it’s too late….

The first in the gripping, Lake District set, DCI Jude Satterthwaite series


Dark is the Day
by Tana Collins
(Bloodhound Books)

A crazed killer. Unsuspecting victims. A town gripped by terror.
DI Jim Carruthers has to put his personal feelings for newly- appointed DCI Sandra McTavish aside when a young student is brutally attacked and left for dead.

Meanwhile, when a university lecturer is stalked by one of her own students, Carruthers is horrified to discover that the academic is none other than his ex-wife, Mairi. Are the attacker and stalker one and the same, and if so, will Carruthers’ ex-wife be next?

When a second then a third victim is discovered, not only dead but mutilated, Carruthers and his team are tasked with searching for a murderer. A murderer who takes great pleasure from killing.

What is the victims’ connection to a cult in North America, which seems to be getting a stranglehold in a Scottish university? Why have these women been targeted? And who is doing the killing?

It looks like there might be a serial killer on the loose in Castletown but can DI Jim Carruthers stop this depraved murderer before they strike again?


The Murder Mile
by Lesley McEvoy
(Bloodhound Books)

Evil never dies…

Forensic Psychologist, Jo McCready is assisting DCI Callum Ferguson on a murder inquiry, when one of her patients is found brutally murdered.

Jo was the last person to see Martha Scott alive. She was helping Martha unlock a repressed memory. But during the session, Jo unlocked more than she bargained for. An alter personality introduced himself as the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper – and thanked Jo for setting him free to kill again.

As Ferguson’s team race to find Martha’s killer, a series of copycat killings begin, replicating ‘The Autumn of Terror’ in 1888. But if Jack is just a figment of Martha’s damaged mind, who killed her?

As the body count rises, Jo must construct a profile to stop the murderer recreating the terror of the most infamous serial killer of all time.

But not everyone is on Jo’s side. The Police Intelligence Unit have their own profiler, Liz Taylor-Caine, who resents Jo’s involvement as a contributing expert in the case.

Suspicion about Jo’s involvement in the killings increases when someone close to the team becomes one of Jack’s victims.

And as the anniversary of the final and most gruesome of all the killings looms, Jo discovers that the killer has one murder on his mind that is far closer to home…

The Murder Mile is Lesley McEvoy’s unmissable debut. A suspenseful mystery thriller, it will appeal to Kathy Reichs, Teresa Driscoll, Cara Hunter and D. S. Butler.


In Two Minds
by Alis Hawkins
(Dome Press)

Harry Probert-Lloyd, a young barrister forced home from London by encroaching blindness, has begun work as the acting coroner of Teifi Valley with solicitor’s clerk John Davies as his assistant.

When a faceless body is found on an isolated beach, Harry must lead the inquest. But his dogged pursuit of the truth begins to ruffle feathers. Especially when he decides to work alongside a local doctor with a dubious reputation and experimental theories considered radical and dangerous. Refusing to accept easy answers might not only jeopardise Harry’s chance to be elected coroner permanently but could, it seems, implicate his own family in a crime.


The Second Woman
by Kenneth Cameron
(Felony & Mayhem)

It’s 1901, and with the Boer War raging, England’s air is crackling with political intrigue. The rumors are so thick that the newly formed British Secret Service – formed in fact to deal with the rumors – can barely keep a lid on. But it’s not South Africa that is on everyone’s lips. Rather, it’s The Jewish Question: The armies of Antisemitism are on the march, even as the call to Zionism echoes ever more loudly through London’s East End. It’s all largely academic for Denton until his neighbor is murdered, and all signs point to the growing conflict between the Jews and those who hate them. He could stay out of it. He should stay out of it. But…but he rather liked the woman. And the police are clueless. So Denton yet again sticks his pointy American nose into England’s business. And he keeps it there, even as the price for asking questions grows higher every day.


Diggin’ Up the Dirt
by Tonya Kappes
(Henery Press)

Sweet as honey, soured by murder! Everyone in Cottonwood loves the new bakery, Sweet Shop. Until a Cottonwood resident is found dead with a half-eaten donut in her hand.

Sheriff Kenni Lowry has her hands full. With a new murder in town and a new deputy to train, she’s not sure if she’s ever gonna get this booger solved.

Sheriff Elmer Sims comes to the rescue, stepping up as Kenni’s ghost deputy. As the ex-dead-now-ghost deputy and Kenni’s Poppa, there’s clues beyond the sprinkles in the donut that only he can see.

Add to Kenni’s stress, Finn Vincent’s, Kenni’s hunky boyfriend and new sheriff of Clay’s Ferry, parents have come to town to meet Kenni and her parents. And Kenni’s mama ain’t too happy. As they say in the South, nobody’s happy if mama ain’t happy.

With Poppa’s keen insight and Kenni’s determination, Kenni focuses all her attention on bringing the killer to justice before the yeast rises and another dead body turns up.

Save room for dessert. You don’t want to miss this Southern mystery!

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