|N.M. Brown - Carpenter Road (2018) - a competition win
Not usually a massive fan of the serial killer type book (apart from John Sandford and maybe one of two other authors, eg Thomas Harris) but it seems well worth a punt.
When a young woman swaps coats with a prostitute then vanishes, it marks the start of a mystifying case for Leighton Jones.
After traffic officer Leighton is called to an altercation in a used car lot he is confronted by a prostitute rambling on about a girl who stole her coat. He thinks nothing off it. That is until the body of a Jane Doe shows up, matching the prostitute’s description.
What is the link between the fight in the car lot and the dead woman?
Leighton proceeds to gather evidence, which he attempts to pass onto the lead Homicide detective, Slater. However, Slater tells Leighton to back off, and that a suspect has been arrested.
Fearing there is more to the case than he first thought, Leighton is driven to keep digging and soon ends up on the trail of a serial killer.
But Leighton might be out of his depth this time…
What everyone is saying about Carpenter Road:
"It has a well-executed plot with great characters to root for and sympathise with." Eva Merckx - Novel Deelights
"The tension gradually builds as the novel progresses, and I found the ending so nail-biting, as Leighton Jones is involved in a race against time." Kate Eveleigh - Portable Magic
Steven Savile - Parallel Lines (2017) - speculative purchase
Eight people, twelve hours, one chance to cover up a murder.
The explosive new thriller from the bestselling author of SILVER.
Adam Shaw is dying, and knows he'll leave his disabled son with nothing. His solution? Rob a bank. It's no surprise that things go wrong. What is surprising is that when another customer is accidentally shot, no one in the bank is in a hurry to hand Adam over to the police. There's the manager who's desperate to avoid an audit, the security guard with a serious grudge, and the woman who knows exactly how bad the victim really was...
Eight people, twelve hours, one chance to cover up a murder. But it's not just the police they have to fool. When many lives intersect, the results can be deadly.
|Henry Chang - Lucky (2017) - purchased copy
I think I have the first few Yu books from Chang on the pile but I haven't got to his work yet.
Detective Jack Yu returns in a pulse-pounding fifth investigation in New York's Chinatown
Chinatown gang leader “Lucky” Louie was shot outside of a Chinatown off-track betting establishment on the thirteenth of January, and lay in a coma for 88 days, waking on Easter Sunday. The number 88 is a double-helix, double-lucky Chinese number; religion and superstition all lean Lucky’s way.
But Detective Jack Yu, Lucky’s boyhood blood brother, fears his friend’s luck is about to run out. When Lucky embarks on a complex and daring series of crimes against the Chinatown criminal underground, Jack races to stop him before his enemies do so—permanently.
|Mickey J. Corrigan - Project XX (2017) - purchased copy
Difficult subject matter, I'll be interested to get the author's take on this issue.
In 2012, a deranged grad student dressed as the Joker shot and killed dozens of movie goers at a Batman film opening in Colorado. Gun violence is so out of control in America that it has become a cruel joke.
Unlike most of Mickey Corrigan’s novels, Project XX made itself known to her at that time, demanding to be written. Usually she researches, prepares, then writes. In this case, she wrote first, then did the research on gun violence, female violent crime, and school/mass shootings.
Males are almost always the perpetrators of mass shootings. But females are fully capable of shocking acts of violence and, in the US, military-style weapons are as easy to access as a new hairstyle.
|Matt Phillips - Know Me From Smoke (2018) - purchased copy
Just read Bad Luck City from him a few weeks ago. A few more from Matt Phillips sit on the pile.
Stella Radney, longtime lounge singer, still has a bullet lodged in her hip from the night when a rain of gunshots killed her husband. That was twenty years ago and it’s a surprise when the unsolved murder is reopened after the district attorney discovers new evidence.
Royal Atkins is a convicted killer who just got out of prison on a legal technicality. At first, he’s thinking he’ll play it straight. Doesn’t take long before that plan turns to smoke—was it ever really an option?
When Stella and Royal meet one night, they’re drawn to each other. But Royal has a secret. How long before Stella discovers that the man she’s falling for isn’t who he seems?
A noir of gripping suspense and violence, Know Me from Smoke is a journey into the shadowy terrain of murder, lost love, and the heart’s lust for vengeance.
Praise for Know Me From Smoke:
"Two great characters here in Stella and Royal. Couple that with a psychotic villain and a grudge-bearing cop, and you're gonna be hooked til the end. Happy endings? Well, maybe..." - Paul Heatley, author of The Runner, FatBoy, and An Eye for an Eye
|Charles Demers - Property Values (2018) - review copy from publisher Arsenal Pulp Press via Edeleweiss reviewing site
As a shaky truce between suburban gangsters starts to unravel, schlubby civilian Scott Clark has other things on his mind: if he can’t afford to buy out his ex father-in-law, Scott’s about to lose the only house he’s ever called home. In the red-hot urban housing market, he doesn’t have a chance -- until he and his best friends take the desperate measure of staging a fake drive-by shooting on the property to push down the asking price. But when Scott’s mobster-posturing stunt attracts the attention of the real criminals, his pretend gang soon finds itself in the middle of a deadly rivalry.
With wicked humor and a brilliant cast of desperate characters, Property Values explodes the crime novel trope while exploring the comic lengths a man will go to in order to become a home owner in today’s market.