Sunday 8 January 2023


Despite a wish to cut down on acquiring new books and to read more of the ones I've already acquired, I don't think I will be able to go a whole year without some fresh blood into the collection.

Here's six I'll be keeping an eye out for.......

Stephen Solomita - The Wrong Side of the Grass

A truck hijacking on a New York street goes badly awry in this new novel from an author who writes “top-notch hard-boiled crime fiction” (Booklist).
It was a sure thing. A truck with a thousand cartons of cigarettes, at a wholesale price of sixty dollars each. Mike Tedesco had thought through the foolproof plan for the early-morning hijacking. The only tricky part was disabling the GPS system that enabled the owner to track the truck and its valuable contents. He brought along the expert who swore he could do it in three minutes. He couldn’t, so Tedesco shot him dead in the middle of the rainy street in uptown Manhattan before fleeing the scene.

NYPD Detective Dante Cepeda is called in and quickly decides he can solve this one—his great joy—as he explains to the attractive redheaded sergeant who works the case with him. The hunt leads Cepeda to a Russian mafioso, Tedesco’s gorgeous girlfriend,  a curse that needs a blood sacrifice, and a scarred pit bull who’s survived a life of dogfights. A gritty tale of greed and casual violence, the latest crime novel from the Hammett Prize nominee is realistic, shocking, and relentlessly compelling.
“Solomita knows his city and his people, and he writes with both muscle and sensitivity.” —Los Angeles Times
“A keen observer of humanity.” —Publishers Weekly
“A master at capturing on paper the flavor of streetwise cops and robbers and their victims.” —Library Journal
“Solomita has Elmore Leonard’s flair for letting you view the world through his character’s eyes, no matter how narrow or how bloodshot.” —The New York Times

Thomas Perry - Murder Book

An ex-cop takes on a widespread criminal organization targeting midwestern towns in this new thriller from the author of The Old Man

When a sudden crime wave hits several small midwestern towns, the U.S. Attorney for the region calls on Harry Duncan to investigate. An ex-cop known for his unorthodox methods, Duncan is reluctant to go up against a widespread criminal organization—but the attorney in question is Ellen Leicester, the wife who left him fifteen years earlier, and to her, he can’t say no.

Initially brought in as a consultant to determine if the racketeering is severe enough to require an all-out investigation by the FBI, Duncan quickly finds himself in conflict with a syndicate far more violent than first suspected. As the investigation develops, he begins compiling a “murder book,” the notebook in which a detective keeps records, interviews, photos—everything he needs to build his case. But his scrutiny of the gang soon makes Duncan a target. And Ellen, too.

A thrilling and suspenseful tour of crime-addled midwestern towns, Murder Book is signature Thomas Perry, with characters you won’t soon forget, crisply-described action sequences, and breathlessly-tense plotting that will keep you racing through the pages.

Mick Herron - The Secret Hours

The standalone spy thriller Slough House fans have been waiting for

By the author of SLOW HORSES, now an Apple Original series streaming on Apple TV+ starring Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Monochrome is a busted flush—an inquiry into the misdeeds of the intelligence services, established by a vindictive prime minister but rendered toothless by a wily chief spook. For years it has ground away uselessly, interviewing witnesses with nothing to offer, producing a report with nothing to say, while the civil servants at its helm see their careers disappearing into a black hole.

And then the OTIS file falls into their hands.

What secrets does this hold that see a long-redundant spook being chased through Devon’s green lanes in the dark? What happened in a newly reunified Berlin that someone is desperate to keep under wraps? And who will win the battle for the soul of the secret service—or was that decided a long time ago?

Spies and pen-pushers, politicians and PAs, high-flyers, time-servers and burn-outs . . . They all have jobs to do in the daylight.

But what they do in the secret hours reveals who they really are.

Dietrich Kalteis - The Get

A surefire plan that will end his marital and money problems in one swoop … what could go wrong?

Lenny Ovitz has plenty of secrets, and his wife, Paulina, has become a liability. His life would be so much better without her in it.

It’s the mid-’60s in Toronto, and Lenny works for a ruthless gangster whose travel agency is a front for a collections racket in the Kensington Market area. Lenny’s days are spent with his partner, Gabe, terrorizing the locals into paying protection on their shops and their lives. On the side, Lenny and Gabe co-own a tenement block that they bought with dirty money borrowed from shady individuals. Overextended, Lenny plans to pay them back with more borrowed money from other loans and by re-mortgaging his house, without the knowledge of his wife.

Tired of his lies and scheming, Paulina demands a divorce. Lenny is certain she’s going to take him for everything, leaving him unable to pay the debt on the tenement block. And that’s likely to get him pitched off one of his own rooftops. Lenny would rather get than be gotten, so he comes up with a surefire way to end both his marital and money problems — Paulina’s going to have to get whacked.

Alan Parks - To Die in June

Details? Nada

It'll be the sixth Harry McCoy ....

Lawrence Block - The Autobiography of Matthew Scudder

Details? Nada

Only a heads-up from the man himself via a recent newsletter. Roll on June ...


  1. The Old Man is well worth a read and watching but we've seen retirees in the espionage genre so many times. May be that explains why there are no new recruits!

    If success is to breed success the film industry must not lazily polish old gems but mine for new ones. The espionage genre suffers much from the lazy risk averse philosophy of polishing old gems. Bond, Palmer, Smiley, Bond, Palmer, Smiley, Bond and Bridges again! It’s about time new and genuine spies like Pemberton’s People were given their due, so do read an intriguing News Article dated 31 October 2022 about them in TheBurlingtonFiles website and then get in touch with your friends in the film industry.

    A good example of such a new gem in the espionage genre is Beyond Enkription, the first spy thriller in The Burlington Files series. The real life story would make for a stunning TV series or films and being based on fact, it would be more difficult for actors and TV producers to deliver a lazy production.

    Why choose The Burlington Files when some critics have likened its protagonist to a "posh and sophisticated Harry Palmer"? Maybe it has a touch of Michael Caine magic but on another positive note it is indisputably anti-Bond rather than merely Deightonesque. Film producers should check out this enigmatic and elusive thriller. As it's not yet a remake it may have eluded them to date.

    1. I have The Old Man on the pile somewhere. I'll have to read it first.

  2. Ah, a new Alan Parks - looking forward to it. I just got my hands on an ARC of Chris Offutt's next Mick Hardin novel Code of the Hills. The sad thing it is number three on the TBR pile.

    1. At least I should have time to read the 5th McCoy before this one drops. I liked Offutt's first Mick Hardin book, I need to catch up with him as well!