We have another great selection of new mystery novels from this month’s recent additions to the collection. There are four translated mysteries, from the French, Japanese and Swedish. Highly recommended is a mystery featuring an oceanographer, titled The woman who walked into the Sea by Scottish author Mark Douglas-Home.
Victim without a face / Stefan Ahnhem ; translated from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles.
“Detective Fabian Risk returns to his hometown to resolve a string of hideously inventive murders. The first victim was a bully who liked using his fists. The second was a thug who favoured steel-capped boots. Their bodies bore the marks of a killer who knew their sins. A single clue was left at the scene: a class photo from 1982, with two faces neatly crossed out. There are eighteen men and women in the photo who are still alive and one of them is the lead detective on the case. Who is the faceless killer who’s come back to haunt them?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The promise / Alison Bruce.
“In a single night, Kyle Davidson’s life is derailed. His relationship is over, he is denied access to his young son and everything important to him is at risk. His thoughts stumble between fear and revenge. Kyle Davidson has a choice to make. Meanwhile, after the tragic end to a previous case, DC Gary Goodhew finds himself questioning his reasons for returning to work until the badly beaten body of a homeless man is found on Market Hill. Having known the homeless man for several years Goodhew feels compelled to be part of the investigation, but routine lines of enquiry soon take a dark and unexpected turn.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The woman who walked into the sea / Mark Douglas-Home.
“Cal McGill is a unique investigator and oceanographer who uses his expertise to locate things, and sometimes people, lost or missing at sea. His expertise could unravel the haunting mystery of why, twenty-six years ago on a remote Scottish beach, Megan Bates strode out into the cold ocean and let the waves wash her away. Megan’s daughter, Violet Wells, was abandoned as a baby on the steps of a local hospital just hours before the mother she never knew took her own life. As McGill is drawn into Violet’s search for the truth, he encounters a coastal community divided by obsession and grief, and united only by a conviction that its secrets should stay buried.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The case of Lisandra P. / Hélène Grémillon ; translated from the French by Alison Anderson.
“Buenos Aires, 1987. When the beautiful Lisandra is found dead at the foot of a six-story building, her husband, a psychoanalyst, is immediately arrested for her murder. Convinced of Vittorio’s innocence, one of his patients, Eva Maria, is drawn into the investigation. As Eva Maria combs through secret recordings of Vittorio’s most recent therapy sessions in search of the killer, she is forced to confront her most painful memories, alongside some of the darkest moments in Argentinian history.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
A Midsummer’s equation / Keigo Higashino ; translated by Alexander O. Smith.
“Manabu Yukawa, the physicist known as “Detective Galileo,” has traveled to Hari Cove, a once-popular summer resort town to speak at a conference on a planned underwater mining operation, which has sharply divided the town. The night after the tense panel discussion, one of the resort’s guests is found dead on the seashore at the base of the local cliffs. When they discover that the victim was a former policeman and that the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning, they begin to suspect he was murdered. As the police try to uncover where Tsukahara was killed and why, Yukawa finds himself enmeshed in yet another confounding case of murder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The soldier’s curse / Meg and Tom Keneally.
“In the Port Macquarie penal settlement for second offenders, Hugh Monsarrat hungers for freedom. Originally transported for forging documents passing himself off as a lawyer, he is now the trusted clerk of the settlement’s commandant. Housekeeper Hannah Mulrooney, who, despite being illiterate, is his most intelligent companion. Not long after the commandant heads off in search of a rumoured river, his beautiful wife, Honora, falls ill with a sickness the doctor is unable to identify. When Honora dies, it becomes clear she has been slowly poisoned. Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney suspect the commandant’s second-in-command, Captain Diamond. Then Diamond has Mrs Mulrooney arrested for the murder. Knowing his friend will hang if she is tried, Monsarrat knows he must find the real killer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The ice child / Camilla Läckberg ; translated from the Swedish by Tiina Nunnally.
“January, Fjallbacka. A semi-naked girl wanders through the woods in freezing cold weather. When she finally reaches the road, a car comes out of nowhere. It doesn’t t manage to stop. By the time Detective Patrik Hedstrom receives word of the accident; the girl has already been identified. Four months ago she disappeared on her way home from the local riding school, and no one has seen her since. It quickly becomes clear that she has been subjected to unimaginably brutal treatment. And it’s likely she’s not the only one.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The girl who came back / Susan Lewis.
“When Jules Bright hears a knock on the door, the last person she expects to find is a detective bringing her the news she’s feared for the last three years. Amelia Quentin is being released from prison. Jules’s life is very different now to the one she’d known before Amelia shattered it completely. Knowing the girl is coming back she needs to decide what to do. Friends and family gather round, fearing for Jules’s safety. They know that justice was never served; every one of them wants to make the Quentin girl pay. The question is, what will Jules do; and which of them, her or Amelia, has the most to fear?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The light on the water / Olga Lorenzo.
“Anne Forster, recently divorced and trying to find her feet, takes her daughter Aida on an overnight bushwalk in the moody wilderness of Wilson’s Promontory. Aida, who is six and autistic, disappears; Anne returns from the walk alone. Some of the emergency trackers searching for Aida already doubt Anne’s story. Nearly two years later and still tormented by remorse and grief, Anne is charged with her daughter’s murder. She is stalked by the media and shunned by friends, former colleagues and neighbours. On bail and awaiting trial, Anne works to reconstruct her last hours with Aida.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The guardian stones / Eric Reed.
“In mid-1941, children evacuated to the remote Shropshire village of Noddweir to escape the Blitz begin to vanish. It was not uncommon for city children faced with rural rigors to run away. But when retired American professor Edwin Carpenter, pursuing his study of standing stones, visits the village and discovers bloody clothing in the forest, it is clear there is a more sinister explanation. The village constable is away on military duty so the investigation falls to his daughter Grace. Some villagers see the hand of German infiltrators bent on terror. The superstitious, mindful of the prehistoric stone circle gazing down on Noddweir, are convinced malevolent supernatural powers are at work. And Edwin, determined to help Grace find whatever predator is in play, runs into widespread resentment over America’s refusal to enter the war.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)