In this month’s selection of new mystery novels recently added to our collection there are several characters with very different occupations investigating murder and crime. There are journalists, forensic scientists, nurses, women clergy, university lecturers and doctors. All provide a satisfying alternative to usual police procedural mystery.
None but the dead / Lin Anderson.
“Sanday, one of Britain’s northernmost islands, inaccessible when the wind prevents the ferry from the mainland crossing, or fog grounds the tiny island hopping plane. When human remains are discovered to the rear of an old primary school, forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod and her assistant arrive to excavate the grave. When the suspicious death of an old man in Glasgow appears to have links with the island, DS Michael McNab is dispatched to investigate. As the weather closes in, the team are presented with a series of unexplained incidents, apparently linked to the discovery of thirteen magic flowers representing the souls of dead children who had attended the island school where the body was discovered. But how and in what circumstance did they die, and why are their long forgotten deaths significant to the current investigation?” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Murder at the house of rooster happiness / David Casarett, M.D.
“Ladarat Patalung is the first and only nurse detective in Thailand. Two nights ago, a young woman brought her husband into the emergency room of the Sriphat Hospital in Thailand, where he passed away. A guard thinks she remembers her coming in before, but with a different husband, one who also died. Ladarat Patalung, for one, would have been happier without a serial murderer, if there is one, loose in her hospital. Then again, she never expected to be a detective in the first place and now, has no choice but to investigate.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
False tongues : a Callie Anson mystery / Kate Charles.
“The Reverend Callie Anson should have learned her lesson by now: revisiting the past is seldom a good idea. But she succumbs to peer pressure and attends a reunion at her theological college in Cambridge, where she is forced to confront painful memories and the presence of her clueless ex, Adam. In London, police officers Neville Stewart and Mark Lombardi are involved with the latest stabbing of a teenager. The police find themselves plunged into the queasy world of cyber-bullying, where nothing may be as it seems. While they’re apart, Callie and Mark’s relationship is on hold, and his Italian family continues to be an issue. Will Mark realize, before it’s too late, that while his family will always be important to him, he is entitled to something for himself?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Right behind you : a novel / Lisa Gardner.
“Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah is about to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner. A call comes in about a double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The bone field / Simon Kernick.
“1990. A young woman goes missing while backpacking in Thailand, she is never seen again. Her bones are discovered 6000 miles away in an English field and, within hours, the boyfriend who reported her disappearance all those years ago is dead. So begins a hunt to solve her murder that will take DI Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd into a dark and terrifying world of corruption and deadly secrets, where murder is commonplace, and nothing and nobody is safe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The hollow men / Rob McCarthy.
“Dr. Harry Kent likes to keep himself busy, juggling hospital duties with his work as a police surgeon for the London Metropolitan Police, anything to ward off the memories of his time as an army medic. Usually the police work means minor injuries and mental health assessments. But teenager Solomon Idris’s case is different. Idris has taken eight people hostage in a fast-food restaurant, and is demanding to see a lawyer and a BBC reporter. Harry is sent in to treat the clearly-ill teenager before the siege goes horribly wrong. When Solomon’s life is put in danger again at a critical care ward, it becomes clear he knows something people will kill to protect.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The enemy within / Edward Marston.
“Pentonville Prison. Wally Hibbert is serving a long sentence for arson. But after befriending and tricking one of the officers, Hibbert makes an audacious escape. Inspector Marmion, the detective who arrested Hibbert, is warned to watch his back, but it seems that Hibbert has another target in his murderous sights. However, the investigation is mired in confusion, the identities of killer and victim become increasingly ambiguous.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
City of strangers : a novel / Louise Millar.
“When Grace and her childhood sweetheart Mac come home from their honeymoon in Thailand, they’re shocked to find a dead body beside their pile of unopened wedding presents. The police are unable to ID the man, so it is assumed that he was a burglar who died from natural causes. Little do they know that evidence for a rather different story is hidden right beneath their apartment.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
When death draws near / Carrie Stuart Parks.
“Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky, a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the “accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. Gwen turns her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity, a reward she desperately needs. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Where I can see you / by Larry D. Sweazy.
“Haunted by the disappearance of his mother when he was eight years old, detective Hud Matthews begins his own investigation to find out what really happened so many years before. When a rare murder occurs in the lakeside community, Hud’s veteran skills are called upon to capture the killer. Pulled deep into the threads of the community with ties to the past, Hud quickly becomes a target, not only of the killer, but of those who wish the past to be left alone. As Hud gets closer to discovering the truth about the crimes, he has to face a choice of enforcing the law, or stepping outside of it to make sure that his version of justice is served.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)