This month’s selection from the most recently received new mystery novels has a very international flavour, with mysteries set in South Africa, Holland, New Guinea, America and Australia. Also included is the new mystery from the popular writer Peter Robinson titled Abattoir blues.
Coldsleep lullaby : a mystery / Andrew Brown.
“Cape Town police detective Eberard Februarie has been reinstated in his job after an emotional meltdown, but he’s reassigned to the picturesque university town of Stellenbosch in the heart of South Africa’s wine region. A doctor will make the final decision about his fitness, but in the meantime, Februarie draws a particularly brutal case: the murder of a young woman about to enter the university. In alternating chapters, Brown offers a second story line: the Dutch East India Company’s often-inhumane, seventeenth-century colonization of South Africa and its development of vineyards in the region that ultimately links to Februarie’s case.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary
The root of all evil / Roberto Costantini ; translated from the Italian by N.S. Thompson.
“Rome, 1982. In the wake of a ruinous blunder, a ground-down Commissario Balistreri escapes his regrets through sex, alcohol and gambling. His sole responsibilities are now a stilted investigation into the death of a South American student, and a tiresome obligation, as a gratitude to the man who saved his career,to a rising television starlet needing protection from the pitfalls of fame.As the risks to this girl, Claudia Teodori, begin to rise along with her reputation, the sorrows of Balistreri’s past also start to push back into his present. Both of their fates are inextricably linked and this driven, obsessive young woman must help this damaged detective fight a foe that follows her and refuses to forget him.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Gap / Rebecca Jessen.
“When you’re at the end of the line with nowhere to turn – how far would you go to protect the one you love? A man is found dead in an inner-city suburb, a police officer walks the blurry line between duty and loyalty, and a young woman from the wrong side of the tracks is on the run. Ana soon becomes a suspect in the murder investigation, and as sole carer for her younger sister is desperately trying to stay ahead of the law. In a surprising twist, the detective in charge of the case is no stranger and Ana is forced to face her past and the things she has left behind. Unsure of who she can trust and isolated by her crime, Ana is drawn into a passionate affair that breaks all the rules” ( Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
The sun is God / Adrian McKinty.
“Based on an actual 1906 incident on New Guinea’s isolated Kabakon Island. The small German cult known as the Cocovores live naked on Kabakon, where they worship the sun and eat mostly coconuts, a regimen they believe confers immortality. When a member dies and an autopsy is performed on the mainland, murder is indicated. The region’s German government sends former British military police officer Will Prior, still healing from the traumatic carnage he witnessed in the Boer War, to the island. Insect bites, the group’s bizarre drug-laced diet, and their insistence that the death was natural, slow his inquiry” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The killer next door / Alex Marwood.
“At the start Det. Insp. Merri Cheyne from Scotland Yard questions a young woman, Cheryl Farrell, about the grisly find of human fingers in a freezer inside a rundown boarding house located in a London suburb. As Cheryl confirms, the prints from those fingers belong to a fellow lodger, Lisa Dunne, who witnessed a murder and whom the FBI was seeking to interview. Dunne is not the only victim. Body parts from multiple corpses have surfaced in and around the boarding house, which turns out to be a destination for people with dark and embarrassing pasts that they wish to conceal.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Cobra / Deon Meyer ; translated from Afrikaans by K. L. Seegers.
“Bennie Greissel the Cape Town homicide detective is called to the South African wine country, where the British citizen Paul Morris has been kidnapped. At the guesthouse where Morris was staying, his two bodyguards lie dead, each of them shot in the head. Near the bodies are shell casings, each etched with the head of a cobra. Back in Cape Town, the amiable cutpurse Tyrone Kleinbooi, who is devoted to putting his sister through medical school, becomes a target of the same cobra killers after picking the wrong pocket.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Fear and loathing / Hilary Norman.
“Gary Burton and his Chinese-American wife are entertaining another couple on their Miami Beach patio facing the Intracoastal Waterway when four armed men step off a boat and interrupt the party. The intruders tie up the Burtons and their guests, place them in the garage, and stand by as the victims slowly die of carbon monoxide poisoning. A note left at the scene addressed specifically to Becket, an African-American detective married to a white woman, promises more slayings. Becket and partner Al Martinez dive into the bizarre case with few leads. As the body count increases, so does the threat against Becket-including a separate danger for adopted daughter Cathy, blissfully pursuing her dream job in France. Becket finds himself struggling to keep perspective and protect his loved ones from harm” (Adapted from Syndetics summary).
Abattoir blues / Peter Robinson.
“When two boys vanish under mysterious circumstances, the local community is filled with unease. Then a bloodstain is discovered in a disused World War Two hangar nearby, and a caravan belonging to one of the youths is burned to the ground. Things quickly become much more sinister. Assigned to the case, DCI Banks and his team are baffled by the mystery laid out before them. But when a motor accident throws up a gruesome discovery, the investigation spins into a higher gear, in another direction. As Banks and his team struggle desperately to find the missing boy who holds the key to the puzzle, they find themselves in a race against time where it’s their turn to become the prey.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
An unwilling accomplice/ Charles Todd.
“Bess Crawford, a British battlefield nurse in WWI,is honored to be asked to accompany a wounded soldier to Buckingham Palace, where the soldier is supposed to receive an award. But the soldier vanishes, and Bess is accused of dereliction of duty, an accusation that Bess takes very seriously. When the missing man turns up, apparently having murdered someone, it isn’t just her professional reputation Bess must save; it’s her own life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
After the silence / Jake Woodhouse.
“A body is found hanging on a hook above the canals of Amsterdam’s old town, a mobile phone forced into the victim’s mouth.In a remote coastal village, a doll lies in the ashes of a burnt-down house. But the couple who died in the fire had no children of their own. Did a little girl escape the blaze? And, if so, who is she and where is she now? Inspector Jaap Rykel knows that he’s hunting a clever and brutal murderer. Still grieving from the violent death of his last partner, Rykel must work alongside a junior out-of-town detective with her own demons to face, if he has any hope of stopping the killer from striking again. Their investigation reveals two dark truths: everybody in this city harbours secrets and hearing those secrets comes at a terrible price.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)