New finds (or not so new) of mostly American mysteries/suspense novels and all book descriptions are copied/pasted so off we go!
A new standalone from Johan Theorin – Asylum (UK, October 2012)
WHAT MAKES GOOD TURN TO EVIL? A dark passageway leads from the nursery to Saint Patricia’s asylum. Those who enter are innocents u children visiting their parents. Those inside are some of the most dangerous psychopaths in the country… Jan, a new employee at the nursery, has secrets that he must hide, whatever the cost. There’s his growing obsession with an asylum inmate, Alice Rami. And then there’s that fateful summer’s day in the forest nine years ago a day when a young boy went missing…
Joey McCarthy is stabbed to death in a parking lot in a random act of violence. Shortly afterward, Charlotte Stone’s terminally ill mother dies and then, within weeks, two of her teenage friends commit suicide. With her home life disintegrating and both her father and brother racing toward self-destruction, Charlotte realizes that her own personal nightmare is just beginning.
When Gary Goodhew, a loveable, warm-hearted detective, finds the body of another suicide victim, he is forced to recall some deeply buried memories of an investigation that had a profound effect on him—memories that lead him to Charlotte Stone. Working together, they begin to wonder whether all these tragedies are somehow linked. And if they are, who will be the next victim?
In this fifth installment in the critically acclaimed Irene Huss series, three men are found brutally executed in one of Goteborg’s most fashionable neighborhoods. All three men were involved in an online poker company, but that’s all they appear to have in common. The complex investigation immerses Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues into a world of expensive cars, fancy homes and impressive castles in the air.
Munster’s Case An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (US, Aug 2012)
For Waldemar Leverkuhn the day could not have begun more auspiciously. He and three of his friends, all retirees, have just won the lottery. It’s a modest sum when split four ways—certainly not enough to lift Waldemar out of the plain apartment he shares with his quiet, weary wife—but it’s enough for the old men to toast their good luck with a blowout at their favorite bar. The celebration ends, however, with Waldemar drunk, stumbling, belligerent, and eventually dead in his own bed, stabbed twenty-eight times in the chest with a carving knife.
Taking charge of the case is Intendent Münster, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren’s longtime right-hand man, and his beguiling colleague Ewa Moreno. They seem to have a surefire lead with the disappearance of one of Waldemar’s friends on the same night as the murder, but after a cursory look into his whereabouts produces more questions than answers, the investigation suddenly seems to solve itself when Marie-Louise Leverkuhn, Waldemar’s wife, confesses to the crime and calmly resigns herself to her fate. The case is, but all accounts, closed. That is, until one of the Leverkuhns’ neighbors in the same unassuming block of apartments goes missing and turns up—spectacularly, gruesomely—in pieces around the city.
Thrown back into the fog and chasing after wisps of clues that tenuously but inextricably link the murders, Müenster and Moreno take center stage in Håkan Nesser’s haunting new addition to his acclaimed series.
Mad River (Virgil Flowers) by John Sandford (Oct 2012, US) Personal comment: I’m a big fan of John Sandford having enjoyed his Lucas Davenport series. I haven’t read his Virgil Flowers series though.
Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what’s-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns.
The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers’ cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down. But even he doesn’t realize what’s about to happen next.
Seconds Away: A Mickey Bolitair Novel by Harlen Coben (Sept 2012, US)
Having ended the Edgar-Award-nominated Shelter with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, Coben picks up Mickey’s story right where it left off in this suspenseful new adventure. Mickey and his loyal new friends, sharp-witted Ema and adorkably charming Spoon, once again find themselves in over their heads on the hunt for missing pieces to a puzzle they have yet to understand. As the mystery surrounding Mickey’s dad’s death unfolds, he soon learns that they may be in more danger than they could have ever imagined.
The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag (Jan 2013, US)
The ninth unidentified body to turn up in Minneapolis in 2012 is nicknamed Jane Doe 9. Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska take on the case and discover a shocking fact: This victim has been found without any identifiable characteristics, except for those that peg her as an adolescent girl. Before the investigation is through, the case will take the two detectives deep into the life and death of a teenage girl who wanted nothing more than to be “normal.” They will come perilously close to the bullies who tormented her, the twisted family dynamics that may have contributed to her death, and ultimately to the haunting details of a young love that just may hide the secret of Jane Doe 9’s terrible fate.
Hoag’s most recent books have been among the biggest bestsellers of her career; with the return of Kovac and Liska, The 9th Girl is destined to be a megahit.
Low Pressure by Sandra Brown (Sept 2012, US)
Bellamy Lyston was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy’s fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene along with her memory of what really happened during the day’s most devastating moments.
Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a sensational, bestselling novel based on Susan’s murder. Because the book was inspired by the tragic event that still pains her family, she published it under a pseudonym to protect them from unwanted publicity. But when an opportunistic reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on fact, Bellamy’s identity is exposed along with the family scandal.
Moreover, Bellamy becomes the target of an unnamed assailant who either wants the truth about Susan’s murder to remain unknown or, even more threatening, is determined to get vengeance for a man wrongfully accused and punished.
In order to identify her stalker, Bellamy must confront the ghosts of her past, including Dent Carter, Susan’s wayward and reckless boyfriend — and an original suspect in the murder case. Dent, with this and other stains on his past, is intent on clearing his name, and he needs Bellamy’s sealed memory to do it. But her safeguarded recollections -once unlocked-pose dangers that neither could foresee and puts both their lives in peril.
As Bellamy delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Susan’s slaying, she discovers disturbing elements of the crime which call into question the people she holds most dear. Haunted by partial memories, conflicted over her feelings for Dent, but determined to learn the truth, she won’t stop until she reveals Susan’s killer.
That is, unless Susan’s killer strikes her first…