The first crime novels of 2015

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On the Radar — Happy New Year and welcome to our very first On the Radar report of 2015. These new releases might be the first of the year, but they could also be some of the best. Eva Dolan follows up her smash hit debut Long Way Home with Tell No Tales, and we have new novels from the award-winning Peter May, as well as Adrian McKinty and Susanna Gregory. There’s new German crime fiction, a book set in Turkey and a submarine eco-thriller to get your year going too. Read on and let us know which of these you’ll be picking up this January.

RunawayRunaway by Peter May
No islands this time for the best-selling Scottish author, but a tale of friendship, ambition and dark secrets. Loosely based on an incident in his own life, May tells the story of five youngsters from 1960s Glasgow who dream of making the big time with their music. They head to London and almost inevitably their hopes aren’t realised. Before too long three of them return home, where they are forced to come to terms with the abusive homes and unemployment they left behind. Fifty years later, those three men are drawn into a corrosive examination of their past when a murder threatens to bring history back life, with devastating consequences. You can read our review of May’s previous novel, Entry Island, here. Runaway is out on 15 January.
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Gun Street GirlGun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty
Though originally slated to be a trilogy, here we have a fourth Sean Duffy mystery involving a double murder, a suicide, and conspiracy. The Catholic police detective in Belfast’s mainly Protestant force investigates when a well-to-do married couple are found dead, and shortly after their son commits suicide having confessed that he murdered his parents. The case is by no means as simple as Duffy’s bosses would like him to believe, and with links to American intelligence and MI5, and a potentially devastating political scandal about to break, Duffy finds himself in deep trouble, and his own life under threat. Published on 8 January.
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Tell-No-TalesTell No Tales by Eva Dolan
Peterborough cops DS Ferreira and DI Zigic of the city’s Hate Crime Unit have two new cases on their hands in Dolan’s second novel. Firstly, two people are killed and another injured when a car ploughs into a bus stop first thing in the morning as migrant workers are making their way to work on the local farms. It was no accident, but were they targeted because of their ethnicity, or is there another dimension to it? Then there are the racially motivated murders of two young men – each beaten to a pulp – which may or may not be connected to the rise of a Far Right political group striving for legitimacy and parliamentary seats. Available from 8 January.
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The Girl Who Wasn't ThereThe Girl Who Wasn’t There by Ferdinand von Schirach
Prominent German defence lawyer von Schirach saw his earlier book The Collini Case top the German charts for many weeks. In his latest novel, translated by Anthea Bell, we follow Sebastian von Eschburg, the son of a rich and influential family who has used his inherited wealth to further a career as an artist. His work shocks, offends and challenges contemporary society but this is nothing compared to the trauma of von Eschburg being accused of murdering a teenage girl. The artist is an oddball character, and his detachment from ordinary life makes life difficult for matter-of-fact lawyer Konrad Biegler, who is appointed to defend him. Out on 8 January – watch for our review soon.
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The Poison SecretThe Poison Secret by Gregg Loomis
This story is set in contemporary Turkey, but hinges on an apparent poisoning all the way back in 88BC in Anatolia. When a young Turkish boy suffers no ill-effects from a snake bite which should have proved fatal, scientists are reluctant to attribute his survival to genetic factors linked to that ancient snake bite. The apparent immunity, however, has financial and medical implications, and when a prominent haematologist – Lang Reilly – becomes involved, he soon discovers that he is putting himself and his wife at serious risk as the old adage ‘follow the money’ kicks in. Published on 6 January.
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The Cheapside CorpseThe Cheapside Corpse by Susanna Gregory
Former police officer Susanna Gregory takes us back to 1665, the year when the Great Plague hit London. And, another case for her historical sleuth Thomas Chalenor. An infection has broken out in the slum district of St Giles and the government of King Charles II has huge financial problems to solve. As Chalenor pursues a French secret agent who is effortlessly carrying the disease from one street to the next, we learn that financial greed and bacteria can be equally threatening to the common good. We reviewed The Piccadilly Plot here. On the shelves from 8 January.
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White PlagueWhite Plague by James Abel
More plague here but this time in a contemporary setting. When an American submarine comes to grief in the Arctic, its crew hit by a mysterious illness, US Marines colonel and investigator Joe Rush must decide if the sickness has been caused by the recovery of frozen corpses from a failed expedition dating back to the early years of the 20th century. Sprinkle in the spicy ingredients of international rivalry in one of the world’s most inhospitable regions, and we have all the makings of a top contemporary eco-thriller. Available from 6 January.
Pre-order now on Amazon

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