Top 10 Books We're Excited About... (in no particular order)

1. The Lucky Eight - Sheila Bugler
Canelo £1.99

"A horrific airline disaster which killed 160 passengers, made headlines around the world. On the fifth anniversary, a number of those who survived gather to mark the occasion. By morning, Nick Gilbert, a celebrity chef and one of the party, lies dead. Detective Rachel Lewis leads the investigation and within days another survivor is stabbed to death. It seems certain that a killer is targeting the lucky eight.

I am having to wait my turn, but I have been told that this standalone is as exciting as the Dee Doran books. The e-book can be pre-ordered for the princely sum of £1.99. Definitely a snip to read this engaging and exciting writer. Both ebook and paperback out 22nd July 2021."

2. Strange Tricks - Syd Moore
Point Blank £8.99

"The latest of the fabulously creepy Essex Witch Museum Mysteries. Secretly Rosie Strange has always thought herself a little bit more interesting than most people – the legacy her family has bequeathed her is definitely so, she’s long believed. But then life takes a peculiar turn when the Strange legacy turns out not just to be the Essex Witch Museum, but perhaps some otherworldly gifts that Rosie finds difficult to fathom. Meanwhile Sam Stone, Rosie’s curator, is oddly distracted as breadcrumb clues into what happened to his missing younger brother and other abducted boys from the past are poised to lead him and Rosie deep into a dark wood where there lurks something far scarier than Hansel and Gretel’s witch.

We love this quirky series and happy to see another chapter of those at the Essex Witch Museum! Ebook is out now and paperback out 3rd June 2021."

3. Vanished - James Delargy
Simon and Schuster £14.99

"The Kane family, Lorcan, Naiyana and their young son relocate from Perth to Kallayee, an abandoned mining town in the Great Victoria Desert to start over again, free from their chequered past. The town seems like the perfect getaway: Peaceful. Quiet. Remote. Somewhere they won’t be found. But life in Kallayee isn’t quite as straightforward as they hope. There are noises in the earth, mysterious shadows and tracks in the dust as if the town is coming back to life. But the family can’t leave. No one can talk sense into them. And now, no one can talk to them at all… they’ve simply vanished. Now it's up to Detective Emmaline Taylor to find them before it’s too late.

I loved Delargy's debut, '55' making it a Fresh Blood at the time. Now he is back with 'Vanished' and again we're served a bizarre set of circumstances and we're against the clock. Out now!"

4. Seat 7a - Sebastian Fitzek
Head of Zeus £18.99

"Psychiatrist Mats Krüger knows that his irrational fear of flying is just that – irrational. He knows that flying is nineteen times safer than driving. He also knows that if something does happen on a plane, the worst place to be is seat 7a. That's why on his first plane journey in twenty years – to be with his only daughter as she gives birth – Mats has booked seat 7a, so no one else can sit there. If no one is sat there, surely nothing will go wrong.

But shortly after take-off, Mats receives a worrying phone call. The caller has kidnapped his daughter and will murder her – and her unborn child – unless Mats convinces the pilot to crash the plane, killing everyone on board. As the plane nears its destination, Mats must make an impossible choice and face the fact he might be the arbiter of his own worst fear.

Sebastian Fitzek is getting a reputation as the German King of the Whiplash Thriller. His stories are so fast, his plots are labyrinthine and there are twists coming at you left, right and centre! On another note, this is the fourth book to come out about a plane crash/crashing. I don't know if writers were working it out of their system last year that they couldn't get away by jet, so the next best thing is to take out their frustration on the page. I'm guessing that's the answer! 'Seat 7a' is out now. "

5. True Crime Story - Joseph Knox
Doubleday £14.99

"In the early hours of Saturday 17 December 2011, Zoe Nolan, a nineteen-year-old Manchester University student, walked out of a party taking place in the shared accommodation where she had been living for three months. She was never seen again.

Seven years after her disappearance, struggling writer Evelyn Mitchell finds herself drawn into the mystery. Through interviews with Zoe's closest friends and family, she begins piecing together what really happened in 2011. But where some versions of events overlap, aligning perfectly with one another, others stand in stark contrast, giving rise to troubling inconsistencies.

Shaken by revelations of Zoe's secret life, and stalked by a figure from the shadows, Evelyn turns to crime writer Joseph Knox to help make sense of a case where everyone has something to hide. Zoe Nolan may be missing presumed dead, but her story is only just beginning.

Highly praised by crime writer of the Matilda Darke series, Michael Wood this new book from Joseph Knox will be our Author of the Month for June. Out 17th June 2021."

6. Dead Ground - M. W. Craven
Constable £16.99

"Detective Sergeant Washington Poe is in court, fighting eviction from his beloved and isolated croft, when he is summoned to a backstreet brothel in Carlisle where a man has been beaten to death with a baseball bat. Poe is confused - he hunts serial killers and this appears to be a straightforward murder-by-pimp - but his attendance was requested personally, by the kind of people who prefer to remain in the shadows.

As Poe and the socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw delve deeper into the case, they are faced with seemingly unanswerable questions: despite being heavily vetted for a high-profile job, why does nothing in the victim's background check out? Why was a small ornament left at the murder scene - and why did someone on the investigation team steal it? And what is the connection to a flawlessly executed bank heist three years earlier, a heist where nothing was taken.

With only four novels in the Poe series under his belt, Craven has taken the crime world by storm! ‘Dead Ground’ continues his run of delivering a bizarre, yet addictive read that will leave you spellbound. Out 3rd June 2021."

7. Bullet Train - Kotaro Isaka
Harvill Secker £14.99

"Satoshi looks like an innocent schoolboy, but he is really a viciously cunning psychopath. Kimura's young son is in a coma thanks to him, and Kimura has tracked him onto the bullet train heading from Tokyo to Morioka to exact his revenge. But Kimura soon discovers that they are not the only dangerous passengers onboard.

Nanao, the self-proclaimed 'unluckiest assassin in the world', and the deadly partnership of Tangerine and Lemon are also travelling to Morioka. A suitcase full of money leads others to show their hands. Why are they all on the same train, and who will get off alive at the last station?

A huge bestseller in the author’s native home of Japan, this sounded exactly the sort of breakneck speed thriller to have on a Bullet Train! This is already being made into a major motion picture, so best get yourself on the journey by reading the book first! Out now!"

8. Geiger - Gustaf Skördeman
Zaffre £12.99

"The landline rings as Agneta is waving off her grandchildren. Just one word comes out of the receiver: 'Geiger'. For decades, Agneta has always known that this moment would come, but she is shaken. She knows what it means. Retrieving her weapon from its hiding place, she attaches the silencer and creeps up behind her husband before pressing the barrel to his temple. Then she squeezes the trigger and disappears - leaving behind her wallet and keys.

The extraordinary murder is not Sara Nowak's case. But she was once close to those affected and, defying regulations, she joins the investigation. What Sara doesn't know is that the mysterious codeword is just the first piece in the puzzle of an intricate and devastating plot fifty years in the making.

I haven’t read this book but just the premise sounds enticing, extraordinary and intriguing. Currently the ebook is 99p, so worth a look."

9. The Turnout - Megan Abbott
Virago £14.99

"After the sudden death of their parents, the Durant sisters, Dara and Marie, inherit a ballet school and take over running it with Dara's husband, Charlie. The sisters' connection is intense, forged by a glamorous but troubled family history.

But after they hire Derek, a charismatic, possibly shady contractor to renovate the studio, Marie throws herself into an intense affair with him that threatens their tight bonds and brings forward family secrets until an act of violence overturns everything.

Read by Crimesquad reviewer and crime writer, Sheila Bugler, she has praised this book to the skies having read the proof. Another searing psychological novel who is making this genre her own! Out 5th August 2021."

10. Dream Girl - Laura Lippman
Faber £14.99

"Gerry Anderson has been having trouble sleeping. He's unwell - bed-bound - and has only his night nurse and his personal assistant for company. But what's really troubling him are the phone calls. Phone calls from a woman claiming to be the 'real' Aubrey. But that can't be. Aubrey's just a character Gerry made up in a book, years ago. Can Gerry see past the ever-blurring lines of fact and fiction and figure out who is threatening him, or has his long-overdue moment of reckoning finally arrived?

I loved Lippman’s novel from last year, ‘The Lady in the Lake’ and expect high standards from ‘Dream Girl’. Again, this tale is stretched over the years from 1968 to the present. One to look out for. Out 1st July 2021"