Is it just us, or is Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series the most underrated set of novels in the business? The characters. The dialogue. The Northern Ireland setting. The author’s deft way of weaving the Troubles into the wider milieu of late stage colonialism. And breathe. Plus, let’s not forget the mysteries. We’re talking about six novels that take a hold of you and don’t let go. Unfortunately, the world of publishing doesn’t seen to see the books in the same way we dedicated crime fiction readers do, and that’s why it’s taken seven years for the author’s follow-up to Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly to arrive. So that’s where we’ll start with this week’s new books report and gosh, it’s backed up by a wonderful lineup that features a maven of TikTok, new Ryan Steck mayhem, a hurricane blonde and a prom mom for good measure.

What more could you ask for?

The Detective Up Late by Adrian McKinty

At long last, the new instalment in Adrian McKinty’s Edgar Award-winning Sean Duffy detective series has been announced and The Detective Up Late will arrive on discerning bookshelves on 8 August. The stories, which began during the Maze Prison hunger strikes of the early 1980s, reaches the 90s with DI Sean Duffy hoping the new decade will bring better times for him and the people of Northern Ireland. But in his final days in charge of Carrickfergus CID, a missing persons report captures Duffy’s attention. A 15-year-old traveller girl has disappeared – one of those marginal victims police are notorious for overlooking. But Duffy decides to take an interest and what he uncovers could put him in danger. Can he survive one last case before getting himself and his family out over the water?
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Maidens of the Cave by Lloyd Devereux Richards

Maidens of the Cave by Lloyd Devereux Richards front cover

Lloyd Devereux Richards caused quite the stir on TikTok with his crime fiction novel Stone Maidens, revived since its original launch in 2012. Now his FBI forensic anthropologist Christine Prusik is back. Prusik has a knack for solving the most unusual cases – and is not averse to bending the rules in the process. When the bodies of young women start appearing in the caves of Indiana and Illinois, she immediately jumps into action. But her Chicago field office is undergoing a reorganisation, and the boys’ club at the top seem more interested in getting all the paperwork in order than solving the murders. That’s a red rag to Prusik, who is soon hot on the trail of the killer. Maidens of the Cave is out on 1 August.
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Lethal Range by Ryan Steck

Lethal Range by Ryan Steck front cover

On an island off the coast of Spain, Matthew Redd and his FBI fly team are keeping an eye on a luxury villa, hoping to catch a high-value fugitive. But when Redd leads an unauthorised raid on the villa, he realises that they’ve been set up, and he’s sent home to face the consequences of defying orders. Meanwhile, back at home, Redd’s wife Emily is driving their sick child to the hospital when she is harassed by a gang of bikers who then mysteriously back off and leave. A newly suspended Redd believes he is to blame, but as his son’s condition worsens and his beloved ranch faces financial ruin, he has no choice to fight back… Lethal Range by Ryan Steck – AKA The Real Book Spy – is out on 8 August.
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The Hurricane Blonde by Halley Sutton

The Hurricane Blonde by Halley Sutton front cover

Los Angeles is the setting for Halley Sutton’s thriller The Hurricane Blonde, which made our Most Wanted Novels of 2023 list and is out on 8 August. Salma Lowe has an insider’s view on how Hollywood chews up starlets and spits them out. After all, she’s the daughter of Hollywood royalty, a former child-star turned guide on a true crime bus tour and sister to Tawney, dubbed the ‘Hurricane Blonde’ when she was murdered in the mid-1990s. No one was ever brought to justice back then, but when Salma finds another dead woman with an uncanny resemblance to Tawney on the very property where her sister was killed, she is frustrated by the police’s lack of progress and decides to plunge herself into LA’s seductive allure to find the culprit.
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Prom Mom by Laura Lippman

Prom Mom by Laura Lippman front cover

Welcome to Baltimore in the midst of the COVID pandemic – the setting for Laura Lippman‘s latest standalone novel, out on 10 August in the UK. Amber Glass has spent her adult life putting as much distance as possible between herself and her hometown, the place where she became ‘Prom Mom’ – the girl who allegedly killed her baby on the night of the prom after her date, Joe Simpson, abandoned her to pursue the girl he really liked. But Amber is back and is once again drawn to Joe, now happily married to a plastic surgeon. As the two resume contact and eventually cross the line they’ve been trying not to cross, Joe asks Amber to help him do the unthinkable. Just how will she respond?
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Click here to read about last week’s new releases.

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