Some of the finest and funniest contemporary espionage fiction comes from the metaphorical pen of Mick Herron, and the English author is back with his latest – a standalone called The Secret Hours. This is just the beginning, though, because this week we’ve got a cybercrime thriller by Daniel Scanlan, a book that you literally flip over while reading by Gareth Rubin, and a campus crime novel set in America by RJ Jacobs. The set is complete with a comic-fantasy-crime story that looks as quirky as they come from George Penney and Tony Johnson.

Read on – perhaps you’ll find your next crime read.

The Secret Hours by Mick Herron

Mick Herron has taken his foot off the Slough House gas to concentrate instead on The Secret Hours, a standalone spy thriller that’s out on 14 September and is chock full of the author’s trademark wry wit and unexpected twists and turns. The Monochrome inquiry into the misdeeds of the intelligence services has hit brick wall after brick wall, until the OTIS file falls into the hands of the civil servants at its helm. With nothing to report, their careers looked destined to disappear into a black hole — but now? What secrets does Monochrome hold that see a long-redundant spy being chased through Devon’s green lanes in the dark? And what happened in a newly reunified Berlin that someone is desperate to keep under wraps?
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The Turnglass by Gareth Rubin

The Turnglass by Gareth Rubin front cover

Ready for a bamboozling mystery? Then mark 14 September on the calendar, because that’s when The Turnglass arrives. Gareth Rubin’s tête-bêche – from the French, meaning head-to-tail – has dual covers and stories. In the 1880s, young doctor Simeon Lee is called to Turnglass House, on an isolated Essex to treat his cousin, Parson Oliver Hawes, who is dying. Could it be poison? The answer lies in Oliver’s tête-bêche journal, where one side tells a very different story from the other. In 1930s California, celebrated author Oliver Tooke, son of the state governor, is found dead in his writing hut. His friend Ken Kourian doesn’t believe it was suicide – and tries to decipher clues hidden in Oliver’s final book, a tête-bêche novel about a young doctor called Simeon Lee…
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This is How We End Things by RJ Jacobs

This is How We End Things by RJ Jacobs front cover

Who better to get to the bottom of a murder case than a bunch of graduate students who have been studying the tedious science behind the act of lying? Five of them are in Prof Joe Lyons’ class, but when a test goes awry and one of them is found dead, the students find themselves trapped by a snowstorm on an abandoned North Carolina campus with a local detective on the case. Will they put their newly acquired skills to the test, or use them to guard their own secrets? The answer is in the balance, because this bunch all have something to hide. This is How We End Things by RJ Jacobs is out on 12 September.
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The Exploit by Daniel Scanlan

The Exploit by Daniel Scanlan front cover

As The Exploit opens, FBI special agent Ericka Blackwood is still reeling from events in The Hacker, first in the series of psychological thrillers by former cybercrime prosecutor Daniel Scanlan. Ericka is still on the trail of predatory cybercriminal Dantalion, whose tastes for chaos and carnage have drawn him into the world of international terrorism. When an attempt to destroy a Pakistani jail alerts intelligence services that Dantalion has emerged from hiding, Ericka and her old FBI team are hot on the criminal mastermind’s heels. Which is exactly what he wants, and things are about to get mighty dangerous. Grab a copy on 14 September.
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OverLondon by George Penney and Tony Johnson

OverLondon by George Penney and Tony Johnson front cover

Written by George Penney and Tony Johnson, OverLondon is described as “a rollicking comic-fantasy whodunnit with a Tudor twist”, and it comes out on 12 September. Priests from OverLondon’s Church of Vengeful Acquisition are exploding. Is the cause divine retribution, ballistic undergarments or something more sinister? If only the city had a professional private investigator… Step forward notorious pirate-turned-privateer Captain Alex Reign, who has just escaped the hangman’s noose and is in need of some fast cash. She’s convinced that, with the help of her trusty crew, the case will be solved by teatime – but rampaging nuns, clockwork horrors, confectionery gangsters, piratical florists, malevolent urchins, military-grade statuary, weaponised blasphemy and sexual whales stand in her way.
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Click here to read about last week’s new books.

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