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On the Radar: A drop of the black stuff

Welcome back to our weekly news column where, today, historical crime fiction rules the roost. Leonora Nattrass’ Black Drop sounds intriguing and even more so when you find out what ‘black drop’ actually is. But if the late 18th century isn’t your thing, we’ve got capering criminals in Gregory Galloway’s latest novel and a new Highlands mystery from CF Peterson. Plus, some domestic noir and a tongue in cheek espionage story positing that James Bond was inspired by a French resistance woman spy.

Which one will you be reading? If any. Let us know by posting a reply under the story.

Black Drop by Leonora Nattrass

This debut by Leonora Nattrass is a twisty historical thriller set in London in the summer of 1794 – and it comes out on 14 October. There’s revolution in the air and Foreign Office clerk Laurence Jago is feeling the pressure as an incendiary and highly sensitive letter is leaked to the press. Jago is a prime suspect and he turns to the black drop – a mix of opium, vinegar, sugar and spices – to help him sleep. Then a fellow clerk is killed and the blame falls on the dead man’s shoulders. Jago is certain both of his friend’s innocence, and that he was murdered. But how can he find the true culprit without incriminating himself?
Pre-order now on Amazon

Just Thieves by Gregory Galloway

Just Thieves by Gregory Galloway front cover

Recovering addicts Rick and Frank are accomplished thieves, who steal to order on the directions of a shadowy handler. The theft of a seemingly innocuous trophy goes horribly awry when the pair are involved in a car crash and in the ensuing confusion Frank disappears with the prize. Left alone and without the trophy, Rick has to rethink their friendship. He’s been double-crossed and what follows is nail-biting, noir-ish exploration of the working lives of two unforgettable crooks and the hidden forces that rule and ruin their lives. Just Thieves by Gregory Galloway is out on 14 October.
Pre-order now on Amazon

The Purified by CF Peterson

The Purified by CF Peterson front cover Scottish crime fiction

CF Peterson’s long-awaited sequel to the crime thriller Errant Blood is once more set in the Scottish Highland village of Duncul, where Eamon Ansgar’s newfound happiness is shattered by the discovery of a murder. He feels compelled to help the tiny local police force, headed by Detective Maclean. The officer thinks he has the killer bang to rights, but when something worse than a body is been found beneath the waters of The Minch and the TV crews arrive, there’s someone else keeping a beady eye on proceedings. The lavishly rendered Scottish landscape combines with an engrossing cast of characters to turn the spotlight on some important social issues, and political perspectives that teeter on extremism. The Purified is out now.
Buy now on Amazon

The Perfect Neighbour by Susanna Beard

The Perfect Neighbour by Susana Beard front cover

A quiet suburban street and a runaway dog… not the most thrilling ingredients for a crime novel perhaps? But Susanna Beard’s The Perfect Neighbour, out now, is anything but snooze-worthy. Beth has recently moved to suburbia and is happily counting her blessings in her perfect home. Then her dog runs off and Beth chases him into a neighbouring garden, home of beautiful, slightly aloof Oksana. Beth glances at the window, expecting to see her neighbour peering out. Instead there’s a young girl, holding up a scribbled sign reading HELP ME. Who is she, and what are Beth’s neighbours hiding? We’re about to find out…
Buy now on Amazon

The Spy Who Inspired Me by Stephen Clarke

The Spy Who Inspired Me Stephen Clarke espionage novel

The cover looks familiar, does it not? And make no mistake, it is no mistake! This comedy spy yarn is based on the premise that the novels about a certain shaken not stirred, macho secret agent could have been inspired by the exploits of a woman. It’s April 1944, and armchair naval officer Ian Lemming is accidentally beached in Nazi-occupied Normandy, where he is stranded with a young, hugely experienced, female agent, on a perilous mission to unmask traitors in a French Resistance network. As Lemming looks on in awe, the seeds of a literary idea begin to emerge… Latest in a long line of comic works by Stephen Clarke, The Spy Who Inspired Me has been republished to coincide with the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die.
Buy now on Amazon

Read about last week’s new crime novels here.

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