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Posted by on 18 Jun, 2024 in Australian Crime Fiction, Bestseller, British Crime, British Thrillers, Courtroom Thriller, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Forecast Friday, Looking Forward Friday, Outback Crime, serial killer thriller, Spy Fiction, Thriller | 5 comments



It is almost half way through 2024! So far this year we have already seen a good array of enjoyable titles, from exciting international thrillers by Gerald Seymour and Juan Gomez-Jurado, to stellar novels by veterans M. W. Craven and John Connolly, to impressive debuts by Amy Tintera and Kiwi Gavin Strawhan, to a trio of very good Australian and New Zealand crime novels by Dinuka McKenzie, Garry Disher and Michael Bennett.

The good news is that the second half of the year looks like being even better with a dazzling selection of new books by some of the biggest names in the genre, as well as releases by some of my personal favourites.

Here is a dozen, or so, of the books that I am most keenly looking forward to.

The Waiting by Michael Connelly (Allen & Unwin, 15 October 2024)

The second half of the year sees releases by two of the world’s best and most acclaimed crime novelists, Michael Connelly and Ian Rankin.

Connelly gets in first with his cover reveal for The Waiting (Allen & Unwin), which is released on 15 October 2024.

The Waiting is latest in his Harry Bosch and Renée Ballard series, and also features Bosch’s daughter Maddie, who is now an LAPD Patrol Officer:

“Renee Ballard and the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit get a hot shot DNA connection between a recently arrested man and a serial rapist and murderer who went quiet twenty years ago. The arrested man is only twenty-three, so the genetic link must be familial. It is his father who was the Pillowcase Rapist, responsible for a five-year reign of terror in the city of angels. But when Ballard and her team move in on their suspect, they encounter a baffling web of secrets and legal hurdles.

Meanwhile, Ballard’s badge, gun, and ID are stolen—a theft she can’t report without giving her enemies in the department the ammunition they need to end her career as a detective. She works the burglary alone, but her solo mission leads her into greater danger than she anticipates. She has no choice but to go outside the department for help, and that leads her to the door of Harry Bosch.

Finally, Ballard takes on a new volunteer to the cold case unit. Bosch’s daughter Maddie wants to supplement her work as a patrol officer on the night beat by investigating cases with Ballard. But Renee soon learns that Maddie has an ulterior motive for getting access to the city’s library of lost souls.”

Connelly has never written a bad novel, and I am looking forward to this latest episode in his Bosch magnum opus!

The Waiting is released on 15 October 2024 in Australia by Allen & Unwin. It is released by Little, Brown & Co. on the same day in the United States.

Midnight & Blue by Ian Rankin (Orion, 8 October 2024)

Rankin’s last John Rebus novel, A Heart Full Of Headstones, left the former Edinburgh detective in an uncertain situation with a poor future ahead of him.

Now with Midnight & Blue, (Orion, 8 October 2024), we get an answer as to what happened to Rebus, and it does not sound good!

“John Rebus spent his life as a detective putting Edinburgh’s most deadly criminals behind bars. Now, he’s joined them. As new allies and old enemies circle, and the days and nights bleed into each other, even the legendary detective struggles to keep his head. That is, until a murder at midnight in a locked cell presents a new mystery. They say old habits die hard. However, this is a case where the prisoners and the guards are all suspects, and everyone has something to hide. With no badge, no authority and no safety net, Rebus walks a tightrope – with his life on the line. But how do you find a killer in a place full of them?”

This one will be at the top of my to read pile as soon as I get a copy!

Midnight & Blue is released in Australia on 8 October 2024, the United Kingdom on 10 October 2024 and the United States on 15 October 2024.

Leo by Deon Meyer (Hodder & Stoughton, 10 October 2024)

I cannot decide whether I am most looking forward to the new Rebus novel, or South African author Deon Meyer’s latest Benny Griessel book, Leo (Hodder & Stoughton, 10 October 2024)!

It has been over two years since we last had an English version of a Griessel novel, and this one sounds very good.

“Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido are languishing in Stellenbosch. Run-of-the-mill police work in the leafy university town is a far cry from their previous life in the elite HAWKS. But when a student is found dead on a mountain trail, the two detectives find themselves trying to unpick a stubbornly difficult mystery.

In the north of the country, meanwhile, a beautiful wildlife guide is recruited by a group of special forces soldiers to act as a honeytrap, part of a dangerous multi-million-dollar heist that goes tragically wrong. Then back in Stellenbosch, a local businessman is found murdered in what looks like a professional hit – suffocated by fast-action filler foam sprayed down his throat. A message to keep silent – but about what?
You need a cool head to unravel it all, because sadly, the thieves and criminals are as likely to be in government – or even the police – as on the streets. You need to stay calm, focused – and sober. Benny may be sober these days, but he’s not feeling calm. Solving this puzzle is turning into a deadly race against time and there’s another date that’s coming towards him like an express train. Alexa has fixed the date for their wedding. Big trouble, on every front.”

Meyer’s ability to mix interesting plots with evocative, sharply observed locations and a cast of flawed characters is probably unrivalled and Leo is definitely one not to be missed.

Leo is released in Australia and the United Kingdom on 10 October 2024.

The Protector by Tony Park (Macmillan, 30 July 2024)

Also utilising a well described South African background, and a strong conservation theme, is the latest novel by Australian Tony Park, The Protector (Macmillan, 30 July 2024).

Professor Denise ‘Doc’ Rado is South Africa’s expert on pangolins, busting poachers and freeing the endangered anteaters in elaborate undercover stings.

After a risky operation backfires, Doc’s life is shattered, but she still has to lead an eclectic group of donors on a wildlife tour of southern Africa.

But there’s a target on her back.

As the safari ventures deep into Africa, Doc fears they’re being followed and she will do anything to keep them all safe – especially Ian Laidlaw, a handsome Australian businessman turned accidental philanthropist. Is Doc being hunted by the poachers she once fought, or is there some other bloodthirsty predator prowling the wilderness?”

Park is a terrific thriller writer and his books always have an unusual, and moving, environmental angle to them. In The Protector he looks at the terrible trade in endangered pangolins, while providing the thrills and action you expect from a thriller.

The Protector will be released in Australia and the United Kingdom (by Ingwe Publishing) on 30 July 2024.

Here is a link to some more information on Tony and his books:

Witness 8 by Steve Cavanagh, (Headline, 30 July 2024)

Steve Cavanagh has become a master of the twisty legal thriller, and the latest book in his Eddie Flynn series, Witness 8 (Headline, 30 July 2024), seems to be offering the usual thrills and surprises:

“Ruby Johnson is a nanny and maid to wealthy families in Manhattan’s West 74th Street.
She knows their routines. Their secrets. One night, on her way home, Ruby witnesses a neighbour’s murder.

She knows the victim. She knows the killer. She makes an anonymous call to the police and names the murderer. But Ruby didn’t tell the truth. Because there’s something wrong with Ruby Johnson.

Eddie Flynn, conman turned trial lawyer, must defend an innocent man accused of this terrible crime.
As Ruby’s deadly game begins, one thing is certain. It won’t be the last murder this witness is involved in.”

Witness 8 is released in Australia on 30 July 2024 and in the United Kingdom on 1 August 2024. Release in the United States is apparently not until 2025.

Worst Case Scenario by T. J. Newman (Little, Brown & Co, 13 August 2024)

Also promising a brisk pace and lots of thrills is the latest disaster novel by T. J. Newman, Worst Case Scenario, (Little, Brown & Co, 13 August 2024).

Ms Newman’s last novel, Drowning, dealt with the crash of an airliner into the ocean and the efforts of the crew and passengers to survive, while a dramatic rescue effort tried to save them. With Worst Case Scenario she has raised the stakes even higher!

“When a pilot suffers a heart attack at 35,000 feet, a commercial airliner filled with passengers crashes into a nuclear power plant in the small town of Waketa, Minnesota, which becomes ground zero for a catastrophic national crisis with global implications. 
The International Nuclear Event Scale tracks nuclear disasters. It has seven levels. Level 7 is a Major Accident, with only two on record: Fukushima and Chernobyl. There has never been a Level 8. Until now.
In this heart-stopping thriller, ordinary people – power plant employees, firefighters, teachers, families, neighbors, and friends – are thrust into an extraordinary situation as they face the ultimate test of their lives. It will take the combined courage, ingenuity, and determination of a brave few to save not only their community and loved ones, but the fate of humanity at large.”

Worst Case Scenario is released in the United Kingdom and the United States on 13 August 2024. The release date for Australia is not clear yet.

The Dark Wives by Ann Cleeves (Macmillan, 27 August 2024)

Potentially offering a more considered pace is the latest Vera novel by Ann Cleeves, The Dark Wives (Macmillan, 27 August 2024).

This is the eleventh book in the series and seems to stick to the very successful formula of the previous books.

“A body is found by an early morning dog walker on the common outside Rosebank, a care home for troubled teens. The victim is Josh, a staff member, who never showed up to work.

DI Vera Stanhope is called out to investigate. Her only clue is the disappearance of fourteen-year-old resident Chloe. Vera can’t bring herself to believe that a teenager is responsible for the murder, but even she can’t dismiss the possibility.

Vera, Joe and new team member Rosie are soon embroiled in the case, but when a second body is found near the Three Dark Wives standing stones in the wilds of the Northumbrian countryside, folklore and fact begin to collide.

Vera knows she has to find Chloe to get to the truth, but it seems that the dark secrets in their community may be far more dangerous than she could ever have believed.”

The Dark Wives will be released in Australia on 27 August 2024 and on 29 August 2024 in the United Kingdom.

The Black Loch by Peter May (Riverrun, 12 September 2024)

Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy ranks among some of the best crime fiction of the past twenty years. Now with The Black Loch (Riverrun, 12 September 2024) he returns to the Isle of Lewis and policeman Fin Macleod.

The body of eighteen-year-old TV personality Caitlin is found abandoned on a remote beach at the head of An Loch Dubh – the Black Loch – on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis. A swimmer and canoeist, it is inconceivable that she could have drowned. Fin Macleod left the island ten years earlier to escape its memories. When he learns that his married son Fionnlagh had been having a clandestine affair with the dead girl and is suspected of her murder, he and Marsaili return to try and clear his name. But nothing is as it seems, and the truth of the murder lies in a past that Fin would rather forget, and a tragedy at the cages of a salmon farm on East Loch Roag, where the tense climax of the story finds its resolution.”

May’s Lewis Trilogy is highly regarded by a large number of crime fiction readers, and there will be considerable pressure for The Black Loch to meet that standard. Personally, I am very keen to read it and I am sure that May can meet the expectations!

The Black Loch is released in Australia on 10 September 2024 , in the United Kingdom on 12 September 2024 and in the United States on 17 September.

Look In The Mirror by Catherine Steadman (Quercus, 30 July 2024)

Catherine Steadman’s The Disappearing Act was one of my favourite reads of 2021 and I also enjoyed her Mr Nobody from a few years ago.

Her latest book, Look In The Mirror (Quercus, 30 July 2024), seems to traverse the fringes of the current enthusiasm for destination thrillers, as well as promising another good, interesting central narrator.

“When Nina’s father dies, she inherits a gleaming dream vacation home in a balmy tropical paradise – one she had no idea existed. The house is extraordinary: state-of-the-art, all glass and marble. How did her sensible father ever have enough money for this? And why not tell her about it? Desperate to uncover why he hid such a big secret, she decides to visit.

Maria, once an ambitious medical student, is now a nanny for the super-rich. The money’s better, and so are the destinations – like this new assignment in the British Virgin Islands. But when her wards never show, Maria begins to make herself at home, spending her days luxuriating by the pool. There’s just one rule: Don’t go in the basement. But her curiosity might just get the better of her. And soon, she’ll wish her only worry was not getting paid.

As both women’s timelines intertwine, dark secrets start to unravel and one thing quickly becomes clear – nothing could have prepared them for what they are about to encounter.”

I have started reading this one and it certainly quickly gets you in.

Look In The Mirror is released in Australia and the United Kingdom on 30 July 2024

A Reluctant Spy by David Goodman (Headline, 12 September 2024)

One debut which has caught my eye is David Goodman’s A Reluctant Spy (Headline, 12 September 2024). Possibly providing an interesting twist on the traditional spy thriller, it sounds very promising.

“Jamie Tulloch is a successful executive at a top tech company, a long way from the tough upbringing that drove him to rise so far and so quickly.

But he has a secret. Since the age of 23, he’s had a helping hand from the Legend Program, a secret intelligence effort to prepare impenetrable backstories for undercover agents. Real people, living real lives, willing to hand over their identities for a few weeks in return for a helping hand with plum jobs, influence and access.

When his tap on the shoulder finally comes, it’s swiftly followed by the thud of a body. Arriving at a French airport ready to hand over his identity, Jamie finds his primary contact dead, the agent who’s supposed to step into his life AWOL and his options for escape non-existent.

Pitched into a deadly mission on hostile territory, Jamie must contend with a rogue Russian general, arms dealers, elite hackers, CIA tac-ops and the discovery of a brewing plan for war. Dangerously out of his depth, he must convince his sceptical mission handler he can do the job of a trained field agent while using his own life story as convincing cover.”

I already have a copy of A Reluctant Spy and will be reding it very soon.

A Reluctant Spy will be released in Australia and the United Kingdom on 12 September 2024.

The above is a mere sampling of some of the books due for release, with a stack of other promising titles also on the horizon, including new books by Richard Osman, David McCloskey, Robert Harris and a short story collection by Lee Child.


In addition to the above there is also an impressive array of new Australian crime novels due for release in the second half of the year, including books by Dave Warner, Alan Carter, Benjamin Stevenson and Patricia Wolf. I am going to look more closely at the forthcoming Australian books in the next few weeks, but I just want to highlight a couple of releases below.

The Creeper by Margaret Hickey (Bantam, 30 July 2024)

Margaret Hickey branches out in a new direction with her next novel The Creeper, (Bantam, 30 July 2024)

“For the last decade, the small mountain town of Edenville in Victoria’s high country has been haunted by the horrific murders of five hikers up on Jagged Ridge. Also found dead near the scene was Bill ‘Creeper’ Durant, a bushland loner, expert deer-hunter, and a man with a known reputation for stalking campers. The conclusion for the police was quite simple: murder-suicide. Case closed.

But as the ten-year anniversary of the massacre draws near, Detective Constable Sally White, the only officer at Edenville’s modest police station, finds herself drawn into the dark world of the notorious Durant family. Lex Durant, in particular, has started to publicly protest his brother’s innocence and accuse the police of persecution.

As Sally combs the investigation to prove him wrong, it becomes all too clear that each murdered hiker had skeletons in their closet, and possible enemies in their past.”

I quite enjoyed Margaret’s South Australian books about DS Mark Ariti and I will be keen to see how her new series goes.

The Creeper is released in Australia on 30 July 2024.

The Valley by Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin, 1 October 2024)

Chris Hammer has quickly established himself as a leading figure in the realm of Australian crime fiction with a strong stream of police novels set mainly around rural New South Wales. His latest, The Valley (Allen & Unwin, 1 October 2024), continues this trend and brings back Detective Sergeant Ivan Lucic and Detective Constable Nell Buchanan.

“Nell Buchanan and Ivan Lucic are back – as Nell is thrown into her most emotionally fraught investigation yet.

A controversial entrepreneur is murdered in a remote mountain valley, but this is no ordinary case. Ivan and Nell are soon contending with cowboy lawyers, conmen, bullion thieves and grave robbers.

But it’s when Nell discovers the victim is a close blood relative, that the past begins to take on a looming significance.

What did take place in The Valley all those years ago? What was Nell’s mother doing there, and what was her connection to troubled young police officer Simmons Burnside? And why do the police hierarchy insist Ivan and Nell stay with the case despite an obvious conflict of interest?”

The Valley will be released in Australia on 1 October 2024 and is shaping up as being a good Christmas present buy for crime aficionados. Release date for the United Kingdom would also seem to be 1 October 2024 under the title of The Broken River.

Finally, here is the stunning eye catching cover for Alan Carter’s Prize Catch, which is due out in late 2024:

So plenty of good books scheduled for the second half of the year. Happy reading!


  1. Thanks for the mention. I’m also looking forward to Leo by Deon Meyer!

  2. Some great looking books there, Jeff.

    I’m eagerly anticipating many of them too, along with the likes of GUIDE ME HOME by Attica Locke, BROILER by Eli Cranor, PREY by Vanda Symon, WHERE THEY LAST SAW HER by Marcie Rendon, THE WRONG HANDS by Mark Billingham, LEAVE THE GIRLS BEHIND by Jacqueline Bublitz, and WHEN IT RAINS by David Warner.

    Also, I’ve already read but they’re excellent, a couple of other fab July-December releases: 17 YEARS LATER by JP Pomare and HOME TRUTHS by Charity Norman.

    • I am also looking forward to those. The cover for the Dave Warner book is great! Hoping to get a copy of the Pomare to review. Cheers

  3. So many good books… looking forward particulalry to see where Margaret Hickey goes post-Ariti. And a new Eddie Flynn book ilways goes to the top of my pile

  4. Of course, I want to add nearly all of them to my reading list 😉

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