CRIME NOVELS THAT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IN 2022
2022 promises to be another bumper year for crime and thriller readers, with a plethora of promising looking titles by established and new authors scheduled for release. I have picked out a baker’s dozen of the ones scheduled for release in the first half of the year that I am most looking forward to, including a couple that were held over from 2021 because of COVID induced changes to publishing schedules.
In addition to the ones below, I am also anticipating some exciting yet-to-be-announced new releases from favourite authors such as Michael Connelly, Tony Park, John Lawton and hopefully Ian Rankin. While Michael Robotham has an exciting addition to his award-winning Cyrus Haven series coming in late June, Lying Beside You. I am also very keen to read the new Dan Clement book by Australian author Dave Warner, After The Flood, which is due out in August 2022.
I have included the Australian release dates below, which may vary from the British and American publication dates.
It seems like we have been waiting for the new Deon Meyer novel, Dark Flood (Hodder & Stoughton, 8 February 2022), for a long time! Originally released in South Africa a couple of years ago, the translated version is now finally being released internationally. It follows Meyer’s superb previous novel, The Last Hunt, and finds detectives Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido demoted and exiled from the elite Hawks unit and dispatched to the leafy streets of Stellenbosch. Working a missing persons report on student Callie de Bruin is not the level of work they are used to, but it’s all they get. And soon, it takes a dangerous, deeply disturbing turn.
The Last Hunt was my favourite crime thriller of 2019 and I cannot wait to read this new novel by Meyer.
It also seems that we have been waiting a long time for a new novel by Dervla McTiernan, with her last book, The Good Turn, appearing in Australian early 2020. In her forthcoming book, The Murder Rule (Harper Collins, 4 May 2022), Dervla takes a break from her popular Irish detective, Cormac Reilly, and instead gives us a standalone thriller. Set in America, it follows Hannah Rokeby who is determined to join the Innocence Project at the University of Virginia, a group dedicated to helping convicted criminals overturn their sentences. Their biggest current case is that of Michael Dandridge, but unlike the rest of her colleagues, Hannah does not want to save Dandridge, she wants to make sure that he never gets out. Dervla is a very gifted writer and it will be interesting to see how she manages the shift of location to America and a different style of crime novel.
An Irish born author who has successfully made the geographic and literary move to America is Adrian McKinty. His books about Royal Ulster Constabulary Sergeant Sean Duffy during the Irish Troubles attracted an enthusiastic following, but it was his last book, the American set The Chain, which propelled him to the top of the international bestseller lists. Details about his latest book, The Island (Hachette, 1 June 2022), are a little sketchy, but is promises to be another ‘pulse-pounding, high-concept thriller’. The publicity blurb provides the following:
You should not have come to the island.
You should not have been speeding.
You should not have tried to hide the body.
You should not have told your children that you could keep them safe.
No one can run forever . . .
I am sure that it will be one of the big releases of 2022.
Also promising a brisk pace and plenty of unpredictable twists and turns is the latest potential bestseller from Harlan Coben, The Match (Century, 16 March 2022).
The sequel to his The Boy From The Woods (2020), The Match follows the eponymous boy from the woods, Wilde, as he tries to determine the truth behind his abandonment as a child. Using DNA Ancestry websites he closes in on a possible close relation, only to find himself targeted by a killer. Coben has enjoyed phenomenal success with his novels, and Netflix shows, and The Match is sure to be another thrilling read.
From across the other side of the Atlantic, M. W. Craven’s The Botanist (Constable, 31 May 2022) is likely to be one of the major British crime releases of 2022. Craven, winner of the 2019 CWA Gold Dagger, has developed a strong and loyal following for his books about Detective Sergeant Washington Poe and the brilliant civilian analyst Tilly Bradshaw, and his latest one is sure to be warmly welcomed.
In The Botanist, Poe and Bradshaw find themselves trying to prove the innocence of a colleague, the caustic pathologist Estelle Doyle, who is accused of murdering her father, while combating a warped serial killer who seems able to strike with impunity. The Poe and Bradshaw books are always good fun and I am looking forward to this latest adventure.
Offering more sedate thrills is the latest murder mystery by Lucy Foley, The Paris Apartment (Harper Collins, 2 March 2022). Lucy’s last two novels, The Hunting Party and The Guest List, re-invigorated the classic whodunit, and her latest book, set in a beautiful old apartment block, far from the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the bustling banks of the Seine, seems to have all the ingredients that her many fans are after: a twisty plot, multiple points of view, an interesting setting and a good mystery at its core.
One of the leading Australian crime releases of early 2022 is Emma Viskic’s Those Who Perish, (Echo, March 2022).
This the fourth book in Emma’s highly acclaimed series about deaf PI Caleb Zelic and opens with the detective receiving a message that his brother, Anton, is in danger. Zelic has always been an outsider, estranged from his family and friends, and he sees the message as a chance at redemption. He tracks Anton down to a small, wind-punished island, where secrets run deep and resentments deeper. When a sniper starts terrorising the isolated community, the brothers must rely on each other like never before, but trust comes at a deadly price.
I have greatly enjoyed Emma’s earlier novels, although I always worry about poor Zelic’s physical and mental health, and I am really looking forward to Those Who Perish. It also has a great atmospheric cover!
One Australian debut which looks particularly interesting is Dinuka McKenzie’s The Torrent, (Harper Collins,
2 February 2022).
The publishers provide the following information:
“In Northern New South Wales, heavily pregnant and a week away from maternity leave, Detective Sergeant Kate Miles is exhausted and counting down the days. But a violent hold-up at a local fast-food restaurant with unsettling connections to her own past, means that her final days will be anything but straightforward.
When a second case is dumped on her lap, the closed case of man drowned in recent summer floods, what begins as a simple informal review quickly grows into something more complicated. Kate can either write the report that’s expected of her or investigate the case the way she wants to.
As secrets and betrayals pile up, and the needs of her own family intervene, how far is Kate prepared to push to discover the truth?”
It sounds like an intriguing new twist on the Australian regional crime novel.
One of the more sparkling debuts of 2021 was Allie Reynolds’ Shiver. Set in an isolated ski lodge in the French Alps it was a terrific mix of mystery and thrills. Now Allie has shifted her attention away from Europe and snow-boarding, to Australia and surfing. Set at a remote surfing spot, The Bay (Hachette, 15 June 2022), finds newcomer Kenna drawn into a world of secrets and extremes where everyone seems to be hiding something. As the tension mounts, one thing comes clear to Kenna about the slice of paradise known as the Bay: nobody ever leaves. This is one to put on your to read list!
Allie Reynolds may have moved on from cold, icy locations, but others haven’t. Popular historical fiction author Giles Kristian moves into the 21st Century with his latest chilling novel Where The Blood Runs Cold (Bantam, 1 March 2022). Set in the snowbound wilderness of Norway’s arctic circle, it is a thrilling novel about a father and daughter caught up in a battle against man and nature when a cross-country ski trip goes wrong.
Also set in a freezing location with a killer on the loose is Amy McCulloch’s Breathless, which I highlighted in a recent post: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/forecast-friday-2022-book-haul-new-crime-titles-for-2022/
Brandon Webb and John David Mann have also ventured into colder climes with the follow-up to their outstanding 2021 debut, Steel Fear. Cold Fear (Bantam, 7 June 2022) is set in Iceland in winter and finds Navy SEAL sniper Finn trying to track down some American operatives who may know what really happened on his last mission. Meanwhile the local police are investigating the strange death of a young woman who seems to have drowned after a late night swim beneath the ice in a park. I have already started reading this one and it certainly grabs attention from the opening pages. Webb and Mann are quickly establishing themselves as leading figures on the American thriller scene.
2022 promises a plethora of good looking spy novels, including Mick Herron’s Bad Actors, but the one which has grabbed my attention is Tom Bradby’s Yesterday’s Spy (Bantam, 2022). Following on from the success of his outstanding trilogy about MI6 operative Kate Henderson, Bradby has now turned his attention to Iran and a very different character.
Harry Tower is a washed up spy whose career is on the verge of disintegration. When he learns that his estranged son has gone missing in troubled Iran after writing an exposé about government corruption, he heads to Tehran to find him. When he arrives, he finds a city on the cusp of revolution. Foreign powers are jockeying for influence, money and, most importantly, oil. The CIA are conspiring to undermine the government with an impending coup, and there are dark mutterings about opium smuggling. But the reasons for Sean’s disappearance may be even more sinister than Harry first suspected. Before long, Harry is on the run – not only from a faceless enemy, but from his own past.
Tom Bradby does not disappoint as an author and Yesterday’s Spy should be really good.
Other spy novels to look out for are Gerald Seymour’s The Foot Soldiers (Hodder & Stoughton, 8 March 2022) and Paul Vidich’s The Matchmaker (No Exit Press, 1 February 2022).
Finally, an intriguing concept thriller, The Interview (Macmillan, 22 February 2022), by C. M. Ewan who has written some good crime novels as Chris Ewan.
“It’s 5pm on a Friday.
You have been called to an interview for your dream job.
In a stunning office thirteen floors above the city below, you are all alone with the man interviewing you.
Everyone else has gone home for the weekend.
The interview gets more and more disturbing.
You’re feeling scared.
Your only way out is to answer a seemingly impossible question.
If you can’t . . . what happens next?”
Sounds interesting. I have enjoyed some of Ewan’s earlier books, particularly Dark Tides, and I will certainly be giving this one a go.
So plenty of good reads to start the year with, and these are only the tip of the iceberg! I am looking forward to reading and reviewing them, and many others, over the next few months.
By the way, the silhouette man still seems to be finding his way onto the covers of many books. Of the thirteen above, three feature a silhouette man, while a fourth has a silhouette of a running family and Dervla McTiernan’s has a silhouette of a woman’s head. I much prefer the scenic covers on the Australian books by Emma Viskic and Allie Reynolds, while Giles Kristian’s Where The Blood Runs Cold continues the trend of ‘drone view covers’.