HOT AUGUST NIGHTS: SIX CRIME AND THRILLERS TITLES TO READ IN AUGUST 2021
I have already highlighted some of the great Australian crime fiction titles scheduled for release in August 2021 (see link below), including new books by Sarah Bailey and J. P. Pomare, but there are also some highly anticipated titles from overseas due for release too.
One of the books I am most keen on reading is Charlie Donlea’s Twenty Years Later (Bantam). I have thoroughly enjoyed Donlea’s previous novels, most of which have featured podcasters and true crime documentary makers re-investigating old crimes with dramatic results. In Twenty Years Later he ups the ante with a look back at the 9/11 tragedy through the lens of a true crime thriller.
With new technology the New York medical examiner’s office has made its first successful identification of a 9/11 victim in years. The twist: the victim in question, Victoria Ford, had been accused of murder at the time of her death. In a chilling last call from the North Tower, Victoria had begged her sister, Emma, to prove her innocence. Now a TV documentary host re-investigates Victoria’s life and the crime she is supposed to have committed, unaware that others are determined to keep some secrets buried.
Donlea has a good track record of writing twisty, surprising thrillers and I am really looking forward to this one.
1979 sees Britain’s Queen of Crime, Val McDermid, back with a new novel and a new series. 1979 is the first in a five-novel sequence, set at 10-year intervals, which will follow Edinburgh journalist Allie Burns as she becomes involved in crimes that track the changing state of Scotland’s criminal, social and political landscape over the decades.
1979 is the winter of discontent, and reporter Allie Burns is chasing her first big scoop. There are few women in the newsroom and she needs something explosive for the boys’ club to take her seriously. With fellow journalist Danny Sullivan she sets about exposing the criminal underbelly of respectable Scotland. They risk making powerful enemies, especially when they stumble on a home-grown terrorist threat.
Val’s novels are always in the top tier of contemporary crime writing and I am sure that this one will duplicate the success of her earlier books.
1979 is released in Australia on 10 August 2021 and in the United Kingdom on 19 August 2021.
Daniel Silva is a master of the spy genre and his popular hero, Israeli spy master Gabriel Allon, is a well established as a leading figure in spy ficiton.
The Cellist (Harper Collins) finds Allon trying to find the truth behind the murder of a wealthy Russian critic of the Soviet regime now in exile in London. His search for the murderer takes him to Geneva and places him in danger from a private intelligence service seeking to plunge America into further chaos.
Expect another gritty and realistic outing from Silva, with sophisticated up-to-date plotting and a seemingly insider grasp of intelligence work. Spy thriller readers will flock to this one.
The Cellist is released on 28 July 2021 in Australia and is already out in the United Kingdom.
I have not read Karen Hamilton’s earlier novels, but her latest one, The Ex-Husband (Wildfire) looks like being a lot of fun.
“Charlotte and Sam were partners. In life, and in crime. They never stole from anyone who couldn’t afford it. Wealthy clients, luxury cruise ships. It was easy money, and harmless. At least, that’s what Charlotte told herself, until the world caved in on her.
But now, years after she tried to put that past life behind her, it comes rushing back when her estranged ex-husband Sam suddenly goes missing – and someone threatens to expose what they did.
Desperate to escape whoever is tormenting her, Charlotte takes a job as events planner for an engagement party onboard a superyacht in the Caribbean. For a while, her plan seems to have worked, nothing but open ocean and clear skies ahead. Until it becomes clear that she’s no longer a thousand miles away from harm.
Because whoever is behind it all is onboard too. And now there’s nowhere left to run.”
It sounds good and I am looking forward to reading my copy of it.
The Ex-Husband is released in Australia on 10 August 2021 and in the United Kingdom on 19 August 2021.
One Australian release I neglected to mention in my previous post is Jake Avila’s debut thriller Cave Diver (Echo).
A draft version of Cave Diver won the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, and it is now being released in Australia.
It sounds like a terrific adventure novel:
“Acclaimed explorer Rob Nash has lost his way. Grieving the loss of his wife, and blaming himself for her death, he sees no reason to carry on. But when his ‘Uncle’ Frank Douglas offers him the chance to lead a cave diving expedition in the jungles of Papua, Nash can see some light at the end of the tunnel.
But the expedition might not be what it seems. With a decades old Japanese submarine buried deep in a cavern, and a team hell-bent on unleashing the treasures it hides, Nash finds himself on a ship heading for danger. With a lethal band of criminals on board, who will stop at nothing to get the gold, Nash is fighting for his life. Whilst battling his own demons, can he forgive himself for the wrongs of his past – and survive the perils of the deep?”
I grew up on the novels of Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley, Gavin Lyall and others, and Cave Diver seems to be firmly in the same mold. I think this could be a good addition to the adventure thriller market.
Cave Diver is released in Australia and the United Kingdom in early August 2021.
Coming at the tail end of the month is Ian Rankin’s eagerly anticipated collaboration with the late William McIlvanney, The Dark Remains (Canongate).
McIlvanney has been widely credited as the founder of the Tartan Noir movement and his trilogy about maverick Glasgow detective Jack Laidlaw set the foundation for much of today’s crime writing. When he died in 2015, he left half of a handwritten manuscript of Laidlaw’s first case. “Now, Ian Rankin is back to finish what McIlvanney started. In The Dark Remains, these two iconic authors bring to life the criminal world of 1970s Glasgow, and Laidlaw’s relentless quest for truth.”
I have long considered that Rankin and Michael Connelly are the long running leaders of international contemporary crime, and it will be fascinating to see what Rankin brings to this first case for Laidlaw.
Finally, a reminder that Louise Candlish’s The Heights is being released in the United Kingdom on 5 August 2021. It has been out in Australia for a couple of months now and is another well crafted mixture of domestic suspense and mystery, with a potentially unreliable narrator. See my earlier comments here: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/justice-and-jail-new-crime-and-thriller-titles-i-am-looking-forward-to-reading-in-june-2021/