JUSTICE AND JAIL: NEW CRIME AND THRILLER TITLES I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IN JUNE 2021
I am running a little behind schedule this month, but here are six of the crime novels I am most looking forward to reading in June 2021. Included in the batch are two very different, but very promising, Australian crime novels by Matt Nable and James Phelps. Also in the six are four books by well regarded British writers: Jane Casey, Louise Candlish, Joseph Knox and Imran Mahmood. The focus is more on crime and domestic suspense than thrillers this month, but there are still some very interesting looking books included here.
First up is Still by Australian actor and author Matt Nable. Matt, who is currently appearing alongside Eric Bana in the film adaption of Jane Harper’s The Dry, has written his own piece of outback Australian noir.
Still is set in a harshly described Darwin in 1963 and features a determined young cop who has to face deep-seated corruption as he tries to determine the truth about a series of brutal murders. I have almost finished reading this one and it is a superbly written novel set in a vividly described location with a memorable cast of characters.
It is quite dark, but it is a must for those who liked The Dry and Chris Hammer’s Scrublands.
James Phelps is probably best known as a leading Australian writer of true crime books, but with The Inside Man he turns his attention to fiction with exciting results.
The Inside Man is a tough, action thriller that focuses on Riley Jax, a former army engineer who is inside prison for killing a man. Jax cannot remember the night of the killing, but is accepting of his new life in one of Australia’s harshest prisons. Meanwhile a series of bombings rock the outside world and it appears that Jax may be the only person who can unravel the truth behind them.
Phelps draws heavily on his research into Australian prisons to produce what looks like being a very exciting read.
Jane Casey has drawn considerable praise for her earlier novels, especially for her popular series about Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan. With The Killing Kind she takes a different direction and introduces an engaging new character in the form of London barrister Ingrid Lewis. Ingrid has fallen foul of stalker John Webster, who she successfully defended. When he turns his attention on Ingrid she becomes very concerned, especially when one of her colleagues is murdered. But is Webster the killer, or the innocent pawn in a dangerous game?
Described as being Jane Casey’s ‘breakout’ novel, I am very keen to read this one.
Louise Candlish’s The Other Passenger was one of my favourite suspense novels of 2020 with its blend of unreliable narrator, domestic suspense and straight crime. It featured a clever ‘Hitchcockian’ plot that kept you guessing to the end.
The Heights promises more of the same, according to the plot description provided by the publishers:
“The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Tower Bridge, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him.
Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.
You know this for a fact.
Because you’re the one who killed him.”
It sounds very good and in a rare occurrence is being published in Australia in June, two months ahead of its release in the United Kingdom.
Here is a link to my review of The Other Passenger: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/the-other-passenger-by-louise-candlish-simon-schuster-july-2020/
Probably one of the month’s more intriguing releases is True Crime Story by Joseph Knox. Written in the style of a chilling true crime documentary, in which Knox himself features, it follows an investigation into the disappearance of 19-year-old Manchester University student Zoe Nolan who goes missing in 2011 from her student flat after a party. This looks like being a very clever book that takes the recent enthusiasm for including true crime elements and themes in crime novels to a new level.
Finally, coming out at the very end of the month is Imran Mahmood’s I Know What I Saw. Featuring a new twist on the old plot device of an unreliable narrator and a murder that no one believes happened, it looks set to be an intriguing read. Xander Shute was once a wealthy banker who now lives on the streets of London. While squatting in an empty Mayfair flat he witnesses a murder. But the police can find no body and the crime scene has disappeared. Shute, however, knows what he saw and as he searches for answers he begins to question his past and risks his future. Strongly supported by fellow crime writers, Mahmood’s latest novel looks like being a compelling read.
In addition to the above, there are also good new novels by Australian authors R. W. R. McDonald and B. M. Carroll, which I will be reviewing in the next few days.
So with June already underway, get reading!