MURDER IN JULY: NEW CRIME BOOKS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IN JULY 2022
With half of 2022 almost over, the new crime and thriller releases are beginning to flow through at an overwhelming rate. It is hard to keep up with them all, but it does mean that there is a good selection from across the crime fiction spectrum for readers to choose from in July.
Fans of British crime and thriller writing seem to be particularly well served with major new releases by Steve Cavanagh, Robert Bryndza and Lisa Jewell and a new London-based crime novel by Australian Michael Robotham. There are also some good new books from Australian and American authors.
Here are some of the July releases that I am most looking forward to reading.
I have previously highlighted the new novel by Michael Robotham, Lying Beside You (Hachette, 29 June 2022), and can confirm that it is a terrific read. Lying Beside You is the third book in his series about forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven and troubled young adult, Evie Cormac. The book finds Cyrus dealing with problems on several fronts, including the potential release from prison of his brother Elias who slaughtered their family years ago.
It is a first class read and I will be reviewing it in a week or so.
Also very good is Margaret Hickey’s Stone Town, (Bantam, 5 July 2022). Margaret displayed strong writing skills with her debut crime novel from last year, Cutter’s End, and Stone Town follows the central character from that book, Senior Sergeant Mark Ariti, as he investigates the murder of a property developer in the dense bushland surrounding the small South Australian community of Stone Town.
Coming late in the month is The Wrong Woman (Hachette, 27 July 2022) by New Zealand author J. P. Pomare. I have really enjoyed Pomare’s earlier novels, which tend to have a slightly quirky, dark tone to them. The publishers provide the following details on The Wrong Woman:
“Reid left the small town of Manson a decade ago, promising his former Chief of Police boss he’d never return. He made a new life in the city, became a PI and turned his back on his old life for good.
Now an insurance firm has offered him good money to look into a suspicious car crash, and he finds himself back in the place he grew up – home to his complicated family history, a scarring relationship breakdown and a very public career-ending incident.
As Reid’s investigation unfolds, nothing is as it seems: rumours are swirling about the well-liked young woman who crashed the car, killing her professor husband, and there are whispers about a second local student who has just disappeared.
As Reid veers off course from the job he has been paid to do, will he find himself in the dangerous position of taking on the town again?”
It sounds good and I am really looking forward to reading this one.
Leading off the British releases is Steve Cavanagh’s The Accomplice (Orion, 21 July 2022).
Cavanagh’s Eddie Flynn novels are always a wild ride and his latest promises another good mixture of legal maneuvering and frequent action:
“THE MOST HATED WOMAN IN AMERICA
The Sandman killings have been solved. Daniel Miller murdered fourteen people before he vanished. His wife, Carrie, now faces trial as his accomplice. The FBI, the District Attorney, the media and everyone in America believe she knew and helped cover up her husband’s crimes.
Eddie Flynn won’t take a case unless his client is innocent. Now, he has to prove to a jury, and the entire world, that Carrie Miller was just another victim of the Sandman. She didn’t know her husband’s dark side and she had no part in the murders. But so far, Eddie and his team are the only ones who believe her.
THE FORMER FBI AGENT
Gabriel Lake used to be a federal agent, before someone tried to kill him. Now, he’s an investigator with a vendetta against the Sandman. He’s the only one who can catch him, because he believes that everything the FBI knows about serial killers is wrong.
With his wife on trial, the Sandman is forced to come out of hiding to save her from a life sentence. He will kill to protect her and everyone involved in the case is a target.”
Steve Cavanagh never disappoints and I am sure that his latest will be keenly welcomed by his large fan base!
Robert Bryndza is one of those authors who seems to get better with each new book. I was really impressed with the third book in his Kate Marshall series, Darkness Falls, from last year, and I am looking forward to his new book Fatal Witness (Raven Street, 7 July 2022). In Fatal Witness he returns to his other series character Detective Erika Foster who becomes involved in the murder of a true-crime podcaster, Vicky Clarke.
“Erika is assigned to the case and discovers that Vicky had been working on a new podcast episode about a sexual predator who preys on young female students around South London, staking out his victims in their halls of residence before breaking in at the dead of night. When Erika discovers that Vicky’s notes and sound recordings were stolen from her flat at the time of her murder, it leads her to believe that Vicky was close to unmasking the attacker, and she was killed to guarantee her silence.
The case takes on a disturbing twist when the body of a young Bulgarian student doctor is discovered in the same building, and this makes Erika question everything she thought she knew about Vicky. With very little evidence, the clock is ticking to find the killer before he strikes again.”
I think that Bryndza is the equal of M. W. Craven in his ability to use creepy serial killers to create tense, exciting crime novels and Fatal Witness should be another gripping read.
Here is a link to my review of Darkness Falls: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/forecast-friday-darkness-falls-by-robert-bryndza/
Tess Gerritsen also knows her way around a serial killer thriller and her latest book, Listen To Me (Bantam, 5 July 2022), finds Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles investigating the apparently senseless murder of Sofia Suarez, a widow and nurse who was universally liked by her neighbors. With their focus on the case, the pair are oblivious of a dangerous threat much closer to home.
Tess is a skilled writer and plotter, and Listen To Me is sure to appeal to her large fan base.
Riley Sager is really good at writing gripping crime novels that skirt the edge of horror. His The Last Time I Lied is a terrific crime thriller with a great central narrator and his more recent Home Before Dark, also provided a good mix of horror and crime themes.
The House Across The Lake, (Hodder & Stoughton, 7 July 2022), seems to be more firmly in the crime fiction camp, but you never really know with Sager!
“Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of bourbon, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is powerful; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.
One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage isn’t as perfect as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey immediately suspects Tom of foul play. What she doesn’t realize is that there’s more to the story than meets the eye—and that shocking secrets can lurk beneath the most placid of surfaces.”
Note: The House Across The Lake will be released in the United States on 22 June 2022.
Lisa Jewell enjoyed considerable success with her 2019 book The Family Upstairs and she seems destined to repeat that success with its sequel, The Family Remains (Century, 5 July 2022).
“LONDON. Early morning, June 2019: on the foreshore of the river Thames, a bag of bones is discovered. Human bones.
DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene and quickly sends the bag for forensic examination. The bones are those of a young woman, killed by a blow to the head many years ago.
Also inside the bag is a trail of clues, in particular the seeds of a rare tree which lead DCI Owusu back to a mansion in Chelsea where, nearly thirty years previously, three people lay dead in a kitchen, and a baby waited upstairs for someone to pick her up.
The clues point forward too to a brother and sister in Chicago searching for the only person who can make sense of their pasts.
Four deaths. An unsolved mystery. A family whose secrets can’t stay buried for ever.”
Anna Snoekstra traverses the same domestic suspense/crime realm as Lisa Jewell and her books are notable for their interesting, if flawed, female characters. I enjoyed her Only Daughter from a few years back, but haven’t kept up her more recent releases.
Out Of Breath (HQ, 6 July 2022), has an interesting premise about an off-grid community in Western Australia which may not be as idyllic as it seems:
“Jo Ainsley has been running for a long time. From her childhood in small town England to art school in London to the messy end of a relationship in Sydney, Jo has chosen to run again and again, each time moving further from where her troubles began.
This time, her escape will bring her to the remote northwest region of Western Australia, where she must work for 88 days on a farm in order to extend her visa. There she meets an American, Gabe, with whom she has an immediate connection. He tells her of an idyllic off-grid community which seems like a refuge to her. Miserable, desperate and traumatised by a brutal event at the farm, Jo decides to run.
But the paradisal free-diving haven that embraces her without judgement is not all it seems. It harbours some sinister secrets – and so does Gabe. Jo searches for answers, but is she prepared for what she uncovers? She must decide where her loyalties lie and if she is really ready to confront the darkness of her past.”
So a diverse and interesting set of crime novels and thrillers ideal for winter reading (here in Canberra at least)!