Latest Stanhope thriller stellar
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/09/2017 (1911 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope is offered a deal from her vile former boss, now in prison — info on a cold case in return for favours for his grandbairns living in poverty on Tyneside.
Could it get more complex for our Vera, with bodies popping up? From Newcastle to Tynemouth to the wilds of Northumbria, the trail keeps leading back to the decaying vices of Whitley Bay, and especially to The Seagull (MacMillan, 397 pages, $35), the long-gone glittery nightclub that towered over the North Sea coast. Could that trail lead back to her own late da?
Never in fashion, overweight, cranky, alone and not giving a toss about what anyone thinks of her, Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope is one of the best coppers around, leading her eclectic team of Geordie police, speaking English the way the language was meant to be spoken. Eeee, you’ll be over the moon with every page of it, pet.
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A Danish woman believed drowned off the coast of Italy 18 years ago is murdered by a shot through the window of her idyllic cottage in rural England — and wouldn’t you know it, she was connected to Copenhagen copper Louise Rick’s life/police partner Eik.
It’s not immediately apparent where Sara Blaedel’s The Lost Woman (Grand Central, 294 pages, $34) is taking us, which is a good thing. The translation’s a bit stilted and there’s a pile of backstory to get through, but it’s worth the wait. But, by the way, Sara, real newspaper reporters don’t let interview subjects read and approve articles before publication.
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Exceedingly average London commuter Zoe Walker sees her photo in an escort ad in a freebie paper on the Tube — with a non-existent phone number and website.
Walker eventually sleuths that other women — unaware their photos have appeared in the ads — have been victims of violent crime. British Transport copper Kelly Swift, carrying typical heavy-duty detective fiction baggage, believes her, but will Scotland Yard listen to a minor-leaguer?
Clare Mackintosh’s I See You (Penguin, 372 pages, $24) is one of the more beguiling cat-and-mouse thrillers in recent years, dealing with ordinary people caught up in evil. It’s full of intrigue, suspects galore and puts smarts above gore. A great read; you’ll be riding the Portage Avenue bus looking around to see if you’re being watched.
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The Peterborough dawn is shattered by a car slamming into a crowd of migrant workers at a bus stop. Could it be related to recent hate-crime murders perpetrated by masked men who then perform a Nazi salute for closed-circuit TV cameras? Is it a stalker enraged at his advances being rejected and targeting a woman in a crowd?
Coppers Zigic and Ferreira know all about ethnic hate in the U.K., being English-born descendants of immigrants themselves. First released in 2015 and now published on this side of the pond, Eva Dolan’s Tell No Tales (Vintage, 380 pages, $17) is horrifically all too familiar.
Their bosses want no part of a race war, but the brass are also really close to the smoothly 19th-century stereotype blue-pinstripes-and-brolly, stiff-upper-lip MP who heads the English Patriot Party. He’s all too eager to discredit the white supremacist violence while feeding off its fascist fury.
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A partial manuscript surfaces about an infamous old cold case at Princeton University. Is it fiction, a confession, a witness finally telling all?
E.O. Chirovici’s The Book of Mirrors (Emily Bestler Books, 288 pages, $35) is an intriguing murder mystery told by a series of narrators, each adding as much to the mystery as gets explained.
At the core is a revered but manipulative and charismatic professor, who may have been doing a Manchurian Candidate project for the CIA or Pentagon — and serious doubt about just how much can we trust that our own memories are real.
Free Press legislature reporter Nick Martin eagerly awaits Vera Stanhope’s catching a case in Jarrow-on-Tyne, where dwell a ne’er-do-well scurvy lot.