Tess Gilroy has to return to her dreary seaside hometown of Morecambe — cue the ominous music — wherein lie secrets galore, to investigate a young woman’s claim of wrongful conviction in the frenzied slaying of her husband’s girlfriend.
More accurately, one of her husband’s many girlfriends.
Paula Daly’s Clear My Name (Grove/Atlantic, 304 pages, $39) is yet another terrific page-turner, to coin a phrase, from one of the finest of the U.K.’s emerging authors.
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A seven-year-old girl walked down a perfectly safe London street to a chum’s birthday party 26 years ago and was never seen again — until ace copper Erika Foster stumbled upon her body during a hunt for heroin.
Foster, of course, is a brilliant detective, but uncanny in her ability to take huge risks and constantly to tick off her bosses.
Robert Bryndza’s Dark Water (Grand Central, 384 pages, $17) is an exceptionally good whodunit that, for a while, leaves Foster apparently as clueless as 26 years of her police predecessors… yeah, right, like it’s a spoiler that the game is afoot.
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Cynical Halifax psychologist Blake Waiter has a secret deal to treat the West’s stressed-out (and deadliest) military assassins and crazed government scientists — who knew? — which gets really weird when a patient has difficulty dealing with a foray into parallel universes that unleashes anti-gravity, teleportation, artificial intelligence and space-time continuum rifts on Halifax. And Dartmouth, too.
The book, by Halifax psychologist Brad Kelln, is supposed to be hip and cool, but his tongue-in-cheek routine doesn’t work with the violent death of innocent people and undermines his own profession. Beware that Tell Me More (Insomniac Press, 312 pages, $20) doesn’t end — it suddenly stops, to be continued. Sigh.
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New York, the slimy mayor says, is a vertical city reliant on 70,000 or more elevators — so when they start moving by themselves and plummeting from the sky, that’s not good.
Tough-talking, dogged, crusading reporter — is there any other kind? — Barbara Matheson is on the case, along with a couple of decent cops, her estranged daughter and the mayor’s iffy inner circle.
Are white supremacists behind the carnage? A few too many coincidences aside, Linwood Barclay’s Elevator Pitch (Doubleday Canada, 464 pages, $24) is a nifty mystery that encourages readers always to take the stairs.
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A long-lost diary revealing the location of a legendary camp of the Donner Party — the snowbound 1840s pioneer cannibals... eeeeww, gross — sends still-grieving archeologist Nora Kelly into the New Mexico mountains, where mystery and peril lurk.
Meanwhile, former-goth-homeless-teen-runaway Corrie Swanson is now — gasp! — a rookie FBI agent who suspects that grotesque, widely scattered grave-robbing is linked to the expedition. Does it shock you that gold could be involved?
In Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Old Bones (Grand Central, 384 pages, $37), the authors pair two strong familiar characters in one of their best adventures since Relic and The Ice Limit.
Retired Free Press reporter Nick Martin gets a lift by ignoring elevators and taking the stairs, along with lots of extra steps.