Published On: Mon, Aug 28th, 2017

Criminally good: Our selection of the best new crime fiction


Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic (Pushkin Vertigo, £12.99)

This adds to a bumper year for quality Australian crime fiction following the success of Jane Harper’s The Dry. Profoundly deaf Caleb Zelic has spent his life defying his disability and he brings the same stubborn qualities to his investigation into the murder of a childhood friend. The pace is uneven but the dialogue is excellent and, at its best, Resurrection Bay zooms along.

Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah (Hodder & Stoughton, £12.99)

Hannah’s new standalone novel sees Englishwoman Cara Burrows impulsively checking into a luxury spa resort in Arizona to escape family strife. She forgets her own problems when she becomes entangled in a mystery involving America’s most famous missing child.

This is more lightweight than some of Hannah’s previous books, at times verging on a send-up of the “grip lit” genre, but there are genuine thrills and lots of laughs, with uptight Brit Cara’s observations on “America: Land of Hyperbolic Overstatement” being highly entertaining

The Susan Effect by Peter Høeg (Harvill Secker, £16.99)

It’s a rare treat to read a book by the far-from-prolific Danish author Peter Høeg, best known for Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow. His latest novel is an offbeat futuristic thriller about brilliant physicist Susan Svendsen who has a supernatural ability to persuade people to spill their secrets to her.

So she finds herself blackmailed by the Danish Government into cracking a conspiracy as the world teeters on the brink of apocalypse. The prose is often dense in a bonkers and slightly preachy novel, but the challenges Høeg sets his readers are well worth taking on.

IQ by Joe Ide (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £8.99)

This debut novel offers an original twist on the idea of the Sherlockian super-sleuth. Isaiah Quintabe has a brain the size of a planet and fights crime on behalf of the fellow residents of his poor neighbourhood in South Central Los Angeles. To make ends meet, he agrees to help out a petulant rap star who thinks somebody is trying to kill him. This is terrific fun, a classic crime formula with a cool contemporary feel.

Insidious Intent by Val McDermid (Little, Brown, £18.99)

McDermid’s longest-running series, the basis for TV’s 

Wire In The Blood, reaches its 10th instalment with DCI Carol Jordan nursing a guilty secret and nerdy psychologist Tony Hill buying a new anorak for the first time in 22 years. Insidious Intent offers a macabre twist on the film Wedding Crashers with a serial killer infiltrating nuptials to prey on single women. 

It lacks the inventive nastiness of some of the previous volumes, but that allows some of McDermid’s subtler and more satisfying storytelling skills to shine


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