Cross Purpose by Claire MacLeary

The Blurb On The Back:

When Maggie Laird’s disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down.  With the bills mounting, she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of neighbour Big Wilma.  And so an unlikely partnership is born.

But the discovery of a crudely mutilated body soon raises the stakes and Maggie and Wilma are drawn into an unknown world of Aberdeen’s sink estates, clandestine childminding and dodgy dealers …  

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Death In The Spotlight by Robin Stevens

The Blurb On The Back:

The whole theatre seemed on edge.

There was a feverish atmosphere seeping into every corner of the Rue, as though the whole cast was sickening. 

Daisy and I both knew that something was brewing. 

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are off to the beautiful Rue Theatre in London, where they will face an entirely new challenge: acting. But behind the theatre’s glittering façade, the girls soon realise that there is trouble at the Rue.  Jealousy, threats and horrible pranks quickly spiral out of control – and then one of the cast is found dead.

As opening night looms closer, Hazel and Daisy must take centre stage and solve the crime – before the killer strikes again. 

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The Lost by Mari Hannah

The Blurb On The Back:

Alex should never have agreed to the spur-of-the-moment holiday with her sister.  Seven days felt like a year without Daniel, her ten-year-old son. This was the first time they had been apart since he was born and her husband had convinced her it was a good idea.

It was a bad idea.

Daniel has gone missing.

As local CID officers, David Stone and Frankie Oliver have been assigned their first case together.  A small boy’s fate lies in their hands and the pressure is on.

And when someone close to Daniel is found dead, they begin to feel the heat.

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Their Little Secret by Mark Billingham

The Blurb On The Back:

She says she’s an ordinary mother. 

He knows a liar when he sees one.

Sarah thinks of herself as a normal single mum. It’s what she wants others to think of her.  But the truth is, she needs something new, something thrilling.

Meanwhile, DI Tom Thorne is investigating a woman’s suicide, convinced she was driven to do it by a man who preys on vulnerable women.

A man who is about to change Sarah’s life. 

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A Girl Called Justice by Elly Griffiths

The Blurb On The Back:

As soon as she saw the school, Justice Jones knew that it had potential for murder.

She kept this to herself, of course. The taxi driver could easily be a spy.

Meet Justice Jones: super-smart by day, super-sleuth by night, she’s always on the lookout for mystery.

And on her first day at boarding school, it’s clear there is plenty of investigating to do: Why do blondes rule the corridors? Who made the uniform such a charming shade of brown? And do teachers normally hide dangerous secrets about the murder of a chamber maid?

When a deadly snow storm cuts everyone off from the outside world, the body count starts to rise. Can Justice find the killer – before it’s too late?

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Yellowhammer by James Henry

The Blurb On The Back:

July 1983, Essex.  Fox Farm is, thanks to two corpses, neither picturesque nor peaceful. The body in its kitchen belongs to eminent historian Christopher Cliff, who has taken his own life with an antique shotgun.  The second, found on the property boundary, remains unidentified.

DI Nick Lowry’s summer is neither sleepy nor serene. And the two deaths are just the half of it.  The fact County Chief Merrydown was a college friend of Cliff’s means Lowry is now, in turn, under scrutiny from his severely stressed and singularly unsympathetic boss, Sparks.

To catalyse his investigation, Lowry enlists the services of DC Daniel Kenton and WPC Jane Gabriel.  Gabriel needs direction, if she is to begin a career as a detective.  While Kenton, who appears solely focused on beginning a relationship with Gabriel, needs distraction.

Both the heat and the investigation soon intensify. The team find themselves interrogating enigmatic neighbours, shady businessmen, jilted lovers and wronged relatives; all the while negotiating the caprices of Sparks – whose attitudes remain as dated as Fox Farm’s antiques.

Only when they fully open their eyes and minds will they begin to see a web of rural politics, dodgy dealings and fragmented families – one that they must unpick before it ensnares them.  

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The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

The Blurb On The Back:

Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton – black and from the wrong side of the tracks – was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case.

Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she thinks she’s linked Sarah’s disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad’s life and her own. 

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Blackwater by James Henry

The Blurb On The Back:

January 1983, Colchester CID

A new year brings new resolutions for Detective Inspector Nicholas Lowry. With one eye on his approaching fortieth birthday, he has given up his two greatest vices: smoking, and the police boxing team. As a result, the largest remaining threat to his health is now his junior colleague’s reckless driving.

If Detective Constable Daniel Kenton’s orange sports convertible is symbolic of his fast track through the ranks, then his accompanying swagger, foppish hairstyle and university education only augment his uniqueness in the department. Yet regardless of this, it is not DC Kenton who is turning station heads.

WPC Jane Gabriel is the newest police recruit in Britain’s oldest recorded town. Despite a familial tie to top brass, Gabriel’s striking beauty and profound youth have landed her with two obstacles: a young male colleague who gives her too much attention, and an older one who acts like she’s not there.

January 1983, Blackwater Estuary

A new year brings a new danger to the Essex shoreline. An illicit shipment, bound for Colchester – 100 kilograms of power that will frantically accelerate tensions in the historic town, and leave its own murderous trace.

Lowry, Kenton and Gabriel must now develop a tolerance to one another, and show their own substance, to save Britain’s oldest settlement from a new, unsettling enemy. 

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The Hope That Kills by Ed James

The Blurb On The Back:

The body of a young woman is found on the streets of East London, in the shadow of the City’s gleaming towers. No ID on her, just hard-earned cash. But there is no doubting the ferocity of the attack.

DI Simon Fenchurch takes charge but, as his team tries to identify her and piece together her murder, they’re faced with cruel indifference at every turn – nobody cares about yet another dead prostitute. To Fenchurch, however, she could just as easily be Chloe, his daughter still missing after ten years, whose memory still haunts his days and nights, his burning obsession having killed his marriage.

When a second body is discovered, Fenchurch must peel back the grimy layers shrouding the London sex trade, confronting his own traumatic past while racing to undo a scheme larger, more complex and more evil than anything he could possibly have imagined. 

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All The Hidden Truths by Claire Askew

The Blurb On The Back:

This is a fact: Ryan Summers walked into Three Rivers College and killed twelve women, then himself.

But no one can say why.

The question is one that cries out to be answered – by Ryan’s mother, Moira; by Ishbel, the mother of Abigail, the first victim; and by DI Helen Birch, put in charge of the case on the first day at her new job.  But as the tabloids and the media swarm, as the families’ secrets come out, as the world searches for someone to blame … the truth seems to vanish. 

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