Summer Reads 2022

1. Dear Little Corpses - Nicola Upson
Faber £14.99

"1 September, 1939. As the mass evacuation takes place across Britain, thousands of children leave London for the countryside, but when a little girl vanishes without trace, the reality of separation becomes desperate and deadly for those who love her. In the chaos and uncertainty of war, Josephine struggles with the prospect of change. As a cloud of suspicion falls across the small Suffolk village she has come to love, the conflict becomes personal, and events take a dark and sinister turn.

Nicola Upson sublimely brings the past to life through every page. With every book, Upson gives the enigma that was Josephine Tey flesh on her bones and emotions that ring true. She takes an idyllic Sussex village and shows the serpent in this small Garden of Eden. Sublime."

2. The Lost Children - Michael Wood
One More Chapter £8.99

"APRIL 2020: LOCKDOWN: DI Brady has been tracing victims of systemic abuse at a local children’s home after a high-profile accusation pitched it into the spotlight – a case that couldn’t be more personal. As Matilda and her team piece together the disturbing picture of the history of the home, it soon becomes clear that this is much bigger than they ever suspected. But nothing prepares them for what they uncover next…

Wood has that talent to shine a light on the deepest darkness that exists. He pushes Matilda and her team and you wonder how much they can take before something snaps. Another case that marks Wood as a dark force to be reckoned with!"

3. Confidence - Denise Mina
Harvil Secker £14.99

"When amateur film-maker Lisa Lee vanishes from a Scottish seaside town, journalists Anna and Fin find themselves at the centre of an internet frenzy to find her. But she may not be the hapless victim everyone thinks she is. The last film she made showed her breaking into an abandoned French chateau and stumbling across a priceless Roman silver casket. The day after Lisa vanishes the casket is listed for auction in Paris, reserve price fifty million euros, with a catalogue entry that challenges the beliefs of a major world religion. On a thrilling chase across Europe to discover what happened to Lisa, Anna and Fin are caught up in a world of international art smuggling, religious zealotry and murder. But someone doesn't want them to find the missing girl... and will do anything to stop them.

I absolutely loved ‘Conviction’, the first to feature Anna and Fin and was so pleased to see them back again in ‘Confidence’. Mina perfectly combines wonderful writing with a breakneck plot. Another zinger from this writer of awesome power and imagination."

4. The Crooked Shore - Martin Edwards
Allison & Busby £8.99

"DCI Hannah Scarlett is an acknowledged expert in solving cold cases, but she is struggling under the weight of bureaucracy when Ramona Smith's disappearance from Bowness more than twenty years ago crosses her desk. The prime suspect was charged but found not guilty. Now the case comes back into the public eye as the result of a shocking tragedy on the Crooked Shore, the fount of dark legends in the south of the Lake District. Tensions mount in the summer heat as a ruthless killer who has already got away with one murder plans further appalling crimes. Hannah finds herself racing against the clock as she strives to solve the mysteries and save innocent lives.

It has been some time since Martin Edwards has taken us back to the Lake District since ‘The Dungeon House’ in 2015. With ‘The Crooked Shore’, Edwards gives us creepy tale of the unsolved disappearance of Ramona Smith. Using the backdrop of the Crooked Shore, Edwards weaves a spellbinding story that had me finishing this book after only two days! Excellent."

5. Murder By The Seaside - Ed. by Cecily Gayford
Profile £8.99

"It's the height of summer. As the heat shimmers on the streets and ice cream melts onto sticky fingers, tempers begin to rise and old grudges surface. From Cornish beaches to the French Riviera, it's not just a holiday that's on people's minds ... it's murder. In these ten classic stories from writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Cyril Hare and Gladys Mitchell, you'll find mayhem and mysteries aplenty.

Not all crimes are committed under the cloak of Winter’s darkness as proven here by ten classic crime writers. Others chronicling crimes under the sun are Anthony Berkeley, Edmund Crispin and John Dickson Carr. Short classic treasures for those to prefer a quick hit of crime on the beach!"

6. The Family Remains - Lisa Jewell
Century £16.99

"In a large house in London's fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up. In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note. They've been dead for several days. Who has been looking after the baby? And where did they go? Two entangled families. A house with the darkest of secrets.

Having loved ‘The Family Upstairs’, I was thrilled to read Jewell was extending her story with the sequel, ‘The Family Remains’. I remarked that ‘The Family Upstairs’ read like a discovered Barbara Vine novel. A gripping sense of claustrophobia and doom. This house of death in Chelsea has more secrets to give up in the latest novel from this bestselling author."

7. A Fatal Crossing - Tom Hindle
Penguin £8.99

"November 1924. The Endeavour sets sail to New York with 2,000 passengers - and a killer - on board. When an elderly gentleman is found dead at the foot of a staircase, ship's officer Timothy Birch is ready to declare it a tragic accident. But James Temple, a strong-minded Scotland Yard inspector, is certain there is more to this misfortune than meets the eye. Birch agrees to investigate, and the trail quickly leads to the theft of a priceless painting. Its very existence is known only to its owner and the now dead man. With just days remaining until they reach New York, and even Temple's purpose on board the Endeavour proving increasingly suspicious, Birch's search for the culprit is fraught with danger. And all the while, the passengers continue to roam the ship with a killer in their midst .

‘A Fatal Crossing’ has all the hallmarks of an Agatha Christie. The year 1924, passengers trapped on a vessel with no way of getting off and a killer onboard. The perfect ingredients for a classic whodunit."

8. Bullet Train - Kotaro Isaka
Vintage £8.99

"Satoshi looks like an innocent schoolboy but he is really a viciously cunning psychopath. Kimura's young son is in a coma thanks to him, and Kimura has tracked him onto the bullet train heading from Tokyo to Morioka to exact his revenge. But Kimura soon discovers that they are not the only dangerous passengers onboard. Nanao, the self-proclaimed 'unluckiest assassin in the world', and the deadly partnership of Tangerine and Lemon are also travelling to Morioka. A suitcase full of money leads others to show their hands. Why are they all on the same train, and who will get off alive at the last station?

Just released in cinemas featuring Brad Pitt on the Bullet Train with a ton of assassins. What is there not to love? I loved Tangerine and Lemon. A wonderfully out-of-control juggernaut of a thriller."

9. The Seat of the Scornful - John Dickson Carr
British Library Publishing £9.99

"Over a long career in the courts Justice Horace Ireton has garnered a reputation for merciless rulings and his dedication to meting out strict, impartial justice. Taking a break from his duty after a session of assizes, Ireton retreats to his seaside bungalow in Devon and turns his attention to family, and specifically in attempting to bribe his daughter’s lover Morrell to leave her alone so that she may instead marry the respectable clerk, Fred Barlow. It seems something about the deal with Morrell must have gone amiss, however, when the police are called to the Justice’s residence to find Morrell shot dead and the judge still holding a pistol. But would the lawman be so bold to commit a murder like this? With a number of strange items making up the physical evidence Dr Gideon Fell, himself an old friend of Ireton’s, is summoned to help with the deceptively simple – yet increasingly complex – investigation.

This case from the master of the locked room classic, ‘The Hollow Man’ is the latest addition from the British Library Crime Classics series. Again, ‘The Seat of the Scornful’ shows why Carr was a master of his craft back in the day. Dr Gideon Fell once more finds out the truth to a bizarre set of circumstances. With an intro from the criminal mastermind himself, Martin Edwards."

10. The Knock-Knock Man - Russell Mardell
Red Door Press £9.99

"Who is The Knock-Knock Man? A ghost, a killer, or the figment of a frightened boy’s imagination? It is a question that continues to haunt disgraced New Salstone police officer, Ali Davenport, fifteen months after the devastating case that changed the course of her life. Now, after the death of her former colleague, Ernie, Ali has returned home to face a past that won’t stay buried. Found in the disused office building where he worked as night security, Ernie’s death has been ruled as a suicide. But not everyone is convinced. Wild stories are circulating about a supernatural presence in the building, an entity that might have attacked Ernie that fateful night. With the sale of the building about to go through, Ali is hired by its owner to work Ernie’s remaining night shifts and debunk the potentially damaging story. An easy enough job, if you don’t believe in ghosts. But then Ali meets Will, a teenage ghost hunter who claims to have evidence on film. Forming an unlikely partnership, Ali and Will soon fall headlong into a mystery that takes them through New Salstone’s macabre history and into Ali’s own dark past. As the pieces of the puzzle come together, Ali is forced to face the question of The Knock-Knock Man one last time. But what Ali doesn’t know is The Knock-Knock Man has already been watching her for a very long time.

As with James Oswald’s DI McLean series, ‘The Knock-Knock Man’ gels an investigation with the supernatural to deliver a thrilling read with real shocks. This will appeal to many readers of both crime and horror genres and should not be missed!"