Like the palpable atmosphere of a suspenseful, high-stakes plot, May is absolutely loaded with some of the finest of crime fiction. In this merry month of spring where the lambs are jumping and the flowers are blooming, discover something new and exciting in this collection below. From golden-era detective fiction to the latest hardcore thriller noirs, there is something for all crime devotees in these upcoming titles from our fantastic independent publishers!
Salvage This World by Michael Farris Smith
No Exit Press // 9780857305565 // PB // £9.99 // Out 25th May 2023
From award-winning and CWA Gold Dagger longlisted author Michael Farris Smith comes his latest gritty epic. A young woman returns home with her child, to her ghost-haunted father, while a religious extremist hunts the storm-ridden territory to find the girl who may hold the key to the region’s apocalyptic future… At once elegiac and profound, Salvage This World journeys into the heart of a region growing darker and less forgiving, and asks how we keep going — what do we hold onto — in a land where God has fled.
The Man In The Corduroy Suit by James Wolff
Bitter Lemon Press // 9781913394844 // PB // £9.99 // Out 18th May 2023
The climactic third in the thrilling espionage trilogy The Discipline Files, The Man In The Corduroy Suit explores loyalty and betrayal in intelligence work, threatened from the inside by whistle-blowers and serial leakers — from an author who worked in the British government for over a decade. Leonard Flood, a British spy, is ordered to investigate the poisoning of a retired vetting officer named Willa Karlsson. British intelligence is terrified by the possibility that Willa Karlsson was in fact a Russian agent, and that Moscow poisoned her upon her retirement since she was no longer useful to them. When Leonard discovers that he is also a suspect in the investigation and that Willa’s story is less a story of betrayal than one of friendship, he must decide whether to hand her to her masters or to help her to escape.
Good Husbands by Cate Ray
September Press // 9781914613302 // PB // £9.99 // Out 25th May 2023
Three very different mothers all receive the same letter, which accuses their husbands of committing rape 20 years ago. Together they have to work out the right thing to do… Three women on their journey from disbelief, dissent, and fear to something like solidarity. As they try to uncover the truth, the women must work out who they believe, what they should do and whether the men they loved can be trusted ever again… A stylishly written, high concept thriller that takes the domestic drama into the post #metoo era. Cate Ray delivers a gripping, voice-driven domestic noir with a major moral dilemma at its heart: what would you do if someone accused your husband of raping a young woman, years before you met?
Let X Be The Murderer by Clifford Witting
Galileo Publishing // 9781915530004 // PB // £10.99 // Out 25th May 2023
Travelling back to the classic era of crime in the 20th Century, this is the new re-issue of Clifford Witting’s icy crime fiction, originally published in 1947. It is a bleak November morning when Sergeant Martin, Inspector Charlton’s stalwart sidekick, receives an agitated phone call from Sir Victor Wallingham claiming that a ghost attempted to strangle him in the night. When Inspector Charlton follows this up, he is blocked at every turn, but even so, when the following night does actually end with the discovery of a body, he is not expecting it. Known as a master of intricate plotting, humour and characterisation, Witting’s writing is still as taut, fresh and surprising today as it was over 70 years ago.
The Last Songbird by Daniel Weizmann
Melville House Publishing // 9781685890308 // PB // £16.99 // Out 25th May 2023
A struggling songwriter and Lyft driver, Adam Zantz’s life changes when he accepts a ride request in Malibu and 1970s music icon Annie Linden enters his dented VW Jetta. Bonding during that initial ride, the two quickly go off app — over the next three years, Adam becomes her exclusive driver and Annie listens to his music, encouraging Adam even as he finds himself driving more often than song writing. Then, Annie disappears, and her body washes up under a pier. Left with a final, cryptic text — ‘come to my arms’ — a grieving Adam plays amateur detective, only to be charged as accomplice-after-the-fact. A gritty, fast-paced neo-noir that explores the consumptive nature of fame, celebrity, and motherhood, The Last Songbird is a poignant novel which has a countercultural vibe that is about love, obsession, and broken dreams, with a plot that is endlessly shifting and twisting.
The Rope Artist by Fuminori Nakamura
Soho Press // 9781641294140 // PB // £9.99 // Out 4th May 2023
Two detectives. Two identical women. One dead body—rapidly becoming two, then three, then four. All knotted up in Japan’s underground BDSM scene and kinbaku, a form of rope bondage which bears a complex cultural history of spirituality, torture, cleansing, and sacrifice. As Togashi, a junior member of the police force, investigates the murder of a kinbaku instructor, he finds himself unable to resist his own private transgressive desires. In contrast, Togashi’s colleague Hayama is morally upright to a fault, with a stalwart commitment to the truth. A Sherlock Holmesian detective with nearly superhuman powers of deduction, Hayama notices a dangerous measure of darkness within Togashi and embarks on his own parallel investigation, which soon spirals out of control. Prize-winning author Fuminori Nakamura is an absolute sensation, blending crime and literary fiction into a masterful, existential thrill ride.
They Can’t Take Your Name by Robert Justice
Crooked Lane Books // 9781639103447 // PB // £17.99 // Out 30th May 2023
Laced with atmospheric poetry and set in the heart of Denver’s Black community, Langston Brown is running out of time and options for clearing his name and escaping death row. Wrongfully convicted of the gruesome Mother’s Day Massacre, he prepares to face his death. His final hope for salvation lies with his daughter, Liza, an artist who dreamed of a life of music but left the prestigious Juilliard School to pursue a law degree with the intention of clearing her father’s name. In a desperate bid to find freedom for her father, Liza enlists the help of Eli Stone, a jazz club owner. As the dark shadows of the past converge, could Langston, Eli and Liza be facing a danger that could shatter those dreams forever? The dynamic debut of Robert Justice, this gripping crime novel pits three characters in a race against time.