Every Wednesday, we here at Criminal Element will put together a list of Staff Picks of the books that published the day before—sharing the ones that we are looking forward to reading the most!
This was a huge week for crime fans! J.D. Robb released her 44th In Death novel, Kelley Armstrong continued her Casey Duncan series, and Chris Ewan delivered a superb standalone thriller! See what else to read this week:
Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb
As NY Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are driving home, a young woman―dazed, naked, and bloody―suddenly stumbles out in front of their car. Roarke slams on the brakes and Eve springs into action.
Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for her husband Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil”…
While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked, this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:
What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?
A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
When experienced homicide detective Casey Duncan first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. What she didn’t expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers.
Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who’s been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it’s an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that…before another victim goes missing.
The Nightwalker by Sebastian Fitzek
As a young man, Leon Nader suffered from insomnia. As a sleepwalker, he even turned to violence during his nocturnal excursions and had psychiatric treatment for his condition. Eventually, he was convinced he had been cured―but one day, years later, Leon's wife disappears from their apartment under mysterious circumstances. Could it be that his illness has broken out again?
In order to find out how he behaves in his sleep, Leon fits a movement activated camera to his forehead―and when he looks at the video the next morning he makes a discovery that bursts the borders of his imagination. His nocturnal personality goes through a door that is totally unknown to him and descends into the darkness…
Swiss Vendetta by Tracee de Hahn
Inspector Agnes Lüthi, a Swiss-American police officer in Lausanne, Switzerland, has just transferred to the Violent Crimes unit from Financial Crimes to try to shed all reminders of her old life following her husband's death. Now, on the eve of the worst blizzard Lausanne has seen in centuries, Agnes has been called to investigate her very first homicide case. On the lawn of the grand Château Vallotton, at the edge of Lac Léman, a young woman has been found stabbed to death. The woman, an appraiser for a London auction house, had been taking inventory at the château, a medieval fortress dripping in priceless works of art and historical treasures.
Agnes finds it difficult to draw answers out of anyone―the tight-lipped Swiss family living in the château, the servants who have been loyal to the family for generations, the aging WWII survivor who lives in the neighboring mansion, even the American history student studying at the Vallotton château's library. As the storm rages on, roads become impassible, the power goes out around Lausanne, and Agnes finds herself trapped in the candlelit halls of the château with all the players of the mystery, out of her depth in her first murder case and still struggling to stay afloat after the death of her husband.
Long Time Lost by Chris Ewan
“Don’t call anyone else and stay inside the house. Pack a small bag. Just one.”
“You’ll come, then?”
“I’ll be there soon. But remember, Kate: there’s no going back.”
Nick Miller and his team provide a unique and highly illegal service, relocating at-risk individuals across Europe with new identities and new lives. Nick excels at what he does for a reason: he himself spent years living in the shadows under an assumed name.
But when Nick steps in to prevent the attempted murder of witness-in-hiding Kate Sutherland on the Isle of Man, he triggers a chain of events with devastating consequences for everyone he protects. Kate―and now Nick―are under attack by Connor Lane, a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if it means tearing Nick’s entire network apart…