Shetland Detective Jimmy Perez knows it will be a difficult homecoming when he returns to the Fair Isles to introduce his fiancée, Fran, to his parents. It’s a community where everyone knows each other, and strangers, while welcomed, are still viewed with a degree of mistrust.
Challenging to live on at the best of times, with the autumn storms raging, the island feels cut off from the rest of the world. Trapped, tension is high and tempers become frayed.
Enough to drive someone to murder…
When a woman's body is discovered at the renowned Fair Isles bird observatory, with feathers threaded through her hair, the islanders react with fear and anger. With no support from the mainland and only Fran to help him - Jimmy has to investigate the old-fashioned way. He soon realizes that this is no crime of passion - but a murder of cold and calculated intention.
With no way off the island until the storms abate - Jimmy knows he has to work quickly. There's a killer on the island just waiting for the opportunity to strike again…
Griffiths, Elly. The Janus Stone ($31) Signed
Ruth Galloway is called in to investigate when builders, demolishing a large old house in Norwich to make way for a housing development, uncover the bones of a child beneath a doorway - minus the skull. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? DCI Harry Nelson would like to find out - and fast. It turns out the house was once a children's home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the home. Father Hennessey tells him that two children did go missing from the home forty years before - a boy and a girl. They were never found. When carbon dating proves that the child's bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is trying very hard to put her off the scent by frightening her half to death...
Pepper, Andrew. The Detective Branch ($43)
Drury Lane, 1844. A robbery has been committed at a pawnbroker s, leaving three people dead. The man called in to investigate is Pyke, head of the Metropolitan Police s newly formed Detective Branch at Scotland Yard.
Pyke must find the culprit and quickly, especially as the identity of one of the victims threatens to expose his own criminal past. A valuable religious artefact appears to have motivated the robbery but when the main suspect commits suicide in police custody, the investigation falters. Then the rector of a wealthy parish is brutally murdered and Pyke spots a connection. His suspicions lead him to a dissolute former Catholic priest, rumours of devil worship, and an old case that no one wants him to investigate.
With time running out and the murderer threatening to kill again, Pyke must face up to forces within the police and the church who would prefer the secrets of the past to remain buried forever.