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Death In Winter by Ian McFadyen
There’s always room for yet another fictional Detective Inspector. Steve Carmichael – a long standing member of the DI’s trade union – returns for his sixth case set, as before, in the villages and small towns of rural Lancashire. The boxes are all steadily being ticked for a wonderful traditional Christmas in the Carmichael family home. Deep snow all around? Tick. Just four days to go? Tick. Tree and decorations up? Tick. Pressies all bought? Tick. No urgent cases down at the nick? …… Oh, wait. Hayley Bell vanishes after taking a train home. Her husband and friends are decidedly odd, and there’s a definite whiff of murder souring the scent of mince pies and mulled wine. Death In Winter is just out, and you can check options here.

Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts
The author needs no researchers to check up on correct police procedure – she is still a serving officer herself, so expect unvarnished authenticity in this tale of the death of a sex offender. To the echoes of, “He had it coming..” and “Serves him right, the dirty bastard..” from the local community, the East Rise police must grit their teeth and investigate the suspicious death of Albie Woodville with just as much tenacity as if he had been a pillar of the community. DI Harry Powell keeps his team on their mettle, but all the officers are disturbed and shocked by the secrets they uncover as they search for the killer. Follow the link to see buying options for Mercy Killing

Blackout by Marc Elsberg
This has been around in one form or another since 2012, but since it is billed as “a 21st century high-concept disaster thriller”, it is probably safe to assume that the latest edition has been made future-proof. Elsberg (aka Marcus Rafelsberger) was born in Vienna, and after training as an industrial designer worked as a strategy consultant and creative director in the advertising world. Blackout has a simple but rather scary premise. Quite simply, hackers decide to shut down Europe. They start in Milan, with the electricity grid. Then they rack up the attacks further afield. Half the continent is plunged into darkness while  people freeze and struggle to find food and water. Elsberg turns this nightmare scenario into an entertaining but disturbing thriller. Check Blackout on Amazon.

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes
From trans-continental cyber meltdown to a psychological thriller on a smaller scale, but equally as terrifying. When your husband takes a stroll down the road to buy a newspaper, you think nothing of it. But when he has been gone an hour, then twelve hours, then a day, it is obvious that something sinister has happened. So it is with Gina and Rick. Rick has been gone four months, and as well as coping with daughter Hannah’s emotional problems, Gina has become numb with acceptance. But then a mysterious ‘phone call turns her life on its head, and she makes a decision which threatens to have fatal consequences. In Too Deep came out in Kindle earlier this year, but will be available in paperback just before Christmas. Check the details here.

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