Debut Crime Authors Who Beat the Second Book Blues

Debut Crime Authors Who Beat the Second Book Blues

The Child – Fiona Barton

Ever since Fiona Barton’s debut – The Widow – was released back in 2016, domestic noir fans have waited with baited breath for her follow-up. And so we were over the moon when her second novel – The Child – lived up to the high expectations for 2017. Journalist Kate Waters (whom we met in The Widow) returns in this dark and thrilling mystery as she investigates the unsolved disappearance of a baby from a maternity ward in 1970. Suspecting that it may be related to the recent discovery of a baby’s skeleton in a demolished old house, Kate gets involved in the lives of three women connected to the discovery. But as the secrets come tumbling out, Kate must decide how much of their stories she should share and what should remain a secret.

Fast-paced, emotional and unsettling, fans of The Widow won’t be disappointed by Fiona Barton’s follow-up.

Domina – L.S. Hilton

Whether you loved or hated it, Maestra was one of those books that just got everybody talking in 2016. Dangerous, sexy and gripping, it shocked and tantalised readers with its ruthless lead character; Judith and the wake of destruction she left behind her. This year Judith makes a return in L.S. Hilton’s follow-up book – Domina – living in Venice under a false name before jetting off across Europe once again.

With even more murder, sex and deceit, the second book in this trilogy is sure to enthral fans of Maestra and leave them intrigued to find out how things will end for our sociopathic lead.

Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

Even those of us who only pick up a book once in a blue moon won’t have failed to have heard the hype about Paula Hawkins’ debut crime thriller, The Girl on the Train. Released back in 2015 to huge acclaim (and quickly snapped up for a film adaptation), The Girl on the Train gripped readers with its unreliable narrators and dark mystery. And so when Paula made her return in 2017 with a second psychological thriller – Into the Water – we were all very excited to immerse ourselves in Paula’s twisting world once again.

When Jules’ sister becomes the most recent in a line of women to drown in the local river, Jules returns to her hometown to face the truth behind her sister’s death. But as she confronts a town hiding many secrets in its past, Jules not only delves into the mystery of the river, but the memories that drove her from this town in the first place. Dark, twisting and captivating, Into the Water is a must-read for fans of The Girl on the Train.

Exile – James Swallow

Perhaps better-known for his sci-fi work, James Swallow’s action-packed thriller – Nomad – was a pleasant surprise for crime fans, earning a hoard of 5 star ratings from readers and reviewers across the internet. After entering into a dangerous race against the clock to clear his name in Nomad, MI6 field agent Marc Dane returns in Exile working on a dead-end job for the United Nations in Croatia. But when he comes across information that a Croatian criminal gang may have obtained nuclear material, he returns to Rubicon to help him chase down the dangers before it’s too late.

Fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action with danger at every turn, the second book in the Rubicon series will not disappoint fans of Nomad.

A Stranger in the House – Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door was a standout book in the domestic noir genre last year, even going on to become WHSmith’s Book of the Year 2016 and to be picked for the Richard and Judy Book Club. Tightly plotted with a mystery that has you doubting everyone’s innocence, this story created quite a buzz back in 2016 and we’re expecting Shari’s follow-up – A Stranger in the House – to do the same.

As in her first thriller, A Stranger in the House begins with a dramatic few opening chapters. Karen wakes up in hospital after being told she’d survived a car crash. The house looks like Karen left in a blind panic before her crash, but the last thing she remembers is cooking dinner in time for her husband to come home. So what happened to force her to leave the house in such a panic? If you couldn’t put The Couple Next Door down then prepare for the same situation for Shari Lapena’s follow-up.

Fateful Mornings – Tom Bouman

Back in 2015 Tom Bouman won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel with his atmospheric and chilling debut; Dry Bones in the Valley. Introducing us to detective Henry Farrell, Tom created an unforgettable new detective working in a fascinating location in rural Pennsylvania. Now in his follow-up – Fateful Mornings – Henry Farrell is dealing with an ominous increase in burglaries in Wild Thyme and the introduction of heroin to its streets. Venturing across state lines, Henry investigates the disappearance of a heroin addict after her husband shoots a man in their trailer.

Beautifully written and character-focused, Tom has continued the stunning style of his award-winning debut in his follow-up, to write another mesmerising story.

The Doll Funeral – Kate Hamer

The Girl in the Red Coat created a big buzz back in 2015, with girls in red coats actually taking to the streets to promote its release. Impressing readers with her beautiful writing and compelling story, Kate took us into the stories of a missing eight year old girl who is being held by a strange group of characters, and her desperate mother who won’t stop searching for her. Now Kate Hamer has returned with her second book – The Doll Funeral – in which we meet 13 year old Ruby as she searches for her real parents. Blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, Ruby can see death and has befriended a lost soul called Shadow. This is a complex but beautifully told story that benefits greatly from Kate Hamer’s unique writing style.

The Owl Always Hunts at Night – Samuel Bjork

Samuel Bjork’s crime debut – I’m Travelling Alone – demonstrated a bold new voice in Nordic crime and two new detectives to keep us glued to the pages. In their first book, Holger Munch and Mia Kruger investigated the discovery of a child found hanging from a tree with an airline tag around her neck reading ‘I’m travelling alone’. In Samuel Bjork’s follow-up – The Owl Always Hunts at Night – Holger Munch is confronted with another bizarre and unsettling crime scene in which a teenager has been found murdered with ritualistic signs and very little forensic evidence at the scene. With both detectives struggling to overcome their personal issues as they search for an intelligent and disturbed killer, Bjork has written another gripping and thought-provoking novel that fans of his debut are sure to enjoy.

Persons Unknown – Susie Steiner

Susie Steiner’s debut crime novel – Missing, Presumed – received fantastic reviews back in 2016, with comparisons being made to Tana French and Kate Atkinson, and Richard and Judy going on to pick the paperback for their autumn book club. The first in the DS Manon series, Susie introduced us to a down-to-earth and memorable detective who used online dating to try and salvage a social life damaged by her high-pressure career. After working on a high-profile missing person’s case in her first book, DS Manon is now working on cold cases while looking after her adopted son Fly. But then a man is stabbed to death and Fly is spotted on CCTV at the scene. Manon can’t work on the official case and so she takes matters into her own hands to prove Fly’s innocence.

There are new characters in this story who get their own chapters, but readers captivated by Manon and her son Fly in Missing, Presumed will enjoy catching up with them in Persons Unknown.

The Walls – Hollie Overton

Another Richard and Judy pick, Hollie Overton’s debut Baby Doll benefitted from its author’s experience as a TV writer and producer, with vivid scenes and a suspense-fuelled story. In Hollie Overton’s second book – The Walls – Kristy Tucker falls for her son’s martial arts instructor Lance. But when Lance becomes physically and verbally abusive, she needs to find a way out to protect herself and her family. Luckily, as a press agent for the Texas Department of Corrections, Kristy knows more than most about the criminal system, and how to get rid of Lance for good.

With that same fast-paced and vivid feel as Baby Doll, fans of Hollie Overton will devour The Walls in no time.

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye – David Lagercrantz

Strictly speaking we’re not sure we can get away with including David Lagercrantz on this list as his first crime novel was the highly acclaimed thriller Fall of Man in Wilmslow back in 2009. That being said, we know a lot of crime readers first discovered David in 2015 when he took on the mammoth challenge of continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series with The Girl in the Spider’s Web. And so we’ve decided to include his much anticipated follow-up in that series – The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye – in which we once again return to Lisbeth Salander and Michel Blomkvist.

The pair reunited in The Girl in the Spider’s Web after Blomkvist received a late night phone call that sent them both on an adrenaline-fuelled investigation. In The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye we rejoin Lisbeth in the secure unit of a corrupt women’s prison. She’s close to solving some of the mysteries that still linger in her past, while Blomkvist is looking into a stockbroker from Stockholm who may be connected to the death of a child psychologist. If you were impressed by David’s first story inspired by Stieg Larsson’s work then you won’t be let down by book number two.

The Year of the Locust – Terry Hayes

We don’t want to come across as impatient, but we’ve been waiting for the follow-up to Terry Hayes’ epic thriller – I Am Pilgrim – for three years now, and frankly our nerves are fried. He announced that he was working on a follow-up novel way back in 2014, and even released an extract in 2015, but since then the date for release has moved back so many times Terry is starting to give George R.R. Martin a run for his money. Nevertheless, The Year of the Locust is now apparently set for release in 2017 (fingers crossed) and if the extract is anything to judge it by, this follow-up is going to knock our socks off.

I See You – Clare Mackintosh

The twist in Clare Mackintosh’s debut – I Let You Go – left us all reeling back in 2014, and so none of us were surprised when it went on to win the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year Award and be picked for the Richard and Judy Book Club. Clare had some huge expectations to fulfil with her second book and thankfully I See You delivered on all of them.

Zoe Walker is part of the commuter network on London’s underground and takes the same route through London day after day. It’s not until she spots her picture in the classified section of the paper that she begins to realise that her routine might be making her vulnerable. But she has no idea just how deep the danger runs. Clare’s suspenseful writing is as sharp and exciting in book two as book one, and is sure to impress fans of I Let You Go.

A Traitor in the Family – Nicholas Searle

Nicholas Searle released his crime debut – The Good Liar – back in 2016, earning a number of fans eager to see what his next book would bring. A story of an elderly conman who plans one last con to steal a lady’s life savings, The Good Liar moved back and forwards in time to reveal secrets and surprises about conman Roy. For his second book – A Traitor in the Family – Nicholas sets his story during The Troubles in the world of the Provisional IRA. When Bridget married Francis, he was a charming and debonair city boy who swept her off her feet. But as the reality of Francis’s life as a terrorist hits home for Bridget, she has to choose between freedom and her husband. An engrossing story full of twists and turns, Nicholas’s strong storytelling ensures his second book is as compelling as his first.

Wrong Place – Michelle Davies

Michelle Davies’ critically acclaimed debut – Gone Astray – gripped readers in 2016 with its beautiful storytelling and sharp twists. Searching for a missing girl whose parents had recently won £15 million on the lottery, family liaison officer DC Maggie Neville carefully balanced supporting the family while quietly investigating their role in their daughter’s appearance. In her follow-up story, DC Maggie Neville returns to investigate the case of a man who has attempted to kill his wife and then commit suicide but failed on both counts. While he remains in a coma, Maggie has suspicions about his wife’s story. Gripping and thought-provoking, Michelle Davies has pulled another fantastic story out of the bag which is sure to gain her even more fans.

A Necessary Evil – Abir Mukherjee

Abir Mukherjee caused a huge buzz with his debut crime novel A Rising Man, based in early 20th century Calcutta during the latter days of the British Raj. Captain Sam Wyndham joins Calcutta’s police force after the Great War, and is soon investigating the murder of a senior British Official alongside Sergeant Bannerjee and Inspector Digby. Atmospheric, powerful and cleverly written, Abir won over many fans with his debut, and his second book – A Necessary Evil – has continued to impress. This time investigating the assassination of an Indian prince, Wyndham returns with his partner Bannerjee in the tension of 1920’s India. Just as intelligent, funny, intricate and atmospheric as his debut, A Necessary Evil secures Abir Mukherjee as an author who can deliver time and again.

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