Books published by Quercus
Ninety-year-old Peggy has two main interests in life – observing the comings and goings beneath her bay window in Seaview Court and murder. So when Peggy is found dead in her favourite chair, notebook by her side, it must surely be from natural causes – mustn't it?
Reviewed on 21 November 2020 by Viv Beeby
When a homeless man sees the report of a woman’s search for her missing father, he thinks he might have been the only witness to a possible murder. The police don’t seem very interested in what he has to say, but the man’s daughter is desperate for help, so against his better judgment, Jimmy Mullen gets involved.
Reviewed on 04 July 2020 by Linda Wilson
The body of a teenage boy is found outside a deserted house where he had been partying with friends. Examination suggests he was raped before being pushed through a window to his death. His alleged attacker is in custody, but DCI Tom Reynolds has doubts.
Reviewed on 12 October 2019 by John Cleal
Out-of-favour DCI Tom Reynolds gets a Christmas day call to a mass grave on an island off the Kerry coast, once the home of a controversial psychiatric institution, where there is one body too many – probably that of one of the doctors, missing for more than 40 years.
Reviewed on 10 August 2019 by John Cleal
Clare, a teacher at Tolgarth High, is discussing a short story called The Stranger with members of a creative writing group. The story is a Gothic horror but Clare has no reason to believe that the school is about to undergo its own horror story.
Reviewed on 11 May 2019 by Arnold Taylor
A man beats a disgraced banker to a pulp in front of his wife. He hands himself in, confesses the attack, but claims it was not premeditated and he didn’t know his victim. DS Alice Moody must discover whether this a random act or linked to the banker’s shady past.
Reviewed on 08 December 2018 by John Cleal
1655. Captain Damian Seeker of Oliver Cromwell’s handpicked guard has been sent north to prepare the way for stringent new anti-Royalist laws. What should be a to a routine visit to a village on the North York moors uncovers a stew of hatred, ambition and treachery.
Reviewed on 10 November 2018 by John Cleal
In the not-too-distant future architects can design a heaven specifically for you but there are regulations and controls. Isobel is not supposed to fall in love with her client and the implications when his wife is murdered, are destructive.
Reviewed on 13 October 2018 by John Barnbrook
Professor Olivia Sweetman, a noted historian, has used a Victorian diary to write the biography of one of the earliest women to become a doctor. But in the background is the ominous presence of the woman who gave her the diary, who could destroy her hard-earned reputation.
Reviewed on 24 June 2017 by John Barnbrook
A gunman kills five people, including the policeman boyfriend of his former wife, on Christmas Day, before turning the gun on himself. DI Grace Fisher traces the illegal weapon and discovers a web of police corruption, vendettas and revenge.
Reviewed on 09 July 2016 by John Cleal
It is 42 years since Colonel Muammar Gaddafi came to power in Libya, the country of Balistreri’s birth. He, however, remembers the year not for that but for the death of his mother – a ‘suicide’ that he has always regarded as actually murder.
Reviewed on 12 March 2016 by Arnold Taylor
Afra has returned to the poverty-stricken Bavarian home she left as a 14-year-old. Her pregnancy places intolerable strains on her staunchly Catholic family. When she and her son are murdered, her father is convicted, but 18 years later the case is reopened.
Reviewed on 12 December 2015 by John Cleal
A young Arab girl is murdered in Libya and there appears to be no discernible motive. Thirteen years later an almost identical murder takes place in Rome. Commissario Michele Balistreri knows that the two crimes are connected and that a solution to one will lead to a solution of the other.
Reviewed on 18 April 2015 by Arnold Taylor
Post WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, the CIA is fast losing credibility. The president appoints as CIA Director Graham Weber, a wealthy businessman and a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, with full authority to make any changes he considers necessary,
Reviewed on 24 January 2015 by Arnold Taylor
Jimm Juree, an attractive ex-journalist, is sent to interview a British writer in his house in Thailand. His apparent obsession with axes is worrying especially when Jimm learns that his first wife has disappeared. What follows is completely unpredictable.
Reviewed on 29 November 2014 by Sylvia Maughan
Tom Pascoe is drinking himself to death grieving for his murdered wife. His last chance to save his job with the River Police is to investigate the death of an MP found floating in the Thames. His inquiries leads to a ruthless ring of slavers determined to preserve their trade at any price – even treason.
Reviewed on 29 November 2014 by John Cleal
On the day that Italy won the World Cup in 1982 a young and very beautiful girl is murdered. Twenty-four years later, with that murder still unsolved, Italy again wins the World Cup and again a young girl is murdered. Commissario Michele Balestreri blames himself for having failed to solve the earlier crime and is determined to solve this one.
Reviewed on 01 November 2014 by Arnold Taylor
Yvonne is struggling after the birth of her first child. She’s moved to Dublin because of her husband’s job and hasn’t yet built up a support network, so instead, she turns to an internet site for help. But not everyone on there is all they seem.
Reviewed on 20 September 2014 by Linda Wilson
Inspector Bruno Courrèges has to juggle an investigation into the brutal death of an undercover French cop with the clandestine return to France of Sami, a young Muslim man who appears to have been involved in terrorist activities in Afghanistan.
Reviewed on 26 July 2014 by Linda Wilson
DS Aector McAvoy of the Humberside Serious and Organised Crime Unit finds a mobile phone which leads him to believe a young homosexual’s death, ruled a suicide, may be more. Already in the middle of a drugs war, he must now plunge into a world of sleazy and violent sex to uncover to uncover the truth.
Reviewed on 12 July 2014 by John Cleal
The year is 1946. Britain is struggling in post-war austerity. Dagmar Petrzywalski, a middle-aged, gentle, eccentric spinster, is found strangled at the side of a main road in Kent. Britain’s first celebrity policeman, Chief Inspector Robert Fabian – Fabian of the Yard – investigates
Reviewed on 08 February 2014 by John Cleal
When teenage streetwalker Cat arrives at Lieutenant Jonathan Stride’s home drenched, covered in blood and begging protection from an unknown killer, the detective is plunged back in time to the killing of her mother and his discovery of a terrified six-year-old child.
Reviewed on 28 December 2013 by John Cleal
DS Cathal Breen is assigned to the murder of a young girl near the famous Abbey Road recording studios. He is given a young and impulsive temporary female DC as an assistant and together the pair follow a series of clues which lead them from the Beatles’ fan club to an African conflict in which millions are dying.
Reviewed on 14 December 2013 by John Cleal