Thrilling crime mini-breaks

28 April 2016

By Pan Macmillan

We all know that the British Summer doesn’t always mean sunshine so here’s a few crime books set in interesting or exotic locations that will transport you somewhere exciting from the comfort of your own home.
 

Amsterdam


 
David Hewson, author of The Killing novels set in Denmark and the Detective Nic Costa series set in Italy, is well known for his dark, atmospheric crime thrillers set in European cities.  
 
The House of Dolls is the first in the series featuring Amsterdam detective, Pieter Vos, a man tortured by the mysterious disappearance of his sixteen-year-old daughter. 
 
Her distraught father's desperate search reveals nothing and results in his departure from the police force. One day, while Vos is wasting time at the Rijksmuseum staring at a doll's house that seems to be connected in some way to the case, Laura Bakker, a misfit trainee detective from the provinces, visits him. She’s come to tell him that Katja Prins, daughter of an important local politician, has gone missing in circumstances similar to Anneliese.
 
Vos finds himself drawn back into the life of a detective. A life which he thought he had left behind. Hoping against hope that somewhere will lay a clue to the fate of Anneliese.
 
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Edinburgh



Grace Scott returns from honeymoon with her new husband, Mac, to fine a man lying dead in their new Edinburgh flat.
 
They don't know who he is or where he's come from. Then, three months later, Grace finds a note tucked inside one of their wedding gifts which sends her on a journey to discover what really happened in her flat.
 
Set in Edinburgh and travelling to Amsterdam, Paris and Copenhagen, this is a gripping European tour full of deception, lies and corruption.

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Oslo



The first ingenious mystery in the bestselling crime series from Norway's answer to Agatha Christie.
 
Oslo, 1968. Ambitious young detective Inspector Kolbjørn Kristiansen is called to an apartment block, where a man has been found murdered.
 
The victim, Harald Olesen, was a legendary hero of the Resistance during the Nazi occupation and at first it is difficult to imagine who could have wanted him dead. But as Detective Inspector Kolbjørn Kristiansen (known as K2) begins to investigate, it seems clear that the murderer could only be one of Olesen's fellow tenants in the building.
 
Soon, with the help of Patricia – a brilliant young woman confined to a wheelchair following a terrible accident – K2 will begin to untangle the web of lies surrounding Olesen's neighbours.
 
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London



A chilling and compelling debut crime thriller set in South East London. Perfect of you’re a fan of Peter James, Mark Billingham and Peter Robinson.
 
Three women have been found brutally murdered, the victims only feet away from help during each sadistic attack. And the killer is getting braver...
 
Sarah Grainger is rapidly becoming too afraid to leave her house. Once an outgoing photographer, she knows that someone is watching her. A cryptic note brings everything into terrifying focus, but it's the chilling phone calls that take the case to another level.
 
DI Mike Lockyer heads up the regional murder squad. With three bodies on his watch, and a killer growing in confidence, he frantically tries to find the link between these seemingly isolated incidents. What he discovers will not only test him professionally but will throw his personal life into turmoil too.
 
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Sicily



The wit, mystery and culinary gusto of Andrea Camilleri’s bestselling Inspector Montalbano series has made him one of Europe’s most famous crime writers.

This collection of short stories, personally chosen by Camilleri, follow Inspector Montalbano from his very first case in Vigàta, in which he stumbles upon a young girl lurking outside a courthouse with a pistol in her handbag.
 
Other cases include a missing woman who has run away from the love of her life; an old married couple who appear to be rehearsing their suicides; and a crime so dark there's only one person the inspector can call for help. With twists and turns aplenty, it’s the perfect introduction to Montalbano or a treat for Camilleri fans.
 
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Paris



Paris; in the stifling August heat, Commandant Serge Morel is called to a disturbing crime scene. An elderly woman has been murdered to the soundtrack of Faure's Requiem, her body then grotesquely displayed.
 
As the investigation progresses, the key suspects to emerge are a middle-aged man and a mute teenage boy who have been delivering religious pamphlets in the city's suburbs. But as more elderly ladies are targeted, Morel will find his enquiries leading him back into the past, from the French countryside to Soviet Russia – and to two young boys with the most terrible of stories to tell...
 
The gripping first novel in Anna Jaquiery's Commandant Morel series; perfect for fans of Michael Dibdin and Donna Leon.
 
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Belfast



It is 1985 and a killer moves through Belfast's blighted streets. In a time and place ruled and divided by political and religious differences, this series of crimes cuts across all those boundaries. Detective Inspector Cross, together with Westerby, a young policewoman, enters a maze of conspiracy and paranoia, and, as the investigation draws closer to the truth, they find themselves in a nightmare world, with little hope of escape.
 
The Psalm Killer is Chris Petit's epic thriller set during the Irish Troubles. Masterfully written, disturbing and exciting, the new Picador Classic edition includes an introduction by Alan Moore.
 
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Brighton



Love You Dead is the twelfth book in Peter James' bestselling Brighton-set crime series, featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace.
 
An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life – to be beautiful and rich. She's achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she's working hard on the second. Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it's getting rid of the husband afterwards that's harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect..

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city.
 
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Dublin



The first in the Dublin-set Quirke mysteries – now a major TV series starring Gabriel Byrne.
 
Quirke’s pathology department, set deep beneath the city, is his own gloomy realm: always quiet, always night, and always under his control. Until late one evening after a party he stumbles across a body that should not be there – and his brother-in-law falsifying the corpse’s cause of death.

This is the first time Quirke has encountered Christine Falls, but the investigation he decides to lead into the way she lived and died uncovers a dark secret at the heart of Dublin’s high Catholic network; one with the power to shake his own family and everything he holds dear.
 
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Oxford



Catch up with Oxford’s grumpiest policeman in the first of Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse mysteries. 

The death of Sylvia Kaye figured dramatically in Thursday afternoon's edition of the Oxford Mail.
 
By Friday evening Inspector Morse had informed the nation that the police were looking for a dangerous man - facing charges of wilful murder, sexual assault and rape.
 
But as the obvious leads fade into darkness, Morse becomes more and more convinced that passion holds the key.
 
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