Detective and mystery stories

Death in a Strange Country

By Donna Leon

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In Death in a Strange CountryCommissario Guido Brunetti confronts a grisly sight when the body of a young American is fished out of a fetid Venetian canal. Though all the signs point to a violent mugging, something incriminating turns up in the victim's apartment that suggests the existence of a high level conspiracy--and Brunetti becomes convinced that somebody is taking great pains to provide a ready-made solution to the crime.
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Dead Lagoon

By Michael Dibdin

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"...Michael Dibdin, who, in Dead Lagoon, gives us a deliciously creepy new novel featuring the urbane and skeptical Aurelio Zen, a detective whose unenviable task it is to combat crime in a country where today's superiors may be tomorrow's defendants.

"Zen returns to his native Venice. He is searching for the ghostly tormentors of a half-demented contessa and a vanished American millionaire whose family is paying Zen under the table to determine his whereabouts--dead or alive. But he keeps stumbling over corpses that are distressingly concrete: from the crooked cop found drowned in one of the city's noisome 'black wells' to a brand-new skeleton that surfaces on the Isle of the Dead. The result is a mystery rich in character and deduction, and intensely informed about the history, politics, and manners of its Venetian setting."

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Dark Winter

By William Dietrich

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Twenty-six rugged adventurers wave goodbye to the last plane of the winter and unknowingly isolate themselves with a psychopath in the Antarctic wilderness. While the murderer gradually eliminates the group and communication with the outside world is lost, fear and suspicion overwhelm them. As the body count rises and the thermometer drops, the group must overcome the hysteria and dissent expertly sown by the killer to stop him before their chance of survival disappears into the arctic darkness.
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Breaking and Entering

By H.R.F Keating

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All Bombay is buzzing with news of the murder of Anil Ajmani. It is certainly a baffling case, for the millionaire was found stabbed to death in his heavily guarded and tightly secured mansion. Every inspector in the Crime Branch hopes to be the one to nail the killer and that includes Inspector Ganesh Ghote. Unfortunately, he is not assigned to the case. Instead, he has been given the less glorious task of tracking down a cat burglar, nicknamed Yeshwant, who has been scaling apartment buildings in the dead of night to steal valuable pieces of jewelry. Aided-or perhaps hampered-by his old friend Axel Svensson, seeking Indian warmth from his troubles in winter-cold Sweden, Ghote fights to uncover Yeshwant's true identity. And in so doing, unexpectedly finds that he may be the one to solve the murder of Anil Ajmani after all.

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Cul-de-sac

By David Martin

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"Once the scene of a grisly murder, Paul and Annie Milton bought the dilapidated mansion known as Cul-de-Sac to restore it. But strange things are happening at the old house: Paul and Annie are being stalked, and Paul is slowly losing his mind--yet he refuses to leave. Ex-cop Teddy Camel begins to investigate the mystery surrounding Cul-de-Sac, starting with the violent killing that took place there seven years before. And what he and Annie uncover--about a high-level cover-up, a family with dark and expensive secrets, and a furlowed prisoner bent on exacting his own brand of horrific justice--will chill them to the core...and could very well kill them all."
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Blind Judgement

By Grif Stockley

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Taking on a client accused of murder, Gideon Page returns to his hometown in Bear Creek, Arkansas. There he realizes his own memories are more complicated and treacherous than he imagined. In the midst of wrestling with an angry judge and a terrifying proficient prosecutor, he begins to fall in love with the woman he left behind a lifetime ago, and must face the man who destroyed his family's business and his mother's life.

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The Surgeon

By Tess Gerritsen

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"He slips into their homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, unaware of the horrors they soon will endure. The precision of the killer's methods suggests he is a deranged man of medicine, propelling the Boston newspapers and the frightened public to name him 'The Surgeon.'

"The cops' only clue rests with another surgeon, the victim of a nearly identical crime. Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell fought back and killed her attacker before he could complete his assault. Now she hides her fears of intimacy behind a cool and elegant exterior and a well-earned reputation as a top trauma surgeon.

"Cordell's careful facade is about to crack as this new killer recreates, with chilling accuracy, the details of Cordell's own ordeal. With every new murder he seems to be taunting her, cutting ever closer, from her hospital to her home. Her only comfort comes from Thomas Moore, the detective assigned to the case. But even Moore cannot protect Cordell from a brilliant hunter who somehow understands--and savors--the secret fears of every woman he kills."

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Sleepyhead

By Mark Billingham

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Dear Detective Inspector Thorne. What can I say? Practice makes perfect. And don't you just envy her that perfect...distance? I invite you to consider the concept of freedom. True freedom. Have you ever really considered it? I'm sorry about the others. Truly. I shall not insult your intelligence with platitudes about ends and means but offer in mitigation the thought that a massive undertaking often has an appropriate margin of error. It's all about pressure, Detective Inspector Thorne, but then you'd know all about that. Seriously, though, Tom, maybe I'll call you sometime.

"Mark Billingham's arresting debut novel Sleepyhead, an international bestseller, is a mesmerizing, psychological thriller. Tense and unnerving, this menacing tale of obsession is as scathingly witty as it is bone chilling, and it introduces a stunning new talent in detective fiction.

"Alison Willetts is unlucky to be alive. She has survived a deliberately induced stroke, and although she can see, hear, and feel, she is completely unable to move or to communicate. In leaving Alison alive, the police believe her assailant has made his first mistake. Until Detective Inspector Tom Thorne discovers the horrifying truth: Alison is the psychopath's first success; the three women he killed before her were the mistakes. 'An appropriate margin of error' is how their killer dismissed them; his true intention was to leave them just like Alison: put to sleep for the rest of their natural lives. And Thorne knows they won't be his last victims. To save innocent lives, he must find a criminal whose agenda is terrifyingly unique. But this untraceable, sadistic madman is smart, elusive, and cryptic -- he enjoys toying with the police almost as much as he savors pursuing his sick fantasy -- and the only lead Thorne has is the tragically uncommunicative Alison."

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Rules of Prey

By John Sandford

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"The murderer was intelligent. He was a member of the bar. He derived rules based on professional examination of actual cases: Never kill anyone you know. Never have a motive. Never follow a discernible pattern. Never carry a weapon after it has been used. Beware of leaving physical evidence. There were more. He built them into a challenge. He was mad, of course . . . .

"It is after the third murder that Lucas Davenport is called in. It is the opinion of his colleagues that everything about the lieutenant is a little different, and they are right – in the computer games he invents and sells, in the Porsche he drives to work, in the quality of the women he attracts, in his single-minded pursuit of justice. The only member of the department's Office of Special Intelligence, Davenport prefers to work alone, parallel with Homicide, and there is something about this serial killer that he quickly understands.

"The man who signs himself 'maddog' in taunting notes to the police is no textbook sociopath; he has a perverse playfulness that makes him kill for the sheer contest of it. He is a player. Which means that Davenport will have to put all his mental strength – and physical courage – on the line to learn to think like the killer. For the only way to beat the maddog is at his own hellish game. . ."

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Nine

By Jan Burke

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"When a brutal felon on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list turns up dead in Los Angeles County, few mourn him; in fact, the public begins to cheer his unknown assailants as heroes. But as more brutalized corpses of fugitive outlaws are found, Sheriff's Homicide Detective Alex Brandon knows that the vigilante group the public has nicknamed 'The Exterminators' may be far more ruthless and sadistic than its victims. The corpses bear eerie similarities to victims of a serial killer investigated by Brandon ten years ago."
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