FBI agent Ren Bryce takes on her most heart-wrenching case yet when a father’s work places his young daughter in terrible danger…It strikes me that a release date of October 25th is leaving it rather fine if BLOOD LOSS is to be considered for the Irish Book Awards, which return this year to the RDS on November 22nd, especially given that Alex Barclay is a previous winner of the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award (BLOOD RUNS COLD, 2009).
Every year Mark and Erica Whaley take a trip to Colorado to celebrate their wedding anniversary. This year they have more cause than ever to celebrate – they’ve finally been granted overnight access with Laurie, Mark’s 11-year-old daughter from his previous marriage.
But their relaxing family break is shattered when they return from dinner in the hotel to find both Laurie and her 16-year-old babysitter, Shelby, missing.
Special Agent Ren Bryce will need to be at the top of her game to unravel the bizarre circumstances around this particular kidnapping. For it soon emerges that Mark has an awful lot to hide.
But Ren has her own battles to fight. Without a psychologist since hers was killed four months previously, she knows she’s headed for a manic episode, and she’s not sure she wants to stop it.
The lives of two young girls are in Ren’s hands. But she might need to save herself before she can save them.
Mind you, it’s going to be a tough year again for the Crime Fiction gong, with or without Alex Barclay, and even if two other recent winners, Alan Glynn and Gene Kerrigan, don’t publish this year.
Naturally, Liberties Press will be tossing my own book-shaped hat, aka SLAUGHTER’S HOUND, into the ring for consideration, but I think I’d be rather more surprised this year than last if SH garnered a shortlist nomination.
In terms of actual winners, though, it’s very hard to see past BROKEN HARBOUR by Tana French, the release of which in July will be less a publication and more an event. Critically acclaimed and best-selling, and already the recipient of numerous prizes, I’d be very surprised if Tana French doesn’t scoop the IBA Crime Fiction Award this year.
If anyone is to upset the appletart, Brian McGilloway stands a very good chance with his very good THE NAMELESS DEAD, which is as strong a crime novel as I’ve read so far this year. Elsewhere, TORN by Casey Hill comes on like a crowd-pleasing serial killer / CSI story, before delivering a brutal sucker-punch; A JUNE OF ORDINARY MURDERS by Conor Brady and GHOST TOWN by Michael Clifford represent are both very strong debuts (and may both be shortlisted in the Best Newcomer of the Year category instead); Conor Fitzgerald’s THE NAMESAKE is up to his usual excellent standard; and it’s highly unlikely that John Connolly’s THE WRATH OF ANGELS won’t be up to his usual impressive snuff. And then there’s VENGEANCE by Benjamin Black, HEADSTONE by Ken Bruen, and TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT by Niamh O’Connor … and the blackest of dark horses, THE COLD COLD GROUND by Adrian McKinty.
All told, it’ll make a hell of a line-up.