Rock Creek and other hard places in Japan, Germany and south-east England feature in this month's pick
In Simon Conway's Rock Creek Park (Hodder, £6.99), a former British government bodyguard, on a nocturnal jog in Washington DC discovers a murder victim yards from the home of an aristocratic US senator.
Once she's endured hours of police interviews, she assumes that's the end of her involvement. She is, of course, horribly wrong.
What starts as a murder mystery turns first into a political conspiracy story, then a Frankenstein thriller about bioscience experiments left over from the cold war, before ending up as an all-action adventure. It sounds like too rich a mixture and would be if it wasn't so well-written and exciting.
Given that the author himself is ex-British army, his main character is especially intriguing. He's a US homicide detective who sees his efforts on behalf of individual murder victims as a way of rebuilding the parts of his personality that were destroyed by the mass slaughter he was responsible for with the US army in Afghanistan.
If you enjoy traditional, clue-based mysteries but fancy something a bit different Salvation Of A Saint by Keigo Higashino (below) (Little, Brown, £12.99) is for you.
The difference comes from it being a translation from the Japanese, something British crime fans don't often see.
After a businessman tells his wife that he's dumping her because she's infertile, there can be little doubt who the main suspect is when he's subsequently found dead. But Detective Kusanagi and his colleagues are faced by one great problem. The wronged wife was many miles away when the deed was done.
The Tokyo setting gives a delightfully fresh flavour to this story of a brilliant amateur sleuth helping the police puzzle out an impossible crime. I found myself engrossed, eager to discover how the investigators react to every thwarted lead.
Sophie Hannah is perhaps most celebrated for her sharp, witty dialogue and her psychological insights but it's the often startling manner in which she sets up her plots that grabs me.
The Carrier (Hodder, £14.99) begins with a hysterical young care assistant meeting an unfriendly businesswoman at a German airport and blurting out her knowledge of a miscarriage of justice.
But when the businesswoman discovers the identity of the victim, her curiosity turns to astonishment.
Hannah is one of those writers who make it hard to turn off the light - the unfolding of the story is so compelling, you always want to read just one more chapter.
A civilian police analyst notices something very odd in Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes (Myriad, £7.99). Her ordinary town in south-east England suddenly has a dramatically high number of dead bodies which lie undiscovered until neighbours complain about the smell.
There's no hint of foul play but surely such an epidemic of lonely deaths can't be down to chance?
This gripping, original thriller is as much sociological as psychological, leaving the reader with uncomfortable questions that have no simple answers.
One word of warning, though - don't read it on a full stomach.
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