New in crime

Desert Claw

Damien Lewis

Iraq: the present day. A country torn apart by war and anarchy. Thieves roam the streets. People are being killed in broad daylight. Security is non-existent. And now, terrorists have seized a Van Gogh painting worth £25 million from one of Saddam's palaces. They are offering it to the highest bidder. The painting's original owner, a Kuwaiti prince, from whom it was seized during Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in the First Gulf War, has asked for HMG's help in retrieving it. The British Government owes him a favour for backing them during the Iraq War, so they agree to help.

But rather than agreeing to pay the terrorists' ransom -- which they fear will be pumped into funding terrorist operations across the world -- HMG decides to send in a team of hardened ex-Special Forces, led by ex-SAS hero Mick Kilbride and his sidekick 'East End' Eddie. Sent undercover in a deniable operation called Desert Claw, their brief is simple: retrieve the painting, and eliminate the terrorists at the earliest possible opportunity. The mission sounds simple enough. But as Mick and his team are drawn into a dark and violent world, things are not always as they seem. And in the final climactic scene, a horrible and shocking truth awaits for the men.

The Shadow Killer

Arnaldur Indridason (and others)

Reykjavík, August 1941. When a travelling salesman is found murdered in a basement flat, killed by a bullet from a Colt .45, the police initially suspect a member of the Allied occupation force.

The British are in the process of handing over to the Americans and the streets are crawling with servicemen whose relations with the local women are a major cause for concern.

Flóvent, Reykjavík’s sole detective, is joined by the young military policeman Thorson. Their investigation focuses on a family of German residents, the retired doctor Rudolf Lunden and his estranged son Felix, who is on the run, suspected of being a spy.

Flóvent and Thorson race to solve the case and to stay ahead of US counter-intelligence, amid rumours of a possible visit by Churchill. As evidence emerges of dubious experiments carried out on Icelandic schoolboys in the 1930s,Thorson becomes increasingly suspicious of the role played by the murdered man’s former girlfriend, Vera, and her British soldier lover.

A Necessary Evil

Abir Mukherjee

‘Cracking… A journey into the dark underbelly of the British Raj’ Daily Express

India, 1920. Captain Sam Wyndham is visiting the kingdom of Sambalpore, home to diamond mines and the beautiful Palace of the Sun.

But when the Maharaja’s eldest son is assassinated, Wyndham realises that the realm is riven with conflict. Prince Adhir was unpopular with religious groups, while his brother – now in line to the throne – appears to be a feckless playboy.

As Wyndham and Sergeant ‘Surrender-not’ Banerjee endeavour to unravel the mystery, they become entangled in a dangerous world. They must find the murderer, before the murderer finds them.

Praise for the Sam Wyndham series:

‘An exceptional historical crime novel’

‘A thought-provoking rollercoaster’

‘Confirms Abir Mukherjee as a rising star of historical crime fiction
The Times

If you enjoyed A Necessary Evil, pre-order the third Sam Wyndham mystery, Smoke and Ashes, now.

The Darkness

Ragnar Jónasson

A chilling, twisty new mystery from the bestsellingauthor of the Dark Iceland series, the translator of Agatha Christie novels and one of Iceland's bestselling crime writers.

Praise for Ragnar Jónasson

'No country associated with the label Nordic noir is as bleak, cold, snowy and empty as Iceland. And no crime writer portrays those elements as evocatively and scarily as Ragnar Jónasson' The Times

'A modern tale on an Agatha Christie-style mystery, as twisty as any slalom' Ian Rankin

'A classic crime story seen through a uniquely Icelandic lens. First rate and highly recommended' Lee Child


A young woman is found dead on a remote Icelandic beach.

She came looking for safety, but instead she found a watery grave.

A hasty police investigation determines her death as suicide . . .

When Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik police is forced into early retirement, she is told she can investigate one last cold case of her choice - and she knows which one.

What she discovers is far darker than suicide . . . And no one is telling Hulda the whole story.

When her own colleagues try to put the brakes on her investigation, Hulda has just days to discover the truth. A truth she will risk her own life to find.


'Chilling - a must-read' Peter James

'Page-turning stuff with an unexpected ending!' James Swallow

'Was gripped from the start of this brilliantly told story. And left wide-eyed with shock at the ending' Fiona Barton

'A true masterpiece . . . a plot full of twists and turns and an ending that leaves you gasping for air' Yrsa Sigurðardóttir


Gin Phillips

'Enthralling. Tense' Daily Mail

'An outdoors version of Emma Donoghue's Room' The Sunday Times

'Gripping. Unputdownable' Sun

'A powerful, unsettling book' Guardian

'Captivating and beautifully written' Daily Express

‘Riveting and beautiful, and all too real.’ Shari Lapena, author of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR

'Tense, shocking, heartbreaking. So good.' C J Tudor, author of THE CHALK MAN

‘It tore at every maternal fibre in my body. I couldn’t put it down.’ Fiona Barton, author of THE CHILD


Lincoln is a good boy. At the age of four, he is curious, clever and well behaved. He does as his mum says and knows what the rules are.

'The rules are different today. The rules are that we hide and do not let the man with the gun find us.'

When an ordinary day at the zoo turns into a nightmare, Joan finds herself trapped with her beloved son. She must summon all her strength, find unexpected courage and protect Lincoln at all costs – even if it means crossing the line between right and wrong; between humanity and animal instinct.

It's a line none of us would ever normally dream of crossing.

But sometimes the rules are different.


‘A page-turning, adrenaline-soaked read . . . an eloquent and meditative insight into motherhood and what it means, its many small trials and wonders.’ Alison Flood, Observer

‘I devoured it in one breathless sitting. Outstanding.’ Clare Mackintosh, author of LET ME LIE and I SEE YOU

Unbearably tense and yet beautifully written. After finishing, I pulled my loved ones a little closer.’ Paula Daly, author of THE MISTAKE I MADE

'I was absolutely captivated by this book. So, so tense, but wonderfully written. The perfect book.’ Gillian McAllister, author of EVERYTHING BUT THE TRUTH

Mr Clarinet

Nick Stone

Penguin Picks are stories you'll want to read again and again. Beautifully and stylishly designed by a modern artist, they are not only stories you'll keep coming back to but also books whose looks will never go out of fashion . . .

'Ten million dollars if he performed a miracle and brought the boy back alive, five million dollars if he came back with just the body, and another five million if he dragged the killers in with it. Those were the terms, and, if he chose to accept them, that was the deal'

Ex-cop, ex-PI and now ex-con Max Mingus doesn't want to take the case. It means going to Haiti, a lawless island of voodoo and black magic and home to a monster they call Mr Clarinet. In searching for the missing boy - alive or dead - Max could lose his life or suffer a fate far worse. But a man who has nothing will risk a lot for ten million dollars . . .

'Triumphant' Observer

'Terrifying, exhilarating, breathlessly compelling' Daily Express


Popular Penguins perfectly designed

Winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, the International Thriller Writers Award and the Mcavity Award for Best First Novel


Jussi Adler-Olsen

Penguin Picks are stories you'll want to read again and again. Beautifully and stylishly designed by a modern artist, they are not only stories you'll keep coming back to but also books whose looks will never go out of fashion . . .

Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen is Scandinavia's new bestselling crime writing sensation

'She scratched her fingertips on the smooth walls until they bled, and pounded her fists on the thick panes until she could no longer feel her hands. At least ten times she had fumbled her way to the steel door and stuck her fingernails in the crack to pry it open . . .'

Merete Lynggard vanished five years ago. Everyone says she's dead. Everyone says the case is a waste of time. Everyone except Copenhagen detective Carl Morck. Turning over this old case he thinks he's found a clue missed by his predecessors. It takes him on a journey, one that upsets his superiors, that troubles his colleagues, that causes him to break rules. But at the end of it a woman waits who has been missing five years . . .

'Engrossing' Sunday Express


Popular Penguins perfectly designed

Want to Play?

P. J. Tracy

Penguin Picks are stories you'll want to read again and again. Beautifully and stylishly designed by a modern artist, they are not only stories you'll keep coming back to but also books whose looks will never go out of fashion . . .

'A thrilling page-turner' Sunday Telegraph

'Want to play a game?'

Winter is coming to Minneapolis - and a killer is finding victims. As the body count rises games-creator Grace MacBride looks on in horror. The murders are straight out of Serial Killer Detective, the game she's behind - a game with hundreds of players. Grace knows that telling the police will make her a suspect - but she's even more sure that not telling them will make her a victim. For the copycat killings and the killer are getting steadily closer. It's time to play, or die . . .

'A fast-paced, gripping read with thrills and devilish twists' Guardian


Popular Penguins perfectly designed

The Moscow Trilogy

Simon Sebag Montefiore

Bestselling author and master storyteller Simon Sebag Montefiore's gripping, moving and highly acclaimed novels of love and war, betrayal, espionage and terror - gathered here for the first time in one compelling volume.

It is winter 1916 in the tsar’s wartime capital St Petersburg and the beautiful and headstrong Sashenka Zeitlin plays a dangerous game of conspiracy and seduction. Twenty years on, she is a perfect Communist wife and mother who risks everything for a forbidden love affair with a pleasure loving writer which will have devastating consequences. Sashenka's story lies hidden for half a century until a young historian goes deep into Stalin's private archives and uncovers a heartbreaking story of passion, betrayal, and unexpected heroism.

Red Sky at Noon
Imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, Benya Golden joins a penal battalion to fight the invading Nazis and enrols in a cavalry unit of criminals and Cossacks sent on a desperate ride across the sweltering grasslands of southern Russia. Switching between the cruel war and Stalin's secrets in the Kremlin, Benya’s affair with an Italian nurse is the heart of this epic story of passion, bravery and survival where betrayal and death are constant companions, – and love, however fleeting and doomed, offers a glimmer of redemption.

One Night in Winter
As Stalin and his courtiers celebrate victory over Hitler, the teenage children of two of Russia's top leaders are found dead. An investigation begins in their elite school, teenagers and children are arrested and forced to testify against their friends and their parents. The terrifying inquiry soon unveils illicit love affairs and family secrets in a world where the smallest mistakes can be punished by death.

The Kremlin's Candidate

Jason Matthews


Urgent, topical and shot through with insider knowledge, the final thriller in the Red Sparrow trilogy is writing on a grand scale.

Russian counterintelligence chief Colonel Dominika Egorova has been an asset of the CIA for over seven years. She has also been in a forbidden and tumultuous love affair with her handler Nate Nash, mortally dangerous for them both, but irresistible.

In Washington, a newly installed administration is selecting its cabinet members. Dominika hears whispers of a Russian operation to place a mole in a high intelligence position. If the candidate is confirmed, the Kremlin will have access to the identities of CIA assets in Moscow, including Dominika.

Dominika recklessly immerses herself in the palace intrigues of the Kremlin, searching for the mole's identity and stealing secrets before her time runs out.

With a plot ripped from tomorrow's headlines, The Kremlin's Candidate is a riveting read and a thrilling conclusion to the trilogy than began with Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason.

The Lost Girl

Carol Drinkwater

'A story to savour, complete with wonderful settings stretching from Paris to the glorious countryside of southern France' Dinah Jefferies


Since her teenage daughter went missing four years ago, Kurtiz Ross has blamed and isolated herself. Until, out of the blue, Lizzie is sighted in Paris.

But within hours of her arrival, Kurtiz sees the City of Light plunged into terror.

Amid the fear and chaos, a hand reaches out. A sympathetic stranger offers to help a terrified mother find her daughter.

The other woman's kindness - and her stories of her own love and loss in post-war Provence - shine unexpected light into the shadows.

The night may hold the answers to a mystery - but dare Kurtiz believe it could also bring a miracle?

'A gripping tale' Sunday Post

'Mesmerising, haunting and extraordinarily relevant' Lovereading

'The perfect holiday read that manages to keep you guessing the whole way through' Living France

The Lying Game

Ruth Ware

The twisting new thriller from international sensation Ruth Ware, author of Sunday Times bestsellers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10

‘Another heart-stopping belter of a thriller from an epic talent’

The text message arrives in the small hours of the morning: I need you.

Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her.

Isa and her three best friends used to play the Lying Game, competing to convince people of outrageous stories. Now, after seventeen years of hiding the truth, something terrible has been found on the beach. The friends’ darkest secret is about to come to light…

‘I could not put this book down’

‘Atmospheric, mysterious, gripping’


Visit Dead Good

The home of killer crime books, drama and film

Dying to go there