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The Blackbird: The heart-pounding Sunday Times bestseller and Richard & Judy book club pick (David Raker Missing Persons, 11)

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Taken on by Cate’s grieving family, these are two questions that Raker is determined to answer, but as his investigation progresses, more and more questions are about to cloud the issue further. I guess we will all be counting down the days to book 12, because the finale of The Blackbird leaves us on quite the cliff edge.

And if the impact doesn’t, the fire will: seconds after it comes to rest, the Land Rover bursts into flames. On the night Tom Brenner and his nine-year-old son Leo visit the Seven Peaks theme park, they head straight for the ghost house. Unsettling, brilliantly plotted, and satisfyingly complex, these books are unputdownable, and the latest - The Blackbird - is no exception. David is reluctant to take the task of investigating Alex Towne’s disappearance, but remembering the loss of his own, he finally agrees, and this signifies the beginning of trouble for him.They’re obviously dead – but when firefighters arrive at the scene the car is empty, the Gascoignes nowhere to be found. Indeed, the popularity of David Raker missing persons series has already earned Tim Weaver a place in the top novel authorship scene. Alex had gone missing six years before this story is told, and five years later his corpse is found in a car wreck. Big Island, LA connects the dots between a heist gone wrong at a police shooting range and corporate greed and political corruption, leaving a former combat marine and an agoraphobic crime reporter to sort out the mystery. In summary, the sinuous plot takes us through toe-curling and fist clenching violence scenes and we feel David Raker go through the normal vicissitudes of life as he grows.

Just like in Chasing The Dead, Megan’s secrets are not to be disclosed, and they can actually cost Raker’s life. As the name suggests, this novel is centered on the enigmatic reappearance of Alex Towne, who is believed to have passed on in a car crash. This is the 30th book, but considering Alex has survived "Kill Alex Cross" before, chances are he survives this one. With the place on lockdown while an investigation begins, four strangers, at the same table, pass the time chatting.

That’s why it’s our lead book this week but we’ve also got a very clever mystery from Sulari Gentill, a debut for our own Victoria Weisfeld, a classic from 1930s author Alice Campbell, and hardcore psychological thrills care of Jon Bassoff. But once Archer’s glad handing has garnered enough useful witnesses, he quietly departs, grabs a cab and heads to the Chelsea apartment of his girlfriend, Julia.

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