A Gift for Dying by M J Arlidge
Release Date: Early Dec
A crime novel with a twist in the form of a young girl who claims to be able to know when and how someone will die. When she predicts the acts of a wanted serial killer, her psychologist wants the police to know about her ‘gift’. They, on the other hand, think there might be a darker and non-mystical explanation. As the murders continue, personal and professional lines get blurred and danger comes from unexpected places.

Genesis by Robin Cook
Release Date: Mid Dec
The new book from the master of the medico-thriller starts with New York chief Medical Examiner, Gloria Montoya baffled by the cause of death of a young pregnant woman. Trying to find out more, she asks a friend to help her trace the father of the dead woman’s child using DNA from the mother and child. When the friend turns up dead in similarly mysterious circumstances the hunt begins for a killer that only Gloria believes is real.

Ethical Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse by Bryan Hall
Release Date: Mid Dec
Can you be woke in the wake of a world of walking dead? Moral dilemmas and hard choices are an inevitable consequence of the end of the world, so it might be worth taking a few minutes to think about them. The book is written from the perspective of someone surviving in such a world, and presents a variety of situations and then explores the implications with reference to the work of philosophers like Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill. This is basically a beginner’s book on ethics wrapped in a quirky zombie apocalypse story. It’ll also make you see zombie stories (and probably a bunch of other things) in a new light.

Light of All That Falls by James Islington
Release Date: Mid Dec
The third and final book in the Lucianus trilogy. Obviously, you’d need to have read the first two to appreciate this one and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I’ll keep this vague. Things were already coming to a head at the end of book two, with some pretty dark revelations as well as finding out some very disturbing truths about the world and characters. This book takes those elements and pushes them to their inevitable conclusions in a finale I think will satisfy most readers. A very popular series, and for good reason, so if you’re part of the camp that  now only likes to start a series once it’s finished (thanks George!) this is one to get on to.

How to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith
Release Date: Early Dec
Seth Grahame-Smith, the man who gave us Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as well as Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, returns this Christmas with a book full of advice for just about every untoward and unnatural event you could imagine. From slashers and crazies to killer dolls and haunted cars. From alien invasion to the shuffling dead, deep dark secrets and kids in the corn. This is the book that will help you survive if life starts to imitate (very bad) art.

A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee by Danny Fingeroth
Release Date: Early Dec
There was a comic book style of biography of Stan Lee a few years ago, and while it was a nod to his life’s work, there wasn’t really a lot of space for the finer details of his life. This month we’ve got an actual print one written by long-time writer and editor at Marvel Comics Danny Fingeroth. Danny knew and worked with Stan Lee for more than thirty years, so this book is not just about the events but also the context, and in its own way is also the biography of Marvel itself.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
Release Date: Mid Dec
This is the second in a young adult series that draws on West African history and folklore. By the end of the first book ZĂ©lie and Amari have succeeded in restoring the magic of the land of Orisha and deposing the evil King who had sought to destroy it. Unfortunately the ritual was more powerful than they expected and the potential of some of nobles with magical ancestry has also been awakened. Civil war looms, only now both sides have access to magic. Great characters and a fascinating world, highly recommended.

Ottoman Secret by Raymond Khoury
Release Date: Early Dec
An interesting combination of crime thriller and alternate history. It begins with a strange apparition that appears to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in 1682. An apparition that gives advice about the invading of Europe. In Paris in 2017, three hundred years after all of Europe falls to the Ottoman Empire, special investigator Kamal Agha has a bizarre case to solve. A tattooed, naked man appeared by the Seine, killed a bystander and fled. It’s an odd case that becomes more deadly and strange as Kamal investigates. The man has a secret that could change the world and the agents of the Sultan will do anything to silence him. A great, fun genre crossover.

Line of Forgotten Blood by Malcolm MacKay
Release Date: Late Dec
This is the second book to be set in a Scotland where the 1707 Union of Parliaments never happened, meaning that it entered the modern era as an independent nation. While the backdrop of the books is a world with a quite different political structure, these are crime novels and there is no ‘this is a result of time travel’ sub plot. This is the way the world is for the series. It’s alternate history, without a science fiction rationale. They’re quite gritty novels, almost crime noir and this one has private investigator Darian Ross finding connections between a missing girl and a prominent banking family, which in noir tradition is always the start of trouble and the uncovering of dark secrets. MacKay writes a great crime story, which is what this is, and the fictitious city of Challaid in an independent Scotland makes for an interesting setting which I think any crime fan will enjoy even if they’ve no interest in alternate history at all.

Hex Life by Theodora Goss
Release Date: Early Dec
Eighteen new stories about witches by eighteen different women, in one very nice looking hard cover. That’s pretty much a winner for me right there, but it’s also got a list of writers that is basically a who’s who of the women of modern horror and urban fantasy.  Contributors include Rachel Caine, Kelley Armstrong, Angela Slater, Theodora Goss, Amber Benson and more. Some of the stories take place in the same worlds as the author’s previous series while some have completely original settings. Old tropes are challenged and re-imagined and some favourite characters are given a chance to shine away from the series they are usually in. Witches tend to get fairly short shrift in fiction, and that’s something this book addresses. Strong, independent women with agency and magic? Sounds like that could be pretty cool, and it is. Overall it’s a good collection, though the series spin off stories don’t work as well if you’re not familiar with them. I thought that Theodora Goss‘ story about a grown up Snow White was particularly good, but I imagine that others will have their own favourites.

Action at a Distance by Ben Aaronovitch
Release Date: Mid Nov
Most Ben Aaronovitch fans are probably aware by now the eighth Rivers of London book, Face Value was moved from a December to a February release. However, we do have something new. Action at a Distance is the seventh volume in the graphic novel series that runs parallel with the books, featuring the same characters but with its own storylines. In this one we get to flash back to1957 as Peter finds out about a time when Nightingale is brought in to track down a serial killer who seems to have abilities no normal person should. This is a fun little story, we also get to lean a bit more about Nightingale’s war years, and it should tide folks over till Face Value comes out.

Anno Dracula 1999 Daikaiju by Kim Newman
Release Date: Early Dec
This is the sixth of the Anno Dracula novels, where vampires and other supernatural creatures have been involved in major events since the time of Queen Victoria. This time we’re in Tokyo, New Years Eve 1999, in Daikaiju Plaza a building in the shape of a giant mechanical dragon. In the upper floors of the building the best and brightest of technology, fashion are attending a party. When a group of yakuza and Transylvanian mercenaries take them hostage, it is up vampire schoolgirl (sword master and part-time agent of the Diogenes club) Nezumi to deal with the situation. First however she’ll have to fight her way up through the building, floor by floor, dealing with all sorts of supernatural nasties and even the building itself, which seems to have been designed to kill the people inside it. A mash-up of all sorts if ideas into a glorious romp of a book.