Crime In Brief: Crosscut<br></br> Dark Harbour <br></br>

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The Independent Culture

Twenty years before the novel's opening, there was an explosion at China Lake, a Californian military facility. It wasn't an accident, but a clean up of an operation that was going wrong. What wasn't supposed to happen was that a group of high school kids were out on a field trip nearby. They were fine. At least so it seemed. But when Evan Delaney attends her school's 15th reunion, it seems that the fatalities among her peers are way off any actuarial scale. Soon she's involved in a massive cover-up. The question is what happened that day, and who is The Coyote who's on a crazy killing spree, zeroing in on that class of 1991? Well into X-Files territor,y this is a tense and exciting thriller where almost anything seems possible. A conspiracy theorist's must-have.

Dark Harbour by David Hosp (SIMON & SCHUSTER £12.99)

Two cases collide on the fourth anniversary of 9/11 when a commuter train en route from Boston to New York City is wrecked by a terrorist bomb and the seventh and latest victim in a series of particularly gruesome murders is discovered in Boston. The seven were all young women and their hearts have been removed from their bodies, some prior to death, and the evidence suggests there is more than one killer involved. The lead cops start to lean on Boston's organised crime bosses, and suddenly there's big bucks on the street to bring in the murderers dead or alive, but preferably dead. However, it's a young cop on his first big undercover, who, by accident, discovers a suspect for the murders. But a lawyer named Scott T Finn, a street boy himself and personally involved with the only victim who was not a prostitute, begins to smell a rat. When he's brought in to defend the company charged with negligence regarding the security of the wrecked train, he discovers that he's in the middle of not one, but two, conspiracies. Dark Harbour is a real goodie, twisting and turning like a cat on a hot stove. Top stuff!