Crime fiction: the pick of the criminal crop from Rebecca Gowers, Tim Maleeny and more

New from Rebecca Gowers, Tim Maleeny, Antti Tuomainen and Hannelore Cayre

Cover of the London Illustrated News: Eadwaerd Muybridge (1830-1904) English-born US inventor and photographer, May 1889. Photograph:  Universal History Archive/Getty

Cover of the London Illustrated News: Eadwaerd Muybridge (1830-1904) English-born US inventor and photographer, May 1889. Photograph: Universal History Archive/Getty

Were it fiction, Rebecca Gowers’ The Scoundrel Harry Larkyns (W&N, £20) would likely be dismissed as an implausibly racy Victorian-era penny dreadful.

Orphaned at a young age when his parents were massacred at Cawnpore, the young Harry Larkyns grew up to become a Raj wastrel, a feckless spendthrift who resigned his commission with the British army in India and went to fight under Garibaldi in the Franco-Prussian War, pausing only to be awarded the Legion of Honour and inspire a Maupassant short story before high-tailing it for the California goldfields, where he was shot dead, aged 31, by a cuckolded husband.

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