Dates of upcoming publications will be shown here. This list is by no means exhaustive and there will be ones I’ve missed I’m afraid. All sysnopsis are taken from the website of the publisher unless otherwise indicated. If I don’t have your favourite author’s next publication date up here, please let me know.
Traveler’s Rest by Keith Lee Morris, published by W&N Books
“A FAMILY MAROONED. ONLY ONE HOTEL IN TOWN. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
The Addisons – Julia and Tonio, ten-year-old Dewey, and Uncle Robbie – are driving home after collecting Robbie from yet another trip to rehab. When a terrifying blizzard strikes outside the town of Good Night, Idaho, they seek refuge at the Travelers Rest, a formerly opulent but now crumbling hotel.
With nowhere else to go, they decide to stay the night. But once inside, the family becomes separated and the hotel begins to work its eerie magic. As Julia and Tonio drift through the maze of the hotel’s spectral interiors, Dewey ventures outside. Meanwhile, a desperate Robbie quickly succumbs to his old vices. As they desperately try to reach each other, they relive the same day over and over again. The mother, Julia, holds the key to their release – but can she save her family from the fate of becoming Souvenirs – those citizens trapped forever in Good Night – or, worse, from disappearing entirely?”
Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon, published by Corvus
“You won’t be able to put it down.
Just remember to breathe.
Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she’s cut herself off from everything but her one true love – drink. Until she’s forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy.
Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She’s as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands.
Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma…”
You can read a Q&A with Holly Seddon here.
Holding Out for a Hero by Victoria Van Tiem, published by Pan
“The problem with first love is that it never truly dies . . .
Libby London fell in love with the eighties, came of age in the nineties, and now the twenty-first century is baffling her. Her New-York-City style is more, erm, vintage tragedy than retro babe and her penchant for All Things Eighties might just be what’s holding her back in matters of life and love . . .
At least that’s what her well-meaning friends think. They’ve staged a #80sIntervention in an effort to bring Libby bang up to date. What with her dreaded birthday party, friends’ madcap ambush, and being forced to relocate her vintage shop, Libby’s nearing breaking point!
Will she ever be able to move on when the one she loves keeps her in the past?”
Blood and Roses by Catherine Hokin, published by Yolk Press
The English Crown – a bloodied, restless prize.
The one contender strong enough to hold it? A woman. Margaret of Anjou: a French Queen in a hostile country, born to rule but refused the right, shackled to a King lost in a shadow-land.
When a craving for power becomes a crusade, when two rival dynasties rip the country apart in their desire to rule it and thrones are the spoils of a battlefield, the stakes can only rise. And if the highest stake you have is your son?
You play it.”
You can read a guest post on Finding Margaret by Catherine Hokin here.
The Widow by Fiona Barton, published by Bantam Press
“‘The ultimate psychological thriller’ Lisa Gardner
We’ve all seen him: the man – the monster – staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.
But what about the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the woman who stands by him?
Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.
Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.
But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.
Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.
Du Maurier’s REBECCA meets WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN and GONE GIRL in this intimate tale of a terrible crime.
‘My book of the year so far’ C. L. Taylor, author of THE LIE”
You can read my review here.
The Good Liar by Nicolas Searle, published by Viking
“This is a life told back to front.
This is a man who has lied all his life.
Roy is a conman living in a leafy English suburb, about to pull off the final coup of his career. He is going to meet and woo a beautiful woman and slip away with her life savings.
But who is the man behind the con and what has he had to do to survive this life of lies?
And why is this beautiful woman so willing to be his next victim?”
Victim Without a Face by Stefan Ahnhem, published by Head of Zeus
“A KILLER WITH A MESSAGE The first victim was a bully who liked using his fists. The second was a thug who favoured steel-capped boots. Their bodies bore the marks of a killer who knew their sins. A single clue was left at the scene: a class photo from 1982, with two faces neatly crossed out. A DETECTIVE WHO CAN’T LET GO There are eighteen men and women in the photo who are still alive – and one of them is the lead detective on the case. Fabian Risk thought he’d left his schooldays behind. Now his classmates are dying for the sins of their childhood … Who is the faceless killer who’s come back to haunt them? CAN YOU EVER HIDE FROM JUSTICE?”
You can read God Bless the Screenwriter, a guest post by Stefan Ahnhem here.
Nightblind by Ragnar Jonasson, published by Orenda Books
“Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village on the northernmost tip of Iceland, accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.
Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman, whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers continue to haunt him.
The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by the murder of a policeman – shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark arctic winter closing in, it falls to Ari Thór to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor, and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik, where someone is being held against their will. Then a mysterious young woman moves to the area, on the run from something she dare not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all. Dark, chilling and complex, Nightblind is an extraordinary thriller from an undeniable new talent”
You can read my review here.
After You Die by Eva Dolan, published by Harvill Secker
“Dawn Prentice was already known to the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit.
The previous summer she had logged a number of calls detailing the harassment she and her severely disabled teenage daughter were undergoing. Now she is dead – stabbed to death whilst Holly Prentice has been left to starve upstairs. DS Ferreira, only recently back serving on the force after being severely injured in the line of duty, had met with Dawn that summer. Was she negligent in not taking Dawn’s accusations more seriously? Did the murderer even know that Holly was helpless upstairs while her mother bled to death?
Whilst Ferreira battles her demons, determined to prove she’s up to the frontline, DI Zigic is drawn into conflict with an official seemingly resolved to hide the truth about one of his main suspects. Can either officer unpick the truth about mother and daughter, and bring their killer to justice?”
You can read my review here.
The Last of the Bowmans by J. Paul Henderson, published by No Exit Press
“After an absence of some seven years, Greg Bowman returns from America to find his father lying in a bamboo coffin, his estranged brother Billy stalking a woman with no feet and his seventy-nine-year-old Uncle Frank planning to rob a bank. While renovating the family house he is unexpectedly visited by the presence of his dead father and charged with the task of ‘fixing’ the family. In the course of his reluctant investigations, Greg discovers not only the secrets behind the strange behaviour of his brother and uncle but also an unsettling secret of his father’s, and one that brings him face to face with the unintended consequences of his own past.
The Last of the Bowmans is the story of a family on the run from itself in a city with no place to go.”
You can read a post about getting an agent or going it alone by J. Paul Henderson here.
The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon, published by The Borough Press
“England, 1976. Mrs Creasy is missing and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands. And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined…”
You can read my review here.
You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell, published by Headline Review.
“It’s Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday. And she’s about to open the very last letter written to her by the beloved mother she loved so much… A warm, poignant and unputdownable novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU, THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT and THE UNPREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE
From the bestselling author of THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU and THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT comes a deliciously romantic and poignant read about love, loss and how nothing can stay hidden for ever… If you love the novels of Cathy Kelly and Sophie Kinsella, you won’t want to miss Jill Mansell.
On the morning of Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday, it’s time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight.
Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum’s life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions.
Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again…”
The Last Kiss Goodbye by Tasmina Perry, published by Headline Review
“Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller Tasmina Perry does what she does best in this irresistibly intriguing, sophisticated and heartrending read, transporting the reader to Paris, London and St Petersburg and sweeping them up in a story of romance, mystery and secrets.
A spellbinding tale of love, loss and long-buried secrets from the Sunday Times bestselling author. If you loved spending A Week in Paris with Rachel Hore or losing yourself in Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore, you will adore Tasmina Perry’s The Last Kiss Goodbye.
Everyone remembers their first kiss. But what about the last?
1961. Journalist Rosamund Bailey is ready to change the world. When she meets explorer and man about town Dominic Blake, she realises she has found the love of her life. Just as happiness is in their grasp, the worst happens, and their future is snatched away.
2014. Deep in the vaults of a museum, archivist Abby Gordon stumbles upon a breathtaking find. A faded photograph of a man saying goodbye to the woman he loves. Looking for a way to escape her own heartache, Abby becomes obsessed with the story, little realising that behind the image frozen in time lies a secret altogether more extraordinary.”
Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman, published by Headline
“Psychologist sleuth Alex Delaware has experienced more than enough of L.A.’s dark side to recognise the scent of evil…
Criminal psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware is pushed to his limit like never before in Breakdown by New York Times No.1 bestseller Jonathan Kellerman. Fans of Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben will love this sabre-sharp storytelling from the master of psychological suspense.
Dr. Alex Delaware first meets beautiful and emotionally fragile actress Zelda Chase when called upon to evaluate her five-year-old son. Years later, Alex is unexpectedly reunited with Zelda when she is involuntarily committed after a bizarre psychotic episode. But tragedy strikes and shortly after her release, Zelda is discovered dead in the grounds of a palatial L.A. estate. Having experienced more than enough of the city’s dark side to recognise the scent of evil, Alex turns to his friend, LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis, for help in finding the perpetrator.
Meanwhile, Alex is caught up in another quest: the search for Zelda’s missing son. And when other victims vanish from the same upscale neighborhood, worry turns to terror.
As Alex struggles to piece together the brief rise and steep fall of a gorgeous, talented actress, he and Milo unveil shattered dreams, the corruption of a family, and a grotesque betrayal of innocence. With each devastating revelation and damning clue, Alex’s brilliant mind is challenged as never before – and his determination grows to see a killer caged and the truth set free.”
You can read my review here.
Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett, published by Virago
“When Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter of a whaling family in Eden, New South Wales, sets out to chronicle the particularly difficult season of 1908, the story she tells is poignant and hilarious, filled with drama and misadventure.
It’s a season marked not only by the sparsity of whales and the vagaries of weather, but also by the arrival of John Beck, an itinerant whaleman with a murky past, on whom Mary promptly develops an all-consuming crush. But hers is not the only romance to blossom amidst the blubber . . .
Swinging from Mary’s hopes and disappointments, both domestic and romantic, to the challenges that beset their tiny whaling operation, Rush Oh! is a celebration of an extraordinary episode in Australian history when a family of whalers formed a fond, unique alliance with a pod of frisky killer whales – and in particular, a killer whale named Tom.”
The Man I Became by Peter Verhelst, published by Peirene Press
“Huxley’s Brave New World meets Orwell’s Animal Farm.
An impressively entertaining tale about the frailty of our civilization by the leading Flemish writer Peter Verhelst, now for the first time in English.
Warning: this story is narrated by a gorilla. He is plucked from the jungle. He learns to chat and passes the ultimate test: a cocktail party. Eventually he is moved to an amusement park, where he acts in a show about the history of civilization. But as the gorilla becomes increasingly aware of human weaknesses, he must choose between his instincts and his training, between principles and self-preservation.”
You can read my review here.
Song of the Sea Maid by Rebecca Mascull, published by Hodder and Stoughton
“‘Rich, evocative second novel from the author of THE VISITORS: ‘Beautifully written… wonderful stuff.’ – Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller.
In the 18th century, Dawnay Price is an anomaly. An educated foundling, a woman of science in a time when such things are unheard-of, she overcomes her origins to become a natural philosopher.
Against the conventions of the day, and to the alarm of her male contemporaries, she sets sail to Portugal to develop her theories. There she makes some startling discoveries – not only in an ancient cave whose secrets hint at a previously undiscovered civilisation, but also in her own heart. The siren call of science is powerful, but as war approaches she finds herself pulled in another direction by feelings she cannot control.”
You can read about Rebecca Mascull’s editing process here.
The Ballroom by Anna Hope, published by Doubleday
“By the acclaimed author of WAKE:
Where love is your only escape ….
1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors,
where men and women are kept apart
by high walls and barred windows,
there is a ballroom vast and beautiful.
For one bright evening every week
they come together
When John and Ella meet
It is a dance that will change
two lives forever.
Set over the heatwave summer of 1911, the end of the Edwardian era, THE BALLROOM is a tale of unlikely love and dangerous obsession, of madness and sanity, and of who gets to decide which is which.”
You can read my review here.
Devil’s Bridge by Linda Fairstein, published by Sphere
The Manhattan waterfront is one of New York City’s most magnificent vistas, boasting both the majestic Statue of Liberty and the busy George Washington Bridge. But Detective Mike Chapman is about to become far too well acquainted with the dangerous side of the Hudson river and its islands when he takes on his most personal case yet: the disappearance of Alex Cooper.
Coop is missing – but there are so many leads and terrifying complications: scores of enemies she has made after a decade of putting criminals behind bars; a recent security breach with dangerous repercussions; and a new intimacy in her relationship with Mike, causing the Police Commissioner himself to be wary of the methods Mike will use to get Coop back… if he can.”
You can read my review here.
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift, published by Scribner
“It is March 30th 1924.
It is Mothering Sunday.
How will Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, occupy her time when she has no mother to visit? How, shaped by the events of this never to be forgotten day, will her future unfold?
Beginning with an intimate assignation and opening to embrace decades, Mothering Sunday has at its heart both the story of a life and the life that stories can magically contain. Constantly surprising, joyously sensual and deeply moving, it is Graham Swift at his thrilling best.”
You can read my review here.
Sweet Home by Carys Bray, published by Windmill
“They say there’s no place like home. It’s where the heart is…
Meet the little boy who believes in miracles.
Meet the mother who loves to bring babies home from the newborn aisle of her supermarket.
Meet the husband who carves a longed-for baby out of ice as a gift for his wife.
Meet the widow who is reminded of romance whilst standing at the kitchen sink.
In this prize-winning short story collection, Carys Bray weaves together moments of joy, heartache, sadness and unwavering love as told through seventeen very different notions of home.”
You can read my review here.
An Unfamiliar Murder by Jane Isaac, published by Jane Isaac
“Arriving home from a routine day at work, Anna Cottrell has no idea that her life is about to change forever. But discovering the stabbed body of a stranger in her flat, then becoming prime suspect in a murder inquiry is only the beginning. Her persistent claims of innocence start to crumble when new evidence links her irrevocably with the victim…
Leading her first murder investigation, DCI Helen Lavery unravels a trail of deception, family secrets and betrayal. When people close to the Cottrell family start to disappear, Lavery is forced into a race against time. Can she catch the killer before he executes his ultimate victim?”
You can read Where do you get your ideas from, a guest post by Jane Isaac here.
Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama, published by Quercus
“Read the Japanese crime sensation that sold over a million copies.
THE NIGHTMARE NO PARENT COULD ENDURE.
THE CASE NO DETECTIVE COULD SOLVE.
THE TWIST NO READER COULD PREDICT.
For five days in January 1989, the parents of a seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter’s kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. They would never see their daughter again.
For the fourteen years that followed, the Japanese public listened to the police’s apologies. They would never forget the botched investigation that became known as ‘Six Four’. They would never forgive the authorities their failure.
For one week in late 2002, the press officer attached to the police department in question confronted an anomaly in the case. He could never imagine what he would uncover. He would never have looked if he’d known what he would find.”
Spy Games by Adam Brookes, published by Sphere
“Fearing for his life, Mangan has gone into hiding from the Chinese agents who have identified him as a British spy. His reputation and life are in tatters. But when he is caught in a terrorist attack in East Africa and a shadowy figure approaches him in the dead of night with information on its origins, Mangan is suddenly back in the eye of the storm.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away on a humid Hong Kong night, a key MI6 source is murdered minutes after meeting spy Trish Patterson. From Washington D.C. to the hallowed halls of Oxford University and dusty African streets, a sinister power is stirring which will use Mangan and Patterson as its pawns – if they survive.”
You can read a Q&A with Adam Brookes here.
The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace, published by Doubleday
“Martha is lost.
She’s been lost since she was a baby, abandoned in a suitcase on the train from Paris. Ever since, she’s waited in station lost property for someone to claim her. It’s been sixteen years, but she’s still hopeful.
In the meantime, there are mysteries to solve: secret tunnels under the station, a suitcase that may have belonged to the Beatles, the roman soldier who appears at the same time every day with his packed lunch. Not to mention the stuffed monkey that someone keeps misplacing.
But there is one mystery Martha cannot solve. And now the authorities have found out about the girl in lost property. Time is running out – if Martha can’t discover who she really is, she will lose everything…”
You can read my review here.
Falling in Love by Donna Leon, published by Arrow (paperback)
“In Death at La Fenice, Donna Leon’s first novel in the Commissario Brunetti series, readers were introduced to the glamorous and cut-throat world of opera and to one of Italy’s finest living sopranos, Flavia Petrelli – then a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor. Now, many years after Brunetti cleared her name, Flavia has returned to the illustrious La Fenice to sing the lead in Tosca.
As an opera superstar, Flavia is well acquainted with attention from adoring fans and aspiring singers. But when one anonymous admirer inundates her with bouquets of yellow roses – on stage, in her dressing room and even inside her locked apartment – it becomes clear that this fan has become a potentially dangerous stalker. Distraught, Flavia turns to an old friend for help. Familiar with Flavia’s melodramatic temperament, Commissario Brunetti is at first unperturbed by her story, but when another young opera singer is attacked he begins to think Flavia’s fears may be justified. In order to keep his friend out of danger, Brunetti must enter the psyche of an obsessive fan and find the culprit before anyone comes to harm.”
Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben, published by Century
“If your husband was murdered
And you were a witness
How do you explain it when he appears on your nanny cam?
You thought you trusted him.
Now you can’t even trust yourself.
Dark secrets and a terrifying hunt for the truth lie at the heart of this gripping new thriller by the ‘master of the double twist’, Harlan Coben.”
You can read my review here.
The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons, published by Sceptre (paperback edition)
“By the author of Mr Rosenblum’s List, this is a captivating tale of passion and music, ancient songs and nostalgia, of the ties that bind and the ones we are prepared to sever.
Fox, as the celebrated composer Harry Fox-Talbot is known, wants to be left in peace. His beloved wife has died, he’s unable to write a note of music, and no, he does not want to take up some blasted hobby.
Then one day he discovers that his troublesome four-year-old grandson is a piano prodigy. The music returns and Fox is compelled to re-engage with life – and, ultimately, to confront an old family rift.
Decades earlier, Fox and his brothers return to Hartgrove Hall after the war, determined to save their once grand home from ruin. But on the last night of 1946, the arrival of beautiful wartime singer Edie Rose tangles the threads of love and duty, which leads to a shattering betrayal.
With poignancy, lyricism and humour, Natasha Solomons tells a captivating tale of passion and music, of roots, ancient songs and nostalgia for the old ways, of the ties that bind us to family and home and the ones we are prepared to sever. Here is the story of a man who discovers joy and creative renewal in the aftermath of grief and learns that it is never too late to seek forgiveness.”
The Way We Were by Sinead Moriarty, published by Penguin
“When Alice’s husband Ben disappears suddenly, her world falls apart. They shared twenty years and two daughters and life without him is unimaginable.
Having lost her parents while young, Alice understands her girls’ pain. At fifteen, Jools is at that awkward age and only Ben could get through to her. And eleven-year-old Holly looks for the answer to everything in books but this time she’s drawing a blank. Alice realizes that for their sakes she must summon up superhuman reserves of strength.
Somehow all three of them come through the dark days. In time, it’s even possible for Alice to consider marrying again, with the girls’ blessing. So when Ben turns up after three years, her world is again turned upside-down. The girls assume that their family can go back to the way they were. Alice is not so sure.
Once more Alice has to find the strength to be the mother her daughters need her to be. But this time what that means is far from clear…”
You can read a Q&A with Sinead Moriarty here.
That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson, published by Arrow
“From the bestselling author of The Ice Cream Girls, The Woman He Loved Before and My Best Friend’s Girl, an emotional story about love, identity and the meaning of family.
‘Where are you coming from with that accent of yours?’ he asks.
‘Nowhere,’ I reply. ‘I’m from nowhere.’
‘Everyone’s from somewhere,’ he says.
‘Not me,’ I reply silently.
Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies. Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she’ll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents.
As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth family could be too high to pay…”
Beneath the Lake by Christopher Ransom, published by Sphere
“A family lake-side vacation becomes a summer to fear in the latest chiller from the master of domestic horror, Christopher Ransom.
Thirty Years Ago
On a camping trip by a remote lake, the Mercer family enjoyed the vacation of a lifetime – until a violent tragedy forced them to make a decision that would haunt them for ever.
When the younger Mercers learn their father is dying, the family reunites at the lake, seeking a second chance to put their lives back together. But something is waiting . . .
Four Days of Hell
Also arriving at the lake are estranged son Raymond Mercer and an alluring stranger, Megan, both ignorant of the family’s secrets. Within hours, they are all trapped in a relentless nightmare and fighting for their lives.
Some places are better left. Some secrets are better forgotten. Some people are better dead.”
In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings, published by Orenda Books
“A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life. Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family – and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to home.”
You can read my review here.
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood, published by Headline
“A one-in-a-million story for anyone who loves to laugh, cry, and think about how extraordinary ordinary life can be. Not to be missed by readers who loved THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, ELIZABETH IS MISSING or THE SHOCK OF THE FALL.
Miss Ona Vitkus has – aside from three months in the summer of 1914 – lived unobtrusively, her secrets fiercely protected.
The boy, with his passion for world records, changes all that. He is eleven. She is one hundred and four years, one hundred and thirty three days old (they are counting). And he makes her feel like she might be really special after all. Better late than never…
Only it’s been two weeks now since he last visited, and she’s starting to think he’s not so different from all the rest.
Then the boy’s father comes, for some reason determined to finish his son’s good deed. And Ona must show this new stranger that not only are there odd jobs to be done, but a life’s ambition to complete . . .”
You can read my review here.
Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary, published by Headline
“You’ll never be out of Harm’s way
The young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene.
A runaway who doesn’t want to be found, she only wants to go home.
To the one man who understands her.
Gives her shelter.
Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house.
He’s the head of her new family.
D.I. Marnie Rome has faced many dangerous criminals but she has never come up against a man like Harm. She thinks that she knows families, their secrets and their fault lines. But as she begins investigating the girl’s disappearance nothing can prepare her for what she’s about to face.
Because when Harm’s family is threatened, everything tastes like fear…”
Fever at Dawn by Peter Gardos – published by Doubleday
“In an over-crowded hospital ward in the summer of July 1945, Miklos is propped up against a pillow. He is writing a letter of hope. It doesn’t matter that Miklos is bruised and battered, that his skin shares the same colour as a greying pile of ash, or that the doctor told him “You have six months to live”. Because, now, for the first time since the war, he feels truly alive.
Miklos is thinking of things far more important than his health.
He is thinking that he would like to find a wife…”
You can read my review here.
The Butcher Bird by S.D. Sykes, published by Hodder and Stoughton (paperback edition)
“A gripping medieval historical crime thriller, from a brilliant new voice.
Oswald de Lacy is growing up fast in his new position as Lord of Somershill Manor. The Black Death changed many things, and just as it took away his father and elder brothers, leaving Oswald to be recalled from the monastery where he expected to spend his life, so it has taken many of his villagers and servants. However, there is still the same amount of work to be done in the farms and fields, and the few people left to do it think they should be paid more – something the King himself has forbidden.
Just as anger begins to spread, the story of the Butcher Bird takes flight. People claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush. And then more children disappear.
Convinced the bird is just a superstitious rumour, Oswald must discover what is really happening. He can expect no help from his snobbish mother and his scheming sister Clemence, who is determined to protect her own child, but happy to neglect her step-daughters.
From the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the thief-infested streets of London and the luxurious bedchamber of a bewitching lady, Oswald’s journey is full of danger, dark intrigue and shocking revelations.”
You can read a Q&A with S.D. Sykes here.
The Dark Inside by Rod Reynolds, published by Faber and Faber (paperback edition)
“1946, Texarkana: a town on the border of Texas and Arkansas. Disgraced New York reporter Charlie Yates has been sent to cover the story of a spate of brutal murders – young couples who’ve been slaughtered at a local date spot. Charlie finds himself drawn into the case by the beautiful and fiery Lizzie, sister to one of the victims, Alice – the only person to have survived the attacks and seen the killer up close.
But Charlie has his own demons to fight, and as he starts to dig into the murders he discovers that the people of Texarkana have secrets that they want kept hidden at all costs. Before long, Charlie discovers that powerful forces might be protecting the killer, and as he investigates further his pursuit of the truth could cost him more than his job…
Loosely based on true events, The Dark Inside is a compelling and pacy thriller that heralds a new voice in the genre. It will appeal to fans of RJ Ellory, Tom Franklin, Daniel Woodrell and True Detective.”
You can read my review here.
The Waters of Eternal Youth by Donna Leon, published by William Heinemann
“In The Waters of Eternal Youth, the twenty-fifth instalment in the bestselling Brunetti series, our Commissario finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a crime at all.
Brunetti is investigating a cold case by request of the grand Contessa Lando-Continui, a friend of Brunetti’s mother-in-law. Fifteen years ago the Contessa’s teenage granddaughter, Manuela, was found drowning in a canal. She was rescued from the canal at the last moment, but in many ways it was too late; she suffered severe brain damage and her life was never the same again. Once a passionate horse rider, Manuela, now aged thirty, cannot remember the accident, or her beloved horse, and lives trapped in an eternal youth.
The Contessa, unconvinced that this was an accident, implores Brunetti to find the culprit she believes was responsible for ruining Manuela’s life. Out of a mixture of curiosity, pity and a willingness to fulfil the wishes of a loving grandmother, Brunetti reopens the case. But once he starts to investigate, Brunetti finds a murky past and a dark story at its heart.
The Waters of Eternal Youth is awash in the rhythms and concerns of contemporary Venetian life, from historical preservation, to housing, to new waves of African migrants, all circling the haunting story of a woman trapped in a perpetual childhood.”
Shtum by Jem Lester, published by Orion
“A must-read for fans of David Nicholls, THE SHOCK OF THE FALL and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME.
Ben Jewell has hit breaking point.
His ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken. So when Ben and Jonah are forced to move in with Ben’s elderly father, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together.
As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths.
Jonah, blissful in his ignorance, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.
Funny and heart-breaking in equal measure, Shtum is a story about families, forgiveness and finding a light in the darkest days.”
The Missing by Cally Taylor, published by Avon
“You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them. Or do you…?
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night his mother, Claire Wilkinson, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinsons are so used to keeping secrets from one other that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.
Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.
A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?
Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…” (Image and synopsis taken from author’s site)
Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane, published by Harper Collins
“An achingly funny story from the author of the bestselling YOU HAD ME AT HELLO
When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, Edie’s forced to take an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?
Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn’t heard the word ‘no’ in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgy, layabout sister.
When the world is asking who you are, it’s hard not to question yourself. Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.”
Relativity by Antonia Hayes, published by Corsair
“”Help,” he said. “He’s not breathing.”
A tiny baby is rushed to hospital. Doctors suspect he was shaken by his father, who is later charged and convicted. The baby grows up in the care of his mother. Life goes on.
Twelve years later, Ethan is a singular young boy. Gifted with an innate affinity for physics and astronomy, Ethan sees the world in ways others simply can’t – through a prism of light, time, stars and space.
Ethan is the centre of his mother’s universe. Claire has tried to protect him from finding out what happened when he was a baby. But the older Ethan gets, the more questions he asks about his absent father.
A single handwritten letter is all it takes to set off a dramatic chain of events, pulling both parents back together again into Ethan’s orbit. As the years seem to warp and bend, the past is both relived and revealed anew for each of them.
Relativity is an irresistible story about love, unbreakable bonds and irreversible acts.”
The Daughter’s Secret by Eva Holland, published by Orion (paperback)
“A pupil. A teacher. A mother’s worst nightmare
My daughter is a liar. A liar, liar, liar. And I’m starting to see where she gets it from.
When Rosalind’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Stephanie, ran away with her teacher, this ordinary family became something it had never asked to be. Their lives held up to scrutiny in the centre of a major police investigation, the Simms were headline news while Stephanie was missing with a man who was risking everything.
Now, six years on, Ros takes a call that will change their lives all over again. He’s going to be released from prison. Years too early. In eleven days’ time.
As Temperley’s release creeps ever closer, Ros is forced to confront the events that led them here, back to a place she thought she’d left behind, to questions she didn’t want to answer. Why did she do it? Where does the blame lie? What happens next?”
The Crow Girl by Erik Axel Sund, published by Harvill Secker
It starts with just one body – tortured, mummified and then discarded.
Its discovery reveals a nightmare world of hidden lives. Of lost identities, secret rituals and brutal exploitation, where nobody can be trusted.
This is the darkest, most complex case the police have ever seen.
This is the world of the Crow Girl.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, published by Fleet
“A frank, illuminating and incandescent memoir by a trailblazing scientist; a moving portrait of a longtime collaboration in work and life; and a book that casts a whole new light on the natural world.
Lab Girl is a book about work and about love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about the discoveries she has made in her lab, as well as her struggle to get there; about her childhood playing in her father’s laboratory; about how lab work became a sanctuary for both her heart and her hands; about Bill, the brilliant, wounded man who became her loyal colleague and best friend; about their field trips – sometimes authorised, sometimes very much not – that took them from the Midwest across the USA, to Norway and to Ireland, from the pale skies of North Pole to tropical Hawaii; and about her constant striving to do and be her best, and her unswerving dedication to her life’s work.
Visceral, intimate, gloriously candid and sometimes extremely funny, Jahren’s descriptions of her work, her intense relationship with the plants, seeds and soil she studies, and her insights on nature enliven every page of this thrilling book. In Lab Girl, we see anew the complicated power of the natural world, and the power that can come from facing with bravery and conviction the challenge of discovering who you are.”
You can read my review here.
The Missing Hours by Emma Kavanagh, published by Century
“A woman disappears
One moment, Selena Cole is in the playground with her children and the next, she has vanished without a trace.
A woman returns
Twenty hours later, Selena is found safe and well, but with no memory of where she has been.
What took place in those missing hours, and are they linked to the discovery of a nearby murder?
‘Is it a forgetting or a deception?’ “
You can read my review here.
When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen, published by Black Swan
“YOU SEE THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH EVERY DAY.
BUT WHAT CAN’T YOU SEE?
Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years – they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in ….
Now, there’s something chilling in the air.
Who secretly hates everyone?
Who is tortured by their past?
Who is capable of murder?”
You can read my review here.
The Last of Us by Rob Ewing, published by The Borough Press
“The island is quiet now.
On a remote Scottish island, five children are the only ones left. Since the Last Adult died, sensible Elizabeth has been the group leader, testing for a radio signal, playing teacher and keeping an eye on Alex, the littlest, whose insulin can only last so long.
There is ‘shopping’ to do in the houses they haven’t yet searched and wrong smells to avoid. For eight-year-old Rona each day brings fresh hope that someone will come back for them, tempered by the reality of their dwindling supplies.
With no adults to rebel against, squabbles threaten the fragile family they have formed. And when brothers Calum Ian and Duncan attempt to thwart Elizabeth’s leadership, it prompts a chain of events that will endanger Alex’s life and test them all in unimaginable ways.
Reminiscent of The Lord of the Flies and The Cement Garden, The Last of Us is a powerful and heartbreaking novel of aftershock, courage and survival.”
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield, published by The Borough Press
“From the bestselling author of Prep, American Wife and Sisterland comes this brilliant retelling of Austen’s classic set in modern day Cincinnati.
The Bennet sisters have been summoned from New York City.
Liz and Jane are good daughters. They’ve come home to suburban Cincinnati to get their mother to stop feeding their father steak as he recovers from heart surgery, to tidy up the crumbling Tudor-style family home, and to wrench their three sisters from their various states of arrested development.
Once they are under the same roof, old patterns return fast. Soon enough they are being berated for their single status, their only respite the early morning runs they escape on together. For two successful women in their late thirties, it really is too much to bear. That is, until the Lucas family’s BBQ throws them in the way of some eligible single men . . .
Chip Bingley is not only a charming doctor, he’s a reality TV star too. But Chip’s friend, haughty neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, can barely stomach Cincinnati or its inhabitants. Jane is entranced by Chip; Liz, sceptical of Darcy. As Liz is consumed by her father’s mounting medical bills, her wayward sisters and Cousin Willie trying to stick his tongue down her throat, it isn’t only the local chilli that will leave a bad aftertaste.
But where there are hearts that beat and mothers that push, the mysterious course of love will resolve itself in the most entertaining and unlikely of ways. And from the hand of Curtis Sittenfeld, Pride & Prejudice is catapulted into our modern world singing out with hilarity and truth.”
Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson, published by 4th Estate
“A madcap new novel from the one-of-a-kind author of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START AGAIN. AND AGAIN.
It’s always awkward when five thousand kronor goes missing. When it happens at a certain grotty hotel in south Stockholm, it’s particularly awkward because the money belongs to the hitman currently staying in room seven. Per Persson, the hotel receptionist, just wants to mind his own business, and preferably not get murdered. Johanna Kjellander, temporarily resident in room eight, is a priest without a vocation, and, as of last week, without a parish. But right now she has two things at her disposal: an envelope containing five thousand kronor, and an excellent idea . . .
Featuring one violent killer, two shrewd business brains and many crates of Moldovan red wine, Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All is an outrageously zany story with as many laughs as Jonasson’s multimillion-copy bestseller The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.” (picture and synopsis from Amazon)
183 Times A Year by Eva Jordan, published by Urbane Publications
“Mothers and daughters alike will never look at each other in quite the same way after reading this book—a brilliantly funny observation of contemporary family life.
Lizzie—exasperated Mother of Cassie, Connor and Stepdaughter Maisy—is the frustrated voice of reason to her daughters’ teenage angst. She gets by with good friends, cheap wine and talking to herself—out loud.
16-year-old Cassie—the Facebook-Tweeting, Selfie-Taking, Music and Mobile Phone obsessed teen—hates everything about her life. She longs for the perfect world of Chelsea Divine and her ‘undivorced’ parents—and Joe, of course.
However, the discovery of a terrible betrayal and a brutal attack throws the whole household into disarray. Lizzie and Cassie are forced to reassess the important things in life as they embark upon separate journeys of self-discovery—accepting some less than flattering home truths along the way.
Although tragic at times this is a delightfully funny exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and ultimately friendship. A poignant, heartfelt look at that complex and diverse relationship between a Mother and daughter set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families.”
Last Light by CJ Lyons, published by Canelo (ebook only)
“The first in a new series featuring Lucy Guardino. After a violent predator targets her family and she’s injured, Lucy sacrifices her career with the FBI in order to keep her family safe. She begins her new job with the Beacon Group, a private consulting firm that specializes in cold cases and bringing justice to forgotten victims. What is she now that she’s no longer a FBI Special Agent? She’s sent to rural Texas to investigate a case that’s more than cold, it’s already been closed with the killers behind bars for the past twenty-nine years. But who really killed Lily Martin, her infant daughter, and husband? And what price will Lucy pay when she fights to expose a truth people will kill to keep buried?”
The Lives of Elves by Murial Barbery, published by Gallic Press
“Almost nine years after Muriel Barbery’s breakthrough novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog, comes The Life of Elves. A thrilling departure from her previous books, The Life of Elves opens with the fable-like stories of two girls: Maria, who lives on a farm in rural Burgundy, and Clara, a gifted pianist who moves from her village in Abruzzo to Rome in order to nurture her talent. The story of the girls’ special connection and of the mysterious threats that face them, whilst touching on the realms of fantasy and pastoral literature, also picks up on themes from Barbery’s previous work: the beauty in everyday things, the transformative influence of art and literature and the power of love.”
When I was Invisible by Dorothy Koomson, published by Century
“The swimming pool: a perfect stage.
In the heady swelter of a London summer, the Elm Hill lido opens.
For teacher Natalie Steele, the school holiday typically means weeks of carefully planned activities with her husband Ed and their daughter Molly. But not this year.
Despite Molly’s extreme phobia of the water, Natalie is drawn to the lido and its dazzling social scene, led by the glamorous Lara Channing. Soon Natalie is spending long, intoxicating days with Lara at the pool – and intimate evenings at her home. Natalie’s real life begins to feel very far away.
But is the new friendship everything it seems? Why is Natalie haunted by memories from another summer years ago? And, without realising, has she been swept dangerously out of her depth?”
The Woolworth Girls by Elaine Everest, published by Pan Macmillan
“1939. On her first day at Woolworths, Sarah Caselton meets glamorous Maisie and shy Freda. The trio couldn’t be more different but they soon form a tight-knit friendship, sharing their hopes and dreams for the future. Sarah falls into the warmth and rhythm of her new job, enjoying the social events hosted by Woolies and her blossoming romance with the young assistant manager, Alan. But history waits for no one, and with the threat of war clouding the horizon, the young men and women of Woolworths soon realize they may not have the luxury of a carefree youth or the time to fall in love…”
Little Sister by David Hewson, published by Pan Macmillan
“Kim and Mia Timmers were 10 years old when they were accused of murdering the lead singer of the world famous band, The Cupids, who they mistakenly believed killed the rest of their family. The evidence seemed irrefutable at the time, and the sisters, who had been in a Marken institution for ten years, are now due for release. Pieter Vos, DI in the Amsterdam police re-opens the case when the girls disappear along with a nurse who was supposed to escort them to a half-way house in Amsterdam. As the police investigation continues, it soon becomes evident that there is more than meets the eye at Marken…”
The Bad Miss Bennett by Jean Burnett, published by Canelo (ebook only)
“A rollicking Regency romp perfect for fans of Pride and Prejudice
After George Wickham’s untimely demise on the battlefield at Waterloo, merry widow Lydia Wickham, née Bennet, is on the lookout for a rich husband. Having failed to find one in Europe, she embarks on a voyage to Brazil accompanied by her trusty maid, Adelaide, to join the exiled Portuguese Court in Rio de Janeiro, where she soon catches the eye of the heir, Dom Pedro. In a most adventurous year, she acquires a parrot with ‘filthy verbiage’, is captured by pirates, makes a second disastrous marriage, and eventually returns to Pemberley to ruin the Darcys’ tranquil existence afresh. Will Lydia ever succeed in her quest for ‘an agreeable husband with an estate and two matching footmen’, or will her taste for adventure lead her astray yet again?”
The Murder Road by Stephen Booth, published by Sphere
“Ben Cooper and his team from Derbyshire Constabulary’s E Division return in this gripping new page-turner from the master of the genre. For the Peak District hamlet of Shawhead, there’s only one road in and one road out. Its handful of residents are accustomed to being cut off from the world by snow or floods. But when a lorry delivering animal feed is found jammed in the narrow lane, with no sign of the driver except for a blood-stained cab, it’s the beginning of something much more sinister…”
Deadly Harvest by Michael Stanley, published by Orenda Books
“A young girl goes missing after getting into a car with a mysterious man. Soon after, a second girl disappears, and her devastated father, Witness, sets out to seek revenge. As the trail goes cold, Samantha Khama – new recruit to the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department – suspects the girl was killed for muti, the traditional African medicine usually derived from plants, sometimes animals, and, recently and most chillingly, human parts. When the investigation gets personal, Samantha enlists opera-loving wine connoisseur Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu to help her dig into the past. As they begin to discover a pattern to the disappearances, there is another victim, and Kubu and Samantha are thrust into a harrowing race to stop a serial killer who has only one thing in mind …”
You can read my review here.
This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell, published by Tinder Press
“Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex-film star given to shooting at anyone who ventures up their driveway.
He is also about to find out something about a woman he lost touch with twenty years ago, and this discovery will send him off-course, far away from wife and home. Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back?
Maggie O’Farrell’s seventh novel is a dazzling, intimate epic about who we leave behind and who we become as we search for our place in the world.”
The Queen’s Choice by Anne O’Brien, published by Mira
“The latest title by Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling historical novelist Anne O’Brien, The Queen’s Choice tells the story of Joanna of Navarre, the second wife of King Henry IV. When Joanna of Navarre first meets Henry Bolingbroke, their attraction is immediate and mutual, despite Joanna’s marriage to John, Duke of Brittany. Several years later, Henry has been crowned King of England and the recently widowed Joanna is surprised to receive a proposal of marriage from him. To accept means losing her sons, and abandoning her Regency of Brittany…”
My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry, published by Penguin (ebook)
“‘A dark and gripping thriller that vibrates with tension…a must-read for thriller lovers’ Kate Furnivall
‘A rollercoaster of suspense and intrigue…’ Rosanna Ley
There’s a fine line between love…and murder.
When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind.
But then she meets Joe. A convicted murderer who Lily is strangely drawn to. Who she will soon be willing to risk anything for.
But is he really innocent?
And who is she to judge?
Perfect for readers of Liane Moriarty and Clare Mackintosh, lose yourself in the twist-filled story that everyone’s talking about.”
Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton, published by Bantam Press
“Famous killers have fan clubs.
Hamish Wolfe is no different. Locked up for the rest of his life for the abduction and murder of three young women, he gets countless adoring letters every day. He’s handsome, charismatic and very persuasive. His admirers are convinced he’s innocent, and that he’s the man of their dreams.
Who would join such a club?
Maggie Rose is different. Reclusive and enigmatic; a successful lawyer and bestselling true-crime writer, she only takes on cases that she can win.
Hamish wants her as his lawyer, he wants her to change his fate. She thinks she’s immune to the charms of a man like this. But maybe not this time . . .
My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal, published by Viking
“A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you’d least expect to find one.
Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not.
As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile – like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum.
Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how – just when we least expect it – we manage to find our way home.”
Solomon Creed by Simon Toyne, published by Harper Collins (paperback)
“HOW CAN HE SAVE A MAN WHO’S ALREADY DEAD?
‘A fast-moving thriller that makes for an exhilarating read. Perfect for any fans of Lee Child’ SUN
‘Compelling, vivid and profound’ PETER JAMES
‘Who is Solomon Creed? He’s the hero of an epic new series of thrillers. Simple as that’ MARK BILLINGHAM
A PLANE CRASHES IN THE ARIZONA DESERT.
When Solomon Creed emerges from the wreckage he remembers just one thing: that he must save a man in danger.
A DEATH THAT CAN’T BE EXPLAINED.
In the nearby town of Redemption, Holly Coronado buries her young husband. A terrible accident, or something more sinister?
ONLY ONE MAN CAN EXPOSE THE TRUTH.
When Solomon finds Holly, his search becomes a quest for the truth – and a race to expose a terrifying secret, hidden for generations, that could silence a town forever.”
Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew by Susan Fletcher, published by Virago
“Provence, May 1889. The hospital of Saint-Paul-de Mausole is home to the mentally ill. An old monastery, it sits at the foot of Les Alpilles mountains amongst wheat fields, herbs and olive groves. For years, the fragile have come here and lived quietly, found rest behind the shutters and high, sun-baked walls.
Tales of the new arrival – his savagery, his paintings, his copper-red hair – are quick to find the warden’s wife. From her small white cottage, Jeanne Trabuc watches him – how he sets his easel amongst the trees, the irises and the fields of wheat, and paints in the heat of the day.
Jeanne knows the rules; she knows not to approach the patients at Saint-Paul. But this man – paint-smelling, dirty, troubled and intense – is, she thinks, worth talking to. So ignoring her husband’s wishes, the dangers and despite the word mad, Jeanne climbs over the hospital wall. She will find that the painter will change all their lives.
Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew is a beautiful novel about the repercussions of longing, of loneliness and of passion for life. But it’s also about love – and how it alters over time.”
“The Museum of You by Carys Bray, published by Hutchinson
Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.
Darren has done his best. He’s studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want – everything he can think of, at least – to be happy.
What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother’s belongings. Volume isn’t important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be.
But what you find depends on what you’re searching for.”
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman, published by Sceptre
“For as long as anyone can remember, Britt-Marie has been an acquired taste. It’s not that she’s judgemental, or fussy, or difficult – she just expects things to be done in a certain way. A cutlery drawer should be arranged in the right order, for example (forks, knives, then spoons). We’re not animals, are we?
But behind the passive-aggressive, socially awkward, absurdly pedantic busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams and a warmer heart than anyone around her realizes.
So when Britt-Marie finds herself unemployed, separated from her husband of 20 years, left to fend for herself in the miserable provincial backwater that is Borg – of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it – and somehow tasked with running the local football team, she is a little unprepared. But she will learn that life may have more to offer her that she’s ever realised, and love might be found in the most unexpected of places.
The number 1 European bestseller by the author of A Man Called Ove, Britt-Marie was Here is a funny, poignant and uplifting tale of love, community, and second chances.”
The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola, published by Tinder Press
“For any fan of THE SUSPICIONS OF MR WHICHER or GILLESPIE AND I, this a startling historical crime debut based on a true Victorian murder
It is 1837 and the city streets teem with life, atmosphere and the stench of London. Sarah Gale, a seamstress and mother, has been sentenced to hang for her role in the murder of Hannah Brown on the eve of her wedding.
Edmund Fleetwood, an idealistic lawyer, is appointed to investigate Sarah’s petition for mercy and consider whether justice has been done. Struggling with his own demons, he is determined to seek out the truth, yet Sarah refuses to help him. Edmund knows she’s hiding something, but needs to discover just why she’s maintaining her silence. For how can it be that someone with a child would go willingly to their own death?
THE UNSEEING is a vividly written novel of human frailty, fear and manipulation, and of the terrible consequences of jealousy and misunderstanding.”
A Life Without You by Katie Marsh, published by Hodder and Stoughton
“Can you ever outrun the past?
It’s Zoe’s wedding day. She’s about to marry Jamie, the love of her life. Then a phone call comes out of the blue, with the news that her mum Gina has been arrested. Zoe must make an impossible decision: should she leave her own wedding to help?
Zoe hasn’t seen Gina for years, blaming her for the secret that she’s been running from ever since she was sixteen. Now, Gina is back in her life, but she’s very different to the mum Zoe remembers. Slowly but surely, Gina is losing her memory.
As she struggles to cope with Gina’s illness, can Zoe face up to the terrible events of years ago and find her way back to the people she loves?
A Life Without You is a stirring and poignant novel about the power of the past – and the possibilities of the future.”
Black Night Falling by Rod Reynolds, published by Faber and Faber
Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst, published by Headline (ebook)