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Emma's Anticipated Treasures Most Anticipated 2023

Emma’s Anticipated Treasures 2023 – Captivating Contemporary

Welcome to my final list of most anticipated 2023 books. I love reading contemporary and literary fiction, so couldn’t leave out those genres. Especially when some of the books in this list are ones I’m most anticipating this year.

So, here are the twenty Contemporary Fiction books released this year that I’m most anticipating:

We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman

SYNOPSIS:
Who knows you better than your best friend? Who knows your secrets, your fears, your desires, your strange imperfect self? Edi and Ash have been best friends for over forty years. Since childhood they have seen each other through life’s milestones: stealing vodka from their parents, the Madonna phase, REM concerts, unexpected wakes, marriages, infertility, children. As Ash notes, ‘Edi’s memory is like the back-up hard drive for mine.’

So when Edi is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Ash’s world reshapes around the rhythms of Edi’s care, from chipped ice and watermelon cubes to music therapy; from snack smuggling to impromptu excursions into the frozen winter night. Because life is about squeezing the joy out of every moment, about building a powerhouse of memories, about learning when to hold on, and when to let go.

For fans of Nora Ephron and Sorrow & BlissWe All Want Impossible Things is a deeply moving, jubilant celebration of life and friendship at its imperfect, radiant, and irreverent best.

Published January 12th by Doubleday
Pre-order here*

Are You Happy Now by Hanna Jameson

SYNOPSIS:
At a New York City wedding, on a sweltering summer night, four people are trying to be happy.

Yun has everything he ever wanted, but somehow it’s never enough.
Emory is finally making her mark, but feels the shame more than the success.
Andrew is trying to be honest, but has lied to himself his whole life.
Fin can’t resist falling in love, but can’t help wrecking it all either.

And then the world begins to end. The four of them watch as one of the wedding guests sits down and refuses to get back up. Soon it’s happening across the world. Is it a choice or an illness?

Because how can anyone be happy in a world where the only choice is to feel everything – or nothing at all?

An intensely compulsive novel for anyone who has ever felt hopeful and helpless in one breath, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW is about how you keep living when the world is on fire. Perfect for fans of Emily John St. Mandel’s Station Eleven, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Patricia Lockwood’s Nobody is Talking About This and Naomi Alderman’s The Power.

Published February 2nd by Viking
Pre-order here*

Cursed Bread by Sophie Mackintosh

SYNOPSIS:
From the Booker Prize-nominated author of The Water Cure comes a chilling new feminist fable based on the true story of an unsolved mystery…

Good Housekeeping recommended read for 2023

‘Sensual, luminous, transcendent. It confirms Mackintosh as one of our finest young writers’ The Bookseller


‘A thrilling and subversive fable’ i-D

If you eat the bread, you’ll die, he said. The statement made no sense, but it filled me with an electric dread.


Elodie is the baker’s wife. A plain, unremarkable woman, ignored by her husband and underestimated by her neighbours, she burns with the secret desire to be extraordinary. One day a charismatic new couple appear in town – the ambassador and his sharp-toothed wife, Violet – and Elodie quickly falls under their spell. All summer long she stalks them through the shining streets: inviting herself into their home, eavesdropping on their coded conversations, longing to be part of their world.

Meanwhile, beneath the tranquil surface of daily life, strange things are happening. Six horses are found dead in a sun-drenched field, laid out neatly on the ground like an offering. Widows see their lost husbands walking up the moonlit river, coming back to claim them. A teenage boy throws himself into the bonfire at the midsummer feast. A dark intoxication is spreading through the town, and when Elodie finally understands her role in it, it will be too late to stop.

Audacious and mesmerising, Cursed Bread is a fevered confession, an entry into memory’s hall of mirrors, a fable of obsession and transformation. Sophie Mackintosh spins a darkly gleaming tale of a town gripped by hysteria, envy like poison in the blood, and desire that burns and consumes.

Published March 2nd by Hamish Hamilton
Pre-order here*

If I Let You Go by Charlotte Levin

SYNOPSIS:
If I Let You Go by Charlotte Levin is a deeply moving and gripping portrayal of a woman coming to terms with loss.

Every morning Janet Brown goes to work cleaning offices. It calms her, cleanliness, neatness. All the things she’s unable to do with her soul can be achieved with a damp cloth and a splash of bleach. However, the guilt she still carries about a devastating loss that happened eleven years ago, cannot be erased.

Then, Janet finds herself involved in a train crash and, recognising the chance to do what she couldn’t all those years ago, she makes a decision. As news spreads of Janet’s actions, her story inspires everyone around her, and for the first time her life has purpose and the future is filled with hope.

But Janet’s story isn’t quite what it seems, and as events spiral out of control, she soon discovers that coming clean isn’t an option. Because if Janet washes away the lies, what long-buried truths will she finally have to face.

Published March 2nd by Pan Macmillan
Pre-order here*

Old Babes in the Wood by Margaret Atwood

SYNOPSIS:
A dazzling collection of fifteen stories from Margaret Atwood, the internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments

Margaret Atwood is celebrated as one of the most gifted storytellers in the world.

These stories explore the full warp and weft of experience, from two best friends disagreeing about their shared past, to the right way to stop someone from choking; from a daughter determining if her mother really is a witch, to what to do with inherited relics such as World War II parade swords.

They feature beloved cats, a confused snail, Martha Gellhorn, George Orwell, philosopher-astronomer-mathematician Hypatia of Alexandria, a cabal of elderly female academics, and an alien tasked with retelling human fairy tales.

At the heart of the collection is a stunning sequence that follows a married couple as they travel the road together, the moments big and small that make up a long life of love — and what comes after.

The glorious range of Atwood’s creativity and humanity is on full beam in these tales, which by turns delight, illuminate and quietly devastate.

Published March 7th by Chatto & Windus
Pre-order here*

Furies by Various

SYNOPSIS:
A FUN AND FEARLESS ANTHOLOGY OF FEMINIST TALES, to celebrate Virago’s 50th birthday, featuring NEW AND ORIGINAL STORIES by Margaret AtwoodSusie BoytEleanor CrewesEmma DonoghueStella DuffyLinda GrantClaire KohdaCN LesterKirsty LoganCaroline O’DonoghueChibundu OnuzoHelen OyeymiRachel SeiffertKamila Shamsie and Ali Smith – introduced by Sandi Toksvig.

DRAGON. TYGRESS. SHE-DEVIL. HUSSY. SIREN. WENCH. HARRIDAN. MUCKRAKER. SPITFIRE. VITUPERATOR. CHURAIL. TERMAGANT. FURY. WARRIOR. VIRAGO. For centuries past, and all across the world, there are words that have defined and decried us. Words that raise our hackles, fire up our blood; words that tell a story.

In this blazing cauldron of a book, fifteen bestselling, award-winning writers have taken up their pens and reclaimed these words, creating an entertaining and irresistible collection of feminist tales for our time.

Published March 16th by Virago
Pre-order here*

Beautiful Shining People by Michael Grothaus

SYNOPSIS:
A damaged young man meets an enigmatic waitress in a Tokyo café, and they embark on a journey that will change everything … an emotive speculative literary novel set in a near-future Japan
 
It’s our world, but decades into the future … an ordinary world, where cars drive themselves, drones glide across the sky, and robots work in burger shops. There are two superpowers and a digital Cold War, but all conflicts are safely oceans away. People get up, work, and have dinner. Everything is as it should be…
 
Except for seventeen-year-old John, a tech prodigy from a damaged family, who hides a deeply personal secret. But everything starts to change for him when he enters a tiny café on a cold Tokyo night. A café run by a disgraced sumo wrestler, where a peculiar dog with a spherical head lives, alongside its owner, enigmatic waitress Neotnia…
 
But Neotnia hides a secret of her own – a secret that will turn John’s unhappy life upside down. A secret that will take them from the neon streets of Tokyo to Hiroshima’s tragic past to the snowy mountains of Nagano. 
 
A secret that reveals that this world is anything ordinary – and it’s about to change forever…

Published March 16th by Orenda Books Pre-order here

In a Thousand Different Ways by Cecelia Ahern

SYNOPSIS:
Finding your way is never a simple journey…

‘Beautiful, moving, and unexpected, In a Thousand Different Ways is an unforgettable story. This is Cecelia Ahern at her very best’ Louise O’Neill

‘Cecelia Ahern is a master storyteller at the absolute peak of her powers. Her heroine, Alice Kelly, is completely unique – beguiling, complicated, extraordinary – and she’ll change the way you see the world. Just you wait’ CLARE POOLEY

Alice sees the worst in people.

She also sees the best.
She sees a thousand different emotions and knows exactly what everyone around her is feeling.
Every. Single. Day.

But it’s the dark thoughts.
The sadness. The rage.
These are the things she can’t get out of her head. The things that overwhelm her.

Where will the journey to find herself begin?

Published April 13th by Harper Collins
Pre-order here*

Oh, Sister by Jodie Chapman

SYNOPSIS:
Three women. Three lives. One chance to find themselves…

JEN

My body is not my own. Others make life and death decisions on my behalf.

ISOBEL

My place is to be secondary to the man in my life.

ZELDA

If I break the rules I will be sorry.

But this is not a dystopia. This is not the future or the past or a fantasy. It is real and it is happening now. Can we break free?

Published April 13th by Michael Joseph
Pre-order here*

The Memory of Animals by Claire Fuller

SYNOPSIS:
From the Costa-Winning, Women’s Prize-shortlisted author of Unsettled Ground: a gripping, haunting novel about memory, love and survival, for readers of Never Let me Go and Leave the World Behind

Neffy is a young woman running away from grief and guilt and the one big mistake that has derailed her career. When she answers the call to volunteer in a controlled vaccine trial, it offers her a way to pay off her many debts and, perhaps, to make up for the past.

But when the London streets below her window fall silent, and all external communications cease, only Neffy and four other volunteers remain in the unit. With food running out, and a growing sense that the strangers she is with may be holding back secrets, Neffy has questions that no-one can answer. Does safety lie inside or beyond the unit? And who, or what is out there?

While she weighs up her choices, she is introduced to a pioneering and controversial technology which allows her to revisit memories from her life before: a childhood divided between her enigmatic mother and her father in his small hotel in Greece. Intoxicated by the freedom of the past and the chance to reunite with those she loves, she increasingly turns away from her perilous present. But in this new world where survival rests on the bonds between strangers, is she jeopardising any chance of a future?

The Memory of Animals is a taut and emotionally charged novel about freedom and captivity, survival and sacrifice and whether you can save anyone before you save yourself.

Published April 20th by Fig Tree
Pre-order here*

The Island of Longing by Anne Griffin

SYNOPSIS:
One unremarkable afternoon, Rosie watched her daughter Saoirse cycle into town, expecting to hear the slam of the door when she returned a few hours later. But the slam never came.

Eight years on, after an extensive investigation into her disappearance, Rosie is the only person who stubbornly believes that her child might still be alive. When Rosie receives a call from her father, asking her to return home for the summer, she is forced out of her limbo. Life on the island of Roaring Bay revives old rivalries, but it also brings new friendships and unexpected solace.

Yet, when a sudden glimmer of hope appears, Rosie is forced to face an impossible question: is she right to think that Saoirse is still alive? Or will her belief that her daughter will one day return to her come at the cost of everything she has left?

Published April 27th by Sceptre
Pre-order here*

Greek Lessons by Han Kang

SYNOPSIS:
A powerful novel of the saving grace of language and human connection, from the celebrated author of The Vegetarian

In a classroom in Seoul, a young woman watches her Greek language teacher at the blackboard. She tries to speak but has lost her voice. Her teacher finds himself drawn to the silent woman, for day by day he is losing his sight.

Soon they discover a deeper pain binds them together. For her, in the space of just a few months, she has lost both her mother and the custody battle for her nine-year-old son. For him, it’s the pain of growing up between Korea and Germany, being torn between two cultures and languages.

Greek Lessons tells the story of two ordinary people brought together at a moment of private anguish – the fading light of a man losing his vision meeting the silence of a woman who has lost her language. Yet these are the very things that draw them to one another. Slowly the two discover a profound sense of unity – their voices intersecting with startling beauty, as they move from darkness to light, from silence to expression.

Greek Lessons is a tender love letter to human intimacy and connection, a novel to awaken the senses, vividly conjuring the essence of what it means to be alive.

Published April 27th by Hamish Hamilton
Pre-order here*

Honeybees and Distant Thunder by Riku Onda

SYNOPSIS:
The Night Circus meets Lonely Castle in the Mirror in this million-copy multi-awardwinning Japanese bestseller

In a small coastal town just a stone’s throw from Tokyo, a prestigious piano competition is underway. Over the course of two feverish weeks, three students will experience some of the most joyous – and painful – moments of their lives. Though they don’t know it yet, each will profoundly and unpredictably change the others, for ever.

Aya was a piano genius, until she ran away from the stage and vanished; will the tall and talented Makun bring her back? Or will it be child of nature, Jin, a pianist without a piano, who carries the sound of his father’s bees wherever he goes? Each of them will break the rules, awe their fans and push themselves to the brink. But at what cost?

Tender, cruel, compelling, HONEYBEES AND DISTANT THUNDER is the unflinching story of love, courage and rivalry. Most of all, it shows how three young people reconcile with the highs and lows of what it means to truly be a friend.

Published May 4th by Doubleday
Pre-order here*

This Family by Kate Sawyer

SYNOPSIS:
It is my dearest wish, that after so long apart, I am able to bring this family together for my wedding day.

This house. This family.

Mary has raised a family in this house. Watched her children play and laugh and bicker in this house. Today she is getting married in this house, with all her family in attendance.

The wedding celebrations have brought fractured family together for the first time in years: there’s Phoebe and her husband Michael, children in tow. The young and sensitive Rosie, with her new partner. Irene, Mary’s ex-mother-in-law. Even Emma, Mary’s eldest, is back for the wedding – despite being at odds with everyone else.

Set over the course of an English summer’s day but punctuated with memories from the past forty years of love and loss, hope and joy, heartbreak and grief, this is the story of a family. Told by a chorus of characters, it is an exploration of the small moments that bring us to where we are, the changes that are brought about by time, and what, despite everything, stays the same.

Published May 11th by Coronet
Pre-order here*

Fourteen Days by Various

SYNOPSIS:
Set in a Lower East Side tenement in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Fourteen Days is a surprising and irresistibly propulsive novel with an unusual twist: each character in this diverse, eccentric cast of New York neighbours has been secretly written by a different, major literary voice-from Margaret Atwood and Douglas Preston to Tommy Orange and Celeste Ng.

One week into the COVID-19 shutdown, tenants of a Lower East Side apartment building in Manhattan have begun to gather on the rooftop and tell stories. With each passing night, more and more neighbours gather, bringing chairs and milk crates and overturned pails. Gradually the tenants – some of whom have barely spoken to each other – become real neighbours. In this Decameron-like serial novel, general editor Margaret Atwood, Authors Guild president Douglas Preston, and a star-studded list of contributors create a beautiful ode to the people who couldn’t get away from the city when the pandemic hit. A dazzling, heartwarming and ultimately surprising narrative, Fourteen Days reveals how beneath the horrible loss and suffering, some communities managed to become stronger.

Includes writing from:
Margaret Atwood, Douglas Preston, Celeste Ng, Emma Donoghue, Dave Eggers, John Grisham, Diana Gabaldon, Ishmael Reed, Meg Wolitzer, Luis Alberto Urrea, James Shapiro, Sylvia Day, Mary Pope Osborne, Monique Truong, Hampton Sides, R. L. Stine, Scott Turow, Tommy Orange, and more!

Published May 30th by Vintage
Pre-order here*

Limelight by Daisy Buchanan

SYNOPSIS:
Frankie has a love-hate relationship with the spotlight. She secretly craves attention, but she is ashamed of that craving. And after a lifetime of comparison to her perfect sister Bean, she has never felt more invisible. She only ever feels seen when she uploads risqué photos to her small community of online fans. She creates a new her: confident, sexy, unforgettable, and utterly unrecognisable from the real Frankie.

Then the worst happens. Bean is diagnosed with cancer. While Frankie wants to fill the freezer with home cooked food, her mother decides she knows better and somehow launches a nationwide cancer fundraiser, with Frankie as the supportive-sister-spokesmodel. And with a delicious sense of inevitability, her account is found. Now everyone has their eyes on Frankie.

With her mum and sister no longer speaking to her, Frankie flounders in her newfound notoriety. Feminists and misogynists rage at her online, while she attracts hundreds of new subscribers. Whether they’re demanding apologies or expecting an empowering call to arms, everyone wants Frankie to explain herself. But how can she explain what she barely understands?

Limelight is a story about sisterhood, sexuality, and self-esteem. It’s about how we cope with living in a world which constantly tells us who we are. What happens when we stop listening and start paying attention to who we need to be p9come?

Published June 1st by Sphere
Pre-order here*

The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende

SYNOPSIS:
Vienna, 1938. Samuel Adler is six years old when his father disappears during Kristallnacht – the night their family loses everything. As her child’s safety seems ever-harder to guarantee, Samuel’s mother secures a spot for him on the last Kindertransport train out of Nazi-occupied Austria to England. He boards alone, carrying nothing but a change of clothes and his violin.

Arizona, 2019. Eight decades later, Anita Diaz and her mother board another train, fleeing looming danger in El Salvador and seeking refuge in the United States. But their arrival coincides with the new family separation policy, and seven-year-old Anita finds herself alone at a camp in Nogales. She escapes her tenuous reality through her trips to Azabahar, a magical world of the imagination. Meanwhile, Selena Duran, a young social worker, enlists the help of a successful lawyer in hopes of tracking down Anita’s mother.

Intertwining past and present, The Wind Knows My Name tells the tale of these two unforgettable characters, both in search of family and home. It is both a testament to the sacrifices that parents make, and a love letter to the children who survive the most unfathomable dangers – and never stop dreaming.

Published June 6th by Bloomsbury
Pre-order here*

High Time by Hannah Rothschild

SYNOPSIS:
WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH, HOW LOW WILL YOU GO?

Ayesha Scott has a perfect life. Home is an art-filled Cornish castle with her stratospherically wealthy, titled husband and their beloved daughter. But behind every realised dream lurks an unexploded nightmare and in the course of one day Ayesha discovers that she will be penniless, homeless and powerless unless she can outwit the international mafia, infiltrate the world of high finance and make backstreet deals with the shadiest members of the art world.

Hurt and betrayed, she’s determined to fight for herself and her daughter – but can she do it without enlisting the help of her beloved, deeply eccentric but estranged family?

Published June 8th by Bloomsbury
Pre-order here*

The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

SYNOPSIS:
There are two sides to every story – and every marriage in crisis . . .

Malcolm, bartender at the Half Moon, has always dreamed of owning a bar, and when his boss finally retires, he seizes his chance. He sees unquantifiable magic and potential in the Half Moon and hopes to make it a bigger success.

His wife, Jess, has devoted herself to her law career, but after years of trying for a baby, she’s struggling to accept the idea that motherhood might not be in her future. She finds herself slipping away from both her career and her marriage. The bar is Malcolm’s dream, and as she feels her youth start to fade, she wonders how to reshape her own life.

When a blizzard hits their upstate New York town on the same day that Malcolm learns some shocking news about Jess, and a regular at the bar goes missing, everyone is frozen in place for a single, pivotal week. In The Half Moon, award-winning author Mary Beth Keane carefully explores a marriage in crisis, what it takes to make a life with another person, and the true meaning of family.

One tumultuous week. One marriage in crisis. One chance to begin again…

Published July 6th by Michael Joseph
Pre-order here*

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

SYNOPSIS:
A rich, compassionate tale of four sisters and the love affair that fractures their family

Best friends and sisters, the four Padavano girls are seen as inseparable by everyone in their close-knit Italian-American neighbourhood. Julia, the eldest, is the ‘rocket’ of the family – she always has a destination in mind and clear plans for how to get there. Sylvie, the dreamer, is happiest with her nose in a book, dreaming of the kind of love you only read about in literature. Cecelia and Emmeline, the twins, are the artist and the caregiver. From childhood, the four sisters complete each other.

When Julia falls in love with William Waters, a history student and college sports star, she’s delighted by the way her plans for adulthood are coming to fruition: a husband, a house, a family of her own. But when darkness from William’s past begins to block the light of his future, it is Sylvie, not Julia, who becomes his closest confidante – and the ensuing betrayal tears the sisters apart.

Heart-breaking and heart-mending, HELLO BEAUTIFUL paints a vivid portrait of the unique bond and devastating betrayals of sisterhood.

Published July 13th by Viking
Pre-order here*

The Twilight Garden by Sara Nisha Adams

SYNOPSIS:
Two warring London neighbors unite to resurrect a neglected city garden in this uplifting and quietly joyful novel by Sara Nisha Adams, author of the word-of-mouth hit The Reading List.

Between the houses of No.77 and No.79 on Stoke Newington Green in London, there is a shared garden. It was a beautiful thing once, a little oasis in a bustling city. Now it’s overgrown and neglected, an empty patch of greenery lost to time. But that suits neighbors Winston and Bernice just fine—their houses may share the garden, but they’re not exactly neighborly.

But one day, a mysterious parcel drops through Winston’s door at No.77. It contains no note, only a bundle of photographs of the shared garden many years ago—vibrant with flowers and wildlife, filled with people from every corner of the community. Is someone trying to tell them something?

As a seed is planted. Winston and Bernice lay down their arms and pick up their gardening gloves. As they dig and plant, scrub and water, the garden begins to come out of hibernation—and the frostiness between them slowly begins to thaw. In finding their green fingers, the unlikely pair also start to hatch a bigger plan—could the shared garden help to revive the community spirit that’s been languishing for so long? With a little help from the secret gardener sending the parcels, they’re determined to find out.

Told with warmth and spirit, The Shared Garden is a love letter to the little acts of kindness that can change a life. It’s a story of growth and community, and how when we dig in together, there’s always hope of a brighter future…

Published July 20th by Harper Collins
Pre-order here*

The Apology by Jimin Han

SYNOPSIS:
“Bold, original, and utterly captivating, The Apology is a sweeping intergenerational saga, delivered by one of the sharpest, most memorable voices I’ve ever read. A stunning new novel by a writer whose work I’ve long admired.” –Kirstin Chen, author of Counterfeit

In South Korea, a 105-year-old woman receives a letter. Ten days later, she has been thrust into the afterlife, fighting to head off a curse that will otherwise devastate generations to come.

Jeonga Cha has always shouldered the burden of upholding the family name. When she sent her daughter-in-law to America to cover up an illegitimate birth, she was simply doing what was needed to preserve the reputations of her loved ones. How could she have known that decades later, this decision would return to haunt her–threatening to tear apart her bond with her beloved son, her relationship with her infuriatingly insolent sisters, and the future of the family she has worked so hard to protect?

Part ghost story and part family epic, The Apology is an incisive tale of sisterhood and diaspora, reaching back to the days of Japanese colonialism and the Korean War, and told through the singular voice of a defiant, funny, and unforgettable centenarian.

Published August 1st by Little Brown Book Group
Pre-order here*

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Are any of these on your TBR? Let me know in the comments ⬇️

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles xxx

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Emma’s Anticipated Treasures, Most Anticipated 2023: Tantalising Thrillers

Today I have another list of exciting 2023 releases for you. Thrillers are one of my favourite and most read genres so this was always going to be an extensive list. There are books here from much loved authors, auto-buy authors, favourite series, and authors I’m still yet to read.

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I’ll Never Tell by Philippa East

SYNOPSIS:
Gripping new suspense from the author of Little White Lies

Keep your family close, and your secrets closer…

To the outside world, the Goodlights are perfect.

Julia is a lawyer, Paul a stay-at-home dad who has dedicated his life to helping their daughter Chrissie achieve her dreams as a talented violinist.

But on the night of a prestigious music competition, which has the power to change everything for Chrissie and her family, Chrissie goes missing.

She puts on the performance of a lifetime, then completely disappears. Suddenly every single crack, every single secret that the family is hiding risks being exposed.

Because the Goodlights aren’t perfect. Not even close.

Published January 5th by HQ. Buy here*

Dead Man’s Creek by Chris Hammer

SYNOPSIS:
Old bones sink – but secrets always rise to the surface.

‘A commanding, consuming and outright thrilling mystery. Chris Hammer’s first-class series goes from strength to strength.’ 
– Chris Whitaker, bestselling author of We Begin at the End

Newly-minted homicide detective Nell Buchanan returns to her hometown, annoyed at being assigned a decades-old murder – a ‘file and forget’.

But this is no ordinary cold case, her arrival provoking an unwelcome and threatening response from the small-town community. As more bodies are discovered, and she begins to question how well she truly knows those closest to her, Nell realises that finding the truth could prove more difficult – and dangerous – than she’d ever expected.

The nearer Nell comes to uncovering the secrets of the past, the more treacherous her path becomes. Can she survive to root out the truth, and what price will she have to pay for it?

Gripping and atmospheric, Dead Man’s Creek is a stunning multi-layered thriller from Chris Hammer, the award-winning author of Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year Scrublands (2019) and Times Crime Book of the Month Opal Country (January 2022).

Published January 5th by Wildfire
Pre-order here*

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

SYNOPSIS:
*** THE NEW MYSTERY PHENOMENON FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE APPEAL AND THE TWYFORD CODE ***

Open the safe deposit box. Inside you will find research material for a true crime book. You must read the documents, then make a decision. Will you destroy them? Or will you take them to the police?

Everyone knows the sad story of the Alperton Angels: the cult who brainwashed a teenage girl and convinced her that her newborn baby was the anti-Christ. Believing they had a divine mission to kill the infant, they were only stopped when the girl came to her senses and called the police. The Angels committed suicide rather than stand trial, while mother and baby disappeared into the care system.

Nearly two decades later, true-crime author Amanda Bailey is writing a book on the Angels. The Alperton baby has turned eighteen and can finally be interviewed; if Amanda can find them, it will be the true-crime scoop of the year, and will save her flagging career. But rival author Oliver Menzies is just as smart, better connected, and is also on the baby’s trail.

As Amanda and Oliver are forced to collaborate, they realise that what everyone thinks they know about the Angels is wrong. The truth is something much darker and stranger than they’d ever imagined. And the story of the Alperton Angels is far from over..

After all, the devil is in the detail…

Published January 12th by Viper.
Buy here*

The Marriage Act by John Marrs

SYNOPSIS:
From the bestselling author of The One, now an eight-part Netflix series. Set in the same world as The OneThe Marriage Act is a dark, high-concept thriller.

‘One of the most exciting original thriller writers’ Simon Kernick

What if marriage was the law? Dare you disobey?

Britain. The near-future. A right-wing government believes it has the answer to society’s ills – the Sanctity of Marriage Act, which actively encourages marriage as the norm, punishing those who choose to remain single.

But four couples are about to discover just how impossible relationships can be when the government is monitoring every aspect of our personal lives, monitoring every word, every minor disagreement . . . and will use every tool in its arsenal to ensure everyone will love, honour and obey.

Black Mirror meets thriller with a dash of Naomi Alderman’s The Power.

Published January 19th by Pan Macmillan.
Buy here*

The Drift by C.J. Tudor

SYNOPSIS:
Survival can be murder . . .

During a deadly snowstorm, Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. Evacuated from a secluded boarding school, her coach careered off the road, trapping her with a handful of survivors.

Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She’s in a cable car stranded high above snowy mountains, with five strangers and no memory of how they got on board.

Carter is gazing out of the window of an isolated ski chalet that he and his companions call home. As their generator begins to waver in the storm, the threat of something lurking in the chalet’s depths looms larger.

Outside, the storm rages. Inside one group, a killer lurks.

But which one?

And who will make it out alive?

Published January 19th by Michael Joseph.
Buy here*

Those People Next Door by Kia Abdullah

SYNOPSIS:
You can choose your house. Not your neighbours.

WELCOME TO YOUR DREAM HOME…
Salma Khatun is extremely hopeful about Blenheim, the safe suburban development to which she, her husband and their son have just moved. Their family is in desperate need of a fresh start, and Blenheim feels like the place to make that happen.

MEET YOUR NEW NEIGHBOURS…
Not long after they move in, Salma spots her neighbour, Tom Hutton, ripping out the anti-racist banner her son put in their front garden. She chooses not to confront Tom because she wants to fit in. It’s a small thing, really. No need to make a fuss. So Salma takes the banner inside and puts it in her window instead. But the next morning she wakes up to find her window smeared with paint.

AND PREPARE FOR THE NIGHTMARE TO BEGIN…
This time she does confront Tom, and the battle lines between the two families are drawn. As things begin to escalate and the stakes become higher, it’s clear that a reckoning is coming… And someone is going to get hurt.

A gripping thriller about nightmare neighbours, Those People Next Door explores the loss of innocence and how far we’re prepared to go to defend ourselves and the people we love.

Published January 19th by HQ.
Buy here*

The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish

SYNOPSIS:
There’s the obvious story. And then there’s the truth.
 
Alex lives a comfortable life with his wife Beth in the leafy suburb of Silver Vale. Fine, so he’s not the most outgoing guy on the street, he prefers to keep himself to himself, but he’s a good husband and an easy-going neighbour.
 
That’s until Beth announces the creation of a nature trail on a local site that’s been disused for decades and suddenly Alex is a changed man. Now he’s always watching. Questioning. Struggling to hide his dread . . .
 
As the landscapers get to work, a secret threatens to surface from years ago, back in Alex’s twenties when he got entangled with a seductive young woman called Marina, who threw both their lives into turmoil.
 
And who sparked a police hunt for a murder suspect that was never quite what it seemed.
 
And it still isn’t.

Published February 2nd by Simon & Schuster
Pre-order here*

The Murder Game by Tom Hindle

SYNOPSIS:
One house. Nine guests. Endless motives for murder…

In the seaside town of Hamlet Wick, nine guests assemble for a New Year’s Eve party to remember.

The owner of Hamlet Hall has organised a murder mystery evening with a 1920s twist, and everyone has their own part to play.

But the game has barely begun when one guest is found dead – killed by a fatal injury to the head.

With no phone signal and no way out of the house, the others are trapped with a killer in their midst.

Someone is playing by their own rules. And in a close-knit community, old rivalries run deep…

Published February 2nd by Century Pre-order here*

Look Both Ways by Linwood Barclay

SYNOPSIS:
They think as one. They act as one. They kill as one.

The residents of Garrett Island are part of a visionary experiment. Their cars have been sent to the mainland and for one month, they’ve got self-driving vehicles called Arrivals. With just a voice command, an Arrival will take you where you want to go, and as the cars are all aware of each other, road accidents should be a thing of the past.

As the world’s press arrives for a glimpse of this driverless future, islander and single mom Sandra Montrose preps for the huge media event. She’s ready for this new world. Her husband died when he fell asleep at the wheel, and she’s relieved her two teens, Archie and Katie, may never need driver’s licenses.

But as the day gets underway, there are signs all is not well. A member of the press has vanished. There are rumours of industrial sabotage.

Before long, the sleek driverless cars are no longer taking orders. They’re starting to organize. They’re starting to hunt. And they’ve got the residents of Garrett Island in their sights.

Published February 2nd by HQ
Pre-order here*

Exiles by Jane Harper

SYNOPSIS:
A mother disappears from a busy festival on a warm spring night.

Her baby lies alone in the pram, her mother’s possessions surrounding her, waiting for a return which never comes.

A year later, Kim Gillespie’s absence still casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather to welcome a new addition to the family.

Joining the celebrations on a rare break from work is federal investigator Aaron Falk, who begins to suspect that all is not as it seems.

As he looks into Kim’s case, long-held secrets and resentments begin to come to the fore, secrets that show that her community is not as close as it appears.

Falk will have to tread carefully if he is to expose the dark fractures at its heart, but sometimes it takes an outsider to get to the truth…

An outstanding novel, a brilliant mystery and a heart-pounding read from the author of The DryForce of NatureThe Lost Man and The Survivors.

Published February 2nd by Pan Macmillan
Pre-order here*

What July Knew by Emily Koch

SYNOPSIS:
A moving mystery about family secrets, grief and growing up

Summer, 1995.

July Hooper knows eighteen things about her mother.

Like number thirteen: she loved dancing on the kitchen table. And number eight: she was covered in freckles.

And then there’s number two: she died after being hit by a car when July was small.

She keeps this list hidden in a drawer away from her father. Because they’re not allowed to talk about her mother. Ever.

But an anonymous note slipped into July’s bag on her tenth birthday is about to change everything she thinks she knows about her mum.

Determined to discover what really happened to her, July begins to investigate, cycling around the neighbourhood where her family used to live. There she meets someone who might finally have the answers.

July wants her family to stop lying to her, but will the truth be harder to face?

Published February 9th by Harvill Secker
Pre-order here*

Make Me Clean by Tina Baker

SYNOPSIS:
She will leave your surfaces sparkling.
But she may well leave you dead…

Maria is a good woman and a good cleaner. She cleans for Elsie, the funny old bird who’s losing her marbles, with the terrible husband. She cleans for Brian, the sweet man with the terrible boss. She cleans for the mysterious Mr Balogan, with the terrible neighbours.

If you’re thinking of hiring her, you should probably know that Maria might have killed the terrible husband, the terrible boss and the terrible neighbours. She may also have murdered the man she loved.

She didn’t set out to kill anyone, of course, but her clients have hired her to clean up their lives, and she takes her job seriously – not to mention how much happier they all are now. The trouble is, murder can’t be washed out. You can only sweep it under the carpet, and pray no one looks too closely…

Darkly funny and completely gripping from the first page to the last, Make Me Clean is one thriller you won’t be able to scrub from your mind. Perfect for fans of Harriet Tyce, Fiona Cummins and My Sister the Serial Killer.

Published February 16th by Viper Books.
Buy here*

The Witch in the Well by Camilla Bruce

SYNOPSIS:
Over a hundred years ago, the citizens of F- did something rather bad. And local school teacher Catherine Evans has made writing the definitive account of what happened when Ilsbeth Clark drowned in the well her life’s work.

The town’s people may not want their past raked up, but Catherine is determined to shine a light upon that shameful event. For Ilsbeth was an innocent, after all. She was shunned and ostracised by rumour-mongers and ill-wishers and someone has to speak up for her. And who better than Catherine, who has herself felt the sting and hurt of such whisperings?

But then a childhood friend returns to F -. Elena is a successful author whose book, The Whispers Inside: A Reawakening of the Soul, has earned her a certain celebrity. In search of a new subject, she takes an interest in the story of Ilsbeth Clark and announces her intention to write a book about the long-dead woman, focusing on the natural magic she believes she possessed.

And Elena has everything Catherine has not, like a platform and connections and no one seems to care that Elena’s book will be pure speculation, tainting Ilsbeth’s memory rather than preserving it. Catherine is determined that something must be done and plots to blunt her rival’s pen. However she had not allowed for the fact that the past might not be so dead after all – that something is reaching out from the well, disturbing her reality.

Before summer’s over, one woman will be dead, the other accused of murder . . . but is she really guilty, or are there other forces at work? And who was Ilsbeth Clark, really? An innocent? A witch? Or something else entirely?

Published February 23rd by Michael Joseph.
Buy here*

Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

SYNOPSIS:
Forgetting is terrifying. Remembering is worse…

Charlie Wynwood and Silas Nash have been best friends since they could walk. They’ve been in love since the age of fourteen. But as of this morning… they are complete strangers. Their first kiss, their first fight, the moment they fell in love… every memory has vanished.

Now Charlie and Silas must work together to uncover the truth about what happened to them and why. But the more they learn about the couple they used to be… the more they question why they were ever together to begin with.

Forgetting is terrifying, but remembering may be worse.

The Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us joins forces with the New York Times bestselling author of The Wives for a gripping, twisty, romantic mystery unlike any other.

Published February 28th by HQ Pre-order here*

The Institution by Helen Fields

SYNOPSIS:
They’re locked up for your safety.
Now, you’re locked in with them.

Dr Connie Woolwine has five days to catch a killer.

On a locked ward in the world’s highest-security prison hospital, a scream shatters the night. The next morning, a nurse’s body is found and her daughter has been taken. A ransom must be paid, and the clock is ticking.

Forensic profiler Dr Connie Woolwine is renowned for her ability to get inside the mind of a murderer. Now, she must go deep undercover among the most deranged and dangerous men on earth and use her unique skills to find the girl – before it’s too late.

But as the walls close in around her, can Connie get the killer before The Institution gets her?

A claustrophobic, haunting crime thriller that will keep you up at night, perfect for those who couldn’t put down The Sanatorium and Amy McCulloch’s Breathless.

Published March 2nd by Avon
Pre-order here*

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent

SYNOPSIS:
From the Number 1 bestselling author of Our Little Cruelties and Skin Deep

Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died.

Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and police detectives, but also a sinister voice from a past she cannot remember. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends and big decisions, and learning that people don’t always mean what they say.

But who is the man observing Sally from the other side of the world? And why does her neighbour seem to be obsessed with her? Sally’s trust issues are about to be severely challenged . . .

Published March 2nd by Sandycover
Pre-order here*

Freeze by Kate Simants

SYNOPSIS:
ON THE TOUGHEST REALITY SHOW ON TELEVISION
A KILLER IS HIDING OUT OF SHOT

Frozen Out is set to be a TV sensation. On a small ship off the coast of Greenland, eight contestants will push themselves to breaking point for a £100,000 prize.

The show is Tori Matsuka’s baby. After years working her way up the ladder, she’s finally launching her own production company with Frozen Out, and the late nights, the debts, the strain on her relationship will all be worthwhile. Everything is riding on the next twelve days. For camerawoman Dee, it’s a chance to start again after the tragedy that tanked her undercover journalism career. Not even Tori, her oldest friend, knows the full truth of why Dee left her previous job, and she plans to keep it that way.

But as errors and mishaps mount on set, tempers among the cast and crew start to fray. And when one of the contestants is found dead, only Dee realises the death wasn’t natural – and from what she’s seen from behind the camera, it won’t be the last. As the Arctic ice closes in around them and all chance of escape is cut off, it becomes clear that although the world outside wants them dead, it’s the secrets inside the ship that might cost them their lives.

Packed with suspense from the first page to the last, Freeze is a must-read for fans of Shiver, The Sanatorium and One By One. This thriller isn’t just chilling: it’s sub-zero.

Published March 2nd by Viper
Pre-order here*

The Ugly Truth by L.C. North

SYNOPSIS:
Melanie Lange has disappeared.

Her father, Sir Peter Lange, says she is a danger to herself and has been admitted to a private mental health clinic.

Her ex-husband, Finn, and best friend, Nell, say she has been kidnapped.

The media will say whichever gets them the most views.

But whose side are you on?
#SaveMelanie
#HelpPeter

Told via interviews, transcripts and diary entries, The Ugly Truth is a shocking and addictive thriller about fame, power and the truth behind the headlines.

‘#FreeBritney meets The Appeal in this addictively unique thriller. Get ready to be utterly hooked’ Jack Jordan, author of DO NO HARM

Published March 16th by Bantam Press
Pre-order here*

End of Story by Louise Swanson

SYNOPSIS:
Too much imagination can be a dangerous thing

It has been five years since writing fiction was banned by the government.

Fern Dostoy is a criminal. Officially, she has retrained in a new job outside of the arts but she still scrawls in a secret notepad in an effort to capture what her life has become: her work on a banned phone line, reading bedtime stories to sleep-starved children; Hunter, the young boy who calls her and has captured her heart; and the dreaded visits from government officials.

But as Fern begins to learn more about Hunter, doubts begin to surface. What are they both hiding?

And who can be trusted?

Published March 23rd by Hodder & Stoughton
Pre-order here*

The Half Burnt House by Alex North

SYNOPSIS:
ARE YOU READY TO ENTER THE HALF BURNT HOUSE?

The spine-tingling new thriller from the internationally bestselling author of THE WHISPER MAN, a Richard and Judy pick.

*****

Katie always looked after her beloved younger brother Chris – until she left him alone for one selfish afternoon, and their picture-perfect family fell apart. Although Chris survived the attack, the scars ran deeper than the ones left across his face. Now they’re adults, and they haven’t spoken in years. Then she gets a call, from Detective Laurence Page.

Page is facing an unusually disturbing crime scene. Alan Hobbes, a distinguished and wealthy philosophy professor, has been brutally murdered. Hobbes was living in a sprawling mansion – but one that remains half-ruined by a decades-old fire, wind and rain howling through the gaping, creaking roof.

Page only has one suspect: Chris, caught on CCTV at the house. But he has plenty of questions. What could cause a man as wealthy as Hobbes not to repair his home? Why did he seem to know his death was coming, yet do nothing to stop it? And why was he obsessed with a legendary local serial killer?

But Katie only has one thing on her mind. She knows this is her last, best chance to finally save her brother, and make up for her negligence all those years ago.

But she can’t possibly imagine just how much danger he’s in…

Published March 30th by Michael Joseph
Pre-order here*

The Favour by Nicci French

SYNOPSIS:
A good deed
Can turn deadly…
 
When Liam unexpectedly turns up in Jude’s life after ten years of no contact, asking her for a favour, she just can’t say no. He was her first love, and even though she is now a successful doctor and about to get married, he will always be someone special to her.
But after she does the favour, she is contacted by the police, informing her that Liam has been found dead, and suddenly she is caught up in a murder investigation.
 
And she realises this one decision could cost her everything – even her life…

Published March 30th by Simon & Schuster
Pre-order here*

Every Happy Family by Sarah Stovell

SYNOPSIS:
The closer you are, the more damage they do.

Minnie and Bert are over the moon to have their three grown-up children home for the first time in a decade. But having Lizzie, Jess, Owen and the grandchildren under one roof isn’t without its dramas.

Lizzie is off the alcohol (although emergency gin doesn’t count), Jess is juggling a toddler and a newborn, but it’s Owen who has the power to throw a grenade into everything.

It all stems from an incident that happened years ago. And it involves Nora Skelly – a name you don’t mention in front of Minnie.

With Nora also back in town, the past is about to come crashing into the present. And what better time to revisit old secrets and resentments than around the family dinner table?

Published March 30th by HQ
Pre-order here*

The Anniversary by Stephanie Bishop

SYNOPSIS:
Novelist J.B. Blackwood is on a cruise with her husband, Patrick, to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
Her former professor, Patrick is much older than J.B.. But when they met, he seemed somehow ageless, as all new gods appear in the eyes of those who worship them. He is a film director. A cult figure. But now his success is starting to wane and J.B. is on the cusp of winning a major literary prize. Her art has been forever overseen by him, now it may overshadow his.
For days they sail in the sun. They lie about drinking, reading, sleeping, having sex. There is nothing but dark water all around them.
Then a storm hits and Patrick falls off the ship. J.B. is left alone, as the search for what happened to Patrick – and the truth about their marriage – begins.

Published March 30th by W&N
Pre-order here*

A Truth For A Truth by Carol Wyer (Detective Kate Young 4)

SYNOPSIS:
DI Kate Young’s team is hunting for a killer. What they don’t know…is that the killer is her.

DI Kate Young has known for years that her boss, Superintendent John Dickson, is a violent and evil man. But when she finally confronts him and accidentally shoots and kills him, she’s forced to cover her tracks before anyone can pin his death on her. With revelations about his corruption soon to become public knowledge, Kate sets up a trail of evidence to make it seem that Dickson has conveniently vanished…

But Kate knows the corruption doesn’t end with Dickson. As she heads up the team investigating his supposed disappearance, she also pursues other loose ends. Stanka, the sex worker who supplied the evidence against Dickson, leads her to crucial information on another corrupt officer, DI Harriet Khatri, and her dubious involvement with sex traffickers.

As the noose starts to tighten on Kate, she finds herself targeted by traffickers, the bent cops on her force and even her own team of detectives. Can she stay one step ahead of them all and bring Harriet to justice? Can she trust anyone around her? And can she possibly get away with murder?

Published April 4th by Thomas & Mercer Pre-oder here*

Her Sweet Revenge by Sarah Bonner

SYNOPSIS:
THE SENSATIONAL NEW THRILLER FROM SARAH BONNER – REVENGE IS BEST SERVED SWEET.

Secrets and lies ruin lives

Two women receive an anonymous note.For one it’s a threat.For the other it’s an invitation for revenge.Helena is beautiful, successful, and living in married bliss in Exeter. But she’s hiding a secret that could tear her perfect life apart. When the notes begin to arrive, she realises someone else must know her secret. But what might her husband and his overbearing family do if they find out the truth?Thea is reeling from her best friend Helena’s death. But when she starts digging into the circumstances, she receives a threatening note warning her to stopShe knows her friend’s death wasn’t an accident. This was murder. And she is determined to get revenge . . .

Published April 6th by Hodder & Stoughton
Pre-order here*

Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward

SYNOPISIS:
The new dark thriller from the bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street

In a windswept cottage overlooking the sea, Wilder Harlow begins the last book he will ever write. It is the story of his childhood companions and the killer that stalked their small New England town. Of the body they found, the horror of that discovery echoing down the decades. And of Sky, Wilder’s one-time friend, who stole his unfinished memoir and turned it into a lurid bestselling novel, The Sound and the Dagger.

This book will be Wilder’s revenge on Sky, a man who betrayed his trust and died without ever telling him why. But as he writes, Wilder begins to find notes written in Sky’s signature green ink and events in his manuscript start to chime eerily with the present. Is Sky haunting him? Did Wilder have more to do with Sky’s death than he admits? And who is the woman drowning in the cove, whom no-one else can see?

No longer able to trust his own eyes, Wilder begins to wonder: is he writing the book, or is the book writing him?

Published April 20th by Viper Pre-order here*

The Fall by Louise Jensen

SYNOPSIS:
She promised she wouldn’t tell. They made sure she couldn’t…

At her surprise 40th birthday party, Kate Granger feels like the luckiest woman in the world but just hours later her fifteen-year-old daughter, Caily, is found unconscious underneath a bridge when she should have been at school.

Now, Caily lies comatose in her hospital bed, and the police don’t believe it was an accident. As the investigation progresses, it soon becomes clear that not everyone in the family was where they claimed to be at the time of her fall.

Caily should be safe in hospital but not everyone wants her to wake up. Someone is desperate to protect the truth and it isn’t just Caily’s life that is in danger.

Because some secrets are worth killing for…

Published April 27th by HQ
Pre-order here*

Conviction by Jack Jordan

SYNOPSIS:
HE TRUSTS HIS LAWYER WITH HIS LIFE . . . HE SHOULDN’T
 
Wade Darling stands accused of killing his wife and teenage children as they slept and burning their house to the ground. 
 
When the case lands on barrister Neve Harper’s desk, she knows it could make her career. 

A matter of days before the case, as Neve is travelling home for the night, she is approached by a man. He tells her she must throw the case or the secret about her husband’s disappearance will be revealed. Failing that, he will kill everyone she cares about, until she does as she is told.
 
Neve must make a choice – go against every principle she has ever had, or the people she loves will die.

For fans of Steve Cavanagh, Linwood Barclay and Gillian McAllister, this is the latest novel from the master of the moral dilemma, Jack Jordan.

Published June 22nd by Simon & Schuster
Pre-order here*

Just Another Missing Person by Gillian McAllister

SYNOPSIS:
OLIVIA:
22 years old.
No history of running away.
Last seen on CCTV, entering a dead-end alley.
And not coming back out again.
Missing for one day and counting . . .

Julia is the detective heading up the case.

She knows what to expect. A desperate family, a ticking clock, and long hours away from her daughter.

But Julia has no idea how close to home it’s going to get.

Because her family’s safety depends on one thing: Julia must NOT find out what happened to Olivia – and must frame somebody else for her murder . . .

What would you do?

Published May 11th by Michael Joseph
Pre-order here*

The Last Passenger by Will Dean

SYNOPSIS:
The electrifying new stand-alone thriller from the author of THE LAST THING TO BURN and FIRST BORN.

My phone has no reception, something we’ve been told to expect from time to time out here, and my stomach feels uneasy. Maybe it’s the motion of the waves or maybe it’s the fact that Pete didn’t leave a note or a text. He usually leaves a note with a heart.
I pull on jeans and a jumper and scrunch my hair on top of my head and take my key card and step out into the corridor.
Thirty seconds later it hits me.
All the other cabin doors are wedged open.
Every single one is unoccupied and unlocked.
My heart starts beating harder. I break out into a run. At the end of the long corridor I take a lift down to the Ocean Lobby.
There’s nobody here.
My mouth is dry.
It’s like I’m trapped on a runaway train.
No, this is worse.
The RMS Atlantica is steaming out into the ocean and I am the only person on board.

This was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime for Cas. Now she just needs to survive.

With the drama of The Woman in Cabin 10 and the tension of And Then There Were None , The Last Passenger is a psychological thriller set aboard a cruise ship about a woman whose seemingly ordinary life is suddenly thrown dramatically off course. Will Dean is The Master of Intense Suspense and this novel is full of his trademark twists and turns.

Published May 11th by Hodder & Stoughton
Pre-order here*

The Final Party by A. A. Chaudhuri

SYNOPSIS:
SIX FRIENDS.

In a luxury villa set high in the hills above the glamorous town of Sorrento, southern Italy, three couples gather for the perfect 40th birthday celebration.

ONE BODY.

Before the week is out, one of them is dead.

COUNTLESS LIES.

Their perfect reunion quickly becomes the holiday from hell when one of the group starts receiving anonymous messages, threatening to expose a dark secret from their university days.

As old friendships are tested to the limit, it’s clear that what happens in the dark past won’t stay buried…

A heart-racing psychological thriller that will hook you from the very first page, with twist after twist that will make your jaw drop. Fans of B.A. Paris, My Husband’s Killer and Lucy Foley won’t be able to put this down. If you were hooked by The White Lotus or The Watcher, you’ll love this. 

Published May 25th by Hera
Pre-order here*

Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang

SYNOPSIS:
One of TIME’s most anticipated books of 2023

Athena Liu is a literary darling. Juniper Hayward is literally nobody.

White lies
When Athena dies in a freak accident, Juniper steals her unpublished manuscript and publishes it as her own under the ambiguous name June Song.

Dark humour
But as evidence threatens Juniper’s stolen success, she will discover exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.

Deadly consequences…
What happens next is entirely everyone else’s fault.

Published May 25th by The Borough Press
Pre-order here*

Now You See Us by Balli Kaur Jaswal

SYNOPSIS:
We are invisible: we clean your houses, we look after your children, we know your secrets.
But now you know one of ours…

Rules for being a maid:
• No smoking
• No boyfriends
• No visitors
• And most importantly: be invisible…

Corazon, Angel and Donita have all come to Singapore to work for a living. The thing that unites them? Their labour must remain unseen.

But when a friend is accused of murdering her employer, everything changes. The accused could be any of them; they all know the stories of women who were scapegoated or even executed for crimes they didn’t commit.

Each woman has secrets to keep, yet they must gather every ounce of bravery, fearlessness and complete audacity to clear the name of one of their own.

After all, no-one knows the secrets of Singapore’s elite quite like the women who work in their homes…

Published May 25th by Harper Collins
Pre-order here*

Keep Her Secret by Mark Edwards

No synopsis available

Published May 30th by Thomas & Mercer Pre-order here*

The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner

SYNOPSIS:
The outstanding new thriller from the author of international bestseller and Waterstones Thriller of the Month pick, Greenwich Park

Ex journalist Tash has been searching for a story to launch her freelance career. But she has also been searching for something else. New friends to help her navigate motherhood.

She sees them at her son’s new playgroup. The other mothers. The sleek, the sophisticated, the successful mothers. The women she wants to be.

And then one day they welcome her into their circle and Tash discovers the kind of life she has always dreamt of; their elegant London townhouses a far cry from her cramped basement flat and endless bills.

These families seem to have everything. But they also have their secrets.

And it’s soon clear that not everyone at the playgroup can be trusted.

Published June 8th by Raven
Pre-order here*

The Woman Inside by M. T. Edvardsson

SYNOPSIS:
The Woman Inside is a breathless page-turner from international master of suspense M. T. Edvardsson. Three suspects, two deaths and the truth that binds them together.

Three Suspects.

Bill, a widowed single dad, has urgent bills to pay when he rents out a room in his apartment to Karla.

Karla left home to study law and, in need of cash, begins working as a cleaner for a doctor and his wife. But inside their palatial house it’s clear that something is wrong with the wife who never leaves her bedroom.

Jennica is single and career-less when she meets her perfect match on Tinder. But just as she thinks her luck is changing, she finds out that he is hiding secrets of his own . . .

Two murders.

In a few short weeks, the doctor and his wife will be found dead in their home and the questions will begin . . .

One truth.

Ordinary people will do things they never thought possible when faced with extraordinary circumstances, and the woman inside the house will hold the key to it all . . .

Published June 15th by Pan Macmillan
Pre-order here*

Midnight by Amy McCulloch

SYNOPSIS:
When she’s gifted a once-in-a-lifetime Antarctic cruise, Olivia has never been anywhere so spectacular.

Huge cliffs of ice loom up to the sky.
The sun never sets over the sparkling sea.
And there’s a killer on board…

Unable to sleep in the endless eerie daylight, Olivia has no idea who she can trust. And if she can’t figure it out soon, she won’t make it back alive…

Publsihed June 22nd by Michael Joseph
Pre-order here*

Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin

SYNOPSIS:
Vivvy Bouchet saved a boy’s life when she was a child, after a premonition.
That boy is now a Texas police officer, who has always believed Vivvy is psychic.

He convinces her to help him solve a high-profile cold case: three-year-old Lizzie Solomon disappeared in broad daylight from her home. A body was never found, but the child’s mother, Nicolette, is in prison for the disappearance, loudly proclaiming her innocence.

When a popular podcaster hears of Vivvy’s involvement in the case, his conspiracy theories about the missing child, and Vivvy too, have an army of fans hanging on every dangerous word.

But when it becomes clear there may be a kidnapper – or killer – still on the loose, Vivvy knows there’s more to lose than her reputation.

Because the difference between the truth and a lie can mean life or death . . .

Night Will Find You is a sharply observed psychological thriller exploring the dangerous meeting of conspiracy theories and our need to believe.

Published June 22nd by Michael Joseph
Pre-order here*

The Launch Party by Lauren Forry

SYNOPSIS:
Agatha Christie meets Andy Weir in the ultimate locked room mystery set in the first hotel on the moon. Perfect for fans of Lucy Foley, Anthony Horowitz and Hanna Jameson.

FEATURED IN THE EVENING STANDARD‘S BOOKS TO WATCH IN 2023

THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME. YOU’D DIE TO BE THERE.

Ten lucky people have won a place at the most exclusive launch event of the century: the grand opening of the Hotel Artemis, the first hotel on the moon. It’s an invitation to die for. As their transport departs for its return to Earth and the doors seal shut behind them, the guests take the next leap for mankind.

However, they soon discover that all is not as it seems. The champagne may be flowing, but there is no one to pour it. Room service is available, but there is no one to deliver it. Besides the ten of them, they are completely alone.

When one of the guests is found murdered, fear spreads through the group. But that death is only the beginning. Being three days’ journey from home and with no way to contact the outside, can any of the guests survive their stay?

Published June 22nd by Zaffre
Pre-order here*

The Beach Party by Nikki Smith

SYNOPSIS:
Six friends.
The holiday of their dreams.
One night that changed it all . . .

1989: The tunes are loud and the clothes are louder when a group of friends arrives in Mallorca for a post-graduation holiday of decadence and debauchery at a luxury villa.

A beach party marks the pinnacle of their fun, until it isn’t fun any longer. Because amidst the wild partying – sand flying from dancing feet and revellers leaping from yachts – an accident happens. Suddenly, the night of a lifetime becomes a living nightmare.

Now: The truth about that summer has been collectively buried. But someone knows what happened that night.

And they want the friends to pay for what they did.

Published July 6th by Penguin
Pre-order here*

Everyone Here Is Lying by Shari Lapena

SYNOPSIS:
Welcome to Stanhope – a safe neighbourhood. A place for families.

William Wooler is a family man, on the surface. But he’s been having an affair, an affair that ended horribly this afternoon at a motel up the road. So when he returns to his house, devastated and angry, to find his difficult nine-year-old daughter Avery unexpectedly home from school, William loses his temper.

Hours later, Avery’s family declare her missing.

Suddenly Stanhope doesn’t feel so safe. And William isn’t the only one on his street who’s hiding a lie. As witnesses come forward with information that may or may not be true, Avery’s neighbours become increasingly unhinged.

Who took Avery Wooler?

Nothing will prepare you for the truth.

Published July 6th by Bantam Press
Pre-order here*

None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell

SYNOPSIS:
Celebrating her 45th birthday at her local pub, podcaster Alix Summers crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie is also celebrating her 45th birthday. They are, in fact birthday twins.

A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for Alix’s series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.

Alix agrees to a trial interview. Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep digging.

Slowly Alix starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life – and into her home.

Soon she begins to wonder who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?

Published July 20th by Century
Pre-order here*

The Whispers by Ashley Audrain

SYNOPSIS:
The second novel from the author of THE PUSH, 2021’s most explosive Sunday Times bestseller!

‘Utterly addictive’ Paula Hawkins on The Push

***

One morning on Harlow Lane, four families’ lives are changed forever.

Whitney Loverly can only sit by her son’s hospital bed after he falls from his bedroom window in the middle of the night. She refuses to speak to anyone.

Back at home, the Loverlys’ neighbours must reckon with their own roles in the tragedy – their selfless best friends who live across the street, the ambitious Goldsteins who desperately want a family of their own, and the quiet elderly couple who spend their days people watching on the front porch.

But what happens next, when over the course of a week, the hidden and explosive truths that connect these families must come out?

Exploring envy, motherhood and the intuitions that we silence, this is a novel that asks what happens when good people make bad choices.

Perfect for fans of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.

Published July 20th by Michael Joseph
Pre-order here*

All of Us Are Broken by Fiona Cummins

No synopsis available

Published July 20th by Pan Macmillan
Pre-order here*

The Short Straw by Holly Seddon

SYNOPSIS:
‘An addictive read. . . Patricia Highsmith meets Shirley Jackson’ – GILLIAN MCALLISTER

Three sisters find themselves lost in a storm at night, and seek safety at Moirthwaite Manor, where their mother once worked. They are shocked to find the isolated mansion that loomed so large through their troubled childhoods has long been abandoned. Drawing straws to decide who should get help, one sister heads back into the darkness. With the siblings separated, the deadly secrets hidden in the house finally make themselves known and we learn the unspeakable secret that binds the family together.

Published July 20th by Orion
Pre-order here*

A Twisted Love Story by Samantha Downing

SYNOPSIS:
From the bestselling author of My Lovely Wife comes a reckless, delicious thriller about a young couple that gives a whole new meaning to the dangers of modern dating.

Wes and Ivy are madly in love. They’ve never felt anything like it. It’s the kind of romance people write stories about.

But what kind of story?

Because when it’s good, it’s great. Flowers. Grand gestures. Deep meaningful conversations where the whole world disappears.

When it’s bad, it’s really bad. Vengeful fights. Damaged property. Arrest warrants.

But their vicious cycle of catastrophic breakups and head-over-heels reconnections needs to end fast. Because suddenly, Wes and Ivy have a common enemy–and she’s a detective.

There’s something Wes and Ivy never talk about–in good times or bad. The night of their worst breakup, when one of them took things too far, and someone ended up dead.

If they can stick together, they can survive anything–even the tightening net of a police investigation.

Because one more breakup might just be their last…

Published August 3rd by Penguin Books UK
Pre-order here*

DC Ffion Morgan Book 2 by Clare Mackintosh

SYNOPSIS:
DC FFION MORGAN AND DS LEO BRADY RETURN IN THE THRILLING SEQUEL TO THE LAST PARTY

Published August 3rd by Sphere
Pre-order here*

The Good Daughter by Laure van Rensburg

SYNOPSIS:
Abigail is a proud member of the New America Baptist Church. Living miles away from the nearest town in South Carolina, she is safe from the depraved modern world.

She is a good daughter. A valued member of the community.

So when she is the sole survivor of a fire that burns her family’s home to the ground, it seems like a tragic accident.

Until a surprising discovery is made: before the fire, Abigail let a stranger in.

Who was the stranger? What started the fire? And was the outside world always the threat – or did danger lurk within the community’s walls?

Published August 3rd by Michael Joseph
Pre-order here*

These Still Black Waters by Christina McDonald

SYNOPSIS:
Two women struggle toward a dark truth as a killer avenges the sins of the past in a twisting novel of suspense by the USA Today bestselling author of Do No HarmBehind Every Lie, and The Night Olivia Fell.

After a violent home invasion, Neve Maguire returns with her daughter to Black Lake, her childhood summer home, hoping for a fresh start. But when the body of a woman is found floating among the reeds in the lake behind her house, she fears she has made a horrible mistake.

Neve is hiding secrets, though. Detective Jess Lambert can tell. Recently back after her own personal tragedy, Jess knows what it’s like to live with skeletons in your closet, and she’s sure Neve has a few of her own.

When another woman’s body is found, Jess and Neve are forced to confront a horrible truth. Because one thing is clear: the darkness of the past is waiting. And the secrets of Black Lake are only just beginning to surface.

Published August 8th by Thomas & Mercer
Pre-order here*

I’m Not Done With You Yet by Jesse Q. Sutanto

SYNOPSIS:
Some friends–and friendships–are worth killing for in this dark, twisty suspense novel by national bestselling author Jesse Q. Sutanto.

Jane is unhappy.

A struggling midlist writer whose novels barely command four figures, she feels trapped in an underwhelming marriage, just scraping by to pay a crippling Bay Area mortgage for a house–a life–she’s never really wanted.

There’s only ever been one person she cared about, one person who truly understood her: Thalia. Jane’s best and only friend nearly a decade ago during their Creative Writing days at Oxford. It was the only good year of Jane’s life–cobblestones and books and damp English air, heady wine and sweet cider and Thalia, endless Thalia. But then one night ruined everything. The blood-soaked night that should have bound Thalia to Jane forever but instead made her lose her completely. Thalia disappeared without a trace, and Jane has been unable to find her since.

Until now.

Because there she is, her name at the top of the New York Times bestseller list: A Most Pleasant Death by Thalia Ashcroft. When she discovers a post from Thalia on her website about attending a book convention in New York City in a week–“Can’t wait to see you there!”–Jane can’t wait either.

She’ll go to New York City, too, credit card bill be damned. And this time, she will do things right. Jane won’t lose Thalia again.

Published August 17th by HQ Pre-order here*

********

What do you think of my list? Are any of these on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles xxxx

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Emma's Anticipated Treasures Most Anticipated 2023

Emma’s Anticipated Treasures, Most Anticipated 2023: The Debuts

2023 is shaping up to be an incredible year for books and there are an abundance of exciting debuts on the horizon. So, I’ve put together my list of the ones I’m most looking forward to and created my list of most anticipated debuts for 2023.

The Witches of Vardo by Anya Bergman

SYNOPSIS:
‘A passionate indictment of the patriarchy … a vibrant exaltation of the resilience of women … In The Witches of Vardø, Anya Bergman summons a historic witch trial with breathtaking detail and immediacy’ Hannah Kent

They will have justice. They will show their power. They will not burn.

Norway, 1662. A dangerous time to be a woman, when even dancing can lead to accusations of witchcraft. After recently widowed Zigri’s affair with the local merchant is discovered, she is sent to the fortress at Vardø to be tried as a witch.

Zigri’s daughter Ingeborg sets off into the wilderness to try to bring her mother back home. Accompanying her on this quest is Maren – herself the daughter of a witch – whose wild nature and unconquerable spirit gives Ingeborg the courage to venture into the unknown, and to risk all she has to save her family.

Also captive in the fortress is Anna Rhodius, once the King of Denmark’s mistress, who has been sent in disgrace to the island of Vardø. What will she do – and who will she betray – to return to her privileged life at court?

These Witches of Vardø are stronger than even the King. In an age weighted against them, they refuse to be victims. They will have their justice. All they need do is show their power.

Published January 5th by Manilla Press.
Pre-order here*

The Circus Train by Amita Parikh

SYNOPSIS:
THE MAGICAL INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Brought together by magic.

Torn apart by war.

_________

Europe, 1938. Even as the daughter of the extraordinary headlining illusionist, Lena Papadopoulos has never quite found her place within the World of Wonders – a travelling circus that traverses the continent in a luxury steam engine. Brilliant and curious, Lena yearns for the real-world magic of science and medicine, despite the limitations she feels in her wheelchair. But when a young French orphan, Alexandre, comes aboard the circus train, Lena’s life is infused with magic and wonder for the first time.

But outside the bright lights of the circus, darkness is descending on Europe. War is about to shatter Lena’s world, and take away everything she holds dear. And to recover what she has lost, Lena will have to believe in the impossible.

A must-read for fans of Water for Elephants, The Circus Train will take readers on a heart-wrenching two-decade journey across a continent in which great beauty and unimaginable horror live side by side.

Published January 12th by Sphere
Buy here*

Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey

SYNOPSIS:
One of the most hotly anticipated, hilarious and addictive debut novels of 2023, from Schitt’s Creek screenwriter and electric new voice in fiction, Monica Heisey.

I feel like when you get a divorce everyone’s wondering how you ruined it all, what made you so unbearable to be with. If your husband dies, at least people feel bad for you.

Maggie’s marriage has ended just 608 days after it started, but she’s fine – she’s doing really good, actually. Sure, she’s alone for the first time in her life, can’t afford her rent and her obscure PhD is going nowhere . . . but at the age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new status as a Surprisingly Young Divorcée™.

Soon she’s taking up ‘sadness hobbies’ and getting back out there, sex-wise, oversharing in the group chat and drinking with her high-intensity new divorced friend Amy. As Maggie throws herself headlong into the chaos of her first year of divorce, she finds herself questioning everything, including: Why do we still get married? Did I fail before I even got started? How many Night Burgers until I’m happy?

Laugh-out-loud funny, razor sharp and painfully relatable, Really Good, Actually is an irresistible debut novel about the uncertainties of modern love, friendship and happiness from a stunning new voice in fiction, Monica Heisey.

Published January 17th by Fourth Estate
Buy here*

So Pretty by Ronnie Turner

SYNOPSIS:
A young man arrives in a small town, hoping to leave his past behind him, but everything changes when he takes a job in a peculiar old shop, and meets a lonely single mother… A chillingly hypnotic modern-gothic thriller and a mesmerising study of identity and obsession.
 
When Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, he believes he will be able to settle down and leave his past behind him. Little does he know that fear blisters through the streets like a fever. The locals tell him to stay away from an establishment known only as Berry & Vincent, that those who rub too closely to its proprietor risk a bad end. 
 
Despite their warnings, Teddy is desperate to understand why Rye has come to fear this one man, and to see what really hides behind the doors of his shop.
 
Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but she’s lonely, and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it. 
 
As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished fifty years earlier, and a community living on a knife edge. 
 
Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it has always found him before. And before long, it will find Ada too.

Published January 19th by Orenda Books
Pre-order here

The Clositers by Katy Hays

SYNOPSIS:
The Secret History meets Ninth House in this sinister, atmospheric novel . . . the discovery of a mysterious deck of tarot cards lays bare shocking secrets within a close-knit circle of researchers at New York’s famed Met Cloisters museum.

**********

Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, hoping to spend her summer working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she is assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval and Renaissance collections.

There she is drawn into a small circle of charismatic but enigmatic researchers, each with their own secrets and desires, including the museum’s curator, Patrick Roland, who is convinced that the history of Tarot holds the key to unlocking contemporary fortune telling.

Relieved to have left her troubled past behind and eager for the approval of her new colleagues, Ann is only too happy to indulge some of Patrick’s more outlandish theories. But when Ann discovers a mysterious, once-thought lost deck of 15th-century Italian tarot cards she suddenly finds herself at the centre of a dangerous game of power, toxic friendship and ambition.

And as the game being played within the Cloisters spirals out of control, Ann must decide whether she is truly able to defy the cards and shape her own future . . .

Bringing together the modern and the arcane, The Cloisters is a rich, thrillingly-told tale of obsession and the ruthless pursuit of power.

Published January 19th by Bantam Press
Buy here*

Amazing Grace Adams by Fran Littlewood

SYNOPSIS:
‘Sometimes I have so much rage it scares me . . .’
________

Grace Adams is one bad day away from saving her life.

One hot summer day, stuck in traffic on her way to pick up the cake for her daughter’s sixteenth birthday party, Grace Adams snaps.

She doesn’t scream or break something or cry. She simply abandons her car and walks away.

But not from her life – towards it. To the daughter who won’t live with her anymore and has banned her from the party. To the husband divorcing her. Towards the terrible thing that has blown their family apart . . .

Today she’ll show her daughter that no matter how far we fall we can always get back up again. Because Grace Adams was amazing. Her husband and daughter once thought so. They and the world might have forgotten. But Grace is about to remind them …

Amazing Grace Adams tells the story of a life, a marriage, a family, set against a single north-London day. A rollercoaster ride of redemption and discovery, it’s a powerful celebration of womanhood.

Published January 19th by Michael Joseph
Buy here*

River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer

SYNOPSIS:
Powerful, moving and redemptive, RIVER SING ME HOME tells of a mother’s desperate search to find her stolen children and her freedom.

—————————-

We whisper the names of the ones we love like the words of a song. That was the taste of freedom to us, those names on our lips.

Mary Grace, Micah, Thomas Augustus, Cherry Jane and Mercy. These are the names of her children. The five who survived, only to be sold to other plantations. The faces Rachel cannot forget. It’s 1834, and the law says her people are now free. But for Rachel freedom means finding her children, even if the truth is more than she can bear. With fear snapping at her heels, Rachel keeps moving. From sunrise to sunset, through the cane fields of Barbados to the forests of British Guiana and on to Trinidad, to the dangerous river and the open sea. Only once she knows their stories can she rest. Only then can she finally find home.

Published January 19th by Headline
Buy here*

For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain by Victoria MacKenzie

SYNOPSIS:
An astounding debut, both epic and intimate, about grief, trauma, revelation, and the hidden lives of women – by a major new talent

‘The best first novel I’ve read in years … So full and so vivid; it is amazing’ RODDY DOYLE
‘Moving and unexpected … I tore through this’ JULIA ARMFIELD

In the year of 1413, two women meet for the first time in the city of Norwich.

Margery has left her fourteen children and husband behind to make her journey. Her visions of Christ – which have long alienated her from her family and neighbours, and incurred her husband’s abuse – have placed her in danger with the men of the Church, who have begun to hound her as a heretic.

Julian, an anchoress, has not left Norwich, nor the cell to which she has been confined, for twenty-­three years. She has told no one of her own visions – and knows that time is running out for her to do so.

The two women have stories to tell one another. Stories about girlhood, motherhood, sickness, loss, doubt and belief; revelations more the powerful than the world is ready to hear. Their meeting will change everything.

Sensual, vivid and humane, For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain cracks history open to reveal the lives of two extraordinary women.

Published January 19th by Bloomsbury Publishing
Pre-order here*

Godkiller by Hanah Kaner

SYNOPSIS:
You are not welcome here, godkiller

Kissen’s family were killed by zealots of a fire god. Now, she makes a living killing gods, and enjoys it. That is until she finds a god she cannot kill: Skedi, a god of white lies, has somehow bound himself to a young noble, and they are both on the run from unknown assassins.

Joined by a disillusioned knight on a secret quest, they must travel to the ruined city of Blenraden, where the last of the wild gods reside, to each beg a favour.

Pursued by demons, and in the midst of burgeoning civil war, they will all face a reckoning – something is rotting at the heart of their world, and only they can be the ones to stop it.

Published January 19th by Harper Voyager UK
Pre-order here*

Home by Cailean Steed

SYNOPSIS:
Someone has broken into Zoe’s flat. A man she thought she’d never have to see again.
They call him the Hand of God.

He knows about her job in the cafe, her life in Dublin, her ex-girlfriend, even the knife she’s hidden under the mattress.

She thought she’d left him far behind, along with the cult of the Children and their isolated compound Home – but now he’s found her, and Zoe realises she must go back with him if she’s to rescue the sister who helped her escape originally. But returning to Home means going back to the enforced worship and strict gender roles Zoe has long since moved beyond; back to the abuse and indoctrination she’s fought desperately to overcome…

Going back will make her question everything she believed about her past – but could also risk her hard-won freedom. Can she break free a second time?

Published January 19th by Raven Books
Pre-order here*

In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan

SYNOPSIS:
‘THE MOST ORIGINAL CRIME NOVEL YOU’LL READ THIS YEAR’ CLARE MACKINTOSH 
‘THIS HAS TO BE A STRONG CONTENDER FOR CRIME DEBUT OF THE YEAR’ T. M. LOGAN
In the UK, someone is reported missing every 90 seconds.
Just gone. Vanished. In the blink of an eye. 


DCS Kat Frank knows all about loss. A widowed single mother, Kat is a cop who trusts her instincts. Picked to lead a pilot programme that has her paired with AIDE (Artificially Intelligent Detective Entity) Lock, Kat’s instincts come up against Lock’s logic. But when the two missing person’s cold cases they are reviewing suddenly become active, Lock is the only one who can help Kat when the case gets personal. 

AI versus human experience. 
Logic versus instinct.
With lives on the line can the pair work together before someone else becomes another statistic? 

In the Blink of an Eye is a dazzling debut from an exciting new voice and asks us what we think it means to be human

Published January 19th by Simon & Schuster
Pre-order here*

Weyward by Emilia Hart

SYNOPSIS:
THEY TRIED TO CAGE US.

BUT A WEYWARD WOMAN BELONGS TO THE WILD.

WE CANNOT BE TAMED.
________________________________________________________

KATE, 2019
Kate flees London – and her abusive partner – for Cumbria and Weyward Cottage, inherited from her great-aunt. There, a secret lurks in the bones of the house, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.

VIOLET, 1942
Violet is more interested in collecting insects and climbing trees than in becoming a proper young lady. Until a chain of shocking events changes her life forever.

ALTHA, 1619
Altha is on trial for witchcraft, accused of killing a local man. Known for her uncanny connection with nature and animals, she is a threat that must be eliminated…

UNIQUE. ORIGINAL. UNFORGETTABLE.
Discover the power of being Weyward in 2023’s biggest debut

Published Februrary 2nd by The Borough Press
Buy here*

Clara & Olivia by Lucy Ashe

SYNOPSIS:
“Surely you would like to be immortalised in art, fixed forever in perfection?”

Sadler’s Wells, 1933.

I would kill to dance like her.

Disciplined and dedicated, Olivia is the perfect ballerina. But no matter how hard she works, she can never match identical twin Clara’s charm. 

I would kill to be with her.

As rehearsals intensify for the ballet Coppélia, the girls feel increasingly like they are being watched. And, as infatuation turns to obsession, everything begins to unravel.

Published February 2nd by Magpie
Buy here*

The Heroines by Laura Shepperson

SYNOPSIS:
In Athens, crowds flock to witness the most shocking trial of the ancient world. The royal family is mired in scandal. Phaedra, young bride of King Theseus, has accused her stepson, Hippolytus of rape.

He’s a prince, a talented horseman, a promising young man with his whole life ahead of him. She’s a young and neglected wife, the youngest in a long line of Cretan women with less than savoury reputations.

The men of Athens must determine the truth. Who is guilty, and who is innocent?

But the women know truth is a slippery thing. After all, this is the age of heroes and the age of monsters. There are two sides to every story, and theirs has gone unheard.

Until now.

Published February 9th by Sphere
Buy here*

The Silence Project by Carole Hailey

SYNOPSIS:
Monster. Martyr. Mother.

On Emilia Morris’s thirteenth birthday, her mother Rachel moves into a tent at the bottom of their garden. From that day on, she never says another word. Inspired by her vow of silence, other women join her and together they build the Community. Eight years later, Rachel and thousands of her followers around the world burn themselves to death.

In the aftermath of what comes to be known as the Event, the Community’s global influence quickly grows. As a result, the whole world has an opinion about Rachel – whether they see her as a callous monster or a heroic martyr – but Emilia has never voiced hers publicly. Until now.

When she publishes her own account of her mother’s life in a memoir called The Silence Project, Emilia also decides to reveal just how sinister the Community has become. In the process, she steps out of Rachel’s shadow once and for all, so that her own voice may finally be heard.

Published February 9th by Corvus
Buy here*

Dazzling by Chikodili Emelumadu

SYNOPSIS:
Soon you will become the thing all other beasts fear.

Treasure and her mother lost everything when Treasure’s daddy died. Haggling for scraps in the market, Treasure meets a spirit who promises to bring her father back – but she has to do something for him first.

Ozoemena has an itch in the middle of her back that can’t be scratched. An itch that speaks to her patrilineal destiny, to defend her people by becoming a leopard. Her father impressed upon her what an honour this was before he vanished, but it’s one she couldn’t want less.

But as the two girls reckon with their burgeoning wildness and the legacy of their fathers’ decisions, Ozoemena’s fellow students at her new boarding school start to vanish. Treasure and Ozoemena will face terrible choices as each must ask herself: in a world that always says ‘no’ to women, what must two young girls sacrifice to get what is theirs?

Published February 16th by Wildfire
Buy here*

House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

SYNOPSIS:
This is the story of a house.

The cabin lies deep in the woods, where the trees are so dense it’s easy to miss. On the outside it might look like it’s crumbling, crawling with weeds, but on the inside it’s warm and cosy. A fire crackles in the fireplace. Dinner simmers on the stove.

Maya once saw this cabin as an idyllic place, like a cottage from a fairy tale, but now she knows the danger that lurks beneath. The summer she visited the cabin was the summer her best friend Aubrey died.

Now, another woman from Maya’s hometown has died in the same strange, unexplained way, and Maya believes only she can save the next innocent girl.

Guided by her fractured memory and a mysterious, unfinished book by her late father, Maya returns home to face the house in the pines and the man who waits there – the man she’s tried so hard to forget . . .

Published: February 16th by Constable
Buy here*

Maame by Jessica George

SYNOPSIS:
*THE MOST POWERFUL DEBUT OF 2023*

Maame (ma-meh) has many meanings in Twi, but in my case, it means woman.

Meet Maddie.

All her life, she’s been told who she is. To her Ghanaian parents, she’s Maame: the one who takes care of the family. Her mum’s stand-in. The primary carer for her father, who suffers from Parkinson’s. She’s the responsible sister, the quiet friend. The one who keeps the peace – and the secrets.

It’s time for her to speak up.

Maddie knows what kind of woman she wants to be. One who wears a bright yellow suit, dates men who definitely aren’t on her mum’s list of prospective husbands, and stands up to her boss’s microaggressions. Someone who doesn’t have to google all her life choices. Who demands a seat at the table.

But will it take losing everything to find her voice?

Unique, unfiltered and unforgettable, Maame is a deeply moving, achingly funny debut about finally finding where you belong.

Published February 16th by Hodder & Stoughton
Buy here*

The Garnett Girls by Georgina Moore

SYNOPSIS:
A brilliant debut and powerful tale of sisterhood and home, set on the beautiful beaches of the Isle of Wight…

‘Love makes you do things you never thought you were capable of.’

Forbidden, passionate and all-encompassing, Margo and Richard’s love affair was the stuff of legend– but, ultimately, doomed.

When Richard walked out, Margo locked herself away, leaving her three daughters, Rachel, Imogen and Sasha, to run wild.

Years later, charismatic Margo entertains lovers and friends in her cottage on the Isle of Wight, refusing to ever speak of Richard and her painful past. But her silence is keeping each of the Garnett girls from finding true happiness.

Rachel is desperate to return to London, but is held hostage by responsibility for Sandcove, their beloved but crumbling family home.

Dreamy Imogen feels the pressure to marry her kind, considerate fiancé, even when life is taking an unexpected turn.

And wild, passionate Sasha, trapped between her fractured family and controlling husband, is weighed down by a secret that could shake the family to its core…

The Garnett Girls, the captivating debut from Georgina Moore, asks whether children can ever be free of the mistakes of their parents.

Published February 16th by HQ
Buy here*

Lady MacBethad by Isabelle Schuler

SYNOPSIS:
Power. History. Love. Hate. Vengeance.

She will be Queen. Whatever it takes…


Daughter of an ousted king, descendant of ancient druids, as a child it is prophesied that one day Gruoch will be queen of Alba.

When she is betrothed to Duncan, heir elect, this appears to confirm the prophecy. She leaves behind her home, her family and her close friend MacBethad, and travels to the royal seat at Scone to embrace her new position.

But nothing is as Gruoch anticipates. Duncan’s court is filled with sly words and unfriendly faces, women desperate to usurp her position, and others whose motives are shrouded in mystery. As her coronation approaches, a deadly turn of events forces Gruoch to flee Duncan and the capital, finding herself alone, vulnerable and at the mercy of an old enemy. Her hope of becoming Queen all but lost, Gruoch does what she must to survive, vowing that one day she will fulfill her destiny and take up the future owed to her. Whatever it may take.

A suspenseful, sweeping historical epic, Lady MacBethad is the origin story of the woman who inspired one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters

Published March 2nd by Raven Books
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Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

SYNOPSIS:
As for queens, they are either hated or forgotten. She already knows which option suits her best . . .

Perfect for fans of ARIADNE and THE SONG OF ACHILLES, pre-order this extraordinary retelling of history’s most infamous heroine.
_______

Mother. Monarch. Murderer. Magnificent.

You are born to a king, but marry a tyrant. You stand helplessly as he sacrifices your child to placate the gods. You watch him wage war on a foreign shore and comfort yourself with violent thoughts of your own.

You play the part, fooling enemies who deny you justice. Slowly, you plot.

You are Clytemnestra.

But when the husband who owns you returns in triumph, what then?

Acceptance or vengeance – infamy follows both. So you bide your time and wait, until you might force the gods’ hands and take revenge. Until you rise. For you understood something that the others don’t. If power isn’t given to you, you have to take it for yourself.

A blazing novel set in the world of Ancient Greece and told through the eyes of its greatest heroine, this is a thrilling tale of power and prophecies, of hatred, love, and of an unforgettable Queen who fiercely dealt out death to those who wronged her.

Published March 2nd by Michael Joseph.
Pre-order here*

Mother’s Day by Abigail Burdess

SYNOPSIS:
She gave you life. What if she wants it back?
Perfect for fans of MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER, MAGPIE and HOW TO KILL YOUR FAMILY.

The last thing Anna needs is a baby. Abandoned, adopted and living hand to mouth, she never dreamt of having a real family.

But when she meets her birth mother, everything changes – because the same day, she learns she’s going to be a mother too.

Marlene is eccentric, generous with her considerable fortune and overjoyed to become a grandmother. Anna’s living the dream. But is it her dream, or someone else’s?

Now she will have to decide what she’s willing to sacrifice for a real family – her future, her freedom, even her unborn child.

Published March 2nd by Wildfire
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All the Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow

SYNOPSIS:
I lived for and loved a bird-heart that summer; I only knew it afterwards.

Sunday Forrester lives with her sixteen-year-old daughter, Dolly, in the house she grew up in. She does things more carefully than most people. On quiet days, she must eat only white foods. Her etiquette handbook guides her through confusing social situations, and to escape, she turns to her treasury of Sicilian folklore. The one thing very much out of her control is Dolly – her clever, headstrong daughter, now on the cusp of leaving home.

Into this carefully ordered world step Vita and Rollo, a couple who move in next door, disarm Sunday with their charm, and proceed to deliciously break just about every rule in Sunday’s book. Soon they are in and out of each others’ homes, and Sunday feels loved and accepted like never before. But beneath Vita and Rollo’s polish lies something else, something darker. For Sunday has precisely what Vita has always wanted for herself: a daughter of her own.

Published March 2nd by Tinder Press.
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No Life For A Lady by Hannah Dolby

SYNOPSIS:
The most joyful book of 2023!

Violet Hamilton is a woman who knows her own mind. Which, in 1896, can make things a little complicated…

At 28, Violet’s father is beginning to worry she will never find a husband. But every suitor he presents, Violet finds a new and inventive means of rebuffing.

Because Violet does not want to marry. She wants to work, and make her own way in the world. But more than anything, she wants to find her mother Lily, who disappeared from Hastings Pier 10 years earlier.

Finding the missing is no job for a lady, but when Violet hires a seaside detective to help, she sets off a chain of events that will put more than just her reputation at risk.

Can Violet solve the mystery of Lily Hamilton’s vanishing before it’s too late?

A delightfully quirky and clever book club read, perfect for fans of Dear Mrs BirdThe Maid and Lessons in Chemistry.

Published March 2nd by Aria.
Pre-order here*

The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

SYNOPSIS:
The dark, atmospheric, feminist offspring of Squid GameThe Hunting Party and Misery

A book deal to die for.

Five attendees are selected for a month-long writing retreat at the remote estate of Roza Vallo, the controversial high priestess of feminist horror. Alex, a struggling writer, is thrilled.

Upon arrival, they discover they must complete an entire novel from scratch, and the best one will receive a seven-figure publishing deal. Alex’s long-extinguished dream now seems within reach.

But then the women begin to die.

Trapped, terrified yet still desperately writing, it is clear there is more than a publishing deal at stake at Blackbriar Estate. Alex must confront her own demons – and finish her novel – to save herself.

This unhinged, propulsive, claustrophobic closed-door thriller will pull you in and spit you out…

Published March 2nd by Magpie.
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Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood

SYNOPSIS:
A fantasy romance, by dazzling new talent Sarah Underwood, inspired by Greek mythology and the tale of Penelope’s twelve hanged maids.

In the cursed kingdom of Ithaca, each spring brings the hanging of twelve maidens, a gift to the vengeful Poseidon. But when Leto awakens from her death on the shore of a long-forgotten island, its enigmatic keeper Melantho tells her that there’s only one way the curse can be broken. Leto must kill the last prince of Ithaca . . .

In Lies We Sing to the Sea, debut author Sarah Underwood delivers a thrilling and breathtaking tale that will enthral readers from the very first page as they are transported to the cursed shores of Ithaca.

A reclamation of a story from thousands of years ago, Lies We Sing to the Sea is about love and fate, grief and sacrifice, and, ultimately, the power we must find within.

Published March 16th by Electric Monkey
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Her by Mira V Shah

SYNOPSIS:
YOU WANT TO BE JUST LIKE HER. BUT DO YOU REALLY KNOW HER?

Rani has always felt like an outsider. First growing up among her white, wealthy peers. And now next to her successful, child-free friends. From the tiny rented flat she lives in with her family, she imagines being the kind of woman who owns the beautiful house across the street.

Then Natalie moves in. With her expensive clothes, adoring husband and high-powered job, she has everything Rani wants, and Rani can’t help but be drawn to her new neighbour.

But as the two women strike up a friendship and begin open up, Rani wonders – is Natalie’s perfect-seeming life too good to be true?

Published March 23rd by Hodder & Stoughton
Pre-order here*

The Secrets of Hartwood Hall by Katie Lumsden

SYNOPSIS:
It’s 1852 and Margaret Lennox, a young widow, is offered a position as governess at Hartwood Hall. She quickly accepts, hoping this isolated country house will allow her to leave her past behind.

Cut off from the village, Margaret soon starts to feel there’s something odd about her new home, despite her growing fondness for her bright, affectionate pupil, Louis. There are strange figures in the dark, tensions between servants and an abandoned east wing. Even stranger is the local gossip surrounding Mrs Eversham, Louis’s widowed mother, who is deeply distrusted in the village.

Margaret finds distraction in a forbidden relationship with the gardener, Paul. But despite his efforts to reassure her, Margaret is certain that everyone here has something hide. And as Margaret’s own past threatens to catch up with her, she must learn to trust her instincts before it’s too late…

The Secrets of Hartwood Hall is a chilling gothic mystery, and an authentic and atmospheric love letter to Victorian fiction.

Published Marhch 30th by Michael Joseph
Buy here*

Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose

SYNOPSIS:
A deliciously scandalous story about the dark side of suburbia, DIRTY LAUNDRY bristles with lies, desire and the secrets that can make or break a marriage.

————-

Ciara, Lauren and Mishti are three mothers, friends, wives. But, underneath the perfectly managed routines of their lives, they are not the women you expect – and neither are the secrets they keep. We all have our dirty laundry to air, but when their carefully curated world is threatened, the devastation goes beyond scandal – it leads to murder . . .

Thoroughly entertaining and suspenseful, DIRTY LAUNDRY tackles the impossibility of who we fall in love with and the innate urge to create better versions of ourselves in our children.

Published March 30th by Viking.
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Crow Moon by Suzy Aspley

SYNOPSIS:
First in a series: A Martha Strangeways Investigation
 
An investigative reporter gives up her job when her young twins are killed in a fire, but when she stumbles across the body of a missing teenager, she’s thrust into a chilling investigation that will leave no one unscathed…
 
Strathban, Scotland. A village steeped in folklore and impenetrable mists and a horrifying mystery…
 
Martha Strangeways is struggling to find purpose in her life, after giving up her career as an investigative reporter when her young twins died in a house fire. Overwhelmed by guilt and grief, she carries their teeth in a matchbox wherever she goes…
 
But her life changes when she stumbles across the body of a missing teenager – a tragedy that turns even more sinister when a poem about crows is discovered inked onto his back… 
 
When another teenager goes missing in the remote landscape, Martha is drawn into the investigation, teaming up with DI Derek Summers, as malevolent rumours begin to spread and paranoia grows. 
 
As darkness descends on the village of Strathban, it soon becomes clear that no one is safe, including Martha…
 
Both a nerve-shattering, enthralling and atmospheric thriller and a moving tale of grief and psychological damage, Crow Moon is a staggeringly accomplished debut and the start of an addictive, unforgettable series.

Published April 13th by Orenda Books
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Go As A River by Shelley Read

SYNOPSIS:
A MESMERIZING READ FOR FANS OF WHERE THE CRAWDADS SINGGREAT CIRCLE AND THE PAPER PALACE
____________________

I’ve come to understand how the exceptional lurks beneath the ordinary like the deep and mysterious world beneath the sea.


On a cool autumn morning, Torie Nash heads into her village pulling a rickety wagon filled with late-season peaches. As she nears an intersection, a mysterious drifter with grimy thumbs and smudged cheeks stops to ask her the way.

She could turn left or cross over. But she does not. ‘Go as a river,’ he tells her.

So begins a mezmerising story that unfolds over a tumultuous lifetime as Torie begins to absorb and follow his words.

Gathering all the pieces of her small and extraordinary life, spinning through the eddies of desire, heartbreak and betrayal, she will arrive at a single rocky decision that will change her life for ever.

Published April 13th by Doubleday.
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The Grief Nurse by Angie Spoto

SYNOPSIS:
Imagine you could be rid of your sadness, your anxiety, your heartache, your fear.

Imagine you could take those feelings from others and turn them into something beautiful.

Lynx is a Grief Nurse. Kept by the Asters, a wealthy, influential family, to ensure they’re never troubled by negative emotions, she knows no other life.

When news arrives that the Asters’ eldest son is dead, Lynx does what she can to alleviate their Sorrow. As guests flock to the Asters’ private island for the wake, bringing their own secrets, lies and grief, tensions rise.

Then the bodies start to pile up.

With romance, intrigue and spectacular gothic world-building, this spellbinding debut novel is immersive and unforgettable.

Published April 13th by Sandstone Press
Pre-order here*

Love & Other Scams by PJ Ellis

SYNOPSIS:
There’s no thrill like breaking the rules…

******

Cat has a dangerously dwindling bank balance. She also has:

· a month before her landlord kicks her out
· a surprise wedding invitation from rich mean girl, Louisa
· a secret talent for con artistry

A priceless jewel the size of a cocktail olive is glinting on Louisa’s finger.

And when Cat meets her ideal plus one, Jake – who’s gifted at hustling and posing as the perfect boyfriend – this wedding becomes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. After all,

How hard can a diamond heist be?

******

THE MOST RIOTOUSLY ESCAPIST NOVEL OF 2023

PERFECT FOR FANS OF HOW TO KILL YOUR FAMILYCRAZY RICH ASIANS AND PORTRAIT OF A THIEF

Published April 13th by HarperNorth
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Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

SYNOPSIS:
This unputdownable debut follows three women in an old Brooklyn Heights clan: one who was born with money, one who married into it, and one who wants to give it all away.

Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected, carefully guarded Stockton family, has never had to worry about money. She followed her heart, trading her job and her inheritance for motherhood, sacrificing more of herself than she ever intended. Sasha, Darley’s new sister-in-law, has come from more humble origins, and her hesitancy about signing a pre-nup has everyone worried about her intentions. And Georgiana, the baby of the family, has fallen in love with someone she can’t (and really shouldn’t) have, and must confront the kind of person she wants to be.

Rife with the indulgent pleasures of life among New York’s one-percenters, Pineapple Street is a smart, escapist novel that sparkles with wit. Full of recognisable, loveable – if fallible – characters, it’s about the peculiar unknowability of someone else’s family, the miles between the haves and have-nots, and the insanity of first love – all wrapped in a story that is a sheer delight.

Published April 13th by Hutchinson Heinemann
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The Consultant by Im Seong-Sun

SYNOPSIS:
Sometimes work can be murder…

The Consultant is very good at his job. He creates simple, elegant, effective solutions for. restructuring. Nothing obvious or messy. Certainly nothing anyone would ever suspect as murder.

The ‘natural deaths’ he plans have always gone well: a medicine replaced here, a mechanism jammed there. His performance reviews are excellent. And it’s not as though he knows these people.

Until his next ‘customer’ turns out to be someone he not only knows but cares about, and for the first time, he begins to question the role he plays in the vast, anonymous Company. And as he slowly begins to understand the real scope of their work, he realises just how easy it would be for the Company to arrange one more perfect murder…

But how far will he go to escape The Company? And how far will they go to stop him?

The electrifying first novel from award-winning Korean thriller-writer Im Seong-Sun – now in English for the first time – combines the tension of the best crime fiction with searing social criticism to present a searing take-down of global corporate life.

Published April 13th by Raven
Pre-order here*

Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater

SYNOPSIS:
A BOOKSHOP. A TRUE CRIME CASE. A DEADLY FRIENDSHIP.

Roach – bookseller, loner and true crime obsessive – is not interested in making friends. She has all the company she needs in her serial killer books, murder podcasts and her pet snail, Bleep.

That is, until Laura joins the bookshop.

Smelling of roses, with her cute literary tote bags and beautiful poetry, she’s everyone’s new favourite bookseller. But beneath the shiny veneer, Roach senses a darkness within Laura, the same darkness Roach possesses.

As Roach’s curiosity blooms into morbid obsession, it becomes clear that she is prepared to infiltrate Laura’s life at any cost.

Published April 27th by Hodder & Stoughton
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The Maiden by Kate Foster

SYNOPSIS:
Inspired by a real-life case and winner of the Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect Award, Kate Foster’s The Maiden is a remarkable story witha feminist revisionist twist, giving a voice to women otherwise silenced by history.

“In the end, it did not matter what I said at my trial. No one believed me.”

Edinburgh, October 1679. Lady Christian Nimmo is arrested and charged with the murder of her lover, James Forrester. News of her imprisonment and subsequent trial is splashed across the broadsides, with headlines that leave little room for doubt: Adulteress. Whore. Murderess.

Only a year before, Christian was leading a life of privilege and respectability. So, what led her to risk everything for an affair? And does that make her guilty of murder? She wasn’t the only woman in Forrester’s life, and certainly not the only one who might have had cause to wish him dead . . .

Published April 27th by Mantle
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The Daughters of Madurai by Rajasree Variyar

SYNOPSIS:
‘A girl is a burdern A girl is a curse.’

Madurai, 1992. A young mother in a poor family, Janani is told she is useless if she can’t produce a son – or worse, bears daughters. They let her keep her first baby girl, but the rest are taken away as soon as they are born – murdered before they have a chance to live. The fate of her children has never been in her hands. But Janani can’t forget the daughters she was never allowed to love.

Sydney, 2019. Nila has a secret, one she’s been keeping from her parents for far too long. Before she can say anything, her grandfather in India falls ill and she agrees to join her parents on a trip to Madurai – the first in over ten years. Growing up in Australia, Nila knows very little about where she or her family came from, or who they left behind. What she’s about to learn will change her forever…

Perfect for fans of Christy Lefteri and Delia Owens, The Daughters of Madurai is a moving and powerful debut from an unforgettable new voice.

Published April 27th by Orion
Pre-order here*

Orphia and Eurydicius by Elyse John

SYNOPSIS:
A stunning, enthralling story about unconventional love, the power of creativity and the courage of women who struggle to make their voices heard – for fans of Jennifer Saint, Madeline Miller and Pat Barker.

Their love transcends every boundary. Can it cheat death?

Orphia dreams of something more than the warrior crafts she’s been forced to learn. Hidden away on a far-flung island, her blood sings with poetry and her words can move flowers to bloom and forests to grow … but her father, the sun god Apollo, has forbidden her this art.

A chance meeting with a young shield-maker, Eurydicius, gives her the courage to use her voice. After wielding all her gifts to defeat one final champion, Orphia draws the scrutiny of the gods. Performing her poetry, she wins the protection of the goddesses of the arts: the powerful Muses, who welcome her to their sanctuary on Mount Parnassus. Orphia learns to hone her talents, crafting words of magic infused with history, love and tragedy.

When Eurydicius joins her, Orphia struggles with her desire for fame and her budding love. As her bond with the gentle shield-maker grows, she joins the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece. Facing dragons, sirens and ruthless warriors on the voyage, Orphia earns unparalleled fame, but she longs to return to Eurydicius.

Yet she has a darker journey to make – one which will see her fight for her love with all the power of her poetry.

Published May 3rd by Harper Collins Australia
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The Dive by Sara Ochs

SYNOPSIS:
Escape to paradise.
Scuba diving instructor Cass leads her students out for their first dive off the beautiful coast of Koh Sang, Thailand’s world-famous party island. It’s supposed to be a life-changing experience, but things quickly spiral out of control…

Leave your secrets behind.
By the time she gets back to the shore, one of her students is dead, another badly injured, and she knows that her idyllic life is about to be smashed to pieces on the rocks.

But don’t get lost for ever…
Someone has discovered Cass’s secret, and on an island as remote as this, accidents happen. Plenty of backpackers choose to stay here for ever – but some are never heard from again…

Published May 11th by Bantam Press
Pre-order here*

Fyneshade by Kate Griffin

SYNOPSIS:
I have come to Fyneshade to take up a position as governess. Many would find much to fear in its dark and crumbling corridors, its unseen master and silent servants. But not I. For they have far more to fear from me…

On the day of her grandmother’s funeral, Marta discovers that she is to be sent away from the only home she has ever known. Away from her aunt who despises her, and the man she has been forbidden to marry. She is to be governess at Fyneshade, her charge the young daughter of the owner, Sir William Pritchard.

All is not well at Fyneshade. Sir William is mysteriously absent, and his son and heir Vaughan Pritchard is forbidden to enter the house. Marta finds herself drawn to him, despite the warnings of the housekeeper, Mrs Petrie, that Vaughan is a danger to all around him. But Marta is no innocent to be preyed upon. Guided by the dark gift taught to her by her grandmother, she has made her own plans. It will take more than a family riven by murderous secrets to stop her…

Perfect for readers of Laura Purcell, Jessie Burton and Stacey Halls, Fyneshade is a dark and twisted gothic novel unlike any you’ve read before…

Published May 18th by Viper Books
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The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop

SYNOPSIS:
Destined to be THE dark book-club debut of 2023. A compulsive and timely exploration of the complicated nature of memory and trauma, power and consent, victimhood and shame.

**********

Rachel has loved Alistair since she was seventeen.

Even though she hasn’t seen him for sixteen years and she’s now married to someone else.

Even though she was a teenager when they met.

Even though he is almost twenty years older than her.

Now in her thirties, Rachel has never been able to forget their golden summer together on a remote, sun-trapped Greek island. But as dark and deeply suppressed memories rise to the surface, Rachel begins to understand that Alistair – and the enigmatic, wealthy man he worked for – controlled much more than she ever realized.

Rachel has never once considered herself a victim – until now.

Published May 25th by Bantam Press
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Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara

SYNOPSIS:
A stunning, exciting and hotly-anticipated feminist retelling of one of the greatest love stories in Greek mythology!

The greatest love story ever told…

Born into an era of heroes, a prophecy claims that Psyche – Princess of Mycenae – will defeat a monster feared even by the gods themselves. Rebelling against society’s traditions, she spends her youth mastering blade and bow, preparing to fulfil her destiny.

But she is soon caught up in powers beyond her control, when the jealous Aphrodite sends the God of Desire, Eros, to deliver a fatal love-curse. The last thing Eros wants is to become involved in the chaos of the mortal world, but when he is pricked by the very arrow intended for Psyche, he is doomed to love a woman who will be torn from him the moment their eyes meet.

Thrown together by fate, headstrong Psyche and world-weary Eros will face challenges greater than they could have ever imagined. And as the Trojan War begins and the whole of the heavens try to keep them apart, will they find their way back to each other… before it’s too late?

Published May 25th by Orion.
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Savage Beasts by Rani Selvarajah

SYNOPSIS:
A propulsive retelling of the Greek myth, Medea, like you’ve never seen her before.

A woman wronged will shake an empire

Calcutta, 1757.

Bengal is on the brink of war. The East India Company, led by the fearsome Sir Peter Chilcott, are advancing and nobody is safe. Meena, the Nawab’s neglected and abused daughter, finds herself falling under the spell of James Chilcott, nephew of Sir Peter, who claims he wants to betray the company . . . for a price.

Caught between friend and foe, Meena and James escape Calcutta, their hands stained in blood and pockets filled with gold. In Ceylon, they’re cleansed of their sins by Meena’s beloved aunt Kiran, before the young lovers set sail for the Dutch controlled Cape of Good Hope, with the promise of a new life.

Yet past resentments and present betrayals begin to pile up as they struggle to overcome their differences. And as Meena yet again finds herself in a foreign land without anyone to turn to, she is forced to find out what she is willing to sacrifice when love turns to hate.

The perfect read for fans of The Song of Achilles, Ariadne and Pandora

Published May 25th by One More Chapter
Pre-order here*

The Miniscule Mansion of Myra Malone by Audrey Burges

SYNOPSIS:
Audrey Burges The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone is a charming and magical debut novel, with a love story at its heart, woven across multiple periods and perspectives, about a mystical dolls’ house.

Once upon a time there was a house . . .

From her attic in the Arizona mountains, thirty-four-year-old recluse Myra Malone blogs about a miniature mansion – a dolls’ house – which captivates thousands of readers worldwide. Myra herself is tethered to the Mansion by a strange magic she can’t understand – there are rooms that appear and disappear overnight, music that plays in its corridors.

Across the country, Alex Rakes, the thirty-four-year-old heir of a furniture business, encounters two Mansion fans trying to recreate a room. Alex is shocked to recognize his own bedroom in minute scale. The Mansion is his family’s home, handed down from the grandmother who disappeared mysteriously when Alex was a child. Searching for answers, Alex begins corresponding with Myra. Together, the two unwind the lonely paths of their twin worlds – big and small – and trace the stories that entwine them, setting the stage for a meeting rooted in loss, but defined by love.

Published June 1st by Pan Macmillan
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The Interpreter by Brooke Robinson

SYNOPSIS:
INNOCENT OR GUILTY. IT’S ALL A MATTER OF INTERPRETATION…

A clever, compulsive thriller for readers of Louise Candlish, Harriet Tyce and Sarah Vaughn, Launching 2023

A childhood spent moving around the world left Revelle Lee with an unusual gift – the ability to fluently speak 11 languages. Now, Revelle spends her days translating for witnesses, victims, and the accused across London crime scenes and courtrooms. It’s a stressful job, though not as stressful as the process she is currently going through to adopt little boy, Elliot. She is determined to be the mother to him that she never had, and to make up for her own past mistakes.

But when it seems a murderer will go free, Revelle puts the adoption and her job at risk, deliberately mis-translating the alibi to ensure he is found guilty. No one can ever find out that she interfered or she will lose her son and her livelihood.

The problem is someone already knows what she’s done… and they want justice of their own.

IF YOU LIKED THE SILENT PATIENT, YOU’LL LOVE THE INTERPRETER

Published June 8th by Harvill Secker
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The Burnings by Naomi Kelsey

SYNOPSIS:
Nothing scares men like witchcraft . . .

1589. Scottish housemaid Geillis and Danish courtier Margareta lead opposite lives, but they both know one thing: when a man cries “witch”, no woman is safe.

Yet when the marriage of King James VI and Princess Anna of Denmark brings Geillis and Margareta together, everything they supposed about good, evil, men, and women, is cast in a strange and brilliant new light.

For the first time in history, could black magic – or rumours of it – be a very real tool for women’s political gain?

As the North Berwick witch trials whip Scotland – and her king – into a frenzy of paranoia, the clock is ticking. Can Margareta and Geillis keep each other safe? And once the burnings are over, in whose hands will power truly lie?

Inspired by the incredible true story that set 16th-century Scotland and Denmark alight, The Burnings is 2023’s most bewitching debut novel, by a multi-awardwinning new star of historical fiction.

Published June 8th by Harper North
Pre-order here*

Speak of the Devil by Rose Wilding

SYNOPSIS:
All of us knew him. One of us killed him…

Seven women stand in shock in a seedy hotel room; a man’s severed head sits in the centre of the floor. Each of the women – the wife, the teenager, the ex, the journalist, the colleague, the friend, and the woman who raised him – has a very good reason to have done it, yet each swears she did not. In order to protect each other, they must figure out who is responsible, all while staying one step ahead of the police.

Against the ticking clock of a murder investigation, each woman’s secret is brought to light as the connections between them converge to reveal a killer.

A dark and nuanced portrait of love, loyalty, and manipulation, Speak of the Devil explores the roles in which women are cast in the lives of terrible men…and the fallout when they refuse to stay silent for one moment longer.

Published June 22nd by Baskerville
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The Other Side of Mrs Wood by Lucy Barker

SYNOPSIS:
The irresistible historical comedy about two rival mediums in Victorian London

Mrs Wood is London’s most celebrated medium. She’s managed to survive decades in the competitive world of contacting the Other Side, has avoided the dreaded slips that revealed others as frauds and is still hosting packed-out séances for Victorian high society.

Yet, some of her patrons have recently cancelled their appointments. There are reports of American mediums nearly materialising full spirits and audiences are no longer satisfied with the knocking on tables and candle theatrics of years gone by. And then, at one of Mrs Wood’s routine gatherings, she hears something terrifying – faint, but unmistakable: a yawn.

Mrs Wood needs to spice up her brand. She decides to take on Emmie, a young protégé, to join her show. But is Emmie Finch the naïve ingenue she seems to be? Or does she pose more of a threat to Mrs Wood’s reign and, more horrifyingly, her reputation than Mrs Wood could ever have imagined?

Published June 22md by Fourth Estate
Pre-order here*

The Housekeepers by Alex Hay

SYNOPSIS:
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO THE MOST AUDACIOUS LAUNCH OF 2023…



Mayfair, 1905. The grandest house on Park Lane has just dismissed its housekeeper.

All manner of treasures lie behind the pillared doors – and scandalous secrets too. With the event of the season looming, nothing must go wrong.

But what no one knows is that Mrs King will be back at Park Lane on the night of the ball. She has an audacious plan in mind… and knows just who to recruit to help her clean up.

Housekeeper. Sewing maid. Kitchen girl. Thief.

Never underestimate the women downstairs.

IT’S YOUR HOUSE. BUT IT’S THEIR RULES.

Dazzling, stylish and wildly entertaining, The Housekeepers lets loose an outlandish alliance of women you’ll never forget.

Published July 6th by Headline
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House Woman by Adorah Nworah

SYNOPSIS:
My name is Ikemefuna Nwosu, and I am your wife.

One day in Lagos, young dancer Ikemefuna is put on a plane to Houston to meet her new husband, Nna. Promises are made to her – about her education, about the man she will marry, about her freedom.

None of them are kept.

A few months later, self-professed feminist Nna finds a beautiful woman cooking in his parents’ kitchen. They tell him Ikemefuna is his wife, there to give them the grandson they’ve been waiting for. She appears obedient, malleable.

But she is no ordinary wife.

In the Texas heat, patience runs on short supply and the atmosphere in the house becomes increasingly strained, increasingly violent. Desperation makes people do strange things…

Unpredictable and unsettling, HOUSE WOMAN is a delicious thriller you will never be able to forget.

Published July 6th by The Borough Press
Buy here*

The Witching Tide by Margaret Meyer

SYNOPSIS:
THERE IS POWER IN SILENCE

East Anglia, 1645. Martha Hallybread, a midwife, healer and servant, has lived peacefully for more than four decades in her beloved Cleftwater. Everyone in the village knows Martha, but no one has ever heard her speak.

One bright morning, Martha becomes a silent witness to a witch hunt, led by sinister new arrival Silas Makepeace. As a trusted member of the community, she is enlisted to search the bodies of the accused women for evidence. But whilst she wants to help her friends, she also harbours a dark secret that could cost her own freedom.

In desperation, Martha revives a wax witching doll that she inherited from her mother, in the hope that it will bring protection. But the doll’s true powers are unknowable, the tide is turning, and time is running out . . .

A spellbinding and intoxicating novel inspired by true events, The Witching Tide is a magnificent debut from a writer to watch.

Published July 6th by Phoenix
Buy here*

My Murder by Katie Williams

SYNOPSIS:
SOMETIMES THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN SOLVE YOUR MURDER IS YOU.

‘Completely absorbing. A smart, speculative twist on domestic suspense.’ – Ashley Audrain, bestselling author of The Push

Lou has been murdered.


She was the fifth victim of the serial killer Edward Early. A young wife and new mother, Lou’s death outraged a public breathlessly following the story of the serial murders.

Lou has been cloned.

Along with Early’s other four victims, Lou has been brought back to life by the government-funded replication commission. The women gather at a weekly support group, helping each other to navigate a society obsessed with their very existence.

Lou has been lied to.

But when Lou agrees to help fellow murder victim Fern secure a visit with Edward Early, a shocking revelation causes Lou to investigate the events around her death and question everything she thought she knew about her murder.

Can she finally uncover the truth?

Published July 6th by Wildfire
Pre-order here*

The List by Yomi Adegoke

SYNOPSIS:
From award-winning journalist and bestselling co-author of Slay in Your Lane, Yomi Adegoke, comes The List, a sensational, page-turning debut novel about secrets, lies and our lives online.

Ola Olajide, a high-profile journalist at Womxxxn magazine, is marrying the love of her life in one month’s time. Young, beautiful, successful – she and her fiancé Michael are the ‘couple goals’ of their social networks and seem to have it all.

That is, until one morning when they both wake up to the same message:

‘Oh my god, have you seen The List?’

Compulsively page-turning, wildly entertaining and piercing with fearless insight, The List is perfect for fans of Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid and Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy YouThe List by Yomi Adegoke is set to be the most hotly debated debut novel of 2023.

Published July 6th by Fourth Estate
Pre-order here*

Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Torzs

SYNOPSIS:
Some books should never be opened.

A spellbinding, edge-of your seat thriller, Ink Blood Sister Scribe follows a family tasked with guarding a trove of magical but deadly books, and the shadowy organisation that will do anything to get them back . . . even murder.
____________

Joanna Kalotay lives alone in the woods of Vermont, the sole protector of a collection of rare books; books that will allow someone to walk through walls or turn water into wine. Books of magic.

Her estranged older sister Esther moves between countries and jobs, constantly changing, never staying anywhere longer than a year, desperate to avoid the deadly magic that killed her mother. Currently working on a research base in Antarctica, she has found love and perhaps a sort of happiness.

But when she finds spots of blood on the mirrors in the research base, she knows someone is coming for her, and that Joanna and her collection are in danger.

If they are to survive, she and Joanna must unravel the secrets their parents kept hidden from them – secrets that span centuries and continents, and could cost them their lives …

Published July 6th by Century
Pre-order here*

You’d Look Better as a Ghost by Joanna Wallace

SYNOPSIS:
I have a gift. I see people as ghosts before they die.
Of course, it helps that I’m the one killing them.

The night after her father’s funeral, Claire meets Lucas in a bar. Lucas doesn’t know it, but it’s not a chance meeting. One thoughtless mistyped email has put him in the crosshairs of an extremely put-out serial killer. But before they make eye contact, before Claire lets him buy her a drink, even before she takes him home and carves him up into little pieces, something about that night is very wrong. Because someone is watching Claire. Someone who is about to discover her murderous little hobby.

The thing is, it’s not sensible to tangle with a part-time serial killer, even one who is distracted by attending a weekly bereavement support group and trying to get her art career off the ground. Let the games begin…

Dexter meets Killing Eve in this superb thriller, perfect for fans of How To Kill Your Family and My Sister the Serial Killer.

Published September 7th by Viper
Pre-order here*

********

What do you think of my choices? Are any of these on your TBR for 2023? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles xxx

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Emma's Anticipated Treasures

Emma’s Anticipated Treasures: October 2022

October means spooky and thrilling reads and the books being released this year don’t disappoint. There’s some truly eerie and suspenseful books that I can’t wait to get my hands on, as well as lots of other exciting reads.

Here are the twenty-eight books out next month that made my list:

The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead

Published: October 1st
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Literary Thriller, Literary Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
From the author of the acclaimed In My Dreams I Hold a Knife comes a pitch-black thriller about a woman determined to destroy a powerful cult and avenge the deaths of the women taken in by it, no matter the cost.

While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay’s built a new life in a tony Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel’s death-delivered, of all ways, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader-she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive, and the predators more dangerous than ever.

Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend’s life, she’s pulled into a dark, seductive world, where wealth and privilege shield brutal philosophies that feel all too familiar. When Shay’s obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so consuming she can no longer separate her desire for justice from darker desires newly reawakened, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule it-both inside the cult and outside of it-is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?

Buy here*

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

Published: October 4th
Publisher: Abacus
Genre: Dystopian Fiction, Literary Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
From the #1 bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere, a deeply heart-wrenching novel about the unbreakable love between a mother and child in a society consumed by fear.

Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in Harvard’s library. He knows not to ask too many questions, stand out too much, stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve ‘American culture’ in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic – including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.

Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is drawn into a quest to find her. His journey will take him through the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.

Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can turn a blind eye to the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power – and limitations – of art to create change in the world, the lessons and legacies we pass onto our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.

Buy here*

The Toll House by Carly Reagon

Published: October 6th
Publisher: Sphere
Genre: Thriller, Ghost Story, Horror Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
The spine-tingling ghost story everyone is raving about.

The past isn’t always dead and buried.

A house with history. That’s how the estate agent described the old toll house on the edge of the town. For Kelda it’s the perfect rural home for her young son Dylan after a difficult few years.

But when Kelda finds a death mask concealed behind one of the walls, everything changes. Inexplicable things happen in the house, Kelda cannot shake the feeling of being watched and Dylan is plagued by nightmares, convinced he can see figures in his room. As Dylan’s behaviour becomes increasingly challenging, Kelda seeks answers in the house’s mysterious past. But she’s running out of time.

Because something has awoken.

And now it won’t rest . . .

Buy here*

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout

Published: October 6th
Publisher: Viking
Genre: Literary Fiction, Saga

SYNOPSIS:
From the Pulitzer prize-winning author of MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON – available for pre-order now

‘It is a gift in this life that we do not know what awaits us’

In March 2020 Lucy’s ex-husband William pleads with her to leave New York and escape to a coastal house he has rented in Maine. Lucy reluctantly agrees, leaving the washing-up in the sink, expecting to be back in a week or two. Weeks turn into months, and it’s just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the sea.

Rich with empathy and a searing clarity, Lucy by the Sea evokes the fragility and uncertainty of the recent past, as well as the possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire. At the heart of this miraculous novel are the deep human connections that sustain us, even as the world seems to be falling apart.

Buy here*

The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho by Patterson Joseph

Published: October 6th
Published: Dialogue Books
Genre: Historical Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
Meet Charles Ignatius Sancho: his extraordinary story, hidden for three hundred years, is about to be told.

I had little right to live, born on a slave ship where my parents both died. But I survived, and indeed, you might say I did more…

It’s 1746 and Georgian London is not a safe place for a young Black man, especially one who has escaped slavery. After the twinkling lights in the Fleet Street coffee shops are blown out and the great houses have closed their doors for the night, Sancho must dodge slave catchers and worse. The man he hoped would help – a kindly duke who taught him to write – is dying. Sancho is desperate and utterly alone.

So how does Charles Ignatius Sancho meet the King, write and play highly acclaimed music, become the first Black person to vote in Britain and lead the fight to end slavery?

It’s time for him to tell his story, one that begins on a tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, and ends at the very centre of London life. And through it all, he must ask: born amongst death, how much can you achieve in one short life?

From one of Britain’s best-loved actors, Paterson Joseph, comes an utterly captivating and haunting historical novel, telling the true story of a Great Black Briton. Fans of BridgertonHamilton, Jessie Burton and The Confessions of Frannie Langton will adore being led into the heart of Black Georgian London.

Buy here*

Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese

Published: October 6th
Publisher: Duckworth
Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror Fiction, Contemporary Horro

SYNOPSIS:
A captivating imagined tale of the woman who inspired Hester Prynne, the tragic heroine of The Scarlet Letter, mining the legacy of the Salem witch trials

Edinburgh, early 1800s: Isobel, a seamstress, and her husband Edward set sail for New England, in flight from his opium addiction and mounting debts. But, arriving in Salem, Isobel soon finds herself penniless and alone.

When she meets the young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows – while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. Nathaniel and Isobel grow closer and closer. Together, they are dark storyteller and muse; enchanter and enchanted. But which is which?

Buy here*

House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson

Published: October 6th
Publisher: Bantam Press
Genre: Gothic Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Ghost Story, Horror Fiction, Paranormal Fantasy, LGBT Literature

SYNOPSIS:
WANTED: A bloodmaid of exceptional tasteMust have a keen proclivity for life’s finer pleasures. Girls of weak will need not apply.

A young woman is drawn into the upper echelons of a society where blood is power, in this dark and enthralling Gothic novel from the author of The Year of the Witching.

Marion Shaw has been raised in the slums, where want and deprivation are all she knows. Despite longing to leave the city and its miseries, she has no real hope of escape until the day she spots a strange advertisement in the newspaper, seeking a ‘bloodmaid’.

Though she knows little about the far north – where wealthy nobles live in luxury and drink the blood of those in their service – Marion applies to the position. In a matter of days, she finds herself at the notorious House of Hunger. There, Marion is swept into a world of dark debauchery – and there, at the centre of it all is her.

Her name is Countess Lisavet. Loved and feared in equal measure, she presides over this hedonistic court. And she takes a special interest in Marion. Lisavet is magnetic, charismatic, seductive – and Marion is eager to please her new mistress. But when her fellow bloodmaids begin to go missing in the night, Marion is thrust into a vicious game of cat and mouse. She’ll need to learn the rules of her new home – and fast – or its halls will soon become her grave.

Buy here*

On the Rooftop by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Published: October 6th
Publisher: Magpie
Genre: Historical Fiction, Domestic Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
A Most Anticipated Book according to The MillionsMs. Magazine and Good Housekeeping

Ruth, Esther and Chloe have been singing in harmony since before they could speak. Together they are The Salvations. Driven to success by their formidably ambitious mother, Vivian, they’re soon the hottest jazz band in San Francisco.

When the girls receive a once-in-a-lifetime offer from a renowned talent manager, Vivian knows this is the big break she has been praying for. She can see a different future for her girls, one that is a far cry from her childhood in racially segregated Louisiana.

But somewhere between the grind of endless rehearsals on the rooftop and the glamour of weekly gigs at the Champagne Supper Club, the girls grow up and start to imagine a life beyond their mother’s reach. As Vivian’s hold on her family begins to weaken, she must confront changes in The Salvations, in the San Francisco neighbourhood she has made her home, and even in her own family.

Buy here*

Mothering by Ainslie Hogarth

Published: October 6th
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Genre: Literary Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Horror Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
Abby Lamb has done it. She’s found the Great Good in her husband, Ralph, and together they will start a family and put all the darkness in her childhood to rest. But then the Lambs move in with Ralph’s mother, Laura, whose depression has made it impossible for her to live on her own. She’s venomous and cruel, especially to Abby, who has a complicated understanding of motherhood given the way her own, now-estranged, mother raised her.

When Laura takes her own life, her ghost starts to haunt Abby and Ralph in very different ways. Ralph is plunged into depression, and Abby is being terrorized by a force intent on taking everything she loves away from her. With everything on the line, Abby must make the ultimate sacrifice in order to prove her adoration to Ralph and break Laura’s hold on the family for good.

Buy here*

The Empress by Gigi Griffis

Published: October 11th
Publisher: Swift Press
Genre: Historical Romance, Biographical Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story

SYNOPSIS:
The Empress is a dazzling reimagining of the courtship between one of history’s most iconic and beloved couples: Sisi and Franz of Austria.

The year is 1853, and sixteen-year-old Elisabeth “Sisi” of Bavaria has been very clear: she will wait for the sweeping, head-over-heels kind of love the poets speak of, or she will have no love at all. It is not her fault Mother refuses to listen. After all, just because her older sister Helene has chosen the line of duty, and is preparing to marry Emperor Franz of Austria, does not mean Sisi also needs to subject herself to such a passionless, regimented existence. Sisi knows there is more to life than corsets, luncheons, and woefully unfashionable dukes … if only someone would give her the chance to experience it firsthand.

Meanwhile, in Austria, the Emperor is recovering from an assassination attempt that left him wounded and scared. In a bid to keep the peace, Franz has recommitted himself to his imperial duties-and promised to romance the pliant Bavarian princess, Helene, at his upcoming birthday celebration. How better to unite the country than with the announcement of a new Empress?

But when Sisi and Franz meet unexpectedly in the palace gardens, away from the prying eyes and relentless critique of their families, their connection cannot be denied. And as their illicit conversations turn into something more, they must soon choose between the expectations of the court, and the burning desires of their hearts…

Epic, captivating, and deliciously steamy, The Empress is a remarkably contemporary tale of falling in love and finding one’s voice.

Buy here*

The Ghost Woods by C. J. Cooke

Published: October 13th
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Genre: Gothic Fiction, Mystery, Fairy Tale, Horror Fiction, Suspense, Magical Realism, Supernatural Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
In the midst of the woods stands a house called Lichen Hall.

This place is shrouded in folklore – old stories of ghosts, of witches, of a child who is not quite a child.

Now the woods are creeping closer, and something has been unleashed.

Pearl Gorham arrives in 1965, one of a string of young women sent to Lichen Hall to give birth. And she soon suspects the proprietors are hiding something.

Then she meets the mysterious mother and young boy who live in the grounds – and together they begin to unpick the secrets of this place.

As the truth comes to the surface and the darkness moves in, Pearl must rethink everything she knew – and risk what she holds most dear.

Buy here*

The Call of Cassandra Rose by Sophia Spiers

Published: October 13th
Publisher: Lume Books
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Contemporary Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
Annabelle seems to have it all. The perfect house, a successful husband, a darling son. But Annabelle is troubled.

Trapped in an unhappy marriage, failing at motherhood, and at odds with her new privileged lifestyle, Annabelle begins to self-harm, a habit resurrected from her traumatic past.

When she meets the alluring and charismatic hypnotherapist Cassandra Rose, she is offered a way out.

Through hypnosis, Annabelle is encouraged to unearth her painful repressed memories and face her childhood demons. But as the boundaries between her hypnotic trance and reality begin to dissolve, Annabelle becomes increasingly vulnerable to much darker forces.

Filled with twists and suspense, The Call of Cassandra Rose is a chilling thriller that examines how trauma shapes our lives and asks whether we can ever really escape our pasts.

A Londoner of proud Italian and Greek heritage, Sophia Spiers grew up on the Lisson Green Council Estate, which informed the depiction of her protagonist’s childhood. She studied Film at university, and in her twenties and early thirties worked in TV and post-production before turning her attention to her true passion: writing. Sophia was one of the six outstanding mentees chosen from over 1500 entrants to be part of the inaugural Madeleine Milburn mentorship scheme, and has been honing her craft ever since.

Buy here*

6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten

Published: October 13th
Publisher: One More Chapter
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural

SYNOPSIS:
ONE HOUSE
EIGHT KILLERS
NO WITNESSES

Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high risk offenders released on license.

At 3am one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered.

Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed…

Don’t miss the first nerve-shredding standalone thriller from Noelle Holten, author of the Maggie Jamieson series.

Buy here*

Red As Blood by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Published: October 13th
Publisher: Orenda
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Scandi Noir, Crime Fiction, Crime Series

SYNOPSIS:
Áróra becomes involved in the search for an Icelandic woman who disappeared from her home while making dinner, as she continues to hunt for her missing sister. The second breathtaking instalment in the chilling, addictive An Áróra Investigation series…
 
_________________________________________

When entrepreneur Flosi arrives home for dinner one night, he discovers that his house has been ransacked, and his wife Gudrun missing. A letter on the kitchen table confirms that she has been kidnapped. If Flosi doesn’t agree to pay an enormous ransom, Gudrun will be killed. 

Forbidden from contacting the police, he gets in touch with Áróra, who specialises in finding hidden assets, and she, alongside her detective friend Daniel, try to get to the bottom of the case without anyone catching on.

Meanwhile, Áróra and Daniel continue the puzzling, devastating search for Áróra’s sister Ísafold, who disappeared without trace. As fog descends, in a cold and rainy Icelandic autumn, the investigation becomes increasingly dangerous, and confusing. 

Chilling, twisty and unbearably tense, Red as Blood is the second instalment in the riveting, addictive An Áróra Investigation series, and everything is at stake…

Buy here

Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez

Published: October 13th
Publisher: Granta Books
Genre: Gothic Fiction, Horror Fiction, Paranormal Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
From cult sensation Mariana Enriquez, author of the International Booker Prize-shortlisted The Dangers of Smoking in Bed

His father could find what was lost. His father knew when someone was going to die. His father had talked to him about the dead who rode in on the wind. The dead travel fast.

Gaspar is six years old when the Order first come for him.

For years, they have exploited his father’s ability to commune with the dead and the demonic, presiding over macabre rituals where the unwanted and the disappeared are tortured and executed, sacrificed to the Darkness. Now they want a successor.

Nothing will stop the Order, nothing is beyond them. Surrounded by horrors, can Gaspar break free?

Spanning the brutal decades of Argentina’s military dictatorship and its aftermath, Our Share of Night is a haunting, thrilling novel of broken families, cursed inheritances, and the sacrifices a father will make to help his son escape his destiny.

Buy here*

After the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport

Published: October 13th
Publisher: Scribe UK
Genre: Biography, History

SYNOPSIS:
From the internationally bestselling author of Four Sisters comes the story of the Russian aristocrats, artists, and intellectuals who sought refuge in Belle Époque Paris.

From the time of Peter the Great, Paris was the playground of the tsarist aristocracy. But the fall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917 forced Russians of all types to flee their homeland. Leaving with only the clothes on their backs, many came to France’s glittering capital. Paris was no longer an amusement, but a refuge.

There, former princes could be seen driving taxicabs, while their wives found work in the fashion houses, where their unique Russian style inspired designers such as Coco Chanel. Talented intellectuals, artists, poets, philosophers, and writers eked out a living at menial jobs, while others found great success. Nijinsky, Diaghilev, Bunin, Chagall, and Stravinsky joined Picasso, Hemingway, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein in the creative crucible of the Années folles.

Politics as much as art absorbed the emigrés. Activists sought to overthrow the Bolshevik regime from afar, while double agents plotted espionage and assassination from both sides. Others became trapped in a cycle of poverty and their all-consuming homesickness for Russia, the land they had been forced to abandon.

This is their story.

Buy here*

Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries: How Women (Also) Built the World by Kate Mosse

Published: October 13th
Publisher: Mantle
Genre: History

SYNOPSIS:
“My hope is that this book will inspire as I have been inspired. It’s a love letter to the importance of history and about how, without knowing where we come from – truthfully and entirely – we cannot know who we are.”

Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries is a celebration of unheard and under-heard women’s history. Within these pages you’ll meet nearly 1000 women whose names deserve to be better known: from the Mothers of Invention and the trailblazing women at the Bar; warrior queens and pirate commanders; the women who dedicated their lives to the natural world or to medicine; those women of courage who resisted and fought for what they believed in to defend their families, their culture and their countries; to the unsung heroes of stage, screen and stadium. It travels the world – from the UK to the United States of America, Romania and Chile to Pakistan, Uganda to Germany, South Africa and India to New Zealand – and spans all periods of time. But it is also an intensely moving detective story of the author’s own family history as Kate Mosse pieces together the forgotten life of her great-grandmother, Lily Watson, a famous and highly-successful novelist in her day who has all but disappeared from the record . . .

Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries is accessible, ambitious in its scope and fascinating in its detail. A beautifully illustrated book, it features a diverse and global cast of names and is both an alternative and eclectic women’s history of the world, a love letter to family history and a personal memoir about the nature of women’s struggles to be heard and their achievements acknowledged. Joyous, celebratory and engaging, it is a book for everyone who has ever wondered how history is made.

Buy here*

The House of Lost Wives by Rebecca Hardy

Published: October 13th
Publisher: Headline
Genre: Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Historical Mystery

SYNOPSIS:
The truth lies in the walls of Ambletye Manor . . .

A thrilling regency tale – filled with mystery, romance and secrets – for fans of Eve Chase, Louise Douglas and Tracy Rees.

……………………………………………………………………

Secrets. Lies.
And four missing wives.

1813. Lizzie’s beloved older sister Esme is sold in marriage to the aging Lord Blountford to settle their father’s debts.

One year later, Esme is dead, and Lizzie is sent to take her place as Lord Blountford’s next wife.

Arriving at Ambletye Manor, Lizzie uncovers a twisted web of secrets, not least that she is to be the fifth mistress of this house.

Marisa. Anne. Pansy. Esme.

What happened to the four wives who came before her?

In possession of a unique gift, only Lizzie can hear their stories, and try to find a way to save herself from sharing the same fate.

Buy here*

Keep It In The Family by John Marrs

Published: October 18th
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Genre: Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Literary Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
In this chilling novel from bestselling author John Marrs, a young couple’s house hides terrible secrets―and not all of them are confined to the past.

Mia and Finn are busy turning a derelict house into their dream home when Mia unexpectedly falls pregnant. But just when they think the house is ready, Mia discovers a chilling message scored into a skirting board: I WILL SAVE THEM FROM THE ATTIC. Following the clue up into the eaves, the couple make a gruesome discovery: their dream home was once a house of horrors.

In the wake of their traumatic discovery, the baby arrives and Mia can’t shake her fixation with the monstrous crimes that happened right above them. Haunted by the terrible things she saw and desperate to find answers, her obsession pulls her ever further from her husband.

Secrecy shrouds the mystery of the attic, but when shards of a dark truth start to emerge, Mia realises the danger is terrifyingly present. She is prepared to do anything to protect her family―but is it already too late?

Buy here*

The Boys From Biloxi by John Grisham

Published: October 18th
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Legal Thriller, Political Thriller

SYNOPSIS:
Sunday Times No 1 bestseller John Grisham returns to Mississippi in his most gripping thriller yet.

For most of the last hundred years, Biloxi was known for its beaches, resorts, and seafood industry. But it had a darker side. It was also notorious for corruption and vice, everything from gambling, prostitution, bootleg liquor, drugs . . . even contract killings. The vice was controlled by a small cabal of mobsters, many of them rumoured to be members of the Dixie Mafia.

Keith Rudy and Hugh Malco grew up in Biloxi in the sixties and were childhood friends. But as teenagers, their lives took them in different directions. Keith’s father became a legendary prosecutor, determined to ‘clean up the Coast.’ Hugh’s father became the ‘Boss’ of Biloxi’s criminal underground. Keith went to law school and followed in his father’s footsteps. Hugh preferred the nightlife and worked in his father’s clubs. The two families were headed for a showdown, one that would happen in a courtroom.

Rich with history and with a large cast of unforgettable characters, The Boys from Biloxi is a sweeping saga of two sons of immigrant families who grow up as friends, but ultimately find themselves in a knife-edge legal confrontation in which life itself hangs in the balance.

In this novel, Grisham takes his powerful storytelling to the next level, his trademark twists and turns will keep you tearing through the pages until the stunning conclusion.

Buy here*

The Thirty-One Doors by Kate Hulme

Published: October 20th
Publisher: Coronet
Genre: Historical Mystery, Ghost Story, Horror Fiction, Thriller, Suspense

SYNOPSIS:
If these walls could talk . . .

Scarpside House is famed for its beauty, its isolation, and its legendary parties.

Tonight, it hosts the Penny Club soiree. An annual gathering of lucky men and women from all walks of life, coming together to celebrate their survival against the odds.

But this year their luck is running thin.

Accidents do happen, after all . . .

And some are long overdue . . .

Buy here*

The Atlas Paradox (Atlas Series 2) by Olivie Blake

Published: October 25th
Publisher: Tor
Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy, Fantasy Series

SYNOPSIS:
Discover The Atlas Paradox, the electric dark academia sequel to viral sensation The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake – a No.1 Sunday Times bestseller. Inside the Alexandrian Society alliances will be tested, hearts will be broken and all must pick a side.

Six magicians were offered the opportunity of a lifetime.
Five are now members of the Society.
And two paths lie before them.

In this thrilling next instalment, the secret society of Alexandrians is unmasked. Its newest recruits realize the institute is capable of raw, world-changing power. It’s also headed by a man with plans to change life as we know it – and these are already under way. But the cost of this knowledge is as high as the price of power, and each initiate must choose which faction to follow. Yet as events gather momentum and dangers multiply, which of their alliances will hold? Can friendships hold true and are enemies quite what they seem?

Buy here*

Livid by Patricia Cornwell

Published: October 25th
Publisher: Sphere
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Crime Series

SYNOPSIS:
Murder and mayhem. Scarpetta is back, and she’s racing against the clock . . .

Chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta is the reluctant star witness in a sensational murder trial when she receives shocking news. The judge’s sister has been found dead. At first glance, it appears to be a home invasion, but then why was nothing stolen, and why is the garden strewn with dead plants and insects?

Although there is no apparent cause of death, Scarpetta recognizes tell-tale signs of the unthinkable, and she knows the worst is yet to come. The forensic pathologist finds herself pitted against a powerful force that returns her to the past, and her time to catch the killer is running out . . .

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Cat Lady by Dawn O’Porter

Published: October 27th
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Humorous Fiction, Domestic Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
**Don’t miss the collector’s edition with a specially designed board, exclusive to the first print run – pre-order now!**

[A WOMAN ALWAYS LANDS ON HER FEET]

Get ready for CAT LADY, the brilliantly bold and joyful new novel from Sunday Times bestseller, Dawn O’Porter

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CAT LADY [n.]
Single, independent, crazy, aloof, on-the-shelf, lives alone . . .

It’s safer for Mia to play the part that people expect. She’s a good wife to her husband Tristan, a doting stepmother, she slips on her suit for work each morning like a new skin.

But beneath the surface, there’s another woman just clawing to get out . . .

When a shocking event shatters the conventional life she’s been so careful to build, Mia is faced with a choice. Does she live for a society that’s all too quick to judge, or does she live for herself?

And if that’s as an independent woman with a cat, t

hen the world better get ready . . .

Fresh, funny and for anyone who’s ever felt astray, CAT LADY will help you belong – because a woman always lands on her feet.

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The Moose Paradox by Antti Tuomainen

Published: October 27th
Publisher: Orenda
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Hardboiled, Crime Series

SYNOPSIS:
Insurance mathematician Henri has his life under control, when a man from the past appears and a shady trio take over the adventure park’s equipment supply company … Things are messier than ever in the absurdly funny, heart-stoppingly tense second instalment in Antti Tuomainen’s bestselling series…

**Soon to be a major motion picture starring Steve Carell**
 
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Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen has finally restored order both to his life and to YouMeFun, the adventure park he now owns, when a man from the past appears – and turns everything upside down again. More problems arise when the park’s equipment supplier is taken over by a shady trio, with confusing demands. Why won’t Toy of Finland Ltd sell the new Moose Chute to Henri when he needs it as the park’s main attraction? 
 
Meanwhile, Henri’s relationship with artist Laura has reached breaking point, and, in order to survive this new chaotic world, he must push every calculation to its limits, before it’s too late…
 
Absurdly funny, heart-stoppingly poignant and full of nail-biting suspense, The Moose Paradox is the second instalment in the critically acclaimed, pitch-perfect Rabbit Factor Trilogy and things are messier than ever…

Buy here

The Winter Garden by Nicola Cornick

Published: October 27th
Published: HQ
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Romance Novel, Historical Romance, Tudor Romance, Saga, Alternative History

SYNOPSIS:
Remember, remember, the fifth of November…

1605: Anne Catesby fears for her family. Her son, the darkly charismatic Robert, is secretly plotting to kill the King, placing his wife and child in grave danger. Anne must make a terrible choice: betray her only child, or risk her family’s future.

Present day: When her dreams of becoming a musician are shattered, Lucy takes refuge in her family’s ancestral home in Oxfordshire. Everyone knows it was originally home to Robert Catesby, the gunpowder plotter. As Lucy spends more time in the beautiful winter garden that Robert had made, she starts to
have strange visions of a woman in Tudor dress, terrified and facing a heartbreaking dilemma.

As Lucy and Anne’s stories converge, a shared secret that has echoed through the centuries separating them, will change Lucy’s life forever…
 
Sweeping generations from the 1600s to the present day, with the enthralling Gunpowder Plot at its heart, Nicola Cornick’s utterly enchanting new timeslip novel will sweep you off your feet. Perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley, Barbara Erskine and Kate Morton.

Buy here*

The Cat Who Caught A Killer by L T Shearer

Published: October 27th
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Humorous Fiction

SYNOPSIS:
Meet Conrad. You’ve never met a detective like him before.

Neither has Lulu Lewis when he walks into her life one summer’s day. Mourning the recent death of her husband, the former police detective had expected a gentle retirement, quietly enjoying life on her new canal boat, The Lark, and visiting her mother-in-law Emily in a nearby care home.

But when Emily dies suddenly in suspicious circumstances, Lulu senses foul play and resolves to find out what really happened. And a remarkable cat named Conrad will be with her every step of the way . . .

‘A captivating, charming and gentle tale, perfect for all those who love their crime cozy’
Peter James


The Cat Who Caught a Killer by L T Shearer is a charming cosy crime read for fans of Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club and S. J. Bennett’s The Windsor Knot.

Buy here*

Sweetmeat by Mark Edwards

Published: October 2022
Publisher: Mark Edwards Books
Genre: Horror Fiction, Thriller

SYNOPSIS:
Sweetmeat is as old as Wales. As old as the valleys and the mountains. He was here long before humans. He was around when dragons ruled this land. Then the people came and Sweetmeat was forced to hide in the river, until he discovered that humans offered nourishment. They tasted good. They tasted sweet.

When four-year-old Nicky goes missing from a housing estate in north Wales, the local kids are sure they know what happened to him. He was taken by Sweetmeat, a creature who loves nothing more than the taste of a naughty child. But when best friends Philip and Sam set off across the valley to Sweetmeat’s lair, they have no idea that the journey will change the course of their lives forever.

Sweetmeat is a novella based on the book-within-a-book from The Retreat. A creepy story that’s perfect for Halloween, available only in this very limited hardcover edition which is both a beautiful collector’s item and a perfect gift for fans of Mark and scary stories in general. 

Buy here

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What books out next month are you excited about? Are any of these on your list too? Let me know in the comments

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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles 😊 See you again next month for more Emma’s Anticipated Treasures xxx

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Categories
book reviews

REVIEW: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Published: July 3rd, 2014
Publisher: Picador
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook

Welcome to my review for The Miniaturist, the mesmerising debut by Jessie Burton. Thank you to BookBreak UK for organising the rereadalong and Picador for the gifted copy of the book.

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THE HOUSE OF FORTUNE PRE-ORDER COMPETITION

Pan Macmillan is offering three lucky winners the chance to win their own copy of the signed print, a unique piece of jewellery, and access to a book tour event. All entrants need to do is pre-order a copy of The House of Fortune and submit proof of purchase here.

Pre-order the book here*

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SYNOPSIS:

The phenomenal Number One Bestseller

Winner of the Specsavers National Book Award 2014

Waterstones Book of the Year 2014

Selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club 2015

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .

On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways . . .

Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?

Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, Jessie Burton’s magnificent debut novel The Miniaturist is a story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

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MY REVIEW:

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…”

An absolute masterpiece of historical fiction, The Miniaturist instantly became one of my favourite books when I read it back in 2015.  It’s follow up, The House of Fortune, is my most anticipated book of the year and I have been counting down to its release for many months. So when Bookbreak UK offered me the chance to take part in a re-readalong of this extraordinary story along with other bookstagrammers, I jumped at the chance to step back into Nella’s world. 

18-year-old Nella arrives in Amsterdam to live with her new husband, Johannes.  But the merchant is often away and she finds herself left with his spiky sister, their two staff and her pet parakeet, Peebo, for company.  To cheer her up Johannes presents her with a cabinet-sized replica of their home, an unusual and extravagant wedding gift that she begins to furnish with the help of a local miniaturist.  But Nella soon discovers that her new home is one filled with secrets and finds herself embroiled deeper in Amsterdam’s dark underbelly.  And it seems the mysterious miniaturist knows their secrets.  Will she be their salvation or their undoing?

“There is a story here and it seems like Nella’s, but it isn’t hers to tell.  She spins my life, she thinks.  And I cannot see the consequences.” 

Atmospheric, claustrophobic, eerie and mesmerising, this book is why I fell in love with historical fiction. It instantly became one of my favourite books when I read it back in 2015 and I was just as besotted with it the second time around. Jessie Burton is a masterful storyteller and I am once again in awe that this is a debut novel. The lyrical, elegant prose pulls you in and evocative imagery transports you to 17th century Amsterdam so clearly that you lose yourself in Nella’s world.

The richly drawn characters are all so memorable that even after seven years and hundreds of other books since I’d last read them, I could clearly remember so many small details about them. Nella is an innocent young woman at the start of the book and we see her become increasingly isolated, disillusioned, anxious and unsettled. But she also gets much stronger and finds joy in things such as her friendship with their maid, Cordelia. But as much as I loved Nella, for me it was Marin who was most fascinating. Sharp, cynical and acerbic, she begins the story as a tragic yet hard character, but the layers are slowly peeled away to reveal the unexpected truth beneath her armour, making her a joy to read.

“Nella returns home and rushes upstairs to the cabinet, running her fingers over the miniaturist’s pieces.  They are charged with a different energy, laden with meaning she cannot penetrate, yet even more addictive in their mystery.  She’s chosen me, Nella thinks, glowing with this discovery, yearning to know more.”  

The miniaturist herself is an elusive character who exists in shadows; an almost phantom presence who you can never pin down.  Nella is so intrigued by her and desperately tries to learn more about this mysterious woman who seems to tell their secrets and stories through her tiny creations. But how she does this remains cryptic throughout the story.  Her mysterious and slightly sinister presence helps to provide the gothic elements that add the gothic elements that add darker and more compelling layers to the story.

A spellbinding and stylish modern classic that should be on everybody’s reading list, I can’t recommend The Miniaturist highly enough.  I loved every moment of being back with Nella and the others and am even more excited to dive into The House of Fortune soon to see what happens next.

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

Jessie Burton is the author of three novels, The MiniaturistThe Muse, and The Confession, all instant Sunday Times bestsellers. 

The Miniaturist and The Muse were Sunday Times no.1 bestsellers in both hardback and paperback, New York Times bestsellers, and Radio 4’s Book at BedtimeThe Miniaturist went on to sell over a million copies in its year of publication, was Christmas no.1 in the UK, National Book Awards Book of the Year, and Waterstones Book of the Year 2014.  In 2017 it was adapted as a two-part miniseries on BBC One, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Alex Hassell and Romola Garai, screened over Christmas, and now available on DVD and streaming services.

Her novels have been published in 40 languages.

Jessie’s first book for children, The Restless Girls, was published in September 2018, with Medusa​ to follow in 2021. ​Her story ‘Daphne and the Doughnuts’ appeared in The Book of Hopes, a collection of children’s stories published in 2020, from which all profits go to the NHS. 

As a non-fiction writer, she has written essays and reviews for The New York Times, Harpers Bazaar UK, The Wall Street JournalThe IndependentVogueElleRedGraziaLonely Planet Traveller and The SpectatorHarpers Bazaar US and Stylist have published her short stories. 

Website

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Waterstones*| Amazon*| Bookshop.org*

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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles 😊Emma xxxx