Published: November 10th, 2022~ Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Psycholgical Thriller Format: Paperback, Hardback, Kindle, Audiobook
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour celebrating the paperback publication of Nobody But Us. Thank you to Sryia at Michael Joseph for the invitation to take part and gifted paperback copy of the book.
‘READS LIKE A GLOSSY 90s THRILLER. OBSESSED‘ JUNO DAWSON ‘IT GRIPS LIKE A VICE’ WILL DEAN ‘A MUST READ FOR 2022’ 5* READER REVIEW ‘ADDICTIVE AND INTOXICATING’ 5* READER REVIEW ‘NOT ONE TO BE MISSED’EVENING STANDARD ________
He’s a well-respected college professor. She’s a young and eager-to-please student.
He knows she would do anything for him. She knows his certainty is his weakness
He thinks he’ll get what he wants. She thinks he’ll get exactly what he needs.
Two liars. One twisted path. A game of cat and mouse.
BUT WHO IS THE HUNTER? AND WHO IS THE PREY?
“Morning will cast a light on all this, shine on the craziness of the situation; this sham won’t survive sunrise, like all other evil it can only thrive in darkness.”
What a wild ride! This is a book that does exactly what it says on the tin and lives up to its tagline that calls Ellie and Steven ‘2022’s most f*cked up couple’. It took me quite some time to recover from this one after reading. It’s that crazy. I thought I knew what was in store but I had no idea just how messed up this was going to get…
The story opens with Ellie and Steven heading off on a three-day trip to celebrate their six month anniversary. They both seem anxious and feel like everything rests on this weekend but the reader is in the dark as to what that is and why. They quickly arrive at their destination: a remote cabin in the forest, surrounded by snow and with no cell phone reception. Right then you would know this is going to be a getaway-gone-wrong even if you’d gone into this book blind. Ominous and claustrophobic, there is an unbearable tension that wreaked havoc on my blood pressure as I tried to guess what would happen next. But I could never have guessed what was coming if I’d had a hundred guesses. It plays its cards extremely close to the vest so I won’t say anything more about the plot so you can discover the craziness for yourself.
Stylish, sinister, scalpel-sharp and sophisticated, Laure Van Rensburg’s cunningly crafted debut is one you won’t forget. She holds the reader in her vice-like grip, making it impossible to stop reading even when you want to turn away. Ellie and Steven are richly drawn, memorable, unsavoury and unreliable characters, hiding their dysfunction behind a mask of normalcy that once removed will change everything you thought you knew.
Unpredictable, darkly atmospheric and charged with adrenaline, Nobody But Us is the debut everyone is going to be talking about. Laure Van Rensburg is a spectacular new talent that is one to watch and I for one can’t wait to read what she writes next.
READ THIS BOOK!
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Laure Van Rensburg is a French writer living in the UK and an Ink Academy alumna. Her stories have appeared in online magazines and anthologies such as Litro Magazine, Storgy Magazine, The Real Jazz Baby (2020 Best Anthology, Saboteur Awards 2020), and FIVE:2:ONE. She has also placed in competitions including 2018 & 2019 Bath Short Story Award.
Her debut novel, Nobody But Us, follows Ellie and Steven who take their first trip away together, but what starts as an idyllic weekend soon takes a darker turn, as it quickly becomes apparent that each of them harbour secrets – and that one of those secrets is deadly.
Nobody But Us (originally titled The Downfall) was shortlisted for the 2019 First Novel Prize, 2019 Novel London Competition and 2019 Flash 500 Novel Opening. It will be published by Michael Joseph in April 2022 and has sold in fourteen territories, including Germany, Italy, Norway and the United States.
Laure’s current work in progress, Eden Lost, was longlisted in 2019 Exeter Novel Prize and more recently shortlisted in the 2020 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize.
We’re edging closer to the end of the year and the number of releases is slowling down a little, but there are still a number of exciting books to look forward to. Here are the ones I’m most excited about being released next month.
SYNOPSIS: Secrets. Suspicion. Survival. No one writes relationships better than B.A. PARIS
Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne.
Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?
In true B.A. Paris style, The Prisoner is a gripping survival story, a twisted love story and at its dark heart a thriller to keep you up all night.
SYNOPSIS: A book with all of life’s answers, if only you can find it…
‘Extravagant, sexy and compelling. I loved it.’ LAUREN BEUKES
Rare book dealer Lily Albrecht has just been given a tip-off about The Book of the Most Precious Substance, a 17th century manual rumoured to be the most powerful occult book ever written, if it really exists at all.
With some of the wealthiest people in the world willing to pay Lily a fortune to track it down, she embarks on a journey from New York to New Orleans to Munich to Paris.
If she finds it, Lily stands to gain more than just money. This could erase the greatest tragedy of her life. But will Lily’s quest help her find some answers, or will she lose everything in search of a ghost?
Published: November 8th Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Dark Fantasy, High Fantasy
SYNOPSIS: I am the monster. I am the shield. I am the knife in the dark.
Ranka is tired of death. All she wants now is to be left alone, living out her days in Witchik’s wild north with the coven that raised her, attempting to forget the horrors of her past. But when she is named Bloodwinn, the next treaty bride to the human kingdom of Isodal, her coven sends her south with a single directive: kill him. Easy enough, for a blood-witch whose magic compels her to kill.
Except the prince is gentle, kind, and terrified of her. He doesn’t want to marry Ranka; he doesn’t want to be king at all. And it’s his sister – the wickedly smart, infuriatingly beautiful Princess Aramis – who seems to be real threat.
But when witches start turning up dead, murdered by a mysterious, magical plague, Aramis makes Ranka an offer: help her develop a cure, and in return, she’ll teach Ranka to contain her deadly magic. But as the coup draws nearer and the plague spreads, Ranka is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her power, her past, and who she’s meant to fight for. Soon, she will have choose between the coven that raised her – and the princess who sees beyond the monster they shaped her to be. But as the bodies pile up, a monster may be exactly what they need.
Dawnlands by Philippa Gregory(Fairmile Series Book 3)
Published: November 8th Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Genre: Historical Fiction, Myths, Fairy Tale, Domestic Fiction
SYNOPSIS: The spellbinding Fairmile series continues as the fiercely independent Alinor and her family find themselves entangled in palace intrigue, political upheaval, and life-changing secrets in seventeenth-century England.
It is 1685, England is on the brink of a renewed civil war against the Stuart kings and many families are bitterly divided. Ned Ferryman cannot persuade his sister Alinor that he is right to return from America with his Pokanoket servant Rowan to join the rebel army. Instead, Alinor has been coaxed by the manipulative Livia to save the queen from the coming siege. The rewards are life-changing: the family could return to their beloved Tidelands, and Alinor could rule where she was once lower than a servant.
Alinor’s son, Rob, is determined to stay clear of the war, but when he and his nephew set out to free Ned from execution for treason and Rowan from a convict deportation to Barbados, they find themselves enmeshed in the creation of an imposter Prince of Wales – a surrogate baby to the queen.
From the last battle in the desolate Somerset Levels to the hidden caves on the slave island of Barbados, this third volume of an epic story follows a family from one end of the empire to another, to find a new dawn in a world which is opening up before them with greater rewards and dangers than ever before.
Heart of the Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan (The Celestial Kingdom Book 2)
Published: November 10th Publisher: Harper Voyager UK Genre: Fairy Tale, High Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Myths & Legends, Fantasy Series
SYNOPSIS: The stunning conclusion to the Celestial Kingdom Duology
An unspeakable terror is sweeping across the realm as the Celestial Emperor tightens his grip on power. The fragile peace Xingyin fought so hard for when freeing her mother is under threat.
Forced to flee her home, Xingyin ventures into the unexplored lands of the Immortal Realm to seek aid in her fight, but, with alliances shifting quicker than the tides, she has to overcome past grudges and enmities to forge a new path forward, seeking aid where she never imagined.
Xingyin must uncover the truth of her heart and claw her way through devastation – to rise against evil before it destroys everything she holds dear, and the worlds she has grown to love … even if doing so demands the greatest price of all.
The stunning sequel to the Sunday Times bestselling Daughter of the Moon Goddess delves deeper into beloved Chinese mythology, concluding the epic story of Xingyin – the daughter of Chang’e and the mortal archer Houyi – as she battles a grave new threat to the realm, in this powerful tale of love, sacrifice, and hope.
Murder on the Christmas Express by Alexandra Benedict
Published: November 10th Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Holiday Fiction, Adventure Fiction
SYNOPSIS: **COULD YOU SOLVE THE CASE? PRE-ORDER NOW FOR THE PUZZLING CHRISTMAS MYSTERY OF THE YEAR**
Eighteen passengers. Seven stops. One killer.
In the early hours of Christmas Eve, the sleeper train to the Highlands is derailed, along with the festive plans of its travellers. With the train stuck in snow in the middle of nowhere, a killer stalks its carriages, picking off passengers one by one. Those who sleep on the sleeper train may never wake again.
Can former Met detective Roz Parker find the killer before they kill again?
All aboard for . . . Murder on the Christmas Express
Published: November 10th Publisher: Orenda Books Genre: Thriller, Medical Thriller, Police Procedural
SYNOPSIS: A young man wakes from a coma to find himself targeted by the men who killed his parents, while someone is impersonating a notorious New Zealand serial killer … the latest chilling, nerve-shredding, twisty thriller from the author of The Quiet People…
James Garrett was critically injured when he was shot following his parents’ execution, and no one expected him to waken from a deep, traumatic coma. When he does, nine years later, Detective Inspector Rebecca Kent is tasked with closing the case that her now retired colleague, Theodore Tate, failed to solve all those years ago.
But between that, and hunting for Copy Joe – a murderer on a spree, who’s imitating Christchurch’s most notorious serial killer – she’s going to need Tate’s help … especially when they learn that James has lived out another life in his nine-year coma, and there are things he couldn’t possibly know, including the fact that Copy Joe isn’t the only serial killer in town…
Published: November 10th Publisher: Orion Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Horror Fiction, Crime Series
SYNOPSIS: AN OLD ENEMY IS LAID TO REST . . . AND A NEW CRIME IS DISCOVERED
Florence Lovelady, the most senior serving policewoman in Britain, visits convicted serial killer Larry Glassbrook in prison. Larry is coming to the end of his life but has one last task for Florence: to learn the identity of the remains discovered at children’s home Black Moss Manor. The town Florence escaped narrowly with her life still holds many secrets. Will she finally learn the truth? Or will time run out for her first?
The latest Florence Lovelady thriller, set shortly after the bestselling first novel The Craftsman in the chilling, new series from Richard and Judy bestseller Sharon Bolton
Published: November 10th Publisher: Scribe UK Genre: Historical Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Could you marry a man you’ve never met? Three Korean women in 1918 make a life-changing journey to Hawaii, where they will marry, having seen only photographs of their intended husbands.
Different fates await each of these women. Hong-ju, who dreams of a marriage of ‘natural love’, meets a man who looks twenty years older than his photograph; Song-hwa, who wants to escape from her life of ridicule as the granddaughter of a shaman, meets a lazy drunkard. And then there’s Willow, whose 26-year-old groom, Taewan, looks just like his image …
Real life doesn’t always resemble a picture, but there’s no going back. And while things don’t turn out quite as they’d hoped, even for Willow, they do find something that makes their journey worthwhile ― each other.
Published: November 10th Publisher: William Morrow Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Adventure Fiction
SYNOPSIS: For fans of Lucy Foley and Liane Moriarty, a twisty, escapist suspense about a mysterious retreat center harboring violent secrets.
A perfect paradise? Or a perfect nightmare?
On a river deep in the Mexican jungle stands the colossal villa Xanadu, a wellness center that’s home an ardent spiritual group devoted to self-help guru Paul Bentzen and his enigmatic wife Kali. But when Paul mysteriously dies, his entire estate—including Xanadu—is left not to Kali, but to his estranged niece Sveta.
Shocked and confused, Sveta travels from New York City to Mexico to pay her respects. At first, Xanadu seems like a secluded paradise with its tumbling gardens, beautiful people, and transcendent vibe. But soon the mystical façade wears thin, revealing a group of brainwashed members drunk on promises of an impossible utopia, guided by a disturbing belief system and a charismatic, dangerously capable leader.
As the sinister forces surrounding Sveta become apparent, she realizes, too late, she can’t escape. Frantic and terrified, she discovers her only chance of survival is to put her confidence in the very person she trusts the least.
Published: November 10th Publisher: Apollo Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Historical Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction, Regency Romance
SYNOPSIS: The rich and atmospheric new novel from prize-winning author Sally Gardner, set in the 18th century between the two great Frost Fairs.
Neva Friezland is born into a world of trickery and illusion, where fortunes can be won and lost on the turn of a card.
She is also born with an extraordinary gift. She can predict the weather. In Regency England, where the proper goal for a gentlewoman is marriage and only God knows the weather, this is dangerous. It is also potentially very lucrative.
In order to debate with the men of science and move about freely, Neva adopts a sophisticated male disguise. She foretells the weather from inside an automaton created by her brilliant clockmaker father.
But what will happen when the disguised Neva falls in love with a charismatic young man?
It can be very dangerous to be ahead of your time. Especially as a woman.
Murder Most Royal by S. J. Bennett (Her Majesty Investigates Book 3)
Published: November 10th Publisher: Zaffre Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Mystery Series
SYNOPSIS: THE ROYALLY BRILLIANT THIRD BOOK IN THE HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN INVESTIGATES MYSTERY SERIES ____________________
Christmas at Sandringham is going to be murder . . .
A human hand and a bag of drugs are found washed up on a beach next to the Queen’s estate at Sandringham
The Queen identifies the 70-year-old victim, Edward St Cyr, from his signet ring. But the search for his killer is not so straightforward. Suspects include the Queen’s horse groom, a shady land agent, an aristocrat neighbour, as well as the victim’s many cousins and relations.
The investigation leads the Queen – and her trusted assistant, Rozie – to a local pigeon racing club, back to London, and to the ancient, moated Godwick Hall. But how do the seemingly disparate pieces of the puzzle fit together? And who is the next victim?
Agatha Christie meets The Crown in MURDER MOST ROYAL, the much-anticipated third book in the ‘Her Majesty The Queen Investigates’ mystery series by SJ Bennett – for fans of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin.
Published: November 10th Publisher: Harper Collins UK Genre: Romance Novel, Contemporary Romance, Humorous Fiction, Holiday Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Ever wished it could be Christmas every day?
Newly single lawyer Gwen Baker is hoping that a family Christmas – countryside, a mountain of food and festive films – will salve the sting of her career hanging by a thread and her heart being trampled on. Because everyone else has their life sorted: even Dev, her boy-next-door crush, is now a tall, dark and handsome stranger with a fiancée. She can’t help wishing her future was clearer.
Then Gwen wakes up to discover it’s Christmas day all over again. Like Groundhog Day but with turkey. And family arguments. On repeat.
As she figures out how to escape her own particular Christmas hell, Dev is the one bright spot. He might be all grown-up but underneath he’s just as kind and funny as she remembers.
Maybe, just maybe, her heart can be mended after all.
But how do you fall in love with someone who can’t remember you from one day to the next?
SYNOPSIS: Olivia fled her abusive marriage to return to her hometown and take over the family beekeeping business when her son Asher was six. Now, impossibly, her baby is six feet tall and in his last year of high school, a kind, good-looking, popular ice hockey star with a tiny sprite of a new girlfriend.
Lily also knows what it feels like to start over – when she and her mother relocated to New Hampshire it was all about a fresh start. She and Asher couldn’t help falling for each other, and Lily feels happy for the first time. But can she trust him completely?
Then Olivia gets a phone call – Lily is dead, and Asher is arrested on a charge of murder. As the case against him unfolds, she realises he has hidden more than he’s shared with her. And Olivia knows firsthand that the secrets we keep reflect the past we want to leave behind - and that we rarely know the people we love well as we think we do.
SYNOPSIS: SHE WAS THE LAST PERSON TO SEE THE BABY…
You may not know Betty Gow’s name – but ‘the Lindbergh nanny’ is infamous.
In 1932, all eyes are on Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the most glamorous and intriguing couple in America. But who was paying attention when, one evening in early March, their baby son was stolen from the family home?
The Lindbergh nanny is the first person to discover Charlie missing… and the last to see him that night.
With the world watching on, Betty must discover the truth about what really happened to young Charlie, to clear her own name – and to find justice for the little boy she loves.
A propulsive re-imagining of America’s most notorious crime of the twentieth century, told through the eyes of the young woman who found herself at the heart of the case.
SYNOPSIS: Ruby Mills is ruthlessly ambitious, strikingly beautiful – and one of the Forty Thieves’ most talented members.
Harriet Littlemore writes the women’s section in a local newspaper. She’s from a ‘good’ London family and engaged to an up-and-coming Member of Parliament – but she wants a successful career of her own.
After witnessing Ruby fleeing the scene of a robbery, Harriet develops a fascination with the elusive young thief that extends beyond journalistic interest. As their personal aspirations bring them into closer contact than society’s rules usually allow, Ruby and Harriet’s stories become increasingly intertwined.
Their magnetic dynamic, fraught with envy and desire, tells a compulsive, cinematic story about class, morality and the cost of being an independent woman in 1920s London.
SYNOPSIS: A disenchanted man struggles to get beyond the first chapter of the books he’s writing, and to separate fact from fiction in his own life. His friend’s suicide changes everything … The mind-blowing, heart-rending new thriller from cult bestselling author Will Carver.
Eli Hagin can’t finish anything.
He hates his job, but can’t seem to quit. He doesn’t want to be with his girlfriend, but doesn’t know how end things with her, either. Eli wants to write a novel, but he’s never taken a story beyond the first chapter.
Eli also has trouble separating reality from fiction.
When his best friend kills himself, Eli is motivated, for the first time in his life, to finally end something himself, just as Mike did…
Except sessions with his therapist suggest that Eli’s most recent ‘first chapters’ are not as fictitious as he had intended … and a series of text messages that Mike received before his death point to something much, much darker…
SYNOPSIS: Very few people get the opportunity to stay here. And some don’t get to leave …
Zoey doesn’t remember anything about last night. But she knows something went badly wrong. For she is no longer in New York. She’s woken up in the desert, in a white building she doesn’t recognise, and she’s alone.
When she discovers she’s been admitted to The Sanctuary, a discreet, mysterious, isolated refuge from normal life, to avoid jail, she is stunned. She knows she has secrets, troubles, but she thought she had everything under control. But as she spends more time with other residents, she begins to open up about what she’s running from. Until she realises that not everyone in The Sanctuary has her best interests at heart, and someone might even be a killer . . .
Published: November 24th Publisher: HQ Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Psychological Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
Childhood betrayal casts a long shadow…
From the author of The Haven and The Cliff House, this is a devastating thriller set in a Cornish boarding school.
‘A gripping page-turner’ Tammy Cohen, author of The Wedding Party
At a bleak boys’ boarding school in Cornwall in the eighties when bullying is rife, Will and his best friend, Luke, are involved in a horrific incident that results in Luke leaving.
Twenty-five years later their paths cross again and memories of a painful childhood come flooding back to haunt them both.
Will’s wife, Harmony, is struggling after a miscarriage that has hit her hard, and wishes Will would open up about what happened. But as Will withdraws further, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic stranger from her husband’s past, Luke, and soon all three are caught in a tangled web of guilt and desire . . .
From Amanda Jennings, author of The Cliff House, comes a haunting thriller about betrayal and revenge.
Published: November 29th Publisher: Tor Genre: Contemporary Romance, Disability Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Chicago, sometime. Two people meet in the armory of the Art Institute by chance. Prior to their encounter, he is a doctoral student who manages his destructive thoughts with compulsive calculations about time travel; she is a bipolar counterfeit artist undergoing court-ordered psychotherapy. After their meeting, those things do not change.
Everything else, however, is slightly different.
Both obsessive, eccentric personalities, Aldo Damiani and Charlotte Regan struggle to be without each other from the moment they meet. The truth – that he is a clinically depressed, anti-social theoretician and she is a manipulative liar with a history of self-sabotage – means the deeper they fall in love, the more troubling their reliance on each other becomes.
Alone With You in the Ether by Olivie Blake is a glimpse into the nature of love, what it means to be unwell, and how to face the fractures of yourself and still love as if you’re not broken.
Published: November 29th Publisher: Literary Fiction Genre: Scribner UK
SYNOPSIS: From the author of A Little Hopecomes an enormously powerful and life-affirming novel about three individuals whose lives intersect in unforeseen ways.
Set in a close-knit Pennsylvania suburb in the grip of winter, A Quiet Life follows three people grappling with loss and finding a tender wisdom in their grief.
Chuck Ayers used to look forward to nothing so much as his annual trip to Hilton Head with his wife, Cat–that yearly taste of relaxation they’d become accustomed to in retirement, after a lifetime of working and raising two children. Now, just months after Cat’s death, Chuck finds that he can’t let go of her things–her favorite towel, the sketchbooks in her desk drawer–as he struggles to pack for a trip he can’t imagine taking without her.
Ella Burke delivers morning newspapers and works at a bridal shop to fill her days while she anxiously awaits news–any piece of information–about her missing daughter. Ella adjusts to life in a new apartment and answers every call on her phone, hoping her daughter will reach out one day.
After the sudden death of her father, Kirsten Bonato set aside her veterinary school aspirations, finding comfort in the steady routine of working at an animal shelter. But as time passes, old dreams and new romantic interests begin to surface–and Kirsten finds herself at another crossroads.
In this beautifully crafted and profoundly moving novel, three parallel narratives converge in poignant and unexpected ways, as each character bravely presses onward, trying to recover something they have lost. Emotionally riveting and infused with hope, A Quiet Life celebrates humanity in the midst of uncertainty.
Published: September 13th, 2022 Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Medical Thriller, Police Procedural, Horror Fiction Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the deliciously dark, menacing and eerie The Butcher and the Wren. Thank you to Michael Joseph for the invitation to take part and the gifted copy of the book.
THE CHILLING SERIAL KILLER THRILLER FROM THE CO-HOST OF CHART-TOPPING PODCAST MORBID
WREN WAS NEVER AFRAID OF THE DARK. UNTIL SHE LEARNED THAT SOME MONSTERS ARE REAL . . . _________
In deep Louisiana, a serial killer with a taste for medical experimentation is completing his most ambitious project yet. The media call him ‘The Butcher’ – and, so far, he’s proved impossible to catch.
With her encyclopaedic knowledge of humanity’s darkest minds, and years of experience examining their victims, forensic pathologist Dr Wren Muller is the best there is. The longer the Butcher’s killing spree continues, the more determined she is to bring him to justice.
And yet, he continues to elude her.
As body after body piles up on Wren’s examination table, her obsession grows. Pressure to put an end to the slaughter mounts. And her enemy becomes more brazen.
How far is Wren willing to go to draw the Butcher into the light . . .?
An addictive read with straight-from-the-morgue details only an autopsy technician could provide, The Butcher and the Wren promises to ensnare all who enter.
Wren was never afraid of the dark. Until she learned that some monsters are real…
The Butcher and the Wren is a dark, menacing and forbidding game of cat and mouse that will send shivers down your spine. This is one of those books best read in the daytime because if you read it in the dark you will never close your eyes…
Forensic pathologist Dr Wren Muller is determined to bring the killer known as ‘The Bayou Butcher’ to justice. But as the body count rises, she fears she is no closer to finding the brutal murderer with a penchant for experimenting on his victims. Then one day she notices a clue that changes the game completely. Now she knows who he is and she is willing to do whatever it takes to stop him.
“Catch me if you can.”
Alaina Urquhart wields a scalpel as sharp as her protagonist in this outstanding debut. Intricately woven, tightly plotted, fast-paced and unbearably tense, it oozed fear from its every pore and had me on the edge of my seat with my heart racing. Darkly atmospheric and cleverly written, the author uses the power of suggestion to make your imagination go wild, conjuring imagery more horrifying than graphic descriptions could ever portray, though there are some gruesome moments too. I devoured it quickly, unable to turn away even though I desperately wanted to.
“The feeling in this place is dark and ominous, saturated with the evil that has touched it for so long.”
Not only has Urquhart written a chilling story, but she’s created a truly terrifying villain. Jeremy is particularly frightening because he seems like he could be anyone you know. He is completely sane and aware of his actions, meticulously plans his every move, and seems so normal that his victims willingly accompany him to their doom. He’s the monster that lurks in the shadows or under your bed while also being the person sitting next to you on the bus or who chats to you at a bar. He is what we don’t want to believe evil is made of.
Ominous, suspenseful and filled with jaw-dropping twists that will take you by surprise, this is a must-read for any thriller lover. Urquhart is my new favourite sinister storyteller and I can’t wait to read what she writes next. Hopefully it will include Wren as I’d love to see her featured in a series.
Published: September 8th, 2022 Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Literary Fiction, Humorous Fiction Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Today is my stop on the blog tour for the moving and heartfelt Mika in Real Life. Thank you to Jen at Michael Joseph for the invitation to take part and the gifted copy of the book.
AT 35, MIKA SUZUKI IS STRUGGLING.
She’s been fired (again). Her last relationship went up in flames. Her mother is perpetually disappointed in her.
And now, she’s had a phone call from sixteen-year-old Penny Calvin: the baby she reluctantly placed for adoption when she was just a teenager herself.
Penny has questions – and Mika is desperate to meet her girl. But she barely feels like she can take care of herself . . .
Is she ready to show Penny who Mika Suzuki really is?
“All these moments live in me still. You live in me still. Half of my breaths, a quarter of each heartbeat, are yours. I guess that’s what happens when you have children — they take a piece of you.”
Mika in Real Life was a hidden gem that took me by surprise. The story opens with a letter from Mika to her daughter and then jumps back to the day Mika receives Penny’s first phone call seven months earlier. What follows is a heartfelt, funny and insightful tale of self discovery that explores the powerful bond between a parent and child. By the third page I already felt broken and I was unprepared for the emotional journey this takes you on, going through a rainbow of emotions over the next 375 pages.
Wonderfully written and compelling, Emiko Jean perfectly captures the essence of the parent and child bond; the intensity, fear, sacrifice, constant change, grief and inadequacy you feel as a part of your heart walks around outside your body. As a mother myself, I felt so much of this story on a visceral level. It was like my own heart and soul was wide open for all to see. She also examines how the reality never quite measures up to the fantasy and expectations we have and how parenthood is the epitome of learning the art of letting go, something that really hit home with me as the mother of two eighteen-year-olds going through that stage of spreading their wings.
“It was a kind of beautiful agony having a child. Feeling their emotions as well as your own.”
Mika is one of those characters you cannot help falling in love with. She is a mess, has no idea what she’s doing or who she is and makes some huge mistakes, but that is part of her charm and what makes her so relatable. I was rooting for her at every step and enjoyed reading as she found herself while getting to know Penny. It is so easy for us to get caught up in where we thought we should be in life and compare ourselves to others and Mika is a great reminder why that isn’t healthy and why we should celebrate what we have rather than chastising ourselves for what we don’t have or didn’t accomplish. The book is also filled with great background characters. I loved Penny and thought the author did a fantastic job of really capturing both how it feels to be a teenager and how it feels to parent one. I also had a real soft spot for Thomas and enjoyed seeing a positive but realistic representation of a single father.
Moving, witty and layered, this delightful book is one that will linger long after turning the final page. Highly recommended.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
When Emiko is not writing, she is reading. Most of her friends are imaginary. Before she became a writer she was an entomologist (fancy name for bug catcher), a candle maker, a florist, and most recently a teacher. She lives in Washington with her husband and children (unruly twins). She loves the rain.
Welcome to the September edition of Emma’s Anticipated Treasures. I’ve gone back and forth trying to narrow this down to the thirty titles I’ve included today. The problem was there were about ten more books I wanted to include but it seemed too much to have more than thirty books on the list.
So after a lot of deliberation, here are the books out next month that I’m most anticipating:
SYNOPSIS: THIS REUNION WILL TEAR A FAMILY APART … Summer, 2021. Nell has come home at her family’s insistence to celebrate an anniversary. Fifty years ago, her father wrote The Golden Bones. Part picture book, part treasure hunt, Sir Frank Churcher created a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of TheGolden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried – gold and precious stones, each a different part of a skeleton. One by one, the tiny golden bones were dug up until only Elinore’s pelvis remained hidden.
The book was a sensation. A community of treasure hunters called the Bonehunters formed, in frenzied competition, obsessed to a dangerous degree. People sold their homes to travel to England and search for Elinore. Marriages broke down as the quest consumed people. A man died. The book made Frank a rich man. Stalked by fans who could not tell fantasy from reality, his daughter, Nell, became a recluse.
But now the Churchers must be reunited. The book is being reissued along with a new treasure hunt and a documentary crew are charting everything that follows. Nell is appalled, and terrified. During the filming, Frank finally reveals the whereabouts of the missing golden bone. And then all hell breaks loose.
From the bestselling author of He Said/She Said and Watch Her Fall, this is a taut, mesmerising novel about a daughter haunted by her father’s legacy . . .
SYNOPSIS: In search of a new life, seventeen-year-old Adriana Clark’s family moves to the ancient, ocean-battered Isle of Mull, far off the coast of Scotland. Then she goes missing. Faced with hostile locals and indifferent police, her desperate parents turn to private investigator Sadie Levesque.
Sadie is the best at what she does. But when she finds Adriana’s body in a cliffside cave, a seaweed crown carefully arranged on her head, she knows she’s dealing with something she’s never encountered before.
The deeper she digs into the island’s secrets, the closer danger creeps – and the more urgent her quest to find the killer grows. Because what if Adriana is not the last girl to die?
Beautifully haunting with twists and turns you’ll never see coming, The Last Girl to Die is your next obsession waiting to happen. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride and L.J. Ross.
Published: September 1st Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense Psychological Thriller, Crime Fiction, Legal Story
SYNOPSIS: WHO WILL YOU BELIEVE? PRE-ORDER THIS UNPUTDOWNABLE NEW THRILLER, PERFECT FOR FANS OF ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL
Ava Knight, a brilliant young prosecutor, always follows the rules. Until she meets Lily Hawthorne – a troubled fifteen-year-old, accused of stabbing charismatic hotel magnate Michael Osborne in cold blood.
From the outside, it seems a tragic, hopeless case. But Ava suspects something everyone else does not: MICHAEL OSBORNE IS LYING.
Because eighteen years ago, Ava was brutally assaulted. She identified her attacker; the case went to trial. But the jury let him go. His name? Michael Osborne
Back then, it was Michael’s word against Ava’s.
Now another girl’s future hangs in the balance, how far will Ava go to be believed?
Published: September 1st Publisher: Zephyr Genre: Young Adult Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A second novel from the bestselling author of Branford Boase-shortlisted and Carnegie-nominated Witch. An engrossing story of fathers and sons, death and grief, and unexpected bonds, new and old, forged by dark and benign magic.
When Sam, grieving the death of his father, finds a silver-flecked stone, ice-cold to the touch, strange and eerie things begin to happen. Myth, legend, magic and witchcraft mingle on the ancient hillside where the chalk white horse has galloped for centuries. Ravens wheel. Wolves prowl. As Halloween draws close, witches dance. Odin gathers brave, fallen warriors to his side.
Only the mysterious new girl, Oona, can heal Sam’s heart, revealing tarot secrets with her bewitching ways.
SYNOPSIS: From one of America’s most renowned storytellers comes a novel about love and deceit, and lust and redemption, against a background of child abductions in the affluent suburbs of Detroit.
In the waning days of the turbulent 1970s, in the wake of unsolved killings that have shocked Detroit, the lives of several residents are drawn together, with tragic consequences. There is Hannah, wife of a prominent local businessman, who has begun an affair with a darkly charismatic stranger whose identity remains elusive; Mikey, a canny street hustler who finds himself on an unexpected mission to rectify injustice; and the serial killer known as Babysitter, an enigmatic and terrifying figure at the periphery of elite Detroit. As Babysitter continues his rampage of killings, these individuals intersect with one another in startling and unexpected ways.
Suspenseful, brilliantly orchestrated and engrossing, Babysitter is a starkly narrated exploration of the riskiness of pursuing alternate lives, calling into question how far we are willing to go to protect those whom we cherish most. In its scathing indictment of corrupt politics, unexamined racism, and the enabling of sexual predation in America, Babysitter is a thrilling work of contemporary fiction.
Before Your Memory Fades (Before the Coffee Gets Cold 3) by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Published: September 1st Publisher: Picador Genre: Literary Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fiction, Book Series
SYNOPSIS: The third novel in the international bestselling Before the Coffee Gets Cold series, following four new customers in a cafe where customers can travel back in time.
On the hillside of Mount Hakodate in northern Japan, Cafe Donna Donna is fabled for its dazzling views of Hakodate port. But that’s not all. Like the charming Tokyo cafe Funiculi Funicula, Cafe Donna Donna offers its customers the extraordinary experience of travelling through time.
From the author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Tales from the Cafe comes another story of four new customers, each of whom is hoping to take advantage of the cafe’s time-travelling offer. Among some familiar faces from Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s previous novels, readers will also be introduced to:
A daughter who begrudges her deceased parents for leaving her orphaned A comedian who aches for his beloved and their shared dreams A younger sister whose grief has become all-consuming A young man who realizes his love for his childhood friend too late
With his signature heart-warming characters and wistful storytelling, in Before Your Memory Fades, Toshikazu Kawaguchi once again invites the reader to ask themselves: what would you change if you could travel back in time?
Published: September 6th Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Genre: Dark Fantasy, Suspense, Thriller
SYNOPSIS: Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher – for their world or ours.
Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself – and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her ageing master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.
Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.
King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale about another world than ours, in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy – and his dog – must lead the battle.
Published: September 6th Publisher: Titan Books Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
SYNOPSIS: Discover this sweeping debut steeped in Chinese mythology, the enchanting power of brewing tea, and a magical tournament to decide a country’s fate, sure to thrill fans of Adrienne Young and Leigh Bardugo.
I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, These are the hands that buried my mother.
For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her―the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.
When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi–masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making–she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.
But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.
Published: September 8th Publisher: Orbit Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Fairy Tale
SYNOPSIS: This is the story of Penelope of Ithaca, famed wife of Odysseus, as it has never been told before. Beyond Ithaca’s shores, the whims of gods dictate the wars of men. But on the isle, it is the choices of the abandoned women – and their goddesses – that will change the course of the world.
Seventeen years ago, king Odysseus sailed to war with Troy, taking with him every man of fighting age from the island of Ithaca. None of them have returned, and the women have been left behind to run the kingdom.
Penelope was barely into womanhood when she wed Odysseus. Whilst he lived, her position was secure. But now, years on, speculation is mounting that husband is dead, and suitors are starting to knock at her door . . .
But no one man is strong enough to claim Odysseus’ empty throne – not yet. Between Penelope’s many suitors, a cold war of dubious alliances and hidden knives reigns, as everyone waits for the balance of power to tip one way or another. If Penelope chooses one from amongst them, it will plunge Ithaca into bloody civil war. Only through cunning and her spy network of maids can she maintain the delicate balance of power needed for the kingdom to survive.
On Ithaca, everyone watches everyone else, and there is no corner of the palace where intrigue does not reign . . .
From the multi award-winning Claire North comes a daring, exquisite and moving tale that breathes life into ancient myth, and tells of the women who stand defiant in a world ruled by ruthless men. It’s time for the women of Ithaca to tell their tale . . .
Published: September 8th Publisher: Viper Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A locked room. A brutal murder. And a killer who can turn back time…
In the former mining town of Black Lake on the west coast of Canada, there is a story about a shipwreck. All those aboard died, except an unnamed man who staggered ashore. His descendants have a unique ability: once in their lives – and only once – they can unwind the events of the previous six hours.
More than two hundred years later, Ella Manning, marine biologist and part-time police constable, is attending a party at Black Lake Manor, the cliff-top mansion of the town’s divisive local billionaire. With a raging storm coming in from the Pacific, she and several other guests find themselves trapped. And when their host is discovered brutally murdered in a locked room, they turn to her to solve the crime.
Against the odds, Ella is sure she has identified the killer… but then time is unwound. With no memory of what she discovered before, her investigation begins again, with very different results. Someone is willing to use their gift to protect a killer, and everyone is a suspect…
Published: September 8th Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
SYNOPSIS: Carrie’s sister is dead. Four months after losing her sister, Becca-a serial killer unknown to everyone else in their town-Carrie Lawrence is finally free of her manipulative clutches. From now on, she’s keeping her hands clean, no more hiding dead bodies in the middle of the night, no more lies.
She’s never been happier. Then she attends a meeting of the Brampton Kill Seekers, a group of amateur local sleuths, and learns that a recent victim left behind a note that incriminates her in their disappearance. All of a sudden, the quiet, law-abiding life she’s been planning starts to unravel.
She’s never had so much to lose. In her frantic quest to keep her secret dead and buried, she discovers someone nefarious lurking in the shadows…someone who’ll go to any lengths to bring her dark truths to light. Now if Carrie wants her secrets to stay hidden, she’ll have to get her hands very, very dirty.
Published: September 13th Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Romantic Fantasy, Fantasy Series
SYNOPSIS: The Ballad of Never After is the fiercely-anticipated sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller Once Upon a Broken Heart, starring Evangeline Fox and the Prince of Hearts on a new journey of magic, mystery, and heartbreak.
After Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, betrays her, Evangeline Fox swears she’ll never trust him again. Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.
But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed.Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.
Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts. Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can.
Published: September 13th Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Horror Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: PRE-ORDER THE CHILLING SERIAL KILLER THRILLER FROM THE CO-HOST OF CHART-TOPPING PODCAST MORBID
WREN WAS NEVER AFRAID OF THE DARK. UNTIL SHE LEARNT THAT SOME MONSTERS ARE REAL. . .
In deep Louisiana, a serial killer with a taste for medical experimentation is completing his most ambitious project yet. The media call him ‘The Butcher’ – and, so far, he’s proved impossible to catch.
With her encyclopedic knowledge of humanity’s darkest minds, and years of experience examining their victims, forensic pathologist Dr Wren Muller is the best there is. The longer the Butcher’s killing spree continues, the more determined she is to bring him to justice. And yet, he continues to elude her.
As body after body pile up on Wren’s examination table, her obsession grows. Pressure to put an end to the slaughter mounts. And her enemy becomes more brazen.
How far is Wren willing to go to draw the Butcher into the light. . .?
An addictive read with straight-from-the-morgue details only an autopsy technician could provide, The Butcher and the Wren promises to ensnare all who enter.
Published: September 13th Publisher: Titan Books Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A suspenseful small-town horror novel of oppression, heartbreak and buried anguish – Shirley Jackson meets Never Let Me Go with the wild west setting of Westworld.
When Lady Mae turns 18, she’ll inherit her mother’s job as the Butcher: dismembering Settlement Five’s guilty residents as payment for their petty crimes. An index finger taken for spreading salacious gossip, a foot for blasphemy, no one is exempt from punishment.
But one day Winona refuses to butcher a six-year-old boy. So their leaders, known as the Deputies, come to Lady Mae’s house, and, right there in the living room, murder her mother for refusing her duties.
Within twenty-four hours, now alone in the world, Lady Mae begins her new job. But a chance meeting years later puts her face to face with the Deputy that murdered her mother. Now Lady Mae must choose: will she flee, and start another life in the desolate mountains, forever running? Or will she seek vengeance for her mother’s death even if it kills her?
A devastating, alarming page-turner infused with melancholy, humanity – and society’s maddening acceptance in the face of horror.
Published: September 15th Publisher: Mantle Genre: Historical Fiction, Fairy Tale, Fantasy Fiction, Greek Mythology, Domestic Fiction,
SYNOPSIS: Natalie Haynes – the Women’s Prize-shortlisted author of A Thousand Ships – brings the infamous Medusa to life as you have never seen her before . . .
‘So to mortal men, we are monsters. Because of our flight, our strength. They fear us, so they call us monsters.’
Medusa is the sole mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her Gorgon sisters, she begins to realize that she is the only one who experiences change, the only one who can be hurt. And her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.
When the sea god Poseidon commits an unforgivable act in the temple of Athene, the goddess takes her revenge where she can – and Medusa is changed forever. Writhing snakes replace her hair, and her gaze now turns any living creature to stone. The power cannot be controlled: Medusa can look at nothing without destroying it. She is condemned to a life of shadows and darkness.
Until Perseus embarks upon a quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon . . .
SYNOPSIS: From the author of the globally bestselling, multi-million-copy classic, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, comes its astonishing and powerful sequel.
Ninety-one-year-old Gretel Fernsby has lived in the same mansion block in London for decades. She leads a comfortable, quiet life, despite her dark and disturbing past. She doesn’t talk about her escape from Germany over seventy years before. She doesn’t talk about the post-war years in France with her mother. Most of all, she doesn’t talk about her father, the commandant of one of the most notorious Nazi concentration camps.
Then, a young family moves into the apartment below her. In spite of herself, Gretel can’t help but begin a friendship with the little boy, Henry, though his presence brings back memories she would rather forget. One night, she witnesses a violent argument between Henry’s mother and his domineering father, one that threatens Gretel’s hard-won, self-contained existence.
Gretel is faced with a chance to expiate her guilt, grief and remorse and act to save a young boy – for the second time in her life. But to do so, she will be forced to reveal her true identity to the world. Will she make a different choice this time, whatever the cost to herself?
All the Broken Places is a devastating, beautiful story about a woman who must confront the sins of her past and a present in which it is never too late for bravery.
Published: September 15th Publisher: HQ Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: They claim they saw nothing. She knows they’re lying.
1996 – Cabramatta, Sydney
‘Just let him go.’
Those are words Ky Tran will forever regret. The words she spoke when her parents called to ask if they should let her younger brother Denny out to celebrate his high school graduation with friends. That night, Denny – optimistic, guileless Denny – is brutally murdered inside a busy restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta, a refugee enclave facing violent crime, and an indifferent police force.
Returning home for the funeral, Ky learns that the police are stumped by her brother’s case. Even though several people were present at Denny’s murder, each bystander claims to have seen nothing, and they are all staying silent.
Determined to uncover the truth, Ky tracks down and questions the witnesses herself. But what she learns goes beyond what happened that fateful night. The silence has always been there, threaded through the generations, and Ky begins to expose the complex traumas weighing on those present the night Denny died. As she peels back the layers of the place that shaped her, she must confront more than the reasons her brother is dead. And once those truths have finally been spoken, how can any of them move on?
Published: September 15th Publisher: Orenda Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Historical Fiction, Saga, Psychological Fiction, Religious Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Queen of French Noir, Johana Gustawsson returns with the first in a startling new series – a dark, horrifying, powerful historical thriller with an extraordinary mystery at its heart and three women pushed so far beyond breaking point, they have only one way out…
1899, Belle Époque Paris. Lucienne’s two daughters are believed dead when her mansion burns to the ground, but she is certain that her girls are still alive and embarks on a journey into the depths of the spiritualist community to find them.
1949, Post-War Québec. Teenager Lina’s father has died in the French Resistance, and as she struggles to fit in at school, her mother introduces her to an elderly woman at the asylum where she works, changing Lina’s life in the darkest way imaginable.
2002, Quebec. A former schoolteacher is accused of brutally stabbing her husband – a famous university professor – to death. Detective Maxine Grant, who has recently lost her own husband and is parenting a teenager and a new baby single-handedly, takes on the investigation.
Under enormous personal pressure, Maxine makes a series of macabre discoveries that link directly to historical cases involving black magic and murder, secret societies and spiritism … and women at breaking point, who will stop at nothing to protect the ones they love…
Published: September 15th Publisher: Pan Macmillan Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Psychological Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: David Asha wants to tell you a story about three people:
Elliott Asha, his son, broken by a loss that will redeem him.
Ben Elmys, a surrogate father and David’s trusted friend, a man who might also be a murderer.
Harriet Kealty, a retired detective searching for answers to three mysterious deaths, while also investigating a man who might turn out to be the love of her life.
Every word David tells you is true, but you will think it fiction . . .
Bestselling author Adam Hamdy returns with a story of soulmates torn apart by circumstance and three deaths that haunt the past, present and future. The Other Side of Night is a genre-defying book unlike any you’ve ever read and a spellbinding novel about love, sacrifice and endless possibilities.
The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman (The Thursday Murder Club 3)
Published: September 15th Publisher: Viking Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Mystery Series
SYNOPSIS: A new mystery is afoot in the third book in the Thursday Murder Club series from record-breaking, bestselling author Richard Osman.
It is an ordinary Thursday and things should finally be returning to normal.
Except trouble is never far away where the Thursday Murder Club are concerned. A decade-old cold case leads them to a local news legend and a murder with no body and no answers.
Then a new foe pays Elizabeth a visit. Her mission? Kill. . . or be killed.
As the cold case turns white hot, Elizabeth wrestles with her conscience (and a gun), while Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim chase down clues with help from old friends and new. But can the gang solve the mystery and save Elizabeth before the murderer strikes again?
SYNOPSIS: The child you never knew knows all your secrets . . .
Out of the blue, Susie Jukes is contacted on social media by Anna, the girl she gave up for adoption fifteen years ago.
But when they meet, Anna’s home life sounds distinctly strange to Susie and her husband Gabe. And when Anna’s adoptive parents seem to overreact to the fact she contacted them at all, Susie becomes convinced that Anna needs her help.
But is Anna’s own behaviour simply what you’d expect from someone recovering from a traumatic childhood? Or are there other secrets at play here – secrets Susie has also been hiding for the last fifteen years?
Published: September 15th Publisher: Harper Collins UK Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Anthology
SYNOPSIS: A brand new collection of short stories featuring the Queen of Crime’s legendary detective Jane Marple, penned by twelve remarkable bestselling and acclaimed authors.
This collection of twelve original short stories, all featuring Jane Marple, will introduce the character to a whole new generation. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie’s Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery. · Naomi Alderman · Leigh Bardugo · Alyssa Cole · Lucy Foley · Elly Griffiths · Natalie Haynes · Jean Kwok · Val McDermid · Karen M. McManus · Dreda Say Mitchell · Kate Mosse · Ruth Ware
Miss Marple was first introduced to readers in a story Christie wrote for The Royal Magazine in 1927 and made her first appearance in a full-length novel in 1930’s The Murder at the Vicarage. It has been 45 years since Agatha Christie’s last Marple novel, Sleeping Murder, was published posthumously in 1976, and this collection of ingenious new stories by twelve Christie devotees will be a timely reminder why Jane Marple remains the most famous fictional female detective of all time.
Published: September 15th Publisher: Harper Muse Genre: Satire, Contemporary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A perfect storm of comedic proportions erupts in a DC bookstore over the course of one soggy summer week, punctuated by political turmoil, a celestial event, and a perpetually broken vacuum cleaner.
Independent bookstore owner Sophie Bernstein is burned out on books. Mourning the death of her husband, the loss of her favorite manager, her only child’s lack of aspiration, and the grim state of the world, she fantasizes about going into hiding in the secret back room of her store.
Meanwhile, renowned poet Raymond Chaucer has published a new collection, and rumors that he’s to blame for his wife’s suicide have led to national cancellations of his publicity tour. He intends to set the record straight―with an ultrafine Sharpie―but only one shop still plans to host him: Sophie’s.
Fearful of potential repercussions from angry customers, Sophie asks Clemi―bookstore events coordinator, aspiring novelist, and daughter of a famed literary agent―to cancel Raymond’s appearance. But Clemi suspects Raymond might be her biological father, and she can’t say no to the chance of finding out for sure.
This big-hearted screwball comedy features an intergenerational cast of oblivious authors and over-qualified booksellers―as well as a Russian Tortoise named Kurt Vonnegut Jr.―and captures the endearing quirks of some of the best kinds of people: the ones who love good books.
Published: September 27th Publisher: Doubleday Genre: Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction
SYNOPSIS: 1926, and in a country still recovering from the Great War, London has become the focus for a delirious new nightlife. In the clubs of Soho, peers of the realm rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters, and girls sell dances for a shilling a time.
The notorious queen of this glittering world is Nellie Coker, ruthless but also ambitious to advance her six children, including the enigmatic eldest, Niven whose character has been forged in the crucible of the Somme. But success breeds enemies, and Nellie’s empire faces threats from without and within. For beneath the dazzle of Soho’s gaiety, there is a dark underbelly, a world in which it is all too easy to become lost.
With her unique Dickensian flair, Kate Atkinson brings together a glittering cast of characters in a truly mesmeric novel that captures the uncertainty and mutability of life; of a world in which nothing is quite as it seems.
Published: September 27th Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Speculative Historical Noir, Young Adult Fiction, Horror Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Assassin. Immortal. Spy.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights comes the first book in a captivating new duology following an ill-matched pair of spies posing as a married couple to investigate a series of brutal murders in 1930s Shanghai.
It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.
Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging – and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption for her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.
Code name: Fortune.
But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.
To reduce suspicion, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong. Although Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanour infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.
Published: September 29th Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Ghost Story, Supernatural Fiction, Horror Fiction
SYNOPSIS: PRE-ORDER THE HAUNTING SHORT STORY COLLECTION FROM THE QUEEN OF CHILLERS, C. J. TUDOR . . .
This Halloween prepare to be terrified with C. J. Tudor’s first collection of short stories.
Featuring eleven twisted tales of the macabre, including:
The Lion at the Gate in which a strange piece of graffiti leads to a terrifying encounter for four school friends . . . Butterfly Island which tells the story of a group of survivors who wash up on a deserted island and make a horrifying discovery . . .
Gloria where a cold-hearted killer encounters a strange young girl at a motorway service station with unexpected consequences . . .
SYNOPSIS: A propulsive new thriller set in London featuring Detective Harbinder Kaur from the author of the No 1 bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries. A murderer hides in plain sight – in the police.
DS Cassie Fitzgerald has a secret – but it’s one she’s deleted from her memory. In the 1990s when she was at school, she and her friends killed a fellow pupil. Thirty years later, Cassie is happily married and loves her job as a police officer.
One day her husband persuades her to go to a school reunion and another ex-pupil, Garfield Rice, is found dead, supposedly from a drug overdose. As Garfield was an eminent MP and the investigation is high profile, it’s headed by Cassie’s new boss, DI Harbinder Kaur. The trouble is, Cassie can’t shake the feeling that one of her old friends has killed again.
Is Cassie right, or was Garfield murdered by one of his political cronies? It’s in Cassie’s interest to skew the investigation so that it looks like the latter and she seems to be succeeding.
Published: September 29th Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
SYNOPSIS: The new must-read thriller from the bestselling author of SOMETHING IN THE WATER
1. Listen carefully 2. Do your research 3. Trust no one 4. Run for your life
Harriet Reed is newly engaged to Edward Holbeck, the heir to an extremely powerful American family. When Edward’s father hands her a tape of a book he’s been working on, she is desperate to listen. But as she presses play, it’s clear that this isn’t a novel. It’s a confession to murder. Feeling isolated and confused, Harriet must work out if this is all part of a plan to test her loyalty. Or something far darker. Because this might be a game to the Holbeck family – but games can still be deadly.
SYNOPSIS: Under the Cretan sun, in the summer of 1936, two young people fall in love…
Eleni has been coming to Crete her entire life, swapping her English home for cherished sun-baked summers with her grandfather, in the shoreside villa her lost mama grew up in. When she arrives in 1936, she believes the long, hot weeks ahead will be no different to so many that have gone before. But someone else is visiting the island that year too: a young German man called Otto. The two of them meet, and – far from the Nazi’s Berlin Olympics, the brewing civil war in Spain – share the happiest time of their lives; a summer of innocence lost, and love discovered; one that is finite, but not the end.
When, in 1941, the island falls to a Nazi invasion, Eleni and Otto meet there once more. It is a different place to the one they knew. Secrets have become currency, traded for lives, and trust is a luxury few can indulge in. Eleni has returned to fight for her home, Otto to occupy it. They are enemies, and their love is not only treacherous, it is dangerous – but will it destroy them, or prove strong enough to overcome the ravages of war?
An epic tale of secrets, love, loyalty, family and how far you’d go to keep those you love safe, The Echoes of Love is an exquisite and deeply moving love letter to Crete – one that will move every reader to tears.
Welcome to my list of most anticipated books being released in August.
As always, the month is full of exciting new books and it was a struggle to narrow down my list to the ones you see here.
So, here are the thirty books out next month that I’m most looking forward to:
Small Angels by Lauren Owen
Published: August 2nd Publisher: Tinder Press Genre: Ghost Story, Gothic Fiction, Horror Fiction, Lesbian Literature
SYNOPSIS: When Chloe turns the key to Small Angels, the church nestled at the edge of Mockbeggar Woods where she is to be married, she is braced for cobwebs and dust.What she doesn’t expect are the villagers’ concerned faces, her fiancé’s remoteness, or the nagging voice in her head that whispers to her of fears she didn’t even know she had.
Something in the woods is beginning to stir, to creep closer to the sleeping houses. Something that should have been banished long ago.
Whatever it is, it’s getting stronger, and pretending it’s not there won’t keep the wedding, or the village – or Chloe - safe.
SYNOPSIS: The truth of what happened that night lies with a secret witness.
Quarter to Midnight is the first thrilling novel in a brand new series by Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Rose, set in New Orleans.
Rocky Hebert walks into his death at quarter to midnight one New Orleans night.
His son Gabe cannot accept the official verdict of suicide and enlists the help of the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency to discover the real cause of death.
PI Molly Sutton knows what it’s like to lose a father in tragic circumstances and will go to any lengths to crack the investigation, as she tries to fight off her growing feelings for Gabe.
They soon realise Rocky was working on an investigation of his own; one that threatened to expose the deep corruption going all the way to the top of the police department. And that the key to the puzzle lies with a young witness to a murder that happened years earlier: Xavier Morrow.
Just what did Rocky know? And who might have shut him up?
As they get closer and closer to the truth, they realise that the killer is not going to stop at Rocky. And that Xavier is in very real danger. Someone will go to any lengths to protect what he witnessed that night coming out…
Published: August 4th Publisher: HQ Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Literary Fiction, Satire, LGBTQ Literature
SYNOPSIS: Bridesmaids meets Black Mirror in the most twisted and entertaining thriller of 2022.
Robin and Ellie have been best friends since childhood. They’ve been through everything together, from Robin coming out to the death of Ellie’s dad. But when Ellie asks Robin to be her maid of honour, Robin is reluctant.
It’s not that Robin isn’t happy for Ellie, she just hates everything about weddings and marriage – plus the guy Ellie’s engaged to. There’s also the matter of the crazy (not to mention dangerous) wedding rituals that couples are resorting to in the hope of securing a lifetime of happiness.
Despite her misgivings, Robin finally says yes. But as the wedding day approaches, she gets the feeling that everyone in the bridal party is out to get her. And it seems Ellie is willing to do anything for the perfect day. After all, marriage is about sacrifice…
Published: August 4th Publisher: Harvill Secker Genre: Literary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Three nuns play the lottery to save their failing convent, resulting in a story of friendship, community, faith and love.
The 1990s are proving tough for the convent. The order of the Sisters of Saint Philomena is down to its three last nuns. The place that Sisters Margaret, Bridget and Cecilia call home is in dire need of repairs and, with no savings and no new recruits, they are facing the prospect of having to sell up and leave behind their friends and neighbours in the parish community that they love.
That is, until ninety-year-old Cecilia decides to play the newly launched National Lottery and a series of small miracles begins to unfold.
Small Miracles takes the reader on a joyful and uplifting journey as these three unforgettable nuns learn more about life, love and friendship than they could ever have imagined.
This is the perfect feel-good read for fans of AJ Pearce, Rachel Joyce, Katie Fforde and Joanna Cannon, as well as Sister Act, Rev and The Vicar of Dibley. It’s a story about love in its many guises and how it can heal us.
Daughter of Darkness by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr
Published: August 4th Publisher: Hot Key Books Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Horror Fiction, Myths and Legends, Greek Mythology, YA Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Enter the Underworld in an epic new fantasy, where the Gods of ancient Greece rule everything but fate.
Deina is trapped. As one of the Soul Severers serving the god Hades on earth, her future is tied to the task of shepherding the dying on from the mortal world – unless she can earn or steal enough to buy her way out.
Then the tyrant ruler Orpheus offers both fortune and freedom to whoever can retrieve his dead wife, Eurydice, from the Underworld. Deina jumps at the chance. But to win, she must enter an uneasy alliance with a group of fellow Severers she neither likes nor trusts.
So begins their perilous journey into the realm of Hades. . . The prize of freedom is before her – but what will it take to reach it?
From the authors of A THRONE OF SWANS and A CROWN OF TALONS comes a stunning new YA duology set in a world inspired by the mythology of ancient Greece.
Perfect for fans of Alexandra Bracken’s LORE and Jessie Burton’s MEDUSA.
Published: August 4th Publisher: Harper Collins UK Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Gothic Fiction
A remote village.
A deadly secret.
An outsider who knows the truth…
Maggie Mackay has been haunted her entire life. No matter what she does, she can’t shake the sense that something is wrong with her. And maybe something is…
When she was five years old, without proof, Maggie announced that someone in the remote village of Blairmore in the Outer Hebrides had murdered a local man, sparking a media storm.
Now, Maggie is determined to discover what really happened and what the villagers are hiding. But everyone has secrets, and some are deadly. As she gets closer to the horrifying truth, Maggie’s own life is in danger…
From the critically-acclaimed author of Mirrorland comes a darkly disturbing new thriller that will chill you to the bone.
SYNOPSIS: Three women. An isolated town. A decades-old mystery.
They hate me down there, in Boldville. I can read it in their eyes, smell it on their noxious breaths. That dreaded little town hates everything about me: not just my personality and form, the clothes I wear, but the way I think. The things that I know.
1933. Cornelia Stover is headstrong and business-minded – not the kind of woman the men of Boldville, New Mexico, expect her to be. Then she stumbles upon a secret hidden out in the hills . . .
1970. Decades later, Joanna Riley, a former cop, packs up her car in the middle of the night and drives west, fleeing an abusive marriage and a life she can no longer bear. Eventually, she runs out of gas and finds herself in Boldville, a sleepy desert town in the foothills of the Gila Mountains.
Joanna was looking for somewhere to retreat, to hide, but something is off about this place. In a commune on the outskirts a young man has been found dead and Joanna knows a cover up when she sees it. Soon, she and Glitter, a young, disaffected hippie, find themselves caught up in a dark mystery that goes to the very heart of Boldville, where for too long people have kept their eyes shut and turned their heads away. A mystery that leads them all the way back to the unexplained disappearance of Glitter’s grandmother Cornelia forty years before . . .
A captivating, atmospheric new novel from the lauded author of The Long, Long Afternoon, This Wild Wild Country simmers with secrets, lies and terrible betrayal, unravelling the lives of three women at the mercy of their times.
Published: August 4th Publisher: Picador Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A sweeping, breathtakingly ambitious novel about power, wealth and truth, told by four unique, interlocking voices and set against the backdrop of turbulent 1920s New York.
The legendary Wall Street tycoon whose immense wealth gives him the power to do almost anything. The second-generation Italian immigrant tasked with recording his life story. The reclusive, aristocratic wife. And the writer who observes them from afar.
In a city devoted to making money and making stories like no other, where wealth means power, who gets to tell the truth? And to rise to the top of a glittering, destructive world, what – and who – do you have to sacrifice?
Published: August 11th Publisher: Canongate Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Adventure Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: 1628. Embarking on a journey in search of her father, a young girl called Mayken boards the Batavia, the most impressive sea vessel of the age. During the long voyage, this curious and resourceful child must find her place in the ship’s busy world, and she soon uncovers shadowy secrets above and below deck. As tensions spiral, the fate of the ship and all on board becomes increasingly uncertain.
1989. Gil, a boy mourning the death of his mother, is placed in the care of his irritable and reclusive grandfather. Their home is a shack on a tiny fishing island off the Australian coast, notable only for its reefs and wrecked boats. This is no place for a child struggling with a dark past and Gil’s actions soon get him noticed by the wrong people.
The Night Ship is an enthralling tale of human brutality, providence and friendship, and of two children, hundreds of years apart, whose fates are inextricably bound together.
SYNOPSIS: Behind closed doors is a secret someone is willing to kill for.
I walk into the bright, open living room of my new apartment, and I know this is the fresh start I’ve been dreaming about. As I double lock my pretty red door each night, I feel like I can finally be happy. I can finally be safe.
But when I’m woken one night by the sound of my neighbours arguing through the wall. I swear I hear one of them saying my name. Why would they be talking about me?
Michaela and Kirsty seem so nice, always stopping to chat when we pass in the hallway, and inviting me round for a glass of wine after work.
I know I’m being paranoid, but then my favourite hair clip goes missing and I start to feel like someone’s watching me.
Nobody was meant to know where I am. And I was careful. I did everything right. But I can’t help but fear my past has caught up with me and this time, I might not escape…
If you love gripping psychological thrillers like Gone Girl and Mark Edwards’s Here to Stay, you’ll be blown away by The Houseshare. Addictive, tense and with an ending you won’t see coming, you’ll be up all night turning pages.
Published: August 18th Publisher: Pan Macmillan Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Gothic Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Daisy Darker is an all-consuming tale of psychological suspense with a spectacular twist from the internationally bestselling author Alice Feeney
Daisy Darker’s family were as dark as dark can be, when one of them died all of them lied and pretended not to see . . .
Daisy Darker is arriving at her grandmother’s house for her eightieth birthday. It is Halloween, and Seaglass – the crumbling Cornish house perched upon its own tiny private island – is at one with the granite rocks it sits on. The Darker family haven’t all been in the same place for over a decade, and when the tide comes in they’ll be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. When the tide goes back out, nothing will ever be the same again, because one of them is a killer . . .
SYNOPSIS: Someone’s trying to frame me for murder. But I can’t prove my innocence. Because then I’d have to confess about… my other husband.
*Pre-order the brand new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Dorothy Koomson.
Cleo Forsum is a bestselling novelist turned scriptwriter whose TV series, ‘The Baking Detective’ is a huge success. Writing is all she’s ever wanted to do, and baking and murder stories have proved a winning combination.
But now she has decided to walk away from it all – including divorcing her husband, Wallace – before her past secrets catch up with her.
As Cleo drafts the final ever episodes of the series, people she knows start getting hurt. And it’s soon clear that someone is trying to frame her for murder.
She thinks she knows why, but Cleo can’t tell the police or prove her innocence. Because then she’d have to confess about her other husband . . .
A series of terrifying murders. A set of complex lies. And a woman with no way to clear her name.
My Other Husband is the latest gripping thriller from the Queen of The Big Reveal.
Published: August 18th Publisher: HQ Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Dark Comedy, Magical Realism, Supernatural Fiction, Coming-of-Age Fiction
SYNOPSIS: The change is coming…
Nessa: The Seeker Jo: The Protector Harriett: The Punisher
With newfound powers the time has come to take matters into their own hands…
After Nessa is widowed and her daughters leave for college, she’s left alone in her house near the ocean. In the quiet hours, she hears voices belonging to the dead – who will only speak to her.
On the cusp of fifty Harriett’s marriage and career imploded, and she hasn’t left her house in months. But her life is far from over – in fact, she’s undergone a stunning metamorphosis.
Jo spent thirty years at war with her body. The rage that arrived with menopause felt like the last straw – until she discovers she’s able to channel it.
Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio discover the abandoned body of a teenage girl. The police have written off the victim. But the women have not. Their own investigations lead them to more bodies and a world of wealth where the rules don’t apply – and the realisation that laws are designed to protect villains, not the vulnerable.
So it’s up to these three women to avenge the innocent, and punish the guilty…
Published: August 18th Publisher: Pan Macmillan Genre: Magical Realism, Fantasy Fiction, Contemporary Literature, Dystopian Fiction, Medical Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Reminiscent of the works of Margaret Atwood, Deborah Harkness, and Octavia E. Butler, The Women Could Fly is a feminist speculative novel that speaks to our times. A piercing dystopian tale about the unbreakable bond between a young woman and her absent mother, set in a world in which magic is real and single women are closely monitored in case they are shown to be witches . . .
Josephine Thomas has heard every conceivable theory about her mother’s disappearance. That she was kidnapped. Murdered. That she took on a new identity to start a new family. That she was a witch. This is the most worrying charge, because in a world where witches are real, peculiar behaviour raises suspicions and a woman – especially a Black woman – can find herself on trial for witchcraft.
But fourteen years have passed since her mother’s disappearance, and now Jo is finally ready to let go of the past. Yet her future is in doubt. The State mandates that all women marry by the age of thirty – or enrol in a registry that allows them to be monitored, effectively forfeiting their autonomy. At twenty-eight, Jo is ambivalent about marriage. With her ability to control her life on the line, she feels as if she has her never understood her mother more. When she’s offered the opportunity to honour one last request from her mother’s will, Jo leaves her regular life to feel connected to her one last time.
In this powerful and timely novel, Megan Giddings explores the limits women face – and the powers they have to transgress and transcend them.
Published: August 18th Publisher: Picador Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure Fiction
SYNOPSIS: The hugely anticipated novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Pull of the Stars and Room
Three men vow to leave the world behind them and start anew . . .
In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar and priest called Artt has a dream telling him to leave the sinful world behind. Taking two monks – young Trian and old Cormac – he travels down the river Shannon in search of an isolated spot on which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find an impossibly steep, bare island inhabited by tens of thousands of birds, and claim it for God. Their extraordinary landing spot is now known as Skellig Michael. But in such a place, far from all other humanity, what will survival mean?
Haunting, moving and vividly told, Haven displays Emma Donoghue’s trademark world-building and psychological intensity – but this tale is like nothing she has ever written before . . .
Published: August 18th Publisher: Harper Voyager: Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Contemporary Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Horror Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A gorgeous new fantasy horror – a book about stories and fairytales with family and love at its dark heart…
Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman (Stardust, Coraline), Susanna Clarke (Piranesi) and Let the Right One In.
Hidden across England and Scotland live six old Book Eater families.
The last of their lines, they exist on the fringes of society and subsist on a diet of stories and legends.
Children are rare and their numbers have dwindled, so when Devon Fairweather’s second child is born a dreaded Mind Eater – a perversion of her own kind, who consumes not stories but the minds and souls of humans – she flees before he can be turned into a weapon for the family… or worse.
Living among humans and finding prey for her son, Devon seeks a cure for his hunger. But time is running out – for her family want her back, and with every soul her son consumes he loses a little more of himself…
This is a story of escape, a savage mother’s devotion and a queer love that will electrify readers looking for something beguiling, thrilling, strange and new.
Published: August 18th Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Fairy Tale, Mythology, Literary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: When Scottie Bains realises that she may never become a mother, she makes the heart-breaking decision to flee to the remote North Atlantic archipelago of St Hia.
Lashed by storms and far from the mainland, the islands are dangerous. Many have been lost to the ferocious tides known as the Hollow Sea – and local folklore warns that St Hia was once the home of a witch. Her name was Thordis, and when she was unable to provide her husband with a child, she was driven to a terrible act…
The islanders warn newcomers against examining the past, but Scottie can’t look away from the mystery of what happened to Thordis.
Could it be that St Hia’s troubled history holds the key to Scottie’s future?
Published: August 18th Publisher: Harper Collins UK Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Fiction, Hardboiled
SYNOPSIS: If you liked I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK and SHARP OBJECTS, you will love this!
What really happened to January Jacobs?
A MYSTERIOUS COLD CASE… Twenty-five years ago, January Jacob’s parents awoke to find their daughter’s bed empty, a horrifying message spray-painted onto their wall. Hours later, January’s body was found discarded in a ditch. Her murder was never solved. But the town remembers.
A DANGEROUS OBSESSION… Journalist Margot Davies is tired of reporting meaningless stories. One night, she stumbles upon a clue in the most infamous crime in her hometown’s history: the unsolved murder of six-year-old January.
A TOWN FULL OF SECRETS… As Margot digs deeper, she begins to suspect that there is something truly sinister lurking in the small community: a secret that endangers the lives of everyone involved…including Margot.
A gripping, twisty thriller for fans of cold crime cases – from the #1 CRIME JUNKIE podcast host Ashley Flowers.
SYNOPSIS: PhD candidate Phoebe Walsh has always been obsessed with true crime. She’s even analyzing the genre in her dissertation – if she can manage to finish writing it. It’s hard to find the time while she spends the summer in Florida, cleaning out her childhood home, dealing with her obnoxiously good-natured younger brother, and grappling with the complicated feelings of mourning a father she hadn’t had a relationship with for years. It doesn’t help that she’s low-key convinced that her new neighbor, Sam Dennings, is a serial killer (he may dress business casual by day, but at night he’s clearly up to something). But it’s not long before Phoebe realises that Sam might be something much scarier – a genuinely nice guy who can pierce her armor to reach her vulnerable heart.
Published: August 23rd Publisher: Sphere Genre: Romance Novel, Contemporary Romanc
SYNOPSIS: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis – with explosive results.
Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project – a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia – Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.
Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school – archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas … devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?
Published: August 25th Publisher: Hogarth Genre: Mystery
SYNOPSIS: I don’t want to tell you what happened. I want to tell you how it felt.
Cassandra Williams is twelve; her little brother Wayne is seven. One day, when they’re alone together, there’s an accident, and Wayne is lost forever. Though his body is never recovered, their mother can’t stop searching. The missing boy cleaves the family with doubt: How do you grieve an absence? And how does it feel?
As C grows older, she relives and retells her story, and she sees her brother everywhere: in cafes, airplane aisles, subway cars. Here is her brother’s older face, the light in his eyes, his lanky limbs, the way he seems to recognise her, too. But it can’t be, of course. Or can it? And then one day, there’s another accident, and C meets a man both mysterious and familiar, a man who’s also searching for someone, as well as his own place in the world. His name is Wayne.
Namwali Serpell’s piercing new novel captures the ongoing and uncanny experience of grief, as the past breaks over the present, like waves in the sea. The Furrows is a bold exploration of memory and mourning that twists unexpectedly into a masterful story of mistaken identity, slippery reality, black experience, and the wishful and sometimes willful longing for reunion with those we’ve lost.
SYNOPSIS: ‘Someone swore that, as a little girl, he once saw you touch a tiger. And that the tiger didn’t harm you, it let you stroke it. It was always said that you had charmed the beast.’
The breathtaking new novel from the author of Hamnet, the Sunday Times No.1 bestseller (2021) and winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, The Marriage Portrait is a dazzling evocation of the Italian Renaissance in all its beauty and brutality.
Winter, 1561. Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara, is taken on an unexpected visit to a country villa by her husband, Alfonso. As they sit down to dinner it occurs to Lucrezia that Alfonso has a sinister purpose in bringing her here. He intends to kill her.
Lucrezia is sixteen years old, and has led a sheltered life locked away inside Florence’s grandest palazzo. Here, in this remote villa, she is entirely at the mercy of her increasingly erratic husband.
What is Lucrezia to do with this sudden knowledge? What chance does she have against Alfonso, ruler of a province, and a trained soldier? How can she ensure her survival.
The Marriage Portrait is an unforgettable reimagining of the life of a young woman whose proximity to power places her in mortal danger.
The Dragon’s Promise (Six Crimson Cranes Book 2) by Elizabeth Lim
Published: August 30th Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Series
SYNOPSIS: A dragon’s kingdom. A star-crossed love. And a cursed pearl with the power to mend the world, or break it . . .
Shiori’s quest continues in the soaring sequel to the New York Times bestselling young adult fantasy Six Crimson Cranes.
Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more dangerous than she ever imagined.
She must journey to the kingdom of dragons, navigate political intrigue among humans and dragons alike, fend off thieves who covet the pearl for themselves and will go to any lengths to get it, all the while cultivating the appearance of a perfect princess to dissuade those who would see her burned at the stake for the magic that runs in her blood.
The pearl itself is no ordinary cargo; it thrums with malevolent power, jumping to Shiori’s aid one minute, and betraying her the next – threatening to shatter her family and sever the thread of fate that binds her to her true love. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she’s fought so hard to win.
The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman
Published: August 30th Publisher: Kensington Books Genre: Historical Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: In this powerful novel of survival and resilience, New York Times bestselling author Ellen Marie Wiseman takes readers on a gripping, emotional journey as one brave young woman’s search for the truth about her sister leads her to an infamous institution called Willowbrook . . .
Sage Winters always knew her sister was a little different even though they were identical twins. They loved the same things and shared a deep understanding, but Rosemary—awake to every emotion, easily moved to joy or tears—seemed to need more protection from the world.
Six years after Rosemary’s death from pneumonia, Sage, now sixteen, still misses her deeply. Their mother perished in a car crash, and Sage’s stepfather, Alan, resents being burdened by a responsibility he never wanted. Yet despite living as near strangers in their Staten Island apartment, Sage is stunned to discover that Alan has kept a shocking secret: Rosemary didn’t die. She was committed to Willowbrook State School and has lingered there until just a few days ago, when she went missing.
Sage knows little about Willowbrook. It’s always been a place shrouded by rumor and mystery. A place local parents threaten to send misbehaving kids. With no idea what to expect, Sage secretly sets out for Willowbrook, determined to find Rosemary. What she learns, once she steps through its doors and is mistakenly believed to be her sister, will change her life in ways she never could imagined . . .
Welcome to another month packed with exciting new releases. I’ve been counting down to July all year as there are a few of my most anticipated books of the year being released: The House of Fortune, All About Evie, The Museum of Ordinary People, The Family Remains and That Bonesetter Woman.
So here’s the books I’m most anticipating in July:
SYNOPSIS: A stunning feminist reimagining of the life of Joan of Arc – perfect for fans of Cecily, Ariadne and Matrix. *** Girl. Warrior. Heretic. Saint?
France is mired in a losing war against England. Its people are starving. Its king is in hiding. Yet out of the chaos, an unlikely heroine emerges.
Reckless, steel-willed and brilliant, Joan has survived a childhood steeped in both joy and violence to claim an extraordinary – and fragile – position at the head of the French army. The battlefield and the royal court are full of dangers and Joan finds herself under suspicion from all sides – as well as under threat from her own ambition.
With unforgettably vivid characters and propulsive storytelling, Joan is a thrilling epic, a triumph of historical fiction, and a feminist celebration of one remarkable – and remarkably real – woman who left an indelible mark on history.
Published: July 7th Publisher: Picador Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: The sequel to Jessie Burton’s million-copy bestseller The Miniaturist.
In the golden city of Amsterdam, in 1705, Thea Brandt is turning eighteen, and she is ready to welcome adulthood with open arms. At the city’s theatre, Walter, the love of her life, awaits her, but at home in the house on the Herengracht, all is not well – her father Otto and Aunt Nella argue endlessly, and the Brandt family are selling their furniture in order to eat. On Thea’s birthday, also the day that her mother Marin died, the secrets from the past begin to overwhelm the present.
Nella is desperate to save the family and maintain appearances, to find Thea a husband who will guarantee her future, and when they receive an invitation to Amsterdam’s most exclusive ball, she is overjoyed – perhaps this will set their fortunes straight.
And indeed, the ball does set things spinning: new figures enter their life, promising new futures. But their fates are still unclear, and when Nella feels a strange prickling sensation on the back of her neck, she remembers the miniaturist who entered her life and toyed with her fortunes eighteen years ago. Perhaps, now, she has returned for her . . .
The House of Fortune is a glorious, sweeping story of fate and ambition, secrets and dreams, and one young woman’s determination to rule her own destiny.
SYNOPSIS: The superb new novel from the bestselling author of Half A World Away and All the Lonely People.
Still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, Jess is about to do the hardest thing she’s ever done: empty her childhood home so that it can be sold.
But when in the process Jess stumbles across the mysterious Alex, together they become custodians of a strange archive of letters, photographs, curios and collections known as The Museum of Ordinary People.
As they begin to delve into the history of the objects in their care, Alex and Jess not only unravel heartbreaking stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long buried secrets that lie much closer to home.
Inspired by a box of mementos found abandoned in a skip following a house clearance, The Museum of Ordinary People is a thought-provoking and poignant story of memory, grief, loss and the things we leave behind.
Published: July 7th Publisher: Aria Genre: Literary Fiction, Domestic Fiction
SYNOPSIS: The gripping and heartbreaking second novel by the author of BA Book of the Month and LoveReading Debut of the Month Patience.
She gave you her baby. Now she wants her back.
Nineteen-year-old Michelle has had a tough life, to say the least. Then she gets pregnant. She is convinced she would be a terrible mother but having grown up in care, she cannot bring herself to subject her child to the same fate.
Amelia and her husband have dreamed of having a family for years, but have lost all hope after the worst kind of tragedy. Then they are offered the chance to adopt baby Grace, and it feels like they finally have everything they’ve ever wanted.
But then Michelle decides she wants her daughter back, and it’s up to the courts to decide. What is best for Grace – a mother’s love, or a stable home? Whatever the ruling, one thing is certain: neither woman’s life will ever be the same again…
Listen To Me by Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli & Isles 13)
Published: July 7th Publisher: Bantam Press Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Crime Series
SYNOPSIS: Rizzoli & Isles return, in the nail-biting new thriller from Sunday Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.
The murder of Sofia Suarez is both gruesome and seemingly senseless. Why would anyone target a respected nurse who was well-liked by her friends and her neighbours? As Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles investigate the baffling case, they discover that Sofia was guarding a dangerous secret — a secret that may have led the killer straight to her door.
Meanwhile, Jane’s watchful mother Angela Rizzoli is conducting an investigation of her own. She may be a grandmother, not a police detective, but she’s savvy enough to know there’s something very strange, perhaps even dangerous, about the new neighbours across the street. The problem is, no one believes her, not even her own daughter.
Immersed in the hunt for Sofia’s killer, Jane and Maura are too busy to pay attention to Angela’s fears. With no one listening to her, and danger mounting in her neighbourhood, Angela just may be forced to take action on her own…
Published: July 7th Publisher: Quercus Books Genre: Gothic Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Literary Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: Amidst the glamour of the French Riviera lies the crumbling façade of Chateau de Sètes, a small slice of France still held by the British aristocracy. But this long since abandoned chateau is now up for sale, and two people are desperate to get their hands on it despite its terrible history.
Summer, 1985: Ruby has stayed at the chateau with her family every summer of her twelve years. It was her favourite place to be, away from the strictures of her formal childhood, but this year uninvited guests have descended, and everything is about to change…
As the intense August heat cloaks the chateau, the adults within start to lose sight of themselves. Old disputes are thrown back and forth, tempers rise, morals loosen, and darkness begins to creep around them all. Ruby and her two young friends soon discover it is best not to be seen or heard as the summer spirals down to one fateful night and an incident that can never be undone…
Summer, 2010: One of the three young girls, now grown and newly widowed, returns to the chateau, and in her fight to free herself from its grip, she uncovers what truly happened that long, dark summer.
With riveting psychological complexity, The Ruins captures the glittering allure of the Mediterranean, and the dark shadows that wait beneath the surface.
SYNOPSIS: A mind-blowing, unputdownable serial killer thriller of a very different kind – perfect for all fans of Mindhunter and Girl A
Twelve-year-old Sophie and her mother, Amelia-Rose, move to London from Massachusetts where they meet the charismatic Matty Melgren, who quickly becomes an intrinsic part of their lives. But as the relationship between the two adults fractures, a serial killer begins targeting young women with a striking resemblance to Amelia-Rose.
When Matty is eventually sent down for multiple murder, questions remain as to his guilt — questions which ultimately destroy both women. Nearly twenty years later, Sophie receives a letter from Battlemouth Prison informing her Matty is dying and wants to meet. It looks like Sophie might finally get the answers she craves. But will the truth set her free — or bury her deeper?
SYNOPSIS: A breathtaking debut novel from an exciting new voice in fiction – coming July 2022!
Nasrin and Sabrina are two sisters, who on the face of things live successful and enviable lives in London and New York. When their father, Shamsur suddenly dies, they rush to be with their mother at the family home and restaurant in Wales, but reluctantly step back into the stifling world of their childhood.
When Shamsur’s will is read, a devastating secret is revealed that challenges all that people thought and loved about him. It also profoundly changes the lives and identities of the sisters, and creates an irreparable family rift…
Moving between London, Wales, New York and Bangladesh, this is an epic family drama that spans over four decades. A story of mothers and daughters, of fathers and daughters, of sisterhood, it is a tale that explores belonging, family and what makes forgiveness and redemption possible.
Published: July 7th Publisher: Riverrun Genre: Literary Fiction, Humorous Fiction
SYNOPSIS: For Alice and Hanna, saint and sinner, growing up is a trial. There is their mother, who takes a divide-and-conquer approach to child-rearing, and their father, who takes an absent one. There is also their older brother Michael, whose disapproval is a force to be reckoned with. There is the catastrophe that is never spoken of, but which has shaped everything.
As adults, Alice and Hanna must deal with disappointments in work and in love as well as increasingly complicated family tensions, and lives that look dismayingly dissimilar to what they’d intended. They must look for a way to repair their own fractured relationship, and they must finally choose their own approach to their dominant mother: submit or burn the house down. And they must decide at last whether life is really anything more than (as Hanna would have it) a tragedy with a few hilarious moments.
From the author of the Waterstones Book of the Month Our Fathers comes a compelling domestic comedy about complex family dynamics, mental health and the intricacies of sibling relationships.
Published: July 7th Publisher: Sceptre Genre: Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A dazzling, shocking novel that speaks to our times, drawing on the 16th-century case of the witches of Warboys.
Alice Samuel might be old and sharp-tongued, but she’s no fool. Visiting her new neighbours in her Fenland village, she suspects Squire Throckmorton’s household is not as God-fearing as it seems and finds the children troubled. Yet when one of the daughters accuses her of witchcraft, Alice has no inkling of how quickly matters will escalate and fails to grasp the danger she is in.
As evidence mounts against Alice, soon the entire village is swept up in the frenzied persecution of one of their own community.
Exploring a neglected episode of English history to powerful effect, The Bewitching vividly conveys the brutal tribalism that can erupt in a closed society and how victims can be made to believe in their own wickedness.
SYNOPSIS: An enchanting new novella set in the magical world of Sunday Times bestseller Threadneedle.
Set in the Welsh countryside, Rowan is visiting her aunt – Winne the hedge witch – to get back to nature and hone her skills, as well as taking a break from her annoying sisters and enjoying some peace and quiet. However, Rowan soon comes to realise that hedges are a serious business and this isn’t quite the opportunity to rest and escape she thought it might be.
Not only that, but mysterious events around the town are causing panic in the secret magical community and cowans – non magical folk – are starting to take notice.
Can Rowan hone her hedge craft, try to make some friends and solve the riddle of the mysterious goings on, or is magic about to be revealed to the world … or at least Wales?
SYNOPSIS: When Kwasi and his family move abruptly from one side of London to the other, he sets out to explore his new home. Escaping the watchful eyes of Ma and Da and his irrepressible Aunties, he discovers the local high street and a hidden river. Back at the yellow house, he spends hours drawing, distracting himself from thoughts of the new school that awaits.
As the years pass, the high street remains a source of fascination for Kwasi. But behind the ever-changing shopfronts, it’s a different story. Business is slow and times are getting tougher. Widower Rupert has been trying to hold on to the dreams he and his wife poured into their eclectic charity shop, The Chest of Small Wonders, but now he is close to giving up.
One October night, Kwasi finds himself in trouble and takes refuge in the Chest, and an unexpected friendship begins. As he and Rupert unite to save the shop, they each find a sense of belonging. But old patterns are hard to change, and as tensions around them escalate, difficult choices lie ahead.
Lyrical, witty, moving and timely, To Fill a Yellow House is a story of community, friendship and the power of creativity and connection. It is as vibrant and surprising as the city it is set in and marks the arrival of a bright and bold new talent.
SYNOPSIS: Recently widowed actress Casey Fletcher has escaped to her family’s lake house for peace and quiet. She’s been happily losing herself in her thoughts and several bottles of bourbon, until the glamorous couple across the lake catch her attention. They look so perfect – just like Casey and her husband used to be. But is anyone what they seem?
Casey has a detective sat at her kitchen table.
She has a man bound and gagged upstairs.
Casey will uncover dark truths so life-changing that nothing will ever be the same again.
International bestselling sensation Riley Sager is back with his most ambitious thriller yet. With his trademark blend of sharp characters, psychological suspense and gasp-worthy twists, The House Across the Lake will shock readers from the first page to the last.
Published: July 7th Publisher: Harper Collins UK Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Fiction, Police Procedural
SYNOPSIS: ‘Count to three,’ her mother told her, the last words she would ever speak.
An Impossible Crime Scene A wealthy woman is found brutally murdered in the locked fortress of her London mansion. Surrounding her are four mysterious objects, including a book on forensics by Dr Laughton Rees.
An Inescapable Past As a teenager, Laughton’s life was destroyed after witnessing her mother’s brutal murder. Now a mother herself and forensic analyst, she is an expert on how to read crime scenes – but never works live cases.
An Uncatchable Killer Pressured by the lead detective to help with the investigation, Laughton begins to realise that the objects left by the body are not just about the victim, they’re also about her. Her childhood was destroyed by one killer. Now she must catch another before her daughter’s is destroyed too.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Published: July 14th Publisher: Chatto & Windus Genre: Adventure Fiction
SYNOPSIS: This is not a romance, but it is about love
Two kids meet in a hospital gaming room in 1987. One is visiting her sister, the other is recovering from a car crash. The days and months are long there. Their love of video games becomes a shared world — of joy, escape and fierce competition. But all too soon that time is over, fades from view.
When the pair spot each other eight years later in a crowded train station, they are catapulted back to that moment. The spark is immediate, and together they get to work on what they love – making games to delight, challenge and immerse players, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives. Their collaborations make them superstars.
This is the story of the perfect worlds Sadie and Sam build, the imperfect world they live in, and of everything that comes after success: Money. Fame. Duplicity. Tragedy.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow takes us on a dazzling imaginative quest as it examines the nature of identity, creativity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play and, above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love.
Published: July 19th Publisher: St Martins Press Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense
SYNOPSIS: Things We Do in the Dark is a brilliant new thriller from Jennifer Hillier, the award-winning author of the breakout novels Little Secrets and Jar of Hearts. Paris Peralta is suspected of killing her celebrity husband, and her long-hidden past now threatens to destroy her future.
When Paris Peralta is arrested in her own bathroom–covered in blood, holding a straight razor, her celebrity husband dead in the bathtub behind her–she knows she’ll be charged with murder. But as bad as this looks, it’s not what worries her the most. With the unwanted media attention now surrounding her, it’s only a matter of time before someone from her long hidden past recognizes her and destroys the new life she’s worked so hard to build, along with any chance of a future.
Twenty-five years earlier, Ruby Reyes, known as the Ice Queen, was convicted of a similar murder in a trial that riveted Canada in the early nineties. Reyes knows who Paris really is, and when she’s unexpectedly released from prison, she threatens to expose all of Paris’s secrets. Left with no other choice, Paris must finally confront the dark past she escaped, once and for all.
Because the only thing worse than a murder charge are two murder charges.
Published: July 21st Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Genre: Historical Fantasy, Saga, Domestic Fiction, Literary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: EVIE EPWORTH IS TEN YEARS OLDER. BUT IS SHE ANY WISER?!
Ten years on from the events of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth, Evie is settled in London and working as a production assistant for the BBC. She has everything she ever dreamed of (a career, a leatherette briefcase, an Ossie Clark poncho) but, following an unfortunate incident involving a Hornsea Pottery mug and Princess Anne, she finds herself having to rethink her future. What can she do? Is she too old to do it? And will it involve cork-soled sandals?
As if this isn’t complicated enough, her disastrous love life leaves her worrying that she may be destined for eternal spinsterdom, concerned, as she is, that ‘even Paul had married Linda by the time he was 26’. Through it all, Evie is left wondering whether a 60s miseducation really is the best preparation to glide into womanhood and face the new challenges (strikes, power cuts, Edward Heath’s teeth) thrown up by the growing pains of the 70s.
With the help of friends, both old and new, she might just find a way through her messy 20s and finally discover who exactly she is meant to be…
Published: July 21st Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Adventure Fiction
SYNOPSIS: It’s usual, they say, for a young person coming to London for the first time to arrive with a head full of dreams. Well, Endurance Proudfoot did not. When she stepped off the coach from Sussex, on a warm and sticky afternoon in the summer of 1757, it never occurred to her that the city would be the place where she’d make her fortune; she was just very annoyed to be arriving there at all.
Meet Endurance Proudfoot, the bonesetter’s daughter: clumsy as a carthorse, with a tactless tongue and a face she’s sure only a mother could love. Durie only wants one thing in life – to follow her father and grandfather into the family business of bonesetting. It’s a physically demanding job, requiring strength, nerves of steel and discretion – and not the job for a woman.
But Durie isn’t like other women. She’s strong and stubborn and determined to get her own way. And she finds that she has a talent at bonesetting – her big hands and lack of grace have finally found their natural calling.
So, when she is banished to London with her sister, who is pretty, delicate and exactly the opposite to Durie in every way, Durie will not let it stop her realising her dreams. And while her sister will become one of the first ever Georgian celebrities, Durie will become England’s first and most celebrated female bonesetter. But what goes up must come down, and Durie’s elevated status may well become her undoing…
Published: July 21st Publisher: Century Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
SYNOPSIS: **Loved THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS? Find out what happened next …**
LONDON. Early morning, June 2019: on the foreshore of the river Thames, a bag of bones is discovered. Human bones.
DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene and quickly sends the bag for forensic examination. The bones are those of a young woman, killed by a blow to the head many years ago.
Also inside the bag is a trail of clues, in particular the seeds of a rare tree which lead DCI Owusu back to a mansion in Chelsea where, nearly thirty years previously, three people lay dead in a kitchen, and a baby waited upstairs for someone to pick her up.
The clues point forward too to a brother and sister in Chicago searching for the only person who can make sense of their pasts.
Four deaths. An unsolved mystery. A family whose secrets can’t stay buried for ever …
Published: July 21st Publisher: Orenda Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Fiction, Urban Fiction, Political Fiction, Religious Fiction
SYNOPSIS: The lives of five strangers collide on a London train carriage, as they become involved in an incident that will change them all forever. A shocking, intensely emotive and wildly original new thriller from Will Carver…
A disillusioned nurse suddenly learns how to care.
An injured young sportsman wakes up find that he can see only in black and white.
A desperate old widower takes too many pills and believes that two angels have arrived to usher him through purgatory.
Two agoraphobic men called Dave share the symptoms of a brain tumour, and frequently waken their neighbour with their ongoing rows.
Separate lives, running in parallel, destined to collide and then explode.
Like the suicide bomber, riding the Circle Line, day after day, waiting for the right time to detonate, waiting for answers to his questions: Am I God? Am I dead? Will I blow up this train?
Shocking, intensely emotive and wildly original, Will Carver’s The Daves Next Door is an explosive existential thriller and a piercing examination of what it means to be human … or not.
Published: July 21st Publisher: HQ Genre: Mystery, Dark Comedy, Humorous Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Urban Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: The debut novel from the winner of the Primadonna Prize – a part-coming of age and part-mystery novel perfect for bookclubs and fans of Joanna Cannon’s The Trouble With Goats and Sheep and Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing
Wendy is nineteen and living alone. All she wants is to drive the 255 bus around Uddingston with her regulars on board, remember to buy milk when it runs out and to just be ok. After her mum passed away, there’s no one to remind Wendy to eat, what to do each day and most importantly to love herself. Every week Wendy proudly shows her social worker Saanvi the progress she’s made, like the coasters she bought to spruce up the place, even if she does forget to offer her a cup of tea.
But Wendy is ready to put herself out there and really live. She joins a writer’s group to share stories she writes including the one about a bullied schoolboy who goes to Mars. The other writers are total amateurs, unlike Diane Weston – a famous local author who likes and sometimes even comments on Wendy’s tweets.
Everything changes on a rainy day when Wendy meets Ginger. A teenager with flaming orange hair, Ginger’s so brave she’s wearing a coat that isn’t even waterproof. For the first time, Wendy has a real best friend. But as they begin the summer of their lives, Wendy wonders if her life would be simpler if she hadn’t met Ginger. And that’s before she realises just how much of a mess Ginger is about to get them in…
My Name is Leon meets Thelma and Louise in this part-coming of age and part-mystery from the winner of the Primadonna Prize 2020.
Published: July 21st Publisher: Riverrun Genre: Literary Fiction, Humorous Fiction, Short Stories
SYNOPSIS: I was told of an older woman who was asked by her granddaughter, ‘Granny, when was the happiest time of your life?’ ‘I don’t know,’ she replied, ‘I may not have had it yet.’
The stories found in this collection explore the sensual worlds of thirteen older women, reframing their intellectual and emotional lives in intimate vignettes that will shock and comfort in equal measure. Susan finds she is attracted to her beautiful young carer, Miffy, and embarks on an intense emotional relationship with her. Nell discovers a cut on her leg, which leads her on to reflections on her past and a young girl in distress she encountered on her honeymoon. Linda perversely seeks out her former lover, Malik, on the banks of the Victoria Falls, despite having left him years ago to return to her settled marriage to Bill. Daisy, who, by a curious stroke of fate, finds herself at the funeral of her former husband, Tim, relives their early life together, his betrayal of her and the anguish of that time. The narrator of ‘Lockdown Fantasm’ enjoys the cool fingers of her government-authorised Fantasm on week one hundred and ninety-three of the long lockdown. In ‘Schopenhauer and I’, Martha, mourning her little dog whom she believes has been killed by the care home staff, works out how to manage a robot designed to monitor her behaviour, and to get her revenge. The narrator of ‘Cat Brushing’ communes with her elegant, soft Siamese cat, reflecting on the sexual pleasures of her past.
In spiky, elegant prose, Jane Campbell ignites the voices of women who are fighting to live on their own terms, energised by their desires and passions, freedoms, integrity and sense of self. Cat Brushing confronts the tragic misconceptions of aging and presents a vivid and transgressive peek into older women’s lives.
SYNOPSIS: Don’t miss this gripping Slayton thriller from #1 bestselling crime author Caroline Mitchell.
It began with the whispers. In the woods, in the park, and always at night. Then they came into town, down dark alleys, and in the shadows. Before long, the black-eyed children were moving closer, until finally there was a knock on the door.
When the couple were found dead with their faces frozen in horror, the children were nowhere to be seen. Until it happened again.
Join Detective Sarah Noble as she investigates another dark case in the town of Slayton.
Perfect for fans of Alex North, Cara Hunter and Stephen King.
Published: July 28th Publisher: Fig Tree Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Fiction,
SYNOPSIS: It is 2020 and in a time more turbulent than any of us could have ever imagined, a woman is attempting to write a book about prophecy in the ancient world.
Navigating the tightening grip of lockdown, a marriage in crisis, and a ten-year-old son who seems increasingly unreachable, she becomes fixated on our many forms of divination and prediction: on oracles, tarot cards and tea leaves and the questions we have always asked as we scroll and click and rage against our fates.
But in doing so she fails to notice the future creeping into the heart of her own home. For despite our best intentions – our sacrifices and our bargains with the gods – time, certainty and, sometimes, those we love, can still slip away …
Heartbreakingly relatable and achingly funny Delphi is both a snapshot and a time capsule, deftly capturing our pasts, our presents, and how we keep on going in a world that is ever more uncertain and absurd.
Published: May 12th 2022 Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Mystery, Historical Mystery, Romance Novel, Lesbian Literature, LGBT Literature Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Welcome to my review for this outstanding debut. Thank you to Jen at Michael Joseph for the gifted ARC.
1955: In an apartment on the Lower East Side, school teachers Dovie and Gillian live as lodgers. Dancing behind closed curtains, mixing cocktails for two, they guard their private lives fiercely. Until someone guesses the truth . . .
1975: Twenty years later in the same apartment, Ava Winters is keeping her own secret. Her mother has become erratic, haunted by something Ava doesn’t understand – until one sweltering July morning, she disappears.
Soon after her mother’s departure, Ava receives a parcel. Addressed simply to ‘Apartment 3B’, it contains a photo of a woman with the word ‘LIAR’ scrawled across it. Ava does not know what it means or who sent it. But if she can find out then perhaps she’ll discover the answers she is seeking – and meet the woman at the heart of it all . . .
That Green-Eyed Girl was not only the Squadpod Book Club pick for May, but one of my most anticipated debuts of 2022. A dual timeslip novel, it moves between 1955 and 1975 to tell an unforgettable story that deals with difficult topics such as homophobia, racism, mental illness and neglect alongside everyday issues such as teenage crushes.
Atmospheric, immersive and utterly compelling, I am in awe that this is a debut. Julie Owen Moylan is a skilled storyteller whose vivid prose brings the story and characters to life, transporting me to the streets of New York so clearly it was as if I could feel the oppressive summer heat on my skin, hear the noise from the traffic and smell the smoke in the jazz bars. She moves seamlessly between timelines as she slowly converges the two storylines, beginning the connection with the mysterious package and thenintricately weaving them together until the full picture emerges.
The book is filled with richly drawn, fascinating characters, including our two narrators: Dovie in 1955 and Ava in 1975. The author creates a strong connection between them and the reader, allowing us to explore their innermost thoughts, feelings and fears. I had a particularly strong maternal connection to Ava and longed to jump into the book and be the parent she desperately needed and wanted. Despite their many differences, Ava and Dovie are actually very similar. Both are imprisoned in their own ways; caught in a web of shameful secrets and lies that hold them captive and paralysed by the fear of discovery. An oppressive and claustrophobic air of anguish, humiliation and dread permeates each page, and there is a bite of loneliness and regret that runs through the story as societal values and expectations force Dovie and Ava to live these half-lives in order to conform. It is heartbreaking, powerful and perfectly written.
Hauntingly beautiful, poignant and bittersweet, this book was both nothing like I expected and everything I wanted. It is a truly astonishing debut from an author I predict big things from in the future. This is one not to be missed.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Julie Owen Moylan is a writer whose short stories and articles have appeared in New Welsh Review, Horizon Literary Review, and The Voice of Women in Wales Anthology
She has also written and directed several short films as part of her MA in Film. Her graduation short film called ‘BabyCakes’ scooped Best Film awards at the Swansea Film Festival, Ffresh, and the Celtic Media Awards. She also has an MA in Creative Writing, and is an alumna of the Faber Academy’s Writing a Novel course.
Her debut novel THAT GREEN-EYED GIRL will be published by Penguin Michael Joseph on May 12th 2022.
I can’t believe that I’m already sharing my list of most anticipated books for June. Is it just me, or do the years go quicker every year?
June is another strong month for new releases, including some of my most anticipated books this year such as The Girl on the 88 Bus, Meredith Alone, Cat and Mouse, Madwomen, Nothing Else, The Guilty Couple and Just Got Real. It was incredibly hard to narrow my most anticipated books down to the 30 in this list but I finally managed it.
So, here are my most anticipated books being released in June.
Published: June 2nd Publisher: Atlantic Books Genre: Thriller, Horror Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Daddy, there’s a man in our room…
This is the chilling announcement Alfie hears one night, when he wakes in his quiet, suburban house to find his twin daughters at the foot of his bed. It’s been nine months since Pippa – their mother – suddenly died and they’ve been unsettled ever since, so Alfie assumes they’ve probably had a nightmare. Still, he goes to check to reassure the girls. As expected he finds no man, but in the following days the girls begin to refer to someone called Black Mamba. What seemingly begins as an imaginary friend quickly develops into something darker, more obsessive, potentially violent. Alfie finds himself struggling to cope, and so he turns to Julia – Pippa’s twin and a psychotherapist – for help. But as Black Mamba’s coils tighten around the girls, Alfie and Julia must contend with their own unspoken sense of loss, their unacknowledged attraction to one another, and the true character of the presence poisoning the twins’ minds…
A darkling tale of tragedy, hauntings and sexual desire, Black Mamba is a novel of a father’s love for his struggling daughters, and a widower’s growing love for a woman after his wife’s death. With smart, gothicky touches and a large and generous challenge to our assumptions of what and who constitutes a modern family, it explores both the limits we’ll go to for our children and the sunken taboos of grief – of how erotics can still exist, and can even be life giving, after suffering loss.
SYNOPSIS: When there is no choice, all you have left to do is walk.
Kiara Johnson does not know what it is to live as a normal seventeen-year-old. With her mother in a rehab facility and an older brother who devotes his time and money to a recording studio, she fends for herself – and for nine-year-old Trevor, whose own mother is prone to disappearing for days at a time. As the landlord of their apartment block threatens to raise their rent, Kiara finds herself walking the streets after dark, determined to survive in a world that refuses to protect her.
Then one night Kiara is picked up by two police officers, and the gruesome deal she is offered in exchange for her freedom lands her at the centre of a media storm. If she agrees to testify in a grand jury trial, she could help expose the sickening corruption of a police department. But honesty comes at a price – one that could leave her family vulnerable to their retaliation, and endanger everyone she loves.
Nightcrawling is an unforgettable novel about young people navigating the darkest corners of an adult world, told with a humanity that is at once agonising and utterly mesmerising.
Ordinary Monsters by J. M. Miro (The Talents Series Book 1)
Published: June 7th Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy, Fantasy Series
SYNOPSIS: The first in a captivating new historical fantasy series, ORDINARY MONSTERS introduces the Talents with a catastrophic vision of the Victorian world, and the gifted, broken children who must save it.
There in the shadows was a figure in a cloak, at the bottom of the cobblestone stair, and it turned and stared up at them as still and unmoving as a pillar of darkness, but it had no face, only smoke . . .
1882. North of Edinburgh, on the edge of an isolated loch, lies an institution of crumbling stone, where a strange doctor collects orphans with unusual abilities. In London, two children with such powers are hunted by a figure of darkness – a man made of smoke.
Charlie Ovid discovers a gift for healing himself through a brutal upbringing in Mississippi, while Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight, glows with a strange bluish light. When two grizzled detectives are recruited to escort them north to safety, they are confronted by a sinister, dangerous force that threatens to upend the world as they know it.
What follows is a journey from the gaslit streets of London to the lochs of Scotland, where other gifted children – the Talents – have been gathered at Cairndale Institute, and the realms of the dead and the living collide. As secrets within the Institute unfurl, Marlowe, Charlie and the rest of the Talents will discover the truth about their abilities and the nature of the force that is stalking them: that the worst monsters sometimes come bearing the sweetest gifts.
Published: June 9th Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Humorous Fiction, Domestic Fiction
SYNOPSIS: All that stands between Meredith and the world is her own front door . . . but what will it take for her to open it? ________
Meredith Maggs hasn’t left her house in 1,214 days. But she insists she isn’t alone.
She has her cat Fred. Her friend Sadie visits when she can. There’s her online support group, StrengthInNumbers. She has her jigsaws, favourite recipes, her beloved Emily Dickinson, the internet, the Tesco delivery man and her treacherous memories for company.
But something’s about to change. Whether Meredith likes it or not, the world is coming to her door . . . Does she have the courage to overcome what’s been keeping her inside all this time?
Published: June 9th Publisher: Bloomsbury Genre: Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction
SYNOPSIS: In 1887 young Nellie Bly sets out for New York and a career in journalism, determined to make her way as a serious reporter, whatever that may take.
But life in the city is tougher than she imagined. Down to her last dime and desperate to prove her worth, she comes up with a dangerous plan: to fake insanity and have herself committed to the asylum that looms on Blackwell’s Island. There, she will work undercover to document – and expose – the wretched conditions faced by the patients.
But when the asylum door swings shut behind her, she finds herself in a place of horrors, governed by a harshness and cruelty she could never have imagined. Cold, isolated and starving, her days of terror reawaken the traumatic events of her childhood. She entered the asylum of her own free will – but will she ever get out?
An extraordinary portrait of a woman way ahead of her time, Madwoman is the story of a quest for the truth that changed the world.
SYNOPSIS: When Libby Nicholls arrives in London, broken-hearted and with her life in tatters, the first person she meets on the bus is elderly pensioner Frank. He tells her about the time in 1962 he met a girl on the number 88 bus with beautiful red hair just like her own. They made plans for a date at the National Gallery, but Frank lost the ticket with her number written on it. For the past sixty years, he’s ridden the same bus trying to find her.
Libby is inspired by the story and, with the help of an unlikely companion, she makes it her mission to help Frank’s search. As she begins to open her guarded heart to strangers and new connections, Libby’s tightly controlled world expands. But with Frank’s dementia progressing quickly, their chance of finding the girl on the number 88 bus is slipping away.
More than anything, Libby wants Frank to see his lost love one more time. But their quest also shows Libby just how important it is to embrace her own chances for happiness – before it’s too late.
A beautifully uplifting novel about how one chance meeting can change the course of your life
Published: June 9th Publisher: Viking Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance Novel, New Adult Fiction, Holiday Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: SHE HAS A PLAN . . . FATE HAS OTHER IDEAS ——————————————————————–
There are two men in my life. But this is not a love triangle.
Mara Williams reads her horoscope every day – but she wasn’t expecting to be in a whole other country when destiny finally found her. Just as a fortune teller reveals that her true love is about to arrive, a gorgeous stranger literally walks into her life. And now Mara is determined to bring them together again . . . Surely even fate needs a nudge in the right direction sometimes?
But while Mara is getting ready for ‘the one’, the universe intervenes. Her new flatmate Ash is funny, and kind, and sexy as hell . . . There was no predicting this: it’s as if her destiny just arrived on her doorstep.
So will Mara put her destiny in fate’s hands – OR finally trust herself to reach for the stars?
Published: June 9th Publisher: Fig Tree Genre: Historical Fiction, Spy Fiction, War Story
SYNOPSIS: ‘Maudie, why are all the best characters men?’ Maudie closes the book with a clllump. ‘We haven’t read all the books yet, Miss Cristabel. I can’t believe that every story is the same’
Cristabel Seagrave has always wanted her life to be a story, but there are no girls in the books in her dusty family library. For an unwanted orphan who grows into an unmarriageable young woman, there is no place at all for her in a traditional English manor.
But from the day that a whale washes up on the beach at the Chilcombe estate in Dorset, and twelve-year-old Cristabel plants her flag and claims it as her own, she is determined to do things differently.
With her step-parents blithely distracted by their endless party guests, Cristabel and her siblings, Flossie and Digby, scratch together an education from the plays they read in their freezing attic, drunken conversations eavesdropped through oak-panelled doors, and the esoteric lessons of Maudie their maid.
But as the children grow to adulthood and war approaches, jolting their lives on to very different tracks, it becomes clear that the roles they are expected to play are no longer those they want. As they find themselves drawn into the conflict, they must each find a way to write their own story…
SYNOPSIS: EVERYBODY THINKS THEY KNOW MINA McCREERY. EVERYONE HAS A THEORY ON WHAT HAPPENED TO HER SISTER. NOW IT’S TIME TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH…
Mina McCreery’s sister Evelyn disappeared nineteen years ago. Her life has been defined by the intense public interest in the case. Now an anxious and reclusive adult, she lives alone on her family’s destocked sheep farm.
When Lane, a private investigator, approaches her with an offer to reinvestigate the case, she rejects him. The attention has had nothing but negative consequences for her and her family, and never brought them closer to an answer.
Lane wins her trust when his unconventional methods show promise, but he has his own motivations for wanting to solve the case, and his obsession with the answer will ultimately risk both their lives.
Superbly written, taut and compassionate, Wake looks at what can happen when people’s private tragedies become public property, and the ripples of trauma that follow violent crimes. Wake won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2019.
Published: June 9th Publisher: Harper Collins UK Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Domestic Fiction, Romance Novel
SYNOPSIS: A beautiful French chateau Jo Lawless is still grieving her husband when his oldest friends invite her to a weekend houseparty in France. She’s always felt like an outsider in the group but she decides to go, hoping their shared loss will bring them closer together.
An unexpected guest But the weekend is disrupted by the arrival of an unexpected guest, whose presence brings old tensions to the surface. Long-buried secrets begin to emerge, and it’s clear that at least one person is bent on revenge…
A night that will end in murder The cold light of morning reveals a horrifying discovery. And the killer isn’t finished. A storm is coming, and no one at this party is safe…
Published: June 9th Publisher: One More Chapter Genre: Historical Fiction, War Story Domestic Fiction, Religious Fiction, Jewish Fiction
SYNOPSIS: In the eye of the war That tore the world apart A mother wants a son A daughter needs a mother
Winter 1939: Danusha and her family are forced to flee their home when the Nazis invade Poland. Danusha’s mother, Anna, changes her name and secures a position as a housekeeper in a German doctor’s mansion in Kraków where Gestapo meetings are hosted in the kitchen…
Her secret is their salvation, but what Danusha remembers most is the solitude, with only her baby brother and the girl in the mirror for company.
All Anna ever wanted was a firstborn son. All Danusha ever wanted was a mother who would love her like a firstborn son. Instead she got one who could look a Nazi straight in the eye but not into the eyes of her own daughter.
It is only years later, when their neighbours gather in the living room to hear Anna’s stories, that Danusha finally realises her mother was never a cold unknowable sea but a storm-wracked sky – sometimes bright, sometimes dark, and always watching over her.
The Polish Girl is a heartbreaking and unforgettable historical novel by the author of international bestseller The Brothers of Auschwitz – perfect for fans of Antonio Iturbe and Edith Eger.
SYNOPSIS: Maria, a trans woman in her thirties, is going nowhere. She spends her aimless days working in a New York bookstore, trying to remain true to a punk ethos while drinking herself into a stupor and having a variety of listless and confusing sexual encounters.
After her girlfriend cheats on her, Maria steals her car and heads for the Pacific, embarking on her version of the Great American Road Trip.
Along the way she stops in Reno, Nevada, and meets James, a young man who works in the local Wal-Mart. Maria recognizes elements of her younger self in James and the pair quickly form an unlikely but powerful connection, one that will have big implications for them both.
This hilarious, groundbreaking cult classic inspired a whole literary movement, and is now published in the UK for the very first time.
Published: June 14th Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Dystopian Fiction
SYNOPSIS: ‘An unsettling and lushly-written reimagining of witch trials. The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Shape of Water‘ KIRSTY LOGAN
Everyone on this island has a story. This is mine.
Esta has known nothing but Eden’s Isle her whole life. After a fire left her orphaned and badly scarred, Esta was raised by her grandmother in a deeply religious society who cut itself off from the mainland in the name of salvation. Here, fear rules: fear of damnation, fear of the outside world and fear of what lurks beneath the water – a corrupting evil the islanders call the Seawomen.
But Esta wants more than a life where touching the water risks corruption, where her every move is watched and women are controlled in every aspect of their lives. Married off, the women of the island must conceive a child within their appointed motheryear or be marked as cursed and cast into the sea as a sacrifice in an act called the Untethering.
When Esta witnesses a woman Untethered she sees a future to fear. Her fate awaits, a loveless marriage, her motheryear declared. And after a brief taste of freedom, the insular world Esta knows begins to unravel…
The Seawomen is a fiercely written and timely feminist novel about challenging the myths and ties that bind us, and suggesting that the true evils of the deep lie in the hearts of men.
Published: June 14th Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Genre: Literary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Behind anonymous screens, an army of cool and beautiful girls manage the dating service Ghost Lover, a forwarding system for text messages that promises to spare you the anguish of trying to stay composed while communicating with your crush. At a star-studded political fundraiser in a Los Angeles mansion, a trio of women compete to win the heart of the slick guest of honor. On a quest to lose her virginity, a daughter tracks down her deceased mother’s old flame, the rugged, comically named Jon Deere.
In these twelve riveting stories, two of which have been awarded the Pushcart Prize, Lisa Taddeo brings to life the fever of obsession, the blindness of love, and the mania of grief. Featuring Taddeo’s arresting prose that continues to thrill her legions of fans, Ghost Lover dares you to look away.
Published: June 21st Publisher: Thomas & Mercer Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Crime Fiction
SYNOPSIS: In this exhilarating thriller from four million copy bestselling author Mark Edwards, Aidan’s spent years looking for his sister. Will he ever find her?
Two years ago, on a trip to Seattle to visit her brother Aidan, fifteen-year-old Scarlett vanished into thin air. After years of false leads and dead ends, Aidan has almost given up hope. But then a woman sees a girl running for her life across a forest clearing in Northern California. She is convinced the girl is the missing Scarlett. But could it really be her?
Heading south, Aidan finds a fire-ravaged town covered in missing-teenager posters. The locals seem afraid, the police won’t answer any questions and it looks like another dead end―until a chance meeting with returned local Lana gives Aidan his first clue. But as they piece together what happened, Lana and Aidan make deadly enemies. Enemies willing to do anything to silence them.
Only one thing matters now: finding Scarlett―even if it kills him.
Nothing Else by Louise Beech
Published: June 23rd Publisher: Orenda Books Genre: Psychological Fiction, Literary Fiction. Biographical Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: A professional pianist searches for her sister, who was taken when their parents died, aided on by her childhood care records and a single song that continues to haunt her.
Heather Harris is a piano teacher and professional musician, whose quiet life revolves around music, whose memories centre on a single song that haunts her. A song she longs to perform again. A song she wrote as a child, to drown out the violence in their home. A song she played with her little sister, Harriet.
But Harriet is gone … she disappeared when their parents died, and Heather never saw her again.
When Heather is offered an opportunity to play piano on a cruise ship, she leaps at the chance. She’ll read her recently released childhood care records by day – searching for clues to her sister’s disappearance – and play piano by night … coming to terms with the truth about a past she’s done everything to forget.
An exquisitely moving novel about surviving devastating trauma, about the unbreakable bond between sisters, Nothing Else is also a story of courage and love, and the power of music to transcend – and change – everything.
SYNOPSIS: There’s a darkness inside all of us and The Bay has a way of bringing it out. Everyone here has their secrets but we don’t go looking for them. Because sometimes it’s better not to know.
The waves are to die for at The Bay. It’s a paradise they would kill to keep. The Beach meets Point Break in the thriller of the summer by Allie Reynolds.
Kenna arrives in Sydney to surprise her best friend, shocked to hear she’s going to marry a guy she’s only just met. But Mikki and her fiancé Jack are about to head away on a trip, so Kenna finds herself tagging along for the ride.
Sorrow Bay is beautiful, wild and dangerous. A remote surfing spot with waves to die for, cut off from the rest of the world. Here Kenna meets the mysterious group of people who will do anything to keep their paradise a secret. Sky, Ryan, Clemente and Victor have come to ride the waves and disappear from life. How will they feel about Kenna turning up unannounced?
As Kenna gets drawn into their world, she sees the extremes they are prepared to go to for the next thrill. And everyone seems to be hiding something. What has her best friend got involved in and how can she get her away? But one thing is rapidly becoming clear about The Bay: nobody ever leaves.
SYNOPSIS: A girl with a secret… Longbill Beach, 1982. Emily Vaughn gets ready for prom night, the highlight of any high school experience. But Emily has a secret. And by the end of the evening, she will be dead.
A murder that remains a mystery… Forty years later, Emily’s murder remains unsolved. Her friends closed ranks, her family retreated inwards, the community moved on. But all that’s about to change.
One final chance to uncover a killer… Andrea Oliver arrives in town with a simple assignment: to protect a judge receiving death threats. But her assignment is a cover. Because, in reality, Andrea is here to find justice for Emily – and to uncover the truth before the killer decides to silence her too…
Published: June 23rd Publisher: Orion Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Crime Fiction, Medical Thriller
SYNOPSIS: KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE. WHATEVER THE COST…
Jamie and Victoria are expecting their first baby.
With a few weeks to go, they head off for a final weekend break in a remote part of the North Pennines. The small and peaceful guesthouse is the ideal location to unwind together before becoming parents. Upon arrival, they are greeted by Barry and Fiona, the older couple who run the guesthouse. They cook them dinner and show them to their room before retreating to bed themselves.
The next morning, Jamie and Victoria wake to find the house deserted. Barry and Fiona are nowhere to be seen. All the doors are locked. Both their mobile phones and car keys have disappeared. Even though it’s a few weeks early, Victoria knows the contractions are starting.
Published: June 23rd Publisher: Hera Books Genre: Thriller, Psychological Fiction
SYNOPSIS: She has your back.
And may stab you in it.
Wealthy, pampered Susan is living the perfect life in leafy Kingston. She’ll never let anyone see the darkness she’s concealing behind the diamonds and rosé.
Grace is new to the group, seemingly the perfect wife and mum. Yet no one knows the truth of what’s happening behind closed doors.
Loner Natalie hides the pain of her childhood behind a carefully ordered life. But how long can the past stay hidden?
Three unlikely friends, brought together for a weekly class run by beautiful, friendly, instructor, Jade.
But when Jade goes missing in mysterious circumstances, the group starts to unravel. And as their darkest secrets come to light, it seems that no one can be trusted. Even their closest friends…
A heart-in-your-mouth thriller that builds twist after twist, culminating in an unforgettable ending. This shocking, tense and gripping read will delight fans of T.M. Logan, B.A. Paris and Big Little Lies.
Published: June 23rd Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Romance Novel, Contemporary Romance, Humorous Fiction, Domestic Fiction
SYNOPSIS: When happily divorced Joni is reluctantly talked into joining a dating app, she is surprised to quickly hit it off with Ant. Phone calls and texts soon evolve into a plan to meet up. Which is a problem, as Joni’s profile picture is of someone else.
Joni daren’t confess her lie. Yet unable to stop thinking about what might have been, she hatches a plan to ‘meet’ Ant in real life without revealing who she really is.
Once she and Ant are an item, however, it’s soon clear that the only thing Ant was honest about was his profile picture. He’s still online dating. And intimately texting other women.
So Joni contacts them: they need to know. And once they’re comparing notes on Ant, upset turns to thoughts of revenge.
But how do you get your own back on a truly heartless man?
Published: June 23rd Publisher: Pan Macmillan Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Durton. Dirt town. Dirt and hurt – that’s what others would remember about our town . . .
When twelve-year-old Esther Bianchi disappears on her way home from school in the small town of Durton in rural Australia, the local community is thrown into a state of grief and suspicion.
As Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels begins her investigation, she questions those who knew the girl, attempting to unpick the secrets which bind them together.
The girl’s mother, Constance, believes that her daughter going missing is the worst thing that can happen to her. But as the search for Esther develops, she learns that things can always get worse.
Ronnie is Esther’s best friend and is determined to bring her home. So when her classmate Lewis tells her that he saw Esther with a strange man at the creek the afternoon she went missing, Ronnie feels she is one step closer to finding her. But why is Lewis refusing to speak to the police?
And who else is keeping quiet about what happened to Esther?
Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor is an atmospheric crime novel set in rural Australia, for fans of Jane Harper’s The Dry and Chris Whitaker’s We Begin at the End.
Published: June 23rd Publisher: The Borough Press Genre: Saga, Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A beautifully written atmospheric story of trauma, grief and redemption, Still Water is a debut from a bright new voice in literary fiction.
When Jane Douglas returns to the Shetland Islands, she thinks she has escaped the dark shadows of her childhood. She carves out a simple life on the bleak, windswept island, working at the salmon fishery and spending quiet evenings at home. And for the first time in her life, she’s happy.
Then the body of Jane’s long-missing mother is found in a flooded quarry. Her mother disappeared when Jane was a teenager, following the death of Jane’s baby brother. Jane has spent her life running from her past, living in fear that she has inherited her mother’s demons. Now, Jane must face what actually happened on that fateful, tragic day twenty years ago…
Published: June 23rd Publisher: Fourth Estate Genre: Historical Fiction, Fairy Tale, Historical Fantasy, Domestic Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: AD 500. An island in the Thames.
Isla has a secret: she has learned her father’s sophisticated sword-making skills at a time when even entering a forge is forbidden to women. Her sister, Blue, has a secret, too: at low tide on the night of each new moon, she visits the bones of the mud woman, drowned by the elders of her tribe who wanted to make a lesson of someone who wouldn’t hold her tongue. When the local Seax overlord discovers Isla’s secret there is nowhere for the sisters to hide, except across the water to the walled ghost city, Londinium. Here Blue and Isla find sanctuary in an underworld community of squatters, emigrants, travellers and looters, led by the mysterious Crowther, living in an abandoned brothel and bathhouse. But trouble pursues them even into the haunted city.
Dark Earth takes us back to the very founding of Britain to explore the experience of women trying to find kin in a world ruled by blood ties, feuds and men in quest of a nation.
Published: June 23rd Publisher: Orenda Books Genre: Literary Fiction, Family Saga
SYNOPSIS: An anorexic teenager escapes from a clinic and forms an unlikely friendship with a farmer. The two damaged women slowly heal as they work the land, in an achingly beautiful debut.
Teenager Sally has just run away from a clinic where she to be treated for anorexia. She’s furious with everything and everyone, and wants to be left in peace.
Liss is in her forties, living alone on a large farm that she runs single-handedly. She has little contact with the outside world, and no need for other people.
From their first meeting, Sally realises that Liss isn’t like other adults; she expects nothing of Sally and simply accepts who she is, offering her a bed for the night with no questions asked.
That night becomes weeks and then months, as an unlikely friendship develops and these two damaged women slowly open up – connecting to each other, reconnecting with themselves, and facing the darkness in their pasts through their shared work on the land.
Achingly beautiful, profound, invigorating and uplifting, Tasting Sunlight is a story of friendship across generations, of love and acceptance, of the power of nature to heal and transform, and the goodness that surrounds us, if only we take time to see it…
I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Sehee
Published: June 23rd Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Genre: Biography
SYNOPSIS: THE PHENOMENAL KOREAN BESTSELLER PSYCHIATRIST: So how can I help you? ME: I don’t know, I’m – what’s the word – depressed? Do I have to go into detail?
Baek Sehee is a successful young social media director at a publishing house when she begins seeing a psychiatrist about her – what to call it? – depression? She feels persistently low, anxious, endlessly self-doubting, but also highly judgemental of others. She hides her feelings well at work and with friends; adept at performing the calmness, even ease, her lifestyle demands. The effort is exhausting, overwhelming, and keeps her from forming deep relationships. This can’t be normal.
But if she’s so hopeless, why can she always summon a yen for her favourite street food, the hot, spicy rice cake, tteokbokki? Is this just what life is like?
Recording her dialogues with her psychiatrist over a 12-week period, Baek begins to disentangle the feedback loops, knee-jerk reactions and harmful behaviours that keep her locked in a cycle of self-abuse. Part memoir, part self-help book, I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki is a book to keep close and to reach for in times of darkness.
Published: June 28th Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Romantic Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Her gift can save . . . or it can kill.
Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.
Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.
Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?
Published: May 12th 2022 Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Crime Fiction, Holiday Fiction Format: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook
Welcome to my stop on the tour for this sizzling summer thriller. Thank you to Jen at Michael Joseph for the invitation to take part and the gifted ARC.
Two couples. One sweltering Italian villa . . .
Nick and Laura are the hosts: pretending their marriage isn’t on the rocks.
Madison and Bastian are the guests: neither is remotely who they claim to be.
Under the scorching Mediterranean sun no secret is safe. No betrayal goes unnoticed.
Two couples. But will either survive the summer . . .
After the heartbreak of infertility takes them to breaking point, Laura and Nick decide to start again in Italy. Luna Rossa promises to be that fresh start and when their first guests arrive it looks like things are finally looking up. But Madison and Bastian aren’t who they claim to be, and all four of them are hiding secrets that threaten to turn this dream into a nightmare.
Sexy, sultry and suspenseful, Summer Fever is an edge-of-your seat thriller full of lust, secrets and betrayal. Kate Riordan is a skilled storyteller who had me transfixed from the first page as she opened with an ominous and foreboding prologue that sets the scene for the rest of the book.
Told in two parts with sporadic flashbacks to the mysterious past love who broke Laura’s heart, I loved how the atmosphere crackled with a deliciously dark tension and overwhelming sense of dread that kept me on tenterhooks. The flashbacks had that sense of haziness that only looking back on our past with rose-tinted glasses can bring and left me apprehensive about what was in store for Laura, who seemed to be hurtling back towards the fire that had already burned her. I wanted to yell at her to stop but knew she would never have listened. There was an air of inevitability that left you feeling powerless to do anything but wait and see just how bad the fallout would be when it came.
The dynamics between each of the four main characters are compelling and I liked how having Laura as our only narrator makes the others a bit of an enigma and you aren’t always sure what to make of them. But one of my favourite things is how she transported me to the sweltering shores of Italy with such realism that I could almost feel the sun beating down on me and see the gorgeous view from Luna Rossa. Italy has always been at the top of my bucket list and I felt like I got a virtual holiday there thanks to this book, albeit one with a lot of turmoil.
Alluring, addictive and sizzling with tension, this is the perfect thriller to read in the sun with a glass of wine in hand.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist. She is an avid reader of Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie, both of whom have influenced her writing. She lives in the Cotswolds, where she writes full-time. Her previous novels include The Girl In The Photograph, The Shadow Hour, The Stranger and The Heatwave, which was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. Summer Fever is her fifth novel.