Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: September 2017

Insidious Intent (September 2017)

By Val McDermid

September 1, 2017

Murdered people don’t kill themselves…’

A quiet night on a country road.  The stillness shattered by a car engulfed in flames, and a burned body discovered in the driver’s seat.  As the investigation unfolds, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill quickly realise that this is more than just a tragic accident.  And so begins the hunt for a truly terrifying killer, someone who believes his is invisible, untraceable and untouchable.

As other victims are found to have met the same terrible fate, and with more women at risk, Tony and Coral are drawn into a dark and twisted web of fear and revenge that will force them to question their own ideas of justice …

Discover the pulse-pounding new novel from the inimitable queen of crime and number one bestseller, Val McDermid, featuring two of the most iconic and unforgettable characters in crime fiction: Tony Hill and Caral Jordan.

Glass Houses (September 2017)

By Louise Penny

September 1, 2017

One cold November day, a mysterious figure appears on the village green in Three Pines, causing unease, alarm and confusion among everyone who sees it.  Chief Superintendent Armand Gamache knows something is seriously wrong, but all he can do is watch and wait, hoping his worst fears are not realised.  But when the figure disappears and a dead body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to investigate.

In the early days of the murder inquiry, and months later as the trial for the accused begins, Gamache must face the consequences of his decisions and his actions, from which there is no going back…

Grunt (September 2017)

By Mary Roach

September 1, 2017

War: Mention it and most of us think of history, of conflicts on foreign soil, of heroism and compromise, of stategy and weapons.  But there’s a whole other side to the gruesome business of the battlefield.

In Grunt, the inimitable Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war.  Setting about her task with infectious enthusiasm, she sniffs World War II stink bombs, tests earplugs in a simulated war zone and burns the midnight oil with the crew of a nuclear submarine.  Speaking to the scientists and the soldiers, she learns about everything from life-changing medical procedures to innovations as esoteric as firing daed chickens at fighter jets.  Engrossing, insightful and laugh-out-loud funny, this is an irresistible ride to the wider shores of modern military life.

The Underground Railroad (September 2017)

By Colson Whitehead

September 1, 2017

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia.  All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most: an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear that even greater pain awaits.  When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.

In Whitehead’s razor-sharp imagining of the antebellum South, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form: a dilapidated box-car pulled along subterranean tracks by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can.  Thus Cora embarks on a harrowing journey, seeking true freedom, pursued relentlessly by a terrifying slave catcher named Ridgeway.

As Whitehead brilliantly recreates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America, from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.  The Underground Railroad is at once the story of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage, and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history.

The Handmaid’s Tale (September 2017)

By Margaret Atwood

September 1, 2017

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed.  If she deviates she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness.  But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s not that of the two men on which her future hangs.

Brilliantly conceived and excuted, this powerful vision of the future gives full rein to Margaret Atwood’s irony, wit and astute perception.

The Seagull (September 2017)

By Ann Cleeves

September 1, 2017

A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent, and now inmate, John Brace.  Brace was convicted of curruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper – and Vera played a key part in his downfall.

Now, Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-dealer who disappeared in the mid-nineties, if she will look out for his daughter and grandchildren.  He tells her that Marshall is dead, and that his body is buried close to St Mary’s Island in Whitley Bay.  However, when a search team investigates, officers find not one skeleton, but two.

This cold case takes Vera back in time, and very close to home, as Brace and Marshall, along with a mysterious stranger known only as ‘the Prof’, were friends of Hector, her father.  Together they were the ‘Gang of Four’, regulars at a glamorous nightclub called The Seagull.  Hector had been one of the last people to see Marshall alive.  As the past begins to colide dangerously with the present, Vera confronts her prejudices and unwanted memories to dig out the truth.

The Late Show (September 2017)

By Michael Connelly

September 1, 2017

Los Angeles can be a dangerous city – never more so than in the dead of night.

Renee Ballard works the nigth shift at the LAPD in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives.  A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two cases she doesn’t want to part with, the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting.  Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn.  Against orders and her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night.

As the cases entwine they pull her closer to her own demons and the reasons she won’t give up her job – no matter what the department throws at her.

Camina Island (September 2017)

By John Grisham

September 1, 2017

The most daring and devastating heist in literary history targets a high security vault located deep beneath Princeton University.

Valued at $25 million (though some would say priceless), the five manuscripts of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s only novels are amongst the most valuable in the world.  After an initial flurry of arrests, both they and the ruthless gang of thieves who took them have vanished without trace.

Dealing in stolen books is a dark business, and few are initiated to its arts – which puts Bruce Kable right on the FBI’s Rare Asset Recovery Unit’s watch list.

A struggling writer burdened by debts, Mercer Mann spent summers on Florida’s idyllic Camino Island as a kid, in her grandmother’s beach cottage.  Now she is being made an offer she can’t refuse: to return to the peace of the island, to write her novel – and get close to a certain infamous bookseller, and his interesting collection of manuscripts …

Did You See Melody? (September 2017)

By Sophie Hannah

September 1, 2017

Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star resort she can’t afford.  Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it aleady occupied – by a man and a teenage girl.

A simple mistake on the part of the receptionist – but Cara’s fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents aer serving life sentences for her murder.

Cara doesn’t know what to trust: everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes.  Did she really see Melody?  And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?

The Word is Murder (September 2017)

By Anthony Horowitz

September 1, 2017

Spread the word.  The word is murder.

A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she’s arranged her own funeral.

A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own.

A reluctant author drawn into a story he can’t control.

What do they have in common?

Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s page-turning new thriller.

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