Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: July 2018

The Killing Habit (July 2018)

By Mark Billingham

July 17, 2018

We all know the signs: cruelty, lack of empathy, the killing of animals.  Now, pets on suburban London streets are being stalked by a shadow, and it could just be the start.

DI Tom Thorne knows the psychological profile of such offenders all too well, so when he is tasked with catching this notorious killer of domestic cats, he sees the chance to stop a series of homicides before they happen.

Others are less convinced, so once more, Thorne relies on DI Nicola Tanner to help him solve the case before the culprit starts hunting people.  It’s a journey that brings them face to face with a killer who will tear their lives apart.

our house (July 2018)

By Louise Candlish

July 17, 2018

For Better, For Worse

When Fi Lawson arrives home to find strangers moving into her house, she is plunged into terror and confusion.  She and her husband Bram have owned their home on Trinity Avenue for years and have no intention of selling.  How can this other family possibly think the house is theirs?  And why has Bram disappeared when she needs him most?

For Richer, For Poorer

Bram has made a catastrophic mistake and now he is paying.  Unable to see his wife, his children or his home, he has nothing left but to settle scores.  As the nightmare takes grip, both Bram and Fi try to make sense of the events that led to a devastating crime.  What has he hidden from her – and what has she hidden from him?  And will either survive the chilling truth – that there are far worse things you can lose than your house?

Murder is Easy (July 2018)

By Agatha Christie

July 17, 2018

One of Agatha Christie’s best mystery novels, a story fascinating in its plot, clever and lively in its characters and brilliant in its technique. “New York Times”

Luke Fitzwilliam does not believe Miss Pinkerton’s wild allegation that a multiple murderer is at work in the quiet English village of Wychwood and that her local doctor is next in line.

But within hours, Miss Pinkerton has been killed in a hit-and-run car accident.  Mere coincidence?  Luke is inclined to think so – until he reads in The Times of the unexpected demise of Wychwood’s Dr Humbleby…

The Bookshop (July 2018)

By Penelope Fitzgerald

July 17, 2018

England, 1959.  In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.

Hardborough becomes a battleground.  Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and in doing so has crossed those who have made themselves important, such as the formidable Mrs Gamart, and even natural and supernatural forces, too.  Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.

Forever and A Day (July 2018)

By Anthony Horowitz

July 17, 2018

M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily.  ‘We have no choice.  We’re just going to bring forward this other chap you’ve been preparing.  But you didn’t tell me his name.’

‘It’s Bond, sir,’ the Chief of Staff replied.  ‘James Bond.’

This is now it all began.

The explosive prequel to Casino Royale.

The Quaker (July 2018)

By Ilam McLlvanney

July 17, 2018

A City Torn Apart

Glasgow, 1969.  In the grip of the worst winter for years, the city is brought to its knees by a killer whose name fills the streets with fear: the Quaker.  He takes his next victim – the third women from the same nightclub – and dumps her in the street like rubbish.

A Detective With Everything To Prove

The police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey.  DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands, is ordered to join the investigation.  But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair.  Soon he learns just how difficult life can be for an outsider.

A Killer Who Hunts In The Shadows

When another woman is found murdered in a tenement flat, it’s clear the case is by no means over.  From ruined backstreets to the dark of Glasgow, McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city – and his life – forever…

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (July 2018)

By Michael Ondaatje

July 17, 2018

In a story as shadowed and luminous as memory itself, Warlight sets the careless freedom of adolescence against the turmoil of post-war England.  It is 1945, and London is recovering from the years of war.  Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, unexpectedly abandoned by their parents, are left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth.  They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, who seem determined to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways), Nathaniel and Rachel.  But are they really what and who they claim to be?

Caught up in the escapades of youth and first love, Nathaniel ignores the uncertain signs of danger.  A dozen years later, he sets out to piece together – as much through recollection and imagining as through the truths he uncovers – all he didn’t know or understand in that times: a journey that will draw him in to a morally ambivalent, secret world.

The Other Wife (July 2018)

By Michael Robotham

July 17, 2018

William and Mary have been married sixty years.  William is a celebrated surgeon, Mary a devoted wife.  Both are strong believers in right and wrong.

William and Olivia have been together twenty years.  Olivia was once a tennis star, but her career has long since faded.

Clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin knows only one of these stories to be true.  But when he is called to his father’s hospital bed after a brutal attack, everything he once knew is turned upside down.  Is it possible his father, the upstanding citizen, was leading a double life?

And who is the strange woman crying at William’s bedside, covered in his blood – a friend, a mistress, a fantasist or a killer?

The Death of Mrs Westaway (July 2018)

By Ruth Ware

July 17, 2018

When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial estate from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers.  She owes money to a loan shark and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast.

There’s just one problem – Hal’s grandparents died more than twenty years ago.  The letter has been sent to the wrong person.  But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money.  If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger’s funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.

Hal makes a choice that will change her life for ever.  But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back.  She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life.

Educated (June 2018)

By Tara Westover

July 17, 2018

Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood.  She spent her summers bottling peaches and her winters rotating emergency supplies, hoping that when the World of Men failed, her family would continue on, unaffected.

She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate.  She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals.  According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist.

As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent.  At sixteen Tara decided to educate herself.  Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge.  Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far.  If there was still a way home.

EDUCATED is an account of the struggle for self-invention.  It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties.  With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, from her singular experience Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

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