Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: December 2020

Daylight (December 2020)

By David Baldacci

December 8, 2020

FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s search for her twin sister, Mercy, coincides with military investigator John Puller’s high-stakes case, leading them both into a global conspiracy from which neither of them will escape unscathed.

Ever since Mercy was abducted after a brutal incident when the girls were just six years old, Atlee has been relentless in her search for the truth.  Now, just as time is running out on her investigation, she finally gets her most promising breakthrough yet – the identity of her sister’s kidnapper: Ito Vincenzo.  Last known location: New Jersey.

As Atlee and her assistant, Carl Blum, race to track down Vincenzo, they run into Pine’s old friend John Puller, who is investigating Vincenzo’s family for another crime involving a military installation.

Working together, Pine and Puller pull back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups that strike at the very heart of global democracy.  And the truth about what happened to Mercy is finally revealed.

And that truth will shock Atlee Pine to her very core.

The Law of Innocence (December 2020)

By Michael Connelly

December 8, 2020

When defence attorney Mickey Haller is pulled over by police, the body of a client is discovered in the trunk of his Lincoln.  Haller is charged with murder and can’t make the exorbitant $5 million bail slapped on him by a vindictive judge.

Haller knows he’s been framed and elects to defend himself.  But it isn’t easy to build a defence from a cell in the Twin Towers Jail in downtown Los Angeles – as an officer of the court he is an instant target.

With the help of a handpicked team, including his half-brother Harry Bosch, Micky races time to figure out who has plotted to destroy his life and why.  And then he must go before a judge and jury to prove his innocence.

Dark Tides (December 2020)

By Philippa Gregory

December 8, 2020

Midsummer Eve 1670.

Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames.  The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before.  James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the new restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy – his son and heir.

The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning.  She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.

Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war.  Alinor tells him that she knows – without doubt – that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter.

Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home.

The Swap (December 2020)

By Robyn Harding

December 8, 2020

One night of fun.  One deadly outcome.

Low Morrison is not your average teen.  You could blame her hippy parents or her dreary, isolated island hometown.  Whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in – and neither does newcomer Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer.

After signing up for Freya’s pottery class, Low quickly falls under her spell.  Buoyed by Low’s adoration, Freya is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires.  Finally, Low feels a sense of belonging…until Jamie walks through the studio door.  Freya, Jamie and their husbands become fast friends, leaving Low alone once again.

Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners.  It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, but instead, it upends their lives.

And provides Low with the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment…

The Blitz Detective (December 2020)

By Mike Hollow

December 8, 2020

Saturday 7th September, 1940.  The sun is shining, and in the midst of the good weather Londoners could be mistaken for forgetting their country is at war – until the wail of the air-raid sirens heralds an enemy attack.  The Blitz has started, and normal life has abruptly ended – but crime has not.

That night a man’s body is discovered in an unmarked van in the back streets of West Ham.  When Detective Inspector John Jago is called to the scene, he recognises the victim: Charles Villiers, local Justice of the Peace.  The death looks suspicious, but when a German bomb obliterates all evidence, Jago’s job to find the truth gets a lot more complicated.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold (December 2020) Athenaeum Book Club 2021

By Toshikazu Kawaguchi

December 8, 2020

If you could go back, who would you want to meet?

In a small back allay in Tokyo, there is a cafe which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years.  But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the cafe’s time-travelling offer, in order to confront the lover who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has begun to fade, see their sister one last time, and meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the cafe, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold…

The Kingdom (December 2020)

By Jo Nesbo

December 8, 2020

When Ray and Carl’s parents die suddenly, sixteen-year-old Roy is left as protector to his impulsive younger brother.  But when Carl decides to travel the world in search of his fortune, Roy stays behind in their sleepy village, satisfied with his peaceful life as a mechanic.

Some years later, Cark returns with his charismatic new wife, Shannon – an architect.  They are full of exciting plans to build a spa hotel on their family land.  Carl wants not only to make the brothers rich but the rest of the village too.

It’s only a matter of time before what begins as a jubilant homecoming sparks off a series of events that threatens to derail everything Roy holds dear, as long-buried family secrets begin to rise to the surface…

The Dark is Light Enough: Ralph Hotere (December 2020)

By Vincent O'Sullivan

December 8, 2020

Ralph Hotere (Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa; 1931-2013) was one of Aotearoa’s most significant modern artists.

Hotere invited the poet, novelist and biographer Vincent O’Sullivan to write his life story in 2005.

Now, this book – the result of years of research and many conversations with Hotere and his fellow artists, collaborators, friends and family – provides a nuanced, compelling portrait of Hotere: the man, and the artist.

The Family Inheritance (December 2020)

By Tricia Stringer

December 8, 2020

Felicity Lewis’s fiftieth birthday party in her newly renovated home, loving husband and daughter Greta by her side, is going off with a bang when disaster strikes.  Her father Franklyn, with his usual impeccable timing, has keeled over and died.

For some members of the family, his wife Hazel for example, Franklyn’s death is not the great loss it first appears to be.  But when his toxic and inexplicable will is read out, it becomes clear that long-buried secrets are about to surface, starting with the astonishing reappearance of Hazel’s long-lost sister.

Indeed, Franklyn’s death sets in motion a chain of events that will cause three generations of Gifford family women to question everything they hold dear – their relationships, their loyalties, even their identities.  Until, that is, they choose to fight back against their dark inheritance.

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