Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: July 2023

Winter’s Gifts (July 2023)

By Ben Aaronovitch

July 27, 2023

They do things differently across the pond…

When retired FBI Agent Patrick Henderson calls in an ‘X-Ray Sierra India’ incident, the operator doesn’t understand.  He tells them to pass it up the chain till someone does.

That person is FBI Special Agent Kimberley Reynolds.  Leaving Quantico for snowbound Northern Wisconsin, she finds that a tornado has flattened half the town – and there’s no sign of Henderson.

Things soon go from weird to worse, as neighbours report unsettling sightings, key evidence goes missing, and the snow keeps rising – cutting off the town, with no way in or out…

Something terrible is awakening.  As the clues lead to the coldest of cold cases – a cursed expedition into the frozen wilderness – Reynolds follows a trail from the start of the American nightmare, to the horror that still lives on today.

Pet (July 2023)

By Catherine Chidgey

July 27, 2023

Like every other girl in her class, twelve-year-old Justine is drawn to her glamorous, charismatic new teacher, and longs to be her pet.  However, when a thief begins to target the school, Justine’s sense that something isn’t quite right grows ever stronger.  With each twist of the plot, this gripping story of deception and the corrosive power of guilt takes a yet darker turn.  Young as she is, Justine must decide where her loyalties lie.

Set in New Zealand in 1984 and 2014, and probing themes of racism and misogyny, Pet is an elegant and chilling psychological thriller by the bestselling author of The Wish Child, Remote Sympathy and The Axeman’s Carnival.

Murder in Paradise (July 2023)

By Ann Cleeves

July 27, 2023

Murder in Paradise is the third mystery novel featuring George and Molly Palmer-Jones by Ann Cleeves, author and creator of the three astounding TV series Vera, Shetland and The Long Call.

Newlyweds Jim and Sarah are welcomed home from their honeymoon to the Scottish island of Kinness with a huge celebration – cheerful festivities which take a sinister and devastating turn when the grooms younger sister, Mary, slips and tumbles to her death from the island’s precipitous cliffs.

The whole island is present when Mary disappears.  But did she fall?  Or was she pushed?  George Palmer-Jones, retired birdwatcher and amateur detective, suspects the latter – but proving it will be difficult, given no one wants to upset the balance of the island’s ancient relationships.

Helped by Sarah, the bride, George begins to uncover the secrets hidden on the island, and pieces together a tragic story both wish they had never heard.

David Copperfield (July 2023)

By Charles Dickens

July 27, 2023

One of the most famous and celebrated Victorian coming-of-age novels.  David Copperfield charts the adventures and vicissitudes of its eponymous hero’s life, from the misery of his childhood after his mother’s marriage to the tyrannical Mr Murdstone, through to his first steps as a writer and his search for love and happiness.  Along the way he encounters a vast array of gloriously vivid characters – many of whom number among the most memorable in literature – such as the eccentric aunt Betsey Trotwood, the eloquent debtor Wilkins Micawber and the obsequious villain Uriah Heep.

Replete with comedy and tragedy in equal measure, and cited by Dickens as “his favourite child”, this partially autobiographical work provides tantalizing glimpses into Dickens’s own childhood and remains one of the most enduringly popular novels in the English language

Broken Light (July 2023)

By Joanne Harris

July 27, 2023

Have you ever felt invisible?

Bernie Moon has given her life to other people: her husband, her son, her friends (who are these days, mostly online).  At nineteen she was full of dreams and ambitions; now almost fifty, and going through the menopause, she often feels like she’s losing her mind.

But when a young woman is murdered in a local park, it sparks a series of childhood memories in Bernie and with them, a talent that has lain dormant most of her adult life.

She promised herself she’d never think of it again.  When she was a teenager, it almost destroyed her.  But now she’s older, could it be the power she’s been missing?

Could it be the chance to, finally, make them look?

The Prophet and the Idiot (July 2023)

By Jonas Jonasson

July 27, 2023

Sweden, late summer of 2011.  Self-taught astrophysicist Petra has calculated that the atmosphere will collapse on the 7th of September that year, around 21.20 to be precise, bringing about the end of times.

Armed with this terrible knowledge, Petra meets Johan, a master chef, and Agnes, a widow of seventy-five, who has made millions living a double life on social media as a young influencer.  Together, the trio race through Europe as they plan to make the most out of the time they have left, in more ways than one.

But of course, things rarely go to plan, even the end of the world…

Cuddy (July 2023)

By Benjamin Myers

July 27, 2023

Cuddy is a bold and experimental retelling of the story of the hermit St Cuthbert, unofficial patron saint of the North of England.

Incorporating poetry, prose, play, diary and real historical accounts to create a novel like no other, Cuddy straddles historical eras – from the first Christian-slaying Viking invaders of the holy island of Lindisfarne in the eighth century to a contemporary England defined by class and austerity.

Along the way we meet brewers and masons, archers and academics, monks and labourers, their visionary  voices and stories echoing through their ancestors and down the ages.

And all the while at the centre sits Durham Cathedral and the lives of those who live and work around this place of pilgrimage – their dreams, desires, connections and communities.


After That Night (July 2023)

By Karin Slaughter

July 25, 2023

After that night, nothing was ever the same again

Fifteen years ago, Sara Linton’s life changed forever when a celebratory night out ended in a violent attack that tore her world apart.  Since then, Sara has remade her life.  A successful doctor, engaged to a man she loves, she has finally managed to leave the past behind her.

Until one evening, on call in the ER, everything changes.  Sara battles to save a broken woman who’s been brutally attacked.  But as the investigation progresses, led by GBI Special Agent Will Trent, it becomes clear that Dani Cooper’s assault is uncannily linked to Sara’s.

And it seems the past isn’t going to stay buried forever…

The Mother (July 2023)

By Jane Caro

July 13, 2023

Just like the garden, the fuse box, the bills, bin night and blown light bulbs, this was just something else she’d now have to take care of herself.

Recently widowed, Miriam Duffy is a respectable North Shore real estate agent and devoted mother and grandmother.  She was thrilled when her younger daughter Ally married her true love, but as time goes by Miriam wonders whether all is well with Ally, as she moves to the country and gradually withdraws, finding excuses every time Miriam offers to visit.  Their relationship has always had its ups and downs, and Miriam tries to give her daughter the distance she so clearly wants.  But is all as it seems?

When the truth of her daughter’s situation is revealed,, Miriam watches in disbelief as Ally and her children find themselves increasingly vulnerable and cut off from the world.  As the situation escalates and the law proves incapable of protecting them, Miriam is faced with an unthinkable decision.  But she will do anything for the people she loves most in the world.  Wouldn’t you?

Vanished (July 2023)

By James Delargy

July 13, 2023

The Kane family, Lorcan, Naiyana and their young son, relocate from Perth to Kallayee, an abandoned mining town in the Great Victoria Desert, to start over again, free from their chequered past.

The town seems like the perfect getaway: Peaceful. Quiet. Remote.  Somewhere they won’t be fouond.

But life in Kallayee isn’t quite as straightforward as they hope.  There are noises in the earth, mysterious shadows and tracks in the dust as if the town is coming back to life.

But the family won’t leave.  No one can talk sense to them.

And now, no one can talk to them at all.

They’ve simply vanished.

Now it’s up to Detective Emmaline Taylor to find them… Before It’s Too Late.

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