Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: March 2024

Written in Bone (March 2024)

By Sue Black

March 15, 2024

Our bones are the silent witness to the lives we lead.  Our stories are marbled into their marrow.

Drawing upon her years of research and remarkable experience, the world-renowned forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black takes us on a journey of revelation.  From skull to toe, via the teeth, spine, chest, arms, hands, pelvis and legs, she shows that each part of us has a tale to tell.  What we eat, where we go, the things we do – all these leave a trace, a message waiting for a forensic anthropologist to decipher it.

Limb by limb, case by case – some criminal, some historical, some unaccountably bizarre – Sue Black reconstructs with intimate sensitivity and compassion the stories hidden in what we leave behind.

Actress (March 2024)

By Anne Enright

March 14, 2024

From the Man Booker-winning Irish author, a brilliant and moving novel about fame, sexual power, and a daughter’s search to understand her mother’s hidden truths.

This is the story of Irish theatre legend, Katerine O’Dell, as written by her daughter Norah.  It tells of early stardom in Hollywood, of highs and lows on the stages of Dublin and London’s West End.  Katherine’s life is a grand performance, with young Norah watching from the wings.

But this romance between mother and daughter cannot survive Katherine’s past, or the world’s damage.  In the declining years of her middle age, Norah’s mother commits a senseless crime.  Actress is about a daughter’s search for the truth: the dark secret in the bright star, and what drove Katherine finally mad.

Brilliantly capturing the glamour of post-war America and the shabbiness of 1970s Dublin, Actress is an intensely moving, disturbing novel about mothers and daughters and the men in their lives.  A scintillating examination of the corrosive nature of celebrity, it is also a sad and triumphant tale of freedom from bad love, and from the avid gaze of the crowd.

Silver Tears (March 2024)

By Camilla Lackberg

March 14, 2024

She is safe…

Faye Adelheim deserves the life she has.  After fleeing from a violent marriage, she has built her business into a global brand and is living in a beautiful villa in Italy with her daughter.

Or so she thought…

But Faye’s life is turned upside down when her murderous ex-husband escapes from prison.  Faye has no choice but to return home to confront him.

This will be the fight of her life…

Faye will do anything to keep her family safe.  But when the dark secrets of her childhood come back to haunt her, she will have to battle like never before to stop her deepest fears from coming true…

Grand (March 2024)

By Noelle McCarthy

March 14, 2024

‘I’ll be grand, girl, I’ve great faith.’ – Mammy, just before she died.

Funny, charismatic and generous; angry, vicious and hurt; in pub lounges all over Cork City, Noelle McCarthy’s mother, Carol, rages against her life and everything she’s lost.

As soon as she can, Noelle runs away.  All the way to New Zealand, to make a new, different kind of life.  but then Manny gets sick, and it’s time to face everything that’s waiting back home.

From Catholic Ireland in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s to sparkling Auckland in the first years of the new millennium, Grand is a story of the invisible ties that bind us, of bitter legacies handed down through the generations, and of the leap of faith it takes to change them.

The Dark Remains (March 2024)

By William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin

March 14, 2024

Lawyer Bobby Carter did a lot of work for the wrong type of people.  Now he’s dead and it was no accident.  Besides a distraught family and a heap of powerful friends, Carter’s left behind his share of enemies.  So, who dealt the fatal blow?

DC Jack Laidlaw’s reputation precedes him.  He’s not a team player, but he’s got a sixth sense for what’s happening on the streets.  His boss chalks the violence up to the usual rivalries, but is it that simple?  As two Glasgow gangs go to war, Laidlaw needs to find out who got Carter before the whole city explodes.

William McIlanney’s Laidlaw books changed the face of crime fiction.  When he died in 2015, he left half a handwritten manuscript of Laidlaw’s first case.  Now, Ian Rankin is back to finish what McIlanney started.  In The Dark Remains, these two iconic authors bring to life the criminal world of 1970s Glasgow, and Laidlaw’s relentless quest for truth.

These Precious Days (March 2024)

By Ann Patchett

March 14, 2024

‘Any story that starts will also end.’  As a writer, Ann Patchett knows what the outcome of her fiction will be.  Life, however, often takes turns we do not see coming.  Patchett ponders this as she explores family, friendship, marriage, failure, success, and what it all means.

Ranging from the personal – her portrait of the three men, she called her fathers; how a chance encounter with Tom Hank led to one of the most important friendships of her life; how to answer when someone asks why you don’t have children – to the sublime – the unexpected influence of Snoopy; the importance of knitting; the pleasure to be found in children’s books – each essay transforms the particular into the universal, letting us all see our own worlds anew.

2 Sisters Detective Agency (March 2024)

By James Patterson and Candice Fox

March 14, 2024

Attorney Rhonda Bird returns home to LA to bury her estranged father, and discovers that he left her two final surprises.

The first is a private detective agency.

The second is a teenage half-sister named Baby.

When Rhonda goes into her father’s old office to close down the business, she gets drawn into a case involved a young man who claims he was abducted.

The investigation takes Rhonda and Baby to dark and dangerous places.  Soon they are caught in the crosshairs of an angry criminal cartel and an ex-assassin seeking revenge…

Fear No Evil (March 2024)

By James Patterson

March 14, 2024

Alex Cross ventures into the rugged Montana wilderness…

Where he will be the prey.

He’s not on the job, but on a personal mission.

Until he’s attacked by two rival teams of assassins, controlled by the same mastermind who has stalked Alex and his family for years.

Darkness falls.  The river churns into rapids.  Shots ring out through the forest.

No back-up.  No way out.  Fear no evil.

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