Dunedin Athenaeum & Mechanics Institute

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Past additions to the library

The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey (March 2017)

The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey (March 2017)Finalist New Zealand Book Award

At the heart of Catherine Chidgey's extraordinary new novel is an enigmatic voice that tells the story of German families caught up in a nation's dream.

It's 1939.  Two children watch as their parents become immersed in the puzzling mechanisms of power.  Sieglinde lives in the affluent ignorance of middle-class Berlin, her father a censor who cuts prohibited words such as love and mercy out of books.  Erich is an only child living a rural life near Leipzig, tending beehives, aware that he is shadowed by strange, unanswered questions.  Drawn together as Germany's hope for a glorious future begins to collapse, the children find temporary refuge in an abandoned theatre amidst the rubble of Berlin.  Outside, white bedsheets hang from windows; all over the city people are talking of surrender.  The days Sieglinde and Erich spend together will shape the rest of their lives.

The Wish Child is a profound meditation on the wreckage caused by a corrupt ideology, on the resilience of the human spirit, and on crimes that cannot be undone.

I am the wish child, the future cast in water.  I am the thrown coin, the blown candle; I am the fallen star.

The Bone Field by Simon Kernick (March 2017)

The Bone Field by Simon Kernick (March 2017)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 18 March 2017 also on podcast

A Man so EVIL he must be Stopped at any Cost

DI Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd begin a desperate hunt for the truth that will take them into a dark and terrifying world of corruption and deadly secrets, where murder is commonplace, and nothing and nobody is safe...

Dead Girls Dancing by Graham Masterton (March 2017)

Dead Girls Dancing by Graham Masterton (March 2017)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 18 March 2017 also on podcast

In the middle of Cork, in the middle of the day, a fire blazes in a local dance studio.

Thirteen women, all promising stars, die in the flames.  Their young lives cut short by a tragic accident.

But where others see tragedy, DCI Katie Maguire sees murder.  This is not the first fire to sweep through Cork.  And in one recent case, the victims were dead before the fire was started.

As Katie Maguire investigates the strange, obsessive world of competitive Irish folk dancing, she must face her most chilling killer yet...

The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty (March 2017)

The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty (March 2017)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 18 March 2017 also on podcast

Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina try to catch up once a year for a girls' getaway.  Careers, husbands and babies have pulled those old high-school friends in different directions, and the closeness they once enjoyed is increasingly elusive.  This year, in a bid to revive their intimacy they each share a secret in an anonymous letter.  But the revelations are unnerving.  Then a fifth letter is discovered, venting long-held grudges and murderous thoughts.  But who was the author?  And which of the friends should be worried?

The Fifth Letter is a searing examination of women's friendship groups, the loyalty and honesty they demand, and the pain of ending relationships that once seemed essential but might be outgrown.

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan (March 2017)

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan (March 2017)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 18 March 2017 also on podcast

Kent, 1940.  In the idyllic village of Chilbury change is afoot.  Hearts are breaking as sons and husbands leave to fight, and when the Vicar decides to close the choir unti the men return, all seems lost.

But coming together in song is just what the women of Chilbury need, and they are ready to sing.  With a little fighting spirit and the arrival of a new musical resident, the charismatic Miss Primrose Trent, the choir is reborn.  But for one villager, the choir is the perfect cover to destroy Chilbury's new-found harmony.

Uplifting and profoundly moving, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir explores how a village can endure the onslaught of war, and how survival is as much about friendship as it is about courage.

Love, Lies & Linguine by Hilary Spiers (March 2017)

Love, Lies & Linguine by Hilary Spiers (March 2017)Hester and Harriet lead comfortable lives in a pretty cottage in an English village.  Having opened their minds, home and hearts to Daria, a mysterious migrant, and her baby son Milo, the widowed sisters decide to further expand their own horizons by venturing forth to Italy for their annual holiday.

Back in England, Daria and Milo are celebrating - they've received official refugee status with papers to confirm they can make England their home.  Meanwhile nephew Ben, who knows only too well how much he owes his aunts, is hurtling towards a different sort of celebration - one he's trying to backpedal out of as fast as he possibily can.

With a huge secret hanging between the sisters, an unlikely new love on the landscape for Hester and new beginings also beckoning for Harriet, Italy provides more opportunities for adventure than either of them could ever have imagined.  But which ones will Hester and Harriet choose?

As Hester and Harriet throw all their cards on the table in Italy, and potential catastrophe threatends Ben in England, it's anyone's guess how chaos will be kept in bay.

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson (March 2017)

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson (March 2017)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 18 March 2017 also on podcast

Who Killed Audrey Marshall?

Following a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy makes an uncharacteristically bold decision when her cousin, Corbin Dell, suggests a temporary apartment swap - and she moves from London to Boston.

But soon after her arrival Kate makes a shocking discovery: Corbin's next-door neighbour, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered.  When the police begin asking questions about Corbin's relationship with Audrey, and his neighbours come forward with their own suspicions, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own.

Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination playing out her every fear, Kate can barely trust herself... so how can she trust any of the strangers whose world she has only just entered?

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (March 2017)

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (March 2017)Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts colege move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition.  There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel painter pursuing fame in the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serve as their centre of gravity.

Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride.  Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself; by midlife a terrifyingly talented lawyer yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by a degree of trauma that he fears he will not only be unable to overcome - but that will define his life forever.

In a novel of extaordinary intelligence and heart, Yanagihara has fashioned a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark and haunting examination of the tyranny of experience and memory.

Untold Stories by Alan Bennett (February 2017)

Untold Stories by Alan Bennett (February 2017)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 18 February 2017 also on podcast

Alan Bennett's first collection of prose since Writing Home takes in all his major writings over the last ten years.

The title piece is a poignant family memoir with an account of the marriage of his parents, the lives and deaths of his aunts and the uncovering of a long-held family secret.  Also included are his much celebrated diaries for the years 1996 to 2004.  At times heart-rending and at others extremely funny.  Untold Stories is a matchless and unforgettable anthology.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (February 2017)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (February 2017)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 18 February 2017 also on podcast

Roger Ackroyd knew too much.  He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband, that someone was blackmailing her, and that as a consequence she had just taken her own life.  But as he read the letter that would tell him the identity of her mysterious blackmailer, he was stabbed to death in a locked room...

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is one of Agatha Christie's most brilliant detective novels and the book that catapulted her to worldwide renown.  As a play, under the title of Alibi, it then enjoyed a long and successful run with Charles Laughton as Hercule Poirot.  First published in May 1926 by Collins, and joining their Detective Story Club imprint in August 1931 to tie in with the release of the film version starring Austin Trevor as Poirot, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd remains as powerful and shocking today as when it was first published 90 years ago.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave (February 2017)

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave (February 2017)When war is declared, Mary defies her family to protect the children her country would rather forget.

Tom refuses to sign up for a conflict he doesn't believe in.

Alistair answers the call of duty, but can't silence his own heart.

Could you dare to fall in love while the world around you is falling apart?

The Girl Before by JP Delaney (February 2017)

The Girl Before by JP Delaney (February 2017)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105,4FM 18 February 2017 also on podcast

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection... but can you pay the price?

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules.  After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before.  As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz (February 2017)

The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz (February 2017)He was once called Orphan X.

As a boy, Evan Smoak was taken from a children's home, raised and trained as part of a secret government initiative buried so deep that virtually no one knows it exists.  But he broke with the programme, choosing instead to go off-grid and use his formidable skill-set to help those unable to protect themselves.

One day, though, Evan's luck runs out...

Ambushed, drugged and spirited away, Evan wakes up in a locked room with no idea where he is or who has captured him.  As he tries to piece together what's happened, testing his gilded prison and its highly trained guards for weaknesses, he receives a desperate call for help.

With time running out, he will need to out-think, out-manoeuvre, and out-fight an opponent the likes of whom he has never encountered if he's to have any chance of escape.  He's got to save himself to protect those whose lives depend on him.  Or die trying...

Cast Iron by Peter May (February 2017)

Cast Iron by Peter May (February 2017)In 1989, a killer dumped the body of twenty-year-old Lucie Martin into a picturesque lake in the West of France.  Fourteen years later, during a summer heatwave, a drought exposed her remains - bleached bones amid the scorched mud and slime.

No one was ever convicted of her murder.  But now, forensic expert Enzo Macleod is reviewing this stone-cold-case - the toughest of those he has been challenged to solve.

Yet when Enzo finds a flaw in the original evidence surrounding Lucie's murder, he opens a Pandora's box that not only raises old ghosts but endangers his entire family.

Hell Island by Matthew Reilly (February 2017)

Hell Island by Matthew Reilly (February 2017)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 18 February 2017 also on podcast

It is an island that doesn't appear on any maps. 
A secret place, where classified experiments have been carried out.
Experiments that have gone terribly wrong...

Four crack special forces units are dropped in.
One of them is a team of Marines, led by Captain Shane Schofield, call-sign: SCARECROW.

Nothing can prepare Schofield's team for what they find there.
You could say they're just entered hell.
But that would be wrong.
This is much, much worse.

Jericho's War by Gerald Seymour (February 2017)

Jericho's War by Gerald Seymour (February 2017)Corrie Rankin is already a legend at MI6 when he is recalled, with little regard for the horrors of his recent past, and sent to the Yemeni desert.  There is a chance to take down a high value player in the war against Al-Qaeda - a chance, also, for the Brits to succeed without begging help from the Americans.

The sniper and his spotter who will go with Corrie are less than 'top team', but the best that can be found if the mission is to stay deniable.

And once the three misfits are in-country, they must rely on intelligence brought to them by a British Jihadi who has been 'turned' and a young archaeologist digging in the ruins nearby.

The mission is the brain-child of an apparently old, fat fool in a striped cricket blazer, a sweating figure of fun among the ex-pat community across the border in Muscat.  This is Jericho - not actually as old or fat or foolish as he appears, nor as harmless.

And this is Jericho's War.  The weapons it deploys, the brutal aims it pursures, are state of the art.  The fear it breeds and the raw bravery it demands are as timeless as the desert itself.

Autumn by Ali Smith (February 2017)

Autumn by Ali Smith (February 2017)Autumn.  Season of mists and mellow-fruitfulness.  That's what it felt like for Keats in 1819.

How about Autumn 2016?

Daniel is a century old.  Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future.  The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic once-in-a-generation summer.

Love is won, love is lost.  Hope is hand in hand with hopelessness.  The seasons roll round, as ever.

Ali Smith's new novel is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means.  This first in a seasonal quartet casts an eye over our own time.  Who are we?  What are we made of?  Shakespearean jeu d'esprit, Keatsian melancholy, the sheer bright energy of 1960's Pop art: the centuries cast their eyes over our own history-making.

Here's where we're living.  Here's time at its most contemporaneous and its most cyclic.

From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in timescale and light-footed through histories, and a story about ageing and time and love and stories themselves.

Here comes Autumn. 

City of Friends by Joanna Trollope (Febrary 2017)

City of Friends by Joanna Trollope (Febrary 2017)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 18 February 2017 also on podcast

She glanced at her phone again.  There were appeals from the girls, from her ex-colleagues, a text from Steve reading with uncharacteristic imperiousness, 'Call me.'  She couldn't.  She couldn't call anyone ... She leaned forward, gripping the edge of the bench, and stared at the ground.  God, she thought, am I losing my mind?  Is this what happens when you lose your job?

The day Stacey Grant loses her job feels like the last day of her life.  Or at least, the only life she'd ever known.  For who was she if not a City high-flyer, Senior Partner at one of the top private equity firms in London?

As Stacey starts to reconcile her old life with the new - one without professional achievements or meetings, but instead, long days at home with her dog and ailing mother, waiting for her successful husband to come home - she at least has The Girls to fall back on.  Beth, Melissa and Gaby.  The girls, now women, had been best friends from the early days of university right through their working lives, and for all the happines and heartbreaks in between.

But these career women all have personal problems of their own, and when Stacey's redundancy forces a betrayal to emerge that was supposed to remain secret, their long cherished friendships will be pushed to their limits.

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (December 2016)

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (December 2016)Charmaine sees an advertisement for a project called Positron that promises you a job, a place to live, a bed to sleep in - imagine how appealing that would be if you were working in a dive bar and living in your car.  She and her husband, Stan, apply at once.  The only catch is that once you're in there, you can't get out.

No one writes the lust and the loves, the wickedness and the weaknesses of the human heart like Margaret Atwood.

Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves (December 2016)

Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves (December 2016)The tide of earth had deposited debris, thrown it up on its way through the croft.  Perez saw a bedhead, a couple of plastic garden chairs that must have been stored in the lean-to.  And something else, bright against the grey wall and the black soil.  A splash of red.  Brighter than blood.

In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the road and sweeps down to the sea.

At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, DI Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water smash throuogh a croft house in its path.  Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress.  In his mind, she shares his Meditarranean ancestry and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity.

Then it emerges that she was already dead before the landslide hit the house.  Perez feels bound by duty - and something more powerful - to find out who she was, and how she died.  Within the house, the only clue is a wooden box that contains two photos, one of two small children and one of an elderly couple.  And a handwritten letter, which begins: My dearest Alis...

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa (December 2016)

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa (December 2016)Before everything changed, Hannah Rosenthal lived a charmed life.  But now, in 1939, the streets of Berlin are draped with red, white, and black flags and she is no longer welcome in the places that once felt like home.  Hannah and her best friend, Leo Martin, make a pact: whatever the future has in store for them, they'll meet it together.

Hope appears in the form of the SS St. Louis, a transatlantic liner offering Jews safe passage to Havana.  At first, life on board the St. Louis is like a surreal holiday for the refugees, but soon ominous rumours from Cuba undermine the passengers' fragile sense of safety.  The ship that once was their salvation seems likely to become their doom.

Seven decades later in New York City, Anna Rosen receives a strange package from an unknown relative in Cuba, her great-aunt Hannah.  Its contents will inspire Anna and her mother to travel to Hannah to learn the truth about their family's mysterious and tragic past, a quest that will help Anna understand her place and her purpose in the worldl.

Red Herring by Jonothan Cullinane (December 2016)

Red Herring by Jonothan Cullinane (December 2016)A man overboard, a murder and a lot of loose ends...

In Auckland 1951 the workers and the government are heading for bloody confrontation, and the waterfront is the frontline.  But this is a war with more than two sides, and nothing is what it seems.

Into the secret world of rival union politics, dark political agendas and worldwide and anit-communist hysteria steps Johnny Molloy, a private detective with secrets of his own.

Caitlin O'Carolan, a feisty young reporter, is following her own leads.  Together they begin to uncover a conspiracy that goes to the heart of the state - and which will threaten their own lives in the process.

The Tourist by Robert Dickinson (December 2016)

The Tourist by Robert Dickinson (December 2016)'She's missing.  Isn't this the kind of thing we report?'

It's expected to be an excursion like any other.  There is nothing in the records to indicate that anything out of the ordinary will happen.

A bus will take them to the mall.  They will have an hour or so to look around.  Perhaps buy something, thry their food.

A minor traffic incident on the way back to the resort will provide additional interest - but the tour rep has no reason to expect any trouble.

Until he notices that one of his party is missing.

Most disturbingly, she is a woman who, according to the records, did not go missing.

Now she is a woman whose disappearance could change the world.

With breathtaking plot twists that ricochet through time, The Tourist is the most original conspiracy thriller you will read this year.

The Dark Flood Rises by Margaret Drabble (December 2016)

The Dark Flood Rises by Margaret Drabble (December 2016)Francesca Stubbs holds our hand as we take a walk through old age and death.  Fran brings us to drinks with her friends, dropping off suppers for her ex-husbank, warm and cosy in his infirmity.  She visits her daughter, holed up as the waters rise in a sodden West Country, and texts her son in Lanzarote, as he deals with the estate of his deceased girlfriend.

The questions of what constitutes a good death preoccupy this glittering novel.  The Dark Flood Rises asks momentous questions as it entertains and enthralls.  In her beautifully imagined new novel, Margaret Drabble is at her incisive best, exploring the end of life with her trademark humour, composure and wisdom.

The Dry by Jane Harper (December 2016)

The Dry by Jane Harper (December 2016)Who really killed the Hadler family?

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself.  The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily.  If one of their own broke under the strain, well...

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier.  But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds are reopened.  For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret...A secret Falk thought long-buried...A secret Luke's death starts to bring to the surface...

The Pretty Delicious Cafe by Danielle Hawkins (December 2016)

The Pretty Delicious Cafe by Danielle Hawkins (December 2016)On the outskirts of a small New Zealand seaside town, Lia and her friend Anna work serious hours running their restored cafe.  The busy season is just around the corner, and there are other things to occupy them.  Anna is about to marry Lia's twin brother, and Lia's ex-boyfriend seems not to understand it's over.

When a gorgeous stranger taps on Lia's window near midnight and turns out not to be a serial killer, she feels it's a promising sign.  But the past won't let them be, and Lia must decide whether events rule her life or she does.

The Pretty Delicious Cafe will remind you of those special, good things we love about living.  And the food is geat.

The Girls by Lisa Jewell (December 2016)

The Girls by Lisa Jewell (December 2016)You live on a communal garden square where your children run free.

You've known your neighbours for years, and you trust them.  Implicitly.

You think your children are safe.

But are they really?

Midsummer night, and a girl is found unconscious in a dark corner of the garden.

What happened to her?

And who is responsible?

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (December 2016)

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (December 2016)

Northern Iceland, 1829

A woman condemned to death for murdering her lover.  A family forced to take her in.  A priest tasked with absolving her.

But all is not as it seems, and time is running out: winter is coming, and with it the execution date.

Only she can know the truth.  This is Agnes's story.

I'll Take You There by Wally Lamb (December 2016)

I'll Take You There by Wally Lamb (December 2016)Every Monday evening, Felix Funicello sets up a new film at an old vaudeville theatre for his weekly movie club.  But one night, as this sixty-year-old scholar prepares the projectionist booth, he is confronted by an unanticpated guest: the ghost of Lois Weber.

Once a trailblazing motion picture director from Hollywood's silent film era, Lois invites Felix to sit back and watch a new feature on the big screen - scenes from Felix's life.

Although unverved by these ethereal apparitions, Felix comes to look forward to his encounters with Lois.  And as these magical movies play before him, he begins to reflect on the trio of unforgettable women who have profoundly affected his life: his troublesome yet loving sister; his Generation Y daughter; and Verna, a fiery would-be beauty queen from the 1950s.

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life by John le Carre (December 2016)

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life by John le Carre (December 2016)'Out of the secret world I once knew I have tried to make a theatre for the larger worlds we inhabit.  First comes the imagining, then the search for the reality.  Then back to the imagining, and to the desk where I'm sitting now.'

From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion, to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, John le Carre has always written from the heart of modern times.

In this, his first memoir, le Carre is as funny as he is incisive - reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels.  Whether he's writing about the parrot, at a Beirut hotel that could perfectly mimic machine-gun fire, or visiting Rwanda's museums of the unburied dead in the aftermath of the genocide, or celebrating New Year's Eve with Yasser Arafat, or interviewing a German terrorist in her desert prison in the Negev, or watching Alec Guinness preparing for his role as George Smiley, or describing the female aid worker who inspired the main character in his The Constant Gardener, le Carre endows each happening with vividness and humour, now making us laugh out loud, now inviting us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood.

Best of all, le Carre gives us a glimpse of a writer's journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters.

The Romanovs 1613 - 1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore (December 2016)

The Romanovs 1613 - 1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore (December 2016)The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world's surface.  How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world's greatest empire?  And how did they lose it all?

This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition.  From Peter the Great and Catherine the Great to Nicholas, Alexandra and Rasputin, Montefoire's gripping chronicle reveals a secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance.

Written with dazzling literary flair, drawing on new archival research, The Romanovs is at once an enthralling chronicle of triumph and tragedy, love and death, a universal study of power, and an essential portrait of the empire that still defines Russia today.

Bolshoi Confidential by Simon Morrison (December 2016)

Bolshoi Confidential by Simon Morrison (December 2016)On a freezing night in January 2013, an assailant hurled acid in the face of the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, Sergei Filin.  The crime, organized by a lead soloist, dragged one of Russia's most illustrious institutionns into scandal.

Under Vladimir Putin, the Bolshoi Theatre has been called on to preserve Russia's lengthy artistic legacy and to mirror its neo-imperial ambitions.  As renowned musicologist Simon Morrison shows in his tour-de-force account, the attact, and its torrid aftermath, underscored the importance of the Bolshoi in the art of ballet, to Russia, and to the world.

With exclusive access to state archives and private sources, Morrison sweeps us through the history of the Ballet, from its disreputable beginnings in 1776, through Moscow's transformation into a global capital after the revolution and, more recently a 450 million pound restoration that has returned the Bolshoi to its former glory, even as prized talent has departed.

The Theatre has been bombed, rigged with explosives and reinforced with cement.  Its dancers have suffered unimaginable physical torment to climb the ranks.  But, as Morrison reveals, the Bolshoi has transcended its own fraught history, surviving 250 years of artistic and political upheaval to define not only Russian culture but also ballet itself.

I Won't be Home for Christmas by Amanda Prowse (December 2016)

I Won't be Home for Christmas by Amanda Prowse (December 2016)Would you risk it all for a chance at happiness?

While her free-spirited daughter travels the world, Vivienne prepares for a lonely Christmas in Bristol, with her best friend Ellen and her ancient dog Bob.

Then a letter arrives that changes everything.  Vivienne's daughter is getting married in New Zealand, and she wants her mum and Ellen by her side.

But out on the rugged coast of Tutukaka, the sea sparkles, romance beckons - and Vivienne falls under the spell of another life.  Will she leave everything she holds dear for a chance at happiness?  Or will her daughter be the only one to fall in love this Christmas?

The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith (December 2016)

The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith (December 2016)

Venice, 1945

The war may be waning, but the city known as La Serenissima is still occupied and the people of Italy fear the power of the Third Reich.  One night, under a canopy of stars, a fisherman named Cenzo comes across a young woman's body floating in the Lagoon and discovers that she is still alive and in trouble.

Born to a wealthy Jewish family, Giulia is on the run from the Wehrmacht SS.  Rather than hand her over to the Nazis, Cenzo chooses to protect Giulia: an act of kindness that leads them into the world of partisans, random executions, Mussolini's broken promises and everywhere, the enigmatic maze of the Venice Lagoon.

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra (December 2016)

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra (December 2016)In this chilling psychological thriller, one woman's dark past becomes another's deadly future

In 2003, sixteen-year-old Rebecca Winter disappeared.

She'd been enjoying her teenage summer break: working at a fast food restaurant, crushing on an older boy and shoplifting with her best friend.  Mysteriously ominous things begin to happen - blood in the bed, periods of blackouts, a feeling of being watched - though Bec remained oblivious of what was to come.

Eleven years later, she is replaced.

A young woman, desperate after being arrested, claims to be the decade-missing Bec.  Soon the imposter is living Bec's life.  Sleeping in her bed.  Hugging her mother and father.  Learning her best friends' names.  Playing with her twin brothers.

But Bec's welcoming family and enthusiastic friends are not quite as they seem.  As the impostor dodges the detective investigating her case, she begins to delve into the life of the real Bec Winter - and soon realises that whoever took Bec is still at large, and that she is in imminent danger.

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch (November 2016)

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch (November 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one  of the most expensive apartment blocks in London.  But Lady Ty's daughter was there and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour.

Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basement are bigger than the houses and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean.  But this is Peter Grant we're talking about.

He's been given an unparalleled opportunity to alienate old friends and create new enemies at the point where the world of magic and that of privilege intersect.  Assuming he survives the week...

No Man's Land by David Baldacci (November 2016)

No Man's Land by David Baldacci (November 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

One man demands justice...

John Puller is the US Army's most tenacious investigator, but he is not equipped to face the truth about his mother's disappearance thirty years ago.  New evidence has come to light suggesting that Puller's father - a highly decorated army veteran - may have murdered his wife.  When Puller's friend, intelligence operative Veronica Knox, arrives on the scene, he realizes that there is far more to this case than he first thought.  He knows that nothing will prevent him from discovering when really happened to his mother - even if it means proving that his father is a killer.

... the other seeks revenge

Paul Rogers has just been paroled after spending ten years in a high-security prison for murder.  And with his freedom comes a desire to pay back old debts.  Harbouring a dark past that changed him in unimaginable ways, Rogers embarks on a journey across the country, set on  a path of revenge against the people who took away his humanity.

As both men uncover a trail of deception that stretches back decades, they soon realize that the truth will bind them together in ways they could never have imagined.

The Cloud Leopard's Daughter by Deborah Challinor (November 2016)

The Cloud Leopard's Daughter by Deborah Challinor (November 2016)A dramtic new novel featuring Kitty, Amber and other favourites from the Smuggler's Wife series

On the goldfields of the colonies, enemies are easily made.  In the confines of a ship, they can turn deadly.

When Kitty and Rian Farrell sail their schooner Katipo III into Dunedin Harbour in 1863, they are on tenterhooks.  The new Otago goldfields have attracted all-comers, including their friend Wong Fu from Ballarat, who has sent a message for their help.

To their surprise, Wong Fu reveals he is more than a mere fortune seeker - he is in fact a Cloud Leopard tong master and his daughter, Bao, has been kidnapped and taken to opium-ridden China.

Kitty and Rian agree to retrieve the missing Bao, but as they sail closer to their quarry the stakes jump dramatically.  And little do they know that the deadliest threat lies in their midst.

The Cloud Leopard's Daughter takes us through dangerous and unpredictable shoals of love, lust, greed and opium, in search of not one, but two fiery yet vulnerable women - puppets in other people's calculated games.

Night School by Lee Child (November 2016)

Night School by Lee Child (November 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

It's just a voice plucked from the air:  'The American wants a hundred million dollars.'

For what?  Who from?  It's 1996, and the Soviets are long gone.  But now there's a new enemy.  In an apartment in Hamburg, a group of smartly dressed young Saudis are planning something big.

Jack Reacher is fresh off a secret mission and a big win.  The army pats him on the back and gives him a medal.  And then they send him back to school.  It's a school with only three students: Reacher, an FBI agent and a CIA analyst.

Their assignment?  To find that American.  And what he's selling.  And to whom.  There is serious shit going on, signs of a world gone mad.

Night School takes Reacher back to his army days, but he's not in uniform.  With trusted sergeant Frances Neagley at his side, he must carry the fate of the world on his shoulders, in a wired, fiendishly clever new adventure that will make the cold sweat trickle down your spine.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly (November 2016)

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly (November 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

'What do you want me to do?'  Bosch asked again.

'I want you to find someone for me,' Vance said.  'Someone who might not have ever existed.'

Harry Bosch is working as a part-time detective in the town of San Fernando outside of Los Angeles, when he gets the invitation to meet with the ageing aviation billionaire Whitney Vance.  When he was eighteen Vance had a relationship with a Mexican girl called Vibiana Duarte, but soon after becoming pregnant she disappeared.

Now, as he reaches the end of his life, Vance wants to know what happened to Vibiana and whether there is an heir to his vast fortune.  And Bosch is the only person he trusts to undertake the assignment.

Harry's aware that with such sums of money involved, this could be a dangerous undertaking - not just for himself, but for the person he's looking for - but as he begins to uncover Vibiana's story, and finds uncanny links to his own past, he knows he cannot rest until he finds the truth.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (November 2016)

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (November 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

Lib Wright, a young English nures, arrives in an impoverished Irish village on a strange mission.  Eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell is said to have eaten nothing for months but appears to be thriving miraculously.  With tourists thronging to see the child, and the press sowing doubt, the baffled community looks to an outsider to bring the facts to light.  Lib's job is simple: to watch the girl and uncover the truth.

An educated sceptic, trained by the legendary Florence Nightingale and repelled by what she sees as ignorance and superstition, Lib expects to expose the fast as a hoax right away.  But as she gets to know the girl, over the long days they spend together, Lib becomes more and more unsure.  Is Anna a fraud, or a 'living wonder'?  Or is something more sinister unfolding right before Lib's eyes, a tragedy in which she herself is playing a part?

Written with all the propulsive tension that transported readers of Room, The Wonder is a haunting psychological thriller about the lengths we go to for the love of a child.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin (November 2016)

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin (November 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Assess Radio 105.4FM 26 November 2016 also on podcast

'I do not care for the name Alexandrina.  Now that I am Queen, I have decided I shall call myself by my middle name, Victoria.  It is my own'

In June 1837, the eighteen-year-old Victoria wakes up to find that she is Queen of the most powerful nation in the world.  But will she be Queen in her own right, or a puppet controlled by her mother and the sinister Sir John Conroy?  Can this tiny girl prevail against the men like her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who believe that women are too hysterical to rule?

Everyone wants her to get married, but Victoria has no intention of entering into a marriage of convenience with her cousin Albert, a shy bookworm who didn't know how to dance the last time she met him.  She would much rather reign alone with a little help from her Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne.  He may be old enough to be her father, but he is the only man who believes that she will be a great Queen, and he knows how to make her laugh.  A husband would only get in the way...

The Whistler by John Grisham (November 2016)

The Whistler by John Grisham (November 2016)Investigating judicial misconduct by Florida's one thousand judges.  Lacy Stoltz never expected to be in the firing line.  Until she meets Greg Myers.

An indicted lawyer working under an assumed name.  Myers represents a whistle blower who knows of a judge in league with organised crime.  A judge who, together with her gangster associates, facilitated the building of a casino on an Indian reservation.  Anyone who opposed the casino is dead.

Having skimmed several fortunes off undeclared winnings, this might be the most corrupt judge in US history and under Florida law, Myers and his whistle blower friend could make millions by bringing these activities to the attention of the state.

But first they need Lucy to start an investigation.  In doing so she will be pitting herself against a judge whose associates think nothing of murder.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen (November 2016

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen (November 2016Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 26 November 2016 also on podcast

Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn't planning to be buried any time soon.  Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter and he has to visit his doctor more than he'd like.  But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums?

Hendrik sets out to write an expose: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs - not least his new endeavour: the anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club.  And when Eefje moves in - the woman Hendrik has always longed for - he polishes his shoes (and his teeth), grooms what's left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left, with hilarious, tender and devastating consequences.

A cultural phenomenon in his native Netherlands and now conquering the globe, Hendrik Groen will not only delight older readers with his wit and relevance, but will charm and inspire those who have years to go before their own expiry date.

Hidden Killers by Lynda La Plante (November 2016)

Hidden Killers by Lynda La Plante (November 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

A prostitute dressed ina blue rabbit fur coat walks through the darkness of Hackney Fields, seemingly alone.  But someone is waiting for her...

A woman is found dead in her bath, a small child crying in the room next door...  Is it an accidental death or the perfect murder?

When WPC Jane Tennison is promoted to the role of Detective Constable in London's Bow Street CID, she is immediately conflicted.  While her far more experienced colleagues move on swiftly from one criminal cast to another, Jane is often left with doubts about their findings.

Becoming inextricable embroiled in a multiple-rape case, Jane must put her life at risk in the search for answers.  Will she toe the CID line, or endanger her position by seeking the truth...?

Meet Me In Malmo by Torquil MacLeod (November 2016)

Meet Me In Malmo by Torquil MacLeod (November 2016)A British journalist is invited to Malmo to interview an old university friend who is now one of Sweden's leading film directors.  When he discovers the director's glamourous film star wife dead in her apartment, the Skane County Police are called in to solve the high-profile case.

Among the investigating team is Inspector Anita Sundstrom, who soon finds the list of suspects growing.  As Anita battles to discover the answers amid the antagonism of some of her colleagues, she even begins to think that the person she is becoming attracted to could be the murderer.

Meet Me In Malmo is the first in the series of best-selling crime mysteries featuring Inspector Anita Sundstrom.

White Bones by Graham Masterton (November 2016)

White Bones by Graham Masterton (November 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

One wet, windswept November morning, a field on a desolate farm gives up the dismembered bones of eleven women...

Their skeletons bear the marks of a meticulous butcher.  The bodies date back to 1915.  All were likely skinned alive.

But then a young woman goes missing, and her remains, the bones carefully stripped and arranged in an arcane pattern, are discovered on the same farm.

With the crimes of the past echoing in the present, D.S. Katie Maguire must solve a decades-old murder steeped in ancient legend... before this terrifying killer strikes again.

Broken Angels by Graham Masterton (November 2016)

Broken Angels by Graham Masterton (November 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 26 November 2016 also on podcast

As they came nearer, the black-clad body came into view, lying on its side in the shallows...

One cold spring morning in County Cork, two fishermen find a body floating in the Blackwater River: the mutilated corpse of a retired music teacher.  His hands and feet are bound, and his neck bears the mark of a garrotting wire.

The Garda want to wrap this case up before the press get hold of it.  But when a second man is found murdered, the body bears all the same marks as the first.  And Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire fears this case carries the hallmark of a serial murderer...

Red Light by Graham Masterton (November 2016)

Red Light by Graham Masterton (November 2016)Katie Maguire is Ireland's most fearless detective.  But even she is afraid of this killer...

Somewhere in the city of Cork, a woman's cry echoes through the rainy streets.  A girl has been trapped in a flat with a dead body for three days.  It doesn't take DS Katie Maguire long to identify the murder victim: he's a cruel and powerful pimp she's been trying to convict for years.

It is Katie's job to catch the killer.  But with men like this dead, the city is safer - and so are the frightened young women who are trafficked into Cork.  When a second pimp is murdered, Katie must decide.  Should she do her job, or follow her conscience:  Should she allow the killer to strike again?

Taken for Dead by Graham Masterton (November 2016)

Taken for Dead by Graham Masterton (November 2016)Katie Maguire is one of Ireland's best detectives.  So why can't she catch these killers?

In a secluded cove just outside the reaches of the city of Cork, a woman wakes up into a nightmare.  She is buried in the sand, unable to escape.  The gulls wheel silently overhead.  Nobody could imagine the cruelty of her fate...

Katie Maguire of the Cork Garda is soon on the trail of a terrifying gang of torturers calling themselves the High Kings of Erin.  She'll do anything to stop them before they can claim their next victim - but somehow they are always one step ahead.

Is Detective Katie Maguire losing her touch?  Or is somebody close to her less trustworthy than they seem?

Living Death by Graham Masterton (November 2016)

Living Death by Graham Masterton (November 2016)The girl who teetered out of the doorway was exactly who they were looking for...

It's Hallowe'en, and the people of Cork are partying.  At half past two in the morning, a girl with green hair and sad eyes stumbles out of a club.  She never makes it home.

DS Katie Maguire and her team are stretched to their limit.  A gang of dognappers are terrorising the kennel owners of Cork.  The city's drug trade is at an all-time high.  And now they have a missing girl to find.

As Katie closes in on the truth, she realises that the three cases might be connected.  And that with ever second she spends investigating, the clock ticks on for the missing girl, trapped in a living death...

Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin (November 2016)

Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin (November 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4 FM 12 Nov 2016 also on podcast.

Some cases never leave you.

For John Rebus, forty years may have passed, but the death of beautiful, promiscuous Maria Turquand still preys on his mind.  Murdered in her hotel room on the night a famous rock star and his entourage were stayng there, Maria's killer has never been found.

Meanwhile, the dark heart of Edinburgh remains up for grabs.  A young pretender, Darryl Christie, may have staked his claim, but a vicious attack leaves him weakened and vulnerable, and an inquiry into a major money laundering scheme threatens his position.  Has old-time crime boss Big Ger Cafferty really given up the ghost, or is he biding his time until Edinburgh is one more ripe for the picking?

In a tale of twisted power, deep-rooted corruption and bitter rivalries, Rather Be the Devil showcases Rankin and Rebus at their unstoppable best.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly (November 2016)

The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly (November 2016)A Ruthless Kidnapping
Jack West Jr and his family are living happily on their remote farm...
...when Jack is brutally kidnapped and he awakes in an underground cell to find a masked attacker with a knife charging at him.

The Great Games
Jack, it seems, has been chosen - along with a dozen other elite soldiers - to compete in a series of deadly challenges designed to fulfil an ancient ritual.
With the fate of the Earth at stake, he will have to traverse diabolical mazes, fight cruel assassins and face unimaginable horrors that will test him like he has never been tested before.

To Hell and Back
In the process, he will discover the mysterious and powerful group of individuals behind it all: the four legendary kingdoms.
He might also discover that he is not the only hero in this place...

The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders (November 2016)

The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders (November 2016)Mrs Laetitia Rodd is the impoverished widow of an Archdeacon, living modestly in Hampstead.  She is also a private detective of the utmost discretion.  In winter 1850, her brother Frederick, a criminal barrister, introduces her to Sir James Calderstone, a wealthy industrialist who asks Mrs Rodd to investigate the background of an 'unsuitable' woman his son intends to marry.

In the guise of governess, she travels to the family seat, Wishtide, deep in the frozen Lincolnshire countryside, where she soon discovers that the Calderstones have more to hide than most.  As their secrets unfold, the case takes an unpleasant turn when a man is found dead outside a tavern.

Dickensian in its scope and characters, The Secrets of Wishtide introduces an irresistible new detective in a series that will enthral and delight.

A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas (November 2016)

A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas (November 2016)A new Inspector Adamsberg novel

A woman is found murdered in her bathtub, and the murder made to look like a suicide.  A strange symbol is found near the body.

Then a second victim is discovered, who was also part of a group of tourists on a doomed expedition to Iceland ten years earlier.

How are these deaths, and rumours of an Icelandic demon, linked to the secretive Association for the Study of the Writings of Maximilien Robespierre?  And what does the mysterious symbol signify?

All of Us and Everything by Bridget Asher (October 2016)

All of Us and Everything by Bridget Asher (October 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 29 October 2016 also on podcast

What if you learn something as an adult that makes you question your entire childhood?

This is the scenario the Rockwell sisters are face with.


Eldest child, control-freak, perfect wife and mother.  In fact, her husband has run off with his dentist and their teenage daughter is live-tweeting the entire mess to her 3,000 followers.

Middle child, fiance stealer, squatter.  Holed up in her ex-husband's apartment with her acupuncturist and a bottle of whiskey.

Youngest child, writer, runaway.  Hopes to find inspiration for her second novel by studying the behaviour of elephants - and fleeing her fiance.

One-by-one the siblings return to the family home, where an even bigger drama unfolds.  A box of old letters is delivered to the house containing the answer to the mystery they have all lived with, until now: who was their father, and why the hell did he disappear?

The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell (October 2016)

The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell (October 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 29 October also on podcast

From the day it was stolen from me I had dreamed of recapturing Bebbanburg...

Britian is in a state of uneasy peace.  Northumbria's Viking rule and Mercia's Saxons have agreed a truce.  And so England's greatest warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanberg, at last has the chance to take back the home stolen from him so many years ago, now held by his scheming cousin.

But Uhtred has made many enemies, sworn many oaths that could distract him from his ambition.  And new threats arise as Constantin of Scotland seizes an opportunity for conquest and leads his armies south.  Britian's precarious peace threatens to turn into a war of annihilation.

But Uhtred is determined that nothing will keep him from his birthright.  He is the lord of Bebbanburg and will muster the skills he has learned in a lifetime of war to make his dream come true.

Conclave by Robert Harris (October 2016)

Conclave by Robert Harris (October 2016)

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 29 October 2016 also on podcast

The Power of God.  The Ambition of Men.

The Pope is dead.

Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election.

They are holy men.  But they have ambition.  And they have rivals.

Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

The One Man by Andrew Gross (October 2016)

The One Man by Andrew Gross (October 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 29 October also on podcast

Nathan Blum is about to risk his life for one man.  One man he's never met.

Auschwitz, 1944.  Alfred Mendl's days are numbered.  But he has little left to live for - his family were torn away from him, his life's work burned in front of his eyes - until a glimmer of hope arises as he watches a game of chess.  To the guards Mendl is just another prisoner, but in fact he holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess.  The other is working hard for the Nazi war machine.

Four thousand miles away, in Washington DC, intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum decodes messages from occupied Poland.  After the Nazis murdered his family, Nathan escaped the Krakow ghetto and is determined to support his new country - and the US government knows exactly how he can.  They want to send Nathan on a mission to rescue one man from a place no one can break in to - or out of.

Even if Nathan does make it in and finds him, can they escape the most heavily guarded place on earth?

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (October 2016)

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (October 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 29 October also on podcast

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy
Susan Ryeland is looking forward to reading bestselling crime author Alan Conway's new manuscript.

Three for a Girl, Four for a Boy
However, his latest crime novel set in a sleepy English village, is not all that it may seem.

Five for Silver, Six for Gold
For within the tale hides another story.  Susan finds herself playing detective, as she wonders, is life imitating art?

Seven for a Mystery that needs to be Solved...
Editor Susan Ryeland has worked with bestselling crime writer Alan Conway for years.  Readers love his detective, Atticus Pund, a celebrated solver of crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950's.

But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems.  Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (October 2016)

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (October 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 29 October 2016 also on podcast

'If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.'  Martin Luther King Jr

'I don't want that nurse touching my baby.'  Those are the instructions from the newborn child's parents.  However, when the baby goes into cardiac arrest, Ruth, a nurse of twenty years' experience, sees no option but to assist.  But the baby dies.  And Ruth is charged with negligent homicide.

Ruth is shattered and bewildered as she tries to come to terms with her situation.  She finds different kinds of support from her sister, a fiery radical, and her teenage son, but it is to Kennedy McQuarrie, a white middle-class lawyer, to whom she entrusts her case, and her future.

As the two come to develop a truer understanding of each other's lives, they begin to doubt the beliefs they each hold most dear.  For the provileged to prosper, they come to realise, others have to suffer.  Racism takes many forms and is reinforced by the structures of our society.

In gripping dramas like Nineteen Minutes, My Sister's Keeper and The Pact, Jodi Picoult has explored the big issues of our time through characters whose lives resonate with us.  Here we see once again her unrivalled ability to immerse us in a story whose issues will linger with us long after the final page has been turned.

Holding by Graham Norton (October 2016)

Holding by Graham Norton (October 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 29 October 2016 and also on podcast

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled.

Sergeant PJ Collins hasn't always been this overweight; mother of two Brid Riordan hasn't always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn't always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke - a former love of both Brid and Evelyn - the village's dark past begins to unravel.  As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community's worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad, Holding is a masterful debut.  Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters, and explore - with searing honesty - the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford (October 2016)

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived  by Adam Rutherford (October 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 29 October 2016 and also on podcast

This is a story about you.

It is unique to you, as it is to each of the 100 billion modern humans who have ever drawn breath.  But it is also our collective story, because in every on of our genomes we each carry the history of our species - births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration and sex.

In this captivating global journey through the expanding landscape of genetics, Adam Rutherford reveals what our genes now tell us about history and what history tells us about our genes.  From Neanderthals to medieval kings, redheads to race, evolution to epigenetics, this is a demystifying and illuminating new portrait of who we are and how we came to be.

Southern Ruby by Belinda Alexandra (September 2016)

Southern Ruby by Belinda Alexandra (September 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 15 October 2016 also on podcast

In New Orleans - the city of genteel old houses and ancient oak trees covered in Spanish moss, of seductive night life, Creole culture, voodoo and jazz - two women separated by time and tragedy will find each other at last.

Amanda, orphaned as a child and suffering the loss of her beloved grandmother, has left Sydney in search of a family she never knew.

Ruby, constrained by the expectations of society and class, is carrying a lifetime of secrets.  Amanda's arrival sparks revelations long buried - a double life, a forbidden love, and a loss that cannot be forgotten.

Southern Ruby is a sweeping story of love, passion, family and honour.  Alternating in time between the 1950's and the eve of Hurrican Katrina, it is also a tribute to a city heady with mystery, music, and superstition, which has borne the tumults of race and class and the fury of nature, but has never given up hope.

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan (September 2016)

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan (September 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 17 September 2016 also on podcast

In her guise as 'Dear Amy', agony aunt for a local newspaper, Margot Lewis has dealt with all sorts of letters - but never one like this...

Dear Amy,
I've been kidnapped by a strange man.  I don't know where I am.  Please help me,
Bethan Avery

This must be a cruel hoax.  Because Bethan Avery has been missing for nearly two decades.

But as the present-day search intensifies for another missing schoolgirl, Margot is unnerved enough to take the letter to the police, hoping they will dismiss it as a sick joke.

Instead, they let Margot in on a little secret.  One that confirms her darkest fears and tangles her up in the search for the sender, which could save one young girl's life and cost Margot her own...

Closed Casket: Agatha Christie by Sophie Hannah (September 2016)

Closed Casket: Agatha Christie by Sophie Hannah (September 2016)Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 17 September 2016 also on Podcast

Following the global success of The Monogram Murders, and 100 years after Agatha Christie first imagined him, Hercule Poirot is back in Sophie Hannah's new novel Closed Casket.

Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion in Clonakilty, County Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering.  As guests arrive, Lady Playford summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will - one she intends to announce at dinner that night.  She has decided to cut off her two children with-out a penny and leaver her fortune to someone who has only weeks to live...

Among Lady Playford's guests are two men she has never met - the famous Belgian detective.  Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard.  Neither knows why he has been invited...until Poirot starts to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murderer to strike.  But why does she seem so determined to provoke, in the presence of a possible killer?

When the crime is committed in spite of Poirot's best efforts to stop it, and the victim is not who he expected it to be, will he be able to find the culprit and solve the mystery?

Home by Harlan Coben (September 2016)

Home by Harlan Coben (September 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Radio Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 1 October also on Podcast

For ten long years two boys have been missing.

Now you think you've seen one of them.

He's a young man.  And he's in trouble.

Do you approach him?  Ask him to come home with you?  And how can you be sure it's really him?

You thought your search for the truth was over.

It's only just begun.

The Safest Place in Londay by Maggie Joel (September 2016)

The Safest Place in Londay by Maggie Joel (September 2016)On a frozen January evening in 1944, Nacy Levin and her three-year-old daughter Emily, flee their impoverished East London home as an air raid siren sounds.  Not far away, Diana Meadows and her own child, three-year-old Abigail are lost in the black-out as the air raid begins.  Finding their way in the jostling crowd to the mouth of the shelter they hurry to the safety of the underground tube station.  Mrs Meadows, who has so far sat out the war in the safety of London's outer suberbs, is terrified - as much by the prospect of sheltering in an East End tube station as of experiencing a bombing raid first hand.

Far away, Diana's husband Gerald Meadows, finds himself in a tank regiment in North Africa while Nancy's husband, Joe Levin, has narrowly survived a torpedo attack in the Atlantic and is about to re-join his ship.  Both men have their own wars to fight but take comfort in the knowledge that their wives and children, at least, remain safe.

But in wartime, ordinary people can find themselves taking extreme action - risking everything to secure their own and their family's survival, even at the expense of others.

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith (September 2016)

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith (September 2016)Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 17 September 2016 also on Podcast

This is the story of Precious and Grace, known to one another and their friends as Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi, co-directors of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

For years the two women have been helping people with the problems in their lives, but their partnership is tested by a curious case: a client who wants to rediscover the life she lost when she left Botswana thirty years ago.  Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi soon find that the quest for the truth takes them in very different directions.  They are each convinced that they are on the right track - but what if they are both wrong?

Meanwhile Mma Ramotswe must extract Mr Polopetsi - part-time assistant detective - from a potential disaster wtih wide-reaching consquences, deal with a stray dog that Fanwell - the gentle mechanic - has brought into their lives, and cope with the agency's arch-enemy, Violet Sephotho.

Steeped in the heat of summer in Botswana, and packed with intrigue, this heartfelt tale of friendship under pressure reveals how coming to terms with the past may be the only way to face the future.

The Woman who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith (September 2016)

The Woman who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith (September 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 1st October and on Podcast

Mma Ramotswe is taking a break, leaving important tasks in the capable hands of Mma Makutsi, co-director of the No. 1 Ladies Detactive Agency.  But Mma Ramotswe soon finds herself interfering in cases (secretly, or so she intends).  While 'on holiday', she delves into the past of a man whose reputation is brought into question, she is called upon to rescue a small boy - and discovers Violet Sephotho's lastest underhand business endeavour: the No. 1 Ladies' Secretarial College.  Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi hires a part-time science teacher as an assistant, and suspects that her authority is being undermined.  Will Mma Ramotswe be caught out?

Out of Bounds by Val McDermid (September 2016)

Out of Bounds by Val McDermid (September 2016)Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 17 September 2016 also on Podcast

'There were a lot of things that run in families, but murder wasn't one of them...'

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car, a routine DNA test  could be the key to unlocking the mystery of a twenty-year-old murder inquiry.  Dectective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is an expert at solving the unsolvable.  So, finding the answer should be a straightforward, but it's as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another case, one that she has no business investigating.  And as she pieces together decades-old evidence, Karen discovers the most dangerous kind of secrets.  Secrets that someone is willing to kill for...

Billy Bird by Emma Neale (September 2016)

Billy Bird by Emma Neale (September 2016)Finalist New Zealand Book Awards

Liam and Iris have one son: Billy, a bright 'toddler puddling about like a penguin, leavng surrealist art installations all over the house - a tiny cow in a teapot in a hat on the doorstep, of course!  A stuffed crocidile in a silk camisole perched beside a woollen chick in a beanie on the bread-bin, why not!'

Just as they are despairing about being able to conceive another child, Jason comes into their family.  He arrives under fraught circumstances, but might just make a perfect sibling for Billy.  Jason is a 'lovely, poor, sad, unfortunate, ordinary, annoying, delightful nuisance of a ratbag of a hoot of a kid' and the boys grow close over the ensuring years.  But after a terrible accident, Billy turns into a bird.  He utterly believes it: and as his behaviour becomes increasingly worrying, Liam and Iris must find a way to stop their family flying apart.

When extracts of Billy Bird won the NZSA Peter and Dianne Beatson Fellowship, the judges said the project was 'inventive, joyful and beautifully written'.  Ripe with playfulness, yet also unforgettably poignant, this novel will unstich - and then mend - your heart several times over.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (September 2016)

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (September 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 15 October 2016 also on podcast

It is 1964: Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited and notices a heart-stoppingly beautiful woman.  When he kisses Beverly Keating, his host's wife, he sets in motion the joining of two families whose shared fate will be defined on a day seven years later.

In 1988, Franny Keating, now twenty-four, has dropped out of law school and is working as a cocktail waitress in Chicago.  When she meets the famous author Leon Posen one night at the bar, and tells him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story.

Told with equal measures of humour and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a powerful tale of a families far-reaching bonds of love and responsibility - and a mediation on inspiration, interpretation and the ownership of stories.

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (September 2016)

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (September 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 15 October 2016 also on podcast

Former Chief Inspector Gamache has been hunting killers his entire career and as the new commander of the Surete Academy, he is given the chance to combat the corruption and brutality that has been rife throughout the force.  But when a former colleague and professor of the Academy is found murdered, with a mysterious map of Three Pines in his possession, Gamache has an even tougher task ahead of him.

When suspicion turns to Gamache himself, and his possible involvement in the crime, the search for answers takes the investigation to the village of Three Pines, where a series of shattering secrets is poised to be revealed ...

The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion (September 2016)

The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion (September 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 1st October 2016 also on Podcast

I was back home, reading up on Pete Best, the Beatle's forgotten first drummer, when the email popped up in the bottom corner of my screen.
From: angelina.brown@tpg.com.au
That was it.   Hi.  After twenty-two years, twenty without any contact at all, out of the blue, Angelina Brown, my Great Lost Love, decides to change the world and writes Hi.

On the Cusp of Fifty, Adam Sharp has a loyal partner, earns a good income as an IT contractor and is the music-trivia expert at quiz nights.  It's the lifestyle he wanted, but something's missing.

Two decades ago, on the other side of the world, his part-time piano playing led him into a passionate relationship with Angelina Brown, who'd abandoned law studies to pursue her acting dream.  She gave Adam a chance to make it something more than an affair - but he didn't take it.  And now he can't shake off his nostalgia for what might have been.

Then, out of nowhere, Angelina gets in touch.  What does she want?  Does Adam dare to live dangerously?  How far will he go for a second chance?

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter (September 2016)

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter (September 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 1st October 2016

A Missing Girl.  A Hope Never Lost.  A Killier Never Found...

Twenty years ago Claire Scott's eldest sister, Julia, went missing.  It was a mystery that was never solved and it tore her family apart.

Now another girl has disappeared, with chilling echoes of the past.  And Claire is convinced that Julia's disappearance is linked.

But when she begins to learn the truth about her sister, she is confronted with a shocking discovery, and nothing will ever be the same...

In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (September 2016)

In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (September 2016)Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 1st October 2016 - available on Podcast

Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years.  Not since the day Nora walked out of her old life and never looked back.

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare's hen party arrives.  A weekend in a remote cottage - the perfect opportunity for Nora to reconnect with her best friend, to put the past behind her.

But something goes wrong.

Very wrong.

And as secrets and lies unravel, out in the dark, dark wood the past will finally catch up wtih Nora.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (September 2016)

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (September 2016)Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM 17 September 2016 also on Podcast

This was meant to be the perfect trip.

The Northern Lights.  A luxury press launch on a boutique cruise ship.  A chance for travel journalist Lo Blacklock to recover from a traumatic break-in.

Except things don't go as planned.

Woken in the night by screams, Lo rushes to her window to see a body thrown overboard from the next door cabin.  But the records show that no one ever checked in to that cabin, and no passengers are missing from the boat.

Exhausted, emotional and increasingly desperate, Lo has to face the fact that she may have made a terrible mistake.  Or she is trapped on board a boat with a murderer - and she is the sole witness...

The Last Mile by David Baldacci (August 2016)

Melvin Mars awaits his fate on Death Row.  He was on of America's most promising football stars until, aged twenty, he was arrested and convicted for the murder of his parents just as he was due to begin a very lucrative contract with the NFL.

When Amos Decker, newly appointed as a special agent with the FBI, hears the news that Melvin was saved in the final seconds before his execution because someone else confessed to the killings, he persuades his boss to allow him to carry out an investigation into the Mars murders.

There are facts about the case that don't add up and, as the investigation deepens, Decker and his team uncover layer upon layer of lies and deception rooted in a period of American history that most would rather forget, but which some seem keen to remember.

There is someone out there with a lot to hide, and a secret everyone is looking for.  A race against time ensues because, when revealed, that information threatens to tear apart to corridors of power at the very highest level.

The case proves to be life-changing for both Mars and Decker in ways that neither could ever have imagined.

Die of Shame by Mark Billingham (August 2016)

Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart north London house to talk about addiction.  There they share their deepest secrets: stories of lies, regret, and above all shame.

Then one of them is killed - and it's clear one of the circle was responsible.

Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner quickly finds her investigation hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these people and their therapist together.  So what could be shameful enough to cost someone their life?  And how do you find the truth when denial and deception are second nature to all of your suspects?

Friday On My Mind by Nicci French (August 2016)

Your ex-lover is murdered.  With no other leads the police make you their chief suspect...

When the police pull a body from the Thames, the name tag on the wrist says it's 'Dr F. Klein' and the cut throat tells them it was murder.  But appearances are deceptive - for Dr Frieda Klein was once the lover of the dead man, Sandy.  Now she's the only suspect.

Frieda can let the police take her in, or run and try to clear her name.  But that means being a fugitive.  And alone and vulnerable is exactly where Sandy's killer wants Frieda to be...

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory (August 2016)

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio - podcast available on our FaceBook page

'There is only one bond that I trust: between a woman and her sisters.  We never take our eyes off each other.  In love and in rivalry, we always think of each other.'

When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure.  With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined - with Margaret's younger sister Mary - to a sisterhood unique in all the world.  The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland and France.

United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other.  Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband, James IV of Scotland.  But Margaret's boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son.  Mary steals the widowed Margaret's proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others.

As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives as their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.

Love You Dead by Peter James (August 2016)

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM

An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life - to be beautiful and rich.  She's achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she's working hard on the second.  Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it.  Marrying is easy, it's getting rid of the husband afterwards that's harder, that takes real skill.  But hey, practice makes perfect...

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back.  But worse that all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city.  One with a venomous mind...and venomous skills.  Soon Grace comes to the frightening realization that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.

Dark Forces by Stephen Leather (August 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM

A violent South London gang will be destroyed if Dan 'Spider' Sheherd can gather enough evidence against them while posing as a ruthless hitman.  What he doesn't know is that his work as an undercover agent for MI5 is about to intersect with the biggest terrorist operation ever carried out on British soil.

Only weeks before Shepherd witnessed a highly skilled IS sniper escape from a targeted missile strike in Syria.  But never in his wildest dreams did he expect to next come across the shooter in a grimy East London flat.

Spider's going to have to proceed with extreme caution if he is to prevent the death of hundreds of people, but at the same time, when the crucial moment comes he will have to act decisively.  The clock is ticking and only he stands between us and Armageddon...

Death in Sunset Grove by Minna Lindgren (August 2016)

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

Good detectives come in all manner of guises...

Siiri and Irma are best friends and queen bees at Sunset Grove, a retirement community for those still young at heart.  With a combined age of nearly 180, Siiri and Irma are still just as inquisitive and witty as when they first met decades ago.

But when their comfortable world is upturned by a suspicious death at Sunset Grove, Siiri and Irma are shocked into doing something about it.  Determined to find out exactly what happened and why, they begin their own private investigations and form The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency.

The trouble is, beneath Sunset Grove's calm facade there is more going on than meets the eye - will Siiri and Irma discover more than they bargained for?

truly madly guilty by Liane Moriarty (August 2016)

Reviewed on Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

If Only They'd Said No...

Clementine is haunted by regret.  It was just a barbeque.  They didn't even know their hosts that well, they were friends of friends.  They could so easily have said no.

But she and her husband Sam said yes, and now they can never change what they did adn didn't do that Sunday afternoon.

Six responsible adults.  Three cute kids.  One playful dog.  It's an ordinary weekend in the suburbs.  What could possibly go wrong?

Marriage, sex, parenhood and friendship:  Liane Moriarty takes these elements of our lives and shows us how guilt can expose the fault lines in any relationship, and it is not until we appreciate the fragility of life that we can truly value what we have.

The Slaughter Man by Tony Parsons (August 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

A Murdered Family

On New Year's Day, a wealthy family is found dead in their exclusive gated community, their youngest son stolen away.

A Dying Serial Killer

The murder weapon leads Detective Max Wolfe to a killer who thirty years ago was known as the Slaughter Man.

But the Slaughter Man is now old and dying.  Can he really be back in the game?

A Missing Child

All Max knows is that he needs to find the child and stop the killer before he destroys another innocent family.

Or finds his way to Max's own front door... 

Breaking Cover by Stella Rimington (August 2016)

Back in London after a gruelling operation in Paris, Liz Carlyle has been posted to MI5's counter-espionage desk.  British relations with Russia are tense in the wake of Putin's incursions into the Ukraine.  Discovering that an elusive Russian spy has entered the UK, Liz needs to track him down before he completes his fatal mission - and plunges Britian back into a Cold War.  Meanwhile, following the revelations of Edward Snowden, the intelligence services are in the spotlight.  MI6 hires Jasminder Kapoor, a controversial civil rights lawyer, to explain the issues around privacy and security to the public.  But in this new world of shadowy motives, Jasminder must be careful about whom she trusts...

Gripping, tense and drawn from her own experience as Head of MI5, Stella Rimington's latest thriller brings the new Cold War vividly to life.

When the Music's Over by Peter Robinson (August 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio 105.4FM

In a remote countryside lane in North Yorkshire, the body of a young girl is found, bruised and beaten, having apparently been thrown from a moving vehicle.

While DI Annie Cobbot investigates the circumstances in which a 14-year-old could possibly fall victim to such a crime, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks is faced with a similar task - but the case Banks must investigate is as cold as they come.

Fifty years ago Linda Palmer was attacked by celebrity entertainer Danny Coxton, yet no investigation ever took place.  Now Coxton stands accused at the centre of a historical abuse investigation and it's Banks's first task as superintendent to find out the truth.

While Annie struggles with a controversial case threatening to cause uproar in the local community, Banks must piece together decades-old evidence, and as each steps closer to uncovering the truth, they'll unearth secrets much darker than they ever could have guessed...

Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba (August 2016)

What did it feel like to be a woman living in Paris from 1939 to 1949?

These were years of fear, power, aggression. courage, deprivation and secrets until - finally - renewal and retribution.  Even in the darkest moments of Occupation, glamour was ever present.  French women wore lipstick.  Why?

It was women who came face to face with the German conquerors on a daily basis - perhaps selling them clothes or travelling alongside them on the Metro, where a German soldier had priority over seats.  By looking at collaborators and resisters, actresses and prositutes as well as teachers and writers, Anne Sebba shows that women made life-and-death decisions every day, and, in an atmosphere where sex became currency, often did whatever they needed to survive.  Her fascinating cast includes both native Parisian women and those living in Paris temporarily: American women and Nazi wives, spies, mothers, mistresses, and fashion and jewellery designers.

Some, like the heiress Beatrice de Camondo or novelist Irene Nemirovsky, converted to Catholicism; others like lesbian racing driver Violette Morris embraced the Nazi philosophy; only a handful, like Coco Chanel, retreated to the Ritz with a German lover.

In enthralling detail Sebba explores the aftershock of the Second World War.  How did women who survived to see the Liberation of Paris come to terms with their actions and those of others?  Although politics lies at its heart, Les Parisiennes is the first in-depth account of the everyday lives of women and young girls in this most feminine of cities.

The Black Widow by Daniel Silva (August 2016)

Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon is poised to become the chief of Israel's secret intelligence service.  But on the eve of his promotion, events conspire to lure him into the field for one final operation.  ISIS has detonated a massive bomb in the Marais district of Paris, and a desperate French government wants Gabriel to eliminate the man responsible before he can strike again.

They call him Saladin...

He is a terrorist mastermind whose ambition is as grandiose as his nom de guerre, a man so elusive that even his nationality is not known.  Shielded by sophisticated encryption software, his network communicates in total secrecy, leaving the West blind to his planning - and leaving Gabriel no choice but to insert an agent into the most dangerous terrorist group the world has ever known.  She is an extraordinary young doctor as brave as she is beautiful.  At Gabriel's behest, she will post as an ISIS recruit in waiting, a ticking time bomb, a black widow out for blood.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (August 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

The Bennet sisters have been summoned from New York City.

Liz and Jane are good daughters.  They've come home to suburban Cincinnati to get their mother to stop feeding their father steak as he recovers from heart surgery.

With five sisters under the same roof, old patterns return fast.  Soon enough they are being berated for their single status and it really is too much to bear.  That is, until the Lucas family's BBQ throws them in the way of some eligible single men...

Chip Bingley is not only a charming doctor, he's a reality TV star too.  But Chip's friend, haughty neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, can barely stomach Cincinnati or its inhabitants.  As Liz is consumed by her father's medical bills, her wayward sisters and Cousin Willie trying to stick his tongue down her throat, it isn't only the local chilli that will leave a bad aftertaste.  But where there are hearts that beat and mothers that push, the mysterious course of love will resolve itself in the most entertaining and unlikely of ways.

From the hand of Curtis Sittenfeld, Pride & Prejudice is catapulted into our modern world singing out with hilarity and truth.

The Heading Dog Who Split in Half: Legends and Tall Tales from New Zealand by Michael Brown and Mat Tait (July 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

New Zealand has a rich tradition of folk legends and tall tales.  The Heading Dog Who Split in Half collects together some of the best of these, artfully adapted as graphic tales.  Together these stories conjure up the 'old, weird New Zealand': a place of phantom waka, ruined castles, romantic escapades in the early whaling days, magical sheepdogs, garantuan crayfish and more.  They uncover a New Zealand not found in the history books, a country half-familiar, half-dream where the past is made strange and new.

The Heading Dog Who Split in Half is a remarkable and compelling collaboration between writer Michael Brown and comics artist Mat Tait which will not only appeal to graphic novel fans young and old, but to aficionados of Kiwi cultural history.


Belgravia by Julian Fellowes (July 2016)

On the evening of 15 June 1815, the great and the good of British Society have gathered in Brussels at what is to become one of the most tragic parties in history - the Duchess of Richmond's ball.  For this is the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, and many of the handsome young men attending the ball will find themselves, the very next day, on the battlefield.

For Sophia Trenchard, the young and beautiful daughter of Wellington's chief supplier, this night will change everything.  But it is only twenty-five years later, when the upwardly mobile Trenchards move into the fashionable new area of Belgravia, that the true repercussions of that moment will be left.  For in this new world, where the aristocracy rub shoulders with the emerging nouveau riche, there are those who would prefer the secrets of the past to remain buried...

Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz (July 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

'Do you need my help?'

It was always the first question he asked.  They called him when they had nowhere else to turn.

As a boy he was chosen, then taken from the orphanage he called home.

Raised and trained as part of a top-secret programme, he was sent to the worse places in the world to do the things his government denied any knowledge of.

Then he broke with the programme, using everything he'd learned to disappear.  He wanted to help the desperate and deserving.

But now someone is on his tail.  Someone who has issues with his past.  Someone who knows he was once known simply as

Orphan X.

First Response by Stephen Leather (July 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

London is under siege.

Nine men in suicide vests primed to explode hold hostages in nine different locations around the city, and are ready to die for their cause.

Their mission: to force the government to release jihadist prisoners from Belmarsh Prison.

Their deadline: 6pm.  Today.

But the bombers are cleanskins, terrorists with no obvious link to any group, and who do not appear on any anti-terror watch list.  What has brought them together on this one day to act in this way?

Mo Kamran is the superintendent in charge of the Special Crime and Operations branch of the Met.  As the disaster unfolds and the SAS, armed police, and other emergency services rush to the scenes, he is tasked with preventing the biggest terrorist outrage the capital has ever known.

But nothing is what it seems.  Any only Kamran has the big picture.  Will anyone believe him?

The Waters of Eternal Youth by Donna Leon (July 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

In The Waters of Eternal Youth, the twenty-fifth instalment in the bestselling Burnetti series, our Commissario finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a crime at all.

Brunetti is investigating a cold case by request of the grand Contessa Lando-Continui, a friend of Brunetti's mother-in-law.  Fifteen years ago the Contessa's teenage granddaughter, Manuela, was found drowning in a canal.  She was rescued at the last moment, but in many ways it was too late; she suffered severe brain damage and her life was never the same again.  Once a passionate horse rider, Manuela, now aged thirty, cannot remember the accident, or her beloved horse, and lives trapped in an eternal youth.

The Contessa, unconvinced that this was an accident, implores Brunetti to find the culprit she believes was responsible for ruining Manuela's life.  Out of a mixture of curiosity, pity and a willingness to fulfil the wishes of a loving grandmother, Brunetti reopens the case.  But once he starts to investigate, Brunetti finds a murky past and a dark story at its heart.

The Waters of Eternal Youth is awash in the rhythms and concerns of contemporary Venetian life, from historical preservation, to housing, to new waves of African migrants, all circling the haunting story of a woman trapped in a perpetual childhood.

Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre (July 2016)

Sophie is haunted by the things she cannot remember - and visions from the past she will never forget.

One morning, she wakes to find that the little boy in her care is dead.

She has no memory of what happened.  And whatever the truth, her side of the story is no match for the evidence amassed against her.

Her only hiding place is in a new identity.  A new life, with a man she has met online.

But Sophie is not the only one keeping secrets...

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North (July 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

My name is Hope Arden.  I am the girl the world forgets.

It started when I was sixteen years old.

A father forgetting to drive me to school.  A mother setting the table for three, not four.  A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger.

No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit - you will never remember who I am.

That makes my life tricky.  It also makes me dangerous...

The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the tale of a girl no one remembers, yet her story will stay with you for ever.

The Teddy Bear's Ribbon & Other Tales by E.R. Nye (July 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

In this series of adventures Sherlock Holmes and his friend and chronicler Dr Watson solve not only the mystery of the homely teddy bear and it's role as courier in a spy ring but a number of other crimes.  Thus the pair shed new light on an old grave robbery in seventeenth century Sweden.

Holmes takes on an unexpected role in outwitting a con man who sees Watson as a gullible victim for a plausible swindle.  They venture into international intrigue and the shadowy world of an Italia secret society as well as solving other puzzles, such as the terrible threat of the Giant Rat of Sumatra.

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell (July 2016)

Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life.

A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex-film star given to shooting at anyone who ventures up their driveway.

He is also about to find out something about a woman he lost touch with twenty years ago and this discovery will send him off-course, far away from wife and home.  Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back?

This Must Be the Place crosses continents and time zones, giving voice to a diverse and complex cast of characters.  At its heart, it is an extraordinary portrait of a marriage, the forces that hold it together and the pressures that drive it apart.

The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts (July 2016)

The first glimpse of the sea on Marine Drive filled my heart, if not my head.  I turned away from the red shadow.  I stopped thinking of that pyramid of killers, and Sanjay's improvidence.  I stopped thinking about my own part in the madness.  And I rode, with my friends, into the end of everything.

Shantaram introduced millions of readers to a cast of unforgettable characters through Lin, an Australian fugitive, working as a passport forger for a branch of the Bombay mafia.  In The Mountain Shadow, the long-awaited sequel, Lin must find his way in a Bombay run by a different generation of mafia dons, playing by a different set of rules.

It has been two years since the events in Shantaram, and since Lin lost two people he had come to love: his father figure, Khaderbhai, and his soul mate, Karla, married to a handsome Indian media tycoon.  Lin returns from a smuggling trip to a city that seems to have changed too much, too soon.  Many of his old friends are long gone, the new mafia leadership has become entangled in increasingly violent and dangerous intrigues, and a fabled holy men challenges everything that Lin thought he'd learned about love and life.  But Lin can't leave the Island City: Karla, and a fatal promise, won't let him go.

'Roberts is brilliant at creating a sense of menace and projecting the constant tension of the escaped convict...crucially, he is also a man who loves and understands India...nearly 900 pages of pure escape'  Sunday Times

Did You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg (June 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

This book of dark secrets opens with a blaze.  On the morning of her daughter's wedding, June Reid's house goes up in flames, destroying her entire family - her present, her past and her future.  Fleeing from the carnage, stricken and alone, June finds herself in a motel room by the ocean, hundreds of miles from her Connecticut home, held captive by memories and the mistakes she has made with her only child, Lolly, and her partner, Luke.

In the turbulence of grief and gossip left in June's wake we slowly make sense of the unimaginable.  The novel is a gathering of voices, and each testimony has a new revelation about what led to the catastrophe - Luke's alienated mother Lydia, the watchful motel owners, their cleaner Cissy, the teenage pothead who lives nearby - everyone touched by the tragedy finds themselves caught in the undertow, as their secret histories finally come to light.

Lit by the clarity of understanding that true sadness brings, Did You Ever Have A Family is an elegant, unforgettable story that reveals humanity at its worst and best, through loss and love, fracture and forgiveness.  At the book's heart is the idea of family - the ones we are born with and the ones we create - and the desire, in the face of everything, to go on living.

Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler (June 2016)

Thousands of years ago, the mighty Persian King Xerxes the Great was said to have raided the Treasury at Delphi, carrying away two solid gold pillars as a tribute to his glory.

In 1800, while crossing the Pennine Alps, Napoleon Bonaparte and his army stumble across the pillars.  Unable to transport them, Napoleon creates an inscrutable map on the labels of twelve bottles of rare wine.  When Napoleon dies, the bottles disappear - and the gold pillars are lost once again.

Treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo are exploring the Great Pocomoke Swamp in Delaware when they are shocked to discover a Second World War German U-boat.  Inside, they find a bottle taken from Napoleon's 'lost cellar'.  Fascinated, the Fargos set out to find the rest of the collection.  But another connoisseur of sorts has been looking for the bottle they've just found.  Not for the wine.  He wants what the bottle may lead to.

For he is Hadeon Bondaruk - a half-Russian, half-Persian millionaire - and he claims descent from King Xerxes himself.

And the treasure will be his, no matter what...

Two Brothers by Ben Elton (June 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

Berlin, 1920

Two babies are born.
Two brothers.
United and indivisible,
sharing everything.
Twins in all but blood.

As Germany marches towards its Nazi Armageddon, the ties of family, friendship and love are tested to the very limits of endurance.  And the brothers are faced wtih an unimaginable choice...

Which one of them will survive?

Ben Elton's most personal novel to date, Two Brothers transports the reader to history's darkest hour.

Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly (June 2016)

Meet the women of Delaney Square...

Cassie has spent her married life doing everything right - making sure her children have the perfect life, being a devoted wife and a dutiful daughter-in-law.  Although it has left her so exhausted that 'wine o'clock' comes a little earlier each afternoon...

Her sister Coco runs a vintage dress shop and has shied away from commitment over the years.  Coco believes that men complicate things, until a face from her past returns...

Tucked away in her little house in Delaney Square is grandmother Pearl.  But something is keeping her awake at night.  Was she right to do what she did all those years ago?

Nightshade by Stephen Leather (June 2016)

In Jack Nightingale's world - where reality and the occult collide - sometimes the only way to fight evil is with evil.

A farmer walks into a school and shoots eight children dead before turning the gun on himself.  It's a harrowing but straightforward case - until police search the man's farm and unearth evidence of dark Satanic practices.  When the perpetrator's brother approaches Nightingale, adamant that his brother was set up, it's clear that something even more sinister lurks at the heart of the case.

And there are dark forces elsewhere.  A young girl miraculously returns to life, claiming she's spoken to those from beyond the grave.  Those in contact with her are dying hideous deaths... forcing Jack Nightingale to make the hardest decision he's ever faced.

Nightmare by Stephen Leather (June 2016)

What goes around, comes around.  Jack Nightingale learned that as a cop and discovered that it was just as true in the world of the supernatural.

His life changed forever on the day he failed to stop a young girl throwing herself to her death.  Ever since, he's been haunted by thoughts that he could have done more to save her.

Now her cries for help are louder than ever.  Is she trapped in eternal torment?  Can Nightingale put things right?  Or are the forces of darkness torturing and deceiving him in order to regain the ultimate prize - his soul?

Nightingale will have to face down the powers of the police, south London gangs, and Hell itself to find out.  And evil is closer than he thinks...

Midnight by Stephen Leather (June 2016)

Jack Nightingale found it hard enough to save lives when he was a cop.  Now he needs to save a soul - his sisters.

But to save her he has to find her and they've been separated since birth.

When everyone Jack talks to about his sister dies horribly, he realises that someone, or something, is determined to keep them apart.

If he's going to save his sister, he's going to have to do what he does best - negotiate.

But any negotiation with the forces of darkness comes at a terrible price.

And first Jack must ask himself the question: is every soul worth saving?

The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth (June 2016)

Everyone tells her she's a survivor... no-one knows she's dead inside.

I'm the only one who knows the secrets her friends have hidden, the mistakes the police have made.

I'm the only one who can warn her she's still in danger.

I know exactly who attacked her.

He's the same man who killed me.

The Bomber by Liza Marklund (June 2016)

Seven days.  Three killings.  One woman who knows too much...

Crime reporter Annika Bengtzon is woken by a phonecall in the early hours of a wintry December morning.  An explosion has ripped apart the Olympic Stadium.  And a victim has been blown to pieces.

As Annika delves into the details of the bombing and the background of the victim, there is a second explosion.

When her polce source reveals they are hot on the heels of the bomber, Annika is guaranteed an exclusive with her name on it.  But it soon becomes clear that she has uncovered too much, as she finds herself the target of a deranged serial killer...

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes (June 2016)

Reviewed Wireless Books Otago Access Radio

Whatever happened to the girl you left behind?

In 1916 French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie and goes to fight at the Front.  When her town falls into German hands, Edouard's portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant.  And as his obsession deepens, she will risk everything - her family, reputation and life - in the hope of seeing Edouard again.

Nearly a century later, Sophie's portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death.  Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting's dark and passion-torn history is revealed, the first spark of new love Liv has felt is threatened...

In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for the thing they love most - whatever the cost.

My Mother's Secret by Sheila O'Flanagan (June 2016)

When Staffie helps her two siblings organize a surprise wedding anniversary party for their parents her only worry is whether they'll be pleased.  She doesn't know this is the day her whole world will be turned upside down.

Jenny wants to celebrate her ruby anniversay with the man she loves, but for forty years she has kept a secret.  A secret that she can't bear to hide any longer.  But is it ever the right time to hurt the people closest to you?

As the entire family gathers to toast the happy couple, they're expecting a day to remember.  The trouble is, it's not going to be for the reasons they imagined...

Mistress by James Patterson & David Ellis (June 2016)

How well can you ever really know someone?

As Ben Casper watches his best friend plummet from her sixth-floor apartment balcony, he realises his life is about to change.  Diana had no reason to kill herself, she had to have been pushed.

Diana worked for the CIA, so the investigation into her death is kept tightly under wraps.  But Ben is a political journalist, and can feel that something isn't right.

Ben starts investigating for himself and soon discovers Diana was leading a double life he knew nothing about.  But when more people involved die in questionable circumstances, it's clear that someone doesn't want the truth to be uncovered.

And unless Ben drops his investigation, he could be next...

Osama by Chris Ryan (June 2016)

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

The President of the United States knows it.  The world knows it.  And SAS hero Joe Mansfield knows it.  He was on the ground in Pakistan when it happened.  He saw Seal Team 6 go in, and he saw them extract with their grisly cargo.  He was in the right place at the right time.

Or maybe, the wrong place at the wrong time.

Because now somebody wants Joe dead.  His world is violently dismantled.  His family is targeted, his reputation destroyed.  And as he learns of a devastating terror attack on both sides of the Atlantic, Joe knows this: his only chance of survival is to find out exactly what happened in Bin Laden's compound the night the Americans went in.

But an unseen, menacing power has tracks it needs to cover.  And it will stop at nothing to prevent him uncovering the sinister truth...

Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva (June 2016)

The violent death of a journalist leads agent turned art-restorer, Gabriel Allon, to Russia.  Here he finds that in terms of spycraft, the stakes are the highest they've ever been. He's playing by Moscow rules now.

It is not the grim city of Soviet times, but a modern Moscow, awash in oil wealth and bulletproof Bentleys.  A Moscow where a new generation of Stalinists is plotting to reclaim an empire lost and to challenge the global dominance of the old enemy, the United States.

One such man is Ivan Kharkov, a former KGB colonel who built a global investment empire on the rubble of the Soviet Union.  Hidden within that empire is a lucrative and deadly business.  Kharkov is an arms dealer - and he is about to deliver Russia's most sophisticated weapons to al-Qaeda.  Unless Allon can learn the time and place of the delivery, the world will see the deadliest terror attacks since 9/11 - and the clock is ticking fast.

Filled with rich prose and breathtaking turns of plot, Moscow Rules is at once superior entertainment and a searing cautionary tale about the new threats rising in the East - and Silva's finest novel yet.

The Sins of the Mother by Danielle Steel (June 2016)

After building an empire that has made her a legend in business, Olivia spends months each year planning a lavish holiday for everyone in her family to enjoy. This summer she has arranged a dream trip on a luxurious yacht in the Mediterranean, which she hopes will be the most memorable of all.  More than anything, she hopes to express her love and her regret at all the important times she missed during her children's early years. 

But her younger daughter, Cassie, a hip London music producer, refuses the invitation altogether as she does every year.  Liz, her older daughter, is preoccupied with a chance to recapture her dream of being a writer and is terrified of failure again.  And her sons John and Phillip work for her, for better or worse, with wives who wish they didn't.  Immersed in the splendour of the Riviera, this should be a summer to remmeber, but old resentments die hard, and Olivia is still running the business full-time.

As each of these individuals confronts the past and the challenges of the present and future, they also learn to accept the enduring, unconditional love of their family - and a mother who is both strong enough to take more than her fair share of the blame, and loving enough to accept them as they really are.  The question is: can they do the same for her?

The Twelve by Justin Cronin (May 2016)

The Twelve

Death Row prisoners with nightmare pasts and no future.

The Twelve

Until they were selected for a secret experiment.

The Twelve

To create something more than human.

The Twelve

Now they are the future - unless a handful of survivors can destroy them.

The Twelve

'The follow-up to the much-lauded The Passage deepens and darkens the apocalyptic events of the first book'  - Belfast Telegraph

Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson (May 2016)

It's never too late to start again. And again.

It's always awkward when five thousand krononr goes missing.  When it happens at a certain grotty hotel in south Stockholm, it's particularly awkward because the money belongs to the hitman currently staying in room seven.  Per Persson, the hotel receptionist, just wants to mind his own business, and preferably not get murdered.  Johanna Kjellander, temporarily resident in room eight, is a priest without a vocation, and, as of last week, without a parish.  But right now she has two things at her disposal: an envelope containing five fhousand kronor, and an excellent idea...

Featuring one violent killer, two shrewd business brains and many crates of Moldovan red wine.  Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All is an outrageously zany story with as many laughs as Jonasson's multimillion-copy bestseller The Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee (May 2016)

Maycomb, Alabama.  Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch - 'Scout' - returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus.  Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her.  Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt.  Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill A Mockingbird, Go Set A Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past - a journey that can be guided only by one's own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set A Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee.  Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humour and effortless precision - a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times.  It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill A Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to a classic.

The Lubetkin Legacy by Marina Lewycka (May 2016)

'Don't let them get the flat!' - these are Lily Lukashenko's dying words to her son.

North London in the twenty-first century: a place where a son will swiftly adopt an old lady and take her home to impersonate his dear, departed mother, rather than lose the council flat.

A time of golden job opportunities, though you might have to dress up as a coffee bean or intern at an undertaker's or put up with champagne and posh French dinners while your boss hits on you.

A place rich in language - whether it's Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Swahili or buxom housing officers talking managementese.

A place where husbands go absent without leave and councillors sacrifice cherry orchards at the altar of new builds.

Marina Lewycka tells a new, funny, brilliant story of life, love, death and the perils of not being George Clooney in the modern world.

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan (May 2016)

It was just a game.  It wasn't meant to be my life.

Helen and Ellie are identical twins - like two peas in a pod, everyone says.

The girls know this isn't true, though; Helen is the leader and Ellie the follower.

Until they decide to swap places: just for fun, and just for one day.

But Ellie refuses to swap back...

And so begina a nightmare from which Helen cannot wake up.


The Widow by Fiona Barton (April 2016)

The Wife

Jean Taylor's life was blissfully ordinary.  Nice house, nice husband.  Glan was all she'd ever wanted: her Prince Charming.  But then everything changed.

The Husband

The newspapers found a new name for Glen: MONSTER, they shrieked.  Jean was married to a man accused of the unimaginable.  And as the years ticked by, with no sign of the little girl he had been accused of taking, their lives were constantly splashed across the front pages.

The Widow

But now Glen is dead and she's along for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben (April 2016)

If your husband was murdered

And you were a witness

How do you explain it when he
appears on you nanny cam?

You thought you trusted him.

Now you can't even trust yourself.

Dark secrets and a terrifying hunt
for the truth lie at the heart of this
gripping new thriller.

The Steel Kiss by Jeffery Deaver (April 2016)

Smart technology is everywhere.  It makes our lives easier, our connections faster and journeys quicker.  But in the wrong hands, it can kill...

Detective Amelia Sachs is hot on the trail of a murderer, chasing him through a Brooklyn department store, when her pursuit is fatally interrupted.  An escalator gives way, forcing Sachs down into the machinery to help the man trapped in its depths...and enabling the suspect to flee.

But was it simply a freak accident?  Could the killer's presence in the store really be a coincidence?

As the body count threatens to grow, Sachs and forensic expert Lincoln Rhyme realise they are facing one of their most formidable opponents ever.  Someone able to turn the most commonplace product into murder weapon.  Someone who can kill by remote control...

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin (April 2016)

Noah is four and wants to go home.  The only trouble is, he's already there.

Janie's son is her world, and it breaks her heart that he has nightmares.  That he's terrified of water.  That he sometimes pushes her away and screams that he wants his real mother.  That it's getting worse and worse and no one seems to be able to help.

In desperation, she turns to someone who might have an answer - but it may not be one she's ready to hear.

It may also mean losing the one thing she loves more than anything.  Noah.

Making It Up as I Go Along by Marian Keyes (April 2016)

'Fabulous shoes,
my badly made stews,
an Antarctic cruise and
ten pounds to lose.

Having to schmooze when
I'd far rather snooze

Skin care and bad hair and
what should I wear?

All kinds of views, which
I hope will amuse...'

Welcome to the magnificent Making It Up as I Go Along - aka the World According to Marian Keyes - a bold, brilliant book bursting with Marian's hilarious and heartfelt observations on modern life, love and much, much else besides.

Such as? you are determined to ask.

Well, how about her guide to breaking up with your hairdresser?  Or the warning she has for us all after a particularly traumatic fling with fake tan?  There's the pure and bounteous joy of the nail varnish museum, not to mention the very best lies to tell if you find yourself on an Antarctic cruise.  She has words of advice for those fast approaching fifty.  And she's here to tell you the secret, secret truth about writers - well, this one anyway.

You'll be wincing in recognition and scratching your head in incredulity, but like Marian herself you won't be able to stop laughing at the sheer delightful absurdity that is modern life - because each and every one of us is clearly making it up as we go along.

The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis (April 2016)

Somehow she'd always known that she would end up like this.  In a small square room, in a small square flat.  In a small square box, perhaps.  Cardboard, with a sticker on the outside.  And a name...

In a freezing Edinburgh flat an old woman takes her last breath surrounded by the few objects she has accrued over a lifetime: a photograph, an emerald dress - and a Brazil nut with the Ten Commandments etched in its shell.

Meanwhile, guided by the flip of a coin, Margaret Penny escapes the disaster of her life in London and returns reluctantly to her childhood home.  Faced with relying on a resentful mother she has never really known, Margaret finds herself a job tracking down the families of those who have died neglected and alone.

Her instructions are to uncover the necessary paperwork, yet the only thing her client, Mrs Walker, left behind is a collection of peculiar objects that reveal a story of children abandoned and lost, of beguiling sisters and misplaced mothers, of thievery and the very deepest of betrayals.  A story that moves from the 1930s to the present day, in which the extraordinary circular nature of life glitters from the page.

And in attempting to uncover the astonishing tale of an old woman who died alone, Margaret might even discover her own story too...

The Summer Before The War by Helen Simonson (April 2016)

East Sussex, 1914.  It's the end of an idyllic summer and Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha in the pretty coastal town of Rye.  Casting aside the recent sabre-rattling over the Balkans, Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives, it is clear she is significantly more free thinking - and attractive - than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be.  For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape, and the colourful characters that populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end.  For despite Agatha's reassurances, the unimaginable is coming.  Soon, everything will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.

Before The War by Fay Weldon (April 2016)

A novel of Love, Death and Aristocracy in Twenties London

Consider Vivien in November 1922.  She is twenty-four, and a spinster.  She wears fashionably droopy clothes, but she is plain and - worse in those times - intelligent.

Fortunately Vivien is rich, so she can bribe somebody to marry her.  What nobody knows is that Vivien is pregnant, and will die in childbrith in just a few months...

Inventive, warm, playful and full of Weldon's trademark ironic edge, this is a spellbinding historical novel from one of the best novelists of our time.

The Gangster by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (March 2016)

The Perpetrators
It is 1906, and in New York City the Italian crime group known as the Black Hand is on a menacing spree: kidnapping, extortion, arson.

The Investigator
Detective Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Agency is hired to form a special 'Black Hand Squad', but the gangsters appear to be everywhere.  So much so that Bell begins to wonder if there are imitator mobs emerging - other criminals using the Black Hand name to further terrorize the city.

Where will it lead?
But then the murders begin, each one of a man more powerful than the last.  Bell knows that copycat or not he's facing a lethal organisation, and to his dismay their ultimate target may be the most powerful man of all.

Thursday's Child by Nicci French (March 2016)

Two crimes, generations apart...

Twenty years ago, teenager Frieda Kiein was brutally attacked in her own home.  No one believed her - not the police, not her mother, not her friends.  She left town, trained as a psychologist and never went back.

Now an old classmate has shown up.  She wants help with her daughter, who claims to have been attacked at home.  An attack eerily similar to the one on Frieda.  No one else believes the girl's story.

Now - with a school reunion in the offing - Frieda returns to the darkness she fled.  To the small town that refused to help her and which hides a terrible secret.  Because someone at the reunion knows what happened.

And they'll stop at nothing to prevent Frieda discovering the truth...

Fiind Her by Lisa Gardner (March 2016)

I escaped
My name is Flora Dane and I was kidnapped from a beach on spring break.  I spent 472 days with my captor before I was found.

I survived
I've spent the last five years trying to reacquaint myself with the rhythms of my life.  But everything is different.  I've had to learn how to protect myself in this dangerous new world.

I'm reckless
There are other predators out there and I'll do anything to stop them.  Am I a victim or a vigilante?  Detective D.D. Warren doesn't know.  Sometimes neither do I.

When another girl disappears, I know I have to Find Her, whatever it takes, even if it means putting myself in danger again...

The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham (March 2016)

In the 1950's Tilly Dunnage returns to a small Victorian town to care for her mad old mother.  The townspeople drove her away many years ago, and she became an expert dressmaker in Paris.  Now she earns her living by making them exquisite frocks, while planning revenge.

The Dressmaker, a much loved Australian story you'll never forget.  Now a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet.

Summer at Mount Hope by Rosalie Ham (March 2016)

"A quirkily engaging comedy of small-town manners.  Set on a Victorian family vineyard in 1894, it's the sort of provincial novel you might expect if Pride and Prejudice met Steele Rudd's On Our Selection...
While it's the social and romantic intrigue that carries the story, it's Ham's wickedly black humour and finely researched social observation that deliver the real joy of the book."
The Australian

"Rosalie Ham's second novel is as unforgettable and unputdownable as her first, the quirky The Dressmaker...  Ham is a gifted storyteller.  Her ideas are fresh, unusual and entertaining, and result in a marvellous story steeped in an Australia at once recognisable but also new.  There's not a cliche within cooee."
The Sun Herald

"Ham introduces an Austenesque cast of captivating characters... Summer at Mount Hope is a passionate tender story because it takes place in a world where sex is not fully described or admitted..."
Australian Book Review

The House on Cold Hill by Peter James (March 2016)

Evil isn't born it's built ...

Moving from the heart of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their twelve-year-old daughter Jade.  But when they view Cold Hill House - a huge, dilapidated Georgian mansion - Ollie is filled with excitement.  Despite the financial strain of the move, he has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child, and he sees Cold Hill House as a paradise for his animal-loving daughter, the perfect base for his web-design business and a terriffic long-term investment.  Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being separated from her friends.

Within days of moving in, it becomes apparent that the Harcourt family aren't the only residents of the house.  A friend of Jade's is the first to see the spectral woman, standing behind her as the girls talk on FaceTime.  Then there are more sightings, as well as increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house.  As the haunting becomes more malevolent and the house itself begins to turn on the Harcourts, the terrified family discover Cold Hill House's dark history, and the horrible truth of what it could mean for them ...

The Witness by Simon Kernick (March 2016)

I had a simple choice.  Stay here, and almost certainly be discovered or get up and run!

The Witness

When Jane Kinnear sees her lover being murdered, she finds herself in extreme danger.  Taken to an anonymous police safe-house, it soon becomes clear that her lover was an MI5 informant with important information about an imminent terrorist attack.

The Detective
DI Ray Mason of Counter Terrorism Command is a man with a controversial past, but his effectiveness at getting results means that he's now been given the task of preventing the attack from taking place.  But can he be trusted, and does he know more about the attack than he's letting on?

The Killer

In the safe-house, Jane is trying to piece together a description of her lover's killer.  But what she doesn't know is that the killer has already found out who she is, and where she is hiding.

And now he is coming for her

The Secret Life and Curious Death of Miss Jean Milne by Andrew Nicoll (March 2016)

A woman murdered
A crime unsolved
A mystery that has lasted a century

In the quiet seaside town of Broughty Ferry, all is not as it seems at Elmgrove, the mansion of wealthy spinster Miss Jean Milne.  When her tortured and horrifically murdered body is discovered lying in the hallway - her feet bound and her skull crushed - a killer must be found.  But nothing has been stolen, the doors and windows are all locked and there are no obvious suspects.

When Detective John Trench arrives to assist the local police, he finds a force determined to find someone - anyone - to take the blame.  And sensational newspaper headlines have the whole country in a frenzy.  But as the truth slowly begins to unravel, Trench discovers that the respectable Miss Milne has been leading a double life and that her frequent trips away from home mask an altogether different story.  Could this be the key to the mystery?

Based on a true story, this is a shocking tale of class division, money, sex, lies, betrayal and murder.  With new evidence from police files, at last the curious death of Miss Jean Milne may finally have found a solution.

Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell (February 2016)

When P.J. Wallis, creator of peachy-skinned, button-nosed good-time girl Monica (of Monica: A Girl's Guide to Being a Girl, its three sequels and four movies) was christened Pandemonia, someone must have been looking into a crystal ball.  She might have been born into faded elegance in a dilapidated mansion in the Hudson Valley, but after years of struggle, Pandy Wallis - the fabulously successful author - is cutting a swathe through Manhattan, leaving a trail of trashed pool clubs, shrieking girlfriends and empty pink-champagne bottles in her wake.  And then there are the men: if it's not movie star Doug Stone, with his chiselled jaw and megawatt smile, it's darkly glamorous celebrity chef husband Jonny Balaga, who brings some very specialised skills to Pandy's table.

But as a Monica on Top billboard as big as Bergdorf Goodman raises its head above the New York skyline, all is not well in P.J. Wallis's world.  Jonny Balaga has sunk his teeth into her earnings, her loyal agent Henry is losing patience and her soul sister, sidekick and saviour - actress SondraBeth Schnowzer (who also happens to play Monica) - has betrayed her.  Worst of all, though, P.J. Wallis has had enough of her lucrative alter ego.  Yearning to return to her roots, she dodges divorce lawyers, lighting strikes and a giant revolving Lazy Susan.  It begins to look like the only way out for Pandemonia is killing Monica - even if it kills her too.

Red Bones by Ann Cleeves (February 2016)

Sometimes the dead won't stay buried...

When an elderly woman is shot in a tragic accident, Shetland detective Jimmy Perez is called in to investigate.

The sparse landscape and the emptiness of the sea have bred a fierce and secretive people.  As Jimmy looks to the islanders for answers, he finds instead two feuding families whose envy, greed and bitterness have lasted for generations.

Then there's another death, and, as the spring weather shrouds the island in claustrophobic mists, Jimmy must dig up old secrets to stop a new killer from striking again.

The War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen (February 2016)


You've been happily married for 28 years.  You have three children, a lovely house and a husband who travels a lot.  Even after all this time, you still love each other.

One day you get a call that turns your world upside down: your husband is dead.  You are devastated.  You go to the funeral ... And come face to face with his other widow.

Another wife, another family?

It can't be true.  You are his only wife.  She is just an upstart.  She can't be his widow, too.  Or can she?

The Bitter Season by Tami Hoag (February 2016)

It was a shocking crime.

A middle-aged couple, hacked to death in their own home - with a samurai sword.  Normal people.  Who were they?  Any why were they targeted?

It was a shocking crime.  But it wasn't the first.

Twenty years ago a policeman was murdered in his own back garden and the killer was never caught.

One woman might link these mysteries.  But she is being watched.  Can Detectives Nikki Liska and Sam Kovac find her before it is too late?

In the Cold Dark Ground by Stuart MacBride (February 2016)

Sergeant Logan McRae is in trouble...

His missing person investigation has just turned up a body in the woods - naked, hands tied behind its back, and a bin-bag duct-taped over its head.  The Major investigation Team charges up from Aberdeen, under the beady eye of Logan's ex-boss Detective Chief Inspector Steel.  And, as usual, she wants him to do her job for her.

But it's not going to be easy: a new Superintendent is on her way up from the Serious Organised Crime Task Force, hell-bent on making Logan's life miserable; Professional Standards are gunning for Steel; and Wee Hamish Mowat, head of Aberdeen's criminal underbelly, is dying - leaving rival gangs from all over the UK eyeing his territory.

There's a war brewing and Logan's trapped right in the middle, whether he likes it or not.

This Essentialism by Greg McKeown (February 2016)

Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin at home or at work?

Have you ever felt both overworked and underutilised?

Do you ever feel busy but not productive?

Do you ever feel like you're constantly in motion, but never getting anywhere?

If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is becoming an Essentialist.

This is not a time-management strategy, but a systematic discipline you apply every time you are faced with a decision.  By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is essential, the pursuit of less allows us to regain control of our choices so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel (February 2016)

From the author of the international bestseller Life of Pi

In Lisbon in 1904
, a young man named Tomas discovers an old journal.  It hints at the existence of an extraordinary artefact that - if he can find it - would redefine history.  Travelling in one of Europe's earliest automobiles, he sets out in search of this strange treasure.

Thirty-five years later, a Portuguese pathologist devoted to the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie finds himself at the centre of a murder mystery of his own and drawn into the consequences of Tomas's quest.

Fifty years on, a Canadian senator takes refuge in his ancestral village in northern Portugal, grieving the loss of his beloved wife.  But he arrives with an unusual companion: a chimpanzee.  And there the century-old quest will come to an unexpected conclusion.

The High Mountains of Portugal - part quest, part ghost story, part contemporary fable - offers a haunting exploration of great love and great loss.  Filled with tenderness, humour and endless surprises, it takes the reader on a road trip through Portugal in the last century - and through the human soul.

Buried by Graham Masterton (February 2016)

Katie Maguire knows that in this part of Ireland, the past can never stay buried...

In Blarney, Cork, an old millworker's cottage guards its secrets.  In 1921, a mother, father and their two young children disappeared from this house.  And now, ninety-five years later, their mummified bodies have been discovered under the floorboards.

The neighbours cannot imagine who would have killed such a harmless family all those years ago.  But as DS Katie Maguire investigates, the flames of old family rivalries flare up once more ... and Katie is caught in the crossfire.

After You by Jojo Moyes (February 2016)

Lou Clark has lots of questions.

Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she's owned for a year doesn't feel like home.

Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for - or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered safe.

Open it and she risks everything.

But Lou once made a promise to live.  And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in...

The long awaited sequel to Me Before You

Coffin Road by Peter May (February 2016)

The Million-selling author of The Lewis Trilogy brings murder back to the outer Hebrides

A Man
stands bewildered on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris.  He cannot remember who he is.  The only clue to his identity is a folded map of a path named the Coffin Road.  He does not know where this search will take him.

A Detective from Lewis sits aboard a boat, filled with doubt.  DS George Gunn knows that a bludgeoned corpse has been discovered on a remote rock twenty miles offshore.  He does not know if he has what it takes to uncover how and why.

A Teenage Girl lies in her Edinburgh bedroom, desperate to discover the truth about her scientist father's suicide.  Two years on, Karen Fleming still cannot accept that he would wilfully abandon her.  She does not yet know his secret.

Coffin Road follows three perilous journeys towards one shocking truth - and the realisation that ignorance can kill us.

In The Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman (February 2016)

One September morning in 2008, an investment banker approaching forty, his career in collapse and his marriage unravelling, receives a surprise visitor at his West London home.  He struggles to place the dishevelled figure carrying a backpack, until he recognizes a friend from his student days, a brilliant man who disappeared years earlier under mysterious circumstances.  The friend has resurfaced to make a confession of unsettling power.

Theirs is the age old story of the bond between two men and the betrayal of one by the other.  As the friends begin to talk, and as their room becomes a world, a journey begins that is by turns exhilarating, shocking, intimate and strange.  Set against the breaking of nations and beneath the clouds of economic crisis, and moving between Kabal, New York, Oxford, London and Islamabad, In the Light of What We Know tells the story of people wrestling with unshakeable legacies of class and culture, and pushes at the great questions of love, origins, science, faith and war.

In an extraordinary feat of imagination, Zia Haider Rahman has woven the seismic upheavals of our young century into a novel of rare compassion, scope and courage.

Born in rural Bangladesh, Zia Haider Rahman was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and at Cambridge, Munich, and Yale Universities.  He has worked as an investment banker on Wall Street and as an international human-rights lawyer.

No Mortal Thing by Gerald Seymour (February 2016)

Two young men - Jago and Marcantonio - both studying business and finance:

Jago is a kid from a rough part of London who has worked hard to get a job in a bank and is now on a fast-track secondment to the Berlin office.

Marcantonio is one of the new generation in the Ndrangheta crime families from Calabria, Southern Italy.  He is in Germany to learn how to channel their illicit millions towards legitimate businesses all over Europe.

When Jago witnesses Marcantonio commit a vicious assault and the police seem uninterested, the Englishman refuses to let the matter drop.

But by pursuing the gangster to his grandfather's mountain lair, Jago is stepping into the middle of a delicate surveillance operation, which sets alarm bells ringing in Rome, London and Berlin.

It also leads him to Consolata, a young woman who sees in Jago the chance to turn her non-violent protest against the crime families into something altogether more lethal...

No Mortal Thing is a novel of relentless power and mounting suspense, a brilliant portrayal of organised crime in Europe and the under-resourced men and women who fight it.

The Blue Guitar by John Banville (December 2015)

They leave so little trace, our lost ones.

Oliver Orme used to be a painter, well known and well rewarded, but the muse has deserted him.  He is also, as he confesses, a thief; he does not steal for gain, but for the thrill of possession, the need to capture and fix the world around him.  His worst theft is Polly, the wife of his friend Marcus, with whom he has had an affair.  When the affair is discovered, Oliver hides himself away in his childhood home and from here he tells the story of a year, from one autumn to the next.

In his dazzling delineation of Oliver, John Banville has created one of the most memorable characters in recent fiction: compelling yet weak, desperate for love and yet inclined towards acts of terrible mischief.  Set in a reimagined Ireland that is both familiar and deeply unsettling, The Blue Guitar reveals a life haunted by the desire to possess and always aware of the frailty of the human heart.

King Rich by Joe Bennett (December 2015)

A love story.  Of sorts.

'At dusk he lights the candelabrum, creating an island of light in the centre of the room, animating the faces of the two dressed mannequins, glinting off the cutlery, the long array of glasses, the cellophane wrappers on the biscuits, the chocolate's silver foil.  And the margins of the room are lost in the murk, might as well not exist.  Richard smiles at the effect, at the little oasis of festivity and commemoration in a wide dark world.'

Christchurch, days after the February 2011 earthquake.  Richard hides, with a lost dog, in an abandoned, leaning hotel.  Annie returns from England, seeking a lost father in her battered home town.  Vince relives the most significant emotional experience of his life.  What binds these lives together, and what tore them apart?

The Killing Lessons by Saul Black (December 2015)

When the two strangers turn up at Rowena Cooper's isolated Colorado farmhouse, she knows instantly that it's the end of everything.  For the two haunted and driven men, on the other hand, it's just another stop on a long and bloody journey.  And they still have many miles to go, and victims to sacrifice, before their work is done.

For San Francisco homicide detective Valerie Hart, the trail of corpses - women abducted, tortured and left posed with a seemingly random series of objects - has brought her from obsession to the edge of physical and emotional destruction.  If she can't save the next victim, the darkness will take her too.

But the slaughter at the Cooper farmhouse didn't quite go according to plan.  There was a survivor, Rowena's ten-year-old daughter Nell.  Her escape is the key to the killings - and how to stop them.  Injured, half-frozen, terrified, Nell has only one place to go.  A place that could be even more terrifying than what she's running from.

Murder on the Otago Goldfields by Ashley Blair (December 2015)

The 1865 stabbing of Richard Atkinson at Waipori.

This book includes romance, tragedy, goldfield violence, the mysterious Professor Griffin, courtroom drama and a gallant mounted constable.  Although it may seem like fiction, it is all true.

When John Jones made an unprovoked attack on Richard Atkinson at the Hibernian Accommodation House, Waipori in December 1865, it started a chain of events that touched many people.  Murder on the Otago Goldfields: The 1865 Stabbing of Richard Atkinson at Waipori is the first detailed account of Waipori in the 1860s and brings the mining town, the turbulent life of the goldfields and a little known-event in Otago colonial history back to life.

Ashley Blair is a retired school principal and descendant of Richard Atkinson.

Trust by Mike Bullen (December 2015)

'Trust wasn't something you could have in degrees; it was all or nothing..'

Greg and Amanda are happy.  They've been together thirteen years and have two young daughters.  They're very much in love.

Dan and Sarah aren't so fortunate.  Their marriage is going through the motions and they're just saying together for the sake of their son.

When one bad decision sends a happy couple into turmoil and turns an unhappy couple into love's young dream, there's only one thing that can keep everything from falling apart: trust.

The debut novel from the BAFTA Award-winning writer of TV's Cold Feet: a laugh-out-loud tale of contemporary relationships, this is perfect for anyone who has ever fallen in - or out - or in again - of love.

The Case of the Imaginary Detective by Karen Joy Fowler (December 2015)

A young woman's search for the truth about her father's past...

When Rima Lanisell loses her father to cancer, her godmother Addison's Californian beach house provides a strange and fascinating refuge.  Wit's End is a place littered with miniature murder scenes - eerie doll's houses modelled on Addison's world-famous mystery novels.  It is also home to a gaggle of misfits.  There's Tilda, a New Age former alcoholic; her ne'er-do-well son Martin; and Addison herself, who was once close to Rima's father.  And lurking somewhere in their midst is the imaginary detective - Maxwell Lane - who has a spellbinding appeal for his many, obsessive fans.

As Rima comes to terms with her grief and tries to understand the relationship between Addison and her father, so she and her new housemates become involved in a mystery of their own...

Front Runner by Felix Frances (December 2015)

Jefferson Hinkley is back.

Operating as an undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, Jeff is approached by the champion jockey Dave Swinton to discuss the delicate matter of his losing races on purpose.  Little does Jeff realize that his visit to Swinton's house will result in a brutal attempt on his life.

Shortly after Jeff narrowly escapes a certain and grisly death, the charred body of Dave Swinton is found in his burnt-out car at a deserted beauty spot in Oxfordshire.  The police seem to think it's a suicide, but Jeff is not so sure.  He starts to investigate the races that Swinton could have intentionally lost, but instead soon discovers that there are those who would prevent him from doing so, at any cost.

According to YES by Dawn French (December 2015)

The Foreign Land of the Very Wealthy, otherwise known as Manhattan's Upper East Side, has its own rigid code of behaviour.  It's a code strictly adhered to by the Wilder-Bingham family.

Emotional displays - unacceptable.

Unruly behaviour - definitely not welcome.

Fun - no thanks.

This is Glenn Wilder-Bingham's kingdom.  A beautifully displayed, impeccably edited fortress of restraint.  So when Rosie Kitto, an eccentric thirty-eight-year-old primary school teacher from England, bounces into their lives with a secret sorrow and a heart as big as the city, nobody realises she hasn't read the rule book.

For the Wilder-Bingham family, whose lives begin to unravel thread by thread, the consequences are explosive.  Because after a lifetime of saying no, what happens when everyone starts saying ... yes?

City On Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (December 2015)

It's New Year's Eve, 1976, and New York is a city on the edge.  As midnight approaches, a blizzard sets in - and amidst the fireworks, another sound rings out across Central Park.  Gunshoots.  Two of them.

The search for the shooter will bring together a rich cast of New Yorkers.  From the reluctant heirs to one of the city's greatest fortunes, to a couple of Long Island kids drawn to the punk scene downtown.  From the newly arrived and enchanted, to those so sick of the city they want to burn it to the ground.  All these lives are connected to one another - and to the life that still clings to that body in the park.  Whether they know it or not, they are bound up in the same story - a story where history and revolution, love and art, crime and conspiracy are all packed into a single shell, ready to explode.

Then, on July 13th, 1977, the lights go out in New York City.

Blood Sisters by Graham Masterton (December 2015)

Katie Maguire never thought Ireland's nuns would need her protection...

In a nursing home on the outskirts of Cork, an elderly nun lies dead.  She has been suffocated.  It looks like a mercy-killing - until another sister from the same convent is found viciously murdered, floating in the Glashaboy river.

The nuns were good women, doing God's work.  Why would anyone want to kill them?  But then a child's skull is unearthed in the garden of the nuns' convent, and DS Katie Maguire discovers a fifty-year-old secret that just might lead her to the killer...if the killer doesn't find her first.

After the Flood - What the Dambusters did Next by John Nichol (December 2015)

On 17 May 1943, 133 airmen of 617 Squadron set out in nineteen Lancaster bombers to destroy the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams.  Despite catastrophic losses, the raid became an enormous propaganda triumph and the survivors were feted as heroes, some becoming celebrities of their time.

The legend of the Dambusters had been born, yet the seventy-seven men who returned from that iconic first raid, only forty-five would survive to the end of the war - so what happened next?

Famed for their specialist precision attacks, 617 Squadron would prove themselves again and again, dropping the largest bombs ever built on Hitler's prize battleship, Tirpitz, on crucial railway viaducts, secret rocket sites, U-boat construction pens and a German super-gun which would have rained 600 shells an hour on London.  From the catastrophic night-time bombing of the vital Dortmund-Ems Canal to an attack on Hitler's Eagle's Nest, After the Flood tells the thrilling and sometimes heart-breaking story of what the Dambusters did after the Dams raid.

John Nichol is a former RAF flight lieutenant whose Tornado bomber was shot down on a mission over Iraq during the first Gulf War in 1991.  He was captured and held as a prisoner of war.  He is the bestselling co-author of Tornado Down, and the author of many books including Tail-End Charlies and The Red Line.

American Blood by Ben Sanders (December 2015)

Sometimes at night he lay awake and thought of his dead...sins of others but still he'd borne witness.  Complicit.  They were still his dead.

After a botched undercover operation, ex-NYPD officer Marshall Grade is living in witness protection in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  He's a marked man: the mob wants him dead, and a contract killer known as the Dallas Man has been hired to track him down.

Seeking atonement for past wrongs, Marshall resurfaces to investigate the disappearance of a local woman.  Members of a drug ring seem to hold clues to her whereabouts, but hunting traffickers is no quiet task.  Very soon the worst elements of his former life, including the Dallas Man, are coming for him.

Rising star Ben Sanders has written a 'fast-moving thriller that leaves a trail of blood and grit across the pages' (Kirkus starred review).  Imagine a Jack Reacher-like hero dropped into the landscape of No Country for Old Men, and lock yourself in for a ride of your life.

Film rights sold to Warner Bros. with Bradley Cooper attached to star and produce.

Matakana Something is Rotten by Adam Sarafis (December 2015)

(stative) be wary, watchful, on the lookout.

When budding writer Brent Taylor dies a horrific death in the Auckland University Library, his friend, sex worker Jake Amara, refuses to believe it is suicide.  She seeks help from Sam Hallberg, a former government advisor on terrorism, now working as a mechanic.

As Sam reluctantly agrees to look into the death, a hunt for a lost manuscript leads him ever deeper into a complex case of corruption and deceit.  Meanwhile, Sam's friend, brilliant business journalist Lynette Church, embarks on an investigation of dirty political dealings with major global implications, and with ties to the Iraq War.

It soon becomes clear that something is indeed very rotten...

Beginning in New Zealand, a small, clean and green country at the end of the earth, then winding its way around the globe, this clear-sighted and tense thriller will have you on the edge of your seat.  Something is Rotten is a beautifully written morality tale with Shakespearean twists and turns.

Something is Rotten is the first book in the Matakana series.

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin (December 2015)

It is the late 1960s in Ireland.  Nora Webster is living in a small town, looking after her four children, trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband.  She is fiercely intelligent, at times difficult and impatient, at times kind, but she is trapped by her circumstances, and waiting for any chance which will lift her beyond them.

Slowly, through the gift of music and the power of friendship, she finds a glimmer of hope and a way of starting again.  As the dynamic of the family changes, she seems both fiercely self-possessed but also a figure of great moral ambiguity, making her one of the most memorable heroines in contemporary fiction.

The portrait that is painted in the years that follow is harrowing, piercingly insightful, always tender and deeply true.  Nora Webster is a novel that illuminates our own lives in a way that is rare in literature.  Its humanity and compassion forge an unforgettable reading experience.

Orphan # 8 by Kim van Alkemade (December 2015)

In 1919, four-year-old Rachel Rabinowitz is placed in the Hebrew Infant Home where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research on the children.  Dr. Solomon subjects Rachel to an experimental course of X-ray treatments that establish the doctor's reputation while risking the little girl's health.  Now it's 1954, and Rachel is a nurse in the hospice wing of the Old Hebrews Home when elderly Dr. Solomon becomes her patient.  Realizing the power she holds over the helpless doctor, Rachel embarks on a dangerous experiment of her own design.  Before the night shift ends, Rachel will be forced to choose between forgiveness and revenge.

Inspired by true events, Orphan # 8 is a powerful novel about the human capacity to harm - and to love.

A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman (December 2015)

Marvellous Ways is eighty-nine years old and has lived alone in a remote Cornish creek for nearly all her life.  Lately she's taken to spending her days sitting by the river with a telescope.  She's waiting for something - she's not sure what, but she'll know it when she sees it.

Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the Second World War.  When his promise to fulfil a dying man's last wish sees him wash up Marvellous' creek, broken in body and spirit, the old woman comes to his aid.

A Year of Marvellous Ways is a glorious, life-affirming story about the magic in everyday life and the pull of the sea, the healing powers of storytelling and sloe gin, love and death and how we carry on when grief comes snapping at our heels.

The Guilty by David Baldacci (November 2015)

When Special Agent Will Robie gets the call to make his first visit home since he was a teenager, it's because his father, the local judge, has been arrested for murdering a man who came before him in court.

The small, remote Mississippi town hasn't changed and its residents remember Robie as a wild sports star and girl magnet.  He left a lot of hearts broken, and a lot of people angry.

Will and his father, Dan, are estranged, and his mother left years ago.  When he visits Dan in jail, he finds that time hasn't healed old wounds.  There's too much bad blood between the men, and although Will feels no good will come of staying around, he is persuaded to confront his demons by fellow agent Jessica Reel.

But then another murder changes everything, and stone-cold killer Robie will finally have to come to grips with his toughest assignment of all.  His family.

A Few of the Girls by Maeve Bincy (November 2015)

Maeve Binchy's bestselling novels not only tell wonderful stories, they also show that while times change, people often remain the same: they fall in love, sometimes unsuitably; they have hopes and dreams; they have deep, long-standing friendships, and some that fall apart.  Maeve's work has included wonderfully nostalgic pieces and also sharp, often witty writing which is insightful and topical.

But at the heart of all Maeve's fiction are the people and their relationships with each other.  A Few of the Girls is a glorious collection of the very best of her writing, full of the warmth, charm and humour that has always been essentially Maeve.

Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin.  After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times.  Her first novel was published in 1982 and she went on to write many bestsellers, several of which have been adapted for cinema and television.

Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and in 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gais Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland.  She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012.

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (November 2015)

In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life.

Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen and in love for the first time, three planes fell from the sky within three months, leaving a community reeling.  Against this backdrop of actual events in the early 1950's when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, Judy Blume weaves a haunting story of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, whose lives are for ever changed in the aftermath.

The plane crashes bring some people closer together and tear others apart; they create myths and unlock secrets.  As Miri experiences the ordinary joys and pains of growing up in extraordinary circumstances, a young journalist makes his name reporting tragedy.  And through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.

Sweet Caress by William Boyd (November 2015)

The Story of a woman - The story of a century

Amory's first memory is of her father doing a handstand but it is his absences she chiefly remembers.  Her uncle Greville supplies the emotional bond she needs, and when he gives her a camera, unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future.

Over the years, Amory's search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi monde of late 1920s Berlin, New York of the 1930s, the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War, where she becomes one of the first women war photographers, collecting lovers, husbands and children, pursuing her dreams and battling her demons.

In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera lens of one unforgettable woman, Amory Clay.

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (November 2015)

A unique and vivid novel that retells the story of King David's extraordinary rise to power and fall from grace, from the Pulitzer Prize - winning author or People of the Book, Year of Wonders and March.

1000 BC.  The Second Iron Age.  The time of King David.

Anointed as the chosen one when just a young shepherd boy, David will rise to be king, grasping the throne and establishing his empire.  But his journey is a tumultuous one and the consequences of his choices will resound for generations.  In a life that arcs from obscurity to fame, he is by turn hero and traitor, glamorous young tyrant and beloved king, murderous despot and remorseful, diminished patriarch.  His wives love and fear him, his sons will betray him.  It falls to Natan, the courtier and prophet who both counsels and castigates David, to tell the truth about the path he must take.

With stunning originality, acclaimed author Geraldine Brooks offers us a compelling portrait of a morally complex hero from this strange age - part legend, part history.  Full of drama and richly drawn detail, The Secret Chord is a vivid story of faith, family, desire and power that brings David magnificently alive.

The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson (November 2015)

Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country.  The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation's heart and became the best-selling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.

Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey around Britain to see what has changed.

Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn't altogether recognize any more.  Yet, despite Britain's occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home.  And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas.

Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.

A Tattooed Heart by Deborah Challinor (November 2015)

...for the first time that day she felt herself relax, like a candle slowly melting.  She drank some more and closed her eyes...

1832: Convict girls Friday Woolfe, Sarah Morgan and Harriet Clarke have been serving their sentences in Sydney Town for three years.  Though they have lived in fear of the sinister and formidable Bella Jackson, each has begun to make a life for herself.

Then Harrie's adopted child, Charlotte, is abducted and taken to Newcastle and the girls must risk their very freedom to save her.  But is Friday up to the task?  Will the desperate battle with her own vices drive her to fail both herself and those she loves?

In this final volume of the saga about four girls transported halfway around the world, friends and family will be reunited but cherished loved ones lost, and an utterly shocking secret revealed.

The Crossing by Michael Connelly (November 2015)

Six months ago, Harry Bosch left the LAPD before they could fire him, and then hired his half-brother, the maverick defence attorney Mickey Haller to sue the department for forcing him out.  Although it wasn't the way he wanted to go, Bosch has to admit that being out of the game has its benefits.

Until Mickey asks him to help on one of his cases, and suddenly Harry is back where he belongs, right in the centre of a particularly puzzling murder mystery.  The difference is, this time Bosch is working for the defence, aiming to prevent the accused, Leland Foster, from being convicted.  And not only does the prosecution seem to have a cast-iron case, but having crossed over to 'the dark side' as his former colleagues would put it, Bosch is in danger of betraying the very principles he's lived by his whole career.

With the secret help of his former LAPD partner Lucia Soto, he turns the investigation inside the police department.  But as Bosch gets closer to discovering the truth, he makes himself a target.

Host by Robin Cook (November 2015)

From number one New York Times bestselling author and master of the medical thriller Robin Cook comes an explosive new novel.  Host takes readers back to where the genre began, with Coma, and asks a chilling question: what happens when innocent hospital patients are used as medical 'incubators' against their will?

Lynn Pierce, a fourth-year medical student at Mason Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out.  But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, is admitted to hospital for routine surgery, Lynn is devastated by his sudden death.

Convinced there's more to the story that what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn searches for answers, using all her university resources - including her initially reluctant lab partner, Edward - to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.

What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing.  Hospitals associated with Sentinel Healthcare, including the one attached to the university, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illnesses in the wake of routine surgery.

When Lynn and Edward begin to receive death threats, they know they're onto something bigger than either of them anticipated.  They must discover the truth, before the shadowy forces behind Sentinel Healthcare can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.

where my heart used to beat by Sebastian Faulks (November 2015)

'I dare do all that may become a man; who dares do more is none.'

On a small island off the south coast of France, Robert Hendricks, an English doctor who has seen the best and the worst the twentieth century had to offer, is forced to confront the events that made up his life.

His host, and antagonist, is Alexander Pereira, a man whose time is running out, but who seems to know more about his guest than Hendricks himself does.

The search for sanity takes us through the war in Italy in 1944, a passionate love that seems to hold out hope, the great days of idealistic work in the 1960s and finally - unforgettably - back into the trenches of the Western Front.

The recurring themes of Sebastian Faulk's fiction are brought together with a new stylistic brilliance as the novel casts a long, baleful light over the century we have left behind but may never fully understand.  Daring, ambitious and in the end profoundly moving, this is Faulks's most remarkable book yet.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (November 2015)

'I watched the house.  It watched me back through long, baleful windows so tall a child could stand in the sill.  And one was.  I could see the length of his thin body: gray trousers, black sweater, a maroon tie perfectly knotted at the neck.  A thicket of dark hair covering his eyes...'

A young woman is making a living faking it as a cut-price psychic (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side).  She makes a decent wage mostly be telling people what they want to hear.  But then she meets Susan Burke.

Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year-old stepson Miles.  They live in a Victorian house called Carterhook Manor.  Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home.  The young woman doesn't believe in exorcism or the supernatural.  However when she enters the house for the first time, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time...

Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry (November 2015)

Moab is my Washpot is in turns funny, shocking, tender, delicious, sad, lyrical, bruisingly frank and addictively readable.

Stephen Fry's bestselling memoir tells how, sent to a boarding school 200 miles from home at the age of seven, he survived beatings, misery, love, ecstasy, carnal violation, expulsion, imprisonment, criminal conviction, probation and catastrophe to emerge, at eighteen, ready to try and face the world in which he had always felt a stranger.

When he was fifteen, he wrote the following in a letter to himself, not to be read until he was twenty-five:

'Well I tell you now that everything I feel now, everything I am now is truer and better than anything I shall ever be.  Ever.  This is me now, the real me.  Every day that I grow away from the me that is writing this now is a betrayal and a defeat.'

Whether the real Stephen Fry is the man now living, or the extraordinary adolescent now dead, only you will be able to decide.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - J K Rowling (November 2015)

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed.  There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men.  But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them...

Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham (November 2015)

I'm not a typical lawyer.  I don't maintain a pretty office filled with mahogany and leather.  I don't belong to a big firm, prestigious or otherwise.  I don't do good works through the bar association.  I'm a lone gunman, a rogue who fights bad systems and hates injustice...

Sebastian Rudd takes the cases no one else wants: the drug-addled punk accused of murdering two little girls; a crime lord on death row; a homeowner who shot at a SWAT team.

But the Arch Swanger case may be the one that breaks him: Swanger is prime suspect in the abduction and presumed murder of 21-year-old Jiliana Kemp.  When Swanger asks Sebastian to represent him, he lets Sebastian in on a terrible secret...one that will threaten everything Sebastian holds dear.

The Lake House by Kate Morton (November 2015)

A missing child...

June 1933, and the Edevane family's country house, Loeanneth, is polished and gleaming, ready for the much-anticipated Midsummer Eve party.  Alice Edevane, sixteen years old and a budding writer, is especially excited.  Not only has she worked out the perfect twist for her novel, she's also fallen helplessly in love with someone she shouldn't have.  But by the time midnight strikes and fireworks light up the night skies, the Edevane family will have suffered a loss so great that they leave Loeanneth forever.

An abandoned house ...

Seventy years later, after a particularly troubling case, Sadie Sparrow is sent on an enforced break from her job with the Metropolitan Police.  She retreats to her beloved grandfather's cottage in Cornwall but soon finds herself at a loose end.  Until one day, Sadie stumbles upon an abandoned house surrounded by overgrown gardens and dense woods, and learns the story of a baby boy who disappeared without a trace.

An unsolved mystery ...

Meanwhile, in the attic writing room of her elegant Hampstead home, the formidable Alice Edevane, now an old lady, leads a life as neatly plotted as the bestselling detective novels she writes.  Until a young police detective starts asking questions about her family's past, seeking to resurrect the complex tangle of secrets Alice has spent her life trying to escape ...

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (November 2015)

Lou Clark knows lots of things.

She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home.  She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live.  He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now, and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour.  And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin (November 2015)

Retirement doesn't suit John Rebus.  He wasn't made for hobbies, holidays or home improvements.  Being a cop is in his blood.

So when DI Siobhan Clarke asks for his help on a case, Rebus doesn't need long to consider his options.  Clarke's been investigating the death of a senior lawyer whose body was found along with a threatening note.  On the other side of Edinburgh, Big Ger Cafferty - Rebus's long-time nemesis - has received an identical note and a bullet through his window.

Now it's up to Clarke and Rebus to connect the dots and stop a killer.  It's a game of dog eat dog - in the city, as in the wild.

Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell (November 2015)

When Carl sells a packet of slimming pills to his close friend, Stacey, inadvertently causing her death, he sets in train a sequence of catastrophic events which begins with subterfuge, extends to lies, and culminates in murder.

In Rendell's dark and atmospheric tale of psychological suspense, we encounter mistaken identity, kidnap, blackmail, and a cast of characters who are so real that we come to know them better than we know ourselves.

Infused with her distinctive blend of wry humour, acute observation and deep humanity, this is Rendell at her most memorable and best.

Hester & Harriet by Hilary Spiers (November 2015)

When widowed sisters, Hester and Harriet, move together into a comfortable cottage in a pretty English village, the only blights on their cosy landscape are their crushingly boring cousins, George and Isabelle, who are determined that the sisters will never want for company.  Including Christmas Day.

On their reluctant drive over to Christmas dinner, the sisters come across a waif-like young girl, hiding with her baby in a disused bus shelter.  Seizing upon the perfect excuse for returning to their own warm hearth, Hester and Harriet insist on bringing Daria and Milo home with them.

But with the knock at their front door the next day by a sinister stranger looking for a girl with a baby, followed quickly by their cousins' churlish fifteen-year-old son, Ben, who also appears to be seeking sanctuary, Hester and Harriet's carefully crafted peace and quiet quickly begins to fall apart.

With dark goings-on-in the village, unlooked-for-talents in Ben, and the deeper mysteries in Daria's story, Hester and Harriet find their lives turned upside down.  And, perhaps, it's exactly what they need.

The Detective's Daughter by Lesley Thomson (November 2015)

A woman follows in her father's footsteps by taking on the murder case he never solved in life.

It was the murder that shocked the nation.  Thirty years ago Kate Rokesmith went walking by the river with her young son.  She never came home.

For three decades her case file has lain, unsolved, in the corner of an attic.  Until Stella Darnell, daughter of Detective Chief Superintendent Darnell, starts to clear out her father's house after his death...

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood (October 2015)

'Dark and witty tales from the gleefully inventive Margaret Atwood.  Witty verve, imaginative inventiveness and verbal sizzle vivify every page' - Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband.  An elderly lady with Charles Bonnett syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence.  A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire, and a crime committed long ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatalite.

'Stone Mattress, a collection of nine acerbic, mischievous, gulpable short stories, addresses themes that will resonate with anyone familiar with Atwood's writing.  Atwood's gimlet eye and sharp tongue are turned on the ageing process to painfully accurate effect' - Harper's Bazaar

Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell (October 2115)

A fragile peace is about to be broken ...

Uhtred of Bebbanburg, the greatest warrior of all the English kingdoms, controls northern Mercia.  But Northmen allied to the Irish and led by the fierce warrior Ragnall Ivarson are gaining in number, and their strength could prove overwhelming.  And with Uhtred's own daughter married to Ivarson's brother, who can be trusted?

In the struggle between family and loyalty, there will be no easy path.  But a man with a warrior's courage may be able to find it.  Such a man is Uhtred, and this may be his finest hour.

Dictator by Robert Harris (October 2015)

'Laws are silent in times of war.' Cicero

There was a time when Cicero held Caesar's life in the palm of his hand.  But now Caesar is the dominant figure and Cicero's life is in ruins.

Exiled, separated from his wife and children, his possessions confiscated, his life constantly in danger, Cicero is tormented by the knowledge that he has sacrificed power for the sake of his principles.

His comeback requires wit, skill and courage - and for a brief and glorious period, the legendary orator is once more the supreme senator in Rome.

But politics is never static and no statesman, however cunning, can safeguard against the ambition and corruption of others.

Riveting and tumultuous, Dictator encompasses some of the most epic events in human history yet is also an intimate portrait of a brilliant, flawed, frequently fearful yet ultimately brave man - a hero for his time and for ours.  This is an unforgettable tour de force from a master storyteller.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (October 2015)

The extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day.

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin.  But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.

The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years.  They expect to face many hazards - some strange and other-worldly - but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

Tennison by Lynda La Plante (October 2015)

East London. 1973

Murder. Discrimination.  A city fuelled by crime and corruption...

While the notorious Kray twins are seeing out their 30-year prison sentence, a terrifying undercurrent of violent crime lies in their wake.

Fresh out of training, 22-year-old WPC Jane Tennison is thrown in at the deep end of a male-dominated, chauvinistic world.  It's a rough and tough environment.  And that's just at the station.

Jane is drawn into the dark world of murder and the devastating effects that violent crime has on a victim's family.  Investigating the tragic killing of a young woman, her emotions and commitment will be tested to the core.

In Tennison, Lynda La Plante, award-winning author and creator of the iconic television series Prime Suspect. delivers the novel that her legions of fans have been waiting for.  To fully understand the iconic character Jane Tennison became, the reader must go right back to the beginning of her story.

Palace of Tears by Julian Leatherdale (October 2015)

Angie loved Mr Fox's magnificent, absurd hotel.  In fact, it was her one true great love.  But ... today Angie was so cross, so fed up with everybody and everything, she would probably cheer if a wave of fire swept over the cliff and engulfed the Palace and all its guests.

A sweltering summer's day, January 1914: the charismatic and ruthless Adam Fox throws a lavish birthday party for his son and heir at his elegant clifftop hotel in the Blue Mountains.  Everyone is invited except Angie, the girl from the cottage next door.  The day will end in tragedy, a punishment for a family's secrets and lies.

In 2013, Fox's granddaughter, Lisa, seeks the truth about the past.  Who is this Angie her mother speaks of: 'the girl who broke all our hearts'?  Why do locals call Fox's hotel the 'palace of tears'?  Behind the grandeur and glamour of its famous guests and glittering parties, Lisa discovers a hidden history of passion and revenge, loyalty and love.

A grand piano burns in the night, a séance promises death or forgiveness, a fire rages in a snowstorm, a painter's final masterpiece inspires betrayal, a child is given away.  With twist upon twist, this lush, strange mystery withholds its shocking truth to the very end.

Camille by Pierre Lemaitre (October 2015) - CWA International Dagger Award Winner

With Nothing Else To Lose

Anne Forestier finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time when she blunders into a raid on a jeweller's on the Champs-Elysees.  Beaten beyond recognition, she is lucky to survive.  But her ordeal has only just begun.

He'll Break All The Rules

Lying helpless in her hospital bed, with her assailant still at large, Anne is in grave danger.  Just one thing gives her hope: Commandant Camille Verhoeven.

To Protect The Woman He Loves

For Verhoeven it's a case of history repeating.  He cannot lose Anne as he lost his wife Irene.  But this time he faces an adversary whose greatest strength appears to be Verhoeven's own matchless powers of intuition.

The Party Line by Sue Orr (October 2015)

An enthralling novel of individual bravery versus silent, collective complicity, set in a vividly drawn farming community in 1970's New Zealand.

The Baxters do not know their place.

On the first of June every year, sharemilkers load their trucks with their families, pets and possessions and crawl along the highways towards new farms, new lives.  They're inching towards that ultimate dream - buying their own land.

Fenward's always been lucky with its sharemilkers: grateful, grafting folk who understand what's expected of them.  Until now, when grief-stricken Ian Baxter and his precocious daughter, Gabrielle, arrive.

Nickie Walker is enchanted by the glamour and worldliness of Gabrielle.  Nickie's mother finds herself in the crossfire of a moral battle she dreads to confront.  Each has a story to share.

This is a coming-of-age story for two young girls who hold a mirror up to the place and people they love.  It's a coming-of-age story, too, for a community forced to stare back at the image of a damaged soul.

The question is: who will blink first?

Sovereign by C. J. Sansom (October 2015)

Autumn, 1541.  King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission by his rebellious subjects in York.

Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak.  As well as legal work processing local petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission for Archbishop Cranmer - to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator who is to be returned to London for interrogation.

But the murder of a York glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself.  And when Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret documents which could threaten the Tudor throne, a chain of events unfolds that will lead to Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age...

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter (October 2015)

Atlanta, 1974

As a brutal killing and a furious manhunt rock the city, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the police force will also be her last.

Kate isn't the only woman on the force who is finding things tough.  Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes.

When Maggie and Kate becomes partners, and are sidelined in the search for the city's cop killer, they decide to pursue their own line of investigation.  But are they prepared to risk everything as they venture into the city's darkest heart?

Make Me by Lee Child (September 2015)

There are weird names all over the country.  Why single out Mother's Rest, in a nation with towns called Why and Why not, and Accident and Peculiar, and Santa Claus and No Name?

Jack Reacher has no place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, so a remote railroad stop on the prairie with the curious name of Mother's Rest seems perfect for an aimless one-day stopover.

He expects to find a lonely pioneer tombstone in a sea of nearly-ripe wheat..but instead there is a woman waiting for a missing colleague,, a cryptic note about two hundred deaths, and a small town full of silent, watchful people.

Reacher's one-day stopover becomes an open-ended quest...into the heart of darkness.

Prepare to be nailed to your seat by another hair-raising heart-pounding adventure from the kick-ass master of the thriller genre!

Trust No One by Paul Cleave (September 2015)

Jerry Grey can trust no one.  Least of all himself.

Most of the world knows Jerry Grey by his crime-writing pseudonym, Henry Cutter - a name that's been keeping readers on the edge of their seats for more than a decade.  But now that he's been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of forty-nine, Jerry's career is coming to an abrupt end.

His twelve books tell stories of brutal murders committed by bad men, of a world out of balance, of victims finding the darkest forms of justice.  As his dementia continues to break down the wall between his real life and the lives of his characters, Jerry confesses his most terrible secret: the stories are real.  He committed the crimes himself.  His friends, family, and caretakers insist that it's all in his head, just a side effect of his devastating disease - but is it?

One of the most talented and trailblazing suspense writers at work today, Edgar-nominated author Paul Cleave takes us down a dark and clever path to determine the fine line between an author and his characters, between simple fact and dangerous fiction.

The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves (September 2015)

This was a new case that was different from anything Vera had ever worked on before.  Two bodies, connected but not lying together.  And nothing made her feel as alive as murder.

Life seems perfect in Valley Farm, a quiet community in Northumberland.  Then a shocking discovery shatters the dream.  The owners of a local country estate have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist named Patrick, to look after the place while they're away.  But Patrick is found dead by the side of the lane leading into the valley - a lonely place to die.

DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, with her detectives Holly and Joe.  When they look around the attic of the big house - where Patrick had a flat - Vera finds the body of a second man.  All the two victims have in common is a fascination with moths - and with catching these beautiful intriguing creatures.

The others who live in the Valley Farm development have secrets too: Lorraine's calm demeanour belies a more complex personality; Annie and Sam's daughter, Lizzie, is due to be released from prison; and Nigel watches, silently, every day, from his window.  As Vera is drawn into the community, she realizes that the secrets trapped here may be deadly...

Damage by Felix Francis (September 2015)

Jeff Hinkley works as an undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority.  Mostly, it's just a case of exposing a horse-doping scandal or uncovering a few suspicious bets.  But when the banned trainer Jeff's been following murders a bookie in cold blood right before his very eyes everything changes...

With both the police and Jeff's bosses demanding answers, the situation escalates rapidly.  He soon learns that entire race meetings have been filled with drugged horses.  Worse still, the perpetrator vows he will not stop until horseracing is ruined - unless he's paid a king's ransom.

Jeff, using all his contacts and undercover skills, must discover who is behind it.  On the line are his reputation and career - and soon his life.

The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory (September 2015)

Why would a woman marry a serial killer?  Because she cannot refuse...

Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives - King Henry VIII - commands her to marry him.

Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year.  But Henry adores his new bride and Kateryn's trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as Regent.

But is this enough to keep her safe?  A leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn stands out as an independent woman with a mind of her own.  But she cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry's dangerous gaze turns on her.  The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy - the punishment is death by fire and the king's name is on the warrant...

From an author who has described all of Henry's queens comes a deeply intimate portrayal of the last: a woman who longed for passion, power and education at the court of a medieval killer.

Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz (September 2015)

007 Bond is back in a thrilling new novel.

Featuring the return of ...
Pussy Galore
Miss Moneypenny
and Bond's old adversary
Jeopardy Lane
a girl like no other Bond has encountered.

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz (September 2015)

Continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series

Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist have not been in touch for some time.

Then Blomkvist is contacted by renowned Swedish scientist Professor Balder.  Warned that his life is in danger, but more concerned for his son's well-being, Balder wants Millennium to publish his story - and it is a terrifying one.

More interesting to Blomkvist than Balder's world-leading advances in Artificial Intelligence is his connection with a certain female superhacker.

It seems that Salander, like Balder, is a target of ruthless cyber gangsters - and a violent criminal conspiracy that will very soon bring terror to the snowbound streets of Stockholm, to the Millennium team, and to Blomkvist and Salander themselves.

Black Ops by Stephen Leather (September 2015)

Spider Shepherd's MI5 controller, Charlie Button, has gone rogue, using government resources to get revenge on the man who killed her husband.  Spider is told to betray her.  Worse, he's asked to cooperate with his nemesis at MI6, Jeremy Willoughby-Brown, in taking Charlie down.  And he will have to cross the assassin, Lex Harper, currently on the trail of two Irish terrorists, who may be able to implicate his boss.

Meanwhile, another high profile mission is about to engulf Spider.  President Vladimir Putin is about to visit the UK and a father who lost his son on the downed Malaysian plane over Ukraine holds Putin directly responsible for his death and wants revenge.  Along with everything else, it's down to Spider to stop the assassination of a head of state on British soil.

Falling in Love by Donna Leon (September 2015)

In Death at La Fenice, Donna Leon's first novel in the Commissario Brunetti series, readers were introduced to the glamorous and cut-throat world of opera and to one of Italy's finest living sopranos, Flavia Petrelli - then a suspect in the poisoning of a renowned German conductor.  Now, many years after Brunetti cleared her name, Flavia has returned to the illustrious La Fenice to sing the lead in Tosca.

As an opera superstar, Flavia is well acquainted with attention from adoring fans and aspiring singers.  But when one anonymous admirer inundates her with bouquets of yellow roses - on stage, in her dressing room and even inside her locked apartment - it becomes clear that this fan has become a potentially dangerous stalker.  Distraught, Flavia turns to an old friend for help.  Familiar with Flavia's melodramatic temperament, Commissario Brunetti is at first unperturbed by her story, but when another young opera singer is attacked, he begins to think Flavia's fears may be justified.  In order to keep his friend out of danger, Brunetti must enter the psyche of an obsessive fan and find the culprit before anyone comes to harm.

Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid (September 2015)

'That day, waiting had been almost unbearable.  He wanted something more spectacular, something that couldn't be ignored.  These deaths needed to make a mark...'

Psychological profiler Tony Hill is trained to see patterns, to decode the mysteries of human behaviour, and when he comes across a series of suicides among women tormented by vicious online predators, he begins to wonder if there is more to these tragedies than meets the eye.  Similar circumstances, different deaths.  Could it be murder?  But what kind of serial killer wants his crimes to stay hidden?

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (September 2015)

Hardly a day goes by when nine-year-old Laurent Lepage doesn't cry wolf.  His boundless sense of adventure and vivid imagination mean he has a tendency to concoct stories so extraordinary and so far-fetched that no one can possibly believe him.

But when Laurent disappears, former Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true.

So begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth.  And what Gamache uncovers deep in the forest leads back to crimes of the past, betrayal and murder, with more sinister consequences than anyone could have possibly imagined...

The Farm by Tom Rob Smith (September 2015)

If you refuse to believe me, I will no longer consider you my son...

Daniel thought that his parents were safely in Sweden, enjoying a peaceful retirement on their remote farm.  With a single phone call, everything changes.

 Your mother...she's not well, his father tells him.  She's been imagining things - terrible, terrible things.

In fact, his mother has been committed to a mental hospital.

Then she calls Daniel: Everything that man has told you is a lie.  I'm not mad...I need the police...

Whom should he believe, whom should he trust?  Daniel becomes his mother's unwilling judge and jury as she presents him with an urgent tale of secrets, lies, and a crime and conspiracy that implicates his own father.  It is for him to examine the evidence and decide for himself: who is telling the truth?

Revelation by C.J. Sansom (September 2015)

Spring, 1543

King Henry VIII is wooing Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife.  Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies.

Matthew Shardlake, meanwhile, is working on the case of a teenage boy who has been placed in the Bedlam insane asylum, and fears that the boy's terrifying religious mania could lead to him being burned as a heretic.

When an old friend is horrifically murdered, Shardlake promises his widow that he will bring the killer to justice.  His search leads him to Cranmer and Catherine Parr - and to the dark prophecies of the Book of Revelation.

As London's Bishop Bonner prepares a purge of Protestants, Shardlake, together with Jack Barak and his physician friend, Guy Malton, investigates a series of horrific murders which soon bring talk of witchcraft and demonic possession - for what else would the Tudor mind make of a serial killer..?

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (September 2015)

'It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon...'

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that summer's day in 1959.  The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

From that porch we spool back through the generations, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family.  From Red's father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920's, to Abby and Red's grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century - four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their home...

Ghost Girl by Lesley Thomson (September 2015)

A year after her father's death, the detective's daughter inherits a strange new case.

Terry Darnell was a detective with Hammersmith police.  Now his daughter Stella has found a folder of photographs hidden in his cellar.  Why did he take so many pictures of deserted London streets?

Stella is determined to find out.

One photo dates from 1966, to a day when a little girl, just ten years old, witnessed something that would haunt her forever.  As Stella grows obsessed with uncovering the truth, the events of that day begin to haunt her too...

Dog Will Have His Day by Fred Vargas (September 2015)

Keeping watch under the windows of the Paris flat belonging to a politician's nephew, ex-special investigator Louis Kehlweiler catches sight of something odd on the pavement.

A tiny piece of bone.

Human bone, in fact.

When Kehlweiler takes his find to the nearest police station, he faces ridicule.  Obsessed by the fragment, he follows the trail to the tiny Breton fishing village of Port-Nicolas - in search of a dog.  But when he recruits 'evangelists' Marc and Mathias to help, they find themselves facing even bigger game.

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch (August 2015)

When two young girls go missing in rural Herefordshire PC Peter Grant is sent out of London to check that nothing supernatural is involved.  It's purely routine, Nightingale thinks he'll be done in less than a day.

But Peter's never been one to walk away from someone in trouble, so when nothing overtly magical turns up he volunteers his services to the local police who need all the help they can get.

But because the universe likes a joke as much as the next sadistic megalomaniac, Peter soon comes to realise that dark secrets underlay the picturesque fields and villages of the countryside and there might just be work for Britain's most junior wizard after all.

Soon he's in a vicious race against time in a world where the boundaries between reality and fairy have never been less clear!

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald (August 2015)

'There's always a person for every book.  And a book for every person.'

Sara is 28 and has never been outside Sweden - except in the (many) books she reads.  When her elderly penfriend Amy invites her to come and visit her in Broken Wheel, Iowa, Sara decides it's time.  But when she arrives, there's a twist waiting for her - Amy has died.  Finding herself utterly alone in a dead woman's house in the middle of nowhere was not the holiday Sara had in mind.

But Sara discovers she is not exactly alone.  For here in this town so broken it's almost beyond repair are all the people she's come to know through Amy's letters: poor George, fierce Grace, buttoned-up Caroline and Amy's guarded nephew Tom.

Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too.  In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop.

The Green Road by Anne Enright (August 2015)

A darkly glinting novel set on Ireland's Atlantic coast, The Green Road is a story of fracture and family, selfishness and compassion - a book about the gaps in the human heart and how we learn to fill them.

The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined, in Dublin, New York and various third-world towns.  In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she's decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds.  Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.

Anne Enright is addicted to the truth of things.  Sentence by sentence, there are few writers alive who can invest the language with such torque and gleam, such wit and longing - who can show us the million splinters of her characters' lives then pull them back up together again, into a perfect glass.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (August 2015)

You can run from your past, but the truth will always find you.

Ani FaNelli is the woman you love to hate.  The woman who has it all.  But behind the meticulously crafted persona lies the darkest of pasts.

When a documentary producer invites Ani to tell her side of the chilling and violent incident that took place when she was a teenager, she hopes it will be an opportunity to prove how far she's come since then.  She'll even let the production company film her wedding to the wealthy Luke Harrison, the final step in her transformation.

But as the wedding and filming converge, Ani's immaculate façade begins to crack, and she soon realizes that there's always a price to pay for perfection.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan (August 2015) - An Athenaeum Book Club pick

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court.  She is renowned for her fierce intelligence exactitude and sensitivity.  But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife.  There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now her marriage of thirty years is in crisis.

At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes.  Time is running out.  Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith?  In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital - an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy.  Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.

No Cure for Love by Peter Robinson (August 2015)

He's watching her on TV.  He's watching her in real life.

In 1990's Hollywood, the beautiful star of a hit TV cop show is being sent strange letters.

At first, Sarah Broughton dismisses the letters as the ramblings of a lonely fan.  But when the letters take on a disturbing tone and Sarah discovers a body in the sand outside her Malibu beach house, the experts are brought in.

Working as a detective in the LAPD Threat Management Unit, Arvo Hughes has seen it all before: stalkers, love obsessionals, erotomaniacs - willing to kill themselves and their supposed love objects over their devotion.  He knows the language they use and the patterns they follow.

But there is no pattern to follow here.  Dealing with a highly unpredictable but extremely violent killer, Arvo feels certain Sarah's stalker must have met her before.  And with the squeaky-clean star doing all she can to keep memories of a shady history locked away, Arvo must delve into her past himself.

Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham (August 2015)

I close my eyes and feel my heart begin racing.  Someone is coming.  They're going to find me.

A mother and her teenage daughter are found murdered in a remote farmhouse, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other left lying like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her prince.  Reluctantly, clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, calling himself 'the Mindhunter', jeopardises the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger.

With no shortage of suspects, and tempers beginning to fray, Joe discovers links between these murders to a series of brutal attacks where the victims have been choked unconscious and had the letter 'A' carved into their foreheads.

As the case becomes ever more complex, Joe's fate, and the fate of those closest to him, become intertwined with a merciless, unpredictable killer ...

The pulse-pounding new thriller from Michael Robotham, one of the greatest crime authors writing today.

The Chimes by Anna Smaill (August 2015)

A boy stands by the roadside on his way to London, alone in the rain.

No memories, beyond what he can hold in his hands at any given moment.

No directions, as written words have long since been forbidden.

No parents - just a melody that tugs at him, a thread to follow.  A song that says if he can just get to the capital, he may find some answers about what happened to them.

The world around Simon sings, each movement a pulse of rhythm, each object weaving its own melody, music ringing in every drop of air.

Welcome to the world of The Chimes.  Here, life is orchestrated by a vast musical instrument that renders people unable to form new memories.  The past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is blasphemy.

But slowly, inexplicably, Simon is beginning to remember.  He emerges from sleep each morning with a pricking feeling, a sense there is something he urgently has to do.  In the city Simon meets Lucien, who has a gift for hearing, some secrets of his own, and a theory about the danger lurking in Simon's past.

A stunning debut composed of memory, music, love and freedom, The Chimes pulls you into a world that will captivate, enthral and inspire.

The Dust That Falls From Dreams by Louis de Bernieres (July 2015)

In the brief golden years of King Edward VII's reign, Rosie McCosh and her three very different sisters are growing up in an eccentric household in Kent, with their neighbours the Pitt boys on one side and the Pendennis boys on the other.  But their days of childhood adventure are shadowed by the approach of war that will engulf them on the cusp of adulthood.

When the boys end up scattered along the Western Front, Rosie faces the challenges of life for those left behind.  Confused by her love for two young men - one an infantry soldier and one a flying ace - she has to navigate her way through extraordinary times.  Can she, and her sisters, build new lives out of the opportunities and devastations that follow the Great War?

Louis de Bernieres' magnificent and moving novel follows the lives of an unforgettable cast of characters as they strike out to seek what happiness can be built from the ruins of the old world.

The Villa at the Edge of the Empire by Fiona Farrell (July 2015)

Where are we?  How did we get here?  Where do we go now?

From nineteenth-century attempts to create Utopias to America's rustbelt, from Darwin's study of worms to China's phantom cities, this work ranges widely through history and around the world.  It examines the evolution of cities and of Christchurch in particular, looking at its swampy origins and its ongoing reconstruction following the recent destructive earthquakes.  And it takes us to L'Aquila in Italy to observe another shaken city.

Farrell writes as a resident caught up in a devastated city in an era when political ideology has transformed the citizen to 'an asset, the raw material on which ... empire makes its profit'.  In a hundred tiny pieces, she comments on contentious issues, such as the fate of a cathedral, the closure of schools, the role of insurers, the plans for civic venues.  Through personal observation, conversations with friends, and close readings of everything from the daily newspaper to records of other upheavals in Pompeii and Berlin, this dazzling book explores community, the love of place and, ultimately, regeneration and renewal.

Sister Noon by Karen Joy Fowler (July 2015)

Words were invented so that lies could be told.

San Francisco in the 1890's is a town of contradictions, home to a respectable middle class, but with the Wild West lingering in the imagination - and the behaviour - of some residents.  Lizzie Hayes spends her days fundraising for the Ladies' Relief and Protection Society's home for children, but her dull life is about to be shaken up.  The mysterious and powerful Mrs Pleasant appears at the orphanage one day with a child in tow, providing the spark that is Lizzie's liberation.  With all of the wit, style and insight of Fowler's hit We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, the beguilingly different Sister Noon will surprise and delight readers.

The Ends of the Earth by Robert Goddard (July 2015)

July 1919.  Ex-flying ace James 'Max' Maxted's attempt to uncover the secret behind the death of his father, Sir Henry Maxted, murdered while serving as an adviser with the British delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, has seemingly ended in failure - and his own death.

The trail he had uncovered leads to Japan and a mysterious prisoner held by Sir Henry Maxted's old enemy, Count Tomura.  Unaware of Max's fate, the team he has recruited to finish the job are already in Japan where their paths cross that of former German spymaster, Fritz Lemmer, now rebuilding his spy network in the service of a new, more sinister cause.

In the days and weeks ahead, the quest Max embarked on in Paris will reach its dizzying end at Tomura's castle in the mountains of Honshu - and the full truth of what occurred thirty years before will finally be laid bare.

Chappy by Patricia Grace (July 2015)

A literary milestone.  Patricia Grace's first novel in ten years.

Uprooted from his privileged European life and sent to New Zealand to sort himself out, twenty-one-year-old Daniel pieces together the history of his Maori family.  As his relatives revisit their past, Daniel learns of a remarkable love story between his Maori grandmother Oriwia and his Japanese grandfather Chappy.  The more Daniel hears about his deceased grandfather, the more intriguing - and elusive - Chappy becomes.

In this touching portrayal of family life, acclaimed writer Patricia Grace explores racial intolerance, cross-cultural conflicts and the universal desire to belong.  Spanning several decades and several continents and set against the backdrop of a changing New Zealand, Chappy is a compelling story of enduring love.

One Life: My Mother's Story by Kate Grenville (July 2015)

When Kate Grenville's mother died she left behind many fragments of memoir.  These were the starting point for One Life, the story of Nance Russell, a woman whose life spanned a century of tumult and change.

In some ways Nance's story echoes that of countless mothers and grandmothers, for whom the spectacular shifts of the twentieth century offered a path to new freedoms and choices.  In other ways Nance was exceptional.  In an era when women were expected to have no ambitions beyond the domestic, she ran successful businesses as a registered pharmacist, laid the bricks for the family home, and discovered her husband's secret life as a revolutionary.

One Life is an act of great imaginative sympathy, a daughter's intimate account of the patterns in her mother's life.  It is a deeply moving homage by one of Australia's finest writers.

Starlight Peninsula by Charlotte Grimshaw (July 2015)

Eloise Hay lives on the Starlight Peninsula.  Every weekday she travels into the city to work at Q TV Studio.  One night she receives a phone call that will change her life forever.

Thrown into the turmoil of a sudden marriage break-up, Eloise begins to perceive that a layer of the world has been hidden from her.  Seeking answers, she revisits a traumatic episode from her past, and in doing so encounters an odd-eyed policewoman, a charismatic obstetrician, a German psychotherapist, and a flamboyant internet pirate wanted by the United States Government.  Each of these characters will reveal something about the life of Eloise Hay, answering questions that she hasn't, until now, had the courage to ask.

Tracing the lines that run through our society, from the interior life of one lonely young woman to the top tier of influence in the country, Charlotte Grimshaw's powerful novel demonstrates how little separates us and how close we really are: rich and poor, famous and hidden, virtuous and criminal. 

The Lying-Down Room by Anna Jaquiery (July 2015)

Paris.  In the stifling August heat, Commandant Serge Morel is called to a disturbing crime scene.  An elderly woman has been murdered.

At first, this strange case seems to offer few clues; but as more victims are targeted, Morel finds his enquiries leading him back into the past, from the French countryside to Soviet Russia - and to two young boys with the most haunting of stories to tell ...

An evocative, gripping crime novel with an aching heart: The Lying-Down Room is the first novel in Anna Jaquiery's Commandant Morel series.

World Gone By by Dennis Lehane (July 2015)

Joe Coughlin is untouchable.  Once one of America's most feared and prominent gangsters, he now moves effortlessly between the social elite, politicians, police and the mob.  He has everything he could possibly want: money, power, a beautiful mistress and anonymity.

But in a town that runs on corruption, vengeance and greed, success can't protect Joe from the dark truth of his past - and ultimately, the wages of a lifetime of sin will finally be paid in full ...

Chilling, heart-breaking and gripping, this is the most complex and powerful novel to date from Dennis Lehane, writer on The Wire and author of modern classics such as Shutter Island, Gone, Baby, Gone and The Given Day

Hush Hush by Laura Lippman (July 2015)

On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car.  Found not guilty of her death by reason of criminal insanity, Melisandre left the country, her husband and her two surviving children, determined to start over.

Ten years later she returns to Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and plans to film the reunion for a documentary.  The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex isn't sure he approves.

Now that's she's a mother herself - short on time and patience - Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child.  But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre's lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess her security needs.

As Tess' doubts about Melisandre grow, she realizes that she's not the only one under scrutiny, as someone seems to be following her, leaving disturbing notes whenever she goes ...

The Antipopdeans by Greg McGee (July 2015)

The Antipodeans is a novel of epic proportions, in which families from opposite ends of the earth discover an intergenerational legacy of love, blood and betrayal.

An ailing New Zealander returns to Venice, determined to confront his past.  He's accompanied by his daughter who is escaping hers. 

The Antipodeans spans three generations of New Zealand, from the assassination of a Gestapo commander in the last days of Italian resistance during World War II, to contemporary real estate shenanigans in Auckland, from political assassination in the darkest days of the Red Brigade to the vaulting cosmology of particle physics. 

Something to Hide by Deborah Moggach (July 2015)

'Nobody in the world knows our secret ... that I've ruined Bev's life, and she's ruined mine.'

Petra's romantic life has always been a car-crash, and even in her sixties she's still capable of getting it disastrously wrong.  But then she falls in love with Jeremy , an old chum, visiting from abroad.  The fatal catch?  Jeremy is her best friend's husband.

But just as Petra is beginning to relax into her happy ever after, she finds herself catapulted to West Africa, and to Bev, her best friend who she's been betraying so spectacularly.  Meanwhile, on opposite sides of the world, two other women are also struggling with the weight of betrayal: Texan Larrie is about to embark on the biggest deception of her life, and in China Li-Jing is trying to understand exactly what it is her husband does on his West African business trips...

It turns out that no matter where you are in the world, everyone has something to hide.  Can Bev - can anyone - be trusted?

One Summer in Venice by Nicky Pellegrino (July 2015)

What are the ten things that make you happy?

When Addolorata Martinelli lands in Venice, alone in one of the world's most romantic cities, she sets herself a challenge.  One list, ten secrets to happiness.

The problem is Addolorata knows her list should be full already.  She has everything she thought she wanted - her own restaurant, a husband, a child - back home in London.  But lately it's all been threatening to fall apart at the seams.  Now, with no one to accompany her, she hopes Venice will help her find the answers.

Wandering the tangled maze of streets and canals, an outsider in a place of beauty and mystery, passion and stories, Addolorata must work out what happened to the person she used to be.  With the help of food, music and some accidental new friends, she realises her list has more than a few surprises.  And when she finishes, will there be room for her life in London - or is happiness always just beyond the horizon?

The Graet Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly (July 2015)

It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years.  They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed.

Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed.  A small group of VIPs and journalist are invited to see its fabulous creatures for the first time.

Among them is Dr Cassandra Jane 'CJ' Cameron, an expert on reptiles.

The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they are perfectly safe, that nothing can go wrong.

Of course it can't ...

The English Spy by Daniel Silva (July 2015)

The Target is Royal
The Game is Revenge

She is an iconic member of the British Royal Family, beloved for her beauty and charitable works, resented by her former husband and his mother, the Queen of England.  When a bomb explodes aboard her holiday yacht, British intelligence turns to one man to track down her killer: legendary spy and assassin Gabriel Allon.

Gabriel's target is Eamon Quinn, a master bomb maker and mercenary of death who sells his services to the highest bidder.  Fortunately Gabriel does not pursue him alone: at his side is Christopher Keller, a British commando turned professional assassin who knows Quinn's murderous handiwork all too well.

And though Gabriel does not realize it, he is stalking an old enemy - a cabal of evil that wants nothing more than to see him dead.  Gabriel will find it necessary to oblige them, for when a man is out for vengeance, death has its distinct advantages...

Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch (June 2015)

It was clear to DC Grant that it was no heart attack that had killed jazz saxophonist Cyrus Wilkinson.  Someone, or something, is stalking the streets of Soho - drawn to that special gift that separates the great musicians from the rest.

As Grant follows the evidence deep into the back streets of London-town his investigation quickly gets tangled up in another story: that of brilliant trumpet player, Richard 'Lord' Grant.  Who also happens to be Grant's father.

That's the thing about policing: most of the time you're doing it to maintain public order.  Occasionally you're doing it for justice.  And, maybe once in a career, you're doing it for revenge.

Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch (June 2015)

'Come Monday I get to do some proper policing.  Person Unknown has been stabbed to death on the tracks at Baker Street tube.  Magic may have been involved.'

Person Unknown turns out to be the son of a US senator and before you can say 'International incident', FBI agent Kimberly Reynolds is on DC Grant's case.

And down in the dark, in the tunnels of London's Underground, the buried rivers, the Victorian sewers, there are whispers of vengeance from beyond the grave.

DC Grant's latest case is about to come off the rails...

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch (June 2015)

A mutilated body in Crawley.  Another killer on the loose.  The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man?  Or just a common or garden serial killer?

Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load.

So far so London.

But then Peter get word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate.

Is there a connection?  And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River?

Memory Man by David Baldacci (June 2015)

Amos Decker would forever remember all three of their violent deaths in the most paralyzing shade of blue.  It would cut into him at unpredictable moments, like a gutting knife made of coloured light.  He would never be free from it.

When Amos Decker returned home sixteen months ago to find the bodies of his wife and only daughter, he didn't think he could carry on living.  Overwhelmed with grief, he saw his life spiral out of control, losing his job as a detective, his house and his self-respect.  But when his former partner in the police.  Mary Lancaster, visits to tell him that someone has confessed to the murder of his family, he knows he owes it to his wife and child to seek justice for them.

As Decker comes to terms with the news, tragedy strikes at the local school.  Teenagers are gunned down, and the killer is at large.  Following the serious brain injury Amos suffered as a professional footballer, he gained a remarkable gift - and the police believe that his unusual skills will assist in the hunt for the killer.

Amos must endure the memories he would rather forget, and when new evidence links the murders, he is left with only one option.

Memory Man will stay with you long after the turn of the final page.

The Stranger by Harlan Coben (June 2015)

The Stranger appears out of nowhere.  His identity is unknown.  His motives are unclear.  His information is undeniable.  Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream - a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger.  When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corrine, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears.  Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corrine's deception, and realises that if he doesn't make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he's stumbled into will not only ruin lives - it will end them.

Solitude Creek by Jeffery Deaver (June 2015)

One mistake is all it takes.

Busted back to rookie after losing her gun in an interrogation gone bad, California Bureau of Investigation Agent Kathryn Dance finds herself making routine insurance checks after a roadhouse fire.

But Dance is a highly trained expert in body language: her most deadly weapon is her instinct, and they can't take that away from her.

And when the evidence at the club points to something more than a tragic accident, she isn't going to let protocol stop her doing everything in her power to take down the perp.

Someone out there is using the panic of crowds to kill, and Dance must find out who, before he strikes again...

Blueprints by Barbara Delinsky (June 2015)

A deeply moving tale of a mother and daughter, Blueprints explores how two strong women survive as their worlds fall apart...

Jamie MacAfee's life is almost perfect.  She's sure she loves her fiancé, even if she hasn't quite worked out why she won't set a wedding date.  She certainly adores her job, working as an architect on her family's home renovation show.  Meanwhile, her beloved mother Caroline has built up her confidence after a painful divorce, working as the very successful host of the show.  Everything is going to plan... and then the lives of both women are changed overnight.

When the TV network plans to replace Caroline with Jamie as the show's host, Caroline is left feeling horribly betrayed.  Then tragedy strikes, leaving Jamie guardian to her small orphaned half-brother and fiancée to a man who doesn't want the child.

Who am I? both women ask, as the blueprints they've built their lives around break down.  While loyalties shift and new relationships tempt, it's time to find out what they really want - and where their future lies...

A Quiet End by Nelson DeMille (June 2015)

For John Corey, the end is just the beginning...

After a showdown with the notorious Yemeni terrorist known as The Panther, life seems to be getting quieter for maverick Federal Agent John Corey.  Professionally sidelined, away from his wife and partnered up with a young, good-looking rookie named Tess, Corey is saddled with a dead-end job running easy surveillance on a group of Russian UN delegates in New York City.

But then his subjects slip the net, Tess starts acting suspiciously and an old, dangerous foe reappears.  With Russia resurgent and a clear and present danger in his own back yard, suddenly Corey's life hits the fast lane once again.

John Corey returns for a blockbuster action thriller as only Nelson DeMille can write, with a hero no one can match.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George (June 2015)

On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a 'literary apothecary', for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers.

The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself.  He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read.  His memories and his love have been gathering dust - until now.  The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence in search of the past and his beloved.

The internationally bestselling sensation The Little Paris Bookshop is a delightful, bittersweet tale about the distance one man will travel for love and friendship.

The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson (June 2015)

First love is deadly.

What if your college sweetheart, the girl of your dreams, suddenly disappeared?

Twenty years later she's back, she's in trouble and she says you are the only one who can help her...

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (May 2015)

'I used to be a probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service, and to everyone else as the Filth...

Meet DC Peter Grant.  He will show you his city.  But it's not the capital that you see as you make your way from tube to bus, from Elephant to Castle.  It's a city that under its dark surface is packed full of crime.  And of magic.  A city that you never suspected...

Grant's story starts when he tries to take a witness statement from a man who was already dead.  And takes him down a twisting, turning centuries' old mystery that reckons to set modern London on fire...

Secret Keeping for Beginners by Maggie Alderson (May 2015)

Even the closest families have things to hide...

Recently divorced Rachel is juggling her new dream job in interior design with the demands of two young daughters.  She's full of creative ideas, but some days she can't even make it into the office in matching shoes.  Her life is balanced more precariously than she cares to admit.

Tessa, a talented muralist, is feeling flat.  Her kids are growing up and she's feeling upstaged by her husband's new-found celebrity as the host of a home-restoration reality TV show.  But everything turns on its head when she gets a surprise from her past.

Natasha leads a glamorous jet-setting life as one of American Vogue's favourite make-up artists.  Single and childless, she's focused on her career - but when the lie she's concealed for years threatens to come to light, the truth will make her question everything.

Meanwhile their mother Joy, a hippy vegetarian caterer, is carefully ignoring the letters that keep arriving at her door.  Into the mix comes Simon, Rachel's urbane boss, hiding secrets of his own.

And everything lurking beneath the surface of this seemingly happy family is about it come bursting out...

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (May 2015)

'He had been reconciled to death during the war and then suddenly the war was over and there was a next day and a next day and a next day.  Part of him never adjusted to having a future.'

Kate Atkinson's dazzling Life After Life explored the possibility of infinite chances, as Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again.  In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula's beloved younger brother Teddy - would-be-poet, heroic pilot, husband, father and grandfather - as he navigates the perils and progress of the twentieth century.  For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

A God in Ruins is a masterful novel.  It looks not only at war - that great fall of man from grace - but also at the endless opportunities offered by fiction.  Few will dispute that it proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the finest novelists of our age.

The Eye of Heaven by Clive Cussler and Russell Blake (May 2015)

Baffin Island, North-Western Canada: Husband-and-wife team Sami and Remi Fargo are on an environmental expedition to the Arctic, when to their astonishment they discover a Viking ship in the ice, perfectly preserved - and filled with pre-Columbian artifacts from Mexico.  It's a combination history suggests shouldn't be possible.

As the couple plunge into their research, tantalizing clues about a link between the Vikings and the legendary Toltec feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl - and a fabled object known as the Eye of Heaven - begin to emerge.  But so do many dangerous people...

Soon the Fargos find themselves on the run through jungles, temples and secret tombs, caught between treasure hunters, crime cartels and those with a far more personal motivation for stopping them.  At the end of the road will be the solution to a thousand-year-old mystery - or death..

Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding (May 2015)

Bridget Jones is back still questioning her life

What do you do when a girlfriend's 60th birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend's 30th?

Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?

Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?

Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?

Is technology now the fifth element?  Or is that wood?

Is sleeping with someone after 2 dates and 6 weeks of texting the same as getting married after 2 meetings and 6 months of letter writing in Jane Austen's day?

Pondering these, and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of single-motherhood, tweeting, texting and rediscovering her sexuality in what SOME people rudely and outdatedly call 'middle age'.

The long awaited return of a much loved character, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is timely, tender, touching, witty, wise and bloody hilarious.

The Writers' Festival by Stephanie Johnson (May 2015)

Wit, compassion and insight combine in this entertaining novel that explores the politics and human comedy behind writers' festivals and the publishing industry.

Writers' festivals can be hotbeds of literary and romantic intrigue, and the Oceania is up there with the best of them.  Rookie director Rae McKay, recently returned from New York, fears she has bitten off more that she can chew.  Pressure comes not only from local and international writers but also from the prestigious Opus Book Award, which this year is being hosted by the festival.  Add to that high-level diplomatic fallout surrounding a dissident Chinese writer, Rae's slowly disintegrating private life and ongoing dramas involving much loved characters of The Writing Class, and the result is a wise and witty novel that explores the contemporary phenomenon of the public face of the writer.

This lively, stand-alone novel is as 'intelligent, tender and funny' as readers found The Writing Class.

11.22.63 by Stephen King (May 2015)

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed.

If you had the chance to change history, would you?

Would the consequences be worth it?

Jake Epping is an English teacher from Lisbon Falls who discovers an extraordinary secret: the storeroom in the local diner is a portal to 1958.  Leaving behind a world of iPods and mobile phones for a world of Elvis, big American cars and Lindy Hopping, Jake sets out on an insane - and insanely possible - mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

It is a haunting world of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life - a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

Just a teenager when JFK died, Stephen King has absorbed the social, political and popular culture of his American generation as thoroughly and imaginatively as any other writer.  11.22.63 is his first mainstream time-travel novel, which takes you back to an eternally fascinating moment in history.

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella (May 2015)

Lottie just wants to get married - to the right man, of course.  She's sure her boyfriend is about to propose.

So when the proposal doesn't happen and she meets her first love from long ago, Lottie decides on drastic action.  They'll get married right now, with no engagement, no fuss and, above all, no sex until after they're safely married.  It's the perfect plan!

On the other hand...

Fliss is in the middle of a nightmare divorce and just wants her little sister to avoid the mistakes she made.  She decides Lottie's marriage has to be stopped at all costs and chases the (un)happy couple to their romantic honeymoon venue on a Greek Island.

Will Lottie have a wedding night to remember ... or one to forget?

Disclaimer by Renee Knight (May 2015)

Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The disclaimer has a neat, red line through it.  A message she failed to notice when she opened the book.  There is no mistaking the resemblance to her.  She is a key character, a main player.

When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine's bedside table, she curls up and begins to read.

But as she turns the pages, she is sickened to realize the story will reveal her darkest secret.

A secret she thought no one else knew...

The Son by Philipp Meyer (May 2015)

Three stories of one family combine to produce nothing less than a standout epic of and for our time.

Eli McCullough was born in 1836, the year the Republic of Texas was declared an independent state.  The first child of this new republic.  Eight years later he and his brother are kidnapped.

Eli learns the ways of the Comanches as they battle to survive the incursions of the white settlers.  His progress within the tribe is matched by the tribe's own perilous journey, and an epidemic endangers its future.  Eli is forced to leave and pursue his life elsewhere.  He falls in love, has children and becomes a Ranger, but finds it hard to break his Comanche memories and ways.

Eli's son, Peter McCullough, endures the First World War and several Mexican attacks.  His diaries tell of momentous and dangerous times as he tries to maintain the dynasty begun by his father.

At the age of eighty-six, Jeanne Anne McCullough is the fifth richest woman in Texas.  She has had a fall and is perilously close to death.  As she goes in and out of consciousness, she tells her own history: battling to keep the family alive; battling to prevent the large scale acquisitive oil companies from buying her land, battling to hold on to her largesse and her legacy.

Abdication by Juliet Nicolson (May 2015)

A King and country torn between private desire and public duty on the eve of the Second World War...

England, 1936.  After the recent death of George V, the nation has a new king, Edward VIII.  But for all the confident pomp and ceremony of the accession, it is a turbulent time, and amid terrible poverty and unemployment Oswald Mosley's fascist New Party seems to be on the rise.

Nineteen-year-old May Thomas has just disembarked at Liverpool Docks after making the long journey by steamer from Barbados to escape the constraints of her sugar-plantation childhood.  Her first job as secretary and chauffeuse to Sir Philip Blunt, Chief Whip in Baldwin's Conservative government, will open her eyes to the upper echelons of British society.  Through the Blunts she will befriend Evangeline Nettlefold, American god-daughter to the Chief Whip's wife and an old school friend of Wallis Simpson; but more significant, she will meet Julian, a young man of conscience for whom, despite all barriers of class, she cannot help but fall.

Hidden truths, undeclared loves, unspoken sympathies and covert complicities are everywhere - biggest and most dangerous of them all, the truth about the new King's relationship with a married woman, and the silent horror that few in Britain dare voice: the increasing inevitability of another world war...

'With her keen eye for historical detail and intimate knowledge of England's social mores, Juliet Nicolson weaves a juicy and evocative tale of lives caught in the midst of one of Britain's great modern dramas' - Tina Brown

'A vivid, thoroughly absorbing novel ... combines a historian's deep knowledge and eye for telling detail with a keen sense of drama, a dash of romance and an understanding of the complex motivations of human nature' - Sally Bedell Smith

'Anyone interested in the 1930s will revel in this richly detailed slant on the abdication crisis' - Daisy Goodwin

Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs (May 2015)

The body of a teenage girl is discovered along a desolate highway on the outskirts of Charlotte.  Insider her purse is the ID card of a local businessman who died in a fire months earlier.

But who is the girl?  And was she murdered?

Dr Temperence Brennan, forensic anthropologist, must find the answers.  She soon learns that a Gulf War veteran stands accused of smuggling artefacts into the country.  Could there be a connection between the two cases?

Convinced that the girl's death was no accident, Tempe uncovers a conspiracy that extends from South America to Afghanistan.  But to find justice for the dead she must be more courageous, and take more extreme action, than ever before.

'Reichs' real-life expertise gives her novels an authenticity that most other crime novelists would kill for' - Daily Express

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope (May 2015)

Two sisters could hardly be more different.

Elinor Dashwood, an architecture student, values discretion above all.  Her impulsive sister Marianne displays her creativity everywhere, as she dreams of going to art school.

But when the family finds itself forced out of Norland Park, their beloved home for twenty years, their values are severely put to the test

Can Elinor remain stoic knowing that the man she likes has been ensnared by another girl?  Will Marianne's faith in love be shaken by meeting the hottest boy in the county?  And when social media is the controlling force at play, can love ever triumph over conventions and disapproval?

Joanna Trollope casts Sense & Sensibility in a fresh new light re-telling a coming-of-age story about young love and heartbreak, and how when it come to money especially, some things never change.

River of Shadows by Valerio Varesi (May 2015)

A relentless deluge lashes the Po Valley, and the river itself swells beyond its limits.  A barge breaks free of its moorings and drifts erratically downstream; when finally it runs aground its seasoned pilot is nowhere to be found.  The following day, an elderly man of the same surname falls from the window of a nearby hospital.  Commissario Soneri, scornful of his superiors' scepticism, is convinced the two incidents are linked.  Stonewalled by the bargemen who make their living along the riverbank, he scours the floodplain for clues.  As the waters begin to ebb, the river yields up its secrets: tales of past brutality, bitter rivalry and revenge.

Introducing Commissario Soneri, River of Shadows is a brooding, visceral crime novel packed with atmosphere and tension.

One Mile Under by Andew Gross (April 2015)

One Body

When whitewater guide Dani Whalen discovers the body of a close friend in the Colorado rapids, she refuses to believe it was an accident.  Trey had a wife and son - there's no way he would take risks.

One Witness

Dani's suspicions are confirmed when a witness claims Trey wasn't alone that day.  But before she can find out more, he too dies violently.  She takes her evidence to the local police chief, who insists the case is closed.  Dani threatens to go public with her suspicions and finds herself thrown in jail.

One Thing To Kill For

Her godfather, ex-detective Ty Hauck, immediately goes to her rescue.  He and Dani visit Trey's hometown - a place controlled by an energy company.  But in a region ravaged by drought, there's only one resource more valuable than oil - and it's worth killing for.

The Discreet Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa (April 2015)

Mario Vargas Llosa is the winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Discreet Hero is a thrilling new masterpiece from the finest Latin American novelist at work today.

Set in contemporary Peru, glinting with new prosperity, The Discreet Hero follows two fascinating characters whose lives are destined to intersect: a small businessman in the northern town of Piura, who finds himself the victim of blackmail; and the successful owner of an insurance company in Lima, who cooks up a plan to avenge himself against the two lazy sons who want him dead.

These men are - each in his own quiet way - discreet rebels: honourable men trying to seize control of their destinies in a social and political climate where lives can seem predetermined.  They are hardly vigilantes but each is willing to risk everything to live according to his own personal ideals and desires.

A number one bestseller on publication in Spanish, The Discreet Hero is an extraordinary story of the courage of the individual, a novel whose humour and pathos shine through in Edith Grossman's masterly translation.

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty (April 2015)

Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one that got away.  When she turned down his proposal three years ago, she broke his heart.  Now that Sophie is single, longing for a baby and nearly 40, he's starting to look a lot more attractive...

Sophie is just as shocked as Thomas when his Aunt Connie leaves Sophie her beautiful house on Scribbly Gum Island.  This tiny island is home to the famous 'Munro Baby Mystery' - a seventy-year-old unsolved crime.

Sophie soon discovers that nearly everyone on the island has a secret, and the biggest secret of all, the truth behind the Munro Baby Mystery, is set to explode on an extraordinary night that will test a marriage, a family and a friendship - the Last Anniversary.

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty (April 2015)

As a hypnotherapist, Ellen O'Farrell is fascinated by what makes people tick.  So when she falls in love with Patrick, the fact that he has a stalker doesn't faze her in the slightest.  If anything it intrigues her, and the more she hears about Saskia, the more she wants to meet this woman.  But what Ellen doesn't know is that they've already met...

Saskia has been posing as one of Ellen's clients.  Unable to let go of the life she so abruptly lost, she wants to know everything about the woman who took her place.

But it's not only Saskia who doesn't know when to stop: Ellen also has to ask herself what lines she's prepared to cross to get the happy ending she's always wanted.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty (April 2015)

Cecilia Fitzpatrick, devoted mother and successful Tupperware consultant, has found a letter from her husband.

To be opened only in the event of my death

But Cecilia's husband isn't dead, he's on a business trip.  And when she questions him about the letter on the phone, Cecilia senses something she hasn't experienced before.  John-Paul is lying.

We all have secrets.  But not like this...

The Hiding Places by Catherine Robertson (April 2015)

Rich in myth, mystery, warmth and wit - a touching novel about what it means to be alive.

When April Turner's small son is killed by a car, she decides she is no longer entitled to anything but the barest existence.  Five years on, she has shed everything and everyone she loves, and expects to be this way for ever.  Then a letter arrives from an English solicitor, informing April that she is the last surviving heir to Empyrean, a long-abandoned country house.

At first, April resists.  But with the letter comes a map full of tiny mysteries, and she is drawn all the way from New Zealand to the English countryside, and into a small but intriguing circle of people: musician Oran, who remains loyal to his faithless wife; Jack, who lives wild in the woods with a dog; and Sunny, Lady Day, approaching ninety but more vital than others half her age.

Sunny knew Empyrean in its prime, and her stories bring the past to life.  But will April be prepared to give up her principles and start coming alive again herself?

The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman by Mamen Sanchez (April 2015)

Atticus Craftsman never travels without a supply of Earl Grey and a favourite book.  So when he is sent to shut down a failing literary magazine in Madrid, he packs both.  A short Spanish jaunt later, he'll be back in Kent, cup of tea and smoked-salmon sandwich in hand.

But the five ladies who run the magazine have other ideas.  They'll do anything to keep the jobs they love and their cosy office together.  Even if it involves hoodwinking Atticus with flashing eyes, the ghosts of literature past and a winding journey into the heart of Andalucía.

With not the most efficient of detectives in hot pursuit, it's only a matter of time before Atticus Craftsman either falls in love, disappears completely or - worst of all - runs out of Earl Grey.

Crime comedy, love story and literary adventure all at once.  The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman is fiendishly fun and delightfully different.

Death and Forgiveness by Jindra Ticha (April 2015)

Two worlds collide.

Anna has flown from New Zealand to her native Prague to nurse her dying mother.  The night after the funeral she receives a phone call with the news that her husband Jan has committed suicide in faraway Dunedin.

Why has Jan decided to end his life?  As Anna grapples with her grief in post-communist Prague, her story is interwoven with the tale of the family's fortunes on the long voyage taking them to New Zealand 20 years previously.

Fleeing the violent takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Anna and Jan found themselves in a strange new country with unfamiliar values.  This had an unexpected consequence.  Instead of terminating an unwanted pregnancy, Anna decided to give birth to Marie - a daughter who would go on to claim the lion's share of Jan's affection.

A subtle and affecting story of change and rebirth, Death and Forgiveness shows how exile alters the pattern of a life, with after-effects that reverberate for decades.

In 2009 a major Czech television network made a documentary devoted to Jindra Ticha's life and work.  She is one of only a handful of writers whose work has been recognised in this way.  And in 2012 Czech radio and television asked the public to select, out of two million Czechs living in exile, twenty of the most influential personalities.  Jindra Ticha gained eleventh place on this list.

The author of 18 published novels in her native Czech Republic, this is her first novel in English.


The Reckoning by Rennie Airth (March 2015)

The Second World War has ended, leaving a bruised and fragile peace.  But this tranquillity is threatened when a shocking murder takes place in the Sussex countryside.  Before long, police experts discover a link to another earlier killing, hundreds of miles away...

While Scotland Yard detective Billy Styles struggles to find a link between these two murders, a strange twist of fate brings former Detective Inspector John Madden into the investigations.

As the victim count rises, it becomes clear that to catch this serial killer, Madden, Styles and young policewoman Detective-Constable Lily Poole must act quickly.  But Madden remains haunted by the mysteries at the heart of the case.  Why was his name in a letter that the second target had been penning just before he died?  Could the real clue to these perplexing murders lie within the victims' pasts?  And within his own?

The Assassin by Clive Cussler and Justine Scott (March 2015)

As private detective Isaac Bell begins his investigation into John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil monopoly, the case soon takes a deadly turn.  A sniper begins murdering opponents of the company, and soon the assassin - shooting with extraordinary accuracy at seemingly impossible long range - kills Bell's best witness, a brave and likable man.  Then the shooter detonates a terrible explosion that sets the victim's independent refinery ablaze.

Bell summons his best investigators to scour the site of the crime for evidence.  Who is the assassin and for whom did he kill?  But the murders - shootings, poisonings, staged accidents - have just begun as Bell tracks his phantom-like criminal adversary on a manhunt around the United States, from Texas to a tycoon's enclave of New York, and on to war-torn Russian oil fields on the shores of the Caspian Sea, before a final, desperate confrontation that will prove to be the most explosive of all...

Wish You Were Here by Catherine Alliott (March 2015)

Oh I do wish you were here...

Here am I, Flora Murray-Brown, on what should be the holiday of a lifetime, in a terrifically swanky chateau lent to us by a world famous singer - long story - and everyone I really don't wish was here has rocked up.

Both daughters' boyfriends - don't get me started on the sleeping arrangements - my mother with some vastly unsuitable younger man, Lizzie, my best friend, threatening someone even younger, and now my two unspeakable sisters-in-law have muscled their way in too.  Deeply disapproving Rachel and scarily competitive Sally are even now speeding through the vineyards of Provence to my house!

And if that wasn't enough, there's a dodgy French gardener making eyes at me over the lavender whilst his gimlet-eyed housekeeper wife sharpens knives in the kitchen.  Oh - and did I mention my husband, James, has got the hots for the famous singer?  All I need now is for an ex-boyfriend to appear and my nightmare will be complete...

Not Quite Nice by Celia Imrie (March 2015)

Theresa is desperate for a change.  Forced into early retirement, fed up with babysitting her bossy daughter's obnoxious children, she sells her house and moves to the picture-perfect town of Bellevue-Sue-Mer, just outside Nice.

With its beautiful villas, its bustling cafes and shimmering cerulean sea, the village sparkles like a diamond on the French Mediterranean coast.  Once the hideaway of artists and writers, it is now home to the odd rock icon and Hollywood movie star, and, as Theresa soon discovers, a close-knit set of expats.

As Theresa settles to the gentle rhythm of seaside life she embraces her new-found friendships and freedom.  But life is never quite as simple as it seems, and as skeletons start to fall out of several closets, Theresa begins to wonder if life on the French Riviera is quite as nice as it first appeared...

The Final Minute by Simon Kernick (March 2015)

A traumatic car crash.

A man with no memory haunted by nightmares.

When the past comes calling in the most terrifying way imaginable, Matt Barron is forced to turn to the one person who can help.

Ex Met cop, turned private detective, Tina Boyd.

Soon they are both on the run.

The Forever Girl by Alexander McCall Smith (March 2015)

Clover has loved James for as long as she can remember, since before she knew what love was.  But fate seems determined to keep them apart.

As children, Clover and James played beside a turquoise sea under cloudless skies, their Caribbean island home a place of pleasure and privilege, of lush lawns and tennis parties.  In such a paradise nothing should obstruct the kind of happiness Clover dreams of, except that, as she discovers, true love is often harder than paradise allows for.  And when Clover's mother falls out of love with her husband, a web of complications is woven that may take Clover a lifetime to unravel.  If she ever can ...

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (March 2015)

When Alice Love surfaces from a strange dream to find she's been injured in a gym, her first concern is for her unborn baby.  She's desperate to see her husband, Nick, who she knows will be worried about her.

But Alice isn't pregnant.  And Nick isn't rushing to her bedside.  She is a mother of three going through a bitter divorce.

Alice has lost ten years of her life - and she wants them back.

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty (March 2015)

The Kettle triplets have had a mortifying public mishap.  Their noisy, champagne-soaked birthday dinner has come to an abrupt end following a violent argument and an emergency dash to the hospital.

So who started it this time?  Was it angry, hurt Cat, still recovering from the 'Night of the Spaghetti'?   Or Lyn, who at least on the outside seems to have everything under control.  Or maybe it was unpredictable Gemma, the sister who can't keep a secret, except the most important one of all...

'In this non-stop narrative, siblings rival each other, break up and make up.  Moriarty is good at social observation, mixing high drama with low comedy and moments of genuine poignancy.'  Sunday Age

'Funny, wry, touching...the drama is raw and real.  Each of the beautifully drawn characters is so vividly alive, their triumph becomes your own, you choke a bit when bad things happen and want to throw rocks at anyone who hurts them.'  Australian Women's Weekly Book of the Month

'I appreciated how she didn't produce any last-minute sugarcoating out of the hat.  I really did believe in the strength of the characters to pull through: in fact, it made me believe in the resilience of the human race!'  Marian Keyes

Touch by Claire North (March 2015)

The electrifying new thriller from the author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

He tried to take my life.  Instead I took his.

It was a long time ago.  I remember it was dark, and I didn't see my killer until it was too late.  As I died, my hand touched his.  That's when the first switch took place.

Suddenly, I was looking through the eyes of my killer, and I watching myself die.

Now switching is easy.  I can jump from body to body, have any life, be anyone.

Some people touch lives.  Others take them.  I do both.

'One of the cleverest, most compelling books I've read in a long time.  Intoxicating, ingenious and intricate... Claire North is one hell of a writer'  C.L. Taylor, author of The Accident

'The high stakes and breakneck pace of the plot will draw readers in, and the meditations on what it means to be human and to be loved will linger long after the last shot is fired'  Kirkus

'I was totally and utterly gripped, it's just extraordinary.  Absolutely mesmerising'  Clare MacKintosh, author of I Let You Go

The Families by Vincent O'Sullivan (March 2015)

Fourteen magnificent new stories from a New Zealand master.

O'Sullivan's stories exhibit a shrewd understanding that pierces to the heart of what it means to be human.  O'Sullivan can mock, satirise and laugh, but he also finds dignity in unexpected places.  He is interested in the art of living, and in the borderland where truth and lies meet, both in life and in fiction itself.

- The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature

Vincent O'Sullivan is the author of the biography of John Mulgan, Long Journey to the Border, the novels Let the River Stand and Believers to the Bright Coast and many collections of short stories and poems, plays and works of scholarship.  He is the current New Zealand Poet Laureate.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (March 2015)

Among the tangled waterways and giant anacondas of the Brazilian Rio Negro, an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women for ever.  But Dr Annick Swenson's work is shrouded in mystery - especially from her investors.  When Anders Eckman, a mild-mannered lab researcher, is sent to investigate, a curt letter reporting his death is all that returns.  Now Marina Singh, Anders's colleague and former student of Dr Swenson, must retrace her friend's perilous steps and uncover the secrets hidden among the remotest tribes of the rainforest.  Little does she know that, in this ancient corner of the jungle, she will face challenges beyond her wildest imagination.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen (March 2015)

Still Life with Bread Crumbs begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof.  Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women.  Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere.  There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

From the author of One True Thing and Every Last One, is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love as Rebecca discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.

Dominion by C.J. Sansom (March 2015)

The Great Smog.  London.  1952.  A dense, choking fog engulfs the city and beneath it, history is re-written...

Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany after Dunkirk.  As the long German war against Russia rages on in the east, the British people find themselves under dark authoritarian rule.

Defiance, though, is growing.  Winston Churchill's Resistance organization is increasingly a thorn in the government's side.  And in a Birmingham mental hospital an incarcerated scientist, Frank Muncaster, may hold a secret that could change the balance of the world struggle for ever.

Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, secretly acting as a spy for the Resistance, must rescue his old friend Frank and get him out of the country.  Before long he, together with a disparate group of Resistance activists, will find themselves fugitives in the midst of London's Great Smog; as David's wife Sarah finds herself drawn into a world more terrifying than she ever could have imagined.

And hard on their heels is Gestapo Sturmbannfuhrer Gunther Hoth, brilliant, implacable hunter of men...

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver (March 2015)

From the acclaimed author of international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, comes a striking new novel about siblings, marriage and obesity.

When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at her local Iowa airport, she literally doesn't recognize him.  In the four years since they last saw each other, her brother, a once slim, hip New York jazz pianist, has gained hundreds of pounds.  What happened?  Worse, Edison's slovenly habits and appalling diet drive her health and fitness freak husband Fletcher insane.  After his brother-in-law has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: it's him or me.  Putting her marriage on the line, Pandora chooses her brother - who, without her support in losing weight, will surely eat himself into an early grave.

Rich with Shriver's distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about obesity: why we overeat and how we treat overweight people, and it asks whether it's ever possible to save our loved ones from themselves.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (March 2015)

'Hello there'

I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up into the stranger's face.

'Do I know you?'

Delayed in London, Ted Severson meets a woman at the airport bar.  Over cocktails they tell each other rather more than they should, and a dark plan is hatched - but are either of them being serious?  Could they actually go through with the plan and, if they did, what would be their chances of getting away with it?

Back in Boston, Ted's wife Miranda is busy site-managing the construction of their dream home, a beautiful house out on the Maine coastline.  But what secrets is she carrying and to what lengths might she go to protect the vision she has of her deserved future?

Second Life by S.J. Watson (March 2015)

Can you really know another person?

And how far would you go to find out the truth about them?

When Julia learns that her sister has been killed, she'll do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of things.  Even if it means jeopardising her relationship with her husband and risking the safety of her boy.  Getting involved with a stranger online.  Losing control.

Perhaps losing everything.

Set in Paris and London, Second Life is about the double lives people lead - and the dark places they can end up in.  Tense and unrelenting, it is another gripping psychological thriller from S.J. Watson.

The Blood Dimmed Tide by Rennie Airth (February 2015)

It is 1932 and John Madden, former Scotland Yard Inspector, is now a farmer in the peaceful Surrey countryside.  However his peace is about to be shattered, for when a young girl goes missing, it is he who discovers her disfigured body hidden in a wood.  Disturbed by what he has seen, he is convinced the killer has struck before...

When a second body is found, Madden's instinct is proved right - there is a serial killer at large.  Allying himself with his old colleagues, and against the wishes of his anxious wife, he immerses himself in one more case.

But Madden will have to stay one step ahead of a killer who is a master of reinvention, and who has been covering his tracks for many years.  And soon significant links are discovered in Germany, where the Nazis are on the brink of power...

The Claimant by Janette Turner Hospital (February 2015)

Manhattan, 1996: the trial of the Vanderbilt claimant is finally coming to an end.  The case - long, complex, riven with unknowns, attracting huge media and social interest - has been seeking to establish whether or not a certain man is the son of the fabulously wealthy and well-connected Vanderbilt family.  The son was reported missing in action, presumed killed, while serving in the Vietnam War.  There is huge fortune, prestige and status at stake.  But is the man - a handsome cattle farmer from Queensland - really the Vanderbilt heir?  And if so, why does he seem so reluctant to be found?

From one of our foremost and acclaimed writers, The Claimant is a brilliant contemporary reworking of the Tichborne case, a legal cause celebre in both the Australian and the British press in the late nineteenth century.  Intriguing, compelling and ravishingly readable, it explores the fluid, shifting and ultimately elusive nature of identity, and the reasons people seek to change their names, their identities and even their very histories.

Five Minues Alone by Paul Cleave (February 2015)

Theodore Tate returns in the latest thriller from bestselling international crime writer Paul Cleave.

Back in the police force and with his wife Bridget out of hospital, Theodore Tate looks to be getting his life on track.  Meanwhile, his former detective partner Carl Schroder is finding life a little more challenging.  The bullet he took in the head six months ago hasn't killed him ... but it's left him with time on his hands.

When the body of a convicted rapist is found, obliterated by an oncoming train, and other criminals begin to disappear, it seems somebody might be helping their victims exact revenge.  There's a common plea from victims' loved ones: when you find the person who did this, give me five minutes alone with them.  And that's what someone is doing.

But then innocent people start to die, and Tate and Schroder find themselves caught up in a dangerous cat and mouse chase that only one of them can win.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (February 2015)

To everyone else in this carriage I must look normal; I'm doing exactly what they do: commuting to work, making appointments, ticking things off lists.

Just goes to show.

Everyday the same

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning.  She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens.

She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses.  'Jess and Jason', she calls them.  Their life - as she sees it - is perfect.  If only Rachel could be that happy.

Until today

And then she sees something shocking.  It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough.

Now everything's changed.  Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar.

Now they'll see: she's much more than just the girl on the train...

Heartstone by C.J. Sansom (February 2015)

Summer 1545

England is at war.  Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel...

Meanwhile, Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr.  Asked to investigate claims of 'monstrous wrongs' committed against his young ward, Hugh Curteys, by Sir Nicholas Hobbey, Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth.  There, Shardlake also intends to investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettiplace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam.

Once in Portsmouth, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing for war.  The mysteries surrounding the Hobbey family, and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before, involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne.  Soon events will converge on board one of the King's great warships gathered in Portsmouth harbour, waiting to sail out and confront the approaching French fleet...

May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes (February 2015)

Harry has always envied his younger brother George - a high-flying TV executive with two kids, a beautiful home and a covetable wife - but Harry also knows that George is a dangerous man with a murderous temper.  When an adulterous kiss at Thanksgiving prompts a chain of unexpected events, George finally loses control, and the result is an act so shocking that the brothers are hurled into entirely new lives, ones in which they must both seek absolution.

The Lost Boy by Camilla Lackberg (February 2015)

Detective Patrik Hedstrom is no stranger to tragedy.  A murder case concerning Fllbacka's dead financial director, Mats Sverin, is a grim but useful distraction from his recent family misfortunes.

It seems Mats was a man everybody liked yet nobody knew - a man with something to hide...

His high school sweetheart, Nathalie, has just returned to the area with her five-year-old son - could she shed light on who Mats really was?

However, Nathalie has her own secret.  It it's discovered, she will lose her only child.  As the investigation stalls, the police have many questions.  But there is only one that matters.

It there anything a mother would not do to protect her child?

The Missing and the Dead by Stuart MacBride (February 2015)

One mistake can cost you everything.

When you catch a twisted killer there should be a reward, right?  What Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae gets instead is a 'development opportunity' out in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire.  Welcome to divisional policing - catching drug dealers, shop lifters, vandals and the odd escaped farm animal.

Then a little girl's body washes up just outside the sleepy town of Banff, kicking off a massive manhunt.  The Major Investigation Team is up from Aberdeen, wanting answers, and they don't care who they trample over to get them.

Logan's got enough on his plate keeping B Division together, but DCI Steel wants him back on her team, whether he likes it or not.  There's nothing to go on, the top brass are breathing down her neck, and she needs results.

One thing's clear: there are dangerous predators lurking in the wilds of Aberdeenshire, and not everyone's getting out of this alive...

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