Reading in Heels February Book Selection
How would you feel if everything in your life suddenly started to go . . . right?
She has it all – until she loses it.
Six months ago, Alex Moore was stuck in a dead-end job, failing to unleash one grand plan after another. Then, seemingly overnight, she launched her dream start-up and became one of London’s fastest rising tech stars. At thirty, her life has just begun. But Alex’s transformation isn’t easy for those around her. Her friends are struggling to accept her sudden success, her parents are worried that she’s running on empty and her fiancé is getting cold feet.
Then weird things start to happen. Muggings, stalkers and even a claim that she murdered a stranger. But when Alex visits the Orkney Islands to recharge, weird turns into WTF. Because there she discovers the world’s oldest secret – and it’s a secret that Alex’s stratospheric rise has royally messed up.
One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home…
Two years later, Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …
Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…
Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …
Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?
It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.
Some things just won’t stay buried…
Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards he’s policing his fellow officers.
When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him. Or they thought they did.
As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important that he felt the need to come back from the dead?
But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers – and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried. If Logan can’t stop them, DI Bell won’t be the only one to die…
Three classic tales of childhood on an island paradise – My Family and Other Animals, Birds, Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods by Gerald Durrell – are available in a single edition for the first time in The Corfu Trilogy.
Just before the Second World War the Durrell family decamped to the glorious, sun-soaked island of Corfu where the youngest of the four children, ten-year-old Gerald, discovered his passion for animals: toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies, scorpions and octopuses. Through glorious silver-green olive groves and across brilliant-white beaches Gerry pursued his obsession . . . causing hilarity and mayhem in his ever-tolerant family.
Durrell’s memories of those enchanted days gave rise to these three classic tales, loved by generations of adults and children alike, which are now available in one volume for the first time.
In August 2016 I walked north from Porto on the Camino Portuguese, to Santiago de Compostela. The route that made the deepest impression came just after Pontevedra: The Spiritual Variant, or Stone and Water Route, added to the Camino itinerary in 2013.
Its meditative paths led me through a region of lavish fertility; of vineyards and green pastures; of forested hillsides, remote glens and living waters. By following it, I discovered a place of history, myth and Celtic resonance with Ireland.
I offer these words from a desire to share something of its wonder and so that you, too, might be tempted to walk its paths.
When widowed single mother Lisa Grey meets wealthy businessman Elias York, romance blossoms. Alas, she is marrying into a complicated family. Her new sister-in-law doesn’t want to know her, middle brother Gabriel’s marriage flounders under a cloud of infidelity and gambling debts, while the youngest, Richard, keeps his dark secrets well hidden—and his wife suffers in silence.
Lisa and her mother are bonded by a powerful intuition, but on some subjects they dare not voice their fears; neither can explain the terror Lisa feels whenever she walks through the doors of the ancient, imposing York Towers.
Love and loss, abduction, incestuous desires and murderous intent form the basis of this compelling saga in which horrors float just beneath the surface, culminating in a shocking outcome.
The House of York spans the years 1993 – 2014; history lovers may be interested to know that the story is inspired by events from the era of the Wars of the Roses.
Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory. Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant’s vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex’s own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line. When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow labourers. Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?
The winter light dapples a gently winding river, and the breeze rustles a bank of reeds as the first snowflakes begin to fall. But the river’s smooth surface conceals a watery grave…
When a body is pulled from the deep and watery fens on the outskirts of town, everybody assumes it was a tragic accident. But Detective Tara Thorpe, newly joined and determined to prove herself, suspects there’s more to the story.
Tara is desperate to investigate further, but her supervisor Patrick Wilkins has other ideas. He would rather die than let this ambitious upstart show him up – even if it means some digging in Tara’s carefully concealed past to keep her under his thumb. After all, it’s not like he can report her – everyone knows that his boss Detective Garstin Blake and Tara have a history…
When another body is found, it becomes clear that there’s a killer on the loose. Could the murders be linked to the secrets that Tara has been keeping from her team… and can she solve the case before another innocent dies?
Writer, Lizzie Lemalf, and her loving but somewhat dysfunctional family are still grieving over the loss of a much-loved family member. Lizzie is doing her best to keep her family together but why does the recent death of a well-known celebrity have them all in a spin? The police suspect foul play; Lizzie and other family members suspect one another.
Lizzie begins searching for answers only to find herself being dragged back to the past, to 1960’s London to be exact, and to the former life of her father, that up until now she has never been privy to. Every family has its secrets but how can the past hold the key to a present day celebrity death? They say the past comes back to haunt you. Surely the truth will out? Maybe, but only time will tell…
Karen Guttridge was smug. At the age of 56, she was sitting in her doctor’s office after a morning of Well Woman checks. She’d been fending off the worst of the menopause for years and now calmly awaited his verdict on her invincible body.
‘You have osteopenia,’ he said.
Despite the fact she’d never actually heard of it, she vowed to beat this, to take it on.
He looked up. ‘Do you like to hike? Or jog?’
Karen decided she was going to be a runner. Just like that. It wasn’t the monumental decision most folks face. You see, she’d always liked exercise. Not adrenalin-fuelled leaping off cliffs stuff but walking, tennis, netball, that sort of thing. So a bit of running – how hard could it be?
Forgetting that a particularly travel packed year lay ahead, Karen launched her plan. Join her as she dodges snakes, ants, caterpillars and naked man orchids whilst suffering a dog bite, swallowing insects and running away from glaciers.
Finally managing to drag herself through a handful of 5K races, Karen was definitely beginning to get the hang of this and might have even completed a 10K too if it hadn’t been for Elsa from Frozen.
Running Like a Wrinkly follows Karen’s often hilarious determination to keep on running whilst battling menopausal sleep deprivation, dehydration, fatigue and anxiety. From migrating eyebrows, dodgy eyesight, unruly body parts and an unsuspecting foray into the world of sex toys, this is a light hearted yet informative look at running as we age. You’re never too old or too slow.
In eighteenth century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.
For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice.
When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelein, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue…
The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage.
With the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and protection of the colour blue?
Stewart Scott is a first year trainee in one of Edinburgh’s oldest law firms.
Out of his depth, he is constantly working just to stay in the game and match the talents of the other first year trainees. But a chance to shine comes Stewart’s way when he is given the opportunity to partake in an investigation.
A client of the firm has recently died. The deceased, Major Robertson, left a substantial estate, and the terms of his will stipulate that his considerable wealth will go to his family – unless the Major died by suicide, whereupon his estate will be donated to a charity. And the conclusion, thus far, has been suicide.
Heading up the investigation into the Major’s death is Sebastian Dakar, practicing Zen master and the most unlikely detective that Stewart could imagine. But upon their arrival at the Major’s family home, Stewart begins to realise that perhaps the case of the Major isn’t as cut and dried as first thought.
She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…
Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.
Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – and her perfect life fell apart.
Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks…
Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.
So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?
Lyn wakes on her 50th birthday with no man and middle age staring her in the face. Determined to change her sad trajectory Lyn books a surprise road trip for herself and her three children through the American Southwest and Yellowstone.
Before they even get on the plane, the trip hits a major snag. The children have invited Lyn’s estranged partner to join them. Now, the two adults and three children have to keep up appearances and pretend to be a happy—if somewhat demented—family on their trip. Along the way, amid the mountain vistas, secrets will be revealed and a hurtful betrayal confronted in this sweet, funny family saga.
In an isolated country town ravaged by drought, a charismatic young priest opens fire on his congregation, killing five men before being shot dead himself.
A year later, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals don’t fit with the accepted version of events.
Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking discovery rocks the town. The bodies of two backpackers – missing since the time of the massacre – are found in the scrublands. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is the one in the spotlight.
Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to uncover a truth that becomes more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town’s secrets stay buried.
Happy children, happy husband, happily ever after?
Tasha knows that she should count her blessings: married for eleven years, mother to three healthy children, she should be content with her lot. However, feelings of frustration have settled over her like a dark cloud. Despite living under the same roof and sharing the same bed, Tasha has never felt so distant from her husband, Charlie. She feels worn down by the mental load of motherhood, drowning in the never-ending chores that keep the family and household afloat. Most of all she worries that her once happy marriage is slipping away from her.
Tasha longs for something to change, but when change comes calling will it really be the answer she was hoping for? And is it possible to fall in love with the same person twice?
A modern day love story about family, marriage and risking it all to have it all.
Life is good for DI Dan Hellier until the discovery of two headless, handless bodies buried in a bog on Dartmoor.
But how can he identify the victims when nobody has reported them missing?
The tension mounts when the death of a young man plunges Hellier into the murky world of the Garrett family. Could the peaceful, family-run Animal Rescue Centre really be a cover for murder and other criminal activity?
Hellier is about to learn just how far people will go to get what they want. And this investigation will challenge Hellier’s decisions as he races to catch a murderer before it’s too late.
Can DCI Dan Hellier decipher the twisted mind behind the ritualised burning of homeless men on Devon’s beaches before more people are sacrificed?
When images from the burning appear all over social media, Hellier realises that he is dealing with a cult and a mystery that will lead back to the Irish Troubles.
Hellier will battle a bitter man who has plotted revenge for more than twenty years, without a care for the lives he will destroy.
‘Calling All Shoe Addicts’, said the advertisement that triggered a response in four very different women, each at a difficult time of her life.
Niamh, at 23, the mother of a five-year-old and twin girls aged four, is desperate to have a home of her own. She longs to escape the house of her vicious mother-in-law but her charming, irresponsible husband and the mountain of debts they have makes this seem ever more unlikely.
Amber, former air stewardess whose husband Dermot left her for a younger woman, has lost all her confidence and is drowning her sorrows with alcohol.
Tessa, beautiful former model, paid the price for living life in the fast lane when she almost died from a heart attack. Her reliable friend, George, persuaded her to come and live with him in Ireland. She now realises that she’s made a dreadful mistake.
Rosie, recently widowed, can’t come to terms with the loss of the man she loved so much. Life without him doesn’t seem worth living.
All of them, needing a way out, find it with the Italian designer shoe company, ‘If The Shoes Fit’. This leads them to a new career, great friendships and a life-changing experience.
When an attempted assassination sparks a chain reaction of explosive events across London, Britain’s elite security forces seem powerless to stop the chaos threatening to overwhelm the government.
As the dark and deadly conspiracy unfolds, three strangers find their fates entwined: Joe Dempsey, a deadly military intelligence officer; Sarah Truman, a CNN reporter determined to get her headline; and Michael Devlin, a Belfast-born criminal barrister with a secret past.
As the circle of those they can trust grows ever smaller, Dempsey, Devlin and Truman are forced to work in the shadows, caught in a life-or-death race against the clock, before the terrible plot can consume them all.
Please don’t let me die. Please don’t.
When a teenage boy steps out of the shadows of Gallowstree Lane and asks a passer-by for help, it’s already too late. His life is bleeding out on the London street.
The murder threatens to derail Operation Perseus, a cover police investigation into the Eardsley Bluds, an organised criminal network. Detective Kieran Shaw can’t and won’t allow that to happen. But fifteen-year-old Ryan has other ideas. He’s witnessed the death of his best friend, and now he wants someone to pay…
As loyalties collide, a chain of events is triggered that threatens everyone with a connection to Gallowstree Lane.
Stephanie and Jamie are meant to be. The problem is they’re both with other people…
Stephanie doesn’t believe in fate, true love or living happily ever after. She’s content enough being engaged to Matt. But then she meets Jamie, who understands her more than anyone else ever has.
Jamie is happily married to his childhood sweetheart Helen and believes in everything Stephanie doesn’t. So why does he have such a strong connection with Stephanie?
When Stephanie and Jamie meet one fateful weekend in 2006 it will change everything…
Ten years. Two people. One epic love story.