Coming this week – my pick of the new fiction titles to 29th November 2020

More lovely titles to add to your burgeoning reading lists.

The House of the Hanged Woman by Kate Ellis

1921. When a Member of Parliament goes missing in a small Derbyshire village, Scotland Yard detective Albert Lincoln is sent up North to investigate. This isn’t Albert’s first visit to Wenfield. He once solved a traumatic case there at great personal cost and now, two years later, it seems that darkness still lurks in the village. The naked body of a man has been discovered, mutilated beyond recognition, by an ancient stone circle called the Devil’s Dancers.

The local police assume the body is that of the missing politician, but when that identification proves false and more strange deaths occur, Albert realises his case is far more complex than a simple disappearance. But, as he reawakens ghosts from the past, will he be able to solve the mystery surrounding Wenfield once and for all?


In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton
In the Sweep of the Bay by [Cath Barton]

This warm-hearted tale explores marriage, love, and longing, set against the majestic backdrop of Morecambe Bay, the Lakeland Fells, and the faded splendour of the Midland Hotel.

Ted Marshall meets Rene in the dance halls of Morecambe and they marry during the frail optimism of the 1950s. They adopt the roles expected of man and wife at the time: he the breadwinner at the family ceramics firm, and she the loyal housewife. But as the years go by, they find themselves wishing for more…

After Ted survives a heart attack, both see it as a new beginning… but can a faded love like theirs ever be rekindled?


Her Sister’s Child by Alison James
Her Sister's Child: A heart-stopping psychological thriller with an incredible twist by [Alison James]

She rolls over and reaches for her instinctively: her baby. Her hand hits air and flaps redundantly. She stumbles out of bed and switches on the light. But this only confirms it. The baby is gone. Someone has taken her.

Sixteen years ago, Lizzie Armitage woke to find her newborn baby gone. Just days later, Lizzie was dead.

Her sister Paula swore she would do everything she could to find the child. If she hadn’t promised to keep Lizzie’s pregnancy secret, maybe the baby wouldn’t have disappeared. And maybe Lizzie would still be alive. But, in nearly a decade, Paula’s never found any trace. Until now

When Paula bumps into an old friend from the past, she realises she wasn’t the only one who knew about her sister’s child. Someone knows what happened that day. Someone knows where Lizzie’s baby went.

But can Paula find out the truth before another family is ripped apart?


Surprises at the Loch by Hannah Ellis
Surprises at the Loch (Loch Lannick Book 6) by [Hannah Ellis]

The best moments are the ones we don’t see coming . . .

Isla is perfectly content with her solid, stable relationship with Logan. But when they challenge each other to inject some spontaneity into their relationship things quickly get out of hand.

Soon, Logan is determined to find the ultimate romantic gesture. Can he truly surprise Isla when she knows him so well?

Lexie is enjoying being in a steady relationship with Nick. But organising a birthday surprise for him at the same time as taking on more responsibilities at work hardly leaves her time for anything else. When the birthday plans don’t go as expected, Lexie finds herself evaluating both her relationship and her career.

And she’s more surprised than anyone by the conclusion.


Love Beneath an Endless Sky by Elizabeth Haran
Love beneath an Endless Sky by [Elizabeth Haran]

A spellbinding story about love and family ties that takes the reader on a journey from the Australian outback to England and back again.

England, 1957: Kate is a young woman of exotic beauty and a rising film star. But when her career and marriage come crashing down together, she escapes to outback Australia for a surprise visit to her father, a man she hasn’t seen since she was a small child. But he is shocked by her arrival, and Kate realizes that her existence has been a secret. No one seems to know that he has an adult daughter living in England. She is deeply hurt and wants to leave the dusty small town in the middle of nowhere. But then she meets the town’s handsome teacher and her world turns upside down yet again …


Leave it to Fate by Beth Corby
Leave It to Fate: Another brilliantly funny, uplifting romcom from the author of WHERE THERE’S A WILL by [Beth Corby]

When all else fails, you just have to leave it to Fate . . .

Just as twenty-nine-year-old Ella is fired after an unfortunate incident (it was just a bit of hot sauce, for goodness’ sake – he totally overreacted!), her phone rings. Her estranged aunt Gillian, who lives in a tiny mountain village, has had a fall and needs someone to look after her while she recovers. Giving in to Fate, Ella agrees to go.

But Gillian, struggling after the recent loss of her partner, Mike, needs more than just practical help. Ella decides that she will show Gillian that life is still worth living if it’s the last thing she does – and will certainly not be distracted from her new purpose by Joe, Mike’s disconcertingly handsome nephew . . .

Has Fate have brought Ella and Gillian together at just the right time for them both? And do her plans extend to Ella’s love life, as well?


The Secret Agent by Elisabeth Hobbes
The Secret Agent: An emotional and totally gripping WW2 historical novel by [Elisabeth Hobbes]

My name is Sylvie Duchene and I am a dancer. There is no network. I am just a dancer. I know nothing. Please…I swear it…

An unknown location, occupied France, 1944

Dropping silently behind enemy lines, Sylvia Crichton, codename Monique, is determined to fight for the country of her birth and save it from its Nazi stranglehold.

As one of the dancers at the nightclub Mirabelle, Sylvie’s mission is to entertain the club’s German clientele and learn their secrets. In a world of deception and lies, she can trust no one. Not even Mirabelle’s enigmatic piano player Felix… a part of the resistance or a collaborator?

But despite her SOE training, nothing can prepare Sylvie for the horrors she is about to face – or the pain of losing those she grows closer to undercover…


The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside by Jessica Ryn
The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside: the perfect uplifting and feel-good debut novel about hope and kindness by [Jessica Ryn]

She’s not lost. She’s just waiting to be found…

Dawn Elisabeth Brightside has been running from her past for twenty-two years and two months, precisely.

So when she is offered a bed in St Jude’s Hostel for the Homeless, it means so much more than just a roof over her head.
 
But with St Jude’s threatened with closure, Dawn worries that everything is about to crumble around her all over again.
 
Perhaps, with a little help from her new friends, she can find a way to save this light in the darkness?
 
And maybe, just maybe, Dawn will finally have a place to call home….


Her Secret Son by Hannah Mary McKinnon
Her Secret Son: An utterly gripping domestic thriller by [Hannah Mary McKinnon]

WOULD YOU STILL WANT THE TRUTH IF IT COST YOU EVERYTHING?

When Josh’s partner, Grace, dies in a tragic accident, he is left with full custody of her seven-year-old son.

Josh has always acted like a father to Logan, and so he doesn’t hesitate to become his legal guardian. But when Josh can’t find any paperwork associated with Logan’s birth, his memories of Grace putting off making their family official begins to trouble him.

The further Josh searches into Grace’s past, the darker the secrets are that he uncovers. It’s not long before he starts to question who the woman he loved really was, and where her ‘son’ really came from.

If Josh’s fractured family has only been held together by lies, will the truth destroy it?


Kill a Stranger by Simon Kernick
Kill A Stranger: the twisting new thriller from the number one bestseller by [Simon Kernick]

They took your fiancée.
They framed you for murder.

You’re given one chance to save her. To clear your name.
You must kill someone for them.

They give you the time and place.
The weapon. The target.

You have less than 24 hours.
You only know that no-one can be trusted…and nothing is what it seems.


Moonlight Over Studland Bay by Della Galton
Moonlight Over Studland Bay: A heartwarming read of family, friendship and growing up by [Della Galton]

Animal loving Samantha Jones is on a mission to ‘live the dream’.

When best friend Abby has a beautiful baby boy Sam’s priorities change and she realises she wants more from her life.

Uninspired with her dull day job Sam plans to expand Purbeck Pooches, her seaside pet sitting business into a full-time career and embarks on a mission to find her perfect man.

Sam soon hits trouble. Her boss accuses her of moonlighting. The perfect man is frustratingly elusive and her parents make a shock revelation.

The odds are stacking up against her but Sam finds that sometimes when you reach for the moon, you get a handful of glittering stars thrown in for free.


The Last Days of Ellis Island by Gaelle Josse
The Last Days of Ellis Island by [Gaëlle Josse, Natasha Lehrer]

Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature

New York, November 3, 1954. In a few days, the immigration inspection station on Ellis Island will close its doors forever. John Mitchell, an officer of the Bureau of Immigration, is the guardian and last resident of the island. As Mitchell looks back over forty-five years as gatekeeper to America and its promise of a better life, he recalls his brief marriage to beloved wife Liz, and is haunted by memories of a transgression involving Nella, an immigrant from Sardinia. Told in a series of poignant diary entries, this is a story of responsibility, love, fidelity, and remorse.

Sins of the Father by Sharon Bairden
Sins of the Father: A disturbing and heart-stopping debut by [Sharon Bairden]

Lucas Findlay thinks he has struck gold when he marries Rebecca, but she married him for one reason only – to destroy him.

TRAUMA RUNS DEEP

When her past comes back to haunt her, Rebecca begins to disconnect from herself and the world around her. As secrets are unearthed, she begins to fear for her sanity… and her life.

TRUTH WILL OUT

With her world unravelling around her, Rebecca clings to her determination to make Lucas pay, whatever the cost.

FORGIVE HIS SINS

But someone must pay for the sins of the father…


Under the Golden Sun by Jenny Ashcroft
Under The Golden Sun by [Jenny Ashcroft]

Wanted: companion to escort a young, orphaned child home to Australia.
All expenses as well as passage covered.
Interested parties to apply without delay to 32 Williams Street, Belgravia.

Rose Hamilton is in desperate need of a fresh start. There are so many reasons she should ignore the advertisement: the war, those treacherous seas, her family, her fiancé… but she cannot help herself. Within weeks, she is boarding an enormous convoy, already too attached to five-year-old Walter Lucknow.

But rural Queensland, and the cattle station home of Walter’s parents, is not as either of them were told to expect. Rose cannot leave this little boy she’s grown to love until he is happy, and she knows the key to this is Walter’s wounded fighter pilot uncle Max. But how will she ever part with Walter? And what if he isn’t the only reason she wants to stay?


Body Language by AK Turner
Body Language: 'Spellbinding storytelling' Val McDermid by [A. K. Turner]

Cassie Raven believes the dead can talk. We just need to listen . . .

People think being a mortuary technician is a seriously weird job. They can’t understand why I choose to cut up dead bodies for a living. But they don’t know what I know:

The dead want to tell us what happened to them.

I’ve eviscerated thousands of bodies, but never someone I know before – someone who meant a lot to me; someone I loved.

The pathologist says that her death was an accident.

Her body is telling me differently.


33 Women by Isabel Ashdown
33 Women: A gripping new thriller about the power of women, and the lengths they will go to when pushed... by [Isabel Ashdown]

When sisters Celine and Pip get a call telling them their reclusive mother has died, the women are reunited at her riverside home in Arundel to pick up the pieces. But someone is missing – their middle sister, Vanessa, brutally murdered years ago and the victim of an unsolved case. As the sisters confront ghosts from the past, the discovery of another body in similar circumstances throws new light on Vanessa’s death. Could there be more to her case than the police first thought? And what do the mysterious residents of Two Cross Farm, the neighbouring women’s commune, have to do with it? What secrets are lurking behind their locked gates? And what is the significance of the number 33?


The Inner Darkness by Jorn Lier Horst
The Inner Darkness (The Cold Case Quartet) by [Jørn Lier Horst, Anne Bruce]

After four years behind bars, notorious serial killer Tom Kerr is ready to talk.
And Chief Inspector William Wisting is waiting to listen.

When Kerr leads the police to his final victim’s grave, the expedition goes horribly wrong . . .

He escapes.

Now, Wisting must find this cold-blooded killer before he strikes again.

Then another body is found – killed weeks before, in the same way as Kerr’s victims.

Is there a copycat killer on the loose?

Has Kerr become a twisted role model for a second killer?

And, if so, what might happen if master and apprentice unite?

As the clock counts down to the next murder, Wisting must put everything on the line to stop a terrifying evil before it strikes again . . .


Thirteen Storeys by Jonathan Sims

GOING UP?

A dinner party is held in the penthouse of a multimillion-pound development. All the guests are strangers – even to their host, the billionaire owner of the building
.
None of them know why they were selected to receive his invitation. Whether privileged or deprived, they share only one thing in common – they’ve all experienced a shocking disturbance within the building’s walls.

By the end of the night, their host is dead, and none of the guests will say what happened. His death has remained one of the biggest unsolved mysteries – until now.

But are you ready for their stories?


Turncoat by Anthony J Quinn
Turncoat by [Anthony J. Quinn]

The sole survivor of a murderous ambush, a Belfast police detective is forced into a desperate search for a mysterious informer that takes him to a holy island on Lough Derg, a place shrouded in strange mists and hazy rain, where nothing is as it first appears to be.

A keeper of secrets and a purveyor of lies, the detective finds himself surrounded by enemies disguised as pilgrims, and is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the purgatorial island, where he is forced to confront a series of disturbing secrets and ghosts in his own life.


Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory
Dark Tides by [Philippa Gregory]

Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy – his son and heir.

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

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

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


That’s it for another week. Remember I haven’t read or had access to titles before they’re published, I base my choices on the cover, the blurb, the author and gut instinct.

Happy Reading!

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