A lot of books this week so you might need to pace yourself, are you ready?
The index is a guide as to what format the title is being released in. In some cases the title might already have been published in a different format. For those readers interested in new audio editions I’ve indicated availability with the addition of a red button after the purchasing links – this makes it a bit easier to scan through and pick them up. The categories are intended to give you an indication of price and/or suitability depending on your preferred reading format. I have not complicated matters further by attempting to throw genres into the mix.
Where I’ve read the book, and would recommend it, I’ve added a new ‘Recommended’ button
(NB As an Amazon Associate, Bookshop and Hive Affiliate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)
How to Save a Life by Eva Carter
Sometimes saving a life is only the start of the story . . .
It’s nearly midnight on the eve of the millennium when eighteen-year-old Joel’s heart stops. A school friend, Kerry, performs CPR for almost twenty exhausting minutes, ultimately saving Joel’s life, while her best friend Tim freezes, unable to help.
That moment of life and death changes the course of all three lives over the next two decades: each time Kerry, Joel and Tim believe they’ve found love, discovered their vocation, or simply moved on, their lives collide again.
. . . Because bravery isn’t just about life or death decisions; it’s also about how to keep on living afterwards.
The Pact by Sharon Bolton
A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.
18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.
Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .
The Cave Dwellers by Christina McDowell
A compulsively readable novel in the vein of The Bonfire of the Vanities–by way of The Nest–about what Washington, DC’s high society members do away from the Capitol building and behind the closed doors of their stately homes.
They are the families considered worthy of a listing in the exclusive Green Book–a discriminative diary created by the niece of Edith Roosevelt’s social secretary. Their aristocratic bloodlines are woven into the very fabric of Washington–generation after generation. Their old money and manner lurk through the cobblestone streets of Georgetown, Kalorama, and Capitol Hill. They only socialize within their inner circle, turning a blind eye to those who come and go on the political merry-go-round. These parents and their children live in gilded existences of power and privilege.
The Ties That Bind by Anthea Fraser
Are the ties that bind them about to be ripped apart?
The Tempest family and friends are gathering for Cassie’s eighteenth birthday party. But as they come together, a series of explosive events will threaten everything they hold dear.
Cassie’s sister Jess is about to fly to Italy on holiday, but can she forget the horror of what she saw in her flat that afternoon?
Family friend Jenny Barlow has been keeping a devastating secret for years… but for how much longer?
And does the discovery of a dead body on the beach spell danger for one of the Tempests?
Grief, fear, desire and deception all collide as the ties that bind the family are strained like never before. Can they withstand the ultimate stress test?
Hardback & eBook releases
The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START YOUR LIFE’S BIG ADVENTURE . . .
Albert Entwistle was a postman. It was one of the few things everyone knew about him. And it was one of the few things he was comfortable with people knowing.
64-year-old Albert Entwistle has been a postie in a quiet town in Northern England for all his life, living alone since the death of his mam 18 years ago. He keeps himself to himself. He always has. But he’s just learned he’ll be forced to retire at his next birthday. With no friends and nothing to look forward to, the lonely future he faces terrifies him. He realises it’s finally time to be honest about who he is. He must learn to ask for what he wants. And he must find the courage to look for George, the man that, many years ago, he lost – but has never forgotten . . .
Join Albert as he sets out to find the long-lost love of his life, and has an unforgettable and completely life-affirming adventure on the way . . . This is a love story the likes of which you have never read before!
The Coldest Case by Martin Walker
Bruno Courreges is Chief of Police of the lovely town of St Denis in the Dordogne. His main wish is to keep the local people safe and his town free from crime. But crime has a way of finding its way to him.
For thirty years, Bruno’s boss, Chief of Detectives Jalipeau, known as J-J, has been obsessed with his first case. It was never solved and Bruno knows that this failure continues to haunt J-J. A young male body was found in the woods near St Denis and never identified. For all these years, J-J has kept the skull as a reminder. He calls him ‘Oscar’.
Visiting the famous pre-history museum in nearby Les Eyzies, Bruno sees some amazingly life-like heads expertly reconstructed from ancient skulls. He suggests performing a similar reconstruction on Oscar as a first step towards at last identifying him. An expert is hired to start the reconstruction and the search for Oscar’s killer begins again in earnest.
Both of You by Adele Parks
Leigh Fletcher: happily married stepmum to two gorgeous boys goes missing on Monday. Her husband Mark says he knows nothing of her whereabouts. She simply went to work and just never came home. Their family is shattered.
Kai Janssen: married to wealthy Dutch businessman, Daan, vanishes the same week. Kai left their luxurious penthouse and glamorous world without a backward glance. She seemingly evaporated into thin air. Daan is distraught.
DC Clements knows that people disappear all the time – far too frequently. Most run away from things, some run towards, others are taken but find their way back. A sad few never return. These two women are from very different worlds, their disappearances are unlikely to be connected. And yet, at a gut level, the DC believes they might be.
How could these women walk away from their families, husbands and homes willingly? Clements is determined to unearth the truth, no matter how shocking and devastating it may be.
The Killing Kind by Jane Casey
He tells you you’re special…
As a barrister, Ingrid Lewis is used to dealing with tricky clients, but no one has ever come close to John Webster. After Ingrid defended Webster against a stalking charge, he then turned on her – following her, ruining her relationship, even destroying her home.
He tells you he wants to protect you…
Now, Ingrid believes she has finally escaped his clutches. But when one of her colleagues is run down on a busy London road, Ingrid is sure she was the intended victim. And then Webster shows up at her door…
But can you believe him?
Webster claims Ingrid is in danger – and that only he can protect her. Stalker or saviour? Murderer or protector? The clock is ticking for Ingrid to decide. Because the killer is ready to strike again.
The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
Mahmood Mattan is a fixture in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay, 1952, which bustles with Somali and West Indian sailors, Maltese businessmen and Jewish families. He is a father, chancer, some-time petty thief. He is many things, in fact, but he is not a murderer.
So when a shopkeeper is brutally killed and all eyes fall on him, Mahmood isn’t too worried. It is true that he has been getting into trouble more often since his Welsh wife Laura left him. But Mahmood is secure in his innocence in a country where, he thinks, justice is served.
It is only in the run-up to the trial, as the prospect of freedom dwindles, that it will dawn on Mahmood that he is in a terrifying fight for his life – against conspiracy, prejudice and the inhumanity of the state. And, under the shadow of the hangman’s noose, he begins to realise that the truth may not be enough to save him.
Mother Mother by Annie MacManus
One Saturday morning, TJ McConnell wakes up to find his mother, Mary, gone. He doesn’t know where – or why – but he’s the only one who can help find her.
Mary grew up longing for information about the mother she never knew. Her brother could barely remember her, and their father numbed his pain with drink.
Now aged thirty-seven, Mary has lived in the same house her whole life. She’s never left Belfast. TJ, who’s about to turn eighteen, is itching to see more of the world.
But when his mother disappears, TJ begins to realise what he’s been taking for granted.
MOTHER MOTHER takes us down the challenging road of Mary’s life while following TJ’s increasingly desperate search for her, as he begins to discover what has led her to this point.
This is a story about family, grief, addiction and motherhood, and it asks an important question – if you spend your life giving everything to the ones you love, do you risk losing yourself along the way?
Fault Lines by Emily Itami
Mizuki is a Japanese housewife. She has a hardworking husband, two adorable children and a beautiful Tokyo apartment. It’s everything a woman could want, yet sometimes she wonders whether it would be more fun to throw herself off the high-rise balcony than spend another evening not talking to her husband or hanging up laundry.
Then, one rainy night, she meets Kiyoshi, a successful restaurateur. In him, she rediscovers freedom, friendship, a voice, and the neon, electric pulse of the city she has always loved. But the further she falls into their relationship, the clearer it becomes that she is living two lives – and in the end, we can choose only one.
I Couldn’t Love You More by Esther Freud
Rosaleen is still a teenager, in the early Sixties, when she meets the famous sculptor Felix Lichtman. Felix is dangerous, bohemian, everything she dreamed of in the cold nights at her Catholic boarding school. And at first their life together is glitteringly romantic – drinking in Soho, journeying to Marseilles. But it’s not long before Rosaleen finds herself fearfully, unexpectedly alone. Desperate, she seeks help from the only source she knows, the local priest, and is directed across the sea to Ireland on a journey that will seal her fate.
Kate lives in Nineties London, stumbling through her unhappy marriage. But something has begun to stir in her. Close to breaking point, she sets off on a journey of her own, not knowing what she hopes to find.
Aoife sits at her husband’s bedside as he lies dying, and tells him the story of their marriage. But there is a crucial part of the story missing and time is running out. Aoife needs to know: what became of Rosaleen?
The Audacity of Sara Grayson by Joani Elliott
What happens when your mother’s dying wish becomes your worst nightmare?
What happens when the world’s greatest literary icon dies before she finishes the final book in her best-selling series?
And what happens when she leaves that book in the hands of her unstable, neurotic daughter, who swears she’s not a real writer?
Sara Grayson is a thirty-two-year-old greeting card writer about to land the toughest assignment of her life. Three weeks after the death of her mother–a world-famous suspense novelist–Sara learns that her mother’s dying wish is for her to write the final book in her bestselling series.
Sara has lived alone with her dog, Gatsby, ever since her husband walked out with their Pro Double Waffle Maker and her last shred of confidence. She can’t fathom writing a book for thirty million fans–not when last week’s big win was resetting the microwave clock.
But in a bold move that surprises even herself, Sara takes it on. Against an impossible deadline and a publisher intent on sabotaging her every move, Sara discovers that stepping into her mother’s shoes means stumbling on family secrets she was never meant to find–secrets that threaten her mother’s legacy and the very book she’s trying to create.
Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastasic
Sara hasn’t seen or heard from her childhood best-friend, Lejla, in years. She’s comfortable with her life in Dublin, with her partner, their avocado plant, and their naturist neighbour. But when Lejla calls and demands she come home to Bosnia, Sara finds that she can’t say no.
What begins as a road trip becomes a journey through the past, as the two women set off to find Armin, Lejla’s brother who disappeared towards the end of the Bosnian War. Presumed dead by everyone else, only Lejla and Sara believed Armin was still alive.
Confronted with the limits of memory, Sara is forced to reconsider the things she thought she understood as a girl: the best friend she loved, the first experiences they shared, but also the social and religious lines that separated them, that brought them such different lives.
Translated into English by Lana Bastašic, Catch the Rabbit tells the story of how we place the ones we love on pedestals, and then wait for them to fall off, how loss marks us indelibly, and how the traumas of war echo down the years.
The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan
An accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA.
Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.
But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.
When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.
Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?
By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
It’s 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn’t ask for more out of life – her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she finds herself drawn to Greenwich Village’s new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Club – a radical, all-female group, in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women’s rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. But when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, shes forced to confront her shifting priorities head on… and may just lose everything in the process. Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she’s wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie’s running begin disappearing from the library’s famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-adverse Sadie teams up with a private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage-truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library’s history.
The Life I Was Meant to Live by Julien Sandrel
Thirty-nine-year-old Romane is a doctor and hypochondriac. Her usually uneventful life changes when one of her patients insists that she saw Romane coming out of a hospital in Marseille, looking very ill. But Romane is perfectly healthy and has never stepped foot in Marseille. So who did her patient see?
Romane sets off for the south of France, determined to uncover the mystery of her lookalike. Her investigation leads her to Juliette, a bookseller in Avignon. When the two women meet it soon becomes clear they are twins. But how is it possible that neither of them knew of each other’s existence? What secrets have their families been keeping? On their search for the truth the two sisters embark on an astonishing journey filled with both pain and joy…
Sunny Days & Sea Breezes by Carole Matthews
When does time out become the time of your life?
Jodie Jackson is all at sea, in every sense. On a ferry bound for the Isle of Wight, she’s leaving her London life, her career, and her husband behind. She’d like a chance to turn back the clocks, but she’ll settle for some peace and quiet on her brother Bill’s beautifully renovated houseboat, Sunny Days.
But from the moment Jodie steps aboard her new home, it’s clear she’ll struggle to keep herself to herself. If it isn’t Marilyn, who cleans for Bill and is under strict instructions to look after Jodie, then it’s Ned, the noisy sculptor on the next-door houseboat. Ned’s wood carving is hard on the ears, but it’s made up for by the fact that he’s rather easy on the eyes.
Bustled out of the boat by Marilyn and encouraged to explore with Ned, Jodie soon delights in her newfound freedom. But out of mind isn’t out of sight, and when her old life comes knocking Jodie is forced to face reality. Will she answer the call or choose a life filled with Sunny Days and Sea Breezes?
Where We Belong by Anstey Harris
One family learning to love again.
Cate Morris and her son, Leo, are homeless, adrift. They’ve packed up the boxes from their London home, said goodbye to friends and colleagues, and now they are on their way to ‘Hatters Museum of the Wide Wide World – to stay just for the summer. Cate doesn’t want to be there, in Richard’s family home without Richard to guide her any more. And she knows for sure that Araminta, the retainer of the collection of dusty objects and stuffed animals, has taken against them. But they have nowhere else to go. They have to make the best of it.
But Richard hasn’t told Cate the truth about his family’s history. And something about the house starts to work its way under her skin.
Can she really walk away, once she knows the truth?
The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey
One September afternoon in 1999, teenagers Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan Lang are walking home from school when they discover a boy lying in a field, bloody and unconscious. Thanks to their intervention, the boy’s life is saved. In the aftermath, all three siblings are irrevocably changed.
Matthew, the oldest, becomes obsessed with tracking down the assailant, secretly searching the local town with the victim’s brother. Zoe wanders the streets of Oxford, looking at men, and one of them, a visiting American graduate student, looks back. Duncan, the youngest, who has seldom thought about being adopted, suddenly decides he wants to find his birth mother. Overshadowing all three is the awareness that something is amiss in their parents’ marriage.
Over the course of the autumn, as each of the siblings confronts the complications and contradictions of their approaching adulthood, they find themselves at once drawn together and driven apart.
Us Three by Ruth Jones
Friends forever is a difficult promise to keep…
Meet Lana, Judith and Catrin. Best friends since primary school when they swore an oath on a Curly Wurly wrapper that they would always be there for each other, come what may.
After the trip of a lifetime, the three girls are closer than ever. But an unexpected turn of events shakes the foundation of their friendship to its core, leaving their future in doubt – there’s simply too much to forgive, let alone forget. An innocent childhood promise they once made now seems impossible to keep . . .
House of Correction by Nicci French
She’s a murderer.
Everyone knows she killed Stuart Rees – why else would his dead body be found in her shed?
So now Tabitha is in prison, awaiting trial.
Coming back to the remote coastal village where she grew up was a mistake. She didn’t fit in then, and she doesn’t fit in now.
That day is such a blur, she can’t remember clearly what happened. There is something she is missing, something important… She only knows one thing. She is not capable of murder.
And the only one she can trust to help her out of this situation is herself.
So she must fight. Against the odds.
For her life.
Paperback & eBook releases
Shadows Over the Spanish Sun by Caroline Montague
A country in the shadow of war. A love that burns through the decades…
Mia Ferris’s heart has always belonged in Spain. Every childhood summer was spent at her grandfather’s hacienda, riding together amongst the olive trees or listening to his stories of the past. So when she learns that he has fallen from his horse, she knows that she belongs by his bedside – even if it means leaving behind her life in London, and her new fiancé.
But as Leonardo fights for his life, and Mia to save the family home from financial ruin, secrets begin to emerge that tell a different story of the past – a terrible history that begins with a boy running for his life over the Andalusian hills, and ends with a forbidden love that only war can destroy…
As Mia untangles the passions and betrayals of the past, everything she thought she knew is turned upside down. Can she heal the wounds of the past, and face the truth of her own heart?
A sweeping novel of passionate love, betrayal and redemption, set against the turmoil and tragedy of the Spanish Civil War.
The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan
Kathleen is eighty years old. After a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. She’s not having any of it. What she craves – needs – is adventure.
Liza is drowning under the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza dream of a solo break of her own.
Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.
When Martha sees Kathleen’s advert for a driver and companion to take an epic road trip across America, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. Travelling with a stranger? No problem. She’s not the world’s best driver, but it couldn’t be worse than living with her parents again. And anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?
As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it’s never too late for adventure…
The Village Green Bookshop by Rachael Lucas
Frustrated that she spends all her time as either a mum to a football-obsessed teenager or a wife to a workaholic husband, Hannah wants something for herself. When the chance comes to take over the Post Office in Little Maudley, a charming Cotswold village, Hannah grabs it with both hands.
But village life is not so picture-perfect after all: Hannah finds herself an outsider in this tight-knit community where the height of your hedge is a gossip-worthy subject. Even her idea to introduce a small bookshop to the Post Office causes a stir. At least Ben seems to have found his place as he joins the local football team, coached by ex-professional Jake Lovatt. But a shocking secret from their past threatens to uproot the new life they’ve made for themselves, and has drastic consequences . . .
Set in the same village as The Telephone Box Library and featuring some of the same much-loved characters, this is a charming, big-hearted novel from bestselling author Rachael Lucas.
Unbreak Your Heart by Katie Marsh
Seven-year-old Jake’s heart is failing and he doesn’t want to leave his dad, Simon, alone. So he makes a decision: to find Simon someone to love before he goes.
Beth is determined to forget the past. But even when she leaves New York to start afresh in a Lake District village, she can’t shake the secrets that haunt her.
Single dad Simon still holds a candle for the woman who left him years ago. Every day is a struggle to earn a living while caring for his beloved son. He has no time for finding someone new.
But Jake is determined his plan will succeed – and what unfolds will change all three of them forever.
From Shetland with Love by Erin Green
Friendship can blossom in the most unexpected places…
When Jemima loses her beloved grandfather, keeping his allotment alive seems like the ideal way to feel close to him. She’s never fitted in before – is this her chance to find where she really belongs?
Finally Melissa has the allotment she’s been longing for to distract her while her husband works away – even if it is chest-high in weeds. But when she looks for help in the wrong place, she finds she’s the hottest topic of gossip.
For Dottie, her allotment and part-time job of ‘a little light dusting’ at Lerwick Manor keeps a spring in her eighty-year-old step – and her ears open for secrets.
Though generations apart, these three women are about to find a common bond in a new-found passion and that true friendship can grow anywhere.
The Cherry Tree Summer by Kate Glanville
Twenty-five years ago, Martha Morgan lost everything. Once a member of a prestigious bands, she now lives in solitude in the heart of the Dordogne, surrounded by an ancient cherry orchard.
Attempting to piece her life back together, Martha decides to rent her idyllic French farmhouse Le Couvent des Cerises to holidaymakers for the summer, hiring the mysterious Ben to help reconstruct the dishevelled B&B.
But when a vicious storm makes its way across the village, tensions begin to rise. Martha, Ben and the guests are forced to pull together and they’re about to find out that they have more in common than they realise – but it might mean jeopardising the secret of Martha’s past . . .
The Serial Killer’s Wife by Alice Hunter
Every marriage has its secrets…
Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.
When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.
But the worst is beyond imagining.
As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.
They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.
The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley
Sometimes all you need is one person to really see you.
Piper Parrish’s life on Frick Island–a tiny, remote town smack in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay–is nearly perfect. Well, aside from one pesky detail: Her darling husband, Tom, is dead. When Tom’s crab boat capsized and his body wasn’t recovered, Piper, rocked to the core, did a most peculiar thing: carried on as if her husband was not only still alive, but right there beside her, cooking him breakfast, walking him to the docks each morning, meeting him for their standard Friday night dinner date at the One-Eyed Crab. And what were the townspeople to do but go along with their beloved widowed Piper?
Anders Caldwell’s career is not going well. A young ambitious journalist, he’d rather hoped he’d be a national award-winning podcaster by now, rather than writing fluff pieces for a small town newspaper. But when he gets an assignment to travel to the remote Frick Island and cover their boring annual Cake Walk fundraiser, he stumbles upon a much more fascinating tale: an entire town pretending to see and interact with a man who does not actually exist. Determined it’s the career-making story he’s been needing for his podcast, Anders returns to the island to begin covert research and spend more time with the enigmatic Piper–but he has no idea out of all the lives he’s about to upend, it’s his that will change the most.
Above the Rain by Victor del Árbol
In the latest novel from a master of European crime fiction, past, present, and future collide on a breathtaking journey from 1950s Morocco to modern-day Spain and Sweden.
Miguel and Helena meet at a nursing home in Tarifa, at an age when they believe they have lived it all already. Distanced from their children, they feel they are no longer needed. The sudden suicide of one of the other residents opens their eyes. They don’t want to spend their last days longing for supposedly better times, so together they decide to undertake the journey of their lives and confront the darkness in their pasts.
Meanwhile, in the distant Swedish city of Malmö, the young Yasmina, a child of Moroccan immigrants who dreams of being a singer, lives trapped between her authoritarian grandfather and her contemptuous mother, who is ashamed of Yasmina because she works for a Swede with a murky reputation. And she’s having a secret affair with the Deputy Commissioner of the Swedish police, an older, influential man.
As Yasmina is drawn deeper into Malmö’s criminal underworld and Miguel and Helena approach the end of their feverish road trip, Víctor del Árbol masterfully reconstructs the history of violence that links their seemingly disparate lives.
A Good Mother by Sam Hepburn
I see my son’s scooter lying in the undergrowth. Time stands still. Where is he? Deafened by my own heartbeat, I keep looking but I can’t see him. This is all my fault. My punishment for the things I did, and the things I should have done.
All I ever wanted was to keep my son safe. I married the perfect husband, built the perfect home. I’ve tried to give Finn the life I never had.
Everything was going so well. Until now.
It’s just small things at first – a punctured tyre, an open gate that I’m sure I locked. But then I see the photograph of two young girls, and a night I’ve tried to forget.
I know I have to stop pretending that nothing is happening. I can’t escape the truth.
Someone knows my secret. But what do they want from me?
Your Life or Mine by Vicki Bradley
There were only ever two choices – your life or mine.
Alana Loxton was part of the all-female team to take down Barratt, a notorious serial killer.
He is safely behind bars when one of the detectives goes missing.
Her disappearance, and the connection to the killer, could be a coincidence – but when her body is discovered days later, a link begins to form.
Then another detective from the team goes missing and the situation becomes horrifically clear.
Someone is picking them off one by one – and Alana’s name is next on the list . . .
Hunting the Wren by Susanna M Newstead
Marlborough Town, nestled in the Wiltshire Downs, is home to the finest astrologer west of London. Geoffrey Celest.
Bennet, Master Celest’s apprentice, modelling himself on his master, has resigned himself to living an eccentric, celibate and aesthetic life. But when his master dies suddenly, the young man is thrown utterly on his own resources. Almost by accident, he takes on an untried and rather mischievous young woman, Christa Wren, as his servant. Reluctantly drawn into a world of murder, blackmail and feuding, the two of them are pulled closer; more intimate than master and servant should ever be.
In a tale packed with folklore and Medieval tradition, Bennet and Christa, battle with the evil forces in the town which threaten to tear them apart guided only by the deceased astrologer’s advice and warnings laid down secretly in a little black book.
Will the pair be protected by the benign influence of the planets or will those who seek to destroy them prevail?
♥ Can Bennet and Christa ever truly be more than master and servant or will true love find a way to triumph? ♥
★★★★★ It’s all in the stars. ★★★★★
Talk Bookish To Me by Kate Bromley
Inspiration can be found in the most unlikely – and inconvenient – places
Kara Sullivan is definitely not avoiding her deadline. After all, it’s the week of her best friend’s wedding and she’s the maid of honour, so she’s got lots of responsibilities. She’s a bestselling romance novelist with seven novels under her belt, so she’s a pro. Looming deadlines don’t scare her, and neither does writer’s block, which she most certainly does not have. She’s just eager to support Cristina as she ties the knot. Right? Right.
But then who should show up at the rehearsal dinner but Kara’s college ex-boyfriend, Ryan? Turns out he’s one of the groom’s childhood friends, and he’s in the wedding party, too. Considering neither Kara nor Ryan were prepared to see each other ever again, it’s decidedly a meet-NOT-cute. However, when Kara sits down to write again the next day, her writer’s block is suddenly gone. Are muses real? And is Kara’s muse . . . Ryan?
The Stranger Next Door by Adam Southward
She was the perfect neighbour. Until she made a terrible accusation. . .
When Matt and Imogen move out of the city, they’re hoping for a much-needed fresh start. Matt throws himself into his new job, but Imogen struggles to adjust to life in the suburbs. She’s grateful for the kind welcome from new neighbour Nancy, and they soon become close friends.
So when Nancy makes a shocking accusation, Imogen doesn’t know who to trust. This isn’t the first time Matt has found himself on the wrong end of a false accusation. . . but is Nancy hiding secrets of her own?
As simmering tensions threaten to boil over, Imogen is in more danger than she realises. Can she uncover the truth before she loses everything?
In Cold Blood by Adam Croft
A body is found under Welland Viaduct on a bitterly cold winter morning. But this will be a murder investigation like no other.
As DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine begin to unravel the dark secrets in the victim’s life, they find themselves sucked into a web of lies and betrayal.
Rutland Police need to find the killer before it’s too late. But with Caroline’s health failing and their main witness suspiciously missing, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Dark histories, mysterious gifts and hidden secrets abound. But will they discover the truth before anyone else is killed in cold blood?
The Marriage Lie by Ali Mercer
Fourteen years ago Stella did something she has regretted ever since. But she did it for her daughter. Now, that mistake could mean she loses her precious girl forever…
Stella follows her handsome husband Rob to the beautifully laid-out table in the restaurant he’s chosen specially for her fortieth birthday lunch. As the waiter pops the champagne, Rob proposes a toast and their crystal glasses clink together in celebration. Stella knows how they must look to anyone watching. Two people very much in love, with the perfect marriage and the perfect life.
But Rob is about to drop a bombshell on Stella. He wants a divorce.
If she doesn’t agree to his plan – to sell the house, divide the money and award him full custody of fourteen-year-old Georgie – he will tell their innocent daughter the one secret he promised to keep and that Stella has worked so hard to protect her from.
Stella has a choice to make. To fight for her daughter, there is only one person she can turn to for help. A woman she hasn’t spoken to in over a decade. But to do it means facing up to her biggest regret, and risks losing Georgie forever, once she learns the truth…
The Vacation by M M Chouinard
One of them is missing… One of them did it…
The Thanksgiving retreat was meant to be a time for them to get away from it all, miles from the secrets that threaten to tear their family apart. But they’re each hiding something:
Rose hopes the pretty house overlooking the sea is just the break her family needs. But as she gazes at the water and remembers her own childhood, she is utterly terrified.
Brandon knows his wife Rose has barely forgiven him for his affair. He’s started drinking again, a road that led him to disaster once before.
Brianna, Rose’s sister-in-law, is recovering from her fifth miscarriage, and when she looks at her adorable niece, she can’t help but see the daughter she deserves.
Then three-year-old Lily disappears from her bed in the villa. Isolated in what should have been paradise, it quickly becomes clear that one of them took her.
As one by one their secrets are uncovered, who will be destroyed next?
Summer in the City by Fiona Collins
Prue is not someone you would notice willingly. She likes to keep herself to herself and fade into the background. If it were not for the birthmark on her left cheek, she might actually succeed at becoming invisible.
She spends all of her time with her blind father, Vince. Together, they sit in silence and ignore the vibrant city just on their doorstep. Life is as good as what’s on TV. That is, until something forces them both to go outside and see what they have been missing. For Vince, that means discovering how to see the world without his sight. For Prue, that means finding the courage to finally love and be loved in return.
A story about family, friendship and facing your fears head on, this is a heart-warming story that will stay with you long after you have finished the last page.
A Good Liar by Amanda Brooke
When a fire destroys the Empress Theatre, a devastating tragedy unfolds.
Amelia’s mother lost her piece of mind forever when she left her daughter alone for a few life-changing moments.
The dance school lost their beloved teacher, Hilary, who died saving the lives of her young pupils.
Karin lost her memory, and the answers she desperately craves.
Claudia lost the one thing that would have made her perfect life complete.
As local reporter Leanne picks over the embers of that night, what seemed like a straightforward case of negligence becomes something else entirely: somebody is lying – each person has lost something, but one of them has sold their soul…
The Autumn Tree by Tony J Forder
When dark desires have no limitations, anything is fair game.
After a young woman is found strangled to death, Bliss is called to the scene. When he learns that one of his business cards was found among the victim’s clothing, and he is told what was written on the back of it, Bliss is immediately troubled. The card was one of five he handed out to trafficked young women he and his team had previously rescued from a shipping container.
When he sees the victim, Bliss realises she was not one of those saved that day. So whose card does she have? And why? And is it connected to her murder?
The murder investigation proves to be more complex and challenging than the team could possibly have imagined. But just as they think they have it figured out, they learn that depravity has no boundaries…
The Secretary by Catherine Hokin
The Tower House. Down a secluded path, hidden by overgrown vines, the crumbling villa echoes with memories. Of the family who laughed and sang there, until the Nazis tore them from their home. And of the next woman to walk its empty rooms, whose courage in the face of evil could alter the course of history…
Germany 1940. As secretary to the leader of the SS, Magda spends her days sending party invitations to high-ranking Nazis, and her evenings distributing pamphlets for the resistance. But Magda is leading a dangerous double life, smuggling secrets out of the office. It’s a deadly game, and eventual exposure is a certainty, but Magda is driven by a need to keep the man she secretly loves safe as he fights against the Nazis…
Forty years later.Nina’s heart pounds as she steps into an uncertain future carrying a forged passport, a few bank notes, and a scribbled address for The Tower House taken from an intricate drawing she found hidden in her grandmother’s wardrobe. Separated from her family and betrayed by her country, Nina’s last hope is to trace her family’s history in the ruins of the past her grandmother ran from. But, when she finally finds the abandoned house, she opens the door to a forgotten story, and to secrets which will change everything: past, present, and future…
Day for Night by Jean McNeil
An unflinching exploration of love and boundaries in Brexit-crazed London.
Richard Cottar is a respected independent film writer and director; his wife, Joanna, is his increasingly successful and wealthy producer. Together they are about to embark on a film about the life of Walter Benjamin, the German Jewish intellectual who killed himself in northern Spain while on the run from the Nazis in 1940. In what looks set to be the last year of Britain’s membership of the European Union, Benjamin’s story of exile and statelessness is more relevant than ever. But Richard and Joanna’s symbiotic life takes a sudden turn when they cast an intelligent, sexually ambiguous young actor in the role of Walter Benjamin. In a climate of fear and a bizarre, superheated year redolent of sex and hidden desire, Richard and Joanna must confront their relationship, Benjamin’s tragic history, and the future of their country.
The Whole of the Moon by Sharon Booth
Every moment is a chance to start again.
It’s October in Kearton Bay, and Rhiannon Bone is preparing for her annual Samhain celebration at The Hare and Moon Inn on the seafront. All her friends and neighbours are expected to attend, but there will be one notable absence — her son, Derry, who left the village three years ago to live with her estranged father on his Cornish estate.
Despite the reassurances of her friends, Rhiannon blames herself for Derry’s departure, and longs for the day that he returns home. But with Derry still bitter over the revelations about his parentage, is it too late for reconciliations?
Tally’s tired of being the nice one in her family. Her mother, Sophie, relies on her, and Tally’s used to doing all she can to keep everyone happy. Nursing a broken heart in secret, she’s increasingly resentful of the way her brother and sister live their lives with no thought for anyone else, and wonders, is it time she broke away from her mum and started to live the life she wants? But what, exactly, does Tally want?
Harry Jarvis’s arrival in Kearton Bay causes a tidal wave of resentment, anger and anxiety. His ex-wife, Eliza, is worried their daughter, Amy, will be hurt all over again, and her husband, Gabriel, is afraid he’ll lose the love of his stepdaughter. Harry, meanwhile, just wants to rebuild his relationship with his little girl and start afresh.
But Amy isn’t the same child he left behind, and she’s not going to let him off the hook that easily. And with two ex-wives to placate, a failing career, a tumbledown property to renovate, and a terrible reputation to live down, Harry’s about to find that making a fresh start in Kearton Bay won’t be as easy as he’d hoped.
Derry has an important reason for returning home, but if it hadn’t been for Lexi and Will he’s not sure he would ever have found the courage. He knows his mother wants him back, but there are stumbling blocks to a reconciliation that he doesn’t want her to know about. Yet he’s all too aware that she’s going to find out before too long. Can he bear to be around her when his secret is discovered? And then there’s another matter that’s preoccupying him. Because it’s not just Rhiannon Derry hurt by leaving, and putting that right is going to be a lot more complicated than he thought…
OK folks, that’s it for another week, anything take your fancy?
See you – same time, same place next week.