Here’s this week’s curated list of new fiction titles. These are titles appearing in hardback/paperback for the first time. In some cases the ebook might already be available. All titles are based on the listings found in The Bookseller so I’m not working from a list of all titles being published. It’s a quiet week this week, but, as you’ll all have realised by now, that means there’ll be an onslaught of books coming at you next week!
Just a reminder I don’t see any advance copies, my choices are based on the blurb, gut instinct and what I might happen to fancy reading at the time.
(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)
Historical (I tend to take this as pre 1960’s ie not in my lifetime!)
Crime, thriller & mystery
Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda
We had no warning that she would come back…
Welcome to Hollow’s Edge – a picture-perfect neighbourhood where everyone has each other’s backs. At least, that’s how it used to be, until the night Brandon and Fiona Truett were found dead…
Two years ago, branded a grifter, thief and sociopath by her friends and neighbours, Ruby Fletcher was convicted of murdering the Truetts. Now, freed by mistrial, Ruby has returned to Hollow’s Edge. But why would she come back? No one wants her there, least of all her old housemate, Harper Nash.
As Ruby’s return sends shockwaves through the community, terrified residents turn on each other, and it soon becomes clear that not everyone was honest about the night the Truetts died. When Harper begins to receive threatening, anonymous notes, she realizes she has to uncover the truth before someone else gets hurt… Someone like her.
Running Out of Road by Cath Staincliffe
A missing schoolgirl, a middle-aged recluse, an exploited teenager. Lives thrown into chaos and set on collision course. With the police in hot pursuit.
Scarlett is dancing in the school talent show tomorrow. Nana, who Scarlett lives with since Mum died, reckons Scarlett will be on Strictly at this rate. Except Scarlett doesn’t make it home from school. She’s abducted by a man she never imagined she’d see again. A man on the police’s most wanted list. Her dad.
Ron has made a living as a house and pet sitter since quitting his career on the front line in the fire service. He’s currently looking after a place deep in the Derbyshire Peaks. The solitude suits him. And managing animals is so much simpler than coping with other people.
Dylan’s a ‘cuckoo’, dealing drugs on the county line, moving from nest to nest, picking out people who daren’t say no. Keeping his head down, one step ahead of the law. So far. But now everything’s falling apart.
DS Laura O’Neil is running on empty after nights dealing with her teething toddler. But Laura is driving the hunt for Scarlett and knows that every minute counts.
A race against time, played out in the brooding wilderness, the limestone gorges and gritstone edges of the Peak District. Themes of escape and entrapment, of shifting loyalties and new alliances, of violence, fear and love, resilience, kindness and hope.
Good Neighbours by Sarah Langan
A sudden tragedy pits neighbour against neighbour and puts one family in terrible danger.
Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world. But when the Wilde family moves in, they trigger their neighbours’ worst fears. Arlo and Gertie and their weird kids don’t fit with the way Maple Street sees itself. As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and neighbourhood Queen Bee Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes. Suddenly, it is one mother’s word against the other’s in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood.
A riveting and ruthless portrayal of suburbia, Good Neighbours excavates the perils and betrayals of motherhood and friendships and the dangerous clash between social hierarchy, childhood trauma, and fear.
Perfect Lie by Claire Sheldon
What is ‘perfect’ trying to hide?
Jen Garner tries her best to be ‘wife and mother of the year’. She helps organise school plays and accompanies her husband to company dinners, all with a big smile on her face.
But Jen has started to receive strange gifts in the post … first flowers, then a sympathy card. It could just be a joke; that’s what she tells herself. But then the final ‘gift’ arrives, and Jen has to question why somebody is so intent on shattering her life into pieces …
Suiza by Benedicte Belpois
A powerful story of dysfunctional love
Tomás is a wealthy farmer, rough and taciturn, as rooted in the land as the eucalyptus trees he grows under the Galician sun. When he’s diagnosed with lung cancer, he tells no-one.
Suiza is a damaged young woman, strikingly beautiful, barely literate, a run-away. Her only dream, to see the sea.
The relationship that ensues is as passionate and tender as it is troubling and nuanced. How transformative can love really be? As happiness and the promise of healing beckon, the darkness that has been spreading underneath all along will reveal itself, bringing the narrative to a heart-stopping, heart-wrenching denouement.
About Us by Sinead Moriarty
Three couples. One therapist’s couch …
Alice and Niall used to be lovers, best friends and parents, in that order. Now they’re no longer on the same page or even reading from the same book.
Ann thought when she and Ken retired, it would be their second spring. Instead, it feels more like an icy winter.
Orla is falling in love with boyfriend Paul, but her complicated past makes her unsure if she can ever be intimate with anyone.
Three couples find themselves telling a stranger about the most private part of their lives – their hopes, their disappointments, their awkward realisations.
Can they learn to be honest with each other? And what life-changing decisions will be made when they do?
What Are We Doing About Zoya? by Anisha Bhatia
Zoya is not a perfect Indian daughter. She’s overweight, independent and unmarried in a society that values slim, obedient women.
And at twenty-six, she is hurtling towards her expiration date in Mumbai’s arranged marriage super-mart. But when her family’s matchmaking finally works, everything seems to be on the up – all until she is offered a dream job in New York City.
Zoya must now make the choice of a lifetime, but not without a few cultural casualties and, of course, an accidental love story along the way . . .
Love at Cafe Lompar by Anna and Jacqui Burns
‘This was a place for love, for proposals and weddings, couples and happy families. Our hurting hearts were awkward and out of place.‘
Grace believed she had the ideal marriage, but after Dan dies, she finds proof he had another family. Kat can’t admit that her father was less than perfect. Mother and daughter go to Montenegro to find out the truth.
But when they track down Rosa and her son, while Grace is heart-broken, Kat can’t help being thrilled to have a brother. Kat is a bullied sous chef in London, and starts helping out ‘just for a few days’ at Rosa’s restaurant, the Café Lompar. Soon both women are torn between their old and new lives, facing impossible choices.
Can Kat find what she’s looking for? Will Grace let herself trust again? Can a journey that begins with betrayal ever end in joy?
The Dangerous Kingdom of Love by Neil Blackmore
The kingdom of love is a frightening place. A dangerous place. What kind of fool wants to live there?
How have I, Francis Bacon, well-known as the cleverest man in England, been caught in this trap? For years I survived the brutal games of the English court, driven by the whims of the idiot King James I – and finally, I was winning. Forget what my friends Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare say about love. I had that which men truly crave above all else: power.
But now, at the moment of my greatest success, a deadly alliance of my enemies has begun closing in on me. Led by the King’s beautiful and poisonous lover Carr, this new alliance threatens to turn our foolish King against me, so that I may rot in the Tower.
I refuse to go down without a fight. I have concocted a brilliant new plan: I will find my own beguiling young man and supplant Carr in the King’s bed, and take power for myself. All I need to do is find him, my beautiful and mysterious creature, my perfect chess move.
In the dangerous kingdom of love, those who understand desire win. And I intend to win, at all costs.
So that’s all for this week.