Coming in the next two weeks – my fiction picks to 21st November

Here’s my round-up of forthcoming 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.

Just a reminder I don’t see any advance copies, my choices are based on the blurb, gut instinct and what takes my fancy at the time.

There’s a slight change to the format as I’m prepping these posts ahead of impending surgery and the subsequent convalescence. Adding the normal purchasing links is just eating into what little time I have to get them done, so I’m afraid I’m just including the Amazon link (as I take the images and blurb from Amazon it seems only fair). You could also visit Bookshop and Hive which give a donation to independent bookshops. You might also be unaware that Hive also offers a 10% senior discount for over 55’s.

(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)

Index

Crime, Thriller and Mystery

General Fiction

Historical (I tend to take this as pre 1960’s ie not in my lifetime!)

Non-Fiction added extras

Crime, thriller & mystery

No Quarter Given (Connor Fraser Book 4)

No Quarter Given by Neil Broadfoot

She was lying in the road when he found her, crumpled and broken, the car that hit her screaming away from the scene in haze of tyre smoke and exhaust fumes…

Jennifer MacKenzie being hit by a car was a tragic accident. Or so it seemed. Until Connor is summoned to a meeting his girlfriend’s dad, Duncan McKenzie. MacKenzie claims that Jen’s accident was actually a message intended for him – and a way to force him to kill his trusted lieutenant Paulie King, who has now mysteriously disappeared.

His request to Connor is simple. Find Paulie and the men who hurt his daughter. Do whatever it takes.
As an all-out gang war threatens to explode across Central Scotland, Connor begins a journey that forces him to confront some uncomfortable truths about his girlfriend and the family he is connected to through her. But Connor is also driven by a vow – to find Paulie. And when he does, no quarter will be given.


Sponsored Ad – The Dark Hours: The Brand New Blockbuster Ballard & Bosch Thriller

The Dark Hours by Michael Connolly

On New Year’s Eve at the end of one of the hardest years in history, hundreds of revellers shoot their guns into the air in time-honoured LA tradition. But as the rain of lead comes down, a man is shot dead in the middle of a crowded street party.

Detective Renée Ballard soon connects the bullet to an unsolved cold case last worked by legendary ex-LAPD detective Harry Bosch. As they investigate where the old and new cases connect, a new crime shatters the night shift.

The Midnight Men are a pair of violent predators who stalk the city during the dark hours, and will kill to keep their identities secret.

In a police department shaken to the core by pandemic and protests, both cases have the power to save Ballard’s belief in the job – or take everything from her…


The Death of Me

The Death of Me by Michelle Davies

Is one of music’s greatest mysteries about to be solved?

‘He was a massive star until he did a headline grabbing retreat from the spotlight – but his disappearing act was FAKED. Fans won’t be happy when they find out – his reputation was dead in the water.’

When Isaac Naylor committed suicide after a teenage fan was found dead in his hotel room, the world thought it had lost one of the greatest rock stars of a generation. Naylor, lead singer of The Ospreys, had been arrested for causing the girl’s death and was on police bail when he drowned himself in the sea off the Devon coast.

Now, eight years on, music journalist Natalie Glass stumbles across a blind item on a US gossip website that suggests Naylor’s death wasn’t quite what it seemed – and he might in fact still be alive.

But as she delves deeper into what happened, Natalie finds she has a stark choice: give up trying to find out what happened to Naylor or risk her own obituary ending up in print.


The Cyclist

The Cyclist by Tim Sullivan

Introducing your new crime thriller fix: Bristol detective DS George Cross, champion of the outsider, the voiceless and the dispossessed.

DS George Cross can be rude, difficult, and awkward with people. But his unfailing logic and relentless pursuit of justice means his conviction rate is the best on the force. So when a ravaged body is found in a local demolition site, it’s up to Cross to piece together the truth from whatever fragments he can find.

The demolition began at dawn. Walls knocked over. Twisted pipes uprooted. Window frames smashed. And then, a dead body appeared in the wreckage…

DS Cross has little to go on, but from the faint tan lines on the ravaged body, and strange scars on his forearms, an identity gradually emerges: a young man; an amateur cyclist; a reliance on performance-enhancing drugs. But what led this man to his death? In the face of budget cuts, unreliable witnesses and colleagues pushing to close the case, Cross mounts a meticulous investigation that will uncover jealousy, ambition and a family tearing itself apart…


Nowhere to Run (The Constance Fairchild Series)

Nowhere to Run by James Oswald (The Constance Fairchild series)

On compassionate leave following the death of her mother, Detective Constable Constance Fairchild thought renting a cottage near Aberystwyth, Wales would get her far enough from London to finally relax. But trouble always seems to find Con, and it’s not long before she is cooling off in a police station cell after defending herself from two would-be rapists.

In custody she meets a young Ukrainian woman, Lila, who confides in Con that she’s been forced by her manipulative boyfriend into prostitution and running drugs. Fearing for her life, she has run away from him, only to end up in the cells.

Con offers to help, but when her cottage is ransacked, and Lila subsequently disappears, she realises she’s stumbled into very dangerous company. International drug smugglers and ruthless people traffickers – those who will stop at nothing to protect their secrets. Out here at the end of the line, will Con find that there’s nowhere left to run?


The Shadow at the Door: Four Stories. Four Cases. One Connection.

The Shadow at the Door by Tim Weaver

FOUR MYSTERIES

It’s a night just like any other in the Conister home – but then Paul heads upstairs and never comes back.

When his wife Maggie goes to see where he is, she can’t find him. His phone and wallet are by the bed. The windows are locked from the inside.

Paul has vanished.

FOUR STORIES

Missing persons investigator David Raker is an expert in locating the lost. So when he’s hired by Maggie, he knows that in every disappearance – however impossible it seems – there’s an answer.

What he doesn’t know yet is that his search for Paul Conister will become linked to three other mysteries . . .

ONE CONNECTION

A night patrolman on the London Underground makes a deadly discovery.
A cold case is reopened – but the key witness appears to no longer exist.
And thousands of miles away, a random shooting may not be random at all.

David Raker is key to unlocking the truth . . .


Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls by David Mark

Read the prequel to the Sunday Times bestseller Dark Winter, where DS Aector McAvoy’s journey began…

A city united in grief.
A journalist ready to kill to keep his secrets.
A copper capable of darker deeds than murderers.
An unworldly detective fighting to save an innocent man.

Welcome to Hull

Newly appointed DS McAvoy is an outsider to his new force and must confront his darkest fears, while hunting a killer that nobody else believes in. In a landscape at once tender and brutal, McAvoy must tread the path between the darkness and the light, before facing an enemy who will brand him for life.


A Haunting at Holkham: from the author of the bestselling memoir Lady in Waiting

A Haunting at Holkham by Anne Glenconner

January 1950. Lady Anne Coke, daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester, is in Scunthorpe on a business trip when she is called home after a sudden death in the family. She returns to Holkham Hall to discover a mystery: her beloved grandfather has been found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs with a valuable piece of jewellery in his pocket. No one can find a cause of death, and some even suspect foul play from the ghost who supposedly haunts the house. But Anne’s suspicions are aroused; she grew close to her grandfather when they lived together during the war and she is determined to discover the truth.

During World War II, Holkham Hall was an army base with large sections out of bounds, and 11-year-old Anne was in the care of a new governess, whom she hated and believed to be deceitful. Although she had been told to stay away from certain parts of the house, Anne used the secret passageways and the cellars to move around unnoticed. And something she saw then could unlock the mystery of her grandfather’s death now …


The Shadows of Men: ‘An unmissable series' The Times (Wyndham and Banerjee series Book 5)

The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee

Calcutta, 1923. When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can officers of the Imperial Police Force, Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surendranath Banerjee track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath?

Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this ‘unmissable’ (The Times) series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?


Vine Street: 'Crime book of the month' THE TIMES

Vine Street by Dominic Nolan

SOHO, 1935.
SERGEANT LEON GEATS’ PATCH.

A snarling, skull-cracking misanthrope, Geats marshals the grimy rabble according to his own elastic moral code.

The narrow alleys are brimming with jazz bars, bookies, blackshirts, ponces and tarts so when a body is found above the Windmill Club, detectives are content to dismiss the case as just another young woman who topped herself early.

But Geats – a good man prepared to be a bad one if it keeps the worst of them at bay – knows the dark seams of the city.

Working with his former partner, mercenary Flying Squad sergeant Mark Cassar, Geats obsessively dedicates himself to finding a warped killer – a decision that will reverberate for a lifetime and transform both men in ways they could never expect.


A Fatal Night: Don’t miss the next gripping mystery from million-copy bestseller Faith Martin! (Ryder and Loveday, Book 7)

A Fatal Night by Faith Martin

New Year’s Eve, 1962

As a snowstorm rages outside, Oxford high society gathers to ring in the new year at the city’s most exclusive party. This is a soiree no one will forget… not least because a guest is found dead in his car the next morning.

It seems the young man tragically froze to death overnight after crashing into a snowdrift – but when WPC Trudy Loveday and coroner Clement Ryder are called in to investigate, they discover a tangled web of secrets that plainly points to murder.

With everyone telling different stories about that fateful night, only one thing is clear: several people had reason to want the victim dead.

And if Trudy and Clement don’t find the cracks in each lie, the killer will get away with the perfect crime…


Old Sins: The page-turning Scottish crime thriller (DI Kelso Strang Book 4)

Old Sins by Aline Templeton

On a clear, moonlit night, DCI Kelso Strang stepped outside the bothy on Suilven and heard, faint but unmistakable, the howl of a wolf. An unsettling sound, but not the only unsettling thing about the remote township of Inverbeg, where he is taking a break with an old army friend.

Sean Reynolds is obsessive about rewilding his Auchinglass estate and there are rumours that he’s taken illicit steps to hurry that on, to the anger of the local farmers. There are other tensions too. An elderly lady had died some months before, officially in a tragic stumble off a cliff path but she was a woman burdened with many secrets and her closest friend believes her death was not an accident, but retribution.


The Pimlico Murder: The compelling wartime murder mystery (Blitz Detective Book 6)

The Pimlico Murder by Mike Hollow

Armistice Day 1940. The Blitz Detective John Jago finds himself despatched to Pimlico to investigate a suspicious death. A young man, Terry Watson, has been found in an Anderson shelter, battered about the head, and with two white poppies in his pocket. As the investigation delves into Watson’s background, Jago and his assistant DC Craddock find themselves knee-deep in Pimlico’s shady underworld, and connections with Mosley’s BUF party. It will take all their skills to uncover the truth behind the pacifist’s brutal death.


The Replacement

The Replacement by Melanie Golding

When a small child is found wandering alone, the local shopkeepers call the authorities immediately. Twenty minutes later, the girl’s mother turns up, panicked and distraught. It doesn’t take long to clear things up, and mother and daughter are soon reunited and sent on their way.

Miles away, the body of a man is discovered, floating in a bathtub, but the most surprising discovery of all is that he isn’t dead. Despite his injuries, he is very much alive.

Two seemingly unrelated events. But as DS Harper begins to investigate, disturbing truths start to come to light that connect the man to the mother and child, and suddenly it’s not clear where the danger truly lies. Harper must find out, and quickly. Because someone, or something, is closing in and she needs to uncover the truth before it’s too late…


Back to Index

General/Contemporary Fiction

An Unusual Grief

An Unusual Grief by Yewande Omotoso

How do you get to know your daughter when she is dead? This is the question which takes a mother on a journey of self-discovery. When her daughter Yinka dies, Mojisola is finally forced to stop running away from the difficulties in their relationship, and also come to terms with Yinka the woman. Mojisola’s grief leads her on a journey of self-discovery, as she moves into her daughter’s apartment and begins to unearth the life Yinka had built for herself there, away from her family. Through stepping into Yinka’s shoes, Mojisola comes to a better understanding not only of her estranged daughter, but also herself, as she learns to carve a place for herself in the world beyond the labels of wife and mother. A bold and unflinching tale of one women’s unconventional approach to life and loss.


The Retreat

The Retreat by Alison Moore

Since childhood, Sandra Peters has been fascinated by the small, private island of Lieloh, home to the reclusive silent\-film star Valerie Swanson. Having dreamed of going to art college, Sandra is now in her forties and working as a receptionist, but she still harbours artistic ambitions. When she sees an advert for a two\-week artists’ retreat on Lieloh, Sandra sets out on what might be a life\-changing journey


The Fell

The Fell by Sarah Moss

At dusk on a November evening in 2020 a woman slips out of her garden gate and turns up the hill. Kate is in the middle of a two-week quarantine period, but she just can’t take it any more – the closeness of the air in her small house, the confinement. And anyway, the moor will be deserted at this time. Nobody need ever know.

But Kate’s neighbour Alice sees her leaving and Matt, Kate’s son, soon realizes she’s missing. And Kate, who planned only a quick solitary walk – a breath of open air – falls and badly injures herself. What began as a furtive walk has turned into a mountain rescue operation . . .

Unbearably suspenseful, witty and wise, The Fell asks probing questions about the place the world has become since March 2020, and the place it was before. This novel is a story about compassion and kindness and what we must do to survive, and it will move you to tears.


Walking on Sunshine

Walking on Sunshine by Giovanna Fletcher

In the darkness, we all need a little light . . .

After Mike loses Pia, his partner of seventeen years, their best friends Vicky and Zaza try to help pick up the pieces.

But though Pia’s gone, she left a plan. A list of loving instructions to help Mike and her friends come to terms with their loss.

And they’re each going to need it . . .

Just-engaged Zaza fears committing any further.
Exhausted mother and wife Vicky has lost sight of herself.
While Mike just feels all the colour has gone from his life.

When the list sends them trekking to Peru, where high mountains and sweltering rainforests push them to the brink, all they have to guide them is their faith in Pia and in themselves.

But will they learn that anything is possible when you’re walking on sunshine?


Just Haven't Met You Yet: The new feel-good love story from the author of THIS TIME NEXT YEAR

Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens

Tell me the story of how you two met…

Laura has built a career out of interviewing people about their epic real life love stories.

When she picks up the wrong suitcase at the airport, Laura wonders if this could be the start of something that’s written in the stars.

From piano sheet-music to a battered copy of her favourite book, Laura finds in the bag evidence of everything she could hope for in a partner.

If Laura’s job has taught her anything it’s that when it comes to love, you can’t let opportunity pass you by. Now Laura is determined to track down the owner of the suitcase, and her own happy ending.

But what if fate has other ideas?


Saying Goodbye to Tuesday: A heart-warming and uplifting novel for anyone who has ever loved a dog

Saying Goodbye to Tuesday by Chrissie Manby

Stupendo the dog has died. But that’s just the beginning of his story.

To love and protect. The code of the good dog is clear. When single mother Tuesday took on mongrel pup Stupendo, she made a friend for life. Through the best and the worst of times, Stupendo has been there for her. Ever faithful, ever loyal, ever true. Nothing could break their bond. Until last week.

Stupendo doesn’t know why Tuesday is suddenly ignoring him or why his doggy antics no longer seem to soothe Baby William. It takes his worst enemy – the cat next door – to break the news that Stupendo has become a ghost.

Somehow left behind on Earth, Stupendo knows he has unfinished business. Enlisting the help of the community of animals in the neighbourhood, Stupendo must get to the bottom of the very human sadness that hangs over his old home and keeps him from saying goodbye to Tuesday.


Call of the Penguins: From the No.1 bestselling author of Away with the Penguins

Call of the Penguins by Hazel Prior

Meet the heroine everyone’s talking about . . .

Fiercely resilient and impeccably dressed, Veronica McCreedy has lived an incredible 87 years. Most of them alone, in her huge house by the sea.

But Veronica has recently discovered a late-life love for family and friendship, adventure and wildlife.

More specifically, a love for penguins!

And so when she’s invited to co-present a wildlife documentary, far away in the southern hemisphere, she jumps at the chance.

Even though it will put her in the spotlight, just when she thought she would soon fade into the wings.

Perhaps it’s never too late to shine?


Everything Has Changed: A heartwarming story of family and second chances

Everything Has Changed by Kendra Smith

When sisters Victoria and Lulu are involved in a life-changing car accident, it has far-reaching consequences for them both.

Victoria‘s new world baffles her: she has adorable 10-year-old twins, right? Wrong. Her babies have grown into sulky teenagers – amnesia has stolen nearly six years from her and she’s suddenly a stranger in her own life. With a now-frosty relationship with her husband James, maybe this collision is a chance to start over with those she loves most.

Meanwhile, Lulu appears to have escaped the crash unscathed, but the accident has been a catalyst for unearthing the demons from her past and they’re dragging her deeper into the bottle. Seeking refuge in a relationship that doesn’t quite fit, Lulu knows things can’t continue as they are.

Do these two sisters have the courage to re-write their past and face who they really need to be?


A Way Back to Happy

A Way Back to Happy by Olivia Spooner

Sometimes you have to fall apart so that you can start again…

After five years stuck in the wrong marriage, 33-year-old Emmais finally free. Her husband has moved out, her son Freddie is making friends, and her parents are finally trying to stop micro-managing her life.

On a celebratory night out with her three best friends, Emma meets Finn. Young, dimpled and irresistibly Scottish Finn. Between landing her dream job, stolen moments with Finn, and precious time with Freddie, Emma is happier than she has ever been.

Then one accident changes everything and Emma’s life is thrown into chaos. With the help of all who love her, can Emma find a way back to happy?


Back to Index

Historical

The Falling Thread

The Falling Thread by Adam O’Riordan

Manchester, the summer of 1890. A city humming with industry and gleaming with affluence.

But for Charles, cloistered in his middle-class parents’ suburban villa on holiday from university, the city’s vibrancy holds no charms. Bored and a little listless, he spends the summer in pursuit of his little sisters’ governess, Hettie. Before the summer’s end, both must face the consequences of their affair – consequences they will live with for the rest of their lives.

Charles’s sisters come of age as women of the new century – and experience a very different Manchester from their brother and guardian. In the smog and glitter of the city, both sisters will discover the very different things they seek, and the very different women they will become. But as a new era springs into being, a darker shadow stretches, threatening to engulf the whole world…


The Memory Box: A beautiful, timeless, absolutely heartbreaking love story and World War 2 historical fiction

The Memory Box Kathryn Hughes

Jenny Tanner opens the box she has cherished for decades. Contained within are her most precious mementoes, amongst them a pebble, a carving and a newspaper cutting she can hardly bear to read. But Jenny knows the time is finally here. After the war, in a mountainside village in Italy, she left behind a piece of her heart. However painful, she must return to Cinque Alberi. And lay the past to rest.

After a troubled upbringing, Candice Barnes dreams of a future with the love of her life – but is he the man she believes him to be? When Candice is given the opportunity to travel to Italy with Jenny, she is unaware the trip will open her eyes to the truth she’s been too afraid to face. Could a place of goodbyes help her make a brave new beginning?


Lily: A Tale of Revenge from the Sunday Times bestselling author

Lily by Rose Tremain

Nobody knows yet that she is a murderer…

Abandoned at the gates of a London park one winter’s night in 1850, baby Lily Mortimer is saved by a young police constable and taken to the London Foundling Hospital. Lily is fostered by an affectionate farming family in rural Suffolk, enjoying a brief childhood idyll before she is returned to the Hospital, where she is punished for her rebellious spirit. Released into the harsh world of Victorian London, Lily becomes a favoured employee at Belle Prettywood’s Wig Emporium, but all the while she is hiding a dreadful secret…

Across the years, policeman Sam Trench keeps watch over the young woman he once saved. When Sam meets Lily again, there is an instant attraction between them and Lily is convinced that Sam holds the key to her happiness – but might he also be the one to uncover her crime and so condemn her to death?


The Return: From the author of historical fiction books comes the most breathtaking World War Two love story of 2021

The Return by Anita Frank

Jack Ellison’s war is over, but the battle for his family has just begun.

When Jack left for the war, he made a parting pledge to his pregnant bride, Gwen, that he would never return. It was, after all, best for everyone that he didn’t.

Now, as celebrations erupt for Victory in Europe, Gwen is terrified that Jack will renege on his promise, threatening the life she has built for herself and their son on the family farm.

But war has changed Jack, and he is coming home, determined to claim a place in Gwen’s life – and her heart.

As events of the past come back to haunt them, Jack and Gwen find themselves facing their greatest battle – and it is a fight neither of them can afford to lose.


Our Woman in Moscow: A gripping, sweeping historical spy fiction novel

Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams

In 1948, Iris Digby vanishes from her London home with her American diplomat husband and their two children.

Four years later, Ruth Macallister receives a postcard from the estranged twin sister she hasn’t seen since 1940. Since that one catastrophic summer in Rome, as war was engulfing Europe and Iris was falling desperately in love…

Within days, Ruth is on her way to Moscow, posing as the wife of Agent Fox in a precarious plot to extract her sister from behind the Iron Curtain.

But the truth behind Iris’s marriage threatens to unravel everything, and as the sisters race to safety, a dogged Soviet KGB officer forces them to make a heartbreaking choice…


Pillars of Light

Pillars of Light by Jane Johnson

In the Syrian city of Akka, Nathanael, a young Jewish doctor, and a Muslim girl called Zohra are about to fall in love. But Saladin’s army has just taken Jerusalem, and soon their own city will be engulfed by war.

Meanwhile in England, John Savage, a foundling boy, runs away from his cruel life in a priory with the Moor, a mysterious man driven by a dream of perfection. They join a band of conmen travelling through the English countryside faking religious miracles for cash, until they are recruited in Richard the Lionheart’s army and sent to regain the Latin Kingdom from the infidel. Akka awaits. It will be the site of the greatest – and cruellest – siege of its time. But even in the midst of war, lovers find ways to make transactions of beauty.


Back to Index

Non-Fiction – bonus extras

Fabric: The Hidden History of the Material World

Fabric : The Hidden History of the Material World by Victoria Finlay

How is a handmade fabric helping save an ancient forest?
Why is a famous fabric pattern from India best known by the name of a Scottish town?
How is a Chinese dragon robe a diagram of the whole universe?
What is the difference between how the Greek Fates and the Viking Norns used threads to tell our destiny?

In Fabric, bestselling author Victoria Finlay spins us round the globe, weaving stories of our relationship with cloth and asking how and why people through the ages have made it, worn it, invented it and made symbols out of it. And sometimes why they have fought for it.

She beats the inner bark of trees into cloth in Papua New Guinea, fails to handspin cotton in Guatemala, visits tweed weavers at their homes in Harris, and has lessons in patchwork-making in Gee’s Bend, Alabama – where in the 1930s, deprived of almost everything they owned, a community of women turned quilting into an art form.

She began her research just after the deaths of both her parents – and entwined in the threads she found her personal story too. The book became her journey through grief and recovery. It is her own patchwork.


Back to Index

That’s all for this week.

Happy Reading!

3 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.