Coming this week – my fiction picks to 22nd May 2022

Here’s this week’s 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.

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.

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

Index

Crime, Thriller and Mystery

General Fiction

Crime, Thriller & Mystery

The Daughter by Liz Webb

I lean in and whisper the question I have never let myself utter in twenty-three years.

“Dad, did you murder Mum?”


Hannah Davidson has a dementia-stricken father, an estranged TV star brother, and a mother whose death opened up hidden fault lines beneath the surface of their ordinary family life.

Now the same age that Jen Davidson was when she was killed, Hannah realises she bears an uncanny resemblance to her glamorous mother, and when her father begins to confuse them she is seriously unnerved.

Determined to uncover exactly what happened to her mum, Hannah begins to exploit her arresting likeness, but soon the boundaries between Hannah and her mother become fatally blurred.

Blink of an Eye by Louisa Scarr

Five friends meet. Only four come home.

On Christmas morning, DS Robin Butler has no plans to celebrate. He’ll be glad to get back to work – a wish that comes true sooner than he anticipates. A dog walker at a local beach has discovered five unresponsive people strewn across the shingle. By the time Robin arrives, one is pronounced dead, and the other four are being treated in hospital.

DC Freya West is less than pleased when the romantic day with her boyfriend is scuppered, but duty calls. As she and Butler speak to those involved, it’s clear something is being left unsaid. They claim they are friends, and that they don’t know how one of the group was killed. But why are they so cagey?

A cold case investigation unlocks some answers about the history between the beach-going gang, yet they’re tight-lipped about what prompted them to meet on Christmas Eve. Butler and West are getting nowhere, and their partnership is about to face another test. When Freya wants to come clean about events in her past, it’s not just her neck on the line, but Robin’s too. Can their relationship survive if their pact of silence is broken?

Kalmann by Joachim B Schmidt

Kalmann is the self-appointed Sheriff of Raufarhöfn. Day by day, he treks the wide plains which surround the almost deserted village, hunts Arctic foxes and lays bait in the sea ― to catch the gigantic Greenland sharks he turns into the Icelandic fermented delicacy, hákarl. There is nothing anyone need worry about. Kalmann has everything under control. Inside his head, however, the wheels sometimes spin backwards. One winter, after he discovers a pool of blood in the snow, the swiftly unfolding events threaten to overwhelm him. But he knows that his native wisdom and pure-hearted courage will see him through. There really is no need to worry. How can anything go wrong with Kalmann in charge? He knows everything a man needs to know about life – well almost.

Dear Little Corpses by Nicola Upson

It takes a village to bury a child.

1 September, 1939. As the mass evacuation takes place across Britain, thousands of children leave London for the countryside, but when a little girl vanishes without trace, the reality of separation becomes more desperate and more deadly for those who love her.

In the chaos and uncertainty of war, Josephine struggles with the prospect of change. As a cloud of suspicion falls across the small Suffolk village she has come to love, the conflict becomes personal, and events take a dark and sinister turn.

Back to Index

General/Contemporary Fiction

Adult Assembly Required Abbi Waxman

When Laura Costello arrives in downtown Los Angeles, her life has somewhat fallen apart.

Her apartment building has caught fire, her engagement to her high school sweetheart has been broken off, and she’s just been caught in a rare LA downpour and has no dry clothes.

But when she seeks shelter in Nina Hill‘s local neighbourhood bookshop, she finds herself introduced to the people who will become her new family. And as Laura becomes friends with NinaPolly and Impossibly Handsome Bob, things start to look up.

Proving that – even as adults – we all sometimes need a little help assembling and re-assembling our lives. . .

Only May by Carol Lovekin

Listen. The bee walks across my finger, slow as anything and I can see through the gauzy wing, to the detail of my skin. You aren’t looking in the right place. If you look her in the eye and tell a lie, May Harper will see it. And if she doesn’t see it, the bees will hum it in her ear. Her kind mother and her free-spirited aunt have learned to choose their words with care. Her beloved invalid father lives in a world of his own, lost in another time, the war he cannot forget. On May’s seventeenth birthday, a casual evasion from her employer hints at a secret hiding at the heart of the family. Determined to discover the truth, May starts listening at doors… She begins watching the faces of the people she loves best in all the world, those she suspects are hiding the biggest lie of all.

Bad Relations  by Cressida Connolly

A TALE OF A TRAGEDY SEEPING THROUGH GENERATIONS, AND A FAMILY FRACTURED BY HISTORY AND DESIRE

On the battlefields of the Crimea, William Gale cradles the still-warm body of his brother. William’s experience of war will bring about a change in him that will reverberate through his family over the next two centuries.
In the 1970s, William’s descendants invite Stephen, a distant relation, to stay in their house in the English countryside – but their golden summer entanglements will end in a shocking fall from grace.

Half a century later, a confrontation between the surviving members of the family will culminate in a terrible reckoning.

The House of Marvellous Books by Fiona Vigo Marshall

Tucked away in a near-derelict library in the center of London, The House of Marvellous Books is a publishing house on the brink of financial disaster. With assistant Ursula asleep at her desk, head publisher Gerard going health and safety mad, and chief editor Drusilla focused on finding a supposedly priceless but famously missing manuscript, there is hardly anyone left to steer the ship. Young Mortimer Blackley, assistant editor, charts the descent of the House in his logbook as it lurches from one failure to the next. Will mysterious Russian buyers, lurking in the wings, stop the ship from sinking at great cost to all? Or will Drusilla find the legendary Daybreak Manuscript and save the day? With witty and sharp observations, Fiona Vigo Marshall draws upon a career spent working in small publishing houses to create a laugh-out-loud ode to the publishing industry.

Love, Loss and Little White Lies by India Rigg

Milly Dayton became a widow at 26. Two years later, she’s got the whole thing down:

· Go on the occasional date but bring your engagement ring so you can whip it out for a quick getaway
· Steal brunch photos for social media posts so your friends know you’re fine
· Keep messaging your late husband on Facebook – you’re not crazy if you don’t believe he’ll message you back

Milly isn’t okay but she looks it online. But everyone lies about their lives on Instagram, don’t they?

One day, sick of all the pretence, Milly creates Mizzennial, a new channel inspired by the straight-talking magazines of her childhood. But even here, she still can’t quite admit how lonely she really is. Can she take her own advice, finally open up and start to move on?

Back to Index

So that’s all for this week.

Happy Reading!

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 )

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.