Here’s my pick of the new fiction titles hitting the shelves in the nest two weeks. 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)
Historical (I tend to take this as pre 1960’s ie not in my lifetime!)
Crime, Thriller & Mystery
The Bone Road by NE Solomons
ON THE ROAD TO DISCOVERY, EVEN THE DEAD HAVE SECRETS.
High up on a mountain road in the Balkans, former Olympic cyclist Heather Bishop races her journalist boyfriend Ryan. But when he suddenly disappears during the ride, suspicion falls on her.
Local police inspector, Simo Subotić, already has his hands full investigating two mutilated bodies that have washed up on the banks of the River Drina. Something is telling him that these two cases are connected but nothing could prepare him for what is to come.
Only together can Simo and Heather hope to uncover the truth in time. Their search not only exposes the darkness of Ryan’s past but exhumes dangerous secrets of a region still reeling from the trauma of war. Are some secrets so devastating that they should remain buried?
The Last House by RG Adams
THREE GENERATIONS OF SECRETS
Social worker Kit Goddard is convinced that Sandbeach Child Services have let an injured seventeen-year-old boy down, just like they’d done to her brother ten years earlier. Since the referral came in, it had been passed between departments, her own manager Georgia and colleague Tim brushing it off as a low risk, low priority case. But Kit can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t quite right.
Scanning the referral, she notices that the house seventeen-year-old Dylan Meredith lives in with his ‘weird’ mother had been described as decrepit. The anonymous caller said he was injured, frightened and afraid to tell the truth.
As Kit begins to look deeper into the history of the family, she learns that Dylan’s grandmother had been an inpatient at Penlan psychiatric hospital and had died there in 2012. But as her colleague Tim had stressed, this was not a case for psychiatric services.
In a bid to trace the anonymous caller for more information, Kit sets off to the small coastal town of Rock. Only to be confronted with the sense of strangeness that surrounds the Meredith family and the rumours that have troubled this small community for years.
The Party House by Lin Anderson
Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists.
As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and, in the ensuing chaos, the body of a young girl is found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now.
The excavation of Ailsa’s remains ignites old suspicions cast on the men of this small community, including Greg, the estate’s gamekeeper. At the beginning of a burgeoning relationship with a new lover, Joanne, Greg is loath to discuss old wounds. Frightened by Greg’s reaction to the missing girl’s discovery, Joanne begins to doubt how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship . . .
The Innocent One by Lisa Ballantyne
Ten years ago, Sebastian Croll was found not guilty of murdering his playmate.
Criminal solicitor Daniel Hunter defended the eleven-year-old in a trial that gripped the nation, but the past is unearthed when Daniel gets a call from his old client.
Sebastian’s university professor has been brutally murdered and everyone who knew her is in the frame.
As Daniel steps in to represent Sebastian for the second time, rumour of his client’s identity spreads like wildfire.
The media swarm. Threats begin to arrive. And the question on everyone’s lips:
Could the child once accused of murder really be innocent?
The Way it is Now by Garry Disher
WHO SHALL INHERIT THE SINS OF THE FATHER?
Twenty years ago, Charlie Deravin’s mother went missing, believed murdered. Her body has never been found, and his father has lived under a cloud of suspicion ever since.
Now Charlie has returned to the coastal town where his mother vanished, on disciplinary leave from his job with the police sex-crimes unit, and permanent leave from his marriage. After two decades worrying away at the mystery of his mother’s disappearance, he’s run out of leads.
Then the skeletal remains of two people are found in the excavation of a new building site… and the past comes crashing in on Charlie.
Serpent’s Point by Kate Ellis
Serpent’s Point in South Devon is the focus of local legends. The large house on the headland is shrouded in an ancient tale of evil, and when a woman is found strangled on the coastal path DI Wesley Peterson is called in to investigate.
The woman had been house-sitting at Serpent’s Point and Wesley is surprised to discover that she was conducting an investigation into unsolved missing persons cases. Could these enquires have led to her murder?
While the case takes Wesley to Yorkshire and the Cotswolds, archaeologist Neil Watson is making a dramatic discovery of his own in the fields near the house.
When a skeleton is uncovered, the pressure rises to find a killer, and Wesley and Neil realise that Serpent’s Point holds more secrets than anyone could have imagined.
The Undead Gypsy by Kit Fielding
Now if you were a poor Gypsy mush, who’d had a run of bad luck and whose ever-loving was done with managing on thin air, and someone was to offer you a lucrative run of work, what would you do? Okay, so it’s not legit, but sometimes it’s got to be worth the risk. You could buy your lovely Zilla all that her heart desires, you could stand your rounds at the kitchema without counting the money in your pocket, update your van, put a deposit on a bit of ground to call your own.
So you do it, you take the work and you take the risk, but then it all blows up in your face and you’ve pulled your loved ones into danger. Well worse than danger. And now you’re going to have to take yourself away, disappear from sight. Be the undead playing at being dead.
The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone
Maggie Mackay has been haunted her entire life. No matter what she does, she can’t shake the sense that something is wrong with her. And maybe something is…
When she was five years old, without proof, Maggie announced that someone in the remote village of Blairmore in the Outer Hebrides had murdered a local man, sparking a media storm.
Now, Maggie is determined to discover what really happened and what the villagers are hiding. But everyone has secrets, and some are deadly. As she gets closer to the horrifying truth, Maggie’s own life is in danger…
The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh
On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests.
His lakeside holiday homes are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbours. This will be the party to end all parties.
But not everyone is there to celebrate. By midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.
On New Year’s Day, DC Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects.
The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbours, friends and family – and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.
With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead . . . but who finally killed him.
In a village with this many secrets, a murder is just the beginning.
Hide and Seek by Andrea Mara
CLOSE YOUR EYES
The game of hide and seek is over, everyone has gone home, but little Lily Murphy hasn’t been found. Her parents search the woods and tell themselves that the worst hasn’t happened – but deep down they know this peaceful Dublin suburb will never be the same again.
COUNT TO TEN
Years later, Joanna moves into a new house. It seems perfect in every way, until she learns that this was once Lily Murphy’s home. From that moment onwards, a sense of dread seems to follow her from room to room.
AND WHEN YOU OPEN THEM, YOUR CHILD IS GONE
As Joanna unravels the secrets at the heart of this close-knit community, her own dark past begins to resurface. Because she thinks she knows what really happened to Lily – and if the truth gets out, it might be her undoing…
The Branded by Martina Murphy
During an unprecedented heatwave, the body of a young girl is found in a submerged suitcase in Loch Acorrymore on Achill Island. DS Lucy Golden is tasked with identifying her and returning her to her family. With the help of her team, they discover that the girl was a runaway, who had spent some time in a homeless shelter. She has been murdered and an investigation is launched.
Despite some promising leads, Lucy’s enquiries seem to be going nowhere until another the body with connections to the homeless shelter is discovered in what initially appears to be a suicide. Lucy knows that there is no such thing as coincidence, but the race is on to find the link between the two victims before the trail goes cold.
As Lucy is drawn deeper into the case, she realises that these murders may be a whole lot more sinister than first thought. Can Lucy keep a clear emotional head and get to the truth before more girls end up dead?
The New House by Tess Stimson
Three couples. Three houses. One home to die for…
Stacey and Felix are the glamorous owners of the stylish, modern Glass House, with its pool and floor-to-ceiling windows. Now they’re downsizing, but Stacey can’t sell to just anyone. She needs the right buyer, who will keep her secrets.
Millie and Tom have always imagined living in the Glass House. Now it’s for sale. With property prices booming, if they can sell quickly, it could be theirs. But are the house and its charming owners all they seem?
Harper and Kyle are moving up in the world. They need a new house, in the right school district, to give their children the start in life they never had. Millie and Tom’s is perfect. It’ll take every penny they have, and more, but it’ll be worth it. Won’t it?
When one of the sales falls through, how far will someone go to get everything they’ve always wanted?
The Bookseller of Inverness by SG MacLean
After Culloden, Iain MacGillivray was left for dead on Drumossie Moor. Wounded, his face brutally slashed, he survived only by pretending to be dead as the Redcoats patrolled the corpses of his Jacobite comrades.
Six years later, with the clan chiefs routed and the Highlands subsumed into the British state, Iain lives a quiet life, working as a bookseller in Inverness. One day, after helping several of his regular customers, he notices a stranger lurking in the upper gallery of his shop, poring over his collection. But the man refuses to say what he’s searching for and only leaves when Iain closes for the night.
The next morning Iain opens up shop and finds the stranger dead, his throat cut, and the murder weapon laid out in front of him – a sword with a white cockade on its hilt, the emblem of the Jacobites. With no sign of the killer, Iain wonders whether the stranger discovered what he was looking for – and whether he paid for it with his life. He soon finds himself embroiled in a web of deceit and a series of old scores to be settled in the ashes of war.
The Sign of the Devil by Oscar de Muriel
Madame Katerina, Detective ‘Nine Nails’ McGray’s most trusted clairvoyant, hosts a séance for three of Edinburgh’s wealthiest families.
The following morning everyone is found dead, with Madame Katerina being the only survivor. When questioned she alleges a tormented spirit killed the families for revenge.
McGray, even though he believes her, must find a rational explanation that holds up in court, else Katerina will be sentenced to death.
Inspector Ian Frey is summoned to help, which turns out to be difficult as he is still dealing with the loss of his uncle, and has developed a form of post-traumatic stress (not yet identified in the 19th century).
This seems an impossible puzzle. Either something truly supernatural has occurred – or a fiendishly clever plot is covering a killer’s tracks…
A Cornish Summer at Pear Tree Farm by Angela Britnell
Cornish charm and a Tennessee twist – the perfect pair?
Nessa Vivian is determined to keep her parents’ business afloat, but Pear Tree Farm near the backwater Cornish village of Polgarth didn’t do well as farm, and it’s not faring much better as a camp site. Maybe it’s due to Nessa’s habit of taking in troubled runaways, like ex-soldier Crispin, for next to nothing. Or perhaps her highly-strung sister Lowena is right – caravans named after Beatles’ songs and homegrown pears are not enough to turn the farm into a tourist haven.
Then another troubled runaway turns up, posing the greatest threat yet. Ex-musician Ward Spencer from Tennessee is certainly intriguing, but could his plans to put nearby Tregereth House on the map mean Pear Tree Farm is finished – or does his arrival signal a second lease of life, and not just for Nessa’s business?
Love & Virtue by Diana Reid
Michaela and Eve are two bright, bold women who befriend each other in their first year at a residential college at university, where they live in adjacent rooms. They could not be more different; one assured and popular – the other uncertain and eager-to-please. But something happens one night in Orientation week – a drunken encounter, a foggy memory that will force them to confront the realities of consent and wrestle with the dynamics of power.
Initially bonded by their wit and sharp eye for the colleges’ mix of material wealth and moral poverty, Michaela and Eve soon discover how fragile friendship is, and how capable of betrayal they both are.
So Happy For You by Celia Laskey
Robin and Ellie have been best friends since childhood. They’ve been through everything together, from Robin coming out to the death of Ellie’s dad. But when Ellie asks Robin to be her maid of honour, Robin is reluctant.
It’s not that Robin isn’t happy for Ellie, she just hates everything about weddings and marriage – plus the guy Ellie’s engaged to. There’s also the matter of the crazy (not to mention dangerous) wedding rituals that couples are resorting to in the hope of securing a lifetime of happiness.
Despite her misgivings, Robin finally says yes. But as the wedding day approaches, she gets the feeling that everyone in the bridal party is out to get her. And it seems Ellie is willing to do anything for the perfect day. After all, marriage is about sacrifice…
Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley
One night in New York City’s Chinatown, Lola is at a dinner with former colleagues when she excuses herself to buy a pack of cigarettes. On her way back, she runs into a former boyfriend. The next night, she runs into another ex. And then… another. The city has become awash with ghosts of heartbreaks past.
What might have passed for coincidence becomes something far stranger when the recently engaged Lola must contend not only with the viability of her current relationship, but the fact that her best friend and her former boss – a magazine editor turned mystical guru – might have an unhealthy investment in its outcome. As memories of the past swirl and converge, Lola is forced to decide if she will surrender herself to the conspirings of one very contemporary cult.
A smart, sharp and hugely entertaining tale of luck and love, Cult Classic asks: is it possible to have a happy ending in an age when the past is ever at your fingertips and sanity is for sale?
A Hunger by Ross Raisin
A Hunger is the story of Anita: a talented sous chef at a high-end London restaurant. At home, however, her husband Patrick is suffering from dementia and declining rapidly. As she is thrown between two conflicting worlds – the exciting bustle of her kitchen and her exhausting new role as a carer – Anita must make a decision: about her husband’s future, as well as her own. Should she free them both by acting on his last plea for mercy, or should she remain faithful to the person Patrick once used to be? A decision complicated by ambition and the guilt of her own past – and by her intensifying friendship with another man, Peter, and the temptation of a new life.
Pyre by Perumal Murugan
Saroja and Kumaresan are young, in love and in danger. They meet in a small southern Indian town, where Kumaresan works in a soda bottling shop, and quickly marry before returning to Kumaresan’s family village. But they are harbouring a dangerous secret: they belong to different castes, and if the villagers find out they will both be in grave peril.
Faced with venom from her mother-in-law, and pointed new questions from her new neighbours, Saroja struggles to adjust to a lonely and uncomfortable life. Kumaresan throws himself into building a new soda business, hoping to scrape together enough money for them to start over somewhere new. But as vicious whispers encircle the couple, will their love be enough to keep them safe?
The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz
The Oppenheimer triplets have been reared with every advantage: wealth, education, and the determined attention of at least one of their parents. But they have been desperate to escape each other ever since they were born.
Now, on the verge of their departure for college and so close to their long-coveted freedom, the triplets are forced to contend with an unexpected complication: a fourth Oppenheimer sibling has just been born. What has possessed their parents to make such an unfathomable decision? The triplets can’t begin to imagine the the power this little latecomer is about to exert – nor just how destructive she’ll be to their plans . . .
Small Miracles by Anne Booth
Three nuns play the lottery to save their failing convent, resulting in a story of friendship, community, faith and love.
The 1990s are proving tough for the convent. The order of the Sisters of Saint Philomena is down to its three last nuns. The place that Sisters Margaret, Bridget and Cecilia call home is in dire need of repairs and, with no savings and no new recruits, they are facing the prospect of having to sell up and leave behind the friends and neighbours in the parish community that they love.
That is, until ninety-year-old Cecilia decides to play the newly launched National Lottery and a series of small miracles begins to unfold…
The Love Algorithm by Claudia Carroll
True love is only just a swipe away? Right?
Iris lives by numbers. The only thing missing from her perfectly calibrated life is a partner – and not for lack of trying. After decades of disappointment, Iris practically has a PhD in online dating. But something still eludes her: that unquantifiable spark.
Kim is too busy being the life of the party to look for love. Her terrible dates make great stories for her friends and co-workers, as long as she’s not caught by her tyrannical boss, Iris.
Connie, Kim’s recently widowed mum, is single for the first time since the 1970s. The dating game has changed a lot since her day . . .
Sick of being let down, Iris takes matters into her own hands – using her analytical skills to create the first real formula for love. With Kim and Connie on board, they launch Anaylzed, a dating app like no other.
As Anaylzed takes the world by storm, are the three women in over their heads? Is love really just a numbers game?
Summer People by Julie Cohen
A love that can’t be stopped.
A secret that will change everything…
Marriages end with a whisper, not a bang. Not an argument, which is after all about passion, waves crashing on a shore, but with the small pockets of coldness that an argument creates. It’s like islands. They don’t sink like Atlantis. They wear away, little by little, until all you’ve got left is a single rock and a light. A warning to safer travellers to stay away.
The last time Vee left the shores of Unity Island, she thought she’d left forever. But this summer, she’s returning with her charming husband, Mike.
Vee’s unexpected arrival, this time as one of the wealthy ‘summer people’, sets the small island community alight with gossip. What’s more, her childhood best friend, Sterling, is furious that she’s come back – Vee abandoned him when he needed her most.
And then Vee meets Rachel, Sterling’s wife, and a spark is ignited within her that she can’t extinguish. And as summer turns to autumn, long-buried secrets emerge that will cause a storm greater than any of them could ever have imagined.
But when autumn comes, who will sail away with the tide and who will choose to stay behind on the island…?
The Pre-Loved Club by Sue Teddern
Ned is in IKEA with his wife when she breaks the news that it’s over.
For Gemma, it happens on the way to get fish and chips, when she opens the glove compartment of her husband’s car to find a pair of women’s sunglasses that aren’t hers.
For both, it’s a bolt from the blue that rocks their faith in the world, relationships, and themselves. But you can’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself, especially when there are children involved, so both – for very different reasons – join a support group for single parents.
It’s fair to say they don’t exactly hit it off.
However, as Ned and Gemma know from bitter experience, life is full of surprises, and as they navigate their respective brave new worlds, it’s possible they have more in common than either might have suspected, including – but not limited to – excess emotional baggage, low self-esteem, and the ability to take something promising and well and truly screw it up . . .
Starting Over at the Little Cornish Beach House by Nancy Barone
Sometimes moving out isn’t enough to move on…
Having grown up in foster care, all Faith Hudson wants is a place to call home. So when Gabe, her ex, asks for a second chance and suggests she move back into his old beach house, she agrees to renovate it and start afresh.
The Cornish cottage is straight out of a postcard, with its huge beachfront windows and only a short walk to the glistening water. But will a fresh coat of paint be enough to give their relationship a makeover? Especially when Gabe doesn’t want to get his hands dirty…
Luckily, gorgeous Henry, the local contractor, is around to offer a helping hand. One thing is certain: Faith is about to discover that the perfect home is less about the colour of the walls and more about the people you share it with.
The Weekend Before the Wedding by Tracy Bloom
One weekend, one bride-to-be, what could possibly go wrong…
All Shelley wanted on her hen weekend was to enjoy three days of sun, sea and sangria. But instead of being surrounded by the A-team of her closest friends, she somehow ends up with a Golden Girls-meets-the-Spice Girls B-list that includes her mother, a rebellious teenager, and a best mate ‘on the verge’.
The squabbling starts at the airport, and on arrival in Spain, Shelley barely has time to unpack her suitcase before getting an unwanted text ̶ one that throws her wedding into doubt.
Shelley has got a BIG decision to make, but her unruly medley of nearest and dearest seem determined to confuse matters with their own problems.
Have they got what it takes to get her through the most important weekend of her life?
Last Time We Met by Emily Houghton
Aged thirteen, best friends Eleanor and Fin are inseparable. Convinced it will always be this way they make a pact – to go to university together, always live near each other, and if they’re both single at 35 they’ll get married.
Eleanor and Fin haven’t spoken in fifteen years. Life has run away from them and they’re both far from where they’d dreamt of being all those years ago.
CAN THEY STILL KEEP THEIR WORD?
It takes tragic circumstances for Fin to come back into Eleanor’s life, but everything has changed since the last time they met. Is it too late to mend their friendship? Or is there a chance they can keep some of the promises they made?
The Lonely Hearts Lido Club by Charlie Lyndhurst
Three strangers all caught in the deep end… but can they help each other float through?
After tragically losing her husband and being left a single mother to two children, Gabriella has only one escape for herself – swimming at a local London lido to clear her mind.
A constant stream of both new and familiar faces visit the lido like Gabriella – but she doesn’t suspect any are suffering quite like her, until she meets Helen – who swims to escape her emotionless husband, and Ian – who feels lost in the deep end after becoming unemployed and unable to tell his husband.
Grateful for new companionship, these three strangers decide to make their friendship into something more permanent: The Lonely Hearts Lido Club.
Elodie’s Library of Second Chances by Rebecca Raisin
Everyone has a story. You just have to read between the lines…
When Elodie applies for the job of librarian in peaceful Willow Grove, she’s looking forward to a new start. As the daughter of a media empire, her every move has been watched for years, and she longs to work with the thing she loves most: books.
It’s a chance to make a real difference too, because she soon realises that there are other people in Willow Grove who might need a fresh start – like the homeless man everyone walks past without seeing, or the divorcée who can’t seem to escape her former husband’s misdeeds.
Together with local journalist Finn, Elodie decides these people have stories that need sharing. What if instead of borrowing books readers could ‘borrow’ a person, and hear the life stories of those they’ve overlooked?
But Elodie isn’t quite sharing her whole story either. As the story of the library’s new success grows, will her own secret be revealed?
Starting Over in Cariad Cove by Darcie Boleyn
Family is what you make it – but is Hannah brave enough to take the chance?
A freelance travel writer, Hannah rarely stays in one place long enough to call it home. After a childhood of moving between foster homes, her nomadic lifestyle means no lasting connections, keeping her fears of losing loved ones at bay. So when Hannah’s work takes her to Cariad Cove, it’s just another job.
Will loves being a dad. It’s just him and his wilful six-year-old, Beti, but their family of two has love enough to keep them happy. When Will meets Hannah, attraction ignites, but one woman has already left Beti behind – he can’t have it happen again.
Hannah will soon be moving on, meaning there’s no future for her and Will despite their sizzling chemistry. It will take a leap of faith for them to believe in each other. Could one summer at Cariad Cove change their lives forever?
Utopia by Heidi Sopinka
Los Angeles, 1978.
When Romy, a gifted young artist in the male-dominated art scene of 1970s California, dies in suspicious circumstances, it is not long before her art-star husband Billy finds a replacement.
Paz, fresh out of art school in New York, returns to California to take her place. But she is haunted by Romy, who is everywhere: in the photos and notebooks and art strewn around the house, and in the eyes of the baby she left behind.
As Paz attempts to claim her creative life, strange things begin to happen. Photographs move, noises reverberate through the house, people start to question what really happened the night Romy died, and then a postcard in her handwriting arrives. As Paz becomes increasingly obsessed with the woman she has replaced, a disturbing picture begins to emerge, driving her deep into the desert — the site of Romy’s final artwork — to uncover the truth.
The Night Ship by Jess Kidd
1628. Embarking on a journey in search of her father, a young girl called Mayken boards the Batavia, the most impressive sea vessel of the age. During the long voyage, this curious and resourceful child must find her place in the ship’s busy world, and she soon uncovers shadowy secrets above and below deck. As tensions spiral, the fate of the ship and all on board becomes increasingly uncertain.
1989. Gil, a boy mourning the death of his mother, is placed in the care of his irritable and reclusive grandfather. Their home is a shack on a tiny fishing island off the Australian coast, notable only for its reefs and wrecked boats. This is no place for a child struggling with a dark past and Gil’s actions soon get him noticed by the wrong people.
The Night Ship is an enthralling tale of human brutality, providence and friendship, and of two children, hundreds of years apart, whose fates are inextricably bound together.
Trust by Hernan Diaz
A sweeping, breathtakingly ambitious novel about power, wealth and truth, told by four unique, interlocking voices and set against the backdrop of turbulent 1920s New York.
The legendary Wall Street tycoon whose immense wealth gives him the power to do almost anything.
The second-generation Italian immigrant tasked with recording his life story.
The reclusive, aristocratic wife.
And the writer who observes them from afar.
In a city devoted to making money and making stories like no other, where wealth means power, who gets to tell the truth? And to rise to the top of a glittering, destructive world, what – and who – do you have to sacrifice?
This Bitter Earth by Bernice McFadden
In This Bitter Earth, Sugar Lacey is on her way out of Bigelow, Arkansas, where she’d come to break with the past. With her worn leopard-print suitcase and her head held high, she walks past the prying eyes of its small-minded, cruel-hearted townsfolk, praying for the strength to keep going. She doesn’t stop until she arrives at her childhood home in Short Junction. Here she learns the truth about her parentage: a terrible tale of unrequited love, of one man’s enduring hatred, and of the black magic that has cursed generations of Lacey women.
A Jewish Girl in Paris by Melanie Levensohn
Paris, 1940, a city under German occupation. A young Jewish girl, Judith, meets a young man, the son of a wealthy banker and Nazi sympathizer – his family will never approve of the girl he has fallen in love with. As the Germans impose more and more restrictions on Jewish Parisians, the couple secretly plan to flee the country. But before they can make their escape, Judith disappears . . .
Montréal, 1982. Shortly before his death, Lica Grunberg confesses to his daughter, that she has an older half-sister, Judith. Lica escaped the Nazis but lost all contact with his first-born daughter. His daughter promises to find the sister she never knew. The search languishes for years, until Jacobina is spurred on by her young friend Béatrice.
Soon the two women discover a dark family secret, stretching over two continents and six decades, that will change their lives forever . . .
Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra
Like many before her, Maria Lagana has come to Hollywood to outrun her past. Born in Rome, where every Sunday her father took her to the cinema instead of church, Maria immigrates with her mother to Los Angeles after a childhood transgression leads to her father’s arrest.
Fifteen years later, on the eve of America’s entry into World War II, Maria is an associate producer at Mercury Pictures, trying to keep her personal and professional lives from falling apart. Her mother won’t speak to her. Her boss, a man of many toupees, has been summoned to Washington by congressional investigators. Her boyfriend, a virtuoso Chinese American actor, can’t escape the studio’s narrow typecasting. And the studio itself, Maria’s only home in exile, teeters on the verge of bankruptcy.
Over the coming months, as the bright lights go dark across Los Angeles, Mercury Pictures becomes a nexus of European émigrés: modernist poets trying their luck as B-movie screenwriters, once-celebrated architects becoming scale-model miniaturists, and refugee actors finding work playing the very villains they fled. While the world descends into war, Maria rises through a maze of conflicting politics, divided loyalties, and jockeying ambitions. But when the arrival of a stranger from her father’s past threatens Maria’s carefully constructed facade, she must finally confront her father’s fate-and her own.
The Girls of Lake Evelyn by Averil Kenny
You cannot force me to marry him. I need to be free, to figure out what I want. For once, please let me choose . . .
1958. When It-girl Vivienne George flees on the eve of her wedding she seeks refuge in a scheduled lodge surrounded by the lush rainforest of tropical North Queensland. There, she is relieved to find that the small farming town couldn’t be further from the high society she’s left behind.
Now, Vivienne spends her days swimming in the beautiful Lake Evelyn where she befriends the larger-than-life Josie. But all is not as it seems in this quiet, close-knit community.
Vivienne soon learns that over a decade earlier, Celeste Starr, a beautiful actress, died tragically in the lake’s dark waters, spawning a curse that has plagued the girls of the town ever since.
Fascinated by Celeste’s tale, Josie decides to stage a play about her death, with Vivienne in the lead role, setting off a chain of disturbing events . . .
Can the girls of Lake Evelyn be freed from the curse as Vivienne escapes her past?
So that’s all for this week.