Coming in the next two weeks – to 29th January

Here’s my pick of forthcoming publications. 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

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

Crime, Thriller & Mystery

In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan

In the UK, someone is reported missing every 90 seconds.
Just gone. Vanished. In the blink of an eye. 


DCS Kat Frank knows all about loss. A widowed single mother, Kat is a cop who trusts her instincts. Picked to lead a pilot programme that has her paired with AIDE (Artificially Intelligent Detective Entity) Lock, Kat’s instincts come up against Lock’s logic. But when the two missing person’s cold cases they are reviewing suddenly become active, Lock is the only one who can help Kat when the case gets personal. 

AI versus human experience. 
Logic versus instinct.
With lives on the line can the pair work together before someone else becomes another statistic? 

The Second Stranger by Martin Griffin

Remie Yorke has one shift left at the Mackinnon Hotel in the remote Scottish Highlands before she leaves for good. Then Storm Ezra hits.

As temperatures plummet and phone lines go down, an injured man stumbles inside. PC Don Gaines was in a terrible accident on the mountain road. The only other survivor: the prisoner his team was transporting.

When a second stranger arrives, Remie reluctantly lets him in from the blizzard. He, too, is hurt. He claims to be a police officer. His name is also Don Gaines.

Someone is lying and, with no means of escape, Remie must work out who. If the cold doesn’t kill her, one of these men will get there first . . .

The Cloisters by Katy Hays

Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, hoping to spend her summer working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she is assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval and Renaissance collections.

There she is drawn into a small circle of charismatic but enigmatic researchers, each with their own secrets and desires, including the museum’s curator, Patrick Roland, who is convinced that the history of Tarot holds the key to unlocking contemporary fortune telling.

Relieved to have left her troubled past behind and eager for the approval of her new colleagues, Ann is only too happy to indulge some of Patrick’s more outlandish theories. But when Ann discovers a mysterious, once-thought lost deck of 15th-century Italian tarot cards she suddenly finds herself at the centre of a dangerous game of power, toxic friendship and ambition.

And as the game being played within the Cloisters spirals out of control, Ann must decide whether she is truly able to defy the cards and shape her own future . . .

A Winter Grave by Peter May

A TOMB OF ICE

A young meteorologist checking a mountain top weather station in Kinlochleven discovers the body of a missing man entombed in ice.

A DYING DETECTIVE

Cameron Brodie, a Glasgow detective, sets out on a hazardous journey to the isolated and ice-bound village. He has his own reasons for wanting to investigate a murder case so far from his beat.

AN AGONIZING RECKONING

Brodie must face up to the ghosts of his past and to a killer determined to bury forever the chilling secret that his investigation threatens to expose.

Set against a backdrop of a frighteningly plausible near-future, A WINTER GRAVE is Peter May at his page-turning, passionate and provocative best.

The Other Guest by Heidi Perks

She thinks she knows the truth. But what if she’s wrong?

Laila and her husband arrive for a week’s holiday in Greece in desperate need of a reset.

As Laila sits by the pool she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the other family staying in their resort.

Em has no idea who Laila is, or that she has been watching her and her teenage sons and husband so intently.

Five days later their worlds will be blown apart by a horrifying event.

Laila thinks she knows the truth of what happened. But in telling Em what she’s seen, she stands to lose everything she holds dear.

And what if she’s got it wrong?

What Happened on Floor 34? by Caroline Corcoran

Her dream job just became her worst nightmare…

My name is Rose, and I work for one of the country’s biggest newspapers. I was the Day Editor. Will Frost was the Night Editor.

When I got to the office, Will had already left. When I left, Will arrived. We were two sides of the same coin.

Last week, Will disappeared from floor 34 without a trace. Now I am the Night Editor.

And I have a feeling I’m next.

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

Open the safe deposit box.
Inside you will find research material for a true crime book.
You must read the documents, then make a decision.
Will you destroy them? Or will you take them to the police?

Everyone knows the sad story of the Alperton Angels: the cult who brainwashed a teenage girl and convinced her that her newborn baby was the anti-Christ. Believing they had a divine mission to kill the infant, they were only stopped when the girl came to her senses and called the police. The Angels committed suicide rather than stand trial, while mother and baby disappeared into the care system.

Nearly two decades later, true-crime author Amanda Bailey is writing a book on the Angels. The Alperton baby has turned eighteen and can finally be interviewed; if Amanda can find them, it will be the true-crime scoop of the year, and will save her flagging career. But rival author Oliver Menzies is just as smart, better connected, and is also on the baby’s trail.

As Amanda and Oliver are forced to collaborate, they realise that what everyone thinks they know about the Angels is wrong. The truth is something much darker and stranger than they’d ever imagined. And the story of the Alperton Angels is far from over.

Back to Index

General/Contemporary Fiction

Fear and Lovely by Anjana Appachana

Mallika is a painfully shy young woman growing up in the heart of a close-knit, sometimes stifling New Delhi colony. Though she is surrounded by love, her life is complicated by secrets that she, her mother and her aunt work hard to keep.

After suffering a trauma aged nineteen, Mallika loses three days of her memory and slowly spirals into a deep depression. She must find a way out of this abyss, back to herself and those she cares about. But she must also hide her mental illness from her community.

In a narrative that unfolds elliptically from the perspectives of Mallika and the seven people closest to her, the astonishing story of these characters’ lives emerges. For Mallika’s family, childhood friends and the two men she loves are also hiding truths. As each gives voice to contending with their own struggles, secrets and silences shatter.

The Backup Plan by Jill Shalvis

Could an unexpected windfall be the gift of a lifetime?

Alice never expected to inherit the falling-apart-at-the-seams old Wild West B&B she once considered home, nor did she expect that she’d have to share it with two strangers.

Except they weren’t always strangers. Once upon a time, they were friends.
One is her ex-BFF Lauren. The other is Knox, the only guy to ever break her heart.

Years ago, each of them independently helped the same woman, never expecting that it would link them together forever. And now Alice, Lauren, and Knox, all broken in their own ways, must find a way to get along with each other. According to the woman’s will, they must renovate the inn as a team for one year, or else lose their inheritance.

Stuck together, they make a list of rules to keep the peace. The rules may not be that effective, but if they can weather the storm, they might find something they didn’t even know they were looking for – acceptance, real friendship, and maybe even true love.

Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey

I feel like when you get a divorce everyone’s wondering how you ruined it all, what made you so unbearable to be with. If your husband dies, at least people feel bad for you.

Maggie’s marriage has ended just 608 days after it started, but she’s fine – she’s doing really good, actually. Sure, she’s alone for the first time in her life, can’t afford her rent and her obscure PhD is going nowhere . . . but at the age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new status as a Surprisingly Young Divorcée™.

Soon she’s taking up ‘sadness hobbies’ and getting back out there, sex-wise, oversharing in the group chat and drinking with her high-intensity new divorced friend Amy. As Maggie throws herself headlong into the chaos of her first year of divorce, she finds herself questioning everything, including: Why do we still get married? Did I fail before I even got started? How many Night Burgers until I’m happy?

The Illuminated by Anindita Ghose

When the light shifts, you see the world differently.

Against a rising tide of fundamentalism in India, a mother and daughter lose the most important man in their lives.

Shashi, fifty-something and suddenly widowed, tries to contact her only daughter, Tara, to break the news, but cannot reach her. As Shashi confronts her loss, she finds, amidst grief, unexpected new freedoms.

Meanwhile, Tara, a spoiled but brilliant university student, has retreated to Dharamsala to deal with the fall out from an ill-advised relationship. Her self-imposed solitude makes contact near impossible, so by the time she learns of her loss, the funeral is already over.

Without the man that bound them, Shashi and Tara struggle to reconcile. But his absence also makes them a target for an emerging religious group determined to put women in their place, and Shashi and Tara individually prepare to defend their independence.

If mother and daughter are to come together, they must find a way to understand both their new world, and each other. But can you ever emerge from an eclipse unscathed?

Hotel Milano by Tim Parks

Frank’s reclusive existence in a leafy part of London is shattered when he is summoned to Milan for the funeral of an old friend. Preoccupied by this sudden intrusion of his past, he flies, oblivious, into the epicentre of a crisis he has barely registered on the news.

It is spring, his luxury hotel offers every imaginable comfort; perhaps he will be able to weather the situation and return home unscathed? What Frank doesn’t know is that he’s about to make a discovery that will change his heart and his mind.

The arresting new novel from Booker Prize-shortlisted Tim Parks, Hotel Milano is a universal story from a unique moment in recent history: a book about the kindness of strangers, and about a complicated man who, faced with the possibility of saving a life, must also take stock of his own.

The Seamstress of Sardinia by Bianca Pitzorno & Brigid Maher

Born into poverty, the seamstress spends her days sewing in the houses of wealthy families. Her work is simple and honest; taught by her nonna, she skilfully prepares nightgowns, undergarments and children’s clothes, leaving the finer work of dressmaking to the ateliers in Paris. Her story weaves in and out of the lives of the people she works for, whose secrets and scandals she is privy to. Some are kind and generous, others blinded by their desire to climb the social ladder. She dreams of freeing herself from the hardscrabble life she has inherited but can t help being pulled back in by the love of the people around her. Set at the dawn of the 20th century, The Seamstress of Sardinia follows the girl as she grows into a woman, strives to educate herself and falls in love – always fighting for her independence in a world dominated by men and old social conventions.

Amazing Grace Adams by Fran Littlewood

Grace Adams is one bad day away from saving her life.

One hot summer day, stuck in traffic on her way to pick up the cake for her daughter’s sixteenth birthday party, Grace Adams snaps.

She doesn’t scream or break something or cry. She simply abandons her car and walks away.

But not from her life – towards it. To the daughter who won’t live with her anymore and has banned her from the party. To the husband divorcing her. Towards the terrible thing that has blown their family apart . . .

Today she’ll show her daughter that no matter how far we fall we can always get back up again. Because Grace Adams was amazing. Her husband and daughter once thought so. They and the world might have forgotten.

But Grace is about to remind them . . .

Becoming Ted by Matt Cain

Ted Ainsworth has always worked at his family’s ice-cream business in the quiet Lancashire town of St Luke’s-on-Sea.

But the truth is, he’s never wanted to work for the family firm – he doesn’t even like ice-cream, though he’s never told his parents that. When Ted’s husband suddenly leaves him, the bottom falls out of his world.

But what if this could be an opportunity to put what he wants first? This could be the chance to finally follow his secret dream: something Ted has never told anyone …

Can You Keep a Promise? by Jill Mansell

One minute Lou is happily employed, with a perfect flat. The next, her home and job have gone. Suddenly she has to start over.

The last thing Lou wants is to move to a tiny Cotswolds village. She certainly doesn’t intend to work for curmudgeonly eighty-year-old Edgar Allsopp. But Edgar is about to make her the kind of promise nobody could ignore. In return, she secretly vows to help him fall in love with life again.

Foxwell is also home to Remy, whose charm and charisma are proving hard to ignore. But Lou hasn’t recovered from the last time she fell for a charmer. She needs a distraction – and luckily one’s about to turn up.

Secrets never stay hidden for long in Foxwell, nor are promises always kept. And no one could guess what lies ahead…

Seven Months of Summer by Saskia Sarginson

One week to fall in love. Seven months apart. A summer to make it right.

1993. When Kit meets Summer on the backpacking trip of a lifetime, he falls head over heels in love, certain that what they have is much more than just a holiday romance.

On returning home, Kit is confident he’ll be able to find the magical girl he met. But when he follows the clues Summer told him about her life, the person he thought he knew doesn’t seem to exist.

Heartbroken that she lied to him, and with no way of contacting her, Kit moves to the Suffolk coast for a fresh start. Little does he know that Summer is living just a few miles away – and is incapable of forgetting Kit too.

But as the months pass, Kit and Summer’s paths never collide. Their lives move on, and a hazy, sun-drenched summer begins.

By the time they meet, will it be too late to start again?

Becky by Sarah May

It’s peak 90s London. Shoulder pads are out, crimped hair is in, supermodels are known by their first names, and Becky Sharp will do anything to escape her past.

From mingling with tabloid millionaires to trading favours and fortunes with royalty, she will stop at nothing to reach the top of the career ladder at the Mercury newspaper. Landing scoop after scoop, Becky ruthlessly carves a place for herself in a society determined to ignore her. These are the biggest stories and scandals of the decade, and she has something to do with every one of them.

But Becky may have more in common with the people she writes about than she thinks – what takes a lifetime to build takes only a moment to destroy . . .

Storm in a D Cup by Nancy Barone

Forty-three year-old Erica Cantelli has finally got everything she wanted – she’s put an ocean between herself and her ex, obtained full custody of the kids, and married her dream man Julian.

The only fly in the champagne? Julian wants her to have his baby. Which is not as easy as he seems to think. So IVF it is, with frustrations galore and that is the just the beginning of her troubles when Julian’s old flame, Genie Stacie, turns up offering Julian what Erica can’t give him.

She thought her days of having to fight for her relationship were over, but a storm is brewing…

The House That Made Us by Alice Cavanagh

When Mac and Marie marry and find a home of their own, Mac takes a snap of themselves outside their newbuild bungalow, the garden bare and the paint on the front door still wet. It becomes a tradition, this snap, and slowly the photographs build into an album of a fifty-year partnership.
 
Every year they take a photo and though things change around them – the garden matures, the fashions change, they grow older – the one constant is their love. Every year, come rain, come shine, from the Seventies through the decades, every photo tells the story of their love.
 
Until the last photo, where the couple becomes one, and their story comes to an end…

The Village Vicar by Julie Houston

Three devoted sisters… One complicated family.

When Rosa Quinn left her childhood home in Westenbury, she never expected to return over a decade later as the village vicar. But after a health scare and catching her boyfriend cheating, Rosa jumps at the chance to start over and live closer to her triplet sisters Eva and Hannah.

But Rosa’s isn’t the only old face in the village, and when her role in the parish throws her into the path of her ex, she begins to wonder if she’s made a terrible mistake. Meanwhile, Eva and Hannah face their own troubles, as secrets about their family threaten to emerge.

Can Rosa make a life for herself in Westenbury? Or will the sisters discover you can’t run away from the past?

Exes and O’s by Amy Lea

Tara Chen has had her heart broken ten times, by ten different men. Nevertheless, she is still determined to find her perfect match. The only problem? Tara is a romance novel obsessive, and her standards are sky high.

Modern dating apps have killed the meet-cute, so Tara decides to revisit her exes – all ten of them – in the hope of finding her very own trope-worthy second-chance romance. And every heroine needs a sidekick, so she enlists her new flatmate, firefighter Trevor.

Trevor Metcalfe is the first to rush into a burning building but the last to rush into a relationship. Love just isn’t his thing. But, the more time they spend together, the more Trevor appreciates Tara’s authentic, dramatic self.

Can they break the habits of a lifetime and give their spark a chance?

The Back Up Man by Phoebe Luckhurst

They made a deal to marry at thirty. But Euan’s nowhere to be found . . .
Can Anya track down her back up man?

Twenty-nine, single, jobless and in a nightmare house share, things could be going better for Anya Mackie.

Then she stumbles across a pact she wrote with her school crush, Euan Carrick – to marry at thirty if they’re still single . . .

But Euan hasn’t been seen for a decade.

Reluctantly enlisting the help of Euan’s emotionally unavailable best friend Jamie Kildare, Anya sets off across the country to find her Back Up Man.

But will Euan remember her?

And should Anya really be betting her future on her past?

The Corner Shop on Foxmore Green by Lilac Mills

Can a new shop change the village’s future – and Rowena’s?

Single mum Rowena is always looking for ways for her and Nia, her four-year-old daughter, to live more sustainably. So when she visits a zero-waste shop in Cardiff, she’s inspired to start one up in her home village of Foxmore, where local businesses and artisan shops are a core part of the community.

For Huw, it’s love at first sight when he bumps into Rowena the day he moves to Foxmore. But a series of misunderstandings keeps the two from getting closer, and now a conflict of interest over Rowena’s shop might put a stop to any fledgling romance…

When a figure from Rowena’s past makes a surprise appearance, both her shop and her relationship with Huw are suddenly under threat. Can Rowena still realise her corner shop dreams and find love?

When I First Held You by Anstey Harris

Silence tore them apart. Can the truth bring them back together?

In 1960s Glasgow, anti-nuclear activists Judith and Jimmy fall in love. But their future hopes are dashed when their protestors’ squat is raided and many, including Jimmy, are sent to prison. Pregnant and with no word from Jimmy, Judith is forced to enter an unmarried mothers’ home, give up their baby and learn to live with her grief.

More than half a century later, Judith’s Mending Shop restores broken treasures, just as Judith herself has been bound back together by her late, much-missed partner, Catherine. But her tranquillity is shattered when Jimmy—so different and yet somehow the same—reappears, yearning to unpick the painful past.

Realising they each know only half of the other’s story, Jimmy and Judith finally break the silence that tore apart what might have been their family. Amid heartbreak and hope, how much can now be mended?

The Hero of this Book by Elizabeth McCracken

Ten months after her mother’s death, the narrator of The Hero of This Book walks across London on a quiet Sunday. The city was a favourite of her mother’s, and as the narrator wanders the streets, she finds herself reflecting on her mother’s life and their relationship. Thoughts of the past meld with questions of the future: back in New England, the family home is now up for sale, its considerable contents already winnowed.

The woman, a writer, recalls all that made her complicated mother extraordinary – her brilliant wit, her generosity, her unbelievable obstinacy, her sheer will in seizing life despite physical difficulties – and finds herself wondering how her mother had endured. Even though she wants to respect her mother’s nearly pathological sense of privacy, the woman must come to terms with whether making a chronicle of this remarkable life constitutes an act of love or betrayal.

Back to Index

Historical

One Night in Hartswood by Emma Denny

A love story worth fighting for…

Oxford 1360

When his sister’s betrothed vanishes the night before her politically arranged marriage, Raff Barden must track and return the elusive groom to restore his family’s honour.

William de Foucart ― known to his friends as Penn ― had no choice but to abandon his intended, and with it his own earldom, when he fled the night before his enforced marriage. But ill-equipped to survive on the run he must trust the kindness of a stranger, Raff, to help him escape.

Unaware their fates are already entwined, the men journey north. But amidst the snow-capped forests an unexpected bond deepens into a far more precious relationship, one that will test all that they hold dear. And when secrets are finally revealed, both men must decide what they will risk for the one they love…

A Marriage of Fortune by Anne O’Brien

England. 1469.

A fortunate marriage will change history.
A scandal could destroy everything…

Margaret Paston, matriarch of the Paston family, knows that a favourable match for one of her unruly daughters is the only way to survive the loss of their recently acquired Caister Castle. But as the War of the Roses rages on, dangerous enemies will threaten even her best laid plans.

Margery Paston, her eldest daughter, has always strived to uphold the Paston name and do her mother proud. But when she loses her heart to a man below her station, she must make a terrible choice: will she betray her family and risk everything for a chance at true love?

Anne Haute, first cousin to the Queen, is embroiled in a longstanding betrothal to Sir John Paston, the eldest son and heir to the Paston seat. But despite his promises, Anne can’t help but doubt that he will ever keep his word and make her his wife…

In the midst of civil war, each of these women must decide: Head or heart? Love or duty? Reputation- or scandal?

My Father’s House by Joseph O’Connor

When the Nazis take Rome, thousands go into hiding. One priest will risk everything to save them.

September 1943: German forces occupy Rome. SS officer Paul Hauptmann rules with terror.

An Irish priest, Hugh O’Flaherty, dedicates himself to helping those escaping from the Nazis. His home is Vatican City, a neutral, independent country within Rome where the occupiers hold no sway. He gathers a team to set up an Escape Line.

But Hauptmann’s net begins closing in and the need for a terrifyingly audacious mission grows critical. By Christmas, it’s too late to turn back.

Back to Index

So that’s all for this week.

Happy Reading!

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