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. This harks back to my library days when the arrival of the biannual The Bookseller heralded a weekend of filling in reservation cards for my forthcoming reading.
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
What July Knew by Emily Koch
JULY KNOWS 18 THINGS ABOUT HER MOTHER. BUT HER DEATH REMAINS A MYSTERY.
Like number thirteen: she loved dancing on the kitchen table. And number eight: she was covered in freckles.
And then there’s number two: she died after being hit by a car when July was small.
She keeps this list hidden in a drawer away from her father. Because they’re not allowed to talk about her mother. Ever.
But an anonymous note slipped into July’s bag on her tenth birthday is about to change everything she thinks she knows about her mum.
Determined to discover what really happened to her, July begins to investigate, cycling around the neighbourhood where her family used to live. There she meets someone who might finally have the answers.
July wants her family to stop lying to her, but will the truth be harder to face?
A Gift of Poison by Bella Ellis
Haworth 1847 – Anne and Emily Brontë have had their books accepted for publication, while Charlotte’s has been rejected everywhere, creating a strained atmosphere at the parsonage.
At the same time, a shocking court case has recently concluded, acquitting a workhouse master of murdering his wife by poison. Everyone thinks this famously odious and abusive man is guilty. However, he insists he is many bad things but not a murderer. When an attempt is made on his life, he believes it to be the same person who killed his wife and applies to the detecting sisters for their help.
Despite reservations, they decide that perhaps, as before, it is only they who can get to the truth and prove him innocent – or guilty – without a shadow of doubt.
The Island by Katrine Engberg
Jeppe Kørner, on leave from the police force and nursing a broken heart, has taken refuge on the island of Bornholm for the winter. Also on the island is Esther de Laurenti, a writer working on a biography on a female anthropologist with a mysterious past and coming to terms with her own crushing sense of loneliness in the wake of a dear friend’s death. When Jeppe lends a helping hand at the island’s local sawmill, he begins to realize that the island may not be the peaceful refuge it appears to be.
Back in Copenhagen, Anette Werner is tasked with leading the investigation into a severed corpse discovered on a downtown playground. As she follows the strange trail of clues, they all seem to lead back to Bornholm. With an innocent offer to check out a lead, Jeppe unwittingly finds himself in the crosshairs of a sinister mystery rooted in the past, forcing him to team up with Anette and Esther to unravel the island’s secrets before it’s too late.
The Private Lives of Trees by Alejandro Zambra
Verónica is late, and Julián is increasingly convinced she won’t ever come home. To pass the time, he improvises a story about trees to coax his stepdaughter, Daniela, to sleep. He has made a life as a literature professor, developing a novel about a man tending to a bonsai tree on the weekends. He is a narrator, an architect, a chronicler of other people’s stories. But as the night stretches on before him, and the hours pass with no sign of Verónica, Julián finds himself caught up in the slipstream of the story of his life – of their lives together. What combination of desire and coincidence led them here, to this very night? What will the future – and possibly motherless – Daniela think of him and his stories? Why tell stories at all?
Just My Type by Falon Ballard
Ever since a disastrous high-school break-up, Lana Parker has bounced from one long-term relationship to the next – she even works as a dating and relationship columnist. So, when Lana suddenly finds herself single, she’s ready for a break, personally and professionally.
But then her high-school ex, Seth Carson, takes an assignment at Lana’s website. Having spent years travelling the world as a freelance journalist, Seth’s finally ready to put down roots, even if it means treading on some toes.
Pitted against each other for a shot at a dream job, Seth and Lara are each tasked with writing an article series that goes against their usual dating type: Lana will write about being – and staying – single, while Seth learns how to become boyfriend material.
With their careers on the line, Seth and Lana’s chemistry is just as combative – and undeniable – as ever. But when these two square off, it’s not only their careers on the line – it’s also their hearts.
The Home Scar by Kathleen MacMahon
‘The home scar – that’s what they call the mark limpets make on the rock when they return.’
‘Wait, they leave the rock?’
‘Of course. How else would they survive?
On opposite sides of the world, half-siblings Cassie and Christo have built their lives around work, intent on ignoring their painful past.
When a dramatic storm in Galway hits the headlines, they’re drawn back there to revisit a glorious childhood summer, the last before their mother died. But their journey uncovers memories of a far less happy summer – one that had tragic consequences.
Confronted with the havoc their mother left in her wake, Cassie and Christo are forced to face their past and – ready or not – to deal with the messy tangle of parental love and neglect that shaped them.
What You Need from the Night by Laurent Petitmangin
After the death of his wife, a father raises his two sons alone. His bond with Fus, the eldest, and Gillou, the youngest, is a close one. But their town is not one of opportunity, and it soon becomes clear that the boys are heading down different paths. Gillou sets his sights on university in Paris. Fus, despite his socialist upbringing, falls in with the local far-right group. Though he joins mostly for the camaraderie, their activities, which might on the surface appear harmless, lead to a violent confrontation.
How can a father and son find common ground when everything seems set to break them apart? A sudden tragedy will force them to find an answer.
Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro
One neighbourhood. One night. A constellation of lives changed forever.
When retired doctor Ben Wilf comes across ten-year-old Waldo Shenkman in the middle of the night under Division Street’s old oak tree, he is treated to an unexpected and magical tour of the stars. But this is not the first time the boy and old man have met. In fact, they go way back, to the night of Waldo’s birth, and further still.
Secrets preside over the neighbourhood along with the majestic oak. One night in particular has been kept buried. Following it, the Wilfs – parents and children — change and grow, but each is haunted by what they choose to forget. Then the young Shenkmans move in across the street: a couple with their own secrets and a lonely, brilliant son who is captivated by the night sky. As their stories collide in ways they never could have imagined, the past comes hurtling back to Division Street, setting in motion a spellbinding chain of events that will transform both families forever.
Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm by Laura Warrell
Love is messy. Love can make us feel alive. It can also bring us down. Sometimes we look for it in all the wrong places. This is a novel about longing, desire and dreams; about passion and risk and all the places in between.
Maggie is pregnant with Circus Palmer’s child. This may be her last chance, but she craves her freedom.
Pia is Circus’s ex-wife, still in love with the fantasy of the man who conjured jazz tunes for her into the night, but who left many years before.
Koko, Circus’s daughter, is lost in the maelstrom of teenage years, the confusion of awakening desire and yearning for the father she barely knows.
Peach is a barmaid who just wants someone to see the person she is inside.
Odessa is on the run from a mistake that can’t be undone.
And then there’s Circus, Circus Palmer, a jazz trumpeter whose moment of glory is fading. Selfish, damaged, scared, perhaps the only person Circus is fooling is himself.
Love Will Tear Us Apart by CK McDonnell
Love can be a truly terrible thing.
Marriages are tricky at the best of times, especially when one of you is dead.
Vincent Banecroft, the irascible editor of The Stranger Times, has never believed his wife died despite emphatic evidence to the contrary. Now, against all odds, it seems he may actually be proved right; but what lengths will he go to in an attempt to rescue her?
With Banecroft distracted, the shock resignation of assistant editor, Hannah Willis, couldn’t have come at a worse time. It speaks volumes that her decision to reconcile with her philandering ex-husband is only marginally less surprising than Banecroft and his wife getting back together. In this time of crisis, is her decision to swan off to a fancy new-age retreat run by a celebrity cult really the best thing for anyone?
As if that wasn’t enough, one of the paper’s ex-columnists has disappeared, a particularly impressive trick seeing as he never existed in the first place.
So that’s all for this week.