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. Also in keeping with my support for the #RespectRomFic campaign I’ve added a Romance category. This might be hit and miss as to whether I categorise correctly but hope it helps.
(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
Freeze by Kate Simants
ON THE TOUGHEST REALITY SHOW ON TELEVISION
A KILLER IS HIDING OUT OF SHOT
Frozen Out is set to be a TV sensation. On a small ship off the coast of Greenland, eight contestants will push themselves to breaking point for a £100,000 prize.
The show is Tori Matsuka’s baby. After years working her way up the ladder, she’s finally launching her own production company with Frozen Out, and the late nights, the debts, the strain on her relationship will all be worthwhile. Everything is riding on the next twelve days. For camerawoman Dee, it’s a chance to start again after the tragedy that tanked her undercover journalism career. Not even Tori, her oldest friend, knows the full truth of why Dee left her previous job, and she plans to keep it that way.
But as errors and mishaps mount on set, tempers among the cast and crew start to fray. And when one of the contestants is found dead, only Dee realises the death wasn’t natural – and from what she’s seen from behind the camera, it won’t be the last. As the Arctic ice closes in around them and all chance of escape is cut off, it becomes clear that although the world outside wants them dead, it’s the secrets inside the ship that might cost them their lives.
The Mother by TM Logan
Framed for murder. Now she’s free . . .
A woman attends a funeral, standing in the shadows and watching in agony as her sons grieve. But she is unable to comfort them – or reveal her secret.
A decade earlier, Heather gets her children ready for bed and awaits the return of her husband Liam, little realising that this is the last night they will spend together as a family. Because tomorrow she will be accused of Liam’s murder.
Ten years ago Heather lost everything. Now she will stop at nothing to clear her name – and to get her children back . . .
Squeaky Clean by Callum McSorley
Half the Glasgow polis think DI Alison McCoist is bent. The other half just think she’s a fuck-up.
No one thinks very much at all about carwash employee Davey Burnet, until one day he takes the wrong customer’s motor for a ride. One kidnapping later, he and the carwash are officially part of Glasgow’s criminal underworld, working for a psychopath who enjoys playing games like ‘Keep Yer Kneecaps’ with any poor bastard who crosses him.
Can Davey escape from the gang’s clutches with his kneecaps and life intact? Perhaps this polis Ally McCoist who keeps nosing around the carwash could help. That’s if she doesn’t get herself killed first.
The Shadows of London by Andrew Taylor
The damage caused by the Great Fire still overshadows the capital. When a man’s brutally disfigured body is discovered in the ruins of an ancient almshouse, architect Cat Hakesby is ordered to stop restoration work. It is obvious he has been murdered, and Whitehall secretary James Marwood is ordered to investigate.
It’s possible the victim could be one of two local men who have vanished – the first, a feckless French tutor connected to the almshouse’s owner;
the second, a possibly treacherous employee of the Council of Foreign Plantations.
The pressure on Marwood mounts as Charles II’s most influential courtiers, Lord Arlington and the Duke of Buckingham, show an interest in his activities – and Marwood soon begins to suspect the murder trail may lead right to the heart of government.
Meanwhile, a young, impoverished Frenchwoman has caught the eye of the king, a quiet affair that will have monumental consequences…
The Kind Worth Saving by Peter Swanson
TWO’S COMPANY, THREE’S FATAL
‘Do you remember me?’ she asked, after stepping into my office.
When private detective and former teacher Henry Kimball is hired to investigate an ex-pupil’s cheating husband, he senses all is not quite what it seems, and before he knows it he’s gotten far too close to the other woman.
As the case gets ever stranger, he turns to the only person he can trust, Lily Kintner, someone with dark secrets of her own…
Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton
Birnam Wood is on the move…
Five years ago, Mira Bunting founded a guerrilla gardening group: Birnam Wood. An undeclared, unregulated, sometimes-criminal, sometimes-philanthropic gathering of friends, this activist collective plants crops wherever no one will notice, on the sides of roads, in forgotten parks, and neglected backyards. For years, the group has struggled to break even. Then Mira stumbles on an answer, a way to finally set the group up for the long term: a landslide has closed the Korowai Pass, cutting off the town of Thorndike. Natural disaster has created an opportunity, a sizable farm seemingly abandoned.
But Mira is not the only one interested in Thorndike. Robert Lemoine, the enigmatic American billionaire, has snatched it up to build his end-times bunker – or so he tells Mira when he catches her on the property. Intrigued by Mira, Birnam Wood, and their entrepreneurial spirit, he suggests they work this land. But can they trust him? And, as their ideals and ideologies are tested, can they trust each other?
Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks
‘Wrought with an incredible precision and a musicality which carries every sentence’ Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of Open Water
Yamaye lives for the weekend, when she can go raving with her friends at The Crypt, an underground club in the industrial town on the outskirts of London where she was born and raised. A young woman unsure of her future, the sound is her guide – a chance to discover who she really is in the rhythms of those smoke-filled nights. In the dance-hall darkness, dub is the music of her soul, her friendships, her ancestry.
But everything changes when she meets Moose, the man she falls deeply in love with, and who offers her the chance of freedom and escape.
When their relationship is brutally cut short, Yamaye goes on a dramatic journey of transformation that takes her first to Bristol – where she is caught up in a criminal gang and the police riots sweeping the country – and then to Jamaica, where past and present collide with explosive consequences.
The Sharing Economy by Sophie Berrebi
Three Women meets Crudo: a frank and fresh literary debut about the dawn of dating apps in Amsterdam.
‘Sexual infidelity is unavoidable, for whatever reasons, in long monogamous relationships, so why not give the other sexual freedom, as a gesture of love, of communication maybe?’
Amsterdam in 2014 is an historic city situated at the heart of the future. One of the biggest hubs for internet traffic in the world, it has become a favourite testing-ground for the new internet platforms that form the vanguard of what has been coined ‘the sharing economy’.
Gabrielle Bloom is a woman in her mid-40s, working as an exhibition curator. She is happily married to Anton and loves her son Victor. They have a circle of sophisticated friends and enjoy the life of two successful and respectable professionals living in one of the world’s most beautiful and culturally rich cities.
There is, though, one crucial difference between their relationship and those of their friends. Gabrielle and Anton enjoy an open marriage.
When Gabrielle is introduced, during a visit to a feminist art collective, to a new dating app that has recently launched in the city, fresh horizons open up. With an almost unlimited number of potential partners suddenly available to her, she quickly develops a taste for the thrill of a brief sexual encounter. Moving from one assignation to the next, things at first seem exhilarating and uncomplicated. But the human heart has not evolved at the same rate as the silicon chip and when attachments start to form things rapidly become less simple.
Deep Down by Imogen West-Knights
Billie and Tom have just lost their father. It should be a time to comfort each other, but there’s always been a distance to their relationship. Determined to change this, Billie boards a flight to her brother in Paris.
Dazed by grief, the siblings spend days wandering the streets, both helping and hurting each other in the process. When their explorations lead them to the infamous Paris catacombs, they will finally be forced to face the secrets lurking in their past that illuminate the questions in their present.
Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry
Recently retired policeman Tom Kettle is settling into the quiet of his new home, a lean-to annexed to a Victorian castle overlooking the Irish Sea. For months he has barely seen a soul, catching only glimpses of his eccentric landlord and a nervous young mother who has moved in next door. Occasionally, fond memories return, of his family, his beloved wife June and their two children.
But when two former colleagues turn up at his door with questions about a decades-old case, one which Tom never quite came to terms with, he finds himself pulled into the darkest currents of his past.
One Moment by Becky Hunter
One moment in time can change everything…
The day Scarlett dies should have been one of the most important of her life. It doesn’t feel fair that she’ll never have the chance to fulfil her dreams. And now, she’s still … here – wherever here is – watching the ripple effect of her death on the lives of those she loved the most.
Evie cannot contemplate her life without Scarlett, and she certainly cannot forgive Nate, the man she blames for her best friend’s death. But Nate keeps popping up when she least expects him to, catapulting Evie’s life in directions she’d never let herself imagine possible. Ways, perhaps, even those closest to her had long since given up on.
If you could go back, knowing everything that happens after, everything that happens because of that one moment in time, would you change the course of history or would you do it all again?
If I Let You Go by Charlotte Levin
A gripping, darkly comic tale of searing loss, coercive control and the consequences of taking the wrong path.
Every morning Janet Brown goes to work cleaning offices. It calms her, cleanliness, neatness. All the things she’s unable to do with her soul can be achieved with a damp cloth and a splash of bleach. However, the guilt she still carries about a devastating loss that happened eleven years ago, cannot be erased.
Then, Janet finds herself involved in a train crash and, recognising the chance to do what she couldn’t all those years ago, she makes a decision. As news spreads of Janet’s actions, her story inspires everyone around her, and for the first time her life has purpose and the future is filled with hope.
But Janet’s story isn’t quite what it seems, and as events spiral out of control, she soon discovers that coming clean isn’t an option. Because if Janet washes away the lies, what long-buried truths will she finally have to face.
The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff
For Geeta, life as a widow is more peaceful than life as a wife…
Until the other women in her village decide they want to be widows, too.
Geeta is believed to have killed her vanished husband – a rumour she hasn’t bothered trying to correct, because a reputation like that can keep a single woman safe in rural India. But when she’s approached for help in ridding another wife of her abusive drunk of a husband, her reluctant agreement sets in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of all the women in the village….
The Last Party at Silverton Hall by Rachel Burton
Two women. Two centuries. A life-changing night…
1952: Vivien and Max collide in the thick London smog. Within a few years, their whirlwind romance sees them living a quiet life on the Norfolk coast, blissfully happy with their beautiful daughter – at least, that’s how it appears…
2019: Isobel is hoping for a fresh start when she inherits her beloved grandmother Vivien’s house in Silverton Bay. But when she discovers an old photograph of Vivien at one of the infamous parties held at Silverton Hall in the 1950s, Isobel is forced to question how well she really knew her grandmother. Silverton Hall is a place Vivien swore she never went and never would – but why would she lie? And what other secrets was she keeping?
Together with an old friend, Isobel searches for answers. But is she prepared for the truth?
Nothing Special by Nicole Flattery
A wildly original debut novel about two young women navigating the complex worlds of Andy Warhol’s Factory, and coming of age in 1960s New York
New York City, 1966. Seventeen-year-old Mae lives in a run-down apartment with her alcoholic mother and her mother’s sometimes-boyfriend, Mikey. She is turned off by the petty girls at her high school, and the sleazy men she typically meets. When she drops out, she is presented with a job offer that will remake her world entirely: she is hired as a typist for the artist Andy Warhol.
Warhol is composing an unconventional novel by recording the conversations and experiences of his many famous and alluring friends. Tasked with transcribing these tapes alongside several other girls, Mae quickly befriends Shelley and the two of them embark on a surreal adventure at the fringes of the countercultural movement. Going to parties together, exploring their womanhood and sexuality, this should be the most enlivening experience of Mae’s life. But as she grows increasingly obsessed with the tapes and numb to her own reality, Mae must grapple with the thin line between art and voyeurism and determine how she can remain her own person as the tide of the sixties sweeps over her.
Cursed Bread by Sophie Mackintosh
If you eat the bread, you’ll die, he said. The statement made no sense, but it filled me with an electric dread.
Elodie is the baker’s wife. A plain, unremarkable woman, ignored by her husband and underestimated by her neighbours, she burns with the secret desire to be extraordinary. One day a charismatic new couple appear in town – the ambassador and his sharp-toothed wife, Violet – and Elodie quickly falls under their spell. All summer long she stalks them through the shining streets: inviting herself into their home, eavesdropping on their coded conversations, longing to be part of their world.
Meanwhile, beneath the tranquil surface of daily life, strange things are happening. Six horses are found dead in a sun-drenched field, laid out neatly on the ground like an offering. Widows see their lost husbands walking up the moonlit river, coming back to claim them. A teenage boy throws himself into the bonfire at the midsummer feast. A dark intoxication is spreading through the town, and when Elodie finally understands her role in it, it will be too late to stop.
Stars in an Italian Sky by Jill Santopolo
Genoa, Italy, 1946. Vincenzo and Giovanna fall in love the moment they set eyes on each other. The son of a count and the daughter of a tailor, they belong to opposing worlds – but the undeniable spark between them quickly burns into a deep and passionate relationship, played out against their post-war city, and Vincenzo’s family’s beautiful vineyard. But when shifts in political power force them each to choose a side and commit what the other believes is a betrayal, the bright future they dreamed of together is shattered.
New York, 2017. Cassandra and Luca are in love. Although neither quite fits with the other’s family, Cass and Luca have always felt like a perfect match for each other. But when Luca, an artist, convinces his grandfather and Cass’s grandmother to pose for a painting, past and present collide to reveal a secret that changes everything . . .
The Hidden Letters by Lorna Cook
As the storm clouds of war gather, Cordelia seeks refuge in the grounds of her family estate.
Handsome landscaper Isaac has recently arrived to tend to the gardens, and the connection between him and Cordelia is as immediate as it is forbidden.
Isaac begins to secretly teach her how to cultivate the gardens, so when he and all the young men are called away to war, Cordelia takes over.
From the battlefields of Europe, Isaac sends her letters, that give her hope for their future in peacetime.
But when these messages abruptly cease, Cordelia must face up to the worst and take her future – and the fate of the garden they both loved – into her own hands…
One Enchanted Evening by Katie Fforde
Ever since she can remember, Meg has wanted to be a professional cook.
But it’s 1964, and in restaurant kitchens all over England it is still a man’s world.
Then she gets a call from her mother who is running a small hotel in Dorset.
There’s an important banqueting event coming up. She needs help and she needs it now!
When Meg arrives, the hotel seems stuck in the past. But she loves a challenge, and sets to work.
Then Justin, the son of the hotel owner, appears, determined to take over the running of the kitchen.
Infuriated, Meg is determined to keep cooking – and soon sparks between them begin to fly.
Will their differences be a recipe for disaster? After all, the course of true love never did run smooth…
The Man I Met on Holiday by Fiona Gibson
Is he just a summer fling? Or the one she’s been waiting for…
How Lauren thought her summer holiday would go: Priceless mother-son memories of swimming and sunshine before Charlie leaves for university.
How things actually are, now they’re here: Charlie refusing to speak to her, locked in a darkened room in their Corsican cottage, and a creeping sense of dread contemplating the rest of her life alone.
Although Charlie has decided that holidays with Mum are now deeply uncool, Lauren is determined not to waste this trip. Then she meets James, who was supposed to be holidaying with his daughter but is now, like her, unexpectedly flying solo.
Lauren is soon sneaking away for romantic dinners under the stars. Instead of the end of something, she hopes this could be a new beginning.
But what happens when Lauren and James pick up their emotional baggage back home? And what will their kids make of their mid-life rom com in the making?
In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer
Their love story has gone viral. But it hasn’t even begun . . .
Franny Doyle is having the worst day. She’s been sacked, the subway doors ripped her favorite dress to ruins, and now she’s flashed her unmentionables to half of lower Manhattan. On the plus side, a dashing stranger came to her rescue with his (Gucci!) suit jacket. On the down side, he can’t get away from her fast enough.
Worse yet? Someone posted their (entirely not) meet-cute online. Suddenly Franny and her rescuer, Hayes Montgomery, are the newest social media sensation, and all of New York is shipping #SubwayQTs.
Only Franny and Hayes couldn’t be a more disastrous match. She’s talkative, and creative. He’s serious, shy, and all about numbers. Yet somehow, Hayes and Franny keep running into each other. It seems fate isn’t done with the subway sweethearts just yet . . .
The Forever Garden by Rosanna Ley
Amid the sun-soaked hills of southern Italy lies the Romano family olive grove, where Lara lives with her daughter Rose and her granddaughter Bea.
Lara has spent a lifetime trying to forget the traumatic events that led to her desperate escape from Dorset seventy years ago. But when she sees Bea – a passionate horticulturalist most at home in nature – being swept off her feet by Matteo, a handsome and charismatic restaurateur, Lara fears her granddaughter is in danger of making the same mistake as Lara did all those years ago.
Remembering a promise she once made, Lara asks Bea to travel to Dorset to restore her family’s long-lost garden. Bea is torn. She would love to find out more about the mystery of her beloved grandmother’s past. But if she leaves Italy, will Matteo wait for her? And when she arrives at the house in Dorset – what will she find?
Meanwhile back in Italy, an old flame from Rose’s past reappears, threatening to expose a secret that could tear the heart out of the Romano family for good.
So that’s all for this week.
Another nice haul Jill. Happy Monday 😉
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Cheers, Jody. Have a great week x
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