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
Grave Expectations by Alice Bell
Claire and Sophie aren’t your typical murder investigators . . .
When 30-something freelance medium Claire Hendricks is invited to an old university friend’s country pile to provide entertainment for a family party, her best friend Sophie tags along. In fact, Sophie rarely leaves Claire’s side, because she’s been haunting her ever since she was murdered at the age of seventeen.
On arrival at The Cloisters it quickly becomes clear that this family is hiding more than just the good china, as Claire learns someone has recently met an untimely end at the house.
Teaming up with the least unbearable members of the Wellington-Forge family – depressive ex-cop Basher and teenage radical Alex – Claire and Sophie determine to figure out not just whodunnit, but who they killed, why and when.
Together they must race against incompetence to find the murderer – before the murderer finds them… in this funny, modern, media-literate mystery for the My Favourite Murder generation.
Chrysalis by Anna Metcalfe
She is noticed by Elliot as he trains in in the gym. He sees her dedication to building her body and taking up space, and he is drawn to her strength. She is observed by her mother, as she grows from a taciturn, tremulous child into a determined and distant woman, who severs all familial ties. She is watched by her former colleague Susie, who offers her sanctuary and support as she leaves her partner and rebuilds her life, transforming her body and reinventing herself online. Each of these three witnesses desires closeness. Each is left with only the husk of the person they thought they knew, before she became someone else: a woman on a singular and solitary path with the power to inspire and to influence her followers, for good and ill.
August Blue by Deborah Levy
At the height of her career, concert pianist Elsa M. Anderson – former child prodigy, now in her thirties – walks off the stage in Vienna, mid-performance.
Now she is in Athens, watching as another young woman, a stranger but uncannily familiar – almost her double – purchases a pair of mechanical dancing horses at a flea market. Elsa wants the horses too, but there are no more for sale. She drifts to the ferry port, on the run from her talent and her history.
So begins a journey across Europe, shadowed by the elusive woman who bought the dancing horses.
A dazzling portrait of melancholy and metamorphosis, August Blue uncovers the ways in which we seek to lose an old story, find ourselves in others and create ourselves anew.
Thirst for Salt by Madelaine Lucas
Our narrator is twenty-four years old when she and her mother arrive in the tiny coastal town of Sailors Beach. Their holiday, she hopes, will be a pause between her life as a student and whatever happens next. Summer stretches before her: unplanned, full of possibility. And into this space walks Jude. Finding herself pulled to this man twenty years her senior she begins losing herself in the simple, seductive rhythms of his everyday life.
Thirteen years later, she happens across a photo of Jude with a child. A photo that leaves her questioning choices she has made for herself. A photo that brings back memories of a summer that changed her forever.
A magnetic story of the complexities of desire, and a powerful reckoning with memory, loss and longing, Madelaine Lucas’ debut novel reveals, with stunning, sensual immediacy the way the past can hold us in its thrall, shaping who we are and what we love.
The Island of Longing by Anne Griffin
One unremarkable afternoon, Rosie watched her daughter Saoirse cycle into town, expecting to hear the slam of the door when she returned a few hours later. But the slam never came.
Eight years on, after an extensive investigation into her disappearance, Rosie is the only person who stubbornly believes that her child might still be alive. When Rosie receives a call from her father, asking her to return home for the summer, she is forced out of her limbo. Life on the island of Roaring Bay revives old rivalries, but it also brings new friendships and unexpected solace.
Yet, when a sudden glimmer of hope appears, Rosie is forced to face an impossible question: is she right to think that Saoirse is still alive? Or will her belief that her daughter will one day return to her come at the cost of everything she has left?
Service by Sarah Gilmartin
When Hannah learns that famed chef Daniel Costello is facing accusations of sexual assault, she’s thrown back to the summer she spent waitressing at his high-end Dublin restaurant – the plush splendour of the dining rooms, the wild parties after service, the sizzling tension of the kitchens. But Hannah also remembers how the attention from Daniel soon morphed from kindness into something darker.
Now the restaurant is shuttered and Daniel is faced with the reality of a courtroom. His wife Julie is hiding from paparazzi lenses behind the bedroom curtains. Surrounded by the wreckage of the past, Daniel, Julie and Hannah are all forced to reconsider what happened at the restaurant. Their three different voices reveal a story of power and complicity, of the lies that we tell and the courage that it takes to face the truth.
Weak Teeth by Lynsey May
Ellis’s life has crumbled without warning. Her boyfriend has fallen in love with someone else, her job’s insecure, her bank account’s empty and she has a mouthful of unreliable teeth. Forced back to her childhood home, there is little in the way of comfort. Her mum is dating a younger man (a dentist, no less) and is talking of selling the house, her sister, Lana, is furious all the time, and a distant cousin has now arrived from the States to stay with them.
During a long, hot Edinburgh summer, Ellis’s world spins out of control. She’s dogged by toothache, her ex won’t compensate her for the flat and somehow she’s found herself stalking his new lover on Facebook.
Will Ellis realise before it’s too late that the bite she was born with is worth preserving?
Honeybees and Distant Thunder by Riku Onda
Welcome to a magical world of music, friendship and rivalry …
In a small coastal town just a stone’s throw from Tokyo, a prestigious piano competition is underway. Over the course of two feverish weeks, three friends will experience some of the most joyous – and painful – moments of their lives. Though they don’t know it yet, each will profoundly and unpredictably change the others, for ever.
Aya was a piano genius, until she ran away from the stage and vanished; will the tall and talented Makun bring her back? Or will it be child of nature, Jin, a pianist without a piano, who carries the sound of his father’s bees wherever he goes? Each of them will break the rules, awe their fans and push themselves to the brink. But at what cost?
The Paper Man by Billy O’Callaghan
1980s Cork. Jack Shine discovers a shoe box full of love letters in his mother’s belongings. Rebekah came to Cork alone as a young Jewish refugee from Vienna when the Second World War broke out. She died soon after, and Jack never learned of his father’s identity. Why did she keep newspaper clippings about a famous footballer player? Who was ‘The Paper Man’?
As Jack uncovers his mother’s life, he is transported to 1930s Vienna, a bustling city on the brink of war. At the heart of the action is Matthias Sindelar, one of the most famous footballers in the world, known as ‘The Paper Man’ because of his effortless weave across the pitch. When Sindelar unexpectedly meets Rebekah, both of their lives are changed forever. As war looms, they must accept that their survival will tear them apart.
Based on true events, The Paper Man is the story of twentieth-century Europe and love against the odds. It is a story that will take Jack far from Cork and all the way back to Vienna, and towards The Paper Man.
Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune
One day. One promise. Two lives changed.
Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent twenty-four hours in her early twenties with the aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist – a chance encounter that spiralled into a daylong city adventure. The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, every dream, and made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn’t.
At thirty-two, Fern’s life hasn’t turned out how she imagined it. She’s back home, running her mother’s lakeside resort, which is in disarray – and her ex-boyfriend is the manager. She needs a lifeline.
To Fern’s surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives – nine years too late – with an offer to help. Will may be the only person who understands what Fern’s going through. Yet how can she possibly trust this expensive suit-wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago.
But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?
The Brink by Jamie Fewery
Dan and Anya Moorcroft have decided to get a divorce. Together, they’ve done it all. Two kids, three owned houses, four rented flats, fifty-something holidays, and one affair apiece. Now, after fifteen years together (nine of them married) they’re on the brink.
But as they go through couples’ mediation, revisiting and rediscovering their shared history in sessions surrounded by lawyers and paperwork, are they about to find something that’s worth saving? Or are they going to reaffirm their decision to end things for good?
Each section of the book is a focus area for the divorce mediation process: sex, home, money, family, us. Through this, the novel explores how marriage is built on bonds between people and the experiences they share. It goes back in time to reveal Dan and Anya’s past. And then returns to the present day as they work out their future.
So that’s all for this week.