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New fiction for April 2021

by Brandon King

Judas horse by Lynda La Plante

Violent burglars have been terrorising residents across the English countryside. But when a mutilated body is discovered in a Cotswolds house, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary group of opportunist thieves. As Detective Jack Warr investigates, he discovers locals with dark secrets, unearths hidden crimes - and hits countless dead ends.

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The bone code by Kathy Reichs

En route to Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the South Carolina coast, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan receives a call from the Charleston coroner. During the storm, a medical waste container has washed up on the beach. Inside are two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Chillingly, Tempe recognises many details as identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec 15 years earlier.

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Lean fall stand by Jon McGregor

When an Antarctic research expedition goes wrong, the consequences are far-reaching - for the men involved and for their families back home. Robert 'Doc' Wright, a veteran of Antarctic field work, holds the clues to what happened, but he's no longer able to communicate them. While Anna, his wife, navigates the sharp contours of her new life as a carer, Robert is forced to learn a whole new way to be in the world.

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The wild girls by Phoebe Morgan

It's been years since Grace, Felicity, Alice and Hannah were together - the 'wild girls', as they were once called, are no longer so wild. Hannah has settled with a new baby and partner. Alice is now a teacher. Grace has gone to ground. Only Felicity seems to have the same spark she once had. And now Felicity has invited them all on the weekend of a lifetime - a mini-break in Botswana to celebrate her birthday, a chance to put that night two years ago behind them, when things went so very wrong between them, and their bomb-proof friendship was shattered for ever.

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Watch her fall by Erin Kelly

Swan Lake is divided into the black acts and the white acts. The Prince is on stage for most of the ballet, but it's the swans audiences flock to see. In early productions, Odette and Odile were performed by two different dancers. These days, it is usual for the same dancer to play both roles. Because of the faultless ballet technique required to master the steps, and the emotional range needed to perform both the virginal Odette and the dark, seductive Odile, this challenging dual role is one of the most coveted in all ballet. Dancers would kill for the part. Ava Kirilova has reached the very top of her profession. After years and years of hard graft, pain and sacrifice as part of the London Russian Ballet Company, allowing nothing else to distract her, she is finally the poster girl for Swan Lake.

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The missing sister by Lucinda Riley

Taking in the vineyards of New Zealand and the majestic landscape of Ireland, The Story of 'The Missing Sister' is the seventh instalment in Lucinda Riley's series 'The Seven Sisters', but it's not the last.

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First person singular: stories by Haruki Murakami

The eight masterly stories in this collection are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator. From nostalgic memories of youth, meditations on music, and an ardent love of baseball to dreamlike scenarios and invented jazz albums, together these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world. Occasionally, a narrator who may or may not be Murakami himself is present. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides.

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Missing pieces by Tim Weaver

Imagine you don't know your own darkest secret. But someone else does - and now they want you dead. Exhausted single mother Rebekah Murphy leaves her daughters with a friend in the city to accompany her brother on a work assignment on a picturesque island. An hour after arriving, her and her brother are attacked. He vanishes, she's left for dead and, by the time she makes it back to safety, it's already too late: the island has closed for the season - and it'll be seven months before anyone returns.

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The cook of the Halcyon by Andrea Camilleri

Two deaths - the suicide of a recently fired worker and the murder of an unscrupulous businessman - lead Montalbano to the Halcyon, a mysterious ship that visits Vigata's port each day. With very few crewmen, no passengers and a stern large enough to land a helicopter, it piques the Inspector's interest straightaway. In the midst of this, a rare trip to Genoa to visit Livia ends with the Vigata police department in disarray, and Montalbano's position as the head of the commissariat in jeopardy. It will be up to the Inspector to fix the damage done.

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Date with deceit by Julia Chapman

A woman in tears in the Dales Detective Agency is never the best way to start the week. But when that woman is the wife of Bernard Taylor, town mayor and eminent businessman, there is even more cause for alarm. So when Nancy Taylor asks the detectives to investigate whether her husband is having an affair, Samson O'Brien and Delilah Metcalfe know they will have to tread carefully.

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