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New fiction for May 2021

by Brandon King

Take a look at our brand new picks for May 2021.

The naked corpses of Aylmer and Mary Younis are discovered in their home. The only clues are a note written in blood and an eerie report of two spectral figures departing the crime scene. Officer Jill Ferriter is charged with investigating the murders while her colleague Alex Cupidi is on leave, recovering from post-traumatic stress. The dead couple had made investments in a green reforestry scheme in Guatemala, resulting in the loss of all their savings.

What is more disturbing is that Cupidi and Ferriter's disgraced former colleague and friend Bill South is also on the list of investors and the Younis's were not the only losers. Despite being in counselling and receiving official warnings to stay away from police work Cupidi finds herself dragged into the case and begins to trawl among the secrets and lies that are held in the fishing community of Folkestone.

A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures - until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed. 18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a 'favour', payable on her release from prison. Twenty years later Megan is free. Let the games begin

This volume recounts the story of Henry VIII's last wife - Katharine Parr, the queen who survived him. Two husbands dead, a boy and a sick man. And now Katharine is free to make her own choice. The ageing King's eye falls upon her. She cannot refuse him - or betray that she wanted another. She becomes the sixth wife - a queen and a friend. Henry loves and trusts her. But Katharine is hiding another secret in her heart, a deeply held faith that could see her burn.

He jumped to his death in front of witnesses. Now his wife is charged with murder. Five years ago, Erin Kennedy moved to New York following a family tragedy. She now lives happily with her detective husband in the scenic seaside town of Newport, Long Island. When Erin answers the door to Danny's police colleagues one morning, it's the start of an ordinary day.

But behind her, Danny walks to the window of their fourth-floor apartment and jumps to his death. Eighteen months later, Erin is in court, charged with her husband's murder. Over that year and a half, Erin has learned things about Danny she could never have imagined. She thought he was perfect. She thought their life was perfect. But it was all built on the perfect lie.

Eighteen-year-old Debbie White lives on a dairy farm with her mother, Maeve, and her uncle, Billy. Billy sleeps out in a caravan in the garden with a bottle of whiskey and the stars overhead for company. Maeve spends her days recording her dreams, which she believes to be prophecies. This world is Debbie's normal, but she is about to step into life as a student at Trinity College in Dublin.

As she navigates between sophisticated new friends and the family bubble, things begin to unravel. Maeve's eccentricity tilts into something darker, while Billy's drinking gets worse. Debbie struggles to cope with the weirdest, most difficult parts of herself, her family and her small life. But the fierce love of the White family is never in doubt, and Debbie discovers that even the oddest of families are places of safety.

Life - and crime - is not always as it seems for Ulf Varg and the other fearless detectives in Malmo's Department of Sensitive Crimes. There are always surprising new cases to take on, and the latest batch is no exception. And that's not to mention Ulf's struggle to contain his feelings for his colleague Anna Bengsdotter. All in all, things are distinctly difficult in Malmo, and it seems up to Ulf and the Department to set them right.

Bruno Courreges is Chief of Police of the lovely town of St Denis in the Dordogne. His main wish is to keep the local people safe and his town free from crime. But crime has a way of finding its way to him. For thirty years, Bruno's boss, Chief of Detectives Jalipeau, known as J-J, has been obsessed with his first case. It was never solved and Bruno knows that this failure continues to haunt J-J. A young male body was found in the woods near St Denis and never identified.

For all these years, J-J has kept the skull as a reminder. He calls him 'Oscar'. Visiting the famous pre-history museum in nearby Les Eyzies, Bruno sees some amazingly life-like heads expertly reconstructed from ancient skulls. He suggests performing a similar reconstruction on Oscar as a first step towards at last identifying him. An expert is hired to start the reconstruction and the search for Oscar's killer begins.

Delphine is at a wedding when the shocking news comes. Suddenly her life changes for ever. Delphine has worked hard for her success and she knows she's got everything she wants. But not everyone agrees. Her opinionated family aren't convinced that living alone with no plans to 'settle down' could possibly make her truly happy, and no one appreciates it when she drops everything, day or night, whenever her boss Conrad calls.

Yet Delphine wouldn't change a thing. And when Conrad makes her a surprise offer, it's clear that her hard work is going to pay off. A few short days later, Delphine's life is unrecognisable. The man who once broke her heart has suddenly reappeared, and a shocking tragedy turns her world on its head.

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.

Rosaleen is still a teenager, in the early Sixties, when she meets the famous sculptor Felix Lichtman. Felix is dangerous, bohemian, everything she dreamed of in the cold nights at her Catholic boarding school. And at first their life together is glitteringly romantic - drinking in Soho, journeying to Marseilles. But it's not long before Rosaleen finds herself fearfully, unexpectedly alone.

Desperate, she seeks help from the only source she knows, the local priest, and is directed across the sea to Ireland on a journey that will seal her fate. Kate lives in Nineties London, stumbling through her unhappy marriage. But something has begun to stir in her. Close to breaking point, she sets off on a journey of her own. Aoife sits at her husband's bedside as he lies dying, and tells him the story of their marriage. But there is a crucial part of the story missing and time is running out.

1866 - in a coastal village in southern England, Nell picks violets for a living. Set apart by her community because of the birthmarks that speckle her skin, Nell's world is her beloved brother and devotion to the sea. But when Jasper Jupiter's Circus of Wonders arrives in the village, Nell is kidnapped. Her father has sold her, promising Jasper Jupiter his very own leopard girl.

It is the greatest betrayal of Nell's life, but as her fame grows, and she finds friendship with the other performers and Jasper's gentle brother Toby, she begins to wonder if joining the show is the best thing that has ever happened to her.In London, newspapers describe Nell as the eighth wonder of the world. Figurines are cast in her image, and crowds rush to watch her soar through the air. But who gets to tell Nell's story? What happens when her fame threatens to eclipse that of the showman who bought her?

The assassin known as Victor is hiding out in a small motel in Canada after a job across the border. A few days laying low and he'll be gone and leave no trace behind. He doesn't count on getting to know a mother and her boy who reminds him of his own troubled childhood. When both vanish, only Victor seems to notice. Once he starts looking for them, he finds himself at odds with the criminals who own the town. They want him gone. Only Victor's going nowhere until he discovers the truth and to them he's just a quiet man asking the wrong questions. But that quiet man is a dangerous man.

Most Sundays, Niall and Eden Paternoster like to go for a drive and visit country houses. She likes to look at them, he likes to dream that one day. However, most weeks they also end up bickering about something or other. This particular Sunday he wants to get back to catch the start of the French Grand Prix, while she insists they stop somewhere to buy cat litter. Reluctantly, he pulls into the car park of a large supermarket and waits while she dashes in. He waits. And waits. But Eden doesn't come back out - she's gone.

When he gets home she's not there either, and none of their friends or family have heard from her. A few days later, and vigorously protesting his innocence, Niall is arrested on suspicion of her murder. When Roy Grace is called in to investigate Eden's disappearance, it soon transpires that nothing is originally as it seemed.

Carefully selected from five collections and over thirty years of writing, this publication celebrates the best of A.S. Byatt's short stories.