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New fiction for April 2018

Written by · Published Mar 29, 2018

Never Greener, The Craftsman, The Librarian

Macbeth, by Jo Nesbo

Bestselling Scandi Crime writer Jo Nesbo gives us his take on Shakepeare’s Macbeth as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series. In Nesbo’s world a corrupt cop is killing his way to the top, his mistress runs a casino and the witches are drug dealers.

“He’s the best cop they’ve got. When a drug bust turns into a bloodbath it’s up to Inspector Macbeth and his team to clean up the mess. He’s also an ex-drug addict with a troubled past. He’s rewarded for his success. Power. Money. Respect. They’re all within reach.

“But a man like him won’t get to the top. Plagued by hallucinations and paranoia, Macbeth starts to unravel. He’s convinced he won’t get what is rightfully his. Unless he kills for it.”

The Woman in the Woods, by John Connolly

Another bestseller for the Charlie Parker series:

“It is spring, and the semi-preserved body of a young Jewish woman is discovered buried in the Maine woods. It is clear that she gave birth shortly before her death. But there is no sign of a baby.

“Private detective Charlie Parker is engaged by the lawyer Moxie Castin to shadow the police investigation and find the infant, but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in more than a missing child, someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake. And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring. For a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman.”

Property, by Lionel Shriver

Short story collection all linked by the theme of ‘ownership’. Lionel Shriver does not pull any punches but her stories are often funny and make you consider other perspectives.

The Craftsman, by Sharon (S. J.) Bolton

“Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried - alive. Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case.

“But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Did she get it wrong all those years ago? Or is there something much darker at play?”

Never Greener, by Ruth Jones

You will probably know the name Ruth Jones from the comedy series Gavin and Stacey. This is her first novel, which tells of a destructive affair between an actress and an older married man. 17 years later their paths cross again.

Golden Prey, by John Sandford

John Sandford is becoming a very popular author in Suffolk libraries and we are having to order extra copies with each new book.

“Thanks to some very influential people whose lives he saved, Lucas is no longer working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unusual scope. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, wherever they lead him. And where they’ve led him this time is into real trouble.

“A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house gets robbed, and suitcases full of cash disappear, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Davenport takes the case, which quickly spirals out of control, as cartel assassins, including a torturer known as the ‘Queen of home-improvement tools’ compete with Davenport to find the Dixie Hicks shooters who knocked over the counting house. Things get ugly real fast, and neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives Davenport might have saved.”

Our House, by Louise Candlish

“On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue. Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it.”

Dear Mrs Bird, by A. J. Pearce

The charming debut from A. J. Pearce, who is one of the 2018 Picador New Voices. In 1940s London:

“Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance - but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.

“Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. Emmy finds herself dismissing problems from lovelorn, grief-stricken and morally conflicted readers in favour of those who fear their ankles are unsightly or have trouble untangling lengths of wool. But soon the thought of desperate women going unanswered becomes too much to bear and Emmy decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back.”

Paper Ghosts, by Julia Heaberlin

“Having lived his life suspected of being a serial killer, Carl Louis Feldman begins his journey into old age at a nursing home in Texas. Though he was never charged with any crimes, the staff aren’t sorry to see him go when his estranged daughter arrives to take her father on what could be his last road trip.

“When Carl protests that this is not his daughter at all, the nurses are all too ready to excuse it as a product of his steadily deteriorating mind. But were those old suspicions about him true? And if he is an honest man, who has just driven him away from safety?”

The Temptation of Forgiveness, by Donna Leon

Commissario Guido Brunetti returns to delight his many fans:

“Surprised, if not dismayed, to discover from his superior, Vice-Questore Patta, that leaks are emanating from the Questura, Commissario Guido Brunetti is even more surprised by the appearance in his office of a friend of his wife’s, fearful that her son is using drugs.

“When Tullio Gasparini, the woman’s husband, is found unconscious and with a serious head injury at the foot of a bridge in Venice after midnight, Brunetti is drawn to pursue a possible connection to the boy’s behaviour. But the truth is not straightforward.”

Letters to Iris, by Elizabeth Noble

“Gigi is a grandmother, Tess is pregnant for the first time. But when they meet, each one is coping with their own secret sadness. Tess is writing letters to her unborn baby with no one else to turn to, and Gigi has reached breaking point in her marriage. Little do they know how much they will come to mean to one another as both of their lives are turned upside-down.

“Their story is about love in all its forms: the love between a mother and her unborn child, between a grandmother and her granddaughter, between spouses and between friends. Tess and Gigi will find what they need most in the place they least expect, and learn to understand the future by unlocking the past.”

The Librarian, by Salley Vickers

“Sylvia Blackwell, a young woman in her twenties, moves to East Mole, a quaint market town in middle England, to start a new job as a children’s librarian. But the apparently pleasant town is not all it seems. Sylvia falls in love with an older man - but it’s her connection to his precocious young daughter and her neighbours’ son which will change her life and put them, the library and her job under threat. How does the library alter the young children’s lives and how do the children fare as a result of the books Sylvia introduces them to?”

Salley Vickers will be talking about The Librarian at Felixstowe Book Festival in June.

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team