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New fiction for February 2014

Written by · Published Feb 5, 2014

The outcast dead by Elly Griffiths

The outcast dead by Elly Griffiths

Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway has excavated a body from the grounds of Norwich Castle, a forbidding edifice that was once a prison.

She believes the body may be that of infamous Victorian murderess Jemima Green. Called Mother Hook for her claw-like hand, Jemima was hanged in 1867 for the murder of five children in her care.

DCI Harry Nelson has no time for long-dead killers. Immersed in the case of three infants found dead, one after the other, in their King’s Lynn home, he’s convinced that a family member is responsible, though others on his team think differently. Then a child goes missing

Could the abduction be linked to the long-dead Mother Hook? Ruth is pulled into the case, and back towards Nelson.

Survivor by Lesley Pearse

Set against the backdrop of World War II, this novel follows on from Belle and The Promise telling the story of Belle’s daughter.

The farm by Tom Rob Smith

Tom Rob Smith’s first novel, Child 44, was awarded the 2008 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for best thriller of the year by the Crime Writers’ Association, named on the long list for the 2008 Man Booker Prize, nominated for the 2008 Costa First Novel Award (former Whitbread). In July, 2009, he won the Waverton Good Read Award for first novels and the Galaxy Book Award for Best Newcomer.

His new book is a slight departure from his previous work but his skills are as finely honed as ever, with this tale that’s both a page turner and a searing examination of the lives of our protagonist, his lover and his family.

Balancing act by Joanna Trollope

Susie Moran is a success. She has founded and run her own highly profitable company, and now her 3 daughters are all involved in the business.

But what of the men in the family? Susie’s husband, a musician and artist, has always seemed happy to take a back seat. One of her sons-in-law has few ambitions outside the home. Another daughter, though, has brought her husband into the company – and they want to change things, much to Susie’s distress.

And then, into the mix arrives Susie’s father, an ageing hippy who abandoned Susie as a baby. Now he’s alone, and wants to build bridges, although Susie’s daughters are outraged at the idea.

Black Venus by James MacManus

Black Venus captures the artistic scene in Paris at a time when the likes of Dumas and Balzac argued literature in the cafes of the Left Bank.

Among the bohemians the young Charles Baudelaire stood out – dressed impeccably thanks to an inheritance that was quickly vanishing. Still at work on the poems that he hoped would make his name, he spent his nights enjoying the alcohol, opium and women who filled the seedy streets of the city.

The girl with a clock for a heart by Peter Swanson

A debut thriller which has already been optioned for a film adaptation, to be directed by Oscar winner James Marsh.

When George hears that his girlfriend has committed suicide, he’s devastated, but when he visits her parents he discovers that the girl who died wasn’t the girl he knew, but an impostor. Now, 20 years later, she’s back and needs his help.

Brandon King

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