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New fiction for November 2017

Written by · Published Oct 30, 2017

The Midnight Line, The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, Nine Lessons

The Midnight Line, by Lee Child

It’s nearly that time of the year again, and here is the longed-for Christmas present for the legions of Lee Child fans in Suffolk. A long queue has already formed!

“Jack Reacher takes an aimless stroll past a pawn shop in a small Midwestern town. In the window he sees a West Point class ring from 2005. It’s tiny. It’s a woman cadet’s graduation present to herself. Why would she give it up? Reacher’s a West Pointer too, and he knows what she went through to get it. Reacher tracks the ring back to its owner, step by step, down a criminal trail leading west. Like Bigfoot coming out of the forest, he arrives in the deserted wilds of Wyoming. All he wants is to find the woman. If she’s OK, he’ll walk away. But if she’s not…”

The Cross and the Curse, by Matthew Harffy

Matthew Harffy is a fast rising star in the historical fiction field. We recently interviewed him for Meet the Author. This is the second title in the Bernicia Chronicles series, featuring Saxon hero Beobrand. If you like historical fiction, you should enjoy this and its predecessor, The Serpent Sword.

Nine Lessons, by Nicola Upson

Local writer Nicola Upson delivers the seventh book in her Josephine Tey series, which just seems to get better and better. This one is set in Cambridge, where a serial rapist stalks the streets. It can be read as a standalone, but if it the first Upson book you read, you will probably feel compelled to read the others!

The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, by William Boyd

Any new book by William Boyd is always welcome. This is a collection of short stories rather than a full novel, the longest being the title story, but there is much to enjoy here whether you are a Boyd fan or a casual reader:

“A philandering art dealer tries to give up casual love affairs - seeking only stolen kisses as a substitute. A man recounts his personal history through the things he has stolen from others throughout his life. A couple chart the journey of their five-year relationship backwards, from awkward reunion to lovelorn first encounter. And, at the heart of the book, a 24-year-old young woman, Bethany Mellmoth, embarks on a year-long journey of wishful and tentative self-discovery.”

Places in the Darkness, by Chris Brookmyre

Chris Brookmyre takes on the sci-fi genre in his latest book, set in the future. In a previously crimeless city of spaceship-building engineers and scientists in Earth’s orbit, two ill-matched cops team up to solve a murder before they become the next victims. If you crossed Karin Slaughter with Philip K. Dick, you would probably get something like this.

Artemis, by Andy Weir

“She grew up on the moon, of course she has a dark side.

“Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

“Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of Jazz’s problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself - and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even more unlikely than the first.”

Anyone who has seen the film The Martian will be familiar with Andy Weir’s work. This is more of a heist novel, like Chris Brookmyre’s new novel described above. The main character is a smart and sassy criminal. Some readers will be disappointed that this is not similar to The Martian, but it is a good, fast-moving read.

Now We Are Dead, by Stuart MacBride

New novel from the multi award-winning crime author:

“Roberta Steel has recently been demoted after being caught fitting up a suspect. The trouble is, the man she got sent down has had his sentence quashed - now he’s back on the streets. And women are being attacked again. But if DS Steel goes anywhere near him his lawyers will get her thrown off the force for good. The Powers That Be won’t listen to her - not after what happened last time. Besides, she’s got more than enough ongoing cases to keep her busy - perhaps she should focus on solving them instead of harassing an innocent man?

“But Steel knows he’s guilty and the longer he gets away with it, the more women will suffer. The question is: how much is she willing to sacrifice to stop him?”

Six festive short stories from another recent Meet the Author interviewee. Expect romance, humour and happily-ever-after with Fforde’s usual light touch.

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team