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New fiction for November 2018

Written by · Published Oct 30, 2018

The Stranger Diaries, Fox 8, Fire and Blood

Past Tense, by Lee Child

This is probably the title we will get the most requests for. What can I say except get yourself on the waiting list!

“Jack Reacher plans to follow the autumn sun on an epic road trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn’t get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been - the town where his father was born. He thinks, what’s one extra day? He takes the detour.

“At the very same moment, close by, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians are trying to get to New York City to sell a treasure. They’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.

“The next morning in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in that town. He knows his father never went back. Now he wonders, was he ever there in the first place?”

The Stranger Diaries, by Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths is another Suffolk readers’ favourite. This is a standalone featuring teacher Clare Cassidy, who is a specialist on the Victorian Gothic writer R. M. Holland. When one of Clare’s colleagues is murdered and a line from a story by Holland is found next to the body, Clare is drawn into the investigation.

The Drop, by Mick Herron

New Slough House novella featuring the disgraced MI5 spies.

“Old spooks carry the memory of tradecraft in their bones, and when Solomon Dortmund sees an envelope being passed from one pair of hands to another in a Marylebone café, he knows he’s witnessed more than an innocent encounter. But in relaying his suspicions to John Bachelor, who babysits retired spies like Solly, he sets in train events which will alter lives.

“Bachelor himself, a hair’s breadth away from sleeping in his car, is clawing his way back to stability; Hannah Weiss, the double agent whose recruitment was his only success, is starting to enjoy the secrets and lies her role demands; and Lech Wicinski, an Intelligence Service analyst, finds that a simple favour for an old acquaintance might derail his career. Meanwhile, Lady Di Taverner is trying to keep the Service on an even keel, and if that means throwing the odd crew member overboard, well: collateral damage is her speciality.”

Middle England, by Jonathan Coe

Jonathan Coe steps up to offer us a novel that covers Brexit and the results of it. It is funny and catches the mood very well.

“Set in the Midlands and London over the last eight years, Jonathan Coe follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change and disruption in Britain.

“There are the early married years of Sophie and Ian who disagree about the future of Britain and, possibly, the future of their relationship; Sophie’s grandfather whose final act is to send a postal vote for the European referendum; Doug, the political commentator, whose young daughter despairs of his lack of political nous and Doug’s Remaining Tory politician partner who is savaged by the crazed trolls of Twitter.

“And within all these lives is the story of England itself: a story of nostalgia and irony; of friendship and rage, humour and intense bewilderment.”

Fire and Blood: 300 years before A Game of Thrones (a Targaryen history), by George R. R. Martin

No, this is not the next novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Instead it is the first volume of a two part history of the Targaryens in Westeros and set 300 years before A Game of Thrones.

Land of the Living, by Georgina Harding

“Charlie’s experiences at the Battle of Kohima and the months he spent lost in the remote jungles of Assam during World War II are now history. Home and settled on a farm in Norfolk and newly married to Claire, he is one of the lucky survivors. Starting a family and working the land seem the best things a man can be doing.

“But a chasm exists between them. Memories flood Charlie’s mind; at night, on rain-slicked roads and misty mornings in the fields, the past can feel more real than the present. What should be said and what left unsaid? Is it possible to find connection and forge a new life in the wake of unfathomable horror?”

Someone Like Me, by M. R. Carey

New from the author of The Girl with All the Gifts.

“Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. Even when times get tough, she’s devoted to bringing up her kids in a loving home. But there’s another side to Liz, one that’s dark and malicious. A version of her that will do anything to get her way - no matter how extreme. And when this other side of her takes control, the consequences are devastating.”

Fox 8, by George Saunders & Chelsea Cardinal

Beautifully illustrated fable from the 2017 Man Booker Prize winner about the effect of human consumerism on the natural world.

“Fox 8 has always been curious, and a bit of a daydreamer. And, by hiding outside houses at dusk and listening to children’s bedtime stories, he has learned to speak ‘Yuman’. The power of words and the stories built from them is intoxicating for a fox with a poetic soul, but there is ‘danjur’ on the horizon: a new shopping mall is being built, cutting off his pack’s food supply. To save himself and his fellow foxes, Fox 8 will have to set out on a harrowing quest from the wilds of nature deep into the dark heart of suburbia.”

And So It Begins, by Rachel Abbott

Rachel Abbott, who has sold shedloads of her self published books and topped the Kindle charts, delivers her first book for a major publisher.

“So this is how it ends. It is clear to me now: one of us has to die.

“Mark and Evie had a whirlwind romance. Evie brought Mark back to life after the sudden death of his first wife. Cleo, Mark’s sister, knows she should be happy for him. But Cleo doesn’t trust Evie. When she starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries?

“Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets. Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence?

“As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider - is there ever a proper defence for murder?”

Look Alive Twenty-Five, by Janet Evanovich

“There’s nothing like a good deli, and the Red River Deli in Trenton is one of the best. The New Jersey shop is world-famous for its pastrami, coleslaw - and for its disappearing managers.

“Over the last month, three have vanished from the face of the earth, and the only clue in each case is one shoe that’s been left behind. The police are baffled. Lula is convinced that it’s a case of alien abduction. Whatever it is, they’d better figure out what’s going on before they lose their new manager - Ms. Stephanie Plum.”

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team