“This novel follows the blunt, contradictory yet deeply loveable Olive Kitteridge as she grows older, navigating the second half of her life as she comes to terms with the changes - sometimes welcome, sometimes not - in her own existence and in those around her. Olive adjusts to her new life with her second husband, challenges her estranged son and his family to accept him, experiences loss and loneliness, witnesses the triumphs and heartbreaks of her friends and neighbours in the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine - and, finally, opens herself to new lessons about life.”
Elizabeth Strout is one of the speakers at the UEA Literary Festival in November.
“This is the story of three very different women and their relationship with the younger generation: fiercely independent Nan, who leads a secret life as an award-winning poet when she is not teaching her grandson Billy how to lie; glamorous Blanche, deprived of the company of her beloved granddaughter Kitty by her hostile daughter-in-law, who finds solace in rebelliously taking to drink and shop lifting; and shy, bookish Minna who in the safety of shepherd’s hut shares with her surrogate granddaughter Rose her passion for reading.
“The outlook of all three women subtly alters when through their encounters with each other they discover that the past is always with us and that we go on learning and changing until the very end.”
Interesting collaboration between Robert MacFarlane, who will be well known to non-fiction readers, and Stanley Donwood who created the iconic Radiohead album covers.
“Somewhere on a salt-and-shingle island, inside a ruined concrete structure known as The Green Chapel, a figure called The Armourer is leading a black mass with terrible intent. But something is coming to stop him. Five more-than-human forms are traversing land, sea and time towards The Green Chapel, moving towards the point where they will converge and become Ness. Ness has lichen skin and willow-bones. Ness is made of tidal drift, green moss and deep time. Ness has hagstones for eyes and speaks only in birds. And Ness has come to take this island back.
“What happens when land comes to life? What would it take for land to need to come to life? Using word and image, Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood have together made a minor modern myth.”
Long awaited follow up to the magical The Night Circus (2011). Graduate student Zachary discovers a strange book hidden in the university library which tells of lost cities and lovelorn prisoners and also a recollection of his own childhood. He follows the clues to find a subterranean library hidden below New York.
Comedian and broadcaster Paul Merton brings together 80 of his favourite funny stories. Contributors include Nora Ephron, Ali Smith and PG Wodehouse.
“Fifty years after The Andromeda Strain made Michael Crichton a household name - and spawned a new genre, the technothriller - the threat returns, in a gripping sequel that is terrifyingly realistic and resonant.”
The latest in the Josephine Tey series from the Suffolk-based bestseller.
“In the summer of 1915, the violent death of a young girl brings grief and notoriety to Charleston Farmhouse on the Sussex Downs. Years later, Josephine Tey returns to the same house - now much changed - and remembers the two women with whom she once lodged as a young teacher during the Great War. As past and present collide, with murders decades apart, Josephine is forced to face the possibility that the scandal which threatened to destroy those women’s lives hid a much darker secret.”
Second in the series featuring Atlee Pine, FBI Special Agent.
“FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s life was never the same after her twin sister Mercy was kidnapped – and likely killed – thirty years ago. After a lifetime of torturous uncertainty, Atlee’s unresolved anger finally gets the better of her on the job, and she finds she has to deal with the demons of her past if she wants to remain with the FBI.
“Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum head back to Atlee’s rural hometown in Georgia to see what they can uncover about the traumatic night Mercy was taken and Pine was almost killed. But soon after Atlee begins her investigation, a local woman is found ritualistically murdered, her face covered with a wedding veil – and the first killing is quickly followed by a second bizarre murder.
“Atlee is determined to continue her search for answers, but now she must also set her sights on finding a potential serial killer before another victim is claimed. But in a small town full of secrets – some of which could answer the questions that have plagued Atlee her entire life – digging deeper into the past could be more dangerous than she realises…”
“Leah thought Maitland Farm could give her a new life - but now old ghosts are dragging her into the past.
“Following the tragic deaths of her husband and son, Leah is looking for a new life. Determined to bury her grief in hard work and desperate to escape Christmas and the reminders of what she has lost, she rushes through the purchase of a run-down Yorkshire farmhouse, arriving just as the snow shrouds her new home.
“It might look like the loveliest Christmas card, but it’s soon clear it’s not just the house that needs renovation: the land is in bad heart, too. As Leah sets to work, she begins to see visions of the farm’s former occupants - and of the dark secrets that lie at the heart of Maitland Farm. If Leah is to have a future, she must find a way to lay both her own past and theirs to rest - but the visions are becoming disturbingly real.”
Ambitious novel which comes highly recommended by Sally Rooney.
“Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of ‘97. His parents are psychologists, his mom a famous author in the field. A renowned debater and orator, an aspiring poet, and - although it requires a lot of posturing and weight lifting - one of the cool kids, he’s also one of the seniors who brings the loner Darren Eberheart into the social scene, with disastrous effects.”
“Sudden Traveller is Sarah Hall’s third story collection. Featuring her signature themes of identity, eroticism, and existential quest, these new stories travel far afield in location and ambition. From Turkish forests to rain-drenched Cumbrian villages, Hall’s characters walk, drive, dream, and fly, trying to reconcile themselves with their journeys through life, death, and love. Science fiction meets folktale and philosophy meets mortality.”
“1950s America. Muriel, newly married and newly orphaned, works as a waitress in a San Diego diner. As she pours coffee and empties ashtrays, she eavesdrops on her customers, the ex-jockeys and trainers of the Del Mar racetrack. When she begins, secretly, to bet on the horses and, shockingly, to win, she feels strangely unready to share her good luck and its origins with her husband Lee.”
“In this version of London, there is a small, private clinic. Behind its layers of security, procedures are taking place on poor, robust teenagers from northern Estates in exchange for thousands of pounds - procedures that will bring the wealthy dead back to life in these young supple bodies for fourteen days. It’s an opportunity for wrongs to be righted, for fathers to meet grandsons, for scientists to see their work completed. Old wine in new bottles. But at what cost?”
“Fresh out of prison and a stint in a psychiatric hospital, disgraced ex-policeman Thorkild Aske only wants to lose himself in drugged dreams of his beloved Frei. Wild, unknowable Frei. The woman he loved. The woman he has lost forever. Yet when Frei’s young cousin goes missing off the Norwegian coast and Thorkild is called in by the family to help find him, dead or alive, Thorkild cannot refuse. He owes them this.
“Tormented by his past, Thorkild soon finds himself deep in treacherous waters. He’s lost his reputation - will he now lose his life?”
“When the bloated body of a leading anarchist is discovered floating in one of Bologna’s hidden canals following a police raid, it seems that most of the city is pointing the finger in the direction of the police. But when private investigator Daniel Leicester receives a call from the dead man’s lover, he follows a trail that begins in the 1970s and leads all the way to the rotten heart of the present-day Bolognese establishment. Beneath the beauty of the city, Bologna has a dark underside, and Daniel must unravel a web of secrets, deceit and corruption - before he is caught in it himself.”
“Two years ago, Ben Fenton went camping for the night with his brother Leo. When Ben woke up, he was covered in blood, and his brother had gone. Days later, Ben was facing a charge of murder.
“Ben’s girlfriend, Ana Seabrook, has always sworn he was innocent. And now, on the hottest day of a sweltering heat wave, a body has been unearthed in Ana’s village. A body that might be connected to what really happened between Ben and Leo that fateful night.
“DCI Jansen, of St Albans police, is sure that Ana has something to hide. But until the police track down the identity of the body, he can’t work out how everything’s connected. Will Ana’s secrets stay buried forever? Or can Jansen bring them to light?”
Debut novel from the lead guitarist of The Who.
“First conceived as an opera, The Age of Anxiety deals with mythic and operatic themes including a maze, divine madness and long-lost children. Hallucinations and soundscapes haunt this novel, which on one level is an extended meditation on manic genius and the dark art of creativity.”
“For the first time in years, Tatiana Goodwin feels in control. She has survived events which would make most people give up and go into hiding. Yet Tati is still here, surrounded by her loyal family and even daring to expand the Goodwin empire.
“But when her son Ben gets kidnapped by a rival gang and the blame lies with her, the ghosts of Tati’s past catch up and she begins to crumble. Now, it is down to the ever-loyal Frank to do everything he can to get Ben back and keep the family together. Frank has been in this business for a long time - he knows who to confide in and who will give up the information he so desperately needs. But what he doesn’t realise is that there is a new threat in town, and all those old trusted sources are answering to a different power. Tati needs to wake up fast to the fact that it is not just their empire on the line.”
“When Lotte Meerman is faced with the choice of interviewing the latest victim in a string of assaults or talk to a man who claims he really isn’t dead, she picks the interview. After all, the man cannot possibly be who he claims he is: Andre Nieuwkamp was murdered as a teenager over 30 years ago, and it had been a police success story nationwide when the skeletal remains found in the dunes outside Amsterdam had been identified, and the murderer subsequently arrested.
“Lotte goes to the Hotel Mondrian the next day to talk to the man, but what she finds is his corpse. And his passport shows that he wasn’t Andre Nieuwkamp as he said, but Theo Brand, a British citizen. Subsequent DNA tests reveal that the man was Andre Nieuwkamp so now Lotte has a double mystery on her hands.”
Psychological thriller set in Barcelona where two young women are on holiday in a rented apartment. This might put you off Airbnb…
“We all want to live like a local. Stay in a ‘home away from home’. But if it’s someone else’s house, then you’re not the only one with the key.
“Lauren has finally dumped her dead-weight boyfriend, and what better way to celebrate a break-up than by going on holiday with your best friend? Except the holiday isn’t turning out as planned - their cosy twosome has become a three and while Barcelona might be heaven, their rented apartment is anything but. It’s small, shabby but, more than that, Lauren can’t help but feel hunted.
“As the strange incidents escalate, Lauren and her friends decide to make their escape. But it’s when they leave that the real danger begins.”
If you can believe the Brontë sisters as amateur detectives you will love this one.
“Yorkshire, 1845. A young woman has gone missing from her home, Chester Grange, leaving no trace, save a large pool of blood in her bedroom and a slew of dark rumours about her marriage.
“A few miles away across the moors, the daughters of a humble parson, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified, yet intrigued. Desperate to find out more, the sisters visit Chester Grange, where they notice several unsettling details about the crime scene: not least the absence of an investigation.
“Together, the young women realise that their resourcefulness, energy, and boundless imaginations could help solve the mystery - and that if they don’t attempt to find out what happened to Elizabeth Chester, no one else will.”
“1922, India. Leaving Calcutta, Captain Sam Wyndham heads for the hills of Assam, to the ashram of a sainted monk where he hopes to conquer his opium addiction. But when he arrives, he sees a ghost from his past - a man thought to be long dead, a man Wyndham hoped he would never see again.
“1905, London. As a young constable, Sam Wyndham is on his usual East London beat when he comes across an old flame, Bessie Drummond, attacked in the streets. The next day, when Bessie is found brutally beaten in her own room, locked from the inside, Wyndham promises to get to the bottom of this. But the case will cost the young constable more than he ever imagined.
“In Assam, Wyndham knows he must call his friend and colleague Sergeant Banerjee for help. He is certain this figure from his past isn’t here by coincidence, but for revenge.”
Latest in the Bernicia Chronicles. Beobrand is caught up in a world of piracy and slavery in the hunt for a kidnapped girl.
“Heading south to lands he once considered his home, Beobrand is plunged into a dark world of piracy and slavery when an old friend enlists his help to recover a kidnapped girl. Embarking onto the wind-tossed seas, Beobrand pursues his quarry with single-minded tenacity. But the Whale Road is never calm and his journey is beset with storms, betrayal and violence. As the winds of his wyrd blow him ever further from what he knows, will Beobrand find victory on his quest or has his luck finally abandoned him?”
“August 25, 1689. The English army has surrounded Carrickfergus in Ireland. The brilliant strategist and gunner Captain Holcroft Blood of the Royal Artillery is ready to train his powerful cannon on the rebellious Catholics. But this is more than war for Blood, there is a terrible vengeance that burns in his heart.
“July 1, 1690. The Battle of the Boyne must be decisive for King William’s English forces if he is to prevail over deposed King James’s rebel Irish and French army. And Holcroft Blood is determined to destroy the man who obsesses him: the ruthless French spymaster who murdered an innocent woman he loved dearly. As battle commences and the wild Irish brigand Michael ‘Galloping’ Hogan wreaks havoc on the English, Blood’s military tactics prove highly effective, until ambush leaves him staring at a hangman’s noose.”
Illustrated edition of the second instalment of the bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire series.
“Throughout Westeros, the cold winds are rising. From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding lands of Winterfell, chaos reigns as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms stake their claims through tempest, turmoil and war. As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky - a comet the colour of blood and flame - five factions struggle for control of a divided land. Brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night.”