“In 1940, 18-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathisers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past for ever.
“Ten years later, now a producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realise that there is no action without consequence.”
“Love is Blind follows the fortunes of Brodie Moncur, a young Scottish musician, about to embark on the story of his life.
“When Brodie is offered a job in Paris, he seizes the chance to flee Edinburgh and his tyrannical clergyman father and begin a wildly different new chapter in his life. In Paris, a fateful encounter with a famous pianist irrevocably changes his future - and sparks an obsessive love affair with a beautiful Russian soprano, Lika Blum.
“Moving from Paris to St Petersburg to Edinburgh and back again, Brodie’s love for Lika and its dangerous consequences pursue him around Europe and beyond, during an era of overwhelming change as the 19th century becomes the 20th.”
In this novel of Paris, Faulks succeeds in making the city unfamiliar and unsettling. Teenager Tariq has run away from his home in Morocco in search of adventure. He meets Hannah, a 31 year old American academic who is researching the lives of women during the wartime occupation of the city by the Germans. As they explore the city, the ghosts of the past become visible in the present.
Sally Rooney will be familiar to anyone who read her 2017 debut Conversations with Friends, which won several awards.
Normal People introduces Connell and Marianne, who are teenagers in a small school in rural Ireland. The novel follows their lives and their relationship to explore the effect one person can have on another person’s life.
A new book from Frederick Forsyth is always a bit of an event. The Fox is his first new novel since 2012 and is a classic thriller.
“In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor in rural Oxfordshire. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity.
“But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.
“Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing a drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.”
“Stella and her boyfriend were teenagers when their one-year-old daughter, Alice, vanished during a beach vacation. Though her body was never found, Alice was assumed to have drowned.
“Twenty-one years later, Stella is a happily married mother to a 13-year-old son and a successful therapist. But everything falls apart when a new patient walks into her office. The young woman introduces herself as Isabelle - but Stella is sure it’s Alice. But when no one believes her, Stella begins to doubt her own mind. Even when her life is threatened, she can’t convince anyone the danger is real. But for the chance to get her daughter back, Stella will risk anything.”
Lawrence Osborne was approached by the Raymond Chandler Estate to write a new Philip Marlowe novel. Osborne reimagines Marlowe as an old man in 1980s California. Marlowe is living quietly in retirement until two strangers call to offer him a new case.
With A Discovery of Witches about to become a major Sky TV series, there will be increased interest in the latest title from Deborah Harkness.
“Seeking a brief respite from adventure, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to Matthew’s ancestral home. But before they can settle into a quiet life, a discovery is made in the archives of the ancient house that could change the shape of history as we know it - and Matthew is at its core.”
“A man lies dying in a hospital in upstate Vermont. The nurses know only that he is an academic at a nearby university but they have been instructed to call the FBI should anyone visit their patient.
“News of this suspected Russian illegal soon reaches MI5 in London where Liz Carlyle has been contacted by a top secret source known as Mischa who is requesting a clandestine rendezvous in Berlin.
“Meanwhile in Brussels a Russian sleeper agent who has lived undercover for years is beginning to question his role, while suspicions have been roused about a boarding school in Suffolk that has recently changed hands in mysterious circumstances.”
The latest Liz Carlyle thriller from the former spy and one of the stars of Slaughter in Southwold 2018.