NEW BOOKS FOR JULY 2021
THE POWER OF HOPE by Kate Garraway
In March 2020, Kate Garraway’s husband, Derek Draper, contracted Covid-19 and was placed in a medically-induced coma. Initially, Kate was told that he would not survive. A year later he was still in hospital. Now at home but requiring round-the-clock care, he is thought to be the UK’s longest-fighting Covid-19 patient.
In this intimate book, Kate shares her deeply personal story. As well as recounting how the illness took hold of their lives, she writes about how she is coping with the uncertainty of their future, how she’s supporting her children through this traumatic time, how she has found strength in community and how she strives to hold on to hope even at the darkest of times. Covid-19 has affected everyone across the country in so many ways and Kate hopes that by revealing her own personal experience, it will give comfort to others. By sharing the lessons she has learnt along the way, it will help us all begin to try to re-build our lives.
TRUTH OR DARE by M. J.Aldridge
A crimewave sweeps through the city and no-one is safe. An arson at the docks. A carjacking gone wrong. A murder in a country park. What connects all these crimes without causes, which leave no clues?
Detective Inspector Helen Grace faces the rising tide of cases which threatens to drown the city. But each crime is just a piece of a puzzle which is falling into place.
And when it becomes clear just how twisted and ingenious this web of crime is, D.I. Grace will realise that it may be impossible to stop it . . .
A MIND OF THEIR OWN: BUILDING YOUR CHILDS EMOTIONAL WELLBEING IN A POST – PANDEMIC WORLD by Katharine Hill
Ours is a worried world. Children are growing up with anxiety, uncertainty, and low self-esteem, and the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing lockdowns and yet more life online, has only intensified this. Many parents feel helpless as their happy, easygoing children are overwhelmed by a tsunami of pressure and worry. How can we help them flourish in these infamously unprecedented times? Katharine Hill, UK director of Care for the Family, throws us a lifeline. Backed by solid, up-to-the-minute research and grounded in real-life experience, A Mind of Their Own tackles everything from body confidence and bullying to dealing with disappointment and strong emotions, and gives hands-on steps to take when challenges come. Packed with encouragement and creative activities, it will help families form good practices like listening well, setting consistent boundaries, and establishing a growth mindset. Celebrating and affirming the family, A Mind of Their Own equips parents to build resilience and care well for their children’s mental wellbeing, from toddlerhood to teenage years.
BACK TO NATURE: HOW TO LOVE LIFE – AND SAVE IT by Chris Packham and Megan McGubbin
From our balconies and gardens to our woodlands, national parks and beyond, Back to Nature captures the essence of how we feel about the wildlife outside our windows. Through personal stories, conservation breakthroughs and scientific discoveries, it explores the wonder and the solace of nature, and the ways in which we can connect with it – and protect it.
THE SEA IS NOT MADE OF WATER by Adam Nicholson
In The Sea is Not Made of Water, Adam Nicolson explores the natural wonders of the intertidal and our long human relationship with it. The physics of the seas, the biology of anemone and limpet, the long history of the earth, and the stories we tell of those who have lived here: all interconnect in this zone where the philosopher, scientist and poet can meet and find meaning. In this blend of fascinating, surprising ecology and luminous human history, Adam Nicolson gives an invitation to the shoreline. Anyone who chooses can look beyond their own reflection and find the marvellous there, waiting an inch beneath their nose.
SMALL PLEASURES by Clare Chambers
1957, the suburbs of South East London. Jean Swinney is a journalist on a local paper, trapped in a life of duty and disappointment from which there is no likelihood of escape.
When a young woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud.
As the investigation turns her quiet life inside out, Jean is suddenly given an unexpected chance at friendship, love and – possibly – happiness.
THE HUMMINGBIRD by Sandro Veronesi and Elena Pala
Marco Carrera is ‘the hummingbird,’ a man with the almost supernatural ability to stay still as the world around him continues to change.
As he navigates the challenges of life – confronting the death of his sister and the absence of his brother; taking care of his parents as they approach the end of their lives; raising his granddaughter when her mother, Marco’s own child, can no longer be there for her; coming to terms with his love for the enigmatic Luisa – Marco Carrera comes to represent the quiet heroism that pervades so much of our everyday existence.
TRUE CRIME STORY by Joseph Knox
In the early hours of Saturday 17 December 2011, Zoe Nolan, a nineteen-year-old Manchester University student, walked out of a party taking place in the shared accommodation where she had been living for three months.
She was never seen again.
Seven years after her disappearance, struggling writer Evelyn Mitchell finds herself drawn into the mystery. Through interviews with Zoe’s closest friends and family, she begins piecing together what really happened in 2011. But where some versions of events overlap, aligning perfectly with one another, others stand in stark contrast, giving rise to troubling inconsistencies.
Shaken by revelations of Zoe’s secret life, and stalked by a figure from the shadows, Evelyn turns to crime writer Joseph Knox to help make sense of a case where everyone has something to hide.
AGENT SONYA by Ben Mackintyre
From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, to preventing nuclear war (or so she believed) by stealing the science of atomic weaponry from Britain to give to Moscow, Ursula Kuczynski Burton conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century.
Born to a German Jewish family, as Ursula grew, so did the Nazis’ power. A fanatical opponent of the fascism that ravaged her homeland, she was drawn to communism as a young woman, motivated by the promise of a fair and peaceful society. She eventually became a spymaster, saboteur, bomb-maker and secret agent.
TORNADO by John Nichol
In 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighbouring Kuwait, setting in motion a chain of events that had unimaginable political, military and personal repercussions, which still reverberate around the globe today. This is the story of the aircrew at the heart of Operation Desert Storm, almost none of whom had any prior experience of armed combat. It is the story of the Tornado’s missions, of those who did not return – and of the families who watched and waited as one of the most complex conflicts in recent history unfolded live on television. It is a story of untold fear and suffering, and astounding courage in the face of hitherto unimaginable adversity.
SEVEN WAYS TO CHANGE THE WORLD by Gordon Brown
In the book, he states that there are seven major global problems we must address: global health; climate change and environmental damage; nuclear proliferation; global financial instability; the humanitarian crisis and global poverty; the barriers to education and opportunity; and global inequality and its biggest manifestation, global tax havens. Each one presents an immense challenge that requires an urgent global response and solution. All should be on the world’s agenda today. None can be solved by one nation acting on its own, but all can be addressed if we work together as a global community.
THE WIDOWER by Christobel kent
When bossy, loving, sensible Kate dies suddenly, her little sister Rose dutifully returns from a carefree life abroad to help Kate’s widower and the two children Rose has never met. But she is unsettled to see no trace of her warm-hearted sister in the remote, dilapidated house, nor in Kate’s cold, distant partner, Evan.
After stumbling across a message that only her sister could have left for her, Rose’s unease around the circumstances of Kate’s death turns to open suspicion, but she knows better than to ask the grieving widower for answers.
ANIMAL by Lisa Toddeo
I drove myself out of New York City where a man shot himself in front of me. He was a gluttonous man and when his blood came out it looked like the blood of a pig.
That’s a cruel thing to think, I know. He did it in a restaurant where I was having dinner with another man, another married man.
Do you see how this is going? But I wasn’t always that way.
HOW TO KIDNAP THE RICH by Rahul Raina
Ramesh Kumar grew up deprived and unloved, working on his father’s tea stall in the Old City of Delhi. Now, brilliant but poor, he makes a lucrative living taking tests for the sons of India’s elite. When one of his clients, the sweet but hapless eighteen-year-old Rudi Saxena, places first in the All Indias, the national university entrance exams, Ramesh sees an unmissable opportunity.
Cashing in on Rudi’s newfound celebrity, all goes well for both boys for a while. But Rudi’s role on a game show leads to unexpected love, blackmail and, finally, a dangerous kidnapping.
GREAT CIRCLE by Maggie Shipstead
From the night she is rescued as a baby out of the flames of a sinking ship; to the day she joins a pair of daredevil pilots looping and diving over the rugged forests of her childhood, to the thrill of flying Spitfires during the war, the life of Marian Graves has always been marked by a lust for freedom and danger.
In 1950, she embarks on the great circle flight, circumnavigating the globe. It is Marian’s life dream and her final journey, before she disappears without a trace.
UNSETTLED GROUND by Claire Fuller
Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Inside the walls of their old cottage they make music, and in the garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance.
But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother’s secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake.
HOSTAGE by Clare Mackintosh
The atmosphere on board the first non-stop flight from London to Sydney is electric. Celebrities are rumoured to be among the passengers in business class, and the world is watching the landmark journey.
Flight attendant Mina is trying to focus on the passengers, instead of her troubled five-year-old daughter back at home – or the cataclysmic problems in her marriage.
But soon after the plane takes off, Mina receives a chilling anonymous note. Someone wants to make sure the plane never reaches its destination. They’re demanding her cooperation . . . and they know exactly how to get it.
SUNRISE BY THE SEA by Jenny Colgan
When she is given the opportunity to move to a remote tidal island off the Cornish Coast, Marisa Rossi decides some peace and quiet might be just what she needs.
Since the death of her beloved grandfather back in Italy, she’s been struggling to find a way out of her grief. Perhaps this will be the perfect place for her to recuperate.
But Mount Polbearne is a far cry from the sleepy little place she was imagining. Between her noisy piano-teaching Russian neighbour and the hustle and bustle of a busy community, Marisa finds solitude is not so easy to come by. Especially when she finds herself somehow involved with a tiny local bakery desperately in need of some new zest to save it . . .
NEW BOOKS FOR JUNE 2021
STILL LIFE by Sarah Winman
1944, in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening.Ulysses Temper is a young British soldier, Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the wreckage and relive memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view.Evelyn’s talk of truth and beauty plants a seed in Ulysses’ mind that will shape the trajectory of his life – and of those who love him – for the next four decades.Moving from the Tuscan Hills and piazzas of Florence, to the smog of London’s East End, Still Life is a sweeping, joyful novel about beauty, love, family and fate.
THE OTHER BLACK GIRL by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and the micro-aggressions, she’s thrilled when Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events cause Nella to become Public Enemy Number One and Hazel, the Office Darling.
Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.
It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realises that there is a lot more at stake than her career.
MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Malibu: August, 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over-especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva.
By midnight the party will be completely out of control.
By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames.
But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.
THIRTEEN LIVES by Colin Farrell
As John’s light flickered from one boy to another, he called out, ‘How many of you?’ ‘Thirteen,’ a boy answered. After 10 days trapped in desperate darkness, the boys and their coach were all alive.
Diver John Volanthen reveals how he pushed the limits of human endurance in the life-or-death mission to rescue the Thai youth soccer team trapped in the flooded cave.
The world held its breath in 2018 when the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach went missing deep underground in the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand. They had been stranded by sudden, continuous monsoon rains while exploring the caves after practice.
As the torrential rain persisted and the waters continued to rise, an army of rescue teams and equipment was deployed, including Thai Navy SEALs, a US Air Force special tactics squadron, police sniffer dogs, drones and robots. But it was British cave diver John Volanthen and his partner, Rick Stanton, who were first to reach the stranded team and who played a key role in their ultimate rescue.
THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME by Laura Dave
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his new wife, Hannah: protect her. Hannah knows exactly who Owen needs her to protect – his sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. And who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.
As her increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, his boss is arrested for fraud and the police start questioning her, Hannah realises that her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey might hold the key to discovering Owen’s true identity, and why he disappeared. Together they set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realise that their lives will never be the same again…
THE RATLINE by Phillipe Sands
In this riveting real-life thriller, Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of senior Nazi SS Brigadeführer Otto Freiherr von Wächter and his wife, Charlotte. Drawing on a remarkable archive of family letters and diaries, he unveils a fascinating insight into life before and during the war, as a fugitive on the run in the Alps and then in Rome, and into the Cold War. Eventually the door is unlocked to a mystery that haunts Wächter’s youngest son, who continues to believe his father was a good man – what happened to Otto Wächter while he was preparing to travel to Argentina on the ‘ratline’, assisted by a Vatican bishop, and what was the explanation for his sudden and unexpected death?
THE PASSENGER by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz
Germany, November 1938: Otto Silbermann receives a knock on his door and realises he must flee. A respected German-Jewish businessman, he has managed to evade the escalating brutality of the Nazi regime. But now, as he and his wife plan to leave, all avenues are shut down and he is forced to abandon his home amid the untrammelled violence of Kristallnacht.
With all the money he can gather stuffed into a suitcase, Otto takes train after train across Germany, desperately seeking to cross the border, every moment terrified a fellow passenger will discover his Jewish identity. An unbearably tense rediscovered classic, The Passenger is an unparalleled depiction of the terrifying atmosphere of Nazi Germany.
MAKING IT by Jay Blades
Making It is an inspirational memoir about beating the odds and turning things around even when it all seems hopeless. In this book, Jay Blades shares the details of his life, from his childhood growing up sheltered and innocent on a council estate in Hackney, to his adolescence when he was introduced to violent racism at secondary school, to being brutalized by police as a teen, to finally becoming a beloved star of the hit primetime show The Repair Shop.
Jay reflects on strength, weakness and what it means to be a man. He questions the boundaries society places on male vulnerability and how letting himself be nurtured helped him flourish into the person he is today. An expert at giving a second life to cherished items, Jay’s positivity, pragmatism and kindness shine through these pages and show that with care and love, anything can be mended.
SIXTEEN HORSES by Greg Buchanan
Near the dying English seaside town of Ilmarsh, local police detective Alec Nichols discovers sixteen horses’ heads on a farm, each buried with a single eye facing the low winter sun. After forensic veterinarian Cooper Allen travels to the scene, the investigators soon uncover evidence of a chain of crimes in the community – disappearances, arson and mutilations – all culminating in the reveal of something deadly lurking in the ground itself.
In the dark days that follow, the town slips into panic and paranoia. Everything is not as it seems. Anyone could be a suspect. And as Cooper finds herself unable to leave town, Alec is stalked by an unseen threat. The two investigators race to uncover the truth behind these frightening and insidious mysteries – no matter the cost.
CIRCUS OF WONDERS by Elizabeth Macneal
1866. In a coastal village in southern England, Nell picks violets for a living. Set apart by her community because of the birthmarks that speckle her skin, Nell’s world is her beloved brother and devotion to the sea.
But when Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders arrives in the village, Nell is kidnapped. Her father has sold her, promising Jasper Jupiter his very own leopard girl. It is the greatest betrayal of Nell’s life, but as her fame grows, and she finds friendship with the other performers and Jasper’s gentle brother Toby, she begins to wonder if joining the show is the best thing that has ever happened to her.
In London, newspapers describe Nell as the eighth wonder of the world. Figurines are cast in her image, and crowds rush to watch her soar through the air. But who gets to tell Nell’s story? What happens when her fame threatens to eclipse that of the showman who bought her? And as she falls in love with Toby, can he detach himself from his past and the terrible secret that binds him to his brother?
NEW BOOKS FOR MAY 2021
THE LOST APOTHECARY by Sarah Penner
Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries. Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.
THE LADY OF THE RAVENS by Joanna Hickson
Elizabeth of York, her life already tainted by dishonour and tragedy, now queen to the first Tudor king, Henry the VII. Joan Vaux, servant of the court, straining against marriage and motherhood and privy to the deepest and darkest secrets of her queen. Like the ravens, Joan must use her eyes and her senses, as conspiracy whispers through the dark corridors of the Tower. Through Joan’s eyes, The Lady of the Ravens inhabits the squalid streets of Tudor London, the imposing walls of its most fearsome fortress and the glamorous court of a kingdom in crisis.
BLACKOUT by Simon Scarrow
As Germany goes to war, the Nazis tighten their terrifying grip. Paranoia in the capital is intensified by a rigidly enforced blackout that plunges the city into oppressive darkness every night, as the bleak winter sun sets.
When a young woman is found brutally murdered, Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke is under immense pressure to solve the case, swiftly. Treated with suspicion by his superiors for his failure to join the Nazi Party, Schenke walks a perilous line – for disloyalty is a death sentence.
The discovery of a second victim confirms Schenke’s worst fears. He must uncover the truth before evil strikes again.
THE GOOD SISTER by Sally Hepworth
Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be . . . dangerous.
When Rose discovers that she cannot fall pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.
Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets that she long thought were buried.
PROJECT HAIL MARY by Andy Weir
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission – and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery-and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.
SOOLEY by John Grisham
Seventeen-year-old Samuel Sooleyman comes from a village in South Sudan, a war-torn country where one third of the population is a refugee. His great love is basketball: his prodigious leap and lightning speed make him an exceptional player. And it may also bring him his big chance: he has been noticed by a coach taking a youth team to the United States.
If he gets through the tournament, Samuel’s life will change beyond recognition. But it’s the longest of long shots. His talent is raw and uncoached. There are hundreds of better-known players ahead of him. And he must leave his family behind, at least at the beginning.
As American success beckons, devastating news reaches Samuel from home. Caught between his dream and the nightmare unfolding thousands of miles away, ‘Sooley’, as he’s nicknamed by his classmates, must make hard choices about his future. This quiet, dedicated boy must do what no other player has achieved in the history of his chosen game: become a legend in twelve short months.
THE PUSH: MOTHER, DAUGHTER, ANGEL, MONSTER by Ashley Audrain
‘I think she pushed him,’ I said to you quietly. ‘I think she pushed him . . .’
The arrival of baby Violet was meant to be the happiest day of my life. But as soon as I held her in my arms I knew something wasn’t right.
I had always known that the women in my family aren’t meant to be mothers.
My husband Fox says I’m imagining it. He tells me I’m nothing like my own mother, and that Violet is the sweetest child.
But she’s different with me. Something feels very wrong.
FINDING ASHLEY by Danielle Steel
Melissa Henderson leads a quiet life. Once a bestselling author, she now pours all her energy into renovating a Victorian house in the foothills of rural New England. Six years ago, her life was derailed by tragedy and she stopped writing. The house has given her new purpose.
When her beloved home appears on the news, Melissa receives a call from her estranged sister, Hattie. They were close once, but that was before Melissa withdrew from the world. Now Hattie is determined to help Melissa turn a new page, even if it means reopening one of the most painful chapters of her life. All these years later, Hattie feels compelled to embark on a journey that will change both their lives forever, to find the child that Melissa was forced to give up when she was only a teenager in Ireland. .
THE DREAM WEAVERS by Barbara Erskine
Mercia, 788 AD
In the grand Saxon halls of Mercia, King Offa rules with cold ambition. His youngest daughter Eadburh is destined for an arranged marriage, but with reckless spirit her heart is taken by a Welsh prince, a man she can never be matched with and who is quickly and cruelly taken from her. Eadburh inherited her father’s ruthless ways but it’s the gifts passed down from her mother that are far more dangerous. She is determined to carve her own place in the world, yet her path could cause war.
Offa’s Dyke, 2021
In a cottage hidden amongst the misty Welsh hills of Offa’s Dyke, Bea Dalloway is called to help Simon Armstrong, who is searching for peace. Instead he finds himself disturbed by unsettling noises and visions. It isn’t long before Bea is also swept up by haunting dreams. The past is whispering to them, calling out for the truth to be told at last. And as dreams and reality weave closer together, Bea and Simon must be strong to resist the pull of the past – and its desire for revenge…
THE DICTIONARY OF LOST WORDS by Pip Williams
Motherless and irrepressibly curious, Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of lexicographers are gathering words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.
Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day, she sees a slip containing the word ‘bondmaid’ flutter to the floor unclaimed.
Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. She begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words
V2: by Robert Harris
Rudi Graf used to dream of sending a rocket to the moon. Instead, he has helped create the world’s most sophisticated weapon: the V2 ballistic missile, capable of delivering a one-ton warhead at three times the speed of sound.
In a desperate gamble to avoid defeat in the winter of 1944, Hitler orders ten thousand to be built. Haunted and disillusioned, Graf – who understands the volatile, deadly machine better than anyone – is tasked with firing these lethal ‘vengeance weapons’ at London.
Kay Caton-Walsh is an officer in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, and a survivor of a V2 strike. As the rockets devastate London, she joins a unit of WAAFs on a mission to newly liberated Belgium. Armed with little more than a slide rule and a few equations, Kay and her colleagues will attempt to locate and destroy the launch sites.
PHILLIP: THE FINAL PORTRAIT by Gyles Brandreth
This is the story of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – the longest-serving consort to the longest-reigning sovereign in British history. It is an extraordinary story, told with unique insight and authority by an author who knew the prince for more than forty years.
Philip – elusive, complex, controversial, challenging, often humorous, sometimes irascible – is the man Elizabeth II once described as her ‘constant strength and guide’. Who was he? What was he really like? What is the truth about those ‘gaffes’ and the rumours of affairs? This is the final portrait of an unexpected and often much-misunderstood figure. It is also the portrait of a remarkable marriage that endured for more than seventy years.
THE BONE CODE by Kathy Reichs
When a hurricane hits the Carolinas it uncovers two bodies, sharing uncanny similarities with a cold case in Quebec that has haunted Temperance Brennan for fifteen years.
At the same time, a rare bacterium that can eat human flesh is discovered in Charleston. Panic erupts and people test themselves for a genetic mutation that leaves them vulnerable.
With support from her long time partner Andrew Ryan, in a search that soon proves dangerous, Temperance discovers the startling connection between the victims of both murder cases – and that both the murders and the disease outbreak have a common cause . . .
WATCH HER FALL by Erin Kelly
WATCH HER RISE
After years of blood, sweat and tears, Ava Kirilova finally has the ballet world at her feet. But away from the spotlight, whispers backstage make her lonely and paranoid.
WATCH HER FALL
Because someone is watching her from the wings. Someone who wants what she has. Wants it so badly two people will pay with their lives.
GIRL IN THE WALLS by A.J.Gnuse
’Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home,
stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can.
But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house.
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.’Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?
I FOLLOW YOU by Peter James
To the outside world, suave, charming and confident doctor Marcus Valentine has it all. A loving wife, three kids, a great job. But there’s something missing, there always has been. . . . or rather, someone . . .
Driving to work one morning, his mind elsewhere and not on the road, he almost mows down a female jogger on a crossing. As she runs on, Marcus is transfixed. Infatuated. She is the spitting image of a girl he was crazy about in his teens. A girl he has never been able to get out of his mind.
Lynette had dumped him harshly. For years he has fantasized about seeing her again and rekindling their flame. Might that jogger possibly be her all these years later? Could this be the most incredible coincidence?
ARIADNE by Jennifer Saint
As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.
When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.
NEW BOOKS FOR APRIL 2021
THE FLOWER YARD by Arthur Parkinson
Arthur Parkinson’s town garden is like a path of pots, a tiny, exposed stage on bricks. Despite its small size, a flower-filled jungle in Venetian tones is grown here each year, in defiance of urbanisation. The plants act like drapes, closing gently as their growth engulfs the front door, from either side of the path, to the buzz of precious bees.
This is gardening done entirely in pots, yet on a grand scale that will inspire anyone who wants their doorstep or patio to be a glamorous and lively canvas that nurtures them visually and mentally. From jewel scatterings of crocus, flocks of parrot tulips and scented sweet peas to galaxies of single dahlias, towering giraffes of amaryllises grown inside for winter and endless vases of cut blooms through the seasons.
With his bantam hens at his feet, Arthur shares his life, knowledge, flair and influences for planting creatively, all of which combine to create a space that’s rich in ever-changing colour and life.
TRUST ME by T M Logan
Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen’s heart ache for what she can never have.
Five minutes pass.
The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:
FIRST SINGULAR PERSON by Murakami
The eight masterly stories in this new collection are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator. From nostalgic memories of youth, meditations on music and an ardent love of baseball to dreamlike scenarios, an encounter with a talking monkey and invented jazz albums, together these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world. Occasionally, a narrator who may or may not be Murakami himself is present. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides.
THE THERAPIST by B A Paris
When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating, grisly secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before. Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbours are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…
TOWARDS THE WITHIN by Reece Willis
Towards the Within tells the story of Sam, a young man who embarks on a journey to India to escape his normal life in England. It could have been anywhere, but the mystique of Asia and India in particular attracted Sam who was looking for a new adventure. Along the way Sam meets many new people, some Indian residents of the country he is visiting as well as a number of fellow travelers. At times it can be hard to tell friends from foes, but Sam often has little choice but to put his trust in those around him and as a result embraces the friendship and even love he is shown. Throughout the trip Sam is confronted by memories of his childhood and for the first time he tackles past relationships in order to try and understand the anxiety and depression that has followed him into his adult life.
DARK SALT CLEAR by Lamorna Ash
There is the Cornwall Lamorna Ash knew as a child – the idyllic, folklore-rich place where she spent her summer holidays. Then there is the Cornwall she discovers when, feeling increasingly dislocated in London, she moves to Newlyn, a fishing town near Land’s End. This Cornwall is messier and harder; it doesn’t seem like a place that would welcome strangers.
But before long, Lamorna finds herself on a week-long trawler trip with a crew of local fishermen, afforded a rare glimpse into their world, their warmth and their humour. Out on the water, miles from the coast, she learns how fishing requires you to confront who you are and what it is that tethers you to the land. Dark, Salt, Clear is a bracing journey of discovery and a captivating portrait of a community sustained and defined by the sea for centuries.
LAMPLIGHTERS by Emma Stonex
Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.
What happened to those three men, out on the tower? The heavy sea whispers their names. The tide shifts beneath the swell, drowning ghosts. Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?
Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on. Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy, but instead it drove them apart. And then a writer approaches them. He wants to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. But only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface . . .
KLARA AND THE SUN by Kazuo Ishiguro
From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.
MISS BENSONS BEETLE by Rachel Joyce
It is 1950. In a devastating moment of clarity, Margery Benson abandons her dead-end job and advertises for an assistant to accompany her on an expedition. She is going to travel to the other side of the world to search for a beetle that may or may not exist.
Enid Pretty, in her unlikely pink travel suit, is not the companion Margery had in mind. And yet together they will be drawn into an adventure that will exceed every expectation. They will risk everything, break all the rules, and at the top of a red mountain, discover their best selves.
This is a story that is less about what can be found than the belief it might be found; it is an intoxicating adventure story but it is also about what it means to be a woman and a tender exploration of a friendship that defies all boundaries.
THE HIGH HOUSE by Jessie Greengrass
Francesca is Caro’s stepmother, and Pauly’s mother. A scientist, she can see what is going to happen.
The high house was once her holiday home; now looked after by locals Grandy and Sally, she has turned it into an ark, for when the time comes. The mill powers the generator; the orchard is carefully pruned; the greenhouse has all its glass intact. Almost a family, but not quite, they plant, store seed, and watch the weather carefully.
CHEFS AT HOME by Hospitality Action
Throughout 2020 and into 2021, unprecedented country-wide lockdowns have forced restaurants, cafés and bars across the UK to close their doors and turn off the lights. As Covid-19 has devastatingly swept through the country, we have all faced long queues at supermarkets and limited ingredients on the shelves forcing us to dig into the back of our cupboards for those emergency tins – and our favourite chefs were no exception.
Within these pages, 54 leading chefs from around the country including Tom Kerridge, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and many more, have contributed two recipes they created during lockdown to help support a beloved and struggling industry.
TOGETHER by Luke Adam Hawker
A monumental storm brings huge and sudden change. We follow a man and his dog through the uncertainty that it brings to their lives. Through their eyes, we see the difficulties of being apart, the rollercoaster of emotions that we can all relate to, and the realisation that by pulling together we can move through difficult times with new perspective, hope and an appreciation of what matters most in life.
LITTLE DISASTERS by Sarah Vaughan
She is a stay-at-home mother of three with boundless reserves of patience, energy and love. After being friends for a decade, this is how Liz sees Jess.
Then one moment changes everything.
Dark thoughts and carefully guarded secrets surface – and Liz is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her friend, and about herself.
SPRING CANNOT BE CANCELLED by David Hockney
On turning eighty, David Hockney sought out rustic tranquillity for the first time: a place to watch the sunset and the change of the seasons; a place to keep the madness of the world at bay. So when Covid-19 and lockdown struck, it made little difference to life at La Grande Cour, the centuries-old Normandy farmhouse where Hockney set up a studio a year before, in time to paint the arrival of spring. In fact, he relished the enforced isolation as an opportunity for even greater devotion to his art.
TURN A BLIND EYE by Jeffrey Archer
William Warwick, now a Detective Inspector, is tasked with a dangerous new line of work, to go undercover and expose crime of another kind: corruption at the heart of the Metropolitan Police Force. His team is focused on following Detective Jerry Summers, a young officer whose lifestyle appears to exceed his income. But as a personal relationship develops with a member of William’s team, it threatens to compromise the whole investigation.
Meanwhile, a notorious drug baron goes on trial, with the prosecution case led by William’s father and sister. And William’s wife Beth, now a mother to twins, renews an old acquaintance who appears to have turned over a new leaf, or has she?
As the undercover officers start to draw the threads together, William realizes that the corruption may go deeper still, and more of his colleagues than he first thought might be willing to turn a blind eye.
SISTERSONG by Lucy Holland
King Cador’s children inherit a land abandoned by the Romans, torn by warring tribes. Riva can cure others, but can’t heal her own scars. Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, although born a daughter. And Sinne dreams of love, longing for adventure.
All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold, their people’s last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. However, change comes on the day ash falls from the sky – bringing Myrdhin, meddler and magician. The siblings discover the power that lies within them and the land. But fate also brings Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear them apart.
TEARS OF AMBER by Sofia Segovia
With war looming dangerously close, Ilse’s school days soon turn to lessons of survival. In the harshness of winter, her family must join the largest exodus in human history to survive. As battle lines are drawn and East Prussia’s borders vanish beneath them, they leave their farm and all they know behind for an uncertain future. But Ilse also has Janusz, her family’s young Polish laborer, by her side. As they flee from the Soviet army, his enchanting folktales keep her mind off the cold, the hunger, and the horrors unfolding around them. He tells her of a besieged kingdom in the Baltic Sea from which spill the amber tears of a heartbroken queen. Neither of them realizes his stories will prove crucial and prophetic.
AN INVINCIBLE SUMMER by Mariah Stewart
It was a lifetime ago that recently widowed Maggie Flynn was in Wyndham Beach. Now, on the occasion of her fortieth high school reunion, she returns to her hometown on the Massachusetts coast, picking up right where she left off with dear friends Lydia and Emma. But seeing Brett Crawford again stirs other emotions. Once, they were the town’s golden couple destined for one another. He shared Maggie’s dreams—and eventually, a shattering secret that drove them apart. Buying her old family home and resettling in Wyndham Beach means a chance to start over for Maggie and her two daughters, but it also means facing her rekindled feelings for her first love and finally confronting—and embracing—the past in ways she never thought possible. Maggie won’t be alone. With her family and friends around her, she can weather this stormy turning point in her life and open her heart to the future. As for that dream shared and lost years ago? If Maggie can forgive herself, it still might come true.
REDHEAD BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD by Anne TYLER
His numerous sisters and in-laws regard him oddly but very fondly. He measures out his days running errands for work, maintaining an impeccable cleaning regime and going for runs (7:15, every morning). He is content with the steady balance of his life.
But then the order of things starts to tilt. And when a teenager shows up at Micah’s door claiming to be his son, Micah is confronted with another surprise he seems poorly equipped to handle…
NOT DARK YET by Peter Robinson
The gruesome double murder at an Eastvale property developer’s luxury home should be an open and shut case for Superintendent Banks and his team of detectives. There’s a clear link to the notoriously vicious Albanian mafia, men who left the country suspiciously soon after the death. Then they find a cache of spy-cam videos hidden in the house – and Annie and Gerry’s investigation pivots to the rape of a young girl that could cast the murders in an entirely different light.
Banks’s friend Zelda, increasingly uncertain of her future in Britain’s hostile environment, thinks she will be safer in Moldova hunting the men who abducted, raped and enslaved her than she is Yorkshire or London. Her search takes her back to the orphanage where it all began – but by stirring up the murky waters of the past, Zelda is putting herself in greater danger than any she’s seen before.
THE MADNESS OF GRIEF by The Rev Richard Coles
Whether it is pastoral care for the bereaved, discussions about the afterlife, or being called out to perform the last rites, death is part of the Reverend Richard Coles’s life and work. But when his partner the Reverend David Coles died, shortly before Christmas in 2019, much about death took Coles by surprise. For one thing, David’s death at the early age of forty-three was unexpected.
The man that so often assists others to examine life’s moral questions now found himself in need of help. He began to look to others for guidance to steer him through his grief. The flock was leading the shepherd. Much about grief surprised him: the volume of ‘sadmin’ you have to do when someone dies, how much harder it is travelling for work alone, even the pain of typing a text message to your partner – then realising you are alone.