NEW BOOKS FOR JULY 2022
THE WHALEBONE THEATRE by Joanna Quinn
Cristabel Seagrave has always wanted her life to be a story, but there are no girls in the books in her dusty family library. For an unwanted orphan who grows into an unmarriageable young woman, there is no place at all for her in a traditional English manor. But from the day that a whale washes up on the beach at the Chilcombe estate in Dorset, and twelve-year-old Cristabel plants her flag and claims it as her own, she is determined to do things differently. With her step-parents blithely distracted by their endless party guests, Cristabel and her siblings, Flossie and Digby, scratch together an education from the plays they read in their freezing attic, drunken conversations eaves dropped through oak panelled doors, and the esoteric lessons of Maudie their maid. But as the children grow to adulthood and war approaches, jolting their lives on to very different tracks, it becomes clear that the roles they are expected to play are no longer those they want.
TWO NIGHTS IN LISBON by Chris Pavone
Ariel Pryce wakes up in Lisbon, alone. Her husband is gone – no warning, no note, not answering his phone. Something is wrong. She starts with hotel security, then the police, then the US embassy, at each confronting questions she can’t fully answer: What exactly is John doing in Lisbon? Why would he drag her along on his business trip? Who would want to harm him? And why does Ariel know so little about her new husband? The clock is ticking. Ariel is running out of time. But the one person in the world who can help her is the one person she doesn’t want to ask. A complex, intelligent, multi-layered thriller, Two Nights in Lisbon is filled with twists, turns, husbands, wives, secrets and lies – and it will linger long after you turn the surprising final page.
FREEZING ORDER by Bill Browder
When Bill Browder’s young Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was beaten to death in a Moscow jail, Browder made it his life’s mission to go after his killers and make sure they faced justice. The first step of that mission was to uncover who was behind the $230 million tax refund scheme that Magnitsky was killed over. As Browder and his team tracked the money as it flowed out of Russia through the Baltics and Cyprus and on to Western Europe and the Americas, they were shocked to discovered that Vladimir Putin himself was a beneficiary of the crime.
THE PARTISAN by Patrick Worrall
It is the summer of 1961 and the brutal Cold War between East and West is becoming ever more perilous. Two young prodigies from either side of the Iron Curtain, Yulia and Michael, meet at a chess tournament in London. They don’t know it, but they are about to compete in the deadliest game ever played. Shadowing them is Greta, a ruthless resistance fighter who grew up the hard way in the forests of Lithuania, but who is now hunting down some of the most dangerous men in the world. Men who are also on the radar of Vassily, perhaps the Soviet Union’s greatest spymaster. A man of cunning and influence, Vassily was Yulia’s minder during her visit to the West, but even he could not foresee the consequences of her meeting Michael. When the world is accelerating towards an inevitable and catastrophic conflict, what can just four people do to prevent it?
MURDER BEFORE EVENSONG by The Reverend Richard Coles
Canon Daniel Clement is Rector of Champton. He has been there for eight years, living at the Rectory alongside his widowed mother – opinionated, fearless, ever-so-slightly annoying Audrey – and his two dachshunds, Cosmo and Hilda. When Daniel announces a plan to install a lavatory in church, the parish is suddenly (and unexpectedly) divided: as lines are drawn, long-buried secrets come dangerously close to destroying the apparent calm of the village. And then Anthony Bowness – cousin to Bernard de Floures, patron of Champton – is found dead at the back of the church, stabbed in the neck with a pair of secateurs. As the police moves in and the bodies start piling up, Daniel is the only one who can try and keep his fractured community together… and catch a killer.
THE ESCAPE ARTIST by Jonathan Freedland
In April 1944 nineteen-year-old Rudolf Vrba and fellow inmate Fred Wetzler became the first Jews ever to break out of Auschwitz. Under electrified fences and past armed watchtowers, evading thousands of SS men and slavering dogs, they trekked across marshlands, mountains and rivers to freedom. Vrba’s mission: to reveal to the world the truth of the Holocaust. In the death factory of Auschwitz, Vrba had become an eyewitness to almost every chilling stage of the Nazis’ process of industrialised murder. The more he saw, the more determined he became to warn the Jews of Europe what fate awaited them. A brilliant student of science and mathematics, he committed each detail to memory, risking everything to collect the first data of the Final Solution. After his escape, that information would form a priceless thirty-two-page report that would reach Roosevelt, Churchill and the pope and eventually save over 200,000 lives. But the escape from Auschwitz was not his last. After the war, he kept running – from his past, from his home country, from his adopted country, even from his own name. Few knew of the truly extraordinary deed he had done.
MATRIX by Lauren Groff
Marie de France is cast from the royal court and sent to Angleterre to take up her new duty as the prioress of an impoverished abbey. Marie finds purpose and passion among her mercurial sisters. Yet she deeply misses her secret lover Cecily and Queen Eleanor. Born last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, women who flew across the countryside with their sword fighting and dagger work, Marie decides to chart a bold new course for those she now leads and protects. She will bring herself and her sisters out of darkness, into riches and power.
CONFIDENCE by Denise Mina
When amateur film-maker Lisa Lee vanishes from a Scottish seaside town, journalists Anna and Fin find themselves at the centre of an internet frenzy to find her. But she may not be the hapless victim everyone thinks she is. The last film she made showed her breaking into an abandoned French chateau and stumbling across a priceless Roman silver casket. The day after Lisa vanishes the casket is listed for auction in Paris, reserve price fifty million euros, with a catalogue entry that challenges the beliefs of a major world religion. On a thrilling chase across Europe to discover what happened to Lisa, Anna and Fin are caught up in a world of international art smuggling, religious zealotry and murder. But someone doesn’t want them to find the missing girl… and will do anything to stop them.
THE FACEMAKER by Lindsay Fitzharris
The poignant story of the visionary surgeon who rebuilt the faces of the First World War’s injured heroes, and in the process ushered in the modern era of plastic surgery. From the moment the first machine gun rang out over the Western Front, one thing was clear: mankind’s military technology had wildly surpassed its medical capabilities. The war’s new weaponry, from tanks to shrapnel, enabled slaughter on an industrial scale, and given the nature of trench warfare, thousands of soldiers sustained facial injuries. Medical advances meant that more survived their wounds than ever before, yet disfigured soldiers did not receive the hero’s welcome they deserved. In The Facemaker, award-winning historian Lindsey Fitzharris tells the astonishing story of the pioneering plastic surgeon Harold Gillies, who dedicated himself to restoring the faces – and the identities – of a brutalized generation. Gillies, a Cambridge-educated New Zealander, became interested in the nascent field of plastic surgery after encountering the human wreckage on the front.
THE TICKET COLLECTOR FROM BELARUS by Mike Anderson and Neil Hanson
The Ticket Collector from Belarus tells the remarkable story of two interwoven journeys. Ben-Zion Blustein and Andrei Sawoniuk were childhood friends in 1930s Domachevo, a holiday and health resort in what is now Belarus. During the events that followed the Nazi invasion in 1941, they became the bitterest of enemies. After the war, Ben-Zion made his way to Israel, and ‘Andrusha the bastard’ to England, where he found work as a British Rail ticket collector in London. They next confronted each other in the Old Bailey, over half a century later, where one was the principal prosecution witness, and the other charged with a fraction of the number of murders he was alleged to have committed. There was no physical evidence, just one man’s word against another, leaving the jury with a series of agonising dilemmas: Could any witness statement be trusted so long after the event? Was Andrusha a brutal killer, a hapless pawn or a scapegoat? And were his furious protests a sign of guilt or the justified anger of an innocent old man?
THE PALACE PAPERS – INSIDE THE HOUSE OF WINDSOR -THE TRUTH AND THE TURMOIL by Tina Brown
From the Queen’s stoic resolve to the crisis of Meghan and Harry. From the ascendance of Camilla and Kate to the downfall of Andrew. Full of remarkable inside access, The Palace Papers by Sunday Times bestselling author Tina Brown will change how you understand the Royal Family.
THE HOUSE OF FORTUNE by Jessie Burton
In the golden city of Amsterdam, in 1705, Thea Brandt is turning eighteen, and she is ready to welcome adulthood with open arms. At the city’s theatre, Walter, the love of her life, awaits her, but at home in the house on the Herengracht, all is not well – her father Otto and Aunt Nella argue endlessly, and the Brandt family are selling their furniture in order to eat. On Thea’s birthday, also the day that her mother Marin died, the secrets from the past begin to overwhelm the present. Nella is desperate to save the family and maintain appearances, to find Thea a husband who will guarantee her future, and when they receive an invitation to Amsterdam’s most exclusive ball, she is overjoyed – perhaps this will set their fortunes straight.
OPERATION BLACK KEY by Kim Hughes
Left reeling from the disappearance of his daughter and ex-wife, Staff Sergeant Dom Riley is a haunted man. After months of investigating, he has exhausted nearly all leads in his hunt for answers. As Riley decides to make one final, desperate push for the truth, it emerges that multiple bombs have been located on board a civilian cruise ship and he is thrown into action in the middle of the ocean. With little information on the person behind the threat other than the alias BaseHeart, Riley must keep his head together if he has any chance of neutralizing the threat. And it’s not long until the first bomb detonates. But it’s not the journey, nor the bombs themselves, that pose the real danger. In fact, in travelling halfway across the Atlantic Ocean, Riley will ultimately learn that the enemy is much closer to home . .
I’LL DIE AFTER BINGO by Pope Lonergan
Whether he’s initiating a coup d’état against new regulations with the residents, or forging a bond with the 98-year old who once called him a fat slut, Pope Lonergan’s work is infinitely varied. This no-holds-barred account shows what life inside a care home is really like, for both residents and carers. Featuring night-time drama, incontinence pads and the uniquely dark humour of one double-amputee Alzheimer’s patient, here you can learn everything you ever wanted to know (and a few things you probably really didn’t) about Britain’s care system. This important memoir challenges us all to think differently about the value of our elderly, and also the carers who look after them.
OF WOMEN AND SALT by Gabriela Garcia
Five generations of women, linked by blood and circumstance, by the secrets they share, and by a single book passed down through a family, with an affirmation scrawled in its margins: We are force. We are more than we think we are. 1866, Cuba: María Isabel is the only woman employed at a cigar factory, where each day the workers find strength in daily readings of Victor Hugo. But these are dangerous political times, and as María begins to see marriage and motherhood as her only options, the sounds of war are approaching. 1959, Cuba: Dolores watches her husband make for the mountains in answer to Fidel Castro’s call to arms. What Dolores knows, though, is that to survive, she must win her own war, and commit an act of violence that threatens to destroy her daughter Carmen’s world. 2016, Miami: Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, is shocked when her daughter Jeanette announces her plans to travel to Cuba to see her grandmother Dolores. In the walls of her crumbling home lies a secret, one that will link Jeanette to her past, and to this fearless line of women.
LEFT ON TENTH by Delia Ephron
When Delia’s beloved first husband Jerry died of cancer in 2015, after thirty-three years of marriage, she struggled without him. Focusing on the day-to-day, she decided to make one small move forward and cancel Jerry’s dedicated landline. This spiralled into days of frustration, prompting Delia to turn to words to process her grief and bewilderment. Her New York Times piece about the woes of customer service caught the eye of Peter, who emailed to commiserate. He was recently widowed himself and reminded Delia that years ago, when they were college students, they had been set up by her sister Nora. Cautiously, Delia replied. Over a few short weeks of email exchanges, Delia realized that she and Peter were undeniably soulmates. Months later, still caught up in this whirlwind romance, Delia made another life-changing discovery: she was profoundly sick.
TRULY, DARKLY, DEEPLY by Victoria Selman
Twelve-year-old Sophie and her mother, Amelia-Rose, move to London from Massachusetts where they meet the charismatic Matty Melgren, who quickly becomes an intrinsic part of their lives. But as the relationship between the two adults fractures, a serial killer begins targeting young women with a striking resemblance to Amelia-Rose.
When Matty is eventually sent down for multiple murder, questions remain as to his guilt — questions which ultimately destroy both women. Nearly twenty years later, Sophie receives a letter from Battlemouth Prison informing her Matty is dying and wants to meet. It looks like Sophie might finally get the answers she craves. But will the truth set her free — or bury her deeper?
DEATH OF THE BLACK WIDOW by James Patterson & J.D.Barker
Officer Walter O’Brien is called to a murder scene on his first night with Detroit PD. A terrified young woman has bludgeoned her attacker with shocking skill. She is also a brilliant escape artist. Her flight from police custody makes the case impossible to solve – and, for Walter, impossible to forget. His fascination with the missing, grey-eyed woman approaches obsession. And when Walter discovers that he’s not alone in his search, only one thing is certain . . .
NEW BOOKS FOR JUNE 2022
SUNDAYS by James McLaren
Sunday is the day Billy’s Dad takes his older sister and him out for a real adventure. Whether rope swinging across rivers, chasing the tide on their rugged coastline, or listening to their Dad’s own childhood adventures, it is the one day of the week when Billy really feels free. But the three of them soon learn that adventure comes at a price when they have to beat the elements on their most exciting Sunday ever.
Set in the fading days of childhood innocence, Sundays moves between moments of poignancy and hilarity and calls to the young adventurer in all of us.
THE MURDERS AT FLEAT HOUSE by Lucinda Riley
The sudden death of a pupil in Fleat House at St Stephen’s – a small private boarding school in deepest Norfolk – is a shocking event that the headmaster is very keen to call a tragic accident.
But the local police cannot rule out foul play and the case prompts the return of high-flying Detective Inspector Jazmine ‘Jazz’ Hunter to the force. Jazz has her own private reasons for stepping away from her police career in London, and reluctantly agrees to front the investigation as a favour to her old boss.
Reunited with her loyal sergeant Alastair Miles, she enters the closed world of the school, and as Jazz begins to probe the circumstances surrounding Charlie Cavendish’s tragic death, events are soon to take another troubling turn.
Charlie is exposed as an arrogant bully, and those around him had both motive and opportunity to switch the drugs he took daily to control his epilepsy.
As staff at the school close ranks, the disappearance of young pupil Rory Millar and the death of an elderly classics master provide Jazz with important leads, but are destined to complicate the investigation further. As snow covers the landscape and another suspect goes missing, Jazz must also confront her personal demons . . .
THE MIDNIGHT HOUSE by Amanda Geard
1940: In south-west Ireland, the young and beautiful Lady Charlotte Rathmore is pronounced dead after she mysteriously disappears by the lake of Blackwater Hall. In London, on the brink of the Blitz, Nancy Rathmore is grieving Charlotte’s death when a letter arrives containing a secret that she is sworn to keep – one that will change her life for ever.
2019: Decades later, Ellie Fitzgerald is forced to leave Dublin disgraced and heartbroken. Abandoning journalism, she returns to rural Kerry to weather out the storm. But, when she discovers a faded letter, tucked inside the pages of an old book, she finds herself drawn in by a long-buried secret. And as Ellie begins to unravel the mystery, it becomes clear that the letter might hold the key to more than just Charlotte’s disappearance.
SPARRING PARTNERS by John Grisham
The Sparring Partners are the Malloy brothers, Kirk and Rusty, two successful young lawyers who inherited a once prosperous firm when its founder, their father, was sent to prison. Kirk and Rusty loathe one another, and speak to each other only when necessary. As the firm disintegrates, the fiasco falls into the lap of Diantha Bradshaw, the only person the partners trust. Can she save the Malloys, or does she take a stand for the first time and try to save herself?
THE GOOD SERVANT by Fern Britton
1932. Dunfermline, Scotland.Marion Crawford, a bright, ambitious young teacher, is ready to make her mark on the world. Until a twist of fate changes the course of her life forever…
1936. Windsor Castle.
At first this ordinary woman is in a new world, working as the governess to two young princesses, in a household she calls home but where everyone is at a distance. As the course of history changes, she finds herself companion to the future Queen, and indispensable to the Crown. And slowly their needs become her needs. Their lives become hers. It’s then she meets George, and falls in love for the first time. Now Marion faces an impossible choice: her sense of duty or the love of her life.
TWO CHUBBYCUBS DINNER TIME by James Anderson and Paul Anderson
There are incredible pastas, big batches of soups, stews and curries, salads and sides that will fill you, speedy dishes to throw together quickly, plus cubbies classics and fakeaway favourites to keep your Friday nights tasty.
Dive in and enjoy feasting without the fuss, faff or fret – these are delicious dinners, drizzled with encouragement, support and laughter, to help you reach your goals!
THE BLACKBIRD by Tim Weaver
Just before the crash, Cate and Aiden Gascoigne are recorded on CCTV, laughing and happy. Then their car plunges into a ninety-foot ravine.
Within seconds, the vehicle is an inferno – and the Gascoignes are trapped inside.But when fire crews arrive, they find something impossible:
The vehicle is empty.
Cate and Aiden have vanished.
And only missing persons investigator David Raker can solve the mystery . . .
THE PEOPLE ON PLATFORM 5 by Clare Pooley
Nobody speaks to strangers on the train. But what would happen if they did?
Every day at 8:05, Iona Iverson boards the train to go to work. Every day, she sees the same people and makes assumptions about them, even giving them nicknames. But they never speak. Obviously.
Then, one morning, Smart-but-Sexist-Surbiton chokes on a grape right in front of Iona. Suspiciously-Nice-New Malden steps up to help and saves his life, and this one event sparks a chain reaction.
With nothing in common but their commute, an eclectic group of people learn that their assumptions about each other don’t match reality. But when Iona’s life begins to fall apart, will her new friends be there when she needs them most?
ELEKTRA by Jennifer Saint
The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.
The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon – her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them and determines to win, whatever the cost.
Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.
The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?
THE MURDER BOOK by Mark Billingham
Tom Thorne has it all.
In Nicola Tanner and Phil Hendricks, Thorne has good friends by his side. He finally has a love life worth a damn and is happy in the job to which he has devoted his life…
He has everything to lose.
Hunting the woman responsible for a series of grisly murders, Thorne has no way of knowing that he will be plunged into a nightmare from which he may never wake.
And he’ll do anything to keep it.
Finally, Thorne’s past has caught up with him and a ruinous secret is about to be revealed. If he wants to save himself and his friends, he must do the unthinkable.
THE BOTANIST by M.W.Craven
Detective Sergeant Washington Poe can count on one hand the number of friends he has. And he’d still have his thumb left. There’s the guilelessly innocent civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw of course. Insanely brilliant, she’s a bit of a social hand grenade. He’s known his beleaguered boss, Detective Inspector Stephanie Flynn for years as he has his nearest neighbour, full-time shepherd/part-time dog sitter, Victoria.
And then there’s Estelle Doyle. Dark and dangerous and sexy as hell. It’s true the caustic pathologist has never walked down the sunny side of the street, but has she gone too far this time? Shot twice in the head, her father’s murder appears to be an open and shut case. Estelle has firearms discharge residue on her hands, and, in a house surrounded by fresh snow, hers are the only footprints. Since her arrest she’s only said three words: ‘Tell Washington Poe.’
WITH A MIND TO KILL by Anthony Horowitz
Behind the Iron Curtain, a group of former Smersh agents want to use the British spy in an operation that will change the balance of world power. Bond is smuggled into the lion’s den – but whose orders is he following, and will he obey them when the moment of truth arrives?
In a mission where treachery is all around and one false move means death, James Bond must grapple with the darkest questions about himself. But not even he knows what has happened to the man he used to be.
THE LION by Conn Iggulden
The age of myths and legends has given way to the world of men. In the front rank stands Pericles, Lion of Athens.
Behind Pericles lies the greatest city of the ancient world. Before him, on land and at sea, stands the merciless Persian army. Both sides are spoiling for war.
Though still a young man, Pericles knows one thing: to fight a war you must first win the peace.
It’s time for a hero to rise.
For his enemies to tremble.
And for Athens, a city of wisdom and warriors, to shine with glory . . .
DO NO HARM by Jack Jordan
The man lies on the table in front of me.
As a surgeon, it’s my job to save him.
As a mother, I know I must kill him.
You might think that I’m a monster.
But there really is only one choice.
I must get away with murder.
Or I will never see my son again.
HOPE by Tom Parker
In March 2022, much-loved pop star, father and son Tom Parker died from incurable brain cancer. This story is his legacy, in his own words.
A proud working-class lad from Bolton, he rose to chart-topping fame with The Wanted and even took America by storm. A loving father to Aurelia and Bodhi and a devoted husband to Kelsey, his life after pop superstardom was all about family, friends and finding new purpose.
After his diagnosis in 2020, he become a prominent campaigner for brain cancer research, appearing in the House of Commons as well as holding a massively successful concert in aid of Stand Up to Cancer in the Royal Albert Hall.
BURIED by Alice Roberts
Funerary rituals show us what people thought about mortality; how they felt about loss; what they believed came next. From Roman cremations and graveside feasts, to deviant burials with heads rearranged, from richly furnished Anglo Saxon graves to the first Christian burial grounds in Wales, Buried provides an alternative history of the first millennium in Britain. As she did with her pre-history of Britain in Ancestors, Professor Alice Roberts combines archaeological finds with cutting-edge DNA research and written history to shed fresh light on how people lived: by examining the stories of the dead.
BAD ACTORS by Mick Herron
A key member of a Downing Street think-tank has disappeared without a trace. Claude Whelan, one-time First Desk of MI5’s Regent’s Park, is tasked with tracking her down. But the trail leads straight back to Regent’s Park HQ itself, with its chief, Diana Taverner, as prime suspect. Meanwhile her Russian counterpart has unexpectedly shown up in London but has slipped under MI5’s radar.
Over at Slough House, the home for demoted and embittered spies, the slow horses are doing what they do best: adding a little bit of chaos to an already unstable situation.
In a world where lying, cheating and backstabbing is the norm, bad actors are bending the rules for their own gain. If the slow horses want to change the script, they’ll need to get their own act together before the final curtain.
ONE MOONLIT NIGHT by Rachel Hore
Forced to leave their family home in London after it is bombed, Maddie and her two young daughters take refuge at Knyghton, the beautiful country house in Norfolk where Maddie’s husband Philip spent the summers of his childhood.
But Philip is gone, believed to have been killed in action in northern France. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Maddie refuses to give up hope that she and Philip will some day be reunited.
Arriving at Knyghton, Maddie feels closer to her missing husband, but she soon realises that there’s a reason Philip has never spoken to her about his past. Something happened at Knyghton one summer years before. Something that involved Philip, his cousin Lyle and a mysterious young woman named Flora.
OLD RAGE by Sheila Hancock
Sheila Hancock looked like she was managing old age. She had weathered and even thrived in widowhood, taking on acting roles that would have been demanding for a woman half her age. She had energy, friends, a devoted family, a lovely home. She could still remember her lines.
So why, at 89, having sailed past supposedly disturbing milestones – 50, 70 even 80 – without a qualm, did she suddenly feel so furious? Shocking diagnoses, Brexit and bereavement seemed to knock her from every quarter. And that was before lockdown.
Home alone, classified as ‘extremely vulnerable’, she finds herself yelling at the TV and talking to the pigeons. But she can at least take a good long look at life – her work and family, her beliefs (many of them the legacy of her wartime childhood) and, uncomfortable as it might be to face, her future.