NEW BOOKS FOR OCTOBER 2021
THE BUTLER by Danielle Steel
Joachim von Hartmann is born into a wealthy Argentine banking family and spends his early years in Buenos Aires. Blonde-haired and blue-eyed, he has inherited the looks of his German ancestors, while his twin brother Javier could not be more different. Following the death of their father, and when details emerge about Joachim’s maternal grandfather’s wartime activity, both boys and their mother, Liese, are cast out from the family. After the years of glamour and luxury, she must raise them alone with no financial support. Eventually Liese meets and falls in love with a French art expert, and she and Joachim move to Paris without Javier, who refuses to leave his beloved Argentina. Rumours soon start to circulate that he’s involved in the drugs trade.
Following a whim, Joachim moves to England to train as a butler and discovers that he loves his role working for the aristocracy on their fine estates. On the death of his last employer, Joachim decides to move back to France to spend some time with his mother. He finds that there’s no call for butlers in Paris, but he does find a job putting his skills to good use acting as assistant and confidant to Olivia, an American who needed to escape her life in New York.
Both Joachim and Olivia hold secrets about their past, and as reports come through that Javier’s life in the Columbian underworld is spiralling out of control, they must, as brave and honourable people, make some difficult decisions. What they come to understand is that destiny has a hand in their future and everything that came before had a reason. She had come to Paris to find him. The future would unfold as it was meant to and they would face it together.
WORST IDEA EVER by Jane Fallon
When Lydia starts an online business, her closest friend Georgia wants to help. So she sets up a fake Twitter account to pose as a potential customer.
But then Lydia begins to confide in her new online buddy.
Georgia knows she should confess the truth, but she just can’t help herself.
Until Lydia reveals a secret that could end their friendship . . . and threaten Georgia’s marriage.
Georgia’s in too deep. But what can she save?
THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE by Richard Osman
Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.
As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?
But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can the Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?
FORTUNE’S DAUGHTER by Dilly Court
Abandoned by their parents and left to fight for themselves, headstrong Rosalind Carey has no choice but to take charge of her younger brothers and sister in Devonshire’s grand Rockwood Castle. But their once much-loved home is crumbling like the family that lives within it. Living hand to mouth and desperate to provide for the estate that depends on them, the Carey family are one debt away from ruin. Until the day comes when the dashing Piers Blanchard appears on their doorstep from Cornwall, claiming he is Rosalind’s distant cousin and that Rockwood Castle is his. Piers says he wants to help pay off the family’s debts. But how can Rosalind be sure he isn’t out to take what is his and leave them all homeless? Only a closely-guarded secret will convince Rosalind she can trust Piers to protect her family – and her fragile heart.
BOTH OF YOU by Adele Parks
Leigh Fletcher: happily married stepmum to two gorgeous boys goes missing on Monday. Her husband Mark says he knows nothing of her whereabouts. She simply went to work and just never came home. Their family is shattered. Kai Janssen: married to wealthy Dutch businessman, Daan, vanishes the same week. Kai left their luxurious penthouse and glamorous world without a backward glance. She seemingly evaporated into thin air. Daan is distraught. DC Clements knows that people disappear all the time – far too frequently. Most run away from things, some run towards, others are taken but find their way back. A sad few never return. These two women are from very different worlds, their disappearances are unlikely to be connected. And yet, at a gut level, the DC believes they might be. How could these women walk away from their families, husbands and homes willingly? Clements is determined to unearth the truth, no matter how shocking and devastating it may be.
JUDAS 62 by Charles Cumming
A spy in one of the most dangerous places on Earth…
1993: Student Lachlan Kite is sent to post-Soviet Russia in the guise of a language teacher. In reality, he is there as a spy. Top secret intelligence agency BOX 88 has ordered Kite to extract a chemical weapons scientist before his groundbreaking research falls into the wrong hands. But Kite’s mission soon goes wrong and he is left stranded in a hostile city with a former KGB officer on his trail.
An old enemy looking for revenge…2020: Now the director of BOX 88 operations in the UK, Kite discovers he has been placed on the ‘JUDAS’ list – a record of enemies of Russia who have been targeted for assassination. Kite’s fight for survival takes him to Dubai, where he must confront the Russian secret state head on…
HARLEM SHUFFLE by Colson Whitehead
Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger and bigger all the time.
See, cash is tight, especially with all those instalment plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace at the furniture store, Ray doesn’t see the need to ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweller downtown who also doesn’t ask questions.
Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa – the ‘Waldorf of Harlem’ – and volunteers Ray’s services as the fence. The heist doesn’t go as planned; they rarely do, after all. Now Ray has to cater to a new clientele, one made up of shady cops on the take, vicious minions of the local crime lord, and numerous other Harlem lowlifes.
Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he starts to see the truth about who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?
APPLES NEVER FALL by Liane Moriarty
The Delaney family love one another dearly – it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .
Joy Delaney and husband Stan have done well. Four wonderful grown-up children. A family business to envy. The golden years of retirement ahead of them.
So when Joy Delaney vanishes – no note, no calls, her bike missing – it’s natural that tongues will wag.
How did Stan scratch his face? And who was the stranger who entered and suddenly left their lives? What are they all hiding?
WATCHING NEIGHBOURS TWICE A DAY by Josh Widdicombe
In his first memoir, Josh Widdicombe tells the story of a strange rural childhood, the kind of childhood he only realised was weird when he left home and started telling people about it. From only having four people in his year at school, to living in a family home where they didn’t just not bother to lock the front door, they didn’t even have a key.
Using a different television show of the time as its starting point for each chapter Watching Neighbours Twice a Day… is part-childhood memoir, part-comic history of ’90s television and culture. It will discuss everything from the BBC convincing him that Michael Parkinson had been possessed by a ghost, to Josh’s belief that Mr Blobby is one of the great comic characters, to what it’s like being the only vegetarian child west of Bristol.
It tells the story of the end of an era, the last time when watching television was a shared experience for the family and the nation, before the internet meant everyone watched different things at different times on different devices, headphones on to make absolutely sure no one else could watch it with them.
THE POWER OF GEOGRAPHY by Tim Marshall
In this revelatory new book, Marshall explores ten regions that are set to shape global politics in a new age of great-power rivalry: Australia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Greece, Turkey, the Sahel, Ethiopia, Spain and Space. Find out why Europe’s next refugee crisis is closer than it thinks as trouble brews in the Sahel; why the Middle East must look beyond oil and sand to secure its future; why the eastern Mediterranean is one of the most volatile flashpoints of the twenty-first century; and why the Earth’s atmosphere is set to become the world’s next battleground.
CLOUD CUCKOO LAND by Anthony Doerr
Bound together by a single ancient text, the unforgettable characters of Cloud Cuckoo Land are dreamers and outsiders figuring out the world around them: 13-year-old Anna and Omeir, an orphaned seamstress and a cursed boy, on opposite sides of the formidable city walls during the 1453 siege of Constantinople; teenage idealist Seymour and octogenarian Zeno in an attack on a public library in present-day Idaho; and Konstance, decades from now, who turns to the oldest stories to guide her community in peril.
THE WISDOM OF CROWDS by Joe Abercrombie
Some say that to change the world you must first burn it down. Now that belief will be tested in the crucible of revolution: the Breakers and Burners have seized the levers of power, the smoke of riots has replaced the smog of industry, and all must submit to the wisdom of crowds.
With nothing left to lose, Citizen Brock is determined to become a new hero for the new age, while Citizeness Savine must turn her talents from profit to survival before she can claw her way to redemption. Orso will find that when the world is turned upside down, no one is lower than a monarch. And in the bloody North, Rikke and her fragile Protectorate are running out of allies . . . while Black Calder gathers his forces and plots his vengeance.
The banks have fallen, the sun of the Union has been torn down, and in the darkness behind the scenes, the threads of the Weaver’s ruthless plan are slowly being drawn together . . .
THE TROUBLE WITH PEACE by Joe Abercrombie
Savine dan Glokta, once Adua’s most powerful investor, finds her judgement, fortune and reputation in tatters. But she still has all her ambitions, and no scruple will be permitted to stand in her way.
For heroes like Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall, only happy with swords drawn, peace is an ordeal to end as soon as possible. But grievances must be nursed, power seized and allies gathered first, while Rikke must master the power of the Long Eye . . . before it kills her.
Unrest worms into every layer of society. The Breakers still lurk in the shadows, plotting to free the common man from his shackles, while noblemen bicker for their own advantage. Orso struggles to find a safe path through the maze of knives that is politics, only for his enemies, and his debts, to multiply.
The old ways are swept aside, and the old leaders with them, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace, lasts forever.
THE UNHEARD by Nicci French
Tess’ number one priority has always been her three-year-old daughter, Poppy. But splitting up with Poppy’s father, Jason, means that she cannot always be there to keep her daughter safe. When she finds a disturbing drawing, dark and menacing, among her daughter’s brightly coloured paintings, Tess is convinced that Poppy has witnessed something terrible. Something that her young mind is struggling to put into words. But no one will listen. It’s only a child’s drawing, isn’t it? Tess will protect Poppy, whatever the price. But when she doesn’t know what, or who, she is protecting her from, how can she possibly know who to trust?
THE WHOLE TRUTH by Carla Hunter
She has everything at stake; he has everything to lose. But one of them is lying, all the same.
When an Oxford student accuses one of the university’s professors of sexual assault, DI Adam Fawley’s team think they’ve heard it all before. But they couldn’t be more wrong.
Because this time, the predator is a woman and the shining star of the department, and the student a six-foot male rugby player.
Soon DI Fawley and his team are up against the clock to figure out the truth. What they don’t realise is that someone is watching.
NEW BOOKS FOR SEPTEMBER 2021
PIRANESI by Susanna Clarke
Piranesi lives in the House. Perhaps he always has.
In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders: the labyrinth of halls, the thousands upon thousands of statues, the tides that thunder up staircases, the clouds that move in slow procession through the upper halls. On Tuesdays and Fridays Piranesi sees his friend, the Other. At other times he brings tributes of food to the Dead. But mostly, he is alone.
Messages begin to appear, scratched out in chalk on the pavements. There is someone new in the House. But who are they and what do they want? Are they a friend or do they bring destruction and madness as the Other claims?
Lost texts must be found; secrets must be uncovered. The world that Piranesi thought he knew is becoming strange and dangerous.
SAD PELICAN by L.A.Kent
Midsummer on the North Cornwall coast. A body is found in a sandy cove near Padstow; the cause of death is not obvious but what is shocking is the way the scene has been staged. Nearby a local business group is planning a marine festival, with one of its number hellbent on success whatever the cost. In Polzeath, a man enters a beach bar to face a life-changing revelation. When a second body is found bizarrely staged it is clear that the killer has a mission. With an ugly social media campaign targeting DCI Félipe Treloar, newly promoted DI Samantha Scott is put in charge and Treloar is sidelined to a spate of property vandalism and the disappearance of a visiting student.
SNOW COUNTRY by Sebastian Faulks
1914: Aspiring journalist Anton arrives in Vienna where he meets Delphine, a woman of experience and deep secrets. Entranced by the light of first love, Anton comes to life. Until his country declares war on hers.
1927: For Lena, life with her mother in a small town has been cosseted and cold. After a few years of schooling, she encounters a young lawyer who spirits her away to Vienna. However, what she imagines to be love soon crumbles, and she leaves the city behind to take a post at the snow-capped sanatorium, the Schloss Seeblick.
1933: Having lost many friends on the Eastern Front, Anton is sent to write about the mysterious Schloss Seeblick. In this place, on the banks of a silvery lake where the roots of human suffering are laid bare, two people will see each other as if for the first time.
BEAUTIFUL WORLD by Sally Rooney
Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood.
Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young – but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They worry about sex and friendship and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?
MAGPIE by Elizabeth Day
Sometimes Marisa gets the fanciful notion that Kate has visited the house before. She makes herself at home without any self-consciousness. She puts her toothbrush right there in the master bathroom, on the shelf next to theirs.In Jake, Marisa has found everything she’s ever wanted. Then their new lodger Kate arrives.
Something about Kate isn’t right. Is it the way she looks at Marisa’s boyfriend? Sits too close on the sofa? Constantly asks about the baby they are trying for? Or is it all just in Marisa’s head?
After all, that’s what her Jake keeps telling her. And she trusts him – doesn’t she?
But Marisa knows something is wrong. That the woman sleeping in their house will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
Marisa just doesn’t know why.
FOREVER YOUNG by Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills’ teenage decade in Hollywood produced some of the era’s greatest coming-of-age family movies: classics like Pollyanna, The Parent Trap and In Search of the Castaways, and in Britain the acclaimed Whistle Down the Wind. These films made Hayley a genuine teen idol and a household name. Now and for the first time, Hayley reveals the truth of her own coming-of-age story, in her own words – a story of incredible twists of fate and fortune, but also mismanagement, bankruptcy, family crisis and dislocation.
Told with characteristic warmth, honesty and humour, Hayley takes us back in time to a bygone era, charting a journey from her carefree childhood innocence in post-war Britain, growing up in the shadow of her famous theatrical family, to being propelled into the Technicolor boomtown of 1960s Hollywood, where she is mentored to stardom by Walt Disney himself.
APPETITE: A MEMOIR IN RECIPES OF FAMILY AND FOOD by Ed Balls
Ed Balls was just three weeks old when he tried his first meal in 1967: pureed roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. From that moment on he was hooked on food.
Taught to cook by his mother, Ed’s now passing her wisdom on to his own kids as they start to fly the nest. Reflecting on his life in recipes, Ed takes us from his grandma’s shepherd’s pie to his first trip to a restaurant in the 1970s (and ordering an orange juice as a starter); from the inner workings of Westminster to the pressures of parenting. This is a collection of the meals he loves most, and the memories they bring back.
The world may have changed since 1967, but the best recipes last a lifetime. Appetite is a celebration of love, family, and really good food.
THE WOMEN OF TROY by Pat Barker
Helen – poor Helen. All that beauty, all that grace – and she was just a mouldy old bone for feral dogs to fight over.
Cassandra, who has learned not to be too attached to her own prophecies. They have only ever been believed when she can get a man to deliver them.
Stubborn Amina, with her gaze still fixed on the ruined towers of Troy, determined to avenge the slaughter of her king.
Hecuba, howling and clawing her cheeks on the silent shore, as if she could make her cries heard in the gloomy halls of Hades. As if she could wake the dead.
And Briseis, carrying her future in her womb: the unborn child of the dead hero Achilles. Once again caught up in the disputes of violent men. Once again faced with the chance to shape history.
THE HERONS CRY by Ann Cleeves
North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists. What he finds is an elaborately staged murder – Dr Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed. His daughter Eve is a glassblower, and the murder weapon is a shard of one of her broken vases.
Dr Yeo seems an unlikely murder victim. He’s a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter. Matthew is unnerved, though, to find that she is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband.
Then another body is found – killed in a similar way. Matthew finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community and a case that is dangerously close to home . . .
HOW TO KILL YOUR FAMILY by Bella Mackie
· Kill my family
· Make a claim on their fortune
· Get away with the above
· Adopt a dog. Meet Grace Bernard.
Daughter, sister, colleague, friend, serial killer…
Grace has lost everything. And now she wants revenge.
How to Kill Your Family is a fierce and addictive novel about class, family, love… and murder.
ALL MY MOTHERS by Joanna Glen
Between her emotionally absent mother and her physically absent father, there is nobody to answer them. Eva is convinced that all is not as it seems. Why are there no baby pictures of her? Why do her parents avoid all questions about her early years?When her parents’ relationship crumbles, Eva begins a journey to find these answers for herself. Her desire to discover where she belongs leads Eva on a journey spanning decades and continents – and, along the way, she meets women who challenge her idea of what a mother should be, and who will change her life forever…
CHINA ROOM by Sunjeev Sahota
Mehar, a young bride in rural 1929 Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. She and her sisters-in-law, married to three brothers in a single ceremony, spend their days at work in the family’s china room, sequestered from contact with the men. When Mehar develops a theory as to which of them is hers, a passion is ignited that will put more than one life at risk.
Spiralling around Mehar’s story is that of a young man who in 1999 travels from England to the now-deserted farm, its china room locked and barred. In enforced flight from the traumas of his adolescence – his experiences of addiction, racism, and estrangement from the culture of his birth – he spends a summer in painful contemplation and recovery, finally gathering the strength to return home.
A LINE TO KILL by Anthony Horowitz
There has never been a murder on Alderney.
It’s a tiny island, just three miles long and a mile and a half wide. The perfect location for a brand-new literary festival. Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne has been invited to talk about his new book. The writer, Anthony Horowitz, travels with him.
Very soon they discover that all is not as it should be. Alderney is in turmoil over a planned power line that will cut through it, desecrating a war cemetery and turning neighbour against neighbour.
The visiting authors – including a blind medium, a French performance poet and a celebrity chef – seem to be harbouring any number of unpleasant secrets.
When the festival’s wealthy sponsor is found brutally killed, Alderney goes into lockdown and Hawthorne knows that he doesn’t have to look too far for suspects.
There’s no escape. The killer is still on the island. And there’s about to be a second death…
THE DARK by Emma Haughton
A&E doctor Kate North has been knocked out of her orbit by a personal tragedy. So when she’s offered the opportunity to be an emergency replacement at the UN research station in Antarctica, she jumps at the chance. The previous doctor, Jean-Luc, died in a tragic accident while out on the ice.
The move seems an ideal solution for Kate: no one knows about her past; no one is checking up on her. But as total darkness descends for the winter, she begins to suspect that Jean-Luc’s death wasn’t accidental at all.
THE HEIGHTS by Louise Candlish
He thinks he’s safe up there. But he’ll never be safe from you.
The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Tower Bridge, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him.
Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years. You know this for a fact.
Because you’re the one who killed him. It’s time to confess what we did up there.
A SLOW FIRE BURNING by Paula Hawkins
Laura has spent most of her life being judged. She’s seen as hot-tempered, troubled, a loner. Some even call her dangerous.
Miriam knows that just because Laura is witnessed leaving the scene of a horrific murder with blood on her clothes, that doesn’t mean she’s a killer. Bitter experience has taught her how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Carla is reeling from the brutal murder of her nephew. She trusts no one: good people are capable of terrible deeds. But how far will she go to find peace?
Innocent or guilty, everyone is damaged. Some are damaged enough to kill.
ORPHANS OF THE STORM by Celia Imrie
Nice, France, 1911: After three years of marriage, young seamstress Marcela Caretto has finally had enough. Her husband, Michael, an ambitious tailor, has become cruel and controlling and she determines to get a divorce.
But while awaiting the judges’ decision on the custody of their two small boys, Michael receives news that changes everything.
Meanwhile fun-loving New York socialite Margaret Hays is touring Europe with some friends. Restless, she resolves to head home aboard the most celebrated steamer in the world – RMS Titanic.
As the ship sets sail for America, carrying two infants bearing false names, the paths of Marcela, Michael and Margaret cross – and nothing will ever be the same again.
TO MANY REASONS TO LIVE by Rob Burrow
Rob Burrow is one of the greatest rugby league players of all time. And the most inspirational. As a boy, Rob was told he was too small to play the sport. Even when he made his debut for Leeds Rhinos, people wrote him off as a novelty. But Rob never stopped proving people wrong. During his time at Leeds, for whom he played almost 500 games, he won eight Super League Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups and three World Club Challenges. He also played for his country in two World Cups.
In December 2019, Rob was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, a rare degenerative condition, and given a couple of years to live. He was only 37, not long retired and had three young children. When he went public with the devastating news, the outpouring of affection and support was extraordinary. When it became clear that Rob was going to fight it all the way, sympathy turned to awe.