Published this week – my fiction picks to 2 May

Happy Monday! Another week and another bumper selection this week. Please remember there are lots of other great books being published, these are just the ones that I’d be keen to read. Fingers crossed I haven’t missed some real crackers but chasing these titles down is a job in itself.

The index is a guide as to what format the title is being released in. In some cases the title might already have been published in a different format. For those readers interested in new audio editions I’ve indicated availability with the addition of a red button after the purchasing links – this makes it a bit easier to scan through and pick them up. The categories are intended to give you an indication of price and/or suitability depending on your preferred reading format. I have not complicated matters further by attempting to throw genres into the mix.

Where I’ve read the book and would recommend it I’ve added a ‘Recommended’ button

(NB As an Amazon Associate, Bookshop and Hive Affiliate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)

Index

Hardback releases

Hardback and eBook releases

Paperback releases

Paperback and eBook releases

eBook releases

Hardback releases

The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman

The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman by Julietta Henderson

It was a journey they would always remember . . . for a friend they’d never forget.

Norman and Jax are a legendary comedic duo in waiting, with a five-year plan to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe by the time they’re fifteen. But when Jax dies before they turn twelve, Norman decides a tribute act for his best friend just can’t wait, so he rewrites their plan:

1. Look after mum | 2. Find Dad | 3. Get to the Edinburgh Fringe

Sadie knows she won’t win Mother of the Year and she’s not proud she doesn’t know who her son’s father is. But when she finds Norman’s list, all she wants is to see her son smile again… So they set off on a pilgrimage to Edinburgh, making a few stops to find Norman’s dad along the way.

The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman is an inspiring, feel-good novel about a small boy with a big heart – and even bigger dreams.


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Hardback & eBook releases

The Ends of the Earth

The Ends of the Earth by Abbie Greaves

Mary O’Connor has been keeping a vigil for her first love for the past seven years.

Every evening without fail, Mary arrives at Ealing Broadway station and sets herself up among the commuters. In her hands Mary holds a sign which bears the words: ‘Come Home Jim.’

Call her mad, call her a nuisance, call her a drain on society – Mary isn’t going anywhere.

That is, until an unexpected call turns her world on its head. In spite of all her efforts, Mary can no longer find the strength to hold herself together. She must finally face what happened all those years ago, and answer the question – where on earth is Jim?


M: Son of the Century Kindle Edition

M. Son of the Century by Antonio Scurati

M. is a startling look into the fascist mindset, a portrait of unrelenting determination, and an impeccable work of historical fiction.

Italy is exhausted. Tired of the political class. Tired of the inept moderates and the agonizing machinations of a democracy that no longer seems to be working.

While the leaders of the country have sat idly in the safety of parliament, achieving nothing, one man on the outside has risen to the top.

He is a misfit par excellence, a protector of the demobilized, a lost drifter searching for the way. He speaks for the outcasts, the renegades and the ideologically pure. He is a former socialist leader ousted by his party, the director of a small opposition newspaper, a tireless political agitator.

Like an animal, he can smell that change is coming.

He is Benito Mussolini.

M tells the story of the rise of fascism from within the mind of its founder. Rich in historical detail, and interspersed with real documents and sources, this is a masterful work of historical fiction with urgent resonance for our times


The Road Trip: The heart-warming new novel from the author of The Flatshare and The Switch

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in rural Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.


Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with four-hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can’t avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship…


Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly, is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?


Listening Still: The new novel by the bestselling author of When All is Said

Listening Still by Anne Griffin

Jeanie Masterson has a gift: she can hear the recently dead and give voice to their final wishes and revelations. Inherited from her father, this gift has enabled the family undertakers to flourish in their small Irish town. Yet she has always been uneasy about censoring some of the dead’s last messages to the living. Unsure, too, about the choice she made when she left school seventeen years ago: to stay or leave for a new life in London with her charismatic teenage sweetheart.

So when Jeanie’s parents unexpectedly announce their plan to retire, she is jolted out of her limbo. In this captivating successor to her bestselling debut, Anne Griffin portrays a young woman who is torn between duty, a comfortable marriage and a role she both loves and hates and her last chance to break free, unaware she has not been alone in softening the truth for a long while.


Lean Fall Stand: The astonishing new book from the Costa Book Award-winning author of Reservoir 13

Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor

When an Antarctic research expedition goes wrong, the consequences are far-reaching – for the men involved and for their families back home.
 
Robert “Doc” Wright, a veteran of Antarctic field work, holds the clues to what happened, but he is no longer able to communicate them. While Anna, his wife, navigates the sharp contours of her new life as a carer, Robert is forced to learn a whole new way to be in the world.


Love in Five Acts

Love in Five Acts by Daniela Krien

Bookseller Paula has lost a child, and a husband. Where will she find her happiness? Fiercely independent Judith thinks more of horses than men, but that doesn’t stop her looking for love online. Brida is a writer with no time to write, until she faces a choice between her work and her family. Abandoned by the “perfect” man, Malika struggles for recognition from her parents. Her sister Jorinde, an actor, is pregnant for a third time, but how can she provide for her family alone?

Love in Five Acts explores what is left to five women when they have fulfilled their roles as wives, mothers, friends, lovers, sisters and daughters. As teenagers they experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall, but freedom brings with it another form of pressure: the pressure of choice.


Her Last Holiday: the most addictive crime thriller of 2021 from the bestselling author of Strangers and Sleep

Her Last Holiday by C. L. Taylor

You come to Soul Shrink to be healed. You don’t expect to die.

Two years ago, Fran’s sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo that went terribly wrong.

Tom Wade, the now infamous man behind Soul Shrink Retreats, has just been released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third victim: Jenna.

Determined to find out the truth, Fran books herself onto his upcoming retreat – the first since his release – and finds herself face to face with the man who might hold the key to her sister’s disappearance. The only question is, will she escape the retreat alive? Or does someone out there want Jenna’s secrets to stay hidden?


Revelations

Revelations by Mary Sharratt

A fifteenth-century Eat, Pray, Love, Revelations illuminates the intersecting lives of two female mystics who changed history–Margery Kempe and Julian of Norwich.

Bishop’s Lynn, England, 1413. At the age of forty, Margery Kempe has nearly died giving birth to her fourteenth child. Fearing that another pregnancy might kill her, she makes a vow of celibacy, but she can’t trust her husband to keep his end of the bargain. Desperate for counsel, she visits the famous anchoress Dame Julian of Norwich.

Pouring out her heart, Margery confesses that she has been haunted by visceral religious visions. Julian then offers up a confession of her own: she has written a secret, radical book about her own visions, Revelations of Divine Love. Nearing the end of her life and fearing Church authorities, Julian entrusts her precious book to Margery, who sets off the adventure of a lifetime to secretly spread Julian’s words.

Mary Sharratt vividly brings the medieval past to life as Margery blazes her trail across Europe and the Near East, finding her unique spiritual path and vocation. It’s not in a cloistered cell like Julian, but in the full bustle of worldly existence with all its wonders and perils.


The Music of Bees: A heartwarming and redemptive story about the families we choose for ourselves

The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin

After the sudden death of her husband, Alice Holtzman finds herself a social outsider. Reclusive, middle-aged, childless, and with only 850,000 honeybees for company.

On the other side of town, Jake Stevenson and his enormous black mohawk had a bright future in front of them studying music, all until an accident at a high school party leaves him in a wheelchair.

So when Alice nearly crashes her pick-up truck, packed with thousands of restless honeybees, into Jake, the last thing she expects from the near-miss is to find that Jake has a gift: not only is he a natural with bees, but he can hear their buzzing as a form of music. . .

And when Harry, a twenty-four-year-old with debilitating social anxiety, also arrives at the farm looking for work, unexpected friendships begin to blossom.

As these new friends begin to heal one another, all seems right with their world – until the buzzing stops. With a pesticide company threatening the local honeybee population, and everything they have worked for, this trio must unite to defend their bees.


The Royal Secret: The latest new historical crime thriller from the No 1 Sunday Times bestselling author

The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor

Two young girls plot a murder by witchcraft. Soon afterwards a government clerk dies painfully in mysterious circumstances. His colleague James Marwood is asked to investigate – but the task brings unexpected dangers.
 
Meanwhile, architect Cat Hakesby is working for a merchant who lives on Slaughter Street, where the air smells of blood and a captive Barbary lion prowls the stables. Then a prestigious new commission arrives. Cat must design a Poultry House for the woman that the King loves most in all the world.
 
Unbeknownst to all, at the heart of this lies a royal secret so explosive that it could not only rip apart England but change the entire face of Europe…


The Metal Heart: The beautiful and atmospheric story of freedom and love that will grip your heart

The Metal Heart by Caroline Lea

Orkney, 1940.

Five hundred Italian prisoners-of-war arrive to fortify these remote and windswept islands.

Resentful islanders are fearful of the enemy in their midst, but not orphaned twin sisters Dorothy and Constance. Already outcasts, they volunteer to nurse all prisoners who are injured or fall sick.

Soon Dorothy befriends Cesare, an artist swept up by the machine of war and almost broken by the horrors he has witnessed. She is entranced by his plan to build an Italian chapel from war scrap and sea debris, and something beautiful begins to blossom.

But Con, scarred from a betrayal in her past, is afraid for her sister; she knows that people are not always what they seem.

Soon, trust frays between the islanders and outsiders, and between the sisters – their hearts torn by rival claims of duty and desire.

A storm is coming . . .

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Paperback releases

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth: Radio 2 Book Club Pick

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor

July, 1962
 
Sixteen year-old Evie Epworth stands on the cusp of womanhood. But what kind of a woman will she become?
 
The fastest milk bottle-delivery girl in East Yorkshire, Evie is tall as a tree and hot as the desert sand. She dreams of an independent life lived under the bright lights of London (or Leeds). The two posters of Adam Faith on her bedroom wall (‘brooding Adam’ and ‘sophisticated Adam’) offer wise counsel about a future beyond rural East Yorkshire. Her role models are Charlotte Bronte, Shirley MacLaine and the Queen. But, before she can decide on a career, she must first deal with the malign presence of her future step-mother, the manipulative and money-grubbing Christine.
 
If Evie can rescue her bereaved father, Arthur, from Christine’s pink and over-perfumed clutches, and save the farmhouse from being sold off then maybe she can move on with her own life and finally work out exactly who it is she is meant to be.  
 
Moving, inventive and richly comic, The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is the most joyful debut novel of the year and the best thing to have come out of Yorkshire since Wensleydale cheese. 


The Whole Truth: The new ‘impossible to predict’ detective thriller

The Whole Truth by Cara 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.

And they have a plan to put Fawley out of action for good…


The Last Act of Adam Campbell: Fall in love with this heart-warming, life-affirming novel

The Last Act of Adam Campbell by Andy Jones

A year can go quickly. Particularly when it’s your last.

Adam had a good life: a job he enjoyed, a nice house, a loving partner and a bright six-year-old daughter. Then he cheated on his partner. Then she kicked him out of their home. And then he was given approximately twelve months to live.

Despite the devastating news, Adam is determined to turn his life around before it finally runs out. Help comes in the form of an ex-junky, a cantankerous train driver, a nun experiencing a crisis of faith, and a teenager intent on losing her virginity – all living on borrowed time, all desperate to feel alive before their time is up.


Come Again

Come Again by Robert Webb

First Love. Second Time Lucky.

All hell has broken loose in Kate Marsden’s life. Her husband has died, she’s lost her job and now she’s pushed the last of her friends away. Then one day, she wakes up in the wrong body – and the wrong year. She’s eighteen again and it’s her first day of university. Which means today’s the day she’ll meet Luke, her future husband, for the first time.

If they can fall in love again, Kate might just be able to save him second time around.


Nightingale by Marina Kemp

Marguerite Demers is twenty-four when she leaves Paris for the sleepy southern village of Saint-Sulpice, to take up a job as a live-in nurse. Her charge is Jerome Lanvier, once one of the most powerful men in the village, and now dying alone in his large and secluded house, surrounded by rambling gardens. Manipulative and tyrannical, Jerome has scared away all his previous nurses.
 
It’s not long before the villagers have formed opinions of Marguerite. Brigitte Brochon, pillar of the community and local busybody, finds her arrogant and mysterious and is desperate to find a reason to have her fired. Glamorous outsider Suki Lacourse sees Marguerite as an ally in a sea of small-minded provincialism. Local farmer Henri Brochon, husband of Brigitte, feels concern for her and wants to protect her from the villagers’ intrusive gossip and speculation – but Henri has a secret of his own that would intrigue and disturb his neighbours just as much as the truth about Marguerite, if only they knew …
 
Set among the lush fields and quiet olive groves of southern France, and written in clear prose of crystalline beauty, Nightingale is a masterful, moving novel about death, sexuality, compassion, prejudice and freedom.


Sponsored Ad – A Song for the Dark Times: The Brand New Must-Read Rebus Thriller

A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin

‘He’s gone…’

When his daughter Samantha calls in the dead of night, John Rebus knows it’s not good news. Her husband has been missing for two days.

Rebus fears the worst – and knows from his lifetime in the police that his daughter will be the prime suspect.

He wasn’t the best father – the job always came first – but now his daughter needs him more than ever. But is he going as a father or a detective?

As he leaves at dawn to drive to the windswept coast – and a small town with big secrets – he wonders whether this might be the first time in his life where the truth is the one thing he doesn’t want to find…


Small Pleasures: Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021

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.

But there will, inevitably, be a price to pay.


Home Stretch: THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER & WINNER OF THE AN POST IRISH POPULAR FICTION AWARD

Home Stretch by Graham Norton

Shame and longing can flow through generations, but the secrets of the heart will not be buried for ever.

It is 1987 and a small Irish community is preparing for a wedding. The day before the ceremony a group of young friends, including bride and groom, drive out to the beach. There is an accident. Three survive, but three are killed.

The lives of the families are shattered and the rifts between them are felt throughout the small town. Connor is one of the survivors. But staying among the angry and the mourning is almost as hard as living with the shame of having been the driver. He leaves the only place he knows for another life, taking his secrets with him. Travelling first to Liverpool, then London, he makes a home – of sorts – for himself in New York. The city provides shelter and possibility for the displaced, somewhere Connor can forget his past and forge a new life.

But the secrets, the unspoken longings and regrets that have come to haunt those left behind will not be silenced. And before long, Connor will have to confront his past.


Cut to the Bone: A gripping and suspenseful crime thriller full of twists (A DI Meg Dalton thriller, Book 3)

Cut to the Bone by Roz Watkins

A beautiful young social-media star goes missing.

But who took her?

When controversial internet celebrity Violet Armstrong vanishes in the middle of a scorching Peak District summer, the case sparks a media frenzy.

The clock is ticking for DI Meg Dalton and her team to find Violet before online threats explode into real-life violence. And then the blood and hair of a young woman are found in an empty pig trough at the local abattoir…

The more Meg finds out about this unnerving case, the more she becomes convinced that something very, very bad has happened to Violet. With temperatures rising and the press demanding answers, the case is about to take a terrifying turn…


Jaipur Journals

Jaipur Journals by Namita Gokhale

A brilliant, funny, and moving account of the characters that make festivals tick. There are the authors enjoying moments of adulation after years of creative isolation and the star-struck public allowed to mingle with their cultural icons.  And those in-between who are both author and fan as is the case of Rudrani Rana,  who attends one festival session after the other clutching a canvas bag which contains the labour of her life an unsubmitted manuscript written and re-written until only the sentence my body is a haunted house remains untouched.

Partly a love letter to one of the great literary shows on earth, partly a satire about the glittery set that throngs this literary venue year in year out, and partly an ode to the millions of aspiring writers who inhabit literary festivals, Jaipur Journals provides incisive insights into what makes a literary festival tick.

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Paperback & eBook releases

An Act of Love: A sweeping and evocative love story about bravery and courage in our darkest hours

An Act of Love by Carol Drinkwater

Forced to flee war ravaged Poland, Sara and her parents are offered refuge in a beautiful but dilapidated house in the French Alps. It seems the perfect hideaway, despite haunting traces of the previous occupants who left in haste.

But shadows soon fall over Sara’s blissful summer, and her blossoming romance with local villager Alain. As the Nazis close in, the family is forced to make a harrowing choice that could drive them apart forever, while Sara’s own bid for freedom risks several lives . . .

Will her family make it through the summer together?
And can she hold onto the love she has found with Alain?


A Taste of Home

A Taste of Home by Heidi Swain

Fliss Brown has grown up living with her mother on the Rossi family’s Italian fruit farm. But when her mother dies, Fliss finds out she has a family of her own, and heads back to England with Nonna Rossi’s recipe for cherry and almond tart and a piece of advice: connect with your family before it is too late…

Fliss discovers that her estranged grandfather owns a fruit farm himself, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, and she arrives to find a farm that has fallen into disrepair. Using her knowledge gleaned from working on the Rossi farm and her desire to find out more about her past, Fliss rolls her sleeves up and gets stuck in. But what will she discover, and can she resurrect the farm’s glory days and find a taste of home…?


Starry, Starry Night

Starry, Starry Night by Marcia Willett

Childhood friends and cousins Leo and Alice had imagined their whole lives playing out on their beloved Devon beach. But one night when they are teens, sitting on the sand beneath the stars, Alice tells Leo a secret that must never be shared with anybody else . . . then packs her bag and flees.

Leo is left to build his own life – without Alice. He surrounds himself with other family and friends and on the whole is content and fulfilled. But he is left with a sense of what – or who – is missing. So decades later, when he receives a note from Alice asking if she can come home, he doesn’t hesitate to agree.

But as the stars align and their reunion draws near, Leo is left to consider their separation and what so many years apart means for a relationship solidified in youth and a secret which could affect the whole family.


The Mistake: Perfect for fans of T.M. Logan and Liane Moriarty

The Mistake by Katie McMahon

Two sisters. One mistake. A thousand consequences.

Kate and Bec are sisters, but they could not be less alike.

Bec lives the perfect life: perfect house, perfect husband, perfect children. That is, until she meets Ryan – ten years her junior, wild and exciting, his arrival makes her question everything.

Her sister Kate’s life is anything but perfect. Her modelling career ended suddenly over a decade ago; and since then she’s lived a lonely existence. But when she meets tall, kind, funny Adam, things start to look up. Yet something doesn’t quite add up, and as he avoids Kate’s questions, she begins to wonder if he really is too good to be true . . . .

But as tensions mount and secrets are revealed, which sister is about to make the wrong choice? And what if some mistakes just can’t be put right?


In the Blood (DI Lukas Mahler)

In the Blood by Margaret Kirk

Some cases are personal…

Tied to a derelict pier on Orkney, the bloated remains of a man bob in the waves, under the shadow of forbidding Sandisquoy House. The locals know him as William Spencer.

But DCI Lukas Mahler identifies him as Alex Fleming – his former boss.

Unable to step away from the case, Mahler tries to piece together why Fleming would retire to such a remote location. But the deeper he digs, the more disturbing the investigation becomes.

Seal bones, witches’ salve, and runic symbols appear everywhere he looks, ushering Mahler towards Fleming’s most notorious unsolved case: the ‘Witchfinder’ murders. And towards a dark and uncomfortable truth someone has gone to great lengths to bury…


The Handover

The Handover by David M. Barnett

Daisy does nights and Nate does days, which causes no end of hilarity at the Manchester Museum of Social History. ‘It should be Daisy on days and Nate on nights,’ Marion on the reception says to her at least once a month, as though Daisy hasn’t yet got the joke.

Daisy is the night security guard at the Manchester Museum of Social History. She takes her job very seriously, protecting the museum from troublemakers and anyone who openly mocks the fact they have a dinosaur on display.

Nate works the day shift, though he’d be more suited as a museum guide the way he chats with the visitors. Daisy doesn’t approve: every one of them is a potential threat and befriending them could impair his judgement.

Daisy and Nate don’t have much to do with each other except for the five minutes when they’re shifts overlap at handover. He passes the torch over to her – like a baton – always with a smirk on his face, and she asks him for a full report of the day, which he gives reluctantly. It’s the only interaction they have… until strange things begin to happen at the museum.

Daisy notices priceless objects are going missing but then reappearing, with no explanation (and nothing showing on the CCTV, which is why she doesn’t trust technology). No one believes her except Nate, and he agrees to help her solve the mystery.

They soon discover they have a lot more in common than they realised… and their investigations uncover more than just the truth. Could they have feelings for one another?


Letters Across the Sea Kindle Edition

Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham

If you’re reading this letter, that means I’m dead. I had obviously hoped to see you again, to explain in person, but fate had other plans.

1933

At eighteen years old, Molly Ryan dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead she spends her days working any job she can to help her family through the Depression crippling her city. The one bright spot in her life is watching baseball with her best friend, Hannah Dreyfus, and sneaking glances at Hannah’s handsome older brother, Max.

But as the summer unfolds, more and more of Hitler’s hateful ideas cross the sea and “Swastika Clubs” and “No Jews Allowed” signs spring up around Toronto, a city already simmering with mass unemployment, protests, and unrest. When tensions between the Irish and Jewish communities erupt in a riot one smouldering day in August, Molly and Max are caught in the middle, with devastating consequences for both their families.

1939

Six years later, the Depression has eased and Molly is a reporter at her local paper. But a new war is on the horizon, putting everyone she cares about most in peril. As letters trickle in from overseas, Molly is forced to confront what happened all those years ago, but is it too late to make things right?


Until Next Weekend: The unforgettable and feel-good new novel from the author of Saturdays at Noon! Kindle Edition

Until Next Weekend by Rachel Marks

NOAH AND KATE WERE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER.

Married with two gorgeous sons, it looked like they’d got their happy ever after.

But marriage isn’t easy. And one day, Kate left, taking their two boys with her.

These days, Noah is a weekend dad – and it breaks his heart. He misses the chaotic mealtimes, the bedtime stories, the early mornings and the late homework.

Suddenly, he decides enough is enough – he has to win his family back. Starting with Kate.

The only problem?

IN SIX WEEKS’ TIME, KATE IS GETTING MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE . . .


The Silent Suspect: Only he knows the truth. Only I can save him... The gripping new mystery thriller

The Silent Suspect by Nell Pattison

A FIRE. A MURDER. A SILENT SUSPECT…

On a quiet street, one house is burning to the ground…

By the time sign language interpreter Paige Northwood arrives, flames have engulfed her client’s home. Though Lukas is safe, his wife is still inside. But she was dead before the fire started…

Lukas signs to Paige that he knows who killed his wife. But then he goes silent – even when the police charge him with murder.

Is he guilty, or afraid? Only Paige can help him now…


Reluctantly Home

Reluctantly Home by Imogen Clark

Pip Appleby seems to have it all, with her prestigious job as a human rights lawyer and her enviable London home. But then a tragic accident stops her life in its tracks, and in an instant everything changes. Retreating to her family’s rural farm and the humble origins she has been trying to hide, Pip is haunted by what she has done.

When she discovers the diary of actress Evelyn Mountcastle in a box of old books, Pip revels in the opportunity to lose herself in someone else’s life rather than focus on the disaster that is her own. But soon she sees parallels―Evelyn’s life was also beset by tragedy, and, like Pip, she returned to Southwold under a dark cloud.

When Pip and Evelyn’s paths cross in real life they slowly begin to reveal the hidden stories that are holding them back. Can they help each other forgive what happened in the past and, perhaps, find happiness in the future?


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eBook releases

The Liar's Daughter: An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist

The Liar’s Daughter by Rona Halsall

The call comes on an ordinary Sunday afternoon to say your sister has been admitted to hospital with a serious head injury. But you don’t have a sister… do you?

You’ve never doubted your parents. You’ve loved them without question your whole life. But your stepmother is uncharacteristically speechless, and your father isn’t well enough to understand.

So you get in your car.

Turn the key in the ignition.

Knowing everything behind you is a lie.

Not knowing what lies ahead: the truth… or something far darker?

And Then She Ran: An absolutely gripping psychological thriller brimming with suspense!

And Then She Ran by Karen Clarke

How far would you go to keep your baby safe?

The fist flew past Grace’s face and smashed into the wall behind her, flicking a switch in her head. Grace bundled her eight-week-old daughter into her carry cot, opened the door and ran.

Her life in New York faded into the background – she needed to keep her baby safe. She needed to get as far away from Patrick as possible.

Now, staying in a remote cottage in Wales, Grace is trying to start again. But she can’t shake the uneasy feeling that she’s been followed.

And then she finds a note. Left on her bed. A tiny scrap of paper with scrawl in bright red pen.

Keep her close. Anything could happen.

She’s been found. Patrick wants his baby back.

But Grace will do everything to stop him.


The Italian Escape: A feel-good holiday romance set in Italy - the PERFECT beach read for summer 2021

The Italian Escape by Catherine Mangan

Sparkling sea, sun, delicious food and Aperol Spritz – escape to Italy with the perfect summer romance . . .

Niamh Kelly’s life hasn’t turned out quite as she’d expected. She’s thirty-three, still living at home and was recently dumped . . . by her boss. So when her sister invites her to tag along on a work trip to the sun-drenched Italian coast, Niamh jumps at the chance, eager to escape into a world of sparkling prosecco, delicious food, and breath-taking beaches.

Upon her arrival, Niamh immediately falls in love with the beautiful Italian town they’re staying in and realises she never wants to leave, deciding instead to stay and open up a quaint coffee shop nestled in charming old town streets – even if she has no idea what she’s doing. But when a family tragedy and a tricky tourist season threaten her new business, Niamh isn’t so sure she can stick it out.

With help from her new-found Italian friends – and the possibility of romance on the horizon – can she make her new life in the sun a success?


The Rock: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 18)

The Rock by L. J. Ross

FROM THE SHADOWS INTO THE LIGHT…

When a fishing boat is wrecked off the treacherous North Sea coast and the body of a young woman washes up on the beach beside the iconic ‘Marsden Rock’, DCI Ryan cannot ignore the call to duty.

With one already dead and more human cargo missing from the wreckage, Ryan and his team race to find the remaining souls — before it’s too late, and their investigation turns to murder. As they uncover the seedy underbelly of Tyneside, cold and calculated opportunism clashes with the rock-hard arm of the Law, but there’s one thing that proves stronger than stone…

The human spirit.


The Pact: A dark and compulsive thriller about secrets, privilege and revenge

The Pact by Sharon Bolton

A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .


The Secrets of the Lake

The Secrets of the Lake by Liz Trenow

The Secrets of the Lake is a gripping wartime novel, by the author of The Silk Weaver, Liz Trenow.

The war may be over, but for Molly life is still in turmoil. Uprooted from London after the death of her mother, Molly, her father and younger brother Jimmy are starting again in a quiet village in the countryside of Colchester. As summer sets in, the heat is almost as oppressive as the village gossip. Molly dreams of becoming a journalist, finding a voice in the world, but most of the time must act as Jimmy’s carer. At just ten years old he is Molly’s shadow, following her around the village as she falls under the spell of local boy Kit. Kit is clever, funny and a natural-born rebel. Rowing on the waters of the lake with him becomes Molly’s escape from domestic duty. But there is something Kit is not telling Molly.

As the village gossip starts building up with whispers against Molly’s father over missing church funds, everything Molly thought she knew is turned upside down. And on one stormy night, when she sneaks out of the house to try to put things right, Jimmy vanishes. Never to be seen again.

Decades later, Molly is an elderly woman in sheltered housing, still haunted by the disappearance of her brother. When two police officers arrive to say that the remains of a body have been found at the bottom of the lake, it seems like Molly will at long last have her answer . . .


Back to Index

OK folks, that’s it for another week, anything take your fancy?

See you – same time, same place next week.

Happy Reading!!

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