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Menace, madness and medieval adventure abound in this thrilling fourth volume of the atmospheric Order of Darkness series by a doyenne of historical fiction. Luca Vero belongs to the Order of Darkness and has been charged with investigating disturbing occurrences that seem to herald the imminent end of the world. Travelling through medieval Europe with Lady Isolde and her companion Ishraq, he witnesses the alarming outbreak of “dancing sickness”. As Luca seeks to discover the truth behind this phenomenon – are the victims possessed by Satan? – Isolde herself succumbs to an overwhelming urge to dance after acquiring an irresistible pair of scarlet shoes from a travelling tradesman. Alongside being an epic adventure, and richly rewarding for history and mystery buffs, a powerful thread about rejecting prejudice and hatred weaves its way through this novel. “You have to do the right thing, not just the certain thing... Surely you want to be a good lord, not just a powerful one?” Such remarks about social responsibility and acting honorably resonate sharply, as does a potent sense of female empowerment. While women were believed to “have little determination and they are not strong”, the principle female protagonists here display much resolve, with Isolde determined to raise an army to win back her inheritance from her brother, and Ishraq being a highly educated free woman. ~ Joanne Owen Click here to view all titles in the 'Order of Darkness' series; They are: Vol One: Changeling Vol Two: Stormbringers Vol Three: Fools' Gold Vol Four: Dark Tracks A note from Philippa Gregory: “I am delighted to move into a new area of writing. I know I have many young adult readers already and it will be a pleasure to write a series especially for them. Bringing history alive is a great joy and to bring it to a younger generation doubly so.”
You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you. It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man. He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body. Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure. Is history going to repeat itself? Was it ever really over? Will this game only end in the same way?
The most hilarious debut you will read this year. Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what's best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a 'normal' family Christmas. They can't agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did - and it's too late to pull the plug. Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He's a rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends - where this story starts - with a tearful, frightened, call to the police... But what happened? They said they'd all be adults about this...
Jean lives in an America in which women have been forced to surrender all freedoms and are restricted to speaking 100 words a day, for the new government has decreed that women need to be Pure. They need to learn a lesson, as do gays and lesbians, who’ve been herded into camps. As to how this happened, the plotline is sharp on collective collusion, and also shows the consequences of the coward’s sidestepping “I was only following orders” excuse. Indeed, the excruciating personal repercussions of the new regime are piercingly portrayed. Jean doesn’t have enough words to read bedtime stories to her daughter. One of her sons spouts patriarchal propaganda he’s picked up in class. Quite simply, it’s hard for her not to hate her male kin at times. Then, Jean’s constraints in this censorious new world loosen a little when she’s told that the President’s brother has sustained a brain injury and her seminal aphasia research means she’s called on to cure him. As this powerful debut unfolds, undulating with personal conflicts and the discovery of sinister political programs, it also explores the essentialness of speech. It serves as a potent reminder to speak out when you’re able, for speech deprivation, whether due to force or illness, is a painful state of existence. Shocking, suspenseful and compulsive, this is a formidable cautionary tale for our time.
We are in a small English town, big enough for a hospital and strong police presence but small enough for everyone to know everyone's business. 20 years ago a teenager girl went missing. Our protagonist, Naomi is blind, still in love with her ex-husband and suicidal. Twice she goes to the cliff top to contemplate jumping. On her way home in a depressed state she stumbles upon a recently murdered girl and possibly disturbs the murderer. The investigating police seem, as far as the new DS Marcus Campbell can tell, to be hiding something and he clashes badly with his superior, DI Lisa Elliott. Tension runs high and we the reader, are as involved with the machinations within the police force, as we are with finding the murderer. Then there is another body, a young female police officer. Why? During a fierce and physically violent argument between Naomi and her ex-husband's new girlfriend, a third murder is attempted, only this time the victim lives. This is a complicated, intriguing and multi-layered thriller. A fast paced tale that really keeps you guessing and then turns everything on its end in the final chapter.
At first it is a nightmare. When the invaders arrive, the world as they know it is destroyed. Their friends are kidnapped. Their families are changed. Then it is a dream. With no adults left to run things, Violet and the others who have escaped capture are truly free for the first time. They can do whatever they want to do. They can be whoever they want to be. But the invaders won't leave them alone for long... This thrilling debut by one of the most acclaimed short form writers in science fiction tells the story of a young trans girl who must find a way to fight back against the aliens who have taken over her city.
This year Carolyn Mackler will re-release her beloved coming-of-age novel The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things in a newly updated edition. Now she drops readers right back into the hilarious, haphazard life of Virginia Shreves in this long-awaited sequel! Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Dumplin'.
Pieces of Her blew me away, it’s sharp, edgy, and compulsive. I foolishly started late in the evening and ended up keeping the early hours company for some time as I simply had to finish it! 31-year-old Andrea finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about her mum Laura when a birthday trip ends in horrific violence, further danger rushes in and Andy desperately needs to find answers. The prologue encourages intrigue to bubble away nicely then, oh my word… chapter one! Chapter one brilliantly sets the scene before exploding in the most shocking way, I gulped, settled further into my chair and braced myself for the experience. Karin Slaughter has the ability to set a tale on fire, she fans the flames, and I needed my wits about me as the time frame changed and left my understanding floating for a while, searching for answers. Andy and Laura are fascinating characters, they challenged my thoughts and feelings in the best possible way. Incredibly stimulating and enthralling Pieces of Her has left me on a heart-hammering high!
In a Nutshell: Fighting for Justice | Black Lives Matter | Stunning, vital wake-up call of a novel about racism, social inequality and not giving up told through the eyes of an incredible, unforgettable sixteen-year-old. Starr straddles two very different worlds. She has one foot in Garden Heights, a rough neighbourhood ruled by gangs, guns and dealers, and the other in an exclusive school with an overwhelmingly wealthy white student population. One night she’s at a party when gunshots are fired and Khalil, her friend since childhood, takes her to his car for safety. Khalil is unarmed and poses no threat, but he’s shot dead by an officer right in front of her. It will take a lot of courage to speak to the police, and to face the media who choose to highlight that Khalil was a “suspected drug dealer”, while omitting to mention that he was unarmed. But, with their neighbourhood under curfew and a tank on the streets, Starr risks going public. Danger escalates as the hearing approaches (and beyond), but Starr isn’t about to give up fighting for Khalil, and for what’s right. Alongside the intense struggles and conflicts faced by Starr’s family and community, there are some truly heart-melting moments between Starr and her white boyfriend Chris (their shared love of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air is super cute), and also between Starr and her parents. Complex, gripping, stirring and so, so important – I can’t recommend this remarkable debut enough.
In Fairytale, Danielle Steel weaves a captivating story of a daughter's love and courage, and the hope that good really can prevail over evil. Camille Lammenais had a perfect childhood growing up in California's beautiful Napa Valley, surrounded by acres of her family's vineyards. Her parents, Christophe and Joy, still deeply in love after two decades of marriage, have built a renowned winery and chateau inspired by Christophe's native Bordeaux. After graduating, Camille returns to fulfil her lifetime ambition - helping to run Chateau Joy. But the fairytale suddenly ends with her Joy's death. Six months after losing his wife, Christophe is easy prey for a mysterious, charming French countess visiting the valley. Camille, still grieving for her mother, is shocked that her father risks being trapped, and cannot seem to see past the alluring looks, designer clothes and elegant manners. As Camille's world falls apart, it will take all of her strength and all the help she can get to fight for her family's legacy.
Could your dream home be your worst nightmare? After what happened in London, Kirsty needs a fresh start with her family. And running a guesthouse in the Welsh mountains sounds idyllic. But then their first guest arrives. Selena is the last person Kirsty wants to see. It's seventeen years since she tore everything apart. Why has she chosen now to walk back into Kirsty's life? Is Selena running from something too? Or is there an even darker reason for her visit? Because Kirsty knows that once you invite trouble into your home, it can be murder getting rid of it . . . ________________ 'A chilling reminder that sometimes home is where the hurt is' Cara Hunter 'This kept me up last night. Scary. Twisty. All too believable' Jane Corry 'Absorbing and chilling' Karen Perry 'Will have you tearing through the pages' Paula Daly 'I raced through it' Gillian McAllister 'Kept me guessing up to the thrilling finale' Emma Curtis
`You know those cracks in your heart, Lorna, where things didn't work out, but you picked yourself up and carried on? That's where the fear gets out. And where the light gets in.' It was Betty, defiant to the end, who sent Lorna back to Longhampton. If Lorna's learned one thing from Betty it's that courage is something you paint on like red lipstick, even when you're panicking inside. And right now, with the keys to the town's gallery in her hand, Lorna feels about as courageous as Betty's anxious little dachshund, trembling beside her. Lorna's come home to Longhampton to fulfil a long-held dream, but she knows, deep down, there are ghosts she needs to lay to rest first. This is where her tight-knit family shattered into silent pieces. It's where her unspoken fears about herself took root and where her own secret, complicated love began. It's not exactly a fresh start. But as Lorna - and the little dog - tentatively open their cracked hearts to old friends and new ones, facing hard truths and fresh promises, something surprisingly beautiful begins to grow around the gallery, something so inspirational even Lorna couldn't have predicted the light it lets into her world . . . An inspiring, life-enhancing novel that will make you see your life afresh . . . Fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Diamond and Veronica Henry will love it.
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