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Looking to try something new? Check out our Debuts of the Month selection. You never know, one might become your favourite new author and a special discovery!
Did she slip through the cracks, or was she pushed? When a severed hand is found in an abandoned flat, Detective Jake Porter and his partner Nick Styles are able to DNA match the limb to the owner, Natasha Barclay, who has not been seen in decades. But why has no one been looking for her? It seems that Natasha's family are the people who can least be trusted. Delving into the details behind her disappearance and discovering links to another investigation, a tragic family history begins to take on a darker twist. Hampered by a widespread fear of a local heavy, as well as internal politics and possible corruption within the force, Porter and Styles are digging for answers, but will what they find ever see the light of day?
May 2012 Debut of the Month. Longlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger 2012. CWA Judges' comment: “What Dies in Summer is a rites of passage novel of a young man on the cusp of adulthood. Tom Wright gives a vivid portrait of the relationship between teenage cousins in the face of an unnamed threat.” The Lovereading view... An interesting, challenging and, at times, graphically violent debut exploring coming of age and the loss of innocence. If you have read and liked The Virgin Suicides, The Secret History and I'm Not Scared then this will be worth a read.
May 2017 Debut of the Month. What Alice Knew is enough to devastate anyone. Admittedly I would not always have acted as she did but OMG she had some tough choices to make after a dreadful set of circumstances befell her. Poor woman. Much soul-searching and agony ensues. She, Alice, is a portrait painter and we are given an astute insight into the mind of such an artist and her interpretation of the modern art world. He, Ed her husband, is a highly respected obstetrician with a protégé who has a party after his exams and that is where our problem arises. I loved this book, really found it impossible to draw away from, once finished it haunted me for days. Compulsive, informative and very thought-provoking. I admire Mr Cotterell’s ability to portray a woman until the very end when I think he went a tad too far but it makes for a great ending. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
December 2016 Debut of the Month and eBook of the Month. What Alice Knew is enough to devastate anyone. Admittedly I would not always have acted as she did but OMG she had some tough choices to make after a dreadful set of circumstances befell her. Poor woman. Much soul-searching and agony ensues. She, Alice, is a portrait painter and we are given an astute insight into the mind of such an artist and her interpretation of the modern art world. He, Ed her husband, is a highly respected obstetrician with a protégé who has a party after his exams and that is where our problem arises. I loved this book, really found it impossible to draw away from, once finished it haunted me for days. Compulsive, informative and very thought-provoking. I admire Mr Cotterell’s ability to portray a woman until the very end when I think he went a tad too far but it makes for a great ending. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
January 2016 Debut of the Month. Sharp, poignant and amusing, this is a beautifully observed novel about growing up during the 80’s as a child of divorced parents. The prologue is short, quirky and full of feeling, it sets the stage perfectly for what is to come. 12 year old Harper is different, her friends include her dictionary, a lady riddled with dementia, and the (dead) occupants of a graveyard. Julia Forster writes with a light, yet spiky and witty touch, however deeper darker tones lie in wait. The descriptive detail is stunning, images danced across my consciousness as I read. The humour slides across the page, there were parts that made me belly laugh out loud and others that caused me to wince, to pause and think. ‘What a Way To Go" touches on pain, death and sadness, yet the unpredictable, entertaining and often ludicrous side of life shines through, this is a wonderfully engaging debut, and I highly recommend it. ~ Liz Robinson
Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018 A darkly mesmerising and fascinating epic of a tale based in India, one that is all-consuming and fiercely beautiful. A family descends into a hellish nightmare when power, greed, and corruption begin to prowl through their lives. After his mother dies, Jivan returns home to his family and arrives to chaos. The first paragraph gently took hold of my thoughts, setting the departing view in my minds eye, setting my feet on the journey to India. I sank quickly and deeply into the page, Preti Taneja allows the words to sing, to explain, to show the world that Jivan is entering. I remained on edge, apprehensive, sometimes having to peek between my fingers as love and hate began a heady, swirling, burning dance, wrapping around one another until they became one. As a retelling of King Lear, it stands resolutely on its on merit and I almost didn’t want to mention the connection. ‘We That Are Young’ shocks, provokes, pushes and pulls at thoughts and feelings, it is also a ravishingly descriptive work of art. Featured in Episode 4 of the LoveReading Podcast
February 2018 MEGA Debut of the Month This tender tale of tragic loss, deep love and profound desperation is contemporary fiction at its best - a monumentally memorable debut that is at once brutally heartbreaking, wholly honest, and rich in humanity. Rob and Anna met as Cambridge undergraduates, he a working class boy with a magnificent generous-hearted taxi driver for a dad, while she was raised in a missionary household by her upright mother and serial-adulterer father. Rob and Anna’s love was instant and wondrous, and marriage came soon, followed by Jack, the loving, thoughtful son who makes everyday special. Life is sweet – alongside the daily magic that Jack brings into their lives, there are bikes rides on Hampstead Heath, idyllic family holidays – until Rob and Anna wonder whether their beautiful son might have something wrong with him. Pulling no punches, leaving no truth unturned, no emotion unexplored, this remarkable exposition of love and the complex depths of the human heart is raw, authentic and, quite simply, sublime.
September 2014 Debut of the Month. Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2014. The life of Eileen Tumulty from 1951 to 2011, starting when she is 9 and from her point of view. In her mid-forties her son Connell becomes a teenager and we see how he feels too. Round the middle of this 620-page book Eileen’s 51-year old husband, Ed, is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and from then on the disease seizes control of the story. Financial difficulties arise as he has to give up work and extra help is needed in the house. As Ed’s health declines so Connell’s story grows. Dividing into two parts, post and pre-diagnosis, this initially paints Eileen as a very self-centred, materialistic person, later we admire her compassion, tenacity and strength of character. An excellent reading group book for it will provoke much debate on Alzheimer’s, a patient’s decline and the financial impact on relatives.
Sympathetic, touching, and surprisingly funny, Ways To Live Forever is a fantastic debut from Sally Nicholls. Sam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl. And because he has leukaemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers for the questions nobody will answer. This diary account of a young boy dying of Leukaemia will pull on heartstrings and have you in fits of laughter at the same time. Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2008. Winner of the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award 2008.
February 2018 Debut of the Month In a nutshell: sci-fi and fantasy blend in high-action, thought-provoking adventure Musician and entertainer will.i.am has collaborated with science of the future specialist Brian David Johnson to create an epic adventure. WaR seamlessly combines fantasy favourites wizards with robots, long beloved in sci-fi but now accepted as a crucial part of all our futures. Flipping back and forth in time, it stars feisty teenager Sara, whose mother is creating the first fully intelligent robot. This puts Sara at the centre of a power struggle, spanning centuries, between wizards and robots. As the story unfolds however, Sara must reconcile the two factions to defeat a common enemy. In this she’s helped by a young wizard called Geller and a robot, Kaku. Intriguing, refreshing and packed full of ideas, the momentum of the story sweeps readers along to its dramatic conclusion (at the CERN institute!). Real science is scattered throughout, and sci-fi has never seemed so now. ~ Andrea Reece
January 2015 Debut of the Month. A well-written and interesting account of the Romans in Britain to join the many. It begins a series, Twilight of Empire, set here in AD305 and features an old Roman campaigner, Aurelius Castus, who feels he’s been put out to grass in the inhospitable terrain of Hadrian’s Wall. Only the Picts want to talk and Castus gets to lead a dangerous mission across the border. Pacy and very readable if you’re a Roman addict, this is well worth a go.
February 2011 Debut of the Month. A romantic comedy set in a house party in the South of France where handsome men abound and heroine Imogen wants one. Playing blind man's buff she kisses one and finds it's the most perfect kiss ever but is she ever going to find out who that Mr Perfect was? A delicious rom com that's perfect to curl up with.
Fabulous First-time Fiction
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