Fiction

Male Tears

Male Tears

Author: Benjamin Myers Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/01/2022

'One of the most singular, moving and crucial voices of our times' David Peace In Male Tears, a debut collection of stories that brings together over fifteen years of work, Benjamin Myers lays bare the male psyche in all its fragility, complexity and failure, its hubris and forbidden tenderness. Farmers, fairground workers and wandering pilgrims, gruesome gamekeepers, bare-knuckle boxers and ex-cons with secret passions, the men that populate these unsettling, wild and wistful stories form a multi-faceted, era-spanning portrait of just what it means to be a man.

The Library

The Library

Author: Bella Osborne Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/01/2022

Tom is a teenager and blends into the background of life. After a row with his dad, and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library. Tom unwittingly ends up with a bagful of romance novels and comes under the suspicion of Maggie. Maggie is a pensioner and has been happily alone for ten years, at least that's what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue a friendship develops that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom to stand up for himself, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past don't have to define her future. They each set out to prove that the library isn't just about books - it's the heart of their community. Together they discover some things are worth fighting for.

Twilight of Innocence

Twilight of Innocence

Author: I R Craig Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/12/2021

‘Twilight of Innocence’ is a mystery that follows a resourceful vigilante grandfather a hero-figure pilot and fiery investigative journalist looking to uncover and derail a child sex traffic ring.  The mystery around Andreas in the opening made me intrigued. I was eager to learn more about this mysterious man working to capture and interrogate members of the sex trafficking ring using highly specialised methods in order to release and rescue the victims. The subtle hints and brief descriptions were a brilliant introduction to this character, conveying his age and experience briefly, while keeping the quest front and center. As I read I wanted to learn more about this shadow-y figure’s mission as well as more about his past and what he’s had to do in the past in order to acquire his interrogation skills.  I was less enamoured with Rebecca and Jon as we are introduced to them, I think the repartee between them, at the end of the contentious flight from Scotland as an example, could have been a bit snappier in my opinion, but I was interested in learning more about both characters and their motives as well as their inevitable connection. Their story and relationship within this dark mystery reminded me a little bit of Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher, and so I was keen to learn more about how they would merge with the Taken style storyline set up with Andreas.  This is an interesting and entertaining read that feels like it will have widespread appeal to fans of mysteries, thrillers and action books. There is a dark subject matter at its core but there’s plenty of twists, turns and details throughout that keep you entertained. Action packed and thrilling this is a book I would definitely recommend. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador 

Indie Books We Love
Where God Does Not Walk

Where God Does Not Walk

Author: Luke McCallin Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/12/2021

Fans of historical military fiction should now be very familiar with the name Luke McCallin. Twice short-listed for the CWA Historical Dagger, he hails from a similar mind and skill-set as William Ryan and Philip Kerr and has acquired a reputation for producing accurate and entertaining novels featuring Gregor Reinhardt, an intelligence officer tasked with investigating serious offences involving military personnel. With three successful novel behind him, all set in WWII, McCallin has taken his character back to WWI, to the trenches and to German Society as it was at the time of the Kaiser. Read, be entertained and learn about events that influenced history. With the fire lit and a whisky on the arm of the chair, could there be a better way to spend an evening?

Quicksand of memory

Quicksand of memory

Author: Michael J. Malone Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/12/2021

Scarred by their pasts, Jenna and Luke fall in love, brimming with hope for a rosy future. But someone has been watching, with chilling plans for revenge ... An emotive, twisty, disturbing new psychological thriller by the critically acclaimed author of A Suitable Lie and In the Absence of Miracles. Jenna is trying to rebuild her life after a series of disastrous relationships. Luke is struggling to provide a safe, loving home for his deceased partner's young son, following a devastating tragedy. When Jenna and Luke meet and fall in love, they are certain they can achieve the stability and happiness they both desperately need. And yet, someone is watching. Someone who has been scarred by past events. Someone who will stop at nothing to get revenge... Dark, unsettling and immensely moving, Quicksand of Memory is a chilling reminder that we are not only punished for our sins, but by them, and that memories left to blacken and sharpen over time are the perfect breeding ground for obsession, and murder... 

Fall

Fall

Author: West Camel Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/12/2021

Estranged brothers are reunited over plans to develop the tower block where they grew up, but the desolate estate becomes a stage for reliving the events of one life-changing summer. Twins Aaron and Clive have been estranged for forty years. Aaron still lives in the empty, crumbling tower block on the riverside in Deptford where they grew up. Clive is a successful property developer, determined to turn the tower into luxury flats. But Aaron is blocking the plan and their petty squabble becomes something much greater when two ghosts from the past - twins Annette and Christine - appear in the tower. At once, the desolate estate becomes a stage on which the events of one scorching summer are relived - a summer that shattered their lives, and changed everything forever... Grim, evocative and exquisitely rendered, Fall is a story of friendship and family - of perception, fear and prejudice, the events that punctuate our journeys into adulthood, and the indelible scars they leave - a triumph of a novel that will affect you long after the final page has been turned.  

The Lost Girls

The Lost Girls

Author: Heather Young Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/11/2021

A stunning novel that examines the price of loyalty, the burden of regret, the meaning of salvation, and the sacrifices we make for those we love, told in the voices of two unforgettable women linked by a decades-old family mystery at a picturesque lake house. In 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family's summer house on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys the family - her father takes his own life, and her mother and two older sisters spend the rest of their lives at the lake house, keeping a decades-long vigil for the lost child. Sixty years later, Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before her death, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person who might care: her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers freedom and stability - a way to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the home she never had. But the long Minnesota winter is just beginning. The house is cold and dilapidated. The dark, silent lake is isolated and eerie. Her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more about the summer of 1935 than he's telling. Soon Justine's troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily's disappearance, her absent mother reappears, and the man she left launches a dangerous plan to get her back. In a house haunted by the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children.

The Quiet People

The Quiet People

Author: Paul Cleave Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/11/2021

Suspicion is cast on two successful crime writers, when their seven-year-old son goes missing. Are they trying to show that they can commit the perfect crime? A mesmerisingly twisty, dark thriller from number-one bestselling author Paul Cleave... Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living. So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time... Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime? Electrifying, taut and immaculately plotted, The Quiet People is a chilling, tantalisingly twisted thriller that will keep you gripped and guessing to the last explosive page. 

Psychopaths Anonymous, 4

Psychopaths Anonymous, 4

Author: Will Carver Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/11/2021

When AA meetings make her want to drink more, alcoholic murderess Maeve sets up a group for psychopaths ... The dark, unpredictable, electrifyingly original new thriller from critically acclaimed author Will Carver. Maeve has everything. A high-powered job, a beautiful home, a string of uncomplicated one-night encounters. She's also an addict: A functioning alcoholic with a dependence on sex and an insatiable appetite for killing men. When she can't find a support group to share her obsession, she creates her own. And Psychopaths Anonymous is born. Friends of Maeve. Now in a serious relationship, Maeve wants to keep the group a secret. But not everyone in the group adheres to the rules, and when a reckless member raises suspicions with the police, Maeve's drinking spirals out of control. She needs to stop killing. She needs to close the group. But Maeve can't seem to quit the things that are bad for her, including her new man... A scathing, violent and darkly funny book about love, connection, obsessions and sex - and the aspects of human nature we'd prefer to hide - Psychopaths Anonymous is also an electrifyingly original, unpredictable thriller that challenges virtually everything. 

The Killing Hills

The Killing Hills

Author: Chris Offutt Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/11/2021

A literary master across genres, award-winning author Chris Offutt's latest novel, The Killing Hills, is a compelling, propulsive thriller in which a suspicious death exposes the loyalties and rivalries of a deep-rooted and fiercely private community in the Kentucky backwoods. Mick Hardin, a combat veteran now working as an Army CID agent, is home on a leave that is almost done. His wife is about to give birth, but they aren't getting along. His sister, newly risen to sheriff, has just landed her first murder case, and local politicians are pushing for city police or the FBI to take the case. Are they convinced she can't handle it, or is there something else at work? She calls on Mick who, with his homicide investigation experience and familiarity with the terrain, is well-suited to staying under the radar. As he delves into the investigation, he dodges his commanding officer's increasingly urgent calls while attempting to head off further murders. And he needs to talk to his wife. The Killing Hills is a novel of betrayal - sexual, personal, within and between the clans that populate the hollers - and the way it so often shades into violence. Chris Offutt has delivered a dark, witty, and absolutely compelling novel of murder and honor, with an investigator-hero unlike any in fiction.

The Crystal Crypt

The Crystal Crypt

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/11/2021

Whoopee, isn’t this just the bee’s knees of a murder mystery! I’ll stop with the 1920’s slang now, but seriously, this really does rather beautifully conjure up the years after the Word War One. Sleuth and reporter Poppy investigates the death of a female scientist in Oxford. I have just adored every one of the Poppy Denby Investigates series which began with the Crime Writers’ Association Endeavour Historical Dagger Award shortlisted The Jazz Files, a wonderful historical mystery that I described as: “supplying oodles of 1920’s fizz and fun alongside a firm foundation from the suffragette movement and scars of the First World War”. These books could be classed as cosy as well as historical crime, but I’d say the cosy comes with a good twist of provocative nudges and digs. The Crystal Crypt is the sixth to feature Poppy, is it the last? Potentially, as a few of the loose ends from the series are rather nicely tied up. Poppy really does know her onions (sorry, sorry, definitely no more 1920’s sayings from me), she’s likeable, bright, and forward-thinking. The surrounding characters are fabulous too, though a favourite of mine has to be the wonderfully witty Rollo Rolandson. Fiona Veitch Smith encourages the plot to sing, while allowing the reader to investigate not only the crime, but also the social and political issues of the time. The Crystal Crypt is a wonderfully entertaining, vivid, yet thoughtful historical murder mystery that I can most definitely recommend.

Books of the Month
A Three Dog Problem

A Three Dog Problem

Author: SJ Bennett Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/11/2021

The delightfully clever mystery in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves a murder at Buckingham Palace - perfect for fans of The Crown and The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. Queen Elizabeth II is having a royal nightmare. A referendum divides the nation, a tumultuous election grips the United States - and the body of a staff member is found dead beside Buckingham Palace swimming pool. Is it a tragic accident, as the police think? Or is something more sinister going on? As Her Majesty looks for answers, her trusted assistant, Rozie, is on the trail of a treasured painting that once hung outside the Queen's bedroom. But when Rozie receives a threatening anonymous letter, Elizabeth knows dark forces are at work - and far too close to home. After all, though the staff and public may not realise it, she is the keenest sleuth among them. Sometimes, it takes a Queen's eye to see connections where no one else can . . . Agatha Christie meets The Crown in A THREE DOG PROBLEM, the much-anticipated second book in the 'Her Majesty The Queen Investigates' mystery series by SJ Bennett - for fans of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin.

Books of the Month