Carolyn’s Books of the Month – April

Best Read: Now you see her by Heidi Perks

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second. Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable: tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching. Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again. Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

Crime: An unwanted guest by Shari Lapena

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway. But when the storm hits, no one is getting away. It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing maybe even romantic weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery. So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity and all contact with the outside world the guests settle in for the long haul. Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic. Within the snowed-in paradise, something or someone is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm.

Australian Author: Mine by Suzi Fox

You wake up alone after an emergency caesarean, desperate to see your child. It takes just one look at the small infant in the nursery for you to know with certainty: this baby is not your baby. No one believes you. Not the nurses, your father or even your own husband. They say you’re confused and delusional. Dangerous. But you’re a doctor – you know how easily mistakes can be made. It’s up to you to find your real child, your miracle baby, before it’s too late. With everyone against you, is it safe to trust your instincts? Or are memories from your past clouding your judgement? This can’t all be in your head . . . can it?

General: The palace of lost dreams by Charlotte Betts

India, 1798. Beatrice Sinclair, a grieving young widow facing financial destitution, has travelled from Hampshire to Hyderabad to visit her brother, an employee of the British East India Company. There, she is astonished to discover that he has married a beautiful Indian girl and lives with his wife’s extended family in a dilapidated palace, the Jahanara Mahal – famed for the theft of a fabled diamond many years ago. As an outsider in an unfamiliar world, Bea faces many challenges. Meanwhile the French and British forces become locked in a battle over India’s riches, and matters are complicated further by the presence of the dashing Harry Wyndam: a maverick ex-soldier and suspected spy.

Thriller: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

‘Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.’ In the lucrative, high-pressure world of Wall Street finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam are the best of the best. Their team makes billion-dollar deals. They live lives of vanity and luxury. Making money is the only thing that matters and they’ll do whatever it takes to get ahead – and to get what they’re owed. But when the four of them become trapped in an elevator escape room, things start to go terrifyingly wrong. In the pursuit of wealth they’ve learned to live with each other’s secrets and flaws, but in the confines of the elevator their rivalries and jealousies are laid bare, leaving them dangling on the precipice of disaster. They’ll have to work together to solve the puzzles that will release them from the elevator, but the clues they’re given force them to reckon with their past – and long-departed colleagues. And as their escape grows more and more improbable, one secret is revealed that they can’t ignore: one of them is a killer.

Thriller: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . . Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Saga/Romance: The Concubine’s Child by Carol Jones

In 1930s Malaysia, 16-year-old Yu Lan is in love with her best friend, Ming, whose father owns one of the busiest kopi shops. But it’s not long before Yu Lan’s father, Lim, makes a terrible decision that will change Yu Lan’s life forever, by selling her as a concubine. The consequences of Lim’s betrayal resonate through four generations.

EAudio 

Watching You by Lisa Jewell (BorrowBox)

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow.
You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room.
That’s when you meet the man next door.
He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him.
All the time.
But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession.
Or that someone is watching you.

The Other Wife by Michael Robotham (RBDigital)

Childhood sweethearts William and Mary have been married for sixty years. William is a celebrated surgeon, Mary a devoted wife. Both have a strong sense of right and wrong. This is what their son, Joe O’Loughlin, has always believed. But when Joe is summoned to the hospital with news that his father has been brutally attacked, his world is turned upside down. Who is the strange woman crying at William’s bedside, covered in his blood – a friend, a mistress, a fantasist or a killer? Against the advice of the police, Joe launches his own investigation. As he learns more, he discovers sides to his father he never knew – and is forcibly reminded that the truth comes at a price.

 

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Alison’s Picks – April

 

The Blue Salt Road    Joanne Harris

Thirty years ago I learned to sing The Grey Selkie of Sule Skerrie.  Selkies were  legendary seal creatures who were capable of changing into human form. Their home was Sule Skerrie, a remote island of rock in the seas north of Scotland, west of the Orkneys. The tune is grave and beautiful, in the Myxolydian mode often used in old Scottish songs. Now Joanne Harris has taken that story, and written a poetic re-telling of the Selkie myth – just as grave and beautiful as the song. I could not stop reading until the tale was told. Harris has taken herself, as writer, to a new place, (very different from Holy Fools, Chocolat, Blackberry Wine) and a compelling one.

 

The High Window by Raymond Chandler.

Sometimes you take a walk on the wild side, and decide to listen to a cops-and-robbers whodunnit. P.I. Philip Marlowe is tasked, in this one, with finding a valuable gold coin missing from the collection of a man recently deceased. The chase develops twists and turns, as you would expect, but these are far less interesting than the cultural milieu the P.I. operates in. He specialises in forensic observations of buildings, clothing, accents, foibles, weaponry… and you know this investigator, usually one step ahead of the bad guys, will always get his man. The casual sexism and racism that lard the dialogue are of his time, and understood as such, but they are very noticeable. The violence is everywhere, accompanied usually by primitive one-upmanship that reminds me of the schoolyard. One of the delights of Chandler’s prose, though, is his use of simile and metaphor. These figures of speech turn up frequently, and usually make me smile.

 

 

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Creative Writing Workshops

Searching for creative writing inspiration? Look no further.

Back after last year’s sell-out workshops, bestselling author of The Palace of Tears and The Opal Dragonfly, Julian Leatherdale, joins us at Springwood Library for an all-day session on ‘Getting Started: Inspiration, Capturing Ideas, Story Arc and Openings, Research and Finding the inspiration to start writing and keep going’.

Part of our Mountains of Stories 2019 Writing Workshops series – see our website for more.

Book online or in any Library branch, only $25. Ages 16+ | 10am to 3pm, Saturday 13 April at Springwood Library

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What Library Staff are Reading – March

A Keeper by Graham Norton – A fantastic novel set in Ireland. This novel has everything –  intriguing plot, fascinating characters, moody setting, clever use of language. Highly recommended. 5 stars

Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales – ABC Journalist Leigh Sales examines how ordinary people deal with unexpected and painful events – essentially, what happens after the worst day of your life. As well as revealing her own experiences with blindsides, Sales interviewed a range of people for this book – from Stuart Diver to Walter Mikac to Louisa Hope – all “ordinary” people who have shown resilience in the face of terrible unexpected suffering. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook on the RBDigital app, particularly as it is read by Sales herself – although I later heard Sales comment during a podcast that she doesn’t think that listening to audiobooks counts as reading! 4 stars

The First Casualty by Peter Greste – Journalist Peter Greste examines the global war on journalism – from the imprisonment and persecution of journalists (such as his own incarceration in Egypt), to the undermining of press freedoms in the West. Greste interweaves chapters on his Egyptian imprisonment and trial, with chapters on the other examples of attacks on journalistic freedom around the world. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Greste read his book via the BorrowBox app. 5 stars

Spies in the Family : an American Spymaster, his Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship that helped end the Cold War by Eva Dillon -A fascinating and entertaining memoir from the daughter of an American intelligence officer who liaised with a Russian double agent during the Cold War. Fans of the fictional television program The Americans, together with anyone who has ever suspected that a member of their family may be secretly involved in espionage, will particularly love this thrilling real life story. I listened to the audiobook on the BorrowBox app. Highly recommended. 5 stars

Consider the Lilies by Iain Crichton Smith – a classic of Scottish literature, this is about the Highland Clearances. It is the sad sad tale of old Mrs Scott who is visited by the Duke of Sutherland’s man and told she must leave her home to make way for sheep.  4 stars

The butchering art by Lindsey Fitzharris – This is a biography of Joseph Lister who made the connection between germs and post operative infections.  As Lister was entering medicine, surgery was seen as a lower form of medicine.  It was brutal for all with no anaesthesia and no concept of prevention of cross-contamination.  Surgeons had to be strong and very, very quick – famous surgeon Robert Liston could remove a leg in less than 30 seconds. If you managed to survive the surgery, you probably wouldn’t survive the recovery, especially if you were poor and had been treated in hospital.  Following the introduction of the use of ether to anaesthetise patients infection rates got worse because surgeons could dig deeper into the body with their scalpels and could take greater risks. The death rates rose. Lister, an Englishman who ended up working in Edinburgh, was inspired by the work of Louis Pasteur to investigate the cause of infections and worked to find a suitable anti-septic regimen to combat infection.  There was a bit of trial and error and, hard to believe by a modern audience, a lot of push-back from his contemporaries.  He was able to influence his own medical students who took his regimen further afield and finally brough infection rates under some control.  4 stars

Dead man’s prayer by Jackie Baldwin – Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell is back in bis home town of dumfries in the borders of Scotland.  His former mentor, Father Boyd, is found dead in the confessional.  Farrell’s own personal and family secrets just can’t be kept out of the investigation, no matter how hard he tries.  Not as clever or gripping as Rankin or Oswald but a pretty good read for a debut.  Scored 3.5 stars

Waiting for the last bus; reflections on life and death by Richard Holloway – as an Anglican priest and a man now in his eighties, Richard Holloway, former Bishop of Edinburgh, has seen a lot of death and dying.  This is a thought-provoking look at our fear of death and beliefs around death and how to help ourselves and others achieve a good death. 4 stars

But you did not come back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens with Judith Perrignon, translated by Sandra Smith.  Loridan-Ivens is an influential French actress, screenwriter and film director. Born in 1928 she was deported with her father to Auschwitz-Birkenau.  They were separated on arrival at the concentration camp and she never saw him again but at one point her father miraculously was able to send her a short note via another prisoner.  This book is her very moving long letter to the father she adored.  Despite the awful things she endured, she regarded herself as the lucky one in her family because she did go with her father, her siblings and mother were able to stay in France (she does not say whether they went into hiding, or moved to another country).  Very moving.  3.5 stars

Always look on the bright side of life: a sortabiography by Eric Idle – a light-hearted memoir by Eric Idle. I enjoyed the first two thirds of the book the best where he talks about his miserable childhood in a grim northern boarding school, his university days where he meets all the other Pythons and the first years of the Pythons. I lost interest somewhat in the story after the Pythons separated, probably because I am unfamiliar with Idle’s work after that time. This book is peppered with B&W pictures throughout the text (which I always think is a must in biographies/autobiographies) so you can see who he is talking about when he is talking about them, as well as the usual glossy colour pages in the middle. The summer I left school, many moons ago, I looked after twin boys.  Their father was a film producer, Tim Hampton, and in the downstairs toilet were pictures taken on set during the Life of Brian for which he was associate producer.  The pictures were of the cast on location in Tunisia, on their crucifixes with their trousers round their ankles.  I was delighted to see that the first B&W photo is one of those photos.  3.5 stars

Natural causes, The book of souls, The hangman’s song and Dead men’s bones all by James Oswald – Edinburgh and detective stories, two of my favourite things.  James Oswald has become one of my new favourite authors with his Inspector Tony McLean series.  In Natural causes Edinburgh is sweltering under an oppressive heatwave (it’s probably 21C, nothing to really worry about) and [plot].  In The book of souls McLean is investigating both a spate of fires in old, derelict buildings (are they insurance jobs by a property developer?) and a series of murders which are suspiciously like those of around ten years before.  Is it a copy cat murderer, or did McLean nab the wrong guy in the first place? In The hangman’s song there are a number of suicides by hanging.  Only DI McLean seems to think there’s something more to investigate – why aren’t there any rope fibres on the hands of the deceased?  And in Dead men’s bones DI McLean is investigating the apparent murder-suicide of a Member of the Scottish Parliament.  As always McLean wants to dig much deeper than the ‘high hied yins’ want him to. There’s just a whiff of the paranormal in each novel too. This series is probably best read in order as there is an overarching back story and continuing secondary characters that may not make sense otherwise. If you enjoy Scottish Noir you’ll enjoy these. 4 stars each.

The Lady in the cellar by Sinclair McKay – if you enjoy historical true crime like The suspicions of Mr Whitcher by Kate Summerscale or Mr Briggs’ hat by Kate Colquhoun, you’ll enjoy this book.  In 1879 the body of the eccentric Miss Matilda Hacker was discovered in the coal cellar of 4 Euston Gardens, London.  The housemaid Hannah Dobbs is brought to trial but did she have an accomplice, and what exactly was the nature of her relationship with her employer? 3.5 stars

All that remains; a life in death by Sue Black – Professor Dame Sue Black is a forensic anthropologist who until last year headed up the world-leading facility at Dundee University. Part explanation of her profession, part autobiography this is a fascinating look at the time after we die, something many of us try to avert our eyes to. Starting with Chapter 1 where we are given a detailed and poignant description of what happens to bodies donated to science, Prof Black looks at death from all angles, sharing her experiences with some key cases, sharing her personal experiences and sharing her humility and humanity. An excellent read from an extraordinary human being. 5 stars

The colour of time: a new history of the world 1850-1960 by Dan Jones and Marina Amaral – this is a beautiful book.  Dan Jones provides the story behind each of the images which have been coloured digitally by artist and historian, Marina Amaral.  As the authors say in the introduction, “Early in the 16th century Leonardo da Vinci jotted in his notebook a few lines about perspective. As objects get further away, he wrote, three things seem to happen. They get smaller. They become less distinct. And they lose colour. Da Vinci was writing about painting, but his words can be applied literally to photography and metaphorically to history.”  LIke the recent film by Peter Jackson, They shall not grow old, which has made WWI seem less distant, so the pictures in this book makes history more immediate and more relatable.  Tuck the title of this one away for recall for a history or politics loving loved one’s birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. 5 stars

The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley.  Based on the life of Mrs Elizabeth Gould – the wife of the famous John Gould of which we would know from the ornithological study, Birds of Australia.  Elizabeth accompanied John to Australia and was his illustrator.  This was the first time a European had documented, in any great deal, the wonderful bird and animal life found in early Australia.  This novel is based in fact, on letters and other information, but is told from Elizabeths point of view.  It has left me wanting more and I need to track down a biography of her now to fill in the gaps.  4 stars

http://affirmpress.com.au/publishing/the-birdmans-wife/

The Long Way Round by Ewan MCGregor and Charlie Boorman.  Full of anecdotes and stories behind the story.  Also nice to hear the feelings behind some of the situations.  For anyone that wishes they could experience life on the road. 4 stars.  Click here for some photos of the trip:

https://www.longwayround.com/long-way-round

The Circle by Dave Eggers – this could all be true within a generation.  Based on a fictitious Internet cutting edge company.  Like your privacy?  Read this horror story. 4 stars.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18302455-the-circle

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – Inspired by a radio book show reviewing up and coming fantasy novels, I took a punt on this one. Essentially this is a feminist retelling (of sorts) of Rumpelstiltskin, but expanded to include a wider cast of characters and stories. I enjoyed the Jewish angle and the world she created, but found it too Young Adultish, and hated the happy ending. Perhaps fairy tales need to have a Happily Ever After, but this one was a bit on the nose for me. How nice for her to fall in love with her murderous abductor. Not.

What do our scores mean?

1 star – I hated it / Don’t bother / It felt more like homework than reading for pleasure
2 stars – I didn’t like it / Not for me but worth trying / This book needed something different to make me like it
3 stars – I liked it / Recommended / This book was good. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad.
4 stars – I really liked it / One of the best books I’ve read this year / I’m glad I read it
5 stars – I loved it / One of the best books I’ve ever read / I will probably read it again

 

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Librarians’ Choice – March

 

1. The Rip by Mark Brandi

‘It’s funny how quick it happens and without you really noticing. Anton said once that it’s like walking out into the sea, and you think everything’s fine and the water’s warm, but when you turn back you’re suddenly miles from shore. I’ve never been much of a swimmer, but I get what he means. Like, being caught in a current or something. A rip.’

2. The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

3. Islands by Peggy Frew

4. The things we cannot say by Kelly Rimmer

5. The Woman from Saint Germain by J.R. Lonie

6. What I like about me by Jenna Guillaume

7. The Van Apfel girls are gone by Felicity McLean

8. The hollow bones by Leah Kaminsky

9. Hare’s Fur by Trevor Shearston

10. Star crossed by Minnie Darke

source: Librarian’s Choice

 

 

 

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2019 Stella Prize Shortlist

Congratulations to all of the Stella Prize shortlisted authors. The Stella Prize is presented for the best work of fiction or nonfiction by an Australian woman published in the previous calendar year.With $50,000 prize money on the line, there is a lot to be excited about. We won’t have long to wait to find out the winner – the announcement will be made on April 9th. And of course Blue Mountains Library has copies of all the shortlisted titles, waiting to be reserved.

Little Gods by Jenny Ackland

The setting is the Mallee, wide flat scrubland in north-western Victoria, country where men are bred quiet, women stoic and the gothic is never far away. Olive Lovelock has just turned twelve. She is smart, fanciful and brave and on the cusp of something darker than the small world she has known her entire life. She knows that adults aren’t very good at keeping secrets and makes it her mission to uncover as many as she can. When she learns that she once had a baby sister who died, a child unacknowledged by her close but challenging family, Olive becomes convinced it was murder. Her obsession with the mystery and relentless quest to find out what happened have seismic repercussions for the rest of her family and their community. As everything starts to change, it is Olive herself who has the most to lose as the secrets she unearths multiply and take on complicated lives of their own.

The Bridge by Enza Gandolfo

In 1970s Melbourne, 22-year-old Italian migrant Antonello is newly married and working as a rigger on the West Gate Bridge, a gleaming monument to a modern city. When the bridge collapses one October morning, killing 35 of his workmates, his world crashes down on him. In 2009, Jo and her best friend, Ashleigh, are on the verge of finishing high school and flush with the possibilities for their future. But one terrible mistake sets Jo’s life on a radically different course. Drawing on true events of Australia’s worst industrial accident — a tragedy that still scars the city — The Bridge examines class, guilt, and moral culpability. Yet it shows that even the most harrowing of situations can give way to forgiveness and redemption. Ultimately, it is a testament to survival and the resilience of the human spirit.

Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau

Monk lives in Chinatown with her washed-up painter father. When Santa Coy, possible boyfriend, potential accomplice, enters their lives, an intoxicating hunger consumes their home. So begins a heady descent into art, casino resorts, drugs, vacant swimming pools, religion, pixelated tutorial videos, and senseless violence.

The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie

When her elderly mother is hospitalised unexpectedly, Vicki travels to her parents’ isolated ranch home in Alberta, Canada, to help her father. She has been estranged from her parents for many years (the reasons for which rapidly become clear) and is horrified by what she discovers on her arrival. Her mother has always been mentally unstable, but for years camouflaged her delusions and unpredictability. Over the decades she has managed to shut herself and her husband away from the outside world. Vicki’s father, who has been systematically starved and kept virtually a prisoner in his own home, begins to realise what has happened to him and embarks upon plans of his own to combat his wife. Vicki quickly realises how dangerous, and potentially life-threatening, her mother’s behaviour is. She fears for her father’s life and her own safety if her mother returns home. The power play between her parents takes a dramatic turn and leaves Vicki embroiled in situations that are ludicrous, heart-breaking, and frightening. All this makes for an intensely gripping, yet black-humoured family drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko

Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things – her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she’s an inch away from the lockup, so she takes a Harley and heads south to Durrongo. Kerry’s plan is to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters battle to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble – but then trouble is Kerry’s middle name.

Axiomatic by Maria Tumarkin

This boundary-shifting fusion of thinking, storytelling, and meditation takes as its starting point five axioms: ‘Give Me a Child Before the Age of 7 and I’ll Give You the (Wo)Man’ ; ‘History Repeats Itself.’ ; ‘Those Who Forget the Past are Condemned to Repeat It’ ; ‘You Can’t Enter The Same River Twice’ ; ‘Time Heals All Wounds’. These beliefs or intuitions about the role the past plays in our present are often evoked as if they are timeless and self-evident truths. It is precisely because they are neither, yet still we are persuaded by them, that they tell us a great deal about the forces that shape our culture and the way we live. The past shapes the present they teach us this in schools and universities. But the past cannot be visited like an ageing relative; the past doesn’t live in little zoo enclosures. Half the time, the past is nothing less than the beating heart of the present. So, how to speak of the searing, unpindownable power that the past ours, our family’s, our culture’s wields now?

 

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Carolyn’s Books of the Month – March

Best Read: And so it Begins by Rachel Abbott

Who will believe your story if the only witness is dead? Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He’s managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife – but something about Evie just doesn’t feel right… When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets. Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?

Crime: What We Did by Christobel Kent

He stole her childhood. She’ll take his future. What would you do if you accidentally encountered the man who once abused you? And how would you get away with it? Bridget’s life is small and safe: she loves her husband and her son, and she works hard to keep her own business afloat. Until one day, her former violin teacher Anthony Carmichael walks into her shop with the teenager he’s clearly grooming. Carmichael begins to stalk Bridget, trying to terrify her into silence. But Bridget is older and stronger now and suddenly, she snaps and fights back. Now Bridget must find a way to deal with the aftermath of her actions…

Australian Author: Elizabeth Macarthur : a life at the edge of the world by Michelle Scott Tucker

In 1788 a young gentlewoman raised in the vicarage of an English village married a handsome, haughty and penniless army officer. In any Austen novel that would be the end of the story, but for the real-life woman who became an Australian farming entrepreneur, it was just the beginning. A fascinating story of a remarkable woman.

General: The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

She appears, lithe and tanned, by the swimming pool one afternoon. Severine – the girl next door. It was supposed to be a final celebration for six British graduates, the perfect French getaway, until she arrived. Severine’s beauty captivates each of them in turn. Under the heat of a summer sky, simmering tensions begin to boil over – years of jealousy and longing rising dangerously to the surface. And then Severine disappears. A decade later, Severine’s body is found at the farmhouse. For Kate Channing, the discovery brings up more than just unwelcome memories. As police suspicion mounts against the friends, Kate becomes desperate to resolve her own shifting understanding of that time. But as the layers of deception reveal themselves, Kate must ask herself – does she really want to know what happened to the French girl?

Thriller: The Rabbit Hunter by Lars Kepler

There’s a face at the window.A stranger wearing a mask stands in the shadow of a garden. He’s watching his first victim through the window. He will kill him slowly, make it last – play him a nursery rhyme – make him pay. A killer in your house.There’s only one person the police can turn to – ex-Detective Joona Linna – but he’s serving time in a high-security prison. So they offer him a chance to secure his freedom: help superintendent Saga Bauer track down the vicious killer known as The Rabbit Hunter, before he strikes again. Only one man can stop him.Soon another three victims have been murdered and Stockholm is in the grip of terror. Joona Linna must catch a disturbed predator, whose trail of destruction leads back to one horrific night of violence – with consequences more terrifying than anyone could have imagined… .

Thriller: Snap by Belinda Bauer

On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she said. I won’t be long. But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever. Three years later, Jack, now fourteen, is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother. . .

Saga/Romance: The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

When Caroline Sears receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before–and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back. Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby’s heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline’s part. And all for the love of her unborn child.

EAudio Books

Under my Skin by Lisa Unger (Borrowbox)

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognise. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack? The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts – there are periods of time she can’t remember, and she’s unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?.

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald (RB Digital)

Florence Green opens a bookshop in a small coastal town in East Anglia. She does so in spite of polite but ruthless opposition. Eventually she has to battle against supernatural as well as natural forces to achieve her ends.

 

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