Friday, 16 October 2015

Books to Look Forward to From Bloomsbury

Helen and Ellie are identical twins - like two peas in a pod, everyone says. The girls know this isn't true, though: Helen is the leader and Ellie the follower. Until they decide to swap places: just for fun, and just for one day. But Ellie refuses to swap back...And so begins a nightmare from which Helen cannot wake up. Her toys, her clothes, her friends, her glowing record at school, the favour of her mother and the future she had dreamed of are all gone to a sister who blossoms in the approval that used to belong to Helen. And as the years pass, she loses not only her memory of that day but also herself - until eventually only 'Smudge' is left. Twenty-five years later, Smudge receives a call from out of the blue. It threatens to pull her back into her sister's dangerous orbit, but if this is her only chance to face the past, how can she resist? Beside Myself is a compulsive and darkly brilliant psychological thriller by Ann Morgan and is about family and identity - what makes us who we are and how very fragile it can be and is due to be published in January 2016. 

Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation is by James Runcie and is due to be published in June 2016. It's the summer of love in late 1960s England. The Apollo 11 astronauts are preparing to land on the moon, the war in Biafra dominates the news and Basil D'Oliveira has just been dropped from the England cricket team before a test series in apartheid South Africa. In the midst of all this change, Sidney Chambers, the loveable English clergyman continues his amateur sleuthing investigations. A bewitching divorcee enlists Sidney's help in convincing her son to leave a hippy commune; at a soiree on Grantchester Meadows during May Week celebrations a student is divested of a family heirloom; Amanda's marriage runs into trouble; Sidney and Hildegard holiday behind the Iron Curtain; Mrs Maguire's husband returns from the dead and an arson attack in Cambridge leads Sidney to uncover a cruel case of blackmail involving his former curate. In the rare gaps between church and crime, Sidney struggles with a persistent case of toothache, has his first flutter at the Newmarket races and witnesses the creation of a classic rock song.

Jonathan is a private investigator in a decaying eastern European city, consumed by his
work and his failing marriage. Approached one day by an elderly couple, he is presented with a faded photograph of their daughter, missing for nearly two decades. Troubled by the image of the little girl, who was the same age when she vanished as his own daughter is now - he is compelled to find her. But one night, soon after taking on the case, as he walks across the bridge spanning the river that divides the city, he encounters a young woman crouched at the foot of a stone angel - a woman who suddenly leaps into the icy water below. Without thinking, Jonathan plunges after her, and is soon drawn into her ghostly world of confusion, coincidence and intrigue, and the city he thought he knew turns strange and threatening. Haunting and deeply moving, The Drowned Detective is an intoxicating, atmospheric exploration of relationships, lies and betrayal and is due to be published in February 2016.

The death of a postman, Jorgen Kramer Nielsen, looks like a straightforward accident, the prefect case for Detective Inspector Konrad Simonsen to return to after a severe heart attack.  However, as new forensic evidence comes to light, the facts of Nielsen’s life unravel.  The postman is linked to the disappearance of an English teenager almost 40 years previously and as Simonsen and his team try to pull all of the threads together it becomes clear that events leading to his death were more sinister than anyone imagined.  The Vanished is by Lotte Hammer and Søren Hammer and is due to be published in March 2016.

How far would you go to protect the people you love?  When young painter Marianne Glass is found dead in her snow covered Oxford garden, Rowan Winter, her once closest friend, knows it wasn’t an accident.  Marianne had paralysing vertigo: she would never have gone so close to the roof edge.  Rowan’s pursuit of the truth about her old friend’s death takes her into every corner of her life, from bohemian East London to the professional art world in which Marianne had made her name.  Rowan is determined to find out what really happened – but some secrets are better left uncovered, and others are lethal.  Keep You Close is by Lucie Whitehouse and is due to be published in April 2016. 

Terrorists are nothing new.  The year is 1368 and Granada is under threat from violent extremists.  Enter Abu Abdallah, the penniless globetrotter who has wives and concubines on three continents and is still searching for the right woman, and his West African slave Sinan, the one with the brawn, the brains, the looks – and demons from the past.  Granada’s labyrinthine palace –citadel, Alhambra, is nearing its triumphant completion.  But Sinan and Abu Abdallah are drawn to a darker maze, where baffling mysteries threaten to ruin the balance of Muslim-Christian power in Spain.  Alhambra is by Tim Mackintosh-Smith and is due to be published in March 2016. 

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow brick terraced house in east London to watch a cricket match at Lord's. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, leaving the boys and their mother at home for the summer. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning family valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. During this time nobody saw or heard from their mother, though the boys told neighbours she was visiting relatives. As the sun beat down on the Coombes house, an awful smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, what they found in one of the bedrooms sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the 'penny dreadful' novels that Robert loved to read.  The Wicked Boy is by Kate Summerscale and is due to be published in May 2016.

Mourad Hafiz appears to have dropped out of university and disappeared. Engaged by his family to try and find him, Makana comes to believe that the Hafiz boy became involved in some kind of political activity just prior to his disappearance. But before he can discover more, the investigation is sidetracked: a severed head turns up on the riverbank next to his home, and Makana finds himself drawn into ethnic rivalry and gang war among young men from South Sudan. The trail leads from a church in the slums and the benevolent work of the larger-than-life Rev. Preston Corbis and sister Liz to the enigmatic Ihsan Qaddus and the Hesira Institute.  The fifth installment of this acclaimed series is set in Egypt in December 2005. While Cairo is torn by the protests by South Sudanese refugees demanding their rights, President Mubarak has just been re-elected by a dubious 88 percent majority in the country's first multi-party elections. In response to what appears to be flagrant election-rigging, there are early stirrings of organized political opposition to the regime. Change is afoot and Makana is in danger of being swept away in the seismic shifts of his adopted nation. City of Jackals is by Parker Bilal and is due to be published in July 2016.

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