Thursday, 27 October 2016

Betrayal : No 1 With a Bullet

The London Literary Community gathered last night in the West End to celebrate the launch of Martina Cole’s 23rd Novel, Betrayal. Her launch parties are legendary and annual highlights as she always remembers her colleagues in the writing community, her booksellers, Librarians, her Agent Darley Anderson, her Publishers Headline, her family and friends and of course her readers.

Martina has had a very, very busy week, traversing the country, meeting her readers, the press and booksellers. She is one of the UK's biggest advocates for reading, as she always asserts that it was her love of books that made her emerge from her humble beginnings. 

Shots have followed her work and career for more years than we would care to mention without a lawyer present.

So let’s hear from Martina as she talks about her latest thriller to Bookseller WH Smiths -

Sarah Broadhurst at is first off the block in reviewing Betrayal 

Martina Cole’s twenty-third East End thriller is as raw and involved as one has come to expect. With huge family betrayals and some very nasty goings-on indeed. It fair pounds along leaving you breathless and probably shattered. We are introduced to the O’Hara family where rising star, Aiden, has an affair with an older madam, Jade, who has his child, Aiden Junior. Jade is the real power behind the throne and watches out for both Aidens. Naturally the Columbian drug network and its lucrative control is a prize worth fighting over … and fights they certainly are. 

It is when brother is pitched against brother that it all gets very bitter and exciting. Every girl seems to get pregnant out of wedlock which also adds to the rising tension. Wow, this woman is good, her characters sadly believable with everything neatly tied together at the end. Highly recommended. 

We were informed [though not surprised] that after a mere three days of sales, Betrayal from Headline Publishing shot to No 1 in The Times Book Charts.

Shots have discounted Hardcover copies of Betrayal available from this link as well as PB copies of Get Even from this link

Shots have captured Martina’s speech from last night

And here’s a selection of photos from last night’s launch. 

Clockwise : Barry Forshaw the Man in Noir, Craig Robertson, Martina Cole, Maxim Jakubowski, Denise Danks, Mike Ripley and Ayo Onatade

Clockwise from Top : Ayo Onatade, Alexandra Sokoloff, Craig Robertson, Martina Cole, Ayo Onatade, Barry Forshaw, Mike Ripley and Ali Karim

Monday, 24 October 2016

Books to Look Forward to from Little Brown and Constable and Robinson

January 2017

The Dry is by Jane Harper. I just can't understand how someone like him could do something like that. Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn't rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty. Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke's death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend's crime.

The plague raging through London in 1665 has emptied the city. The only people left are those too poor to flee, or those who selflessly struggle to control the contagion and safeguard the capital's future. Amongst them, though, are those prepared to risk their health for money - those who sell dubious 'cures' and hawk food at wildly inflated prices. Also amongst them are those who hold in their hands the future of the city's most iconic building - St Paul's Cathedral. The handsome edifice is crumbling from decades of neglect and indecision, giving the current custodians a stark choice - repair or demolish. Both sides have fanatical adherents who have been fighting each other since the Civil Wars. Large sums of money have disappeared, major players have mysteriously vanished, and then a unidentified skeleton is discovered in another man's grave. A reluctant Chaloner returns to London to investigate, only to discover that someone is determined to thwart him by any means - by bullet, poison or bludgeon - and he fears he has very little time to identify the culprits before he becomes yet another victim in the battle for the Cathedral's future.  The Executioner of St Paul’s is by Susanna Gregory.

February 2017

Echoes in Death is by J D Robb.  New York at night. A young woman stumbles out on to a busy street – right in front of Lieutenant Eve Dallas and husband Roarke. Her name is Daphne Strazza, and she has been brutally assaulted. Confused and traumatised, she manages to tell them one thing. Her attacker wore a devil’s mask. As Eve investigates this shocking case, she soon discovers a disturbing pattern. Someone is preying on wealthy couples, subjecting them to a cruel and terrifying ordeal. Worse still, the attacks are escalating in violence and depraved theatricality. Eve and her team are now in a race against time to find the man behind the mask – before he strikes again. But for Eve, this case in particular has unsettling echoes of her own troubled past . . .

A Darkness Absolute - City of the Lost is by Kelley Armstrong.  When experienced homicide detective Casey Duncan first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. What she didn't expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers. Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff's deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who's been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it's an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that...before another victim goes missing.

In the dream, Belle was always the same age as when she died...Fourteen years ago, the final words Kennedy ever spoke to his sister were in anger. That day was September 11th 2001, and Belle died when her plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Since then, Kennedy has dedicated his life to airline security. He knows more about planes than the airport authority, a fact which doesn't go unnoticed by the CIA. After kidnapping him, Kennedy is inducted by the Agency into a programme called Red Carpet. Now Kennedy is a civilian asset, an ordinary man working with extraordinary people to stop the world collapsing around him, just as it did for his sister so many years before.  The Asset is by Shane Kuhn.

Cambridge Black is by Alison Bruce. A cold case waits to be solved ...and a killer waits in the wings. Amy was seven years old when her father was arrested for murder. His subsequent trial and conviction scarred her childhood and cast a shadow over her life until, twenty-two years later, new evidence suggests he was innocent and Amy sets out to clear his name. But Amy is not the only person troubled by the past. DC Gary Goodhew is haunted by the day his grandfather was murdered and is still searching for answers, determined to uncover the truth about his grandfather's death and find his killer. But, right now, someone is about to die. Someone who has secrets and who once kept quiet but is now living on borrowed time. Someone who will be murdered because disturbing the past has woken a killer.

Death of a Ghost is by M C Beaton.  There are many ruined castles in Scotland. One such lies outside the village of Drim. Hamish begins to hear reports that this castle is haunted and lights have been seen there at night, but he assumes it's some children or maybe the local lads going there to smoke pot, or, worse, inject themselves with drugs. Hamish says to his policeman, Charlie 'Clumsy' Carson, that they will both spend a night there. The keening wind explains the ghostly noises, but when Charlie falls through the floor, Hamish finds the body of a dead man propped up in a corner of the cellar. After Charlie is airlifted to the hospital, Chief Detective Inspector Blair arrives to investigate the body, but there is none to be found. Dismissed as a drunk making up stories, Hamish has to find and identify the body and its killer before the "ghost" can strike again.

Inspector Carlyle has a new partner in crime ...but for how long? When a fortune in uncut diamonds are nicked by a group of soldiers, Carlyle teams up with Captain Daniel Hunter of the Military Police to hunt them down. But Hunter has come up against this crew before and they are not going to let him stand in their way a second time. The investigation is turned upside down when Hunter's family are kidnapped by the gang. The inspector has to look on helplessly while the military policeman goes off on a personal mission of revenge. As events spiral horribly out of control, Carlyle faces a terrible choice: does he let Hunter take matters into his own hands or should he try and bring his new partner to justice?   All Kinds of Dead is by James Craig.

March 2017

Summary Justice is by John Fairfax. The last time Tess de Vere saw William Benson she was a law student on work experience. He was a twenty-one year old, led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin a life sentence for murder. He'd said he was innocent. She'd believed him. Sixteen years later Tess overhears a couple of hacks mocking a newcomer to the London Bar, a no-hoper with a murder conviction, running his own show from an old fishmonger's in Spitalfields. That night she walks back into Benson's life. The price of his rehabilitation - and access to the Bar - is an admission of guilt to the killing of Paul Harbeton, whose family have vowed revenge. He's an outcast. The government wants to shut him down and no solicitor will instruct him. But he's subsidised by a mystery benefactor and a desperate woman has turned to him for help: Sarah Collingstone, mother of a child with special needs, accused of slaying her wealthy lover. It's a hopeless case and the murder trial, Benson's first, starts in four days. The evidence is overwhelming but like Benson long ago, she swears she's innocent. Tess joins the defence team, determined to help Benson survive. But as Benson follows the twists and turns in the courtroom, Tess embarks upon a secret investigation of her own, determined to uncover the truth behind the death of Paul Harbeton on a lonely night in Soho. True to life, fast-paced and absolutely compelling, Summary Justice introduces a new series of courtroom dramas featuring two maverick lawyers driven to fight injustice at any cost.

Still Dark is by Alex Gray.  New Year's Eve should be a time for celebrating. A chance to spend time with loved ones and look forward to the year ahead. For DSI William Lorimer, however, this New Year's Eve will be one that he will never forget. Called to a house after gunshots are reported, the carnage he finds there will have a powerful impact on his life - leaving him questioning his future with Police Scotland. Meanwhile, the man who eluded police capture during Lorimer's last investigation - the Quiet Release case involving the euthanasia of vulnerable patients - is back, and this time he's aligned with a powerful gangster from Glasgow's underworld. As Lorimer struggles to return to duty and stop this mystery killer once and for all, he discovers that there are forces high up within Police Scotland that are protecting the gangster that holds the key to finding the man they are looking for. Can Lorimer and his team get a killer off the streets for good before more innocent people die?

The Method is by Shannon Kirk.  They thought she was the victim, but they're the ones in
danger ...Imagine a helpless, pregnant 16-year-old who's just been yanked from the serenity of her home and shoved into a dirty van. Kidnapped ...Alone ...Terrified. Now forget her ...Picture instead a pregnant, 16-year-old, manipulative prodigy. She is shoved into a dirty van and, from the first moment of her kidnapping, feels a calm desire for two things: to save her unborn son and to exact merciless revenge. She is methodical - calculating - scientific in her plotting. Leaving nothing to chance, she waits ...for the perfect moment to strike. The Method is what happens when the victim is just as cold as the captors.

TV journalist Melanie Black wakes up one morning next to a man she doesn't recognise. It's not the first time - but he ignores her even though she's in his bed. Yet when his wife walks in with a cup of tea he greets her with a smile and to her horror, Melanie comes to realise that no one can see or her hear her - because she is dead. But has she woken up next to her murderer? And where is her body? Why is she an invisible and uninvited guest in a house she can't leave; is she tied to this man forever? Is Melanie being punished in some way, or being given a chance to make amends? As she begins to piece together the last days of her life and circumstances leading up to her own death it becomes clear she has to make a choice: bring her killer to justice, or wreak her own punishment out to the man who murdered her. Where She Went is by B E Jones.

Dark Asylum is by E S Thomson.  1851, Angel Meadow Asylum. Dr Rutherford, principal physician to the insane, is found dead, his head bashed in, his ears cut off, his lips and eyes stitched closed. The police direct their attention towards Angel Meadow’s inmates, but to Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain the crime is an act of calculated retribution, rather than of madness. To discover the truth Jem and Will must pursue the story through the darkest corners of the city – from the depths of a notorious rookery, to the sordid rooms of London’s brothels, the gallows, the graveyard, the convict fleet and then back to the asylum. In a world where guilt and innocence, crime and atonement, madness and reason, are bounded by hypocrisy, ambition and betrayal, Jem and Will soon find themselves caught up in a web of dark secrets and hidden identities.

From his office on the Street of the Assassins, Nathan Sutherland, English Honorary Consul to Venice, assists unfortunate tourists as best he can. A steady but unexciting life that dramatically changes when he is offered a large sum of money to look after a small package containing a prayer book illustrated by the Venetian master Giovanni Bellini. Unknown to Nathan, from a palazzo on the Grand Canal twin brothers Domenico and Arcangelo Moro, motivated by nothing more than mutual hatred, have been playing out a complex game of art theft for twenty years. And now Nathan finds himself unwittingly drawn into their deadly business ...  The Venetian Game is by Philip Gwynne Jones.

April 2017

What if all your secrets were put online? Sam Morpeth is growing up way too fast, left to fend for a younger sister with learning difficulties when their mother goes to prison and watching her dreams of university evaporate. But Sam learns what it is to be truly powerless when a stranger begins to blackmail her online, drawing her into a trap she may not escape alive. Who would you turn to? Meanwhile, reporter Jack Parlabane has finally got his career back on track, but his success has left him indebted to a volatile source on the wrong side of the law. Now that debt is being called in, and it could cost him everything. What would you be capable of? Thrown together by a common enemy, Sam and Jack are about to discover they have more in common than they realise - and might be each other's only hope.  Want you Gone by Christopher Brookmyre.

A mysterious keepsake, a murdered bride, a legacy of secrets...One balmy June evening in 1881, Phoebe Stanbury stands before the guests at her engagement party: this is her moment, when she will join the renowned Raycraft family and ascend to polite society. As she takes her fiance's hand, a stranger brandishing a knife steps forward and ends the poor girl's life. Amid the tumult, he turns to her aristocratic groom and mouths: 'I promised I would save you.' The following morning, just a few miles away, timid young legal clerk William Lamb meets a reclusive client, whom he was never meant to meet. He finds the old man terrified and in desperate need of aid: William must keep safe a small casket of yellowing papers, and deliver an enigmatic message: The Finder knows. The Fourteenth Letter is by Claire Evans.

Time to Win is by Harry Brett.  When local crime boss Richard Goodwin is pulled from the river by his office it looks like suicide. But as his widow Tatiana feared, Rich collected enemies like poker chips, and half of Great Yarmouth's criminal fraternity would have had reason to kill him. Realising how little she knows about the man she married, Tatty seeks to uncover the truth about Rich's death and take over the reins of the family business, overseeing a waterfront casino deal Rich hoped would put Yarmouth on the map. Out of the shadows at last, it is Tatty's time now, and she isn't going to let Rich's brother, or anyone else, stand in her way. But an American has been in town asking the right people the wrong questions, more bodies turn up, along with a brutal new gang. The stakes have never been higher. With her family to protect, and a business to run, Tatty soon learns that power comes with a price.

Murder on the Pilgrim’s Way is by Julie Wassmer. Pearl receives a surprise present from her mother, Dolly - an early summer break at a riverside manor house that has been recently transformed into an exclusive hotel - the newly named Villa Pellegrini. Pellegrini - the Italian word for pilgrims - reflects the fact that the building lies on the old Pilgrims Way into Canterbury, and Pearl is looking forward to the break, not least because DCI Mike McGuire has been neglecting her due to his work. But when she discovers that she's actually booked in for a cookery course from the Italian celebrity chef, Nico Caruso, she begins to think again ...Pearl doesn't welcome instruction on cookery at the best of times, and certainly not from an arrogant chef like Caruso. She goes along, intent on challenging Caruso's egotism - and a long tradition of men dominating gastronomy - but soon finds herself distracted, not only by her enchanting surroundings but by the disparate selection of guests. She even begins to enjoy Caruso's attentions - and his cookery - until one of the guests goes missing and it becomes clear that murder is on the menu.

2004 The court case had been harrowing. The fifteen jurors sat in silence while the
prosecution produced evidence of how a man with obsessive sado-masochistic fantasies had turned into a killer. Fourteen of the jurors were repulsed. One man was secretly enthralled. A new world of possibility had opened up for him. 2014 When an actress is found dead, the ligature marks suggest that she had been involved in extreme sex games. When DIs Wheeler and Ross begin to investigate her death, they uncover not only an industry with varying degrees of regulation but also a sinister private club where some of Glasgow's elite pay handsomely to indulge their darkest fantasies. Club security is run by Paul Furlan, ex-army veteran and a former adversary of Wheeler. As Wheeler and Ross uncover the secrets and lies surrounding the club, they realise that their investigation is being blocked not just by Furlan but by some of Glasgow's most influential citizens. Meanwhile Skye Cooper, Scotland's latest indie-rock sensation is playing the final gig of his sell-out tour but his dreams of stardom are on a collision course with the obsession threatening to consume him. Torn is by Anne Randall.

Father Max Tudor’s former life as an MI5 agent has caught up with him, threatening his newfound happiness with Awena and baby son Owen. Realizing there is no escape from his past, Max, with his bishop’s tacit permission, has offered his services on an as-needed basis.  Max receives the call for help when the body of glamorous film star Margot Browne washes ashore. George tells Max his former colleague Patrice Logan, now heavily pregnant, has asked Five for help particularly, Max’s help.  It s a perfect closed circle murder since victim Margot must have been killed by one of the group of actors, stylists, scriptwriters, and second-tier royalty aboard. Patrice suspects the yacht’s owner, a playboy film director she’s been keeping tabs on for smuggling, but Max isn’t so sure. Max and DCI Cotton interview the suspects as they loll about one of the luxury hotels dotting the waterfront. Tipped by the playboy director, Max uncovers the truth about the star’s life and death. But would Margot kill or be killed to keep her lurid past in the past?  Max’s investigation uncovers a host of motives but only one killer: it seems Margot is not the only person on board with a secret they’d kill to keep.  Devils Breath is by G M Malliet.

The Killing Collection is by T F Muir, How well do you know the man you love? A woman's body is washed up on the rocks by the castle ruins in St Andrews with evidence of strangulation, and no ID. Two weeks into the case, and DCI Andy Gilchrist is no closer to identifying her. A call from another woman claiming to be the dead woman's friend could be his first break, but when Gilchrist turns up to interview her, she is missing. Three days later, her throttled corpse is found and the investigation intensifies. A local handyman's name repeatedly crops up in door-to-door interviews, a smooth character with the reputation of being a ladies' man, who seems to have no history beyond three years, the length of time he's been living in the East Neuk. But before Gilchrist can bring him in for questioning, he vanishes. As Gilchrist hunts for the missing suspect, he follows a trail of voyeurism and blackmail that stretches across the region ...and beyond.

Russian Roulette is by Sara Sheridan. Brighton 1956 When Mirabelle's on-off boyfriend, Superintendent Alan McGregor, is taken off a gruesome murder case because the key suspect is an old school friend, Mirabelle steps in to unravel the tangle of poisoned gin, call girls and high stakes gambling that surrounds the death. It isn't long before McGregor's integrity is called into question and Mirabelle finds herself doubting him. So when a wartime hero's body turns up on the Sussex Downs, she is glad that McGregor is caught up in a mystery of his own as Brighton's establishment closes ranks. Mirabelle is in a dangerous situation though and she doesn't have McGregor watching her back on this one. And when the dead man on the Downs turns out to have been a member of a deadly thrillseekers club, related to the earlier murder, Mirabelle is determined to uncover the truth and free the innocent people who are bearing the brunt of the cover up. As her relationship with McGregor reaches breaking point, she has to draw on all her wartime experience to stand up for what she believes in - even if it means their relationship may not survive.

May 2017

DI Nicola Tanner needs Tom Thorne s help. Her partner, Susan, has been brutally murdered and Tanner is convinced that it was a case of mistaken identity that she was the real target. The murderer s motive might have something to do with Tanner s recent work on a string of cold-case honor killings she believes to be related. Tanner is now on compassionate leave but insists on pursuing the case off the books and knows Thorne is just the man to jump into the fire with her. He agrees but quickly finds that working in such controversial territory is dangerous in more ways than one. And when a young couple goes missing, they have a chance to investigate a case that is anything but cold. Love Like Blood is by Mark Billingham.

Since We Fell is by Dennis Lehane.  Rachel’s husband Brian adores her. When she hit rock-bottom, he was there with her every step of the way as she slowly regains her confidence, and her sanity. But his mysterious behaviour forces her to probe for the truth about her beloved husband. How can she ever feel certain that she knew him? And was she ever right to trust him?

In many ways, Pearl Tao was a typical American child. She spent summer days at the pool, played softball and lingered at suburban barbecues in her home city of Washington, DC. Yet she is also an academic prodigy, with a university place sponsored by a secretive advanced technology corporation. Only now, aged nineteen, has she begun to understand the terrifying truth of what her role is to be. What her parents intend her to become. Pearl's only hope of escape lies with two British spies: one, Trish Patterson, sidelined in disgrace; the other, former journalist Philip Mangan, gone rogue and following a trail of corruption. Helping Pearl might be the most important and dangerous thing either will ever do.  The Spy’s Daughter is by Adam Brooks.

Bad Blood is by Brian McGilloway A young man is found in a riverside park, his head bashed in with a rock. The only clue to his identity is an admission stamp for the local gay club. DS Lucy Black is called in to investigate. As Lucy delves into the community, tensions begin to rise as the man's death draws the attention of the local Gay Rights group to a hate-speech Pastor who, days earlier, had advocated the stoning of gay people and who refuses to retract his statement. Things become further complicated with the emergence of a far right group targeting immigrants in a local working class estate. As their attacks escalate, Lucy and her boss, Tom Fleming, must also deal with the building power struggle between an old paramilitary commander and his deputy that threatens to further enflame an already volatile situation.

The City of Lies is by Michael Russell. Dublin 1940. An IRA attempt to capture the British diplomatic bag on its way from Ireland to England leaves two Guards dead on the streets of Dublin. Two days later a pitched battle between warring gangs erupts at one of Ireland's biggest race meetings. On Ireland's east coast the cremated bodies of a wealthy family of five are found in their shuttered, burned-out villa. Connections between these events become clear to Detective Inspector Stefan Gillespie when he is despatched from Special Branch to investigate the seaside deaths, but he is soon treading on the toes of Ireland's burgeoning Intelligence industry - Irish, British and German, all playing against each other, all watching each other, and all plagued by rogue operators they can't quite control, as the certainty grows that Hitler is about to invade England. Meanwhile, in Berlin, a young Irish woman has been arrested for the murder of the German officer who was her lover. She faces a brutal execution by guillotine. The Irish ambassador can do nothing to help her, even though he is convinced the police know she is innocent. But when Stefan Gillespie is sent to Berlin, carrying new code books for the beleaguered embassy, there is an abrupt change of tune at police headquarters in the Alexanderplatz. The police now believe someone else in Berlin's tiny Irish community murdered the German officer, and they want Stefan to help them find the killer. But he soon discovers he is really working with the Gestapo, and they are not looking for a murderer at all ...The journey home will turn into a dangerous pursuit, where no one can be trusted and the information he carries puts his life at risk. Back in Ireland Stefan walks into another web of deceit, where truth is neither welcome nor convenient. The strangely connected events he was investigating before he went to Germany, now coloured by what he discovered there, have become 'unconnected'. No one wants them to be connected again, even if it means an innocent man hangs ...

June 2017

"From the first time I saw them together I knew it felt wrong. I didn't like the way he touched her or the self-conscious way he played with Molly and Luke. Joanne saw none of it of course. So I did it to prove to her that she was wrong. I did it for us." Cherry's instincts tell her that best friend Joanne's new boyfriend is bad news. Cherry fears for Joanne. Fears for Joanne's children. But Joanne won't listen because she's in love. So Cherry watches, and waits ...and then she makes a choice. But Cherry has a past, and secrets too. And is she really as good a friend to Joanne as she claims?  I Did it For Us is by Alison Bruce.

The Frangipani Tree Mystery is by Ovidia Yu and is set in 1936 in the Crown Colony of Singapore where the British abdication crisis and rising Japanese threat seem far away. When the nanny looking after the Acting Governor's daughter dies suddenly, Mission-School-educated local girl SuLin - an aspiring journalist trying to escape an arranged marriage - takes her place. But then another murder at the residence occurs and it takes all SuLin's traditional skills and intelligence to help British-born Chief Inspector Thomas LeFroy solve the murders - and escape with her own life.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Books to Look Forward to from Oneworld (Point Blank Books)

March 2017

The Pictures is by Guy Bolton.  Hollywood 1939. The year that The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind were made. Detective Craine has spent his life working as a studio fixer, whitewashing the misdemeanours and crimes committed by the studio players and stars.  But now he’s trying to turn his back on that life following the recent death of his wife as he’s determined to be a better parent to his young son. But then Craine’s services are called upon one last time. MGM need him to smooth over the press coverage of the suicide of one of their producers. And soon, what should be a straightforward case proves anything but when connections are made between it and a brutal murder across town. And that’s just the start of the story.  It’s only a matter of time before Craine must decide whether to follow orders, or to attempt to redeem a career of concealment by going in search of the ugly truth. It’s a choice he knows that cannot end well.

April 2017

Agent 10483 carried out his missions perfectly. Too perfectly. When a top agent in the Israeli Organization receives a disturbing notebook written by the mysterious 10483, supposedly dead for years, he realizes that something went terribly wrong.  Is 10483 a psychopath who outwitted his handlers for years? Or was he manipulated by his superiors to carry out the most monstrous assassinations in the history of the state of Israel? And why was he the only agent to receive three envelopes with targeted killing assignments instead of one, as part of a lethal and top secret operation? Was he responsible for locking up his victims and staging their deaths, or was he himself merely the victim of a brilliant scientist whose cutting-edge discoveries enabled her to manipulate his brain waves?  Three Envelopes is by Nir Herzoni

Lola is by Melissa Scrivner Love. Lola stands next to Garcia while he mans the grill in their
craggy square of backyard. The barbeque has just begun, and the women are gossiping, while the men hold sweating beers. Business has been good lately in their tiny nugget of South Central Los Angeles, where a legit man has two choices: landscaping off-the-books for West Side white cash, or sweating through twelvehour factory shifts. Garcia does not make his living either way. And if Lola were like the other women at her barbeque, she would spend her day perched on a stool behind a dollar-store cash register. Suddenly: a sharp knock on the front door, probably a cop. Lola has never met the man standing there, but she knows his name. Everyone in this neighbourhood knows his name. He’s The Collector, and he won’t give them long.

May 2017

New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn; his wife, Taylor; and their daughter, Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage. With her inimitable psychological astute­ness and uncanny understanding of the human heart, Ephron delivers a powerful meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none will see coming. Siracusa is by Delia Ephron.