Saturday, 1 March 2014

Books to look forward to from Serpent's Tail

The Sun is God is by Adrian McKinty and is due to be published in July 2014.  It is 1906 and Will Prior is in self-imposed exile on a remote South Pacific island, working a small, and failing, plantation. He should never have told anyone about his previous existence as a military foot policeman in the Boer War, but a man needs friends, even if they are as stuffy and, well, German, as Hauptmann Kessler, the local government representative. So it is that Kessler approaches Will one hot afternoon, with a request for his help with a problem on a neighbouring island, inhabited by a reclusive, cultish group of European 'cocovores', who believe that sun worship and eating only coconuts will bring them eternal life. Unfortunately, one of their number has died in suspicious circumstances, and Kessler has been tasked with uncovering the real reason for his demise. So along with a 'lady traveller', Bessie Pullen-Burry, who is foisted on them by the archipelago's eccentric owner, they travel to the island of Kabakon, to find out what is really going on.

In the northern part of Styria, Austria, lies Helianau, a boarding school for children suffering from a mysterious condition known as indigo syndrome. Everyone who comes to close to them is struck by nausea, dizziness and severe headaches. A young man named Clemens Setz who teaches mathematics at the school becomes aware of strange goings on: on several occasions he sees children in bizarre masks being driven off to an unknown destination. Setz begins to investigate the matter but he does not get very far before he is dismissed from his position at the school. Fifteen years later, the newspapers are filled with reports of a sensational court case: a former maths teacher has been found not guilty of brutally murdering an animal torturer.  Indigo is by Clemens J Setz and is due to be published in August 2014.

Missing is by Sam Hawken and is due to be published in September 2014. Jack Searle, an American widower, is bringing up his two stepdaughters, Lidia and Marina, alone in the border town of Laredo.  One night, Marine crosses the border into Mexico to go to a concert with her cousin Patricia in Nuevo Laredo — a dangerous city, controlled by drug cartels and devastated by violence and corruption. They never come back.  A frantic hunt begins, with Jack and Inspector Gonzalo Soler leading the way. But soon the whole police force is suspended due to endemic corruption, the army takes over the city and missing girls are forgotten. Jack and Gonzalo must take the law into their own hands, but in their efforts to find the girls they uncover truths about Nuevo Laredo that neither of them ever wanted to face.

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