In the second instalment of Lynne Truss's joyfully quirky crime series The Man That Got Away, our trio of detectives must investigate the murder of a hapless romantic; an aristocratic con man on the prowl; and a dodgy Brighton nightspot... It is summer in Brighton and the Brighton Belles are on hand to answer any holidaymaker's queries, no matter how big or small. The quickest way to the station, how many pebbles are on the beach and what exactly has happened to that young man lying in the deckchair with blood dripping from him? Constable Twitten has a hunch that the fiendish murder may be connected to a notorious Brighton nightspot and the family that run it, but Inspector Steine is - as ever - distracted by other issues, not least having his own waxwork model made and an unexpected arrival, while Sergeant Brunswick is just delighted to have spied an opportunity to finally be allowed to go undercover...
Jess Walker, middle child of a middle class family, has perfected the art of vanishing in plain sight. But when she arrives at a concrete university campus under flat, grey, East Anglian skies, her world flares with colour. Drawn into a tightly-knit group of rule breakers - headed up by their maverick teacher, Lorna Clay - Jess begins to experiment with a new version of herself. But the dynamic between the friends begins to darken as they share secrets, lovers and finally a tragedy. Jess is thrown up against the question she fears most: what is the true cost of an extraordinary life? The Truants is by Kate Weinberg
Never Have I Ever is by Joshilyn Jackson. Never Have I Ever... done something I shouldn't.But Amy Whey has done something she shouldn't. And Roux, the glamorous newcomer to Amy's suburban neighbourhood, knows exactly what that is. Roux promises she will go away. She will take herself and her son, who is already growing dangerously close to Amy's teenage stepdaughter, and she will go. If Amy plays by her rules. But Amy isn't prepared to lose everything she's built. She's going to fight back, and in this escalating game of cat and mouse, there can be only one winner.
It is 1851 and Mrs Rodd has received an unusual commission: wealthy businessman Jacob Welland is dying of consumption and implores our redoubtable detective to find his beloved brother, whom he has not seen for fifteen years. Joshua Welland was an Oxford scholar; brilliant, eccentric and desperately poor. Nobody can say exactly when he disappeared from his college, but he took to wandering the countryside and one day simply failed to return. Since then, there have been several sightings of his lonely, ragged figure. Ten years ago a friend spotted him in a gypsy camp, where he was rumoured to be learning great secrets that would one day astound the world. Mrs Rodd uses her search as an opportunity to reconnect with a couple from her past, but then a violent murder is committed and Scotland Yard are called to investigate. Mrs Rodd's old friend Inspector Blackbeard doesn't want to hear any nonsense about gypsies or secrets, but Mrs Rodd is convinced that something very sinister is lurking in this peaceful landscape. Laetitia and the Case of the Wandering Scholar is by Kate Saunders.
Bone China is by Laura Purcell. The Corset Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft's family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm. Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last...
Impossible Causes is by Julie Mayhew. The Crucible meets The Craft in this brilliantly dark thriller about isolated communities, rumours and suspicion. The arrival of three strangers on Lark, a remote island with a population of 300, is the cause of much speculation. The first, a young teacher - the only male teacher on the island - the other two, a mother and her teenage daughter. What have they come to escape? And what will they find waiting for them in Lark? In Julie Mayhew's mesmerising and compelling thriller, an isolated and deeply religious island with a history of paganism is riven when a man is found dead in a stone circle. As rumours spread and tensions rise, three Lark teenage girls and the new arrival from the mainland find themselves accused of witchcraft - and murder.
The stormy season is fast approaching when former interrogation leader Thorkild Aske is released from prison. Having served a three-year sentence for manslaughter, Thorkild is a pariah among his colleagues: a cop gone bad, like the men and women he himself used to interrogate while still at the Bureau for the Investigation of Police Affairs. Wracked by guilt and relentless physical pain, Thorkild lets himself be persuaded to travel to a small town in the remote North in order to find a missing young man, Rasmus Moritzen. Supposedly gone missing while diving, Rasmus’ disappearance has been written off as a drowning accident by the local authorities. However the boy’s mother won’t rest till his body has been returned to her. And so it becomes Thorkild’s job to find the young man, and wrest him back from the sea. But the windswept island and abandoned lighthouse he finds himself searching are hiding more secrets than just the location of Rasmus’ remains. And as the winter storm whips the waves into a frenzy, the body that is washed ashore isn’t that of Rasmus, but a faceless young woman. I will Miss You Tomorrow is by Heine Bakkeid.
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