Monday, 23 March 2020

Books to Look Forward to from Pan MacMillian

August 2020

Mary McIntyre's disappearance tore the local community apart, inflicting wounds that still prove raw for those who knew her.  So when the present-day discovery of a child's remains are found in a peat bog south of Glasgow, it seems the decades-old mystery may finally be solved.  Called in to excavate the body, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod uses the advances made in forensic science since Mary's vanishing to determine what really happened all those years ago . . . and who was responsible. One key person had been Karen Marshall who was devastated by her best friend's abduction. Questioned by the police at the time had led to a dead end and the case soon went cold.  Now the news of the discovered body brings the nightmares back. But added to that, memories long-buried by Karen are returning, memories that begin to reveal her role in her friend's disappearance and perhaps even the identity of the killer . . . The Innocent Dead is by Lin Anderson.

When I was Ten is by Fiona Cummins.  Twenty-one years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were murdered in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.  Ten-year-old Sara Carter - nicknamed the Angel of Death - spent eight years in a children's secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.  Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister Shannon Carter, compelling her to break two decades of silence.  Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.  For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened on that blood-soaked night - with devastating consequences for them all.

Witness is by Mandasue Heller.  Holly Evans and her over-protective mother, Josie, are living a hand-to-mouth existence, moving constantly from one squalid dump to the next. When they move into an illegally sub-let council flat in Manchester's rough Lansdowne Estate, Holly finally feels settled for the first time in her life - even if she is forbidden to go out, or even open the front door to callers when her mum's at work due to fear of eviction. Increasingly cut off from friends at school, she soon feels isolated and alone in the world.  But Holly is about to make a new friend in Suzie - the glamorous woman who lives directly across the road who Holly witnesses being beaten up by her violent boyfriend. When it happens a second time, it's Holly that Suzie turns to for help. A bond is quickly formed between the pair, but there are things about Suzie that don't quite add up and Holly begins to suspect that there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Then Holly makes a shocking discovery about her past, which turns her entire world upside down, and she no longer knows who she can trust . . .

September 2020

The Darkest Evening is by Ann Cleeves.  Driving home during a swirling blizzard, Vera Stanhope's only thought is to get there quickly.  But the snow is so heavy; she becomes disoriented and loses her way. Ploughing on, she sees a car slewed off the road ahead of her. With the driver's door open, Vera assumes the driver has sought shelter but when she inspects the car she is shocked to find a young toddler strapped in the back seat.  Afraid they will freeze, Vera takes the child and drives on, arriving at Brockburn, a run-down stately home she immediately recognizes as the house her father Hector grew up in.  Inside Brockburn a party is in full swing, with music and laughter to herald the coming Christmas. But outside in the snow, a young woman lies dead and Vera knows immediately she has a new case. Could this woman be the child's mother, and if so, what happened to her?

Savage Kiss is by Roberto Saviano.  Nicolas Fiorilla and his gang of children - his paranza - control the squares of Forcella after their rapid rise to power. But it isn't easy being at the top.  Now that the Piranhas have power in the city, Nicolas must undermine the old families of the Camorra and remain united among themselves. Every paranzino has his own vendettas and dreams to pursue-dreams that might go beyond the laws of the gang. A new war may be about to break out in this city of cutthroat bargaining, ruthless betrayal, and brutal revenge. 

October 2020

Hidden in Plain Sight is by Jeffery Archer.  William Warwick has been promoted to Detective Sergeant, but his promotion means that he, along with the rest of his team, have been reassigned to the Drugs Squad. They are immediately tasked with apprehending Ahmed Rashedi, a notorious drug dealer, who operates his extensive network out of South London.  As the investigation progresses, William runs into enemies old and new: Adrian Heath, from his school days, now a street dealer who he convinces to turn informer; and financier Miles Faulkner, who makes a mistake that could finally see him put behind bars. Meanwhile, William and his fiancĂ©e Beth enjoy making preparations for their upcoming wedding, though an unpleasant surprise awaits them at the altar.  As William's team closes the net around a criminal network like none they have ever faced before, he devises a trap they would never expect, one that is hidden in plain sight . . .

To the outside world, suave, charming and confident doctor Marcus Valentine has it all.  A loving wife, three kids, a great job.  But there is something missing, there always has been… or, rather someone…  Driving to work one morning, his mind elsewhere and it on the road, he almost mows down a female jogger on a crossing.  AS she runs on, Marcus is transfixed.  Infatuated.  She is the splitting image of a girl he was crazy about in his teens.  A girl he has never been able to get out of his head.  Lynette had dumped him harshly. For years he has fantasised about seeing her again and rekindling their flame.  Might that jogger be her after all this time?  Could this be the most incredible coincidence?  Despite all his attempts to resist, his thoughts are consumed by this woman.  And when events take a tragically unexpected turn his obsession threatens to destroy both their worlds.  But still he won’t stop.  Can’t stop.   I Follow You is by Peter James. 

Mimi Augello is visiting his lover when the woman’s husband unexpectedly returns to the apartment; he climbs out the window and into the downstairs apartment, but one danger leads to another. In the dark he sees a body lying on the bed. Shortly after, another body is found, and the victim is Carmelo Catalanotti, a director of bourgeois dramas with a harsh reputation for the acting method he developed for his actors.   Are the two deaths connected? Catalanotti scrupulously kept notes and comments on all the actors he worked with, as well as strange notebooks full of figures and dates and names. Inspector Montalbano finds all of Catalanotti’s dossiers and plays, the notes on the characters, and the notes on his last drama, Dangerous Turn–the theater is where he’ll find the answer.  The Sicilian Method is by Andrea Camilleri.

The Secret Life of Mr Roos is by Hakan Nesser.  At fifty-nine years old Valdemar Roos is tired of life.  Working a job that he hates, married to a wife he barely talks to. He doesn’t have a lot to look forward to.  Then, one day, a winning lottery ticket gives him an opportunity to start afresh.  Without telling a soul he quits his job and buys a hut in a remote Swedish countryside.  Everyday he travels to this man made oasis, returning each evening to his unsuspecting wife.  Life couldn’t be better, until a young woman arrives…. Anna Gambowska is a twenty-two year old recovering drug addict.  On the run from the rehab centre she hated and an abusive relationship, Anna’s prayers are answered when she comes across a seemingly vacant hut in the Swedish woodland.  But it’s not long before Anna’s ex discovers her location, and an incident occurs that mars the life of Anna and Valdemar forever.  Inspector Barbarotti doesn’t take much interest when a woman reports her husband missing.  That is until a dead body is found near the missing man’s newly bought hut, and Mr Roos becomes the number one suspect.  

November 2020

Defend or Die is by Tom Marcus.  When no one knows you exist, you don’t have to play by the rules… Meet former MI5 officer Matt Logan. Now part of a totally deniable Government organisation known as “Blindeye”, with full licence to do whatever it takes to neutralise threats to the UK’s National Security.  When intelligence comes through that the Kremlin plans to launch a terror attack in London, Logan and the team set in motion surveillance on a billionaire Russian oligarch who may be connected with the oncoming threat.  As they dig into the man’s life, they soon discover a network of incredibly dangerous individuals whose plans could tear the nation apart.  Battling personal demons of his own, Logan must defend his country from a terrifying enemy or die trying …

Also published in November currently untitled Agent Atlee Pine novel by David Baldacci

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