Sunday 3 December 2023

Books to Look Forward to from HarperCollins

January 2024

My name is Ikemefuna Nwosu, and I am your wife. One day in Lagos, young dancer Ikemefuna is put on a plane to Houston to meet her new husband, Nna. Promises are made to her – about her education, about the man she will marry, about her freedom. None of them are kept. A few months later, self-professed feminist Nna finds a beautiful woman cooking in his parents’ kitchen. They tell him Ikemefuna is his wife, there to give them the grandson they’ve been waiting for. She appears obedient, malleable. But she is no ordinary wife. In the Texas heat, patience runs on short supply and the atmosphere in the house becomes increasingly strained, increasingly violent. Desperation makes people do strange things… House Woman is by Adorah Nworah.

The Mystery Guest is by Nita Prose. A new mess. A new mystery. Molly the maid returns. Molly Gray wears her Head Maid badge proudly for every shift at the Regency Grand Hotel, plumping pillows, sweeping up the guests' secrets, silently restoring rooms to a state of perfection. But when a renowned guest - a famous mystery writer - drops very dead in the grand tea room, Molly has an unusual clean-up on her hands. As rumours and suspicion swirl in the hotel corridors, it's clear there's grime lurking beneath the gilt. And Molly knows that she alone holds the key to the mystery. But unlocking it means thinking about the past, about Gran, and everything else she's kept tidied away in her memory for so long. Because Molly knew the dead guest once upon a time - and he knew her.

They thought they’d found their dream home. They were wrong. 2008. The house Maxine and Seb have just bought was a bargain – a huge Georgian townhouse on the edge of Peckham Rye, it needs a lot of work but Max couldn’t resist it. Now they are in, though, nothing seems to be going right – and as the problems mount up, Max starts to doubt her relationship as well as her decision. Is Seb all he seems to be? And why are the neighbours so evasive about the house’s previous owner? 1994. Cookie and his parents have been forced by his dad’s gambling debts to move into the attic room of a big old house, as lodgers. Tensions run high between them and their elderly landlady, and there’s something odd about the place that Cookie can’t quite put his finger on… 1843. Horatio built this house for his beloved wife, who then died in mysterious circumstances. After a second death on the premises, both his servants and the locals are starting to talk. Horatio’s grief is tinged with shame and guilt. What is he hiding? And will the house ever be free of his legacy? The House on Rye Lane is by Susan Allott.

February 2024

Anna O hasn't opened her eyes for four years. Not since the night she was found in a deep sleep by the bodies of her best friends, suspected of a chilling double murder. For Doctor Benedict Prince, a forensic psychologist on London’s Harley Street, waking Anna O could be career-defining. As an expert in sleep, he knows all about the darkest chambers of the mind; the secrets that lie buried in the subconscious. As he begins Anna O’s treatment – studying his patient’s dreams, combing her memories, visiting the site where the horrors played out – he pulls on the thread of a much deeper, darker mystery. Awakening Anna O isn’t the end of the story, it’s just the beginning. Anna O is by Matthew Blake.

Only If You're Lucky is by Stacy Willingham. Margot went to college in South Carolina for a new start. It’s a chance to get away – from her small town, her family and the memories of her dead best friend. She gets her wish when the enigmatic Lucy invites her to join two other girls in a shared house for their second year. But as Margot gets to know the girls, she begins to realise that something’s off about Lucy, she’s not quite what she seems. Six months later, Lucy is missing and a boy from the frat house next door is dead, leaving Margot in the wake of the investigation. But as the police continue to dig, they realise Lucy isn't the only one with secrets.

"I’ll be dead in three months. Come tell my story." This is the chilling invitation from Sebastian Trapp, renowned mystery novelist, to his long-time correspondent Nicky Hunter, an expert in detective fiction. Welcomed into his lavish San Francisco mansion, Nicky begins to unravel Trapp’s life story under the watchful eyes of his enigmatic wife and plainspoken daughter. But Sebastian Trapp is a mystery himself. And maybe – probably – a murderer. Two decades ago, his first wife and son vanished – the case never solved. Is the master of mystery playing a deadly game – and if so, who will be the loser? And when a body surfaces in the family's garden, they all realize the past isn't buried – it's waiting. End of Story is by A J Finn.

Down Among the Dead is by C S Green. If you go down to the woods today… When DC Rose Gifford is called to investigate the death of a woman in Elford Country Park, she knows there is more to the case than meets the eye. Suzette’s broken body was found at the foot of a climbing centre after a terrible storm – but this was no accident. Was it? You’re in for a big surprise… Suzette isn’t the only person to have died in the woods. The park has claimed three other young lives – and there must be a connection. And when the police discover that Elford is situated on an ancient plague pit, things take an even darker turn… What really happened out in the forest that night? And how many others will fall victim to the woods before Rose can crack the case?

March 2024

A Stranger in the Family is by Jane Casey. Every mother's worst nightmare . . . When nine-year-old Rosalie Marshall vanished from her bed one summer night, her disappearance tore her family apart. Now, sixteen years later, her mother Helena is found dead, her husband by her side. It looks like a straightforward murder-suicide but DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent soon discover nothing about this case is straightforward. The Marshalls have been keeping secrets, and they aren't alone. Josh has been holding something back too – something that could change everything for Maeve. But one person is prepared to kill to hide the truth. Until Maeve finds out what happened to Rosalie, no one will be safe . . 

A rip-roaring, gritty gangland set in Essex, featuring Beau and Brett Bond – who are making their name in the world and hoping the sins of their past don’t come back to haunt them. Beau and Brett Bond have been inseparable since birth. It’s time they went their own way in life, but that’s when the real trouble starts… The Boys/The Brothers is by Kimberley Chambers.

What Happened to Nina is by Dervla McTiernan. Nina and Simon are the perfect couple. Young, fun and deeply in love. Until they leave for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Vermont, and only Simon comes home. What happened to Nina? Nobody knows. Simon’s explanation about what happened in their last hours together doesn’t add up. Nina’s parents push the police for answers, and Simon’s parents rush to protect him. They hire expensive lawyers and a PR firm that quickly ramps up a vicious, nothing-is-off-limits media campaign. How far will his family go to keep him safe? Soon, facts are lost in a swirl of accusation and counter-accusation. Everyone chooses a side, and the story goes viral, fueled by armchair investigators and wild conspiracy theories and illustrated with pretty pictures taken from Nina’s social media accounts. Journalists descend on their small Vermont town, followed by a few obsessive "fans." Nina’s family is under siege, but they never lose sight of the only thing that really matters — finding their daughter. Out-gunned by Simon’s wealthy, powerful family, Nina’s parents recognize that if playing by the rules won’t get them anywhere, it’s time to break them. How far will her family go to get to the truth.

A village hall, a primary school play, a beautiful Lake District town. Into this idyllic scene steps a lone gunman whose actions set off a train of events that will have devastating consequences for the close-knit community of Stonesmere. At the epicentre of the tragedy is Marty, daughter of the teacher who dies trying to protect her pupils. What did she see? How is she involved? In the weeks and months following the killings, conspiracy theorists start questioning what happened. For outsider Trent Casey, the truther movement offers him a chance to step into the spotlight to expose the ‘sham’ of the killings. Marty’s and Trent’s lives will become entwined as events spiral out of control. The true story is gradually revealed, but at what cost to those caught up in the maelstrom…Day One is by Abigail Dean.

April 2024

Sometimes you have to become what you hate to protect what you love. Danny Ryan is rich. Beyond his wildest dreams rich. The former dock worker, Irish mob soldier and fugitive from the law is now a respected businessman – a Las Vegas casino mogul and billionaire silent partner in a group that owns two lavish hotels. Finally, Danny has it all: a beautiful house, a child he adores, a woman he might even fall in love with. Life is good. But then Danny reaches too far. When he tries to buy an old hotel on a prime piece of real estate with plans to build his dream resort, he triggers a war against Las Vegas power brokers, a powerful FBI agent bent on revenge and a rival casino owner with dark connections of his own. Danny thought he had buried his past, but now it reaches up to him from the grave to pull him down. Old enemies surface, and when they come for Danny they vow to take everything – not only his empire, not just his life, but all that he holds dear, including his son. To save his life and everything he loves, Danny must become the ruthless fighter he once was – and never wanted to be again. Ranging from the gritty back rooms of Providence, RI to the power corridors of Washington, DC and Wall Street to the golden casinos of Las Vegas, City in Ruins is by Don Winslow and is an epic crime novel of love and hate, ambition and desperation, vengeance and compassion.

A Sicilian Affair is by Susan Lewis. Catie returns home from a stint in prison desperate for a fresh start. But her empty house, the secrets within its walls, and the family no longer there are a reminder of everything she has lost. Buried lies always find a way out… and when a visit to Sicily begins to stir up painful memories, Catie knows she can’t outrun them forever…

A paradise found… Detective Jake Jackson moved to the countryside for a quieter life. And now, he finally seems to have his wish – spending his time swimming in his lake, tending to his chickens, and enjoying long, lazy evenings with his newfound love, Livia. A secret unleashed… But the return of an old case shatters the calm, and pulls him into the shadowy world of No Taboo – a secretive group serving the extravagant whims of the elite. An enemy closes in… As the web around Jake tightens, he must determine who he can really trust in his small community. Or else he will learn just how far No Taboo will go to protect their secrets. Death in a Lonely Place is by Stig Abell.

An elite team of MI6 agents must go undercover to unravel a smuggling network funding violent terror in the second thrilling adventure in the acclaimed Double O series by Kim Sherwood. Six days. Three agents. One chance to find James Bond. James Bond is alive. Or at least, he was when he left a clue at the black site where the insidious private military company Rattenfanger held him captive. MI6 cannot spare any more lives attempting to track down one missing agent—no exceptions, even for Bond. But Johanna Harwood, 003, has her own agenda. Sidelined by her superiors while she grieves the loss of a loved one, Harwood goes on an unsanctioned mission: to find 007. Meanwhile, MI6 has another problem… A bomb has been detonated in London. Double O agents on the trail of the terrorists responsible acted quickly to prevent mass destruction and save lives. But MI6 failed to neutralize the nation’s enemies before they could strike, and one of their own was seriously injured in the blast. They won’t fail again. Assigned to root out the source of the terrorists’ funding, Joseph Dryden, 004, and Conrad Harthrop-Vane, 000, enter the field. Tracing clues from Sotheby’s auction house to Crete to Venice, they uncover a money laundering scheme involving diamonds, black market antiquities, and human trafficking. Once a major sale is made, a six-day countdown to the next terror attack begins. As the Double O’s follow the twisting trail, they find themselves unexpectedly inching closer to Bond…

May 2024

DCI Cara Elliott fnds himself facing an unprecedented challenge uncovering the cause of a series of harrowing suicides. As Elliott and her brother, Griffin, work together to investigate the link between the deths, they are pulled into a deadly game created by an unseen adversary. Together they uncover a horrifying truth: these deaths aren't simple suicides, but the cruel handiwork of a madman with a warped crusade steeped in bllood and madness. The Puppet Master is by Sam Holland. 

The Midnight Feast is by Lucy Foley. Midsummer, the Dorset coast. Guests gather for the opening of The Manor hotel, the new jewel on the Dorset coastline. The champagne is flowing, the guest list sparkling, the sun setting on an unforgettable summer solstice. But under the cloak of celebration, something dark is stirring. The Manor has a secret history; built in the shadows of an ancient wood. Now old friends and enemies are creeping out of the shadows. And they'll soon discover what other deadly secrets come out at night.

Two terrible events, without obvious connection, shake Fjällbacka to its core. A famous photographer is found brutally murdered in a showroom. Henning Bauer, the Nobel prize winner in literature, suffers from a violent act on the small island where he is writing the 10th book in his world famous series. While Patrik Hedström and his colleagues at Tanumshede police station struggle to investigate the cases, Erica Falck researches a murder on a trans man in Stockholm in the 1980’s. She slowly realizes that the threads from the past are connected to the present time, and that old sins leave long shadows behind. The Cuckoo is by Camilla Läckberg.

June 2024

Agatha Christie's Marple: Expert on Wickedness is by Dr Mark Aldridge. This new investigation from Dr Mark Aldridge, explores a lifetime of Agatha Christie’s Miss Jane Marple. In Agatha Christie’s Marple: Expert on Wickedness,‘Agathologist’ Dr Mark Aldridge looks at nearly a century of St Mary Mead’s most famous resident and uses his own detective skills to uncover new information about Miss Jane Marple’s appearances on page, stage, screen and beyond. Drawing on a range of material, some of which is newly discovered and previously unpublished, this book explores everything about Miss Marple, from her origins in a series of short stories penned by Christie, to the recent bestselling HarperCollins collection Marple: Twelve New Stories. This accessible, entertaining and illustrated guide to the world of Miss Marple pieces together the evidence in order to tell you everything you need to know about the world’s favourite female detective.

Your mother is not who you think she is. When the phone rings in Judy McVee's Languedoc farmhouse, she knows that her past has finally caught up with her. It's her daughter , farntically asking why there are journalists on her London doorstep making terrible accusations. Decades earlier, Judy was a girl with big plans – to ensnare a rich husband, to make something of herself, to rise above her upbringing and leave behind past tragedies. Wealthy young widower Rory Harrington seemed the perfect target - but Judy hadn't reckoned in falling in love with him. Now her daughter Francesca , who has secrets of her own must come to the terms with the realisation that the mother that she knew wasn't real. Where has Judy gone – and was anything that she told her family true? The End of Summer is by Charlotte Philby.

Macabre murders plague a rural town as a scam-artist psychic races to find the answers in this haunting thriller The Hungry Dark by Jen Williams. As a child, Ashley Whitelam was haunted by ghostly figures no one else could see. Silent and watchful, these Heedful Ones followed her wherever she went. She hasn’t seen them for eighteen years, not since that fateful night at Red Rigg House. But now they’re back, and they’re trying to tell her something. As children begin to disappear across the Lake District, Ashley becomes involved in the investigation, eager for free publicity to promote her work as a psychic. She never expected the collaborating to bear fruit, but when she discovers the body of one of the missing children, everything changes. The police are convinced that she’s involved with the killings, and the press are hounding her for answers. Desperate to clear her name, she works with true crime podcaster, Freddie Miller, to investigate. As they look deeper into the disappearances, Ashley must dig into the demons of her past, before the nightmare in the present comes for her, too.

Julia Crowne is waiting at the airport for her 12-year-old daughter, Anna. The plane lands, the passengers start to come through. Anna is not one of them. Then a woman wearing an airport uniform and a worried frown approaches her. . And the woman voices Julia's worst fears. We don't know where Anna is. She got off the plane in the company of a chaperone and went to baggage reclaim. . And the she disappeared. They have looked everywhere and there is no sign of Anna. Anna has been kidnapped before and July's daughter - for the secnd time - has vanished. This untitled Alex Lake novel is due to be published in June.

Also due to be published in June is a new currently untilted Will Trenton and Sara Linton thriller. 


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