I do like living in Newcastle but, due to the ridiculous amounts of rain recently, I’m beginning to get a little bored of going to the same cafes etc. all the time, and staying inside makes me a little stir crazy. With this in mind, Mr Mouse persuaded me that 2 hours on a bus would be a good idea and dragged me off to Alnwick on Saturday, for a day of book shopping. One book fair, two second-hand bookshops and an indie later, we crawled back onto the bus home clutching bags of books. I was quite impressed at how restrained I was really…
I was really happy with what I found, especially with The Song of Achilles, as I’ve been arguing with my copy of the net galley of it for weeks. I’ll be reviewing some of these once I’ve read them, but here’s a bit about them from the blurbs:
Catch Your Death
A terrifying enigma – with the power to destroy…
Twenty years ago, Kate Maddox was a volunteer at a research centre where scientists hunted for a cure for the common cold virus. That summer, Kate fell in love with a handsome young doctor, Stephen, but her stay ended in his tragic death and Kate fled to a new life in the US.
Now Kate is back in England and on the run with her young son, this time from her vile husband. But a chance encounter sets her on a terrifying path of discovery. What really happened at the Cold Research Unit two decades ago?
Pursued by both her estranged husband and a psychotic killer who is obsessed with his prey, Kate must fight to solve the puzzle of the past – uncovering a sickening betrayal and a truth more horrifying than she could ever have imagined…
Former academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty milesaway, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising sporting career-if he can untangle himself from his family drama. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur’s. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene’s unexpected phone call to Arthur – a plea for help-that jostles them into action.
Through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky and lovable voices, HEFT tells the winning story of two improbable heroes whose sudden connection transforms both their lives. It is a novel about love and family found in the most unexpected places.
The Return of Captain John Emmett
1920. The Great War has been over for two years, and it has left a very different world from the Edwardian certainties of 1914. Following the death of his wife and baby and his experiences on the Western Front, Laurence Bartram has become something of a recluse. Yet death and the aftermath of the conflict continue to cast a pall over peacetime England, and when a young woman he once knew persuades him to look into events that apparently led her brother, John Emmett, to kill himself, Laurence is forced to revisit the darkest parts of the war.
As Laurence unravels the connections between Captain Emmett’s suicide, a group of war poets, a bitter regimental feud and a hidden love affair, more disquieting deaths are exposed. Even at the moment Laurence begins to live again, it dawns on him that nothing is as it seems, and that even those closest to him have their secrets . . .
The Hidden Child
Crime writer Erica Falck is shocked to discover a Nazi medal among her late mother’s possessions. Haunted by a childhood of neglect, she resolves to dig deep into her family’s past and finally uncover the reasons why.
Her enquiries lead her to the home of a retired history teacher. He was among her mother’s circle of friends during the Second World War but her questions are met with bizarre and evasive answers. Two days later he meets a violent death. Detective Patrik Hedström, Erica’s husband, is on paternity leave but soon becomes embroiled in the murder investigation. Who would kill so ruthlessly to bury secrets so old?
Reluctantly Erica must read her mother’s wartime diaries. But within the pages is a painful revelation about Erica’s past. Could what little knowledge she has be enough to endanger her husband and newborn baby? The dark past is coming to light, and no one will escape the truth of how they came to be…
The Song of Achilles
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
When Mary sees her grandmother accused of witchcraft and hanged for the crime, she is silently hurried to safety by an unknown woman. The woman gives her tools to keep the record of her days – paper and ink. Mary is taken to a boat in Plymouth and from there sails to the New World where she hopes to make a new life among the pilgrims. But old superstitions die hard and soon Mary finds that she, like her grandmother, is the victim of ignorance and stupidity, and once more she faces important choices to ensure her survival.