Who Killed Piet Barol?
By Richard Mason
A Book of the Year - The TimesA Book of the Year - Observer A Book of the Year - Mail on SundayAvoiding the chaos of the First World War, Piet Barol leaves the bustle of civilization and heads into Africa's greatest forest. With a business to build and secrets to escape, his only weapons are courage and intuition. His African guides have their own reasons for taking him to their ancestral lands. What he finds there changes him forever, and unleashes a chain of events he can neither predict nor control... This "gorgeous treat of a novel" (The Times, Book of the Month) is a funny, sexy, irreverent, and intensely moving portrait of what unites human beings when their sacred mysteries are blown apart.
The Woman on the Stairs
By Bernhard Schlink
From the author of the internationally bestselling classic THE READER, a tale of obsession, possession and a mystery painting. For decades the painting was believed to be lost. But, just as mysteriously as it disappeared, it reappears, an anonymous donation to a gallery in Sydney. The art world is stunned but so are the three men who loved the woman in the painting, the woman on the stairs. One by one they track her down to an isolated cottage in Australia. Here they must try to untangle the lies and betrayals of their shared past - but time is running out. The Woman on the Stairs is an intricately-crafted, poignant and beguiling novel about creativity and love, about the effects of time passing and the regrets that haunt us all.
The Witches of New York
By Ami McKay
The beloved, bestselling author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure is back with her most beguiling novel yet, luring us deep inside the lives of a trio of remarkable young women navigating the glitz and grotesqueries of Gilded-Age New York by any means possible, including witchcraft . . . The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom (Moth from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it's finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and gardien de sorts (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan's high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions--and in guarding the secrets of their clients. All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment. Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor's apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind? Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches' tug-of-war over what's best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force. As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they're confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?
A Way Through the Wood
By Nigel Balchin
A psychological study of marriage, loyalty and justice, A WAY THROUGH THE WOOD is a remarkable post-war novel.James Manning is perfectly content. He has a successful life as a businessman in the city, a bright young thing of a wife, Jill, and an idyllic home in the countryside, where he is a local magistrate. The only fly in the ointment is the 'Honbill' - the Honourable William Bule, a gentleman with too much time on his hands.When a young man is knocked off his bicycle and subsequently dies, James is sure that Bule is the culprit - after all, he saw a scratch on the Honbill's car the day of the accident and it matches the description to a T. But events take an unexpected turn when James discovers that it was really Jill driving that night, and he is torn between obligations to his wife and to his profound sense of right and wrong.A WAY THROUGH THE WOOD was the inspiration for SEPARATE LIES, a 2005 British film adapted by Academy Award-winning writer Julian Fellowes and starring Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Rupert Everett.
The Word Exchange
By Alena Graedon
Words are under threat. It's time to fight back . . .Imagine a world without words. A world in which books, libraries and newspapers are things of the past. A world where personal devices provide all you could want or need. Anana Johnson and her father, Doug, are hard at work on the final edition that will ever be printed of the English Dictionary. But one evening, Doug disappears and Anana unearths a single written clue: ALICE. In the battle to save her father, Anana discovers secret societies, dark incinerator rooms and underground passages. Above all, she finds a world that faces ruin from the dark side of technology.'A nervy dystopic thriller . . . spine-tingling' NEW YORK TIMES''Imaginative, layered, and highly original . . . An engagingly creepy story of technology gone wrong and a clever meditation on the enduring mysteries of language and love' Karen Thompson Walker, author of THE AGE OF MIRACLES
The Watcher in the Shadows
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A mysterious toymaker who lives as a recluse in an old mansion, surrounded by the mechanical beings he has created... an enigma surrounding strange lights that shine through the mists that envelop the small island on which the old lighthouse stands... a shadowy creature that hides deep in the woods... these are the elements of a mystery that bind 14-year-old Irene to Ismael during one magical summer spent in the Blue Bay. Irene's mother has taken a job as a housekeeper for the toymaker, Lazarus, but his house contains more secrets than Irene and Ishmael have bargained for.
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
By Wendy Wax
Four friends, and a shared passion for Downton Abbey that will change their lives.When the concierge of a historic Atlanta apartment building invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and - even more unexpectedly - with each other...Samantha married young and for the wrong reason: the security of old Atlanta money - for herself and for her orphaned brother and sister. She never expected her marriage to be complicated by love and compromised by a shattering family betrayal.Claire is now an empty nester and struggling author who left her home in the suburbs for a new and productive life. But she soon wonders if clinging to old dreams can be more destructive than having no dreams at all.And then there's Brooke, a woman in constant battle with her faithless ex-husband. She's just starting to realise that it's time to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that her life is not the fairy tale she thought it would be.For Samantha, Claire, Brooke - and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings - it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life's hardest moments-all of it reflected in their shared love of Downton Abbey.
Where We Belong
By Emily Giffin
There's no such thing as a single secret...The brand new novel from the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of HEART OF THE MATTER.Marian's biological clock is ticking. She has a dream job as the producer of a hugely successful TV show, a stunning Manhattan apartment and a wonderful relationship with the man she loves. But she wants a baby - and she also has a secret. And when that secret turns up on her doorstep after 18 years, her picture perfect existence begins to take on a life of its own.Kirby is adopted. She loves her parents and her sister, but she's never really felt she fitted in. And now she's 18 there's nothing to stop her finding her birth mother. But navigating her way, alone, to New York is only the start - and as Marian soon discovers, giving birth is the easy part.
When in Rome
By Nicky Pellegrino
A city of love, food, music and passion - this is a novel for anyone who fell in love with LA DOLCE VITA.Rome in the 1950s, there's nowhere quite like it. The narrow stone streets, the fountains and piazzas full of life in the heat of the day, the cafes and bars full of music and desire by night...This is where Serafina calls home. Having grown-up with her sisters in a tiny apartment tucked in the top of a tumbledown building, she has watched her mother get by on next to nothing, and turn herself beautiful with a sweep of eyeliner and a hand-sewn dress. When her mother goes out, Serafina and her sisters go singing in the nearest piazza, busking for spare change and cinema tickets. The girls long to meet their matinee idols and Serafina daydreams of Mario Lanza and his spellbinding voice. But the sisters will grow up quickly and for Serafina, a choice opens between the world she knows and the life she dreams of. A captivating tale of love and music, food and passion, let Nicky Pellegrino take you on a journey to a city of beauty and heartbreak, at one of the most glamorous points in its magical history.
By Bernhard Schlink
The author of international phenomenon THE READER returns with a tale of old jealousies, explosive politics and uncertain futures. Meet the Baader-Meinhof Group, 25 years on...Old friends and lovers reunite for a weekend in a secluded country home after spending decades apart. They plumb their memories of each other and pass quiet judgements on the life decisions each has made since their youth. This isn't, however, just any old reunion, and their conversations of the old days aren't typical reminiscences. After 24 years, Joerg - a convicted murderer and terrorist, is released from prison on a pardon. A former member of the Red Army Faction (or Baader-Meinhof Group), the announcement of Joerg's release is sure to send shock waves throughout Germany. But before this happens, his group of friends - most of whom had been RAF sympathizers - gather for his first weekend of freedom. They are invited by Christiane, Joerg's devoted sister, whose suffocating concern for her brother is matched only by the unrelenting pull of Marcko, a dangerously passionate young man intent on using Joerg to continue the cause.
By Ian Rankin
A classic Ian Rankin from the No.1 bestselling author of THE COMPLAINTS.Bombs are exploding in the streets of London, but life seems to have planted more subtle booby-traps for Miles Flint. Miles is a spy. His job is to watch and to listen, then to report back to his superiors, nothing more. The job, affording glimpses into the most private lives of his victims, appeals to Miles. He doesn't lust after promotion, and he doesn't want action. He wants, just for once, not to botch a case. Having lost one suspect - with horrific consequences - Miles becomes too involved with another, a young Irish woman. His marriage seems ready to crumble to dust. So does his home. But Miles is given one last chance for redemption - a trip to Belfast, which quickly becomes a flight of terror, murder and shocking discoveries. But can the voyeur survive in a world of violent action?
The World at Night
By Alan Furst
Paris 1940. The civilised, upper-class life of film producer Jean Casson ends with the German occupation of the city. Out of money and almost out of luck, Casson attempts to work with a German film company but finds himself drawn into the dark world of espionage and double agents. More used to evading jealous husbands than the secret police, Casson beomes a reluctant spy, torn between honour, patriotism, love and survival.
Wycliffe and the Dunes Mystery
By W.J. Burley
A high-profile murder investigation for WycliffeCochran Wilder disappeared fifteen years ago while on a walking holiday in Cornwall. Recently released from a psychiatric hospital after being convicted of indecent assault, he had been a serious embarrassment to his father, a prominent MP. Now his body has been found, buried in the dunes. It is clear that he was murdered. Wycliffe suspects the involvement of six people, now well-established figures in the community, who at the time had been spending an illicit weekend at a chalet near where Wilder's body was found. All are disturbed by Wycliffe's interest and by a series of threatening anonymous communications. But then a second murder is committed and the investigation takes on a new urgency.
By Maeve Binchy
The people of Rossmore, each with their own story, wait for the great road of progress...From the No. 1 bestselling author of HEART AND SOUL.The town of Rossmore is a special place, full of character and charm. Nestled beside the Whitethorn Woods, the town has grown since the days when it was small and friendly and everyone knew everyone else. But it still has the woods, with the well dedicated to St Ann, where generations have come to pray or make wishes or just to look back at the pretty little town. Which is why there is going to be such a fuss about the plans for the new road, cutting through Whitethorn Woods.The people of Rossmore are divided. No one is more concerned than the curate, Father Brian Flynn, who has no idea which faction to support. Surely Neddy Nolan's family should take the compensation being offered for their land? But wasn't Neddy's mother given a cure at the well many years ago? And what about the childless London woman who came to Whitethorn Woods begging the saint for help, with unexpected consequences?
Wives & Sweethearts
By Lilian Harry
A novel of love, separation, infidelity and indecision set in the 1950s and 1960sClare and Kathy are young, inexperienced and very much in love with their men. But being 'married to the Navy' is harder than either of them imagined. With a husband at sea and a new baby to consider, Clare finds herself coping with motherhood alone, and when Martyn returns he is unsure how to deal with his wife's new-found independence. As for Kathy, newly engaged to Brian, temptations come her way which are impossible to ignore. Even when all their lives seem to be settling into some sort of routine, it seems that their troubles are only just beginning...
Wycliffe and the Guilt-Edged Alibi
By W.J. Burley
A family feud leads to murder - and Superintendent Wycliffe is on the case...Caroline Bryce came from the top of the social register in the tranquil town of Treen. So it was quite a scandal when her body was dragged from the bottom of the river.As Superintendent Wycliffe investigates, he is faced with a number of questions: who would want to kill the beautiful Mrs Bryce? Was it a lover's quarrel? Or a family feud? Or a long-held resentment which had suddenly exploded in a moment of madness?As Wycliffe begins to unravel an intricate tangle of love and hate, he finds himself on the trail of a psychotic killer who feels no guilt - and will not hesitate to strike again...
Whispers In The Village
By Rebecca Shaw
Conflict, mistrust and a tragedy...There is nothing quiet about the village of Turnham Malpas.When the rector, Peter, takes his family to Africa for a year so that he can work in a mission, the villagers are bereft. What's more, the locum, Anna, has rather modern ideas and the parishioners determined to keep an eye on her. Then she brings a down-and-out petty thief into their midst, sparking conflict within the community.The Women's Institute comes up with the idea of raising funds for Peter's mission and holds an upmarket pyjama party, midnight skinny dipping and an afternoon's horse racing. Then a message arrives from Peter with the most devastating news - and the villagers are more determined than ever to raise a substantial sum for the mission.
The White Hotel
By D M Thomas
A novel of searing eroticism and sensuality set against the broad sweep of twentieth-century history, the Booker Prize shortlisted THE WHITE HOTEL is a modern classic.It is a dream of electrifying eroticism and inexplicable violence, recounted by a young woman to her analyst, Sigmund Freud. It is a horrifying yet restrained narrative of the Holocaust. It is a searing vision of the wounds of our century and an attempt to heal them. Interweaving poetry and case history, fantasy and historical truth-telling, THE WHITE HOTEL is a modern classic of enduring emotional power that attempts nothing less than to reconcile the notion of individual destiny with that of historical fate.'I quickly came to feel that I had found that book, that mythical book, that would explain us to ourselves' Leslie Epstein, New York Times
A Woman's Life
By Rachel Billington
Three women, born at the outbreak of World War II, who've grown up in widely differing circumstances, form an improbable friendship that sustains them through forty years.Connie is the youngest member of a large Irish family and Ireland's too small to contain her. She is beautiful and impulsive. Men love her, while she roars through life, never looking before she leaps - sometimes onto rocks. Nina is English and middle-class, the shy, thoughtful, daughter of an army officer. She marries her boyhood love and has two children before realising how unfulfilled she is, and that painting is her true passion. Fay is American and Jewish, the granddaughter of a holocaust survivor. She's the ambitious one, who fulfils her dream of becoming a doctor before admitting a darker, more complex side to her nature. Through love, marriage, children, work, divorce and tragedy, this is a beautifully written and compelling novel of friendship.