The Himalayas, 1935. Kangchenjunga. Third-highest peak on Earth. Greatest killer of them all. Five Englishmen set off from Darjeeling, determined to conquer the sacred summit. But courage can only take them so far – and the mountain is not their only foe. As the wind dies, the dread grows. Mountain sickness. The horrors of extreme altitude. A past that will not stay buried. And sometimes, the truth does not set you free.
Out today: the eagerly awaited conclusion to the Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin – fantastical horror at its best.
Not read the first two books yet? You’re in for a treat…
In life I was a scientist called Fanning. Then, in a jungle in Bolivia, I died. I died, and then I was brought back to life. Prompted by a voice that lives in her blood, the fearsome warrior known as Alicia of Blades is drawn towards to one of the great cities of The Time Before. The ruined city of New York. Ruined but not empty. For this is the final refuge of Zero, the first and last of The Twelve. The one who must be destroyed if mankind is to have a future. What she finds is not what she’s expecting. A journey into the past. To find out how it all began. And an opponent at once deadlier and more human than she could ever have imagined. Reserve book 3
“Two brothers. One mute, the other his lifelong protector. Year after year, their family visits the same sacred shrine on a desolate strip of coastline known as the Loney, in desperate hope of a cure. In the long hours of waiting, the boys are left alone. And they cannot resist the causeway revealed with every turn of the treacherous tide, the old house they glimpse at its end . . . Many years on, Hanny is a grown man no longer in need of his brother’s care. But then the child’s body is found. And the Loney always gives up its secrets, in the end.”
‘This is a novel of the unsaid, the implied, the barely grasped or understood, crammed with dark holes and blurry spaces that your imagination feels compelled to fill’ Observer
Andrew Michael Hurley’s first book has been credited with reviving the British gothic fiction genre almost single-handedly; been shortlisted for a number of awards and now gone on to win the Costa First Book Award. Judges describing it said “We all agreed this book is as close to the perfect first novel as you can get.”
If it had another name, I never knew, but the locals called it the Loney – that strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest. It was impossible to truly know the place. It changed with each influx and retreat, and the neap tides would reveal the skeletons of those who thought they could escape its insidious currents. No one ever went near the water. No one apart from us, that is. I suppose I always knew that what happened there wouldn’t stay hidden for ever, no matter how much I wanted it to.
“A thrilling collection of twenty stories – some brand new, some previously published in magazines, all wholly brilliant and brought together in one book for the first time – with a wonderful bonus: in addition to his introduction to the whole collection, King gives readers a fascinating introduction to each story with autobiographical comments on their origins and motivation…”
Be wary of some of these stories, the ending is not what you expect in many of them. That is the brilliance of the author, always has something up her sleeve.
There is revenge, murder, kidnapping, ingenious murder plots, watch out for the cats!
The title story is the longest and the one I enjoyed the most.
Reserve Death Wears a Mask
This is a must for all those who enjoyed Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected.
Great stories where you don’t see what’s coming (most of the time). It would spoil it if I told you the content of the stories.
They include ghosts, revenge, the number 13, macabre stuff and a couple of stories featuring Roy Grace.
Thoroughly enjoyed these stories.
Reserve A Twist of the Knife
The creepy cover and the blurb on the back of the book drew me to this first novel. “A terrifying psychological thriller that will haunt you long after reading!” Intriguing eh? Welcome to a world where people are too scared to look out side. We meet Malorie and her two children – Boy and Girl. For four years they’ve lived in a house where windows are covered, and trips to the well for water involve a torturous journey blindfold, listening for signs of anything about to attack. Then one day Malorie decides it’s time for her and her children to leave. Cleverly weaving between the ‘now’, and the ‘then’ before the weird things started happening, this is a truly scary thriller. Great ending too – perhaps there’s be a sequel? I hope so!
Oh what a year it has been! I’m a great fan of fiction and here’s a round-up of the best of 2014.
I’m such a fan of these Jack Nightingale books, and this is the fifth, and they just keep getting better and better. A killer is murdering Goths with relish – skinning and butchering them. The cops aren’t getting anywhere so Jack Nightingale’s nemesis, Superintendent Chalmers, asks him for help. Nightingale discovers that the murdered Goths had one thing in common: a tattoo connected to the secretive Satanic child-sacrificing cult called the Order of Nine Angles. As Nightingale closes in on the killers, the tables are turned and he finds himself in the firing line, along with his friends and family. The Order will stop at nothing to protect their secrets and Nightingale realises that there is nothing he can do to protect himself. Nor can he run, for the Order has connections across the world. It leaves him with only one way to stop the carnage – and that’s to take his own life .
This is such a madcap tale that’s perfect for fans of Jonas Jonasson’s the hundred year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared though with a little less history and a lot more humour. One day a fakir leaves his small village in India and lands in Paris. A professional con artist, the fakir is on a pilgrimage to IKEA, where he intends to obtain an object he covets above all others: a brand new bed of nails. But when a swindled cab driver seeks his murderous revenge, the fakir accidentally embarks on a European tour, fatefully beginning in the wardrobe of the iconic Swedish retailer.
Yep, another trilogy for teenagers that appeals just as well to adults! For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs. Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead. Divergent is followed by Insurgent then Allegiant
In case there’s someone out there who doesn’t already know this…Robert Galbraith is none other than J K Rowling writing her first crime novel, and our crime book club loved it! When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger.
I’m not sure I’ve recovered from the wonderful Me Before You, but this is once again a delightful mix of laughter and tears.
Suppose your life sucks. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your stepson is being bullied and your daughter has a once in a lifetime opportunity – that you can’t afford to pay for. So imagine you found and kept some money that didn’t belong to you, knowing it would pay for your daughter’s happiness. But how do you cope with the shame? Especially when the man you’ve lied to decides to help you out in your hour of need. Jo is in hell – Ed has saved her family – but is their happiness worth a lifetime’s soul-searching?
This is the first novel of Bauer’s that I’ve read and I’ll definitely be reading more!
Patrick has been on the outside all his life. Thoughtful, but different, and infuriating even to his own mother, his life changes when he follows an obsession with death to study anatomy at university. When he uncovers a crime that everybody else was too close to see, he proves finally that he has been right all along: nothing is exactly as it seems, and that there have been many more lies closer to home.
This is such a bizarre story – completely unexpected! Part sci-fi/fantasy, part love story.
Peter Leigh is a missionary called to go on the journey of a lifetime. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Bea, he boards a flight for a remote and unfamiliar land, a place where the locals are hungry for the teachings of the Bible – his ‘book of strange new things’. It is a quest that will challenge Peter’s beliefs, his understanding of the limits of the human body and, most of all, his love for Bea.
Ooh this is so clever! Who knows? It might just happen one day!
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public.
This is the perfect book for crime fiction lovers who are a bit fed up with the usual police procedurals.
When a severed arm is discovered by a couple on honeymoon in the Florida Keys, former police detective – now reluctant restaurant inspector – Andrew Yancy senses that something doesn’t add up. Determined to get his badge back, he undertakes an unofficial investigation of his own. Andrew’s search for the truth takes him to the Bahamas, where a local man, with the help of a very bad monkey (who allegedly worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies) is doing everything in his power to prevent a developer from building a new tourist resort on the island, with deadly consequences.
Bilodo lives a solitary daily life, routinely completing his post round every day and returning to his empty Montreal apartment. But he has found a way to break the cycle – Bilodo has taken to stealing people’s mail, steaming open the envelopes and reading the letters inside. And so it is he comes across Segolene’s letters. She is corresponding with Gaston, a master poet, and their letters are each composed of only three lines. They are writing each other haikus. The simplicity and elegance of their poems move Bilado and he begins to fall in love with her. But one day, out on his round, he witnesses a terrible and tragic accident. Just as Gaston is walking up to the post-box to mail his next haiku to Segolene, he is hit by a car and dies on the side of the road. And so Bilodo makes an extraordinary decision – he will impersonate Gaston and continue to write to Segolene under this guise. But how long can the deception continue for?
A first novel and the best crime thriller of the year for me!
Can you commit the perfect crime? Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation. But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder – and Pilgrim wrote the book. What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God.
Another first novel and very different from my last choice. This tells the tale of a British Mormon family who are coming to terms with the loss of a child. It is just truly heart-breaking but at the same time a wonderful read!
This is the story of what happens when Issy Bradley dies. It is the story of Ian – husband, father, maths teacher and Mormon bishop – and his unshakeable belief that everything will turn out all right if he can only endure to the end, like the pioneers did. It is the story of his wife Claire’s lonely wait for a sign from God and her desperate need for life to pause while she comes to terms with what’s happened. It is the story of the agony and hope of Zippy Bradley’s first love. The story of Alma Bradley’s cynicism and reluctant bravery. And it is the story of seven-year-old Jacob. His faith is bigger than a mustard seed, probably bigger than a toffee bonbon and he’s planning to use it to mend his broken family with a miracle.
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
Without giving too much of the plot away, the story is set in a post-apocalyptic Britain. Melanie and other children attend school classes, which seems normal enough on the surface, but it soon becomes apparent that something is not quite right, both with the children and with this school. We get hints of the nature of these differences early on, but it takes some time to learn what caused the apocalypse and how Melanie’s world reached this point.
This book is a real page turner and you’ll want to read it in one sitting!