Wake Me When I’m Gone by Nigerian born author Odafe Atogun has a quiet power and message of faith and hope that will stay with you long after you turn over the last page.
Odafe Atogun’s second novel, Wake Me When I’m Gone blends folklore and traditional Nigerian story-telling against the background of a rapidly changing modern world. It tells the story of Ese, who must endure and overcome many hardships and finally accept enlightenment through a great tragedy. Wake Me When I’m Gone is a universal story of prejudice, faith, resistance and courage.
Mary Lynn Bracht’s beautiful debut, White Chrysanthemum, brings the history of Korea vividly to life as it follows the lives of two sisters, Hana and Emi, who are suddenly and violently separated by World War II. Switching between Hana in 1943 and Emi as an old woman today, White Chrysanthemum takes us into a dark and devastating corner of history. But pulling us back into the light are two women whose love for one another is strong enough to triumph over the evils of war.
In exquisite prose Mary Lynn Brecht evokes a tale of love, brutality and redemption that captures the mood of a nation at war.
With more than a passing nod to the Victorian sensationalist novels of Mary Braddon, Laura Carlin’s debut, The Wicked Cometh, takes us down the murky alleyways of London where acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and the city’s vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets.
Hester White is a creature of the dark and dangerous streets where she was born into until one day an accident thrusts her into the world of the privileged. There she becomes a social experiment for a daring young doctor and is placed under the tutelage of his enigmatic sister, Rebekah. But suspicion and menace lurk within the claustrophobic household and soon Hester has to return to the streets to uncover the truth about her benefactors with shocking consequences. The Wicked Cometh is a deeply satisfying read with a fast plot and plenty of dramatic twists to keep us guessing.
A deeply moving debut, The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara recounts the Black and Latino ball culture of New York City in the mid to late 1980’s, and is inspired by the critically and culturally lauded documentary film ‘Paris is Burning’.
Cassara has great respect for his subjects and has written their stories with authenticity and great sensitivity. Told in a voice that brims with wit, rage, tenderness and fierce yearning, The House of Impossible Beauties is a tragic story of love, family and the resilience of the human spirit.
Karen Cleveland spent eight years as a CIA analyst, which she draws upon to create a suspenseful story in Need to Know. When CIA analyst Vivian Miller makes a shocking discovery whilst investigating the computer of a suspected Russian spy she realizes that everything in her life is threatened including her four children. Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?
Need to Know is the very best type of thriller – one that hurtles along at break-neck speed, with a killer plot and cliff-hangers that just keep coming. It’s the definition of unputdownable…
A.A. Dhand introduced us to Detective Inspector Harry Virdee in his electric debut Streets of Darkness. Now Virdee is back in Girl Zero and the mean streets of the city of Bradford are once again brought menacingly to the page. When Virdee finds himself standing over the body of his murdered niece, his boss is worried that he is too close to the case but he can’t just let it lie.
A. A. Dhand is an assured and gifted thriller writer – with more than a touch of the verve and pace of Lee Child – and he is definitely here to stay.
A.J. Finn’s debut The Woman in the Window is the book everyone has been talking about and the book absolutely lives up to the hype – it is a tight, clever and keenly observed thriller that you just can’t stop reading.
In Anna, the self-deprecating protagonist of the novel, Finn has created a character that, despite her flaws, has every reader routing for her. The suspense and ‘noir’ feel of the novel is both brilliantly and stylistically executed and the vividly-drawn cast of characters stay in the mind long after its denouement. The Woman in the Window is a sensational debut.
Wise, witty and introspective The Cactus is a terrific debut that cannot fail to move you. Sarah Haywood has created a wonderful character in the non-compromising Susan Green who, at 45, is quite happy with her somewhat rigid and compartmentalized life despite the effect her prickly character has on those around her. But suddenly confronted with the loss of her mother and the news that she is about to become a mother herself, Susan’s greatest fear is realized. She is losing control.
Both candid and warm, The Cactus is a lovely debut and Sarah Haywood is definitely a name to watch.
Lullaby is a deft and acutely observed novel that will resonate with almost all who read it. It is a situation many will recognize: we form working relationship with someone assuming that both parties know their place and respect each other’s space. But what happens when the boundaries become blurred? When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, on looking for the perfect nanny, she and her husband find Louise, who is the perfect fit. The couple and nanny become more dependent on each other. But as jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, Myriam and Paul’s idyllic tableau is shattered.
This is a shocking, deeply uncomfortable and thought-provoking novel that has already topped the bestseller lists in France and is gaining huge media attention in the UK.
Fearless, uncompromising, visceral and forensic, Jamie Quatro is one of the most exciting new writers on the scene. Fire Sermon introduces us to Maggie who is entirely devoted to her husband Thomas, their two beautiful children, and to God. Guilt is a huge theme in the novel as Maggie, who grew up with a strong religious background, has to wrestle her uncompromising spirit with a moral sense of right and wrong whilst living through an affair that nearly destroys her.
Fire Sermon is a rich and devastating portrait of life and loves lived and lost that cannot fail to echo in your own experience.
Farewell, Cowboy is a tough yet poetic novel by one of Croatia’s best known writers. The story is rich in local colour and sentiment, following the main character, Dada, who returns to her home town on the Adriatic coast in order to unravel the mystery of her brother Daniel’s death. Daniel, although young, smart and popular, threw himself under a train in mysterious circumstances a few years earlier.
Farewell, Cowboy is a wildly energetic read; funny, ironic, moving and deeply layered. And it has a chorus of female characters that are an absolute joy to read and spend time with. We can’t wait to read more from this gifted young writer.
Salt Creek is an elegant and beautifully written historical novel in which its heroine – Hester Finch – recounts the hardships of her life in Adelaide in the 1850’s before coming to England in later life. Her comfortable current life in Chichester couldn’t be further from the suffering her family endured on leaving Adelaide for Salt Creek in 1855. Yet she finds her thoughts drawn to that beautiful, inhospitable outcrop of South Australia and the connections she and her siblings forged there.
Salt Creek is a majestic novel that totally transports you to another world and way of life. Lucy Treloar’s fine prose finds the mark in every word, sentence and scene, culminating in a captivating read.