A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but her life.
Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family – and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to home.
“Delicately weaves loss and grief with threads of hope in a very human story with a strong heart.”
Sarah Hilary, author of Someone Else’s Skin
The epic novel Beauty Is a Wound combines history, satire, family tragedy, legend, humor, and romance in a sweeping polyphony. The beautiful Indo prostitute Dewi Ayu and her four daughters are beset by incest, murder, bestiality, rape, insanity, monstrosity, and the often vengeful undead. Kurniawan’s gleefully grotesque hyperbole functions as a scathing critique of his young nation’s troubled past:the rapacious offhand greed of colonialism; the chaotic struggle for independence; the 1965 mass murders of perhaps a million Communists, followed by three decades of Suharto’s despotic rule.
“An unforgettable, all-encompassing epic”
Read if you loved: One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Hendrickje, a young girl from a strict Calvinist family, leaves home to find work as a maid. Entering Rembrandt’s flourishing and busy household after the death of the great artist’s wife, she finds a world filled with secrets and desire. Shocked to the core after discovering the intense relationship between Rembrandt and Geertje, his housekeeper, Hendrickje is nevertheless slowly drawn to Rembrandt by his freshness, by his freedom, by his intensity. Rembrandt’s Mirror explores the three women of Rembrandt’s life, and the towering passions of the artist, seen through the eyes of his last, great love.
“We are swept along in a rich, assured narrative that sees both maid and master hold up a mirror to each other…compelling”
Read if you loved: The Miniaturist – Jessie
On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher walks down a staircase beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture, looking for sex. Among the stalls of a public bathroom he encounters Mitko, a charismatic young hustler. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, and their trysts grow increasingly intimate and unnerving as the enigma of this young man becomes inseparable from that of his homeland, Bulgaria, a country with a difficult past and an uncertain future.
“In his spare, haunting novel, Garth Greenwell takes a well-known narrative and finds new meaning in it. What Belongs to You is a searching and compassionate meditation on the slipperiness of desire, the impossibility of salvation, and the forces of shame, guilt, and yearning that often accompany love, rendered in language as beautiful and vivid as poetry.”
Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life
For six days, Los Angeles is a city ablaze. For six days, seventeen people are caught in the chaos. For six days, Los Angeles shows the world what happens when laws are no longer enforceable. In April 1992, less than two hours after one of the most notorious, racially charged trials in American history, Los Angeles explodes in violence. As widespread rioting breaks out and martial law takes over, one man’s death triggers an astonishing sequence of events – not just for the gangs involved, but for others too: fire-fighters, graffiti artists, nurses and law enforcement, all of whom are connected by this murder and entangled in the city’s mayhem. Through these voices, All Involved weaves a brutal epic of crime and opportunity, revenge and survival.
“Winds you in the gut and blasts you in the brain. . . Several days on from reading it and I’m still reeling”
Read if you loved: The Black Dahlia – James Ellroy
When the world ends and you find yourself stranded on the wrong side of the country, every second counts. No one knows this more than Edgar Hill. 550 miles away from his family, he must push himself to the very limit to get back to them, or risk losing them forever…
“A page-turning thriller with a pace as relentless as the characters’ feet hitting the pavement. A deft look into the mind of a man who needs the near-destruction of the world to show him what truly matters”
Laura Lam, author of False Hearts
Read if you loved: The Martian – Andy Weir
Midnight, New Year’s Eve, 1976. Nine lives are about to be changed forever.
Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, heirs to one of New York’s greatest fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by the punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbour – and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park on New Year’s Eve. Then, on July 13th, 1977, the lights go out.
“Like great American writers before him, he taps into the energy of a moment and makes you wish you had witnessed it … The verdict: believe the hype around City on Fire. Five stars.”
Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family’s country estate where no two clocks read the same. Summers there are perfect, timeless. Not much ever happens. Until, one stormy evening in 1968, it does. The idyllic world of the four Alton children is shattered. Fiercely bonded by the tragic events, they grow up fast. But when a glamorous stranger arrives, these loyalties are tested. Forbidden passions simmer. And another catastrophe looms… Decades later, Lorna and her fiancé wind their way through the countryside searching for a wedding venue. Lorna is drawn to a beautiful crumbling old house she hazily remembers from her childhood, feels a bond she does not understand. When she finds a disturbing message carved into an old oak tree by one of the Alton children, she begins to realise that Black Rabbit Hall’s secret history is as dark and tangled as its woods, and that, much like her own past, it must be brought into the light.
“There’s something about tales of mysterious old buildings that have the ability to set hairs on end. In this one, two intertwining stories explore the magnificence of Black Rabbit Hall and the dark secrets behind its walls.”
Living in crumbling Brooklyn apartments, holding down jobs as actors and writers and eschewing the middle-class sensibilities of their parents, graduates of the prestigious Oberlin College, Lil, Beth, Sadie, Emily, Dave and Tal believe they can have it all. When the group come together to celebrate a marriage,anything seems possible. But soon the reality of rent, marriage and family will test them all. For this fortunate age can’t last for ever, and the group must face adulthood, whether they are ready for it or not.
“A wonderful, funny and spot-on portrait of my clumsy generation that brings to mind such hallmarks as Mary McCarthy’s The Group, Jay McInerney’s Brightness Falls, and Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children”
Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
Read if you loved: A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara
Ailia has never truly belonged, for she has no totem, no ‘skin’. Without skin, she is not allowed to learn the traditions of her ancestors, or to marry. But this is Celtic Britain, and the dark power of the Roman Empire is gathering in the distance. As Ailia’s people prepare to face a brutal enemy and an uncertain future, it is Ailia who must embrace the extraordinary power which lies within her… and who must stand, alone, to protect the people she loves from the end of everything they’ve ever known.
“Skin is a mesmerising read, set in a distant past that feels both real and magical. Filled with drama and passion, it is also an intensely soulful story about courage, sacrifice and belonging. I was captivated.”
Antonia Hodgson, author of The Devil in the Marshalsea
Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls. And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways. Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?
“This book will break your heart and blow your mind.”
Read if you loved: Donna Tartt
Manhattan attorney Sam Tahar appears to have it all: fame, fortune, an enviable marriage to a prominent socialite, and two children. But his charmed life is built on a lie – he isn’t the person he pretends to be. As the son of a Tunisian immigrant growing up in a grimy Paris tower block, Samir Tahar seemed destined to stay on the margins – until he decided to ‘cut through the bars of his social jail cell, even if he had to do it with his teeth’. At law school, he became friends with Jewish student Samuel Baron. The two were inseparable until the irresistible Nina, torn between the men, chose Samuel. Samir fled to America, where he assumed Samuel’s identity while his former friend remained trapped in a French suburb, a failed writer seething at Samir’s triumphs. Years later, the three meet again and Samir’s carefully constructed existence is blown apart, with disastrous consequences.
“A work of great magnitude. It delves into and embraces the complexity of our modern world, mixes it up, describes, dissects and, finally, helps us to understand it. Brimming with ideas, original, compulsive”