This is a wonderful Gothic romp of a novel, set in 1912 in the ghostly marshes of West Sussex. Connie is the eponymous daughter, her father once the wealthy owner of a museum of stuffed birds. He’s now broken and disgraced by something terrible that happened in his past. Connie gradually unravels what this was, aided by ghostly notes and gruesome discoveries. Mosse’s legions of fans will love it. So did we.
Peter Swanson’s story hits the ground running and accelerates from there. Two strangers meet in the business lounge at Heathrow Airport and over cocktails and increasingly intimate conversation, hatch a murder plot. Is it all just fantasy and silly bravado? Or from the moment Ted and Lily meet, is someone doomed to die? And maybe more than one person? Riveting.
A Spool of Blue Thread is an exquisite novel, by one of our greatest living writers, about families and ordinary life. The central character is Abby, now in her seventies, her mind just beginning to unravel slightly. It’s about the myths we all weave about our families, the assumptions we make, the truths that lie beneath. It’s gentle, sharp, comforting, disturbing and funny. We truly loved it.
The fetid, steamy atmosphere of the tropics rises from these pages like a humid mist. We are on a tea plantation in 1920s Ceylon and 19 year old Gwendolyn Hooper is the new bride of the owner, a wealthy and charming widower. But her romantic dreams of marriage are overshadowed by echoes from the past – an old trunk of musty dresses; an overgrown and neglected gravestone in the grounds. Her new husband refuses to talk about them. Gwen’s perfect man is becoming a perfect stranger…
Spooky, chilling, creepy, haunting – all words that describe this debut thriller to perfection. Angus and Sarah are the parents of identical twin girls; then one dies in a horrible accident. Wracked with grief they move to a remote Scottish island to recover in peace. There they discover that the surviving twin, Kirsty, claims she is in fact her dead sister, Lydia. An astonishingly frightening and accomplished book.
If you are married, relatively young, and have ever idly wondered how you would cope with the sudden death of your partner, this book – a true story – may give you some idea of what is involved. Lucie Brownlee’s husband dropped dead one evening as they were making love with the intention of getting her pregnant. Mark was just 37. The only way Lucie could begin to make sense of her loss was to write about it. Life After You is the mesmerising, moving, and often very funny result.
This is a brilliant debut novel, both haunting and apocalyptic. It’s set in a near-future Britain where it hasn’t rained for two years, the drought bringing desperation and social unrest to the entire country. The only place remaining inexplicably green and fertile is The Well, Mark and Ruth’s country home. The locals believe it’s witchcraft, and a strange group of nuns congregate on their property. Ruth finds herself simultaneously in paradise and a mystical nightmare. Excellent.
A once-mighty city in ruins, its people divided, half-starved and terrified of the future. Berlin after the second world war. As the Soviets, Americans and British vie for control of the former Nazi capital, a young Jewish writer who fled the Holocaust is coerced by Washington into returning as a secret agent. But on his first day back in Berlin, everything goes horribly and lethally wrong. A pulse-quickening, beautifully written spy thriller worthy of Le Carre at his best.