It’s book haul time! I was going to spread this haul out over two posts, but I think you can handle all the goodness in one post. So, get comfortable and enjoy.
We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard (Orenda Books)
As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation. On Quebec’s outlying Gaspe Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves.
Call to Arms by Rachel Amphlett (Author, Rachel Amphlett)
Kay Hunter has survived a vicious attack at the hands of one of the country’s most evil serial killers. Returning to work after an enforced absence to recover, she discovers she wasn’t the only victim of that investigation.
DI Devon Sharp remains suspended from duties, and the team is in turmoil. Determined to prove herself once more and clear his name, Kay undertakes to solve a cold case that links Sharp to his accuser.
But, as she gets closer to the truth, she realises her enquiries could do more harm than good. Torn between protecting her mentor and finding out the truth, the consequences of Kay’s enquiries will reach far beyond her new role…
The Fear by C. L. Taylor (Avon Books)
Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…
When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.
Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.
But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…
Total review copies: 25
In the Dark by Cara Hunter (Penguin UK)
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY’RE HIDING IN THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR? From the author of CLOSE TO HOME, comes the second pulse-pounding DI Fawley crime thriller. A woman and child are found locked in a basement room, barely alive… No one knows who they are – the woman can’t speak, and there are no missing persons reports that match their profile. And the elderly man who owns the house claims he has never seen them before. The inhabitants of the quiet Oxford street are in shock – how could this happen right under their noses? But DI Adam Fawley knows that nothing is impossible. And that no one is as innocent as they seem . . .
Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh (Little, Brown Book Group UK)
The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.
One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.
Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to ask questions about her parents’ deaths. But by digging up the past, is she putting her future in danger? Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie . . .
Tangerine by Christine Mangan (Little, Brown Book Group UK)
The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the horrific accident at Bennington, the two friends – once inseparable roommates – haven’t spoken in over a year. But Lucy is standing there, trying to make things right.
Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy, always fearless and independent, helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.
But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice – she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.
The Hunger by Alma Katsu (Random House UK)
What began as a brave and bold adventure has become a nightmare.
The searing heat of the desert gives way to biting winds as they get closer to the mountains. The snows freeze the cattle where they stand.
The spectre of starvation looms and the children have begun to disappear.
Rumours are whispered, fingers pointed and accusation made as the surivors turn against each other.
And winter is closing in . . .
Total Netgalley copies: 8
From Penguin UK – to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in Britain, four forgotten classics by female authors!
Meatless Days by Sara Suleri
Meatless Days is a searing memoir of life in the newly-created country of Pakistan. When sudden and shocking tragedies hit the author’s family two years apart, her personal crisis spirals into a wider meditation on universal questions: about being a woman when you’re too busy being a mother or a sister or a wife to consider your own womanhood; about how it feels to begin life in a new language; about how our lives are changed by the people that leave them. This is a heart-breaking, hopeful and profound book that will get under your skin.
Lifting the Veil by Ismat Chughtai
Lifting the Veil is a bold and irreverent collection of writing from India’s most controversial feminist writer. These stories celebrate life in all its complexities: from a woman who refuses marriage to a man she loves to preserve her freedom, to a Hindu and a Muslim teenager pulled apart by societal pressures, to eye-opening personal accounts of the charges of obscenity the author faced in court for stories found in this book.
Wickedly funny and unflinchingly honest, Lifting the Veil explores the power of female sexuality while slyly mocking the subtle tyrannies of middle-class life. In 1940s India, an unlikely setting for female rebellion, Ismat Chughtai was a rare and radical storyteller born years ahead of her time.
The Lark by E. Nesbit
“When did two girls of our age have such a chance as we’ve got – to have a lark entirely on our own? No chaperone, no rules, no…”
“No present income or future prospects,” said Lucilla.
It’s 1919 and Jane and her cousin Lucilla leave school to find that their guardian has gambled away their money, leaving them with only a small cottage in the English countryside. In an attempt to earn their living, the orphaned cousins embark on a series of misadventures – cutting flowers from their front garden and selling them to passers-by, inviting paying guests who disappear without paying – all the while endeavouring to stave off the attentions of male admirers, in a bid to secure their independence.
Birds of America by Mary McCarthy
Peter Levi, a shy and sensitive American teenager, moves to Paris to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War, where he is determined to live a life in harmony with his own idealistic views. But the world is changing at breakneck pace, with nuclear war looming abroad and racial tensions simmering at home. Before long, Peter’s naïve illusions are shattered, as he finds himself an unwilling participant in an era of extraordinary change.
Birds of America is an unforgettable and deeply moving story of personal and political turmoil; of the strange and surprising nature of growing up; and of the questions we face when we examine who we really are.
And Penguin UK continue to kill it with the book mail!
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
This is Nadia. She is fiercely independent with an excellent sense of humour and a love of smoking alone on her balcony late at night.
This is Saeed. He is sweet and shy and kind to strangers. He also has a balcony but he uses his for star-gazing.
This is their story: a love story, but also a story about how we live now and how we might live tomorrow. Saeed and Nadia are falling in love, and their city is falling apart. Here is a world in crisis and two human beings travelling through it.
Exit West is a heartfelt and radical act of hope – a novel to restore your faith in humanity and in the power of imagination.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
‘Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard. I am a lover of America . . . ‘
So speaks the mysterious stranger at a Lahore cafe as dusk settles. Invited to join him for tea, you learn his name and what led this speaker of immaculate English to seek you out. For he is more worldy than you might expect; better travelled and better educated. He knows the West better than you do. And as he tells you his story, of how he embraced the Western dream — and a Western woman — and how both betrayed him, so the night darkens. Then the true reason for your meeting becomes abundantly clear . . .
Challenging, mysterious and thrillingly tense, Mohsin Hamid’s masterly The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a vital read teeming with questions and ideas about some of the most pressing issues of today’s globalised, fractured world.
The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden (From Jo’s Book Blog)
‘Frost-demons have no interest in mortal girls wed to mortal men. In the stories, they only come for the wild maiden.’
In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.
But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods…
The Girl in The Tower by Katherine Arden (From Jo’s Book Blog)
For a young woman in medieval Russia, the choices are stark: marriage or a life in a convent. Vasya will choose a third way: magic…
The court of the Grand Prince of Moscow is plagued by power struggles and rumours of unrest. Meanwhile bandits roam the countryside, burning the villages and kidnapping its daughters. Setting out to defeat the raiders, the Prince and his trusted companion come across a young man riding a magnificent horse.
Only Sasha, a priest with a warrior’s training, recognises this ‘boy’ as his younger sister, thought to be dead or a witch by her village. But when Vasya proves herself in battle, riding with remarkable skill and inexplicable power, Sasha realises he must keep her secret as she may be the only way to save the city from threats both human and fantastical…
Hell Bay by Kate Rhodes (From Always Trust In Books)
Trapped in a storm, with no way out …
DI Ben Kitto needs a second chance. After ten years working for the murder squad in London, a traumatic event has left him grief-stricken. He’s tried to resign from his job, but his boss has persuaded him to take three months to reconsider.
Ben plans to work in his uncle Ray’s boatyard, on the tiny Scilly island of Bryher where he was born, hoping to mend his shattered nerves. His plans go awry when the body of sixteen year old Laura Trescothick is found on the beach at Hell Bay. Her attacker must still be on the island because no ferries have sailed during a two-day storm.
Everyone on the island is under suspicion. Dark secrets are about to resurface. And the murderer could strike again at any time.
The House Beneath the Oak Trees by Faye Belle (from, Author @faye_belle_writes)
Penny couldn’t believe her luck when they first arrived at Oak Tree House, the grand country estate where she would be spending the week to celebrate her sister’s 30th birthday along with her mum and aunt. Guarded by two gigantic oak trees, the empty house stands alone within Oakdene, a quiet and desolate village. She ignores her mischievous aunt as she jokingly tries to convince them that their rented apartment is haunted the moment they step foot inside. Always rational, Penny tries to place logical explanations to unexplainable events that start occurring from the very first day. When these encounters become more and more frequent, and more terrifying, Penny cannot avoid it anymore. Someone, or something, is staying in the apartment with them and Penny needs to find out what it is and more importantly, what it wants from her?
Mr Mercedes; Finders Keepers; The Gunslinger by Stephen King (from @littlereaderxoxo)
Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson
At fourteen, Alice Hill was viciously attacked by two of her classmates and left to die. The teens claim she was a sacrifice for a man called Mister Tender, but that could never be true: Mister Tender doesn’t exist. His sinister character is pop-culture fiction, created by Alice’s own father in a series of popular graphic novels.
Over a decade later, Alice has changed her name and is trying to heal. But someone is watching her. They know more about Alice than any stranger could: her scars, her fears, and the secrets she keeps locked away. She can try to escape her past, but Mister Tender is never far behind. He will come with a smile that seduces, and a dark whisper in her ear…
The Confession by Jo Spain
Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. It looks like Harry’s many sins – corruption, greed, betrayal – have finally caught up with him.
An hour later the intruder, JP Carney, hands himself in, confessing to the assault. The police have a victim, a suspect in custody and an eye-witness account, but Julie remains troubled.
Has Carney’s surrender really been driven by a guilty conscience or is this confession the first calculated move in a deadly game?
The Fireman by Joe Hill
Nobody knew where the virus came from.
FOX News said it had been set loose by ISIS, using spores that had been invented by the Russians in the 1980s.
MSNBC said sources indicated it might’ve been created by engineers at Halliburton and stolen by culty Christian types fixated on the Book of Revelation.
CNN reported both sides.
While every TV station debated the cause, the world burnt.
Pregnant school nurse, HARPER GRAYSON, had seen lots of people burn on TV, but the first person she saw burn for real was in the playground behind the school.
With the epic scope of THE PASSAGE and the emotional impact of THE ROAD, this is one woman’s story of survival at the end of the world.
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
Dolores Claiborne has a story to tell. But it is not quite what the police had expected.
Dolores Claiborne has a confession to make . . .
She will take her time. Won’t be hurried. Will do it her way, sparing neither details nor feelings. Hers or anyone else’s.
This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Truth that takes you to the edge of darkness.
Dolores Claiborne has a story to tell and you’d better pay attention – or else.
Needful Things by Stephen King
There was a new shop in town. Run by a stranger. Needful Things, the sign said. The oddest name. A name that caused some gossip and speculation among the good folks of Castle Rock, Maine, while they waited for opening day.Eleven-year-old Brian Rusk was the first customer and he got just what he wanted, a very rare 1956 Sandy Koufax baseball card. Signed. Cyndi Rose Martin was next. A Lalique vase. A perfect match for her living room decor. Something for everyone. Something you really had to have. And always at a price you could just about afford. The cash price that is. Because there was another price. There always is when your heart’s most secret, true desire is for sale . . .
Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech
‘Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’
Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.
With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges… and changes everything.
Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defenses we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…
Whiteout by Ragnar Jonasson
Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kalfshamarvik. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thor Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier…
The Intruder by P.S. Hogan (swapped with Loved Reading This)
A gripping, sinister, deeply unsettling novel from the most sociopathic narrator of 2018. Meet Mr Heming…
William Heming is an estate agent. He’s kept a copy of every key to every house he’s ever sold. Sometimes he visits them. He lets himself in when the owners are out. But what will happen if he gets caught?
What will he do next?
Total owned books: 326
I seem to be hauling triple the amount I’m actually ready at the moment, but that’s not a bad thing – I’m just preparing for the zombie apocalypse (we all know it’s coming!)
Did you see any books that take your fancy?
Did we haul any of the same books?