It’s book haul time! I’m well aware I have a hauling problem, but think about all the books that exist in the world, think particularly about those in libraries and bookshops, in comparison, my collection is minuscule. Now that’s cleared up, let’s look at the wonderful new additions to my shelves this month…
Macbeth by Jo Nesbo (Crown Publishing)
Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom—a master of manipulation named Hecate—has connections with the highest in power, and plans to use them to get his way.
Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth: the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies. What follows is an unputdownable story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind.
A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong (Crown Publishing)
Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists tell the riveting true story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the detectives who followed a winding path to arrive at the truth.
On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her. Within days police and even those closest to Marie became suspicious of her story. The police swiftly pivoted and began investigating Marie. Confronted with inconsistencies in her story and the doubts of others, Marie broke down and said her story was a lie—a bid for attention. Police charged Marie with false reporting, and she was branded a liar.
More than two years later, Colorado detective Stacy Galbraith was assigned to investigate a case of sexual assault. Describing the crime to her husband that night, Galbraith learned that the case bore an eerie resemblance to a rape that had taken place months earlier in a nearby town. She joined forces with the detective on that case, Edna Hendershot, and the two soon discovered they were dealing with a serial rapist: a man who photographed his victims, threatening to release the images online, and whose calculated steps to erase all physical evidence suggested he might be a soldier or a cop. Through meticulous police work the detectives would eventually connect the rapist to other attacks in Colorado—and beyond.
Based on investigative files and extensive interviews with the principals, A False Report is a serpentine tale of doubt, lies, and a hunt for justice, unveiling the disturbing truth of how sexual assault is investigated today—and the long history of skepticism toward rape victims.
Star of the North by D.B. John (Crown Publishing)
A propulsive and ambitious thriller about a woman trying to rescue her twin sister from captivity in North Korea, and the North Korean citizens with whom she forms an unlikely alliance
Star of the North opens in 1988, when a Korean American teenager is kidnapped from a South Korean beach by North Korean operatives. Twenty-two years later, her brilliant twin sister, Jenna, is still searching for her, and ends up on the radar of the CIA. When evidence that her sister may still be alive in North Korea comes to light, Jenna will do anything possible to rescue her–including undertaking a daring mission into the heart of the regime. Her story is masterfully braided together with two other narrative threads. In one, a North Korean peasant woman finds a forbidden international aid balloon and uses the valuables inside to launch a dangerously lucrative black-market business. In the other, a high-ranking North Korean official discovers, to his horror, that he may be descended from a traitor, a fact that could mean his death if it is revealed. As the novel progresses, these narrative strands converge and connect in surprising ways, ultimately building to an explosive and unforgettable climax.
Fukushima Dreams by Zelda Rhiando (from the author)
Sachiko and her husband Harry live in a village on the North-east coast of Japan. They are both struggling to adapt to life as new parents to their infant son Tashi.
In the aftermath of the tsunami, Sachiko wakes alone. Her family is missing. She begins a desperate search until radiation fallout from the Fukushima power plant forces her to leave the area. She moves to Tokyo, and a different life.
Harry has fled to a refuge on an isolated mountain, abandoning his family. He lives there, haunted by guilt and hovering on the edge of sanity.
Will they find each other and confront the question of their missing son?
Now You See by Max Manning (Wildfire)
Will you look her in the eyes, just before she dies? A terrifying crime thriller that will set your pulse pounding. On the streets of London, a vicious killer is using social media to turn murder into entertainment . . .
I, Killer has posted two photos of his first victim online – Before Death and After Death. They’ve gone viral before DCI Fenton’s team even discovers the body.
Soon, another victim’s photo is similarly posted . . . and so begins the killer’s following.
DCI Fenton is determined to discover the identity of I, Killer before another innocent life is claimed. Then the case takes a dark turn, and Fenton’s search becomes a matter of life or death for him and his young daughter.
But as I, Killer’s body-count rises, his number of online followers is growing – and he loves to give his fans what they want . . .
Hold My Hand by M.J. Ford (Avon Books)
How long do you hunt for the missing?
A horrible vanishing act…
When a young Josie Masters sees a boy wearing a red football shirt, Dylan Jones, being taken by a clown at a carnival, she tries to alert the crowds. But it’s too late. Dylan has disappeared…
Thirty years later, Josie is working as a police officer in Bath. The remains of the body of a child have been found – complete with tatters of a torn red football shirt. Is it the boy she saw vanish in the clutches of the clown? Or is it someone else altogether?
And then another child disappears…
Bullied To Death: A Story of Bullying, Social Media, and the Suicide of Sherokee Harriman by Judith A. Yates (Wildblue Press)
On September 5, 2015, in a public park in LaVergne, Tennessee, fourteen-year-old Sherokee Harriman drove a kitchen knife into her stomach as other teens watched in horror. Despite attempts to save her, the girl died, and the coroner ruled it a “suicide.” But was it? Or was it a crime perpetuated by other teens who had bullied her?
Sherokee’s short life and tragic death created a national media and social media frenzy much of it centered on sensationalism rather than the truth. Meanwhile in LaVergne, the community sought answers to questions about who, if anyone, should be held criminally responsible for “bullying.”
Award-winning author and criminologist Judith A. Yates peels back the layers of sensational news coverage surrounding a girl’s death, and in context with national interest in the phenomenon of internet bullying tries to answer the question of whether Sherokee Harriman was BULLIED TO DEATH.
Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin (Michael Joseph)
My Sister disappeared. I know who took her. Now I’ve taken him. Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who once took photographs. That was before he was tried for murder and acquitted. Before dementia and his admission to a Texas care facility. Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip. Only she’s not his daughter, and, if she has her way, he’s not coming back . . . Because Carl’s past has finally caught up with him. The woman driving the car is convinced he’s guilty, and that he’s killed other young women. Including her sister Rachel. Now they’re driving across Texas, following his photographs, his clues, his crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. To discover what happened to Rachel. Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar. Either way, in driving him into the Texan badlands she’s taking a terrible risk. For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all . . .
The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan (Bookouture)
Detective Josie Quinn is horrified when she’s called to the house of a mother who had her newborn baby snatched from her arms.
A woman caught fleeing the scene is Josie’s only lead, but when questioned it seems this mysterious girl doesn’t know who she is, where she’s from or why she is so terrified…
Is she a witness, a suspect, or the next victim?
As Josie digs deeper, a letter about a mix-up at a fertility clinic links the nameless girl and the missing child to a spate of killings across the county. Josie is faced with an impossible decision: should she risk the life of one innocent child to save many others… or can she find another way?
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager (Penguin Random House UK)
Have you ever played two truths and a lie?
Emma has. Her first summer away from home, she learned how to play the game. And she learned how to lie.
Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned . . .
Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime.
Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all…
Deadly Secrets by Robert Bryndza (Bookouture)
To commit the perfect murder, you need the perfect cover.
On a cold icy morning, a mother wakes to find her daughter’s blood-soaked body frozen to the road. Who would carry out such a horrific killing on the victim’s doorstep?
Straight off her last harrowing case, Detective Erika Foster is feeling fragile but determined to lead the investigation. As she sets to work, she finds reports of assaults in the same quiet South London suburb where the woman was killed. One chilling detail links them to the murder victim – they were all attacked by a figure in black wearing a gas mask.
Erika is on the hunt for a killer with a terrifying calling card. The case gets more complicated when she uncovers a tangled web of secrets surrounding the death of the beautiful young woman.
Yet just as Erika begins to piece the clues together, she is forced to confront painful memories of her past. Erika must dig deep, stay focused and find the killer. Only this time, one of her own is in terrible danger…
Girl Fighter by Cyan Night (Cameron Publicity & Marketing LTD)
What kind of person signs up for a cage fight?
In this fascinating novel, Aliyah, a mixed-race Australian lives a solitary life as a computer specialist in London. She was born with an exceptional intelligence but her gifted mind does little to alleviate the pain she carries inside since her childhood.
One day Aliyah stumbles upon a mixed martial arts gym. Like many fighters before her she finds peace in a sport that is seemingly violent. She takes on training with a military discipline as an easy substitute for any meaningful bond in her life. Her journey to her debut cage fight is challenging, but it does nothing to prepare her for the biggest fight of her life.
Girl Fighter is a behind-the-scenes look at the motivations of a mixed martial artist, the challenges of women in combat sport and the unseen struggles of a brain injury survivor.
The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton (Orion Publishing Group)
Devoted father or merciless killer?
His secrets are buried with him.
Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.
Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.
Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?
In the Vines by Shannon Kirk (Thomas & Mercer)
Family ties so strong you can’t escape…
Mary Olivia Pentecost, known as Mop, was born into one of the wealthiest families in the country—and one of the most guarded. Now, two years after her mother’s mysterious death, Mop is seeking closure on the disquieting tragedy by returning to the New England seaside estate of her cloistered Aunty Liv—once her closest relative and confidante.
But behind the walls of the isolated estate, the shadows of the past are darker than Mop imagined. The puzzles of the family history are not to be shared, but unearthed. With each revelation comes a new, foreboding threat—and for Mop, the grave suspicion that to discover Aunty Liv’s secrets is to become a prisoner of them.
How well do we know the people we love? How well do we want to know them? The answers are as twisted as a tangle of vines in this throat-clutching novel of psychological suspense.
Total Netgalley Copies: 12
Snap by Belinda Bauer (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Jack’s in charge, said his mother as she disappeared up the road to get help. I won’t be long. Now eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters wait on the hard shoulder in their stifling, broken-down car, bickering and whining and playing I-Spy until she comes back.
But their mother doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And after that long, hot summer’s day, nothing will ever be the same again.
Three years later, Jack’s fifteen now and still in charge . . . alone in the house. Meanwhile across town, a young woman called Catherine While wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note reading I could of killed you. The police are tracking a mysterious burglar they call Goldilocks, for his habit of sleeping in the beds of the houses he robs, but Catherine doesn’t see the point of involving the police. And Jack, very suddenly, may be on the verge of finding out who killed his mother.
Total Edelweiss+ Copies: 1
Urbane Book Club:
The Trouble Boys by E. R. Fallon
Trouble Boys is an historical crime novel about the Irish mob in New York City from the 1930s to the 1950s. The story opens in pre-WWII Europe when young Irish immigrant Colin O’Brien settles with his family in New York City. There Colin befriends a Cuban-American boy named Johnny Garcia. Life in America isn’t what Colin’s family expects and he experiences a shocking tragedy that alters his life. As Johnny and Colin grow into men, their friendship changes. They begin working for different crime syndicates, with Colin joining the ranks of charismatic Tom McPhalen’s Irish mob and Johnny becoming a member of debonair Tito Bernal’s Cuban gang. As Colin’s rise in the ranks of organized crime becomes increasingly more brutal and demeaning and his friendship with Johnny deteriorates, he begins to question his place in the seductive yet violent world he’s found himself in.
Goldsboro Books March BOTM:
Folk by Zoe Gilbert
The remote island village of Neverness is a world far from our time and place.
The air hangs rich with the coconut-scent of gorse and the salty bite of the sea. Harsh winds scour the rocky coastline. The villagers’ lives are inseparable from nature and its enchantments.
Verlyn Webbe, born with a wing for an arm, unfurls his feathers in defiance of past shame; Plum is snatched by a water bull and dragged to his lair; little Crab Skerry takes his first run through the gorse-maze; Madden sleepwalks through violent storms, haunted by horses and her father’s wishes.
As the tales of this island community interweave over the course of a generation, their earthy desires, resentments, idle gossip and painful losses create a staggeringly original world. Crackling with echoes of ancient folklore, but entirely, wonderfully, her own, Zoe Gilbert’s Folk is a dark, beautiful and intoxicating debut.
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett (from my sister)
The Continental Op first heard Personville called Poisonville by Hickey Dewey. But since Dewey also called a shirt a shoit, he didn’t think anything of it. Until he went there and his client, the only honest man in Poisonville, was murdered. Then the Op decided to stay to punish the guilty. And that meant taking on the entire town…
Anatomy of Innocence: Testimonies of the Wrongfully Convicted edited by Laura Caldwell (from my brother)
Long thought to be statistical anomalies in an otherwise sound justice system, wrongful convictions we are just beginning to learn happen with frightening regularity. But very few people understand just how they happen and, more importantly, the consequences. Now, Anatomy of Innocence tells the stories of more than a dozen innocent men and women who were convicted of serious crimes and cast into the maw of a vast and deeply flawed American criminal justice system before eventually being exonerated. Here, each “exoneree” is paired with a high-profile mystery and thriller writer to produce a unique collaboration. By joining such master storytellers with exonerees, Anatomy of Innocence presents the tragedy of wrongful conviction with a stark and fiery clarity.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (from my friend)
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
11.22.63 by Stephen King
WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot – unless . . .King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 – from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life – a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.With extraordinary imaginative power, King weaves the social, political and popular culture of his baby-boom American generation into a devastating exercise in escalating suspense.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principal is playing by the rules.Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?
Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.
Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America by Mamie Till-Mobley
The mother of Emmett Till recounts the story of her life, her son’s tragic death, and the dawn of the civil rights movement–with a foreword by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.In August 1955, a fourteen-year-old African American, Emmett Till, was visiting family in Mississippi when he was kidnapped from his bed in the middle of the night by two white men and brutally murdered. His crime: allegedly whistling at a white woman in a convenience store. The killers were eventually acquitted.What followed altered the course of this country’s history–and it was all set in motion by the sheer will, determination, and courage of Mamie Till-Mobley, whose actions galvanized the civil rights movement, leaving an indelible mark on our racial consciousness. Death of Innocence is an essential document in the annals of American civil rights history, and a painful yet beautiful account of a mother’s ability to transform tragedy into boundless courage and hope.
Kindle First Purchase:
Hell’s Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness by Harold Schechter
[Kindle in Motion edition: Kindle in Motion books include art, animation, or video features that can be viewed on certain devices]
In the pantheon of serial killers, Belle Gunness stands alone. She was the rarest of female psychopaths, a woman who engaged in wholesale slaughter, partly out of greed but mostly for the sheer joy of it. Between 1902 and 1908, she lured a succession of unsuspecting victims to her Indiana “murder farm.” Some were hired hands. Others were well-to-do bachelors. All of them vanished without a trace. When their bodies were dug up, they hadn’t merely been poisoned, like victims of other female killers. They’d been butchered.Hell’s Princess is a riveting account of one of the most sensational killing sprees in the annals of American crime: the shocking series of murders committed by the woman who came to be known as Lady Bluebeard. The only definitive book on this notorious case and the first to reveal previously unknown information about its subject, Harold Schechter’s gripping, suspenseful narrative has all the elements of a classic mystery—and all the gruesome twists of a nightmare.
Thin Air by Michelle Paver (swapped with Zuky @ BookBum)
The Himalayas, 1935.
Kangchenjunga. The sacred mountain. Biggest killer of them all.
Five Englishmen set out to conquer it. But courage can only take them so far. And the higher they climb, the darker it gets.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (swapped with Inge @ The Belgian Reviewer)
A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer – the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorised California for over a decade – from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.
‘You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.’
For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.
Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called the Golden State Killer. Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death – offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic – and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.
Total Unread Books: 365
Not too shabby if I do say so myself, and if you missed my birthday book haul, you can check it out here.
Did you see any books that take your fancy?
Did we haul any of the same books?