Cast Iron by Peter May

The Blurb On The Back:

In 1989, a killer dumped the body of twenty-year-old Lucie Martin into a picturesque lake in the West of France.  Fourteen years later, a summer heat wave parched the earth exposing her remains amid the scorched mud and slime.

The killer was never found.  But now, forensic expert Enzo Macleod is reviewing the stone cold case – the toughest of those he has been challenged to crack.

When Enzo spots a flaw in the original investigation, he expects positive developments.  Yet he is in fact prising open a Pandora’s box – one very much designed to be kept closed – to the peril of himself, and everyone he loves.   

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The Last Act Of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy Mejia

The Blurb On The Back:

The first and most important lesson in acting is to read your audience.  Know what they want you to be and give it to them.

Hattie Hoffman knows the power of acting.  Become whatever people want you to be and they will love you; and when they love you, the power is in your hands.

When Hattie is stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the only suspect is a Shakespearean curse.  Sheriff Del Goodman looked on Hattie as a daughter.  He vows to hunt down her killer, but discovers instead the full extent of Hattie’s acting talents.  She held their small town in her thrall, but as more of her secrets are revealed, and mask after mask is discarded, he realises the girl he knew was far from the true Hattie Hoffman.

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Truevine by Beth Macy

The Blurb On The Back:

Two brothers, a kidnapping and a mother’s quest: a true story of the American south.

The year was 1899, as the old people told the story; the place a sweltering tobacco farm in Truevine, Virginia, the heart of the Jim Crow South, where everyone the Muse brothers knew was either a former slave, or a child or grandchild of slaves.

George and Willie Muse were just six and nine years’ old, but they worked the fields from dawn to dark.  Until a white man offered them candy, and stole them away to become circus freaks.  For the next twenty-eight years, their distraught mother struggled to get them back.

But were they really kidnapped?  And how did their mother, a barely literate black woman in the segregated South, manage to bring them home?  And why, after coming home, did they want to go back to the circus?

At the height of their fame, the Muse brothers performed for royalty at Buckingham Palace and headlined over a dozen sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden.  They were global superstars in a pre-broadcast era.  But the very root of their success was in the colour of their skin and in the outrageous caricatures they were forced to assume: supposed cannibals, sheep-headed freaks, even ‘Ambassadors from Mars’.

The result of hundreds of interviews and decades of research, Truevine tells the extraordinary story of what really happened to the Muse brothers for the first time.  It is an unforgettable tale of cruelty and exploitation, but also of loyalty, determination and love. 

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They Can’t Kill Us All: The Story Of Black Lives Matter by Wesley Lowery

The Blurb On The Back:

This is the story of the birth of a movement, from the award-winning journalist who reported at the heart of it.  Based on over a year of on-the-ground reporting, it is an unprecedented portrait of the reality of police violence and endemic racism in America, and those trying to combat it. 

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Seven For A Secret by Lyndsay Faye

The Blurb On The Back:

One for sorrow,

Two for joy,

Three for a girl,

Four for a boy.

Five for silver,

Six for gold,

Seven for a secret, never to be told.

New York, 1846: The beautiful Mrs Lucy Adams hurtles through the gathering storm on a freezing St Valentine’s evening.  She stumbles, terrified, into the headquarters of the newly formed NYPD, and copper star Timothy Wilde finds himself drawn into a thorny maze when she reports a horrifying robbery: her family, she says, has been stolen.

Timothy is hardened to the injustices of life in the unforgiving city he’s grown up in, but that doesn’t mean he accepts them.  With immigrants flooding into the docks every day, communities are battling for their place in the new world, and many fall victim to the clash.  But the worst danger on the streets are the blackbirders; slave-catchers whose inhuman trade is not merely legal – it’s law enforcement.  Now Timothy, along with his wayward brother Valentine, is about to bring the fight right to the heart of the corrupt political machine he was hired to defend …

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Beneath The Surface by Jo Spain

The Blurb On The Back:

“I am going to die.  I cannot stand the thought of leaving my girls, of never seeing them again.  I would give anything to turn back time and stop this.  The gun is in my eye line as the second bullet is fired.  That’s the one that kills me.”

Ryan Finnegan, a high-ranking government official, is brutally slain in Leinster House, the seat of Irish parliament.  Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are called in to uncover the truth behind the murder.  As the suspects start to rack up, Tom must untangle a web of corruption, sordid secrets and sinister lies.

At first, all the evidence hints at a politically motivated crime, until a surprise discovery takes the investigation in a dramatically different direction.  Suddenly the motive for murder has got a lot more personal … but who benefits the most from Ryan’s death?

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The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland

The Blurb On The Back:

“Something was approaching, something evil – I could feel it.  As if in some distant land the devil had just unfurled his wings and was even now flying over the sea towards us, his shadow reaching out before him.”

13.61 Porlock Weir, Exmoor. Thirteen years after the Great Pestilence, plague strikes England for the second time. Sara, a packhorse man’s wife, remembers the horror all too well and fears for safety of her children.

Only a dark-haired stranger offers help, but at a price that no one will pay.

Fear gives way to hysteria in the village and, when the sickness spreads to her family, Sara finds herself locked away by neighbours she has trusted for years. And, as her husband – and then others – begin to die, the cost no longer seems so unthinkable.

The price that I ask, from one willing to pay… A human life.

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The Eye Of Minds by James Dashner

The Blurb On The Back:

To catch a hacker, you need a hacker.

For Michael and the other gamers, the VirtNet can make your wildest fantasies become real.  And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun.  Who wants to play by the rules anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason.  One gamer has been taking people hostage inside the VirtNet with horrific consequences.

The government needs Michael, but the risk is enormous and the line between game and reality could be blurred forever …

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Tease by Amanda Maciel

The Blurb On The Back:

Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault.

At least, that’s what everyone seems to think when Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, are criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide.

But Emma brought it on herself.  Emma stole Sara’s boyfriend.  Emma stole everyone’s boyfriends.  Surely Sara was the victim, not Emma?

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