The Closest Thing To Flying by Gill Lewis

The Blurb On The Back:

When Semira discovers a diary written by Hen, a girl living over one hundred years ago, she finds the friend she has been desperately seeking. A friend who reaches through time to bring not just comfort but inspiration to be brave, to fight for her place in the world, and maybe even to uncover the secrets of her own past …

Writing the diary changed one girl’s life. Reading it changes another’s. 

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Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

The Blurb On The Back:

They were the Amazing Telemachus Family, who in the mid-1970s achieved widespread fame for their magic and mind reading act. That is, until the magic decided to disappear one night, live in front of millions on national television.

We encounter this long-forgotten family two decades on, when grandson Matty, born long after the public fall from grace, discovers a little magic in himself and begins to suspect his hugely deflated, heavily indebted family truly are amazing. 

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A Very Large Expanse Of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

The Blurb On The Back:

When you’re hiding from a world that hates you, who would make you risk everything to be seen again?

It’s the year after 9/11, and Shirin has just started at yet another new high school.  It’s a difficult time, but especially so for a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who wears hijab.  Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be.

She hides away, drowning her frustrations in music, and spending her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.  But then Shirin meets Ocean James.  He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know her – and it terrifies her.  He’s not like everyone else – but Shirin has had her guard up against the world for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down … 

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War Is Over by David Almond and David Litchfield

The Blurb On The Back:

”I am just a child,” says John.  “How can I be at war?”

It’s 1918, and war is everywhere.  John’s dad is fighting in the trenches far away in France. His mum works in the munitions factory just along the road.  His teacher says that John is fighting too, that he is at war with enemy children in Germany.

One day, in the wild woods outside town, John has an impossible moment: a meeting with a German boy named Jan.

John catches a glimpse of a better world, in which children like Jan and himself can come together, and scatter the seeds of peace. 

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The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman

The Blurb On The Back:

Bath, December 1812.

Lady Helen Wrexhall is finalising the preparations for her wedding, but her focus is on the Dark Days Club.  Time is running out to find the vital answers needed to defeat their unknown foe, the Grand Deceiver.

Lady Helen and Lord Carlston are also struggling to control their new dyad bond, and their illicit feelings for one another. As Helen tries desperately to juggle the demands of her double life, an old enemy arrives in Bath, bringing death and deceit. 

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Yellowhammer by James Henry

The Blurb On The Back:

July 1983, Essex.  Fox Farm is, thanks to two corpses, neither picturesque nor peaceful. The body in its kitchen belongs to eminent historian Christopher Cliff, who has taken his own life with an antique shotgun.  The second, found on the property boundary, remains unidentified.

DI Nick Lowry’s summer is neither sleepy nor serene. And the two deaths are just the half of it.  The fact County Chief Merrydown was a college friend of Cliff’s means Lowry is now, in turn, under scrutiny from his severely stressed and singularly unsympathetic boss, Sparks.

To catalyse his investigation, Lowry enlists the services of DC Daniel Kenton and WPC Jane Gabriel.  Gabriel needs direction, if she is to begin a career as a detective.  While Kenton, who appears solely focused on beginning a relationship with Gabriel, needs distraction.

Both the heat and the investigation soon intensify. The team find themselves interrogating enigmatic neighbours, shady businessmen, jilted lovers and wronged relatives; all the while negotiating the caprices of Sparks – whose attitudes remain as dated as Fox Farm’s antiques.

Only when they fully open their eyes and minds will they begin to see a web of rural politics, dodgy dealings and fragmented families – one that they must unpick before it ensnares them.  

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Blackwater by James Henry

The Blurb On The Back:

January 1983, Colchester CID

A new year brings new resolutions for Detective Inspector Nicholas Lowry. With one eye on his approaching fortieth birthday, he has given up his two greatest vices: smoking, and the police boxing team. As a result, the largest remaining threat to his health is now his junior colleague’s reckless driving.

If Detective Constable Daniel Kenton’s orange sports convertible is symbolic of his fast track through the ranks, then his accompanying swagger, foppish hairstyle and university education only augment his uniqueness in the department. Yet regardless of this, it is not DC Kenton who is turning station heads.

WPC Jane Gabriel is the newest police recruit in Britain’s oldest recorded town. Despite a familial tie to top brass, Gabriel’s striking beauty and profound youth have landed her with two obstacles: a young male colleague who gives her too much attention, and an older one who acts like she’s not there.

January 1983, Blackwater Estuary

A new year brings a new danger to the Essex shoreline. An illicit shipment, bound for Colchester – 100 kilograms of power that will frantically accelerate tensions in the historic town, and leave its own murderous trace.

Lowry, Kenton and Gabriel must now develop a tolerance to one another, and show their own substance, to save Britain’s oldest settlement from a new, unsettling enemy. 

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The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney

The Blurb On The Back:

A city torn apart.

Glasgow, 1969.  In the grip of the worst winter for years, the city is brought to its knees by a killer whose name fills the streets with fear: the Quaker.  He takes his next victim – the third woman from the same nightclub – and dumps her in the street like rubbish.

A detective with everything to prove.

The police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey.  DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands, is ordered to join the investigation.  But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair. Soon he learns just how difficult life can be for an outsider.

A killer who hunts in the shadows.

When another woman is found murdered in a tenement flat, it’s clear the case is by no means over.  From ruined backstreets to the dark heart of Glasgow, McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city – and his life – forever … 

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The Goose Road by Rowena House

The Blurb On The Back:

While the soldiers are fighting on the Front, Angélique has her own battle to fight.

1916: When news arrives of her father’s death on a distant battlefield, 14-year-old Angélique Lacroix makes herself a promise: she will keep the family farm running until her brother returns from the war.

But she doesn’t realise that to keep her promise she will have to embark on a long and arduous journey across France, accompanied by a flock of magnificent Toulouse geese.

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The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Blurb On The Back:

After having travelled west for weeks, the party of pioneers comes to a crossroads.  It is time for their leader, George Donner, to make a choice.  They face two diverging paths which lead to the same destination.  One is well-documented – the other untested, but rumoured to be short.  His decision will shape the lives of everyone travelling with him

The searing heat of the desert gives way to biting winds and a bitter cold that freezes the cattle where they stand. Driven to the brink of madness, the ill-fated group struggles to survive and minor disagreements turn into violent confrontations.  Then the children begin to disappear. As the survivors turn against each other, a few begin to realise that the threat they face reaches beyond the fury of the elements to something more primal, and far more deadly …  

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