He: A Novel by John Connolly

The Blurb On The Back:

An extraordinary imagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who loved, and was loved in turn; who betrayed, and was betrayed; who never sought to cause pain to others, yet left a trail of affairs and broken marriages in his wake …

And whose life was ultimately defined by one relationship of such tenderness and devotion that only death could sever it: his partnership with the man he knew as Babe.

he is Stan Laurel.

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Tell The Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams

The Blurb On The Back:

Follow these steps for guaranteed happiness.

That’s what the machine said.

But how far would you go to be happy?

Happiness is Pearl’s job.  As a technician working with the revolutionary Apricity device, she runs tests to determine what will improve people’s mood.  But her teenage son, Rhett, is a sensitive boy who has forged an unconventional path through adolescence.  If only Pearl could persuade him to run an Apricity assessment … but what if she doesn’t like what she finds?

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Under The Ice by Rachael Blok

The Blurb On The Back:

It is the week before Christmas and the cathedral city of St Albans is blanketed by snow.  But beneath the festive lights, darkness is stirring.  The frozen body of a young girl is discovered by the ice-covered lake.

The police scramble for clues.  A local woman, Jenny, has had visions of what happened the night of the murder.  But Jenny is an exhausted new mother, whose midnight wanderings pull her ever closer to the lake.  Can Jenny be trusted?  What does she really know?

Then another girl goes missing, and the community unravels.  Neighbour turns against neighbour, and Jenny has no idea who to believe.  As Christmas approaches, Jenny discovers a secret about her past – and why she could be key to everything …  

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Still Lives by Maria Hummel

The Blurb On The Back:

Kim Lord’s face looked back at me, disguised in paint and the features of a murdered woman.

Revered artist Kim Lord is about to unveil her most shocking show yet: Still Lives, a series of self-portraits in which she impersonates the female victims of America’s most famous homicides, from Nicole Brown Simpson to the Black Dahlia.

As celebrities and rich patrons pour into L.A.’s Rocque Museum for the opening night, the attendees wait eagerly for Kim’s arrival.  All except Maggie Richter, museum editor and ex-girlfriend of Greg Shaw Ferguson, Kim’s new boyfriend.  But Kim never shows up to her party and the crowd’s impatience slowly turns to unease.

When Greg is arrested on suspicion of murder, it seems that life is imitating art.  Has Kim suffered the same fate as the women in her paintings?  As Maggie is drawn into an investigation of her own, she uncovers dark and deadly truths that will change her life forever …

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In Our Mad And Furious City by Guy Gunaratne

The Blurb On The Back:

For Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere: football, music, freedom. But now, after the killing of a British soldier, riots are spreading across the city, and nowhere is safe.

While the fury swirls around them, Selvon and Ardan remain focused on their own obsessions, girls and grime. Their friend Yusuf is caught up in a different tide: radicalism is sweeping his local mosque, and he’ll do anything to protect his troubled older brother, Irfan, from it.

As the voices of Nelson and Caroline echo with a previous generation’s experience of violence and extremism, the story spirals towards its devastating conclusion. 

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She’s Not There by Tamsin Grey

The Blurb On The Back:

When Jonah and Raff wake up on Monday, their mother Lucy isn’t there.

Although Jonah is only nine, he is the big brother, and knows enough about the world to keep her absence a secret. If anyone found out she’d left them alone, it could be disastrous for him and Raff; and she’ll be back, he’s nearly sure.

With growing unease, he puzzles over the clues she’s left behind. Who sent her the flowers Why are all her shoes still in the house? Why is her phone buried in a plant pot?

And who, in their diverse south London community, might know more about her than he does? 

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A Double Life by Flynn Berry

The Blurb On The Back:

Claire’s father is a privileged man: handsome, brilliant, the product of an aristocratic lineage and an expensive education, surrounded by a group of devoted friends who would do anything for him.

But when he becomes the prime suspect in a horrific attack on Claire’s mother, a scandal erupts.  Claire’s father disappears overnight, his car abandoned, blood on the front seat.

Thirty years after that hellish night, Claire is obsessed with uncovering the truth, and she knows that the answer lies with the same friends who all those years before had answered the call to protect one of their own.

Because they know where Claire’s father is.

They helped him escape.

And it’s time their pristine lives met her fury.

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Bad Blood by E. O. Chirovici

The Blurb On The Back:

It’s a rainy night in New York, and psychologist James Cobb is giving a talk on the art of recovering lost memories via hypnosis. Afterwards, he’s approached by a stranger; a dying man who, forty years ago, wake up in a Paris hotel room with a murdered woman and no memory at all of what happened.

Now, he needs to know the truth.  Intrigued, James begins to unpick the tangled threads of this decades-old mystery.  But everyone involved has a different story to tell, and every fact he uncovers has another interpretation.  As his interest becomes an obsession, and secrets from his own past start to surface, he begins to suspect that someone has buried the truth deep enough to hide it forever.

BAD BLOOD tells a gripping story of memory, motives, and how little we really know about ourselves. 

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One Clear Ice-Cold January Morning At The Beginning Of The Twenty-First Century by Roland Schimmerlpfennig

The Blurb On The Back:

One clear ice-cold January morning shortly after dawn, a wolf crosses the border between Poland and Germany.  His trail leads all the way to Berlin, connecting the lives of disparate individuals whose paths intersect and diverge.

On an icy motorway eighty kilometres outside the city, a fuel tanker jack-knifes and explodes.  The lone wolf is glimpsed on the hard shoulder and photographed by Tomasz, a Polish construction worker who cannot survive in Germany without his girlfriend.  Elisabeth and Micha run away through the snow from their home village, crossing the wolf’s tracks on their way to the city.  A woman burns her mother’s diaries on a Berlin balcony.  And Elisabeth’s father, a famous sculptor, observes the vast skeleton of a whale in his studio and asks: What am I doing here?  And why?

Experiences and encounters flicker past with a raw, visual power, like frames in a black and white film.  Those who catch sight of the wolf see their own lives reflected, and find themselves searching for a different path in a cold time. 

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Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala

The Blurb On The Back:

On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, DC, he’s a top student and an athletics star at his prestigious private high school.  Bound for Harvard, his prospects are bright.  But Niru has a painful secret: he is gay – an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents.  No one knows except his best friend, Meredith – the one person who seems not to judge him.

When his father accidentally finds out, the fallout is brutal and swift.  Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him.  As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding towards a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine.  Neither will escape unscathed.

Speak No Evil is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people.

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