Thursday, April 15, 2021
Published 15th April 2021 in paperback by Vintage.
From the cover of the book:
But what if Rebecca's secrets put them both in danger? There's a reason Cait chooses to keep on the road, helping strangers. She has a past of her own, and knows what it's like to be followed.
And there is someone right behind them, watching their every move...
*Named one of the New York Times top 10 crime novels of 2020*'
She is American and lives in London with her husband and her two excessively fuzzy cats, Roger and BoJack. She spends much of my time reading, writing, running along the Thames and trying unsuccessfully to remove cat hair from the furniture.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Published 15th April 2021 by Louise Walters Books.
From the cover of the book:It’s 2006 in the fictional East London borough of Leytonstow. The UK’s pub smoking ban is about to happen, and thirty-eight-and-a-half year old John Torrington, a mopper and trolley collector at his local DIY store, is secretly in love with the stylish, beautiful, and middle-class barmaid Lois. John and his hapless, strange, and down-on-their-luck friends, Gabby Longfeather and Glyn Hopkins, live in Clements Markham House - a semi-derelict Edwardian villa divided into unsanitary bedsits, and (mis)managed by the shrewd, Dickensian business man, Mr Kapoor.
Funny, original, philosophical, and unexpectedly moving, The Dig Street Festival takes a long, hard, satirical look at modern British life, and asks of us all, how can we be better people?
Monday, April 12, 2021
Published 24th March 2021 by Smoke and Mirrors Press.
From the cover of the book:Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth? These are people you know, but not as you know them. Peel back the mask and see.
Simon now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with his wife, Nicola, their labradoodle, Barney and two tyrannical children.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Don't Turn Around
by Jessica Barry
CHAPTER 9FARWELL, TEXAS—
232 MILES TO ALBUQUERQUE
Rebecca’s mind kept tugging her back to the dead fox lying by the side of the road back in Sudan. She could see the steam rising from the pool of blood and the dull black beads of its eyes. She had first seen those eyes as a kid, when Bugs, her pet bunny, was mauled by the neighbor’s dog. She saw that dog every day, twice a day, walking to and from the bus stop. His name was Fletch and he would track her the length of his yard, growling, penned in by a chain- link fence. One morning, she heard a commotion coming from the backyard and made it just in time to watch the dog shake Bugs until his brittle neck snapped. Fletch had dropped the bunny and run off when she’d charged at him screaming, but it had been too late. She watched the light go out of Bugs’s eyes, quick and final as a birthday candle. One minute Bugs was her pet rabbit who loved bell peppers and chin scratches and whose whiskers tickled her when he twitched his nose, the next it was just a collection of bones and flesh and fur. That’s why, later, when her mother tried to convince her that Bugs had taken the rainbow bridge to heaven, she knew it was a lie. She’d seen an animal die and now she couldn’t unsee it— she knew that life could go from something to nothing, just like that, and that there was no use pretending there was something waiting beyond.
She put a hand to her stomach.
They passed a processing plant on the horizon with a line of silos rising in the dark sky like a row of blunt teeth. On the other side of the road, a restaurant welcomed potential customers: THURSDAYS = STEAK NIGHT.A small green sign announced they were leaving Farwell, Texas, and entering Texico, New Mexico.
“We’re through,” Cait said, nodding toward the sign and giving her a small and gentle smile. “You can relax now.”
Something tightened in Rebecca’s chest.
Cait was wrong about danger lying closest to home. For her, crossing the state line meant the threat was suddenly, terrifyingly real...
Friday, April 9, 2021
Published 8th April 2021 by Influx Press.
From the cover of the book:Shaun wakes up in hospital after a fight in a local nightclub and discovers his girlfriend has been assaulted.
What really happened? And how did it come to this?
Lairies is the brilliant and brutal debut from Steve Hollyman, mapping the lives of violent young men at the start of the twenty-first century, living aimlessly but desperately hunting for purpose.
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery (Vera Kelly Book Two) by Roslaie Knecht.
Published 6th April 2021 by Verve Books.
From the cover of the book:Recently out-of-the-spy-game heroine Vera Kelly finds herself travelling from Brooklyn to a sprawling countryside estate in the Caribbean in her first case as a private investigator.
Before it's over, she'll chase a lost child through foster care and follow a trail of Dominican exiles to the Caribbean.
In this exciting second instalment of the 'splendid genre-pushing' (People) Vera Kelly series, Rosalie Knecht challenges and deepens the Vera we love: a woman of sparkling wit, deep moral fibre, and martini-dry humour who knows how to follow a case even as she struggles to follow her heart.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Published 1st April 2021 by Harper Collins.
From the cover of the book:A perfect marriage…
Golden couple Annie and David Crayce have it all. A loving marriage, three beautiful children and a thriving family business. Life couldn’t be better. Until the unthinkable happens…
A perfect crime?
A piece of damning DNA evidence has arisen, placing David as the prime suspect of a murder committed twenty-years ago. Annie is sure her David is innocent. But if he isn’t guilty, then either his father or brother must be.
As the police investigate the cold case, so does Annie. Trawling through her old diaries, she begins desperately looking for answers. But it all comes down to a few lost hours she can’t solve.
And Annie begins to doubt the one person she thought she knew best… Her husband.
Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s.
Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Published 1st April 2021 by Headline Review.
From the cover of the book:
Gunpowder and treason changed England forever. But the tides are turning and revenge runs deep in this compelling historical thriller for fans of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor's Ashes of London, Kate Mosse and Blood & Sugar.
1606. A year to the day that men were executed for conspiring to blow up Parliament, a towering wave devastates the Bristol Channel. Some proclaim God's vengeance. Others seek to take advantage.
In London, Daniel Pursglove lies in prison waiting to die. But Charles FitzAlan, close adviser to King James I, has a job in mind that will free a man of Daniel's skill from the horrors of Newgate. If he succeeds.
For Bristol is a hotbed of Catholic spies, and where better for the lone conspirator who evaded arrest, one Spero Pettingar, to gather allies than in the chaos of a drowned city? Daniel journeys there to investigate FitzAlan's lead, but soon finds himself at the heart of a dark Jesuit conspiracy - and in pursuit of a killer.
England has been changed for ever by both the treason of the conspirators and their punishment, but the religious and political turmoil that caused them to act so boldly has not disappeared with their deaths. If anything, current circumstances are worse than ever.
James I is troubled by the unrest in his realm, but his close advisor Charles FitzAlan thinks he has a way to turn the matters to their advantage. FitzAlan's solution is to send a spy into the hotbed of Catholic insurrection in Bristol to discover the truth about a possible Jesuit conspiracy - and the man he has chosen, one Daniel Pursglove, has been dragged from the horrors of Newgate Prison to take on the mission.
When Pursglove arrives in Bristol, he is unsure quite how he will complete his mission - or even if there is a conspiracy here to uncover. However, it soon becomes clear that a murderer is at work among the ruins of this once thriving city, although their motives are unclear. Torn between his past and the present task, Pursglove, aided by a rag-tag band of willing and not so willing compatriots, must get to the bottom of the murders before more lives are lost - especially if he is to save himself from being thrown back into the bowels of Newgate Prison for the rest of his earthly days.
It's no secret that I like a bit of historical fiction, and this is just the kind of book of that genre that ticks every box for me. It is rich in historical detail, with wonderful characters who keep their real intentions a closely guarded secret, and is set against an intriguing backdrop of a time of political and religious troubles that offer endless possibilities to work in some beautiful storylines around betrayal and revenge.
Although we often hear much about what led up to the Gunpowder Plot and the punishment meted out to those identified as the culprits, I loved that K.J. Maitland has chosen the period following this event as the setting for her story. We all know about Guy Fawkes, but how much does burning his effigy every year on a bonfire really tell us about the lie of the land in England in the aftermath? Not a lot actually... but here we are treated to well-researched detail about the religious and political unrest and machinations that were still rife after the event, and how this discord fed the belief among the populace that God was not at all happy about what what happening across the country, not to mention fuelled the belief that witchcraft was to blame for many of their ills.
But this is not simply an exercise in historical recreation, because Maitland has also crafted a first class murder mystery, set in a city which is refreshingly not London for a change. And also one which carries a kind of mystique about the strange tidal wave that struck the city in 1606, that she uses to great advantage in ramping up the menacing feeling that there could possibly be something dark and sinister going on behind the scenes. The pacing was pitch perfect, the suspense a delight and the truth, when it came, had me looking at everything that had gone before in a completely different light - with an added little jaw dropper before the tale was done too!
As the start of a brand new series, this is a complete winner, and I really enjoyed the way Maitland holds back so much about the background of our complex protagonist Daniel Pursglove, dropping little hints here and there, but leaving a lot still to tell about the man we have only just begun to know - and I cannot wait to find out more.
The Drowned City is available to buy now from your favourite book retailer.
In The Company Of Strangers
Audio book narrated by Esh Alladi
Listening time 9 hours and 40 minutes
Released 1st April 2021 by Isis Audio.
He is the author of In the Company of Strangers (published by Simon and Schuster, The Book Guild and Isis Audio) and No Honour (published by Orenda Books in Summer 2021). He is represented by Annette Crossland.
1. My favourite food is chicken biryani. It has to be done right, though. I like the special Bombay Biryani recipe. It is very spicy and absolutely delicious.
2. My celebrity crush is Laura Prepon.
3. I can speak 4 languages: English, Urdu, Punjabi and Saraiki. I used to be able to speak a bit of French, but not anymore.
4. My favorite quotes are: "It is never too late to be what you might have been."- George Eliot
and "Be who are you are and say what you feel, because in the end, those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter."Bernard M. Baruch
5. My favorite authors are: Donna Tartt, Kate Morton, Faiqa Mansab, A.A. Chaudhuri, Alan Gorevan, J.K. Rowling, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Eve Smith, Rob Parker, and most recently V.E. Schwab.
6. As a child, I wanted to be a doctor.
7. If I could be a teenager again, I'd tell him to follow his dreams and not give a damn about what people thought. I would ask him to major in Creative Writing.
8. I'm practically addicted to social media!
9. My first thought when I wake up in the morning is how many emails and messagess have I received while I was asleep!
10. A place I really want to visit would be Yellowknife, Canada.
Thank you Awais!
Confession (ITV), Casualty (BBC), Frankie (BBC) and EastEnders (BBC). He won a UK Theatre Award in 2019 for Best Supporting Performance for his role in Hobson's Choice.
In sixteen-year-old Abida’s small Pakistani village, there are age-old rules to live by, and her family’s honour to protect. And, yet, her spirit is defiant and she yearns to make a home with the man she loves.
When the unthinkable happens, Abida faces the same fate as other young girls who have chosen unacceptable alliances – certain, public death. Fired by a fierce determination to resist everything she knows to be wrong about the society into which she was born, and aided by her devoted father, Jamil, who puts his own life on the line to help her, she escapes to Lahore and then disappears.
Jamal goes to Lahore in search of Abida – a city where the prejudices that dominate their village take on a new and horrifying form – and father and daughter are caught in a world from which they may never escape.
Moving from the depths of rural Pakistan, riddled with poverty and religious fervour, to the dangerous streets of over-populated Lahore, No Honour is a story of family, of the indomitable spirit of love in its many forms … a story of courage and resilience, when all seems lost, and the inextinguishable fire that lights one young woman’s battle for change.