Sussex, 1912. In a churchyard, villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will die in the coming year are thought to walk. Here, where the estuary leads out to the sea, superstitions still hold sway. Standing alone is the taxidermist’s daughter. At twenty-two, Constantia Gifford lives with her father in a decaying house: it contains all that is left of Gifford’s once world-famous museum of taxidermy. The stuffed birds that used to grace every parlour are out of fashion, leaving Gifford a disgraced and bitter man. The string of events that led to the museum’s closure are never spoken of and an accident has robbed Connie of any memory of those days. The bell begins to toll and all eyes are fixed on the church. No one sees the gloved hands holding a garotte. As the last notes fade into the dark, a woman lies dead. While the village braces itself against rising waters and the highest tide of the season, Connie struggles to discover who is responsible – and why the incident is causing memories to surface from her own vanished years. Does she know the figure she sees watching from the marshes? Who is the mysterious caller that leaves a note without being seen? And what is the secret that lies at the heart of Blackthorn House, hidden among the bell jars of her father’s workshop?
Michelle Paver - Dark Matter
London, 1937. Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life, so when he's offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway and at last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year. But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. Soon Jack will see the last of the sun, the sea will freeze and escape will be impossible. And Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark...
Hannah Rothschild - The Improbability of Love
When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered. Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by exiled Russian oligarchs, avaricious Sheikas, desperate auctioneers and unscrupulous dealers, all scheming to get their hands on her painting - a lost eighteenth-century masterpiece called 'The Improbability of Love'. Delving into the painting's past, Annie will uncover not just an illustrious list of former owners, but some of the darkest secrets of European history - and in doing so she might just learn to open up to the possibility of falling in love again.
Jessie Burton - The Muse
On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery. The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences . . . Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful, The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception - a masterpiece from the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.
Lee Child - Nothing to Lose
Two lonely towns in Colorado: Hope and Despair. Between them, twelve miles of empty road. Jack Reacher never turns back. It's not in his nature. All he wants is a cup of coffee. What he gets is big trouble. So in Lee Child’s electrifying new novel, Reacher—a man with no fear, no illusions, and nothing to lose—goes to war against a town that not only wants him gone, it wants him dead. It wasn’t the welcome Reacher expected. He was just passing through, minding his own business. But within minutes of his arrival a deputy is in the hospital and Reacher is back in Hope, setting up a base of operations against Despair, where a huge, seething walled-off industrial site does something nobody is supposed to see . . . where a small plane takes off every night and returns seven hours later . . . where a garrison of well-trained and well-armed military cops—the kind of soldiers Reacher once commanded—waits and watches . . . where above all two young men have disappeared and two frightened young women wait and hope for their return. Joining forces with a beautiful cop who runs Hope with a cool hand, Reacher goes up against Despair—against the deputies who try to break him and the rich man who tries to scare him—and starts to crack open the secrets, starts to expose the terrifying connection to a distant war that’s killing Americans by the thousand. Now, between a town and the man who owns it, between Reacher and his conscience, something has to give. And Reacher never gives an inch.
Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Invalided home from the First World War, Lieutenant Hastings finds himself in a convalescent home very much to his disliking. Thankfully his old friend John Cavendish invites him to spend the rest of his sick leave at his family home. The beautiful Styles Court is home to John’s step mother Mrs Inglethorpe, and her new husband Alfred. Despite the tranquil surroundings Hastings begins to realise that all is not right. When Mrs Inglethorpe is found poisoned a murder investigation begins, and who better to investigate than war refugee Hercule Poirot, a retired Belgian detective.
Agatha Christie - The Secret Adversary
A crime novel in which two desperate youngsters, short of money and restless for excitement, place an advertisement saying they are willing to do anything and to travel anywhere, but their first assignment for a sinister client plunges them into more danger than they could have imagined.
Lissa Evans - Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms
The exciting launch title of Sterling's middle-grade fiction list: HORTEN'S MIRACULOUS MECHANISMS Enter a wonderful world filled with real magic, mystery … and danger. As if being small for his age and also having S. Horten as his name isn't bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends. But on his very first day in his new home, Stuart's swept up in an extraordinary adventure: the quest to find his great-uncle Tony--a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth--and Tony's marvelous, long-lost workshop. Along the way, Stuart reluctantly accepts help from the annoying triplets next door… and encounters trouble from another magician who's also desperate to get hold of Tony's treasures. A quirky, smart, charming page-turner, Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms will enchant young readers--as well as teachers, librarians, and parents.
Lee Child - Persuader
Jack Reacher. The ultimate loner. An elite ex-military cop who left the service years ago, he's moved from place to place...without family...without possessions...without commitments. And without fear. Which is good, because trouble--big, violent, complicated trouble--finds Reacher wherever he goes. And when trouble finds him, Reacher does not quit, not once...not ever. But some unfinished business has now found Reacher. And Reacher is a man who hates unfinished business. Ten years ago, a key investigation went sour and someone got away with murder. Now a chance encounter brings it all back. Now Reacher sees his one last shot. Some would call it vengeance. Some would call it redemption. Reacher would call it...justice.
Ruth Ware - The Woman in Cabin 10
When travel journalist Lo Blacklock is invited on a boutique luxury cruise around the Norwegian fjords, it seems like a dream career opportunity. But the trip takes a nightmarish turn when she wakes in the middle of the night to hear a body being thrown overboard – only to discover that no-one has been reported missing from the boat. How do you stop a killer, when no-one believes they exist?
Christopher Priest - The Prestige
Two 19th century stage illusionists, the aristocratic Rupert Angier and the working-class Alfred Borden, engage in a bitter and deadly feud; the effects are still being felt by their respective families a hundred years later. Working in the gaslight-and-velvet world of Victorian music halls, they prowl edgily in the background of each other's shadowy life, driven to the extremes by a deadly combination of obsessive secrecy and insatiable curiosity. At the heart of the row is an amazing illusion they both perform during their stage acts. The secret of the magic is simple, and the reader is in on it almost from the start, but to the antagonists the real mystery lies deeper. Both have something more to hide than the mere workings of a trick.
Lee Child - Night School
Discover the thriller series that "_The New York Times _"calls utterly addictive. After eleven straight global #1 bestsellers, Lee Child sends readers back to school with the most explosive Jack Reacher novel yet. It’s 1996, and Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he’s off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind. Two other men are in the classroom—an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there. Then they find out: A Jihadist sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany, has received an unexpected visitor—a Saudi courier, seeking safe haven while waiting to rendezvous with persons unknown. A CIA asset, undercover inside the cell, has overheard the courier whisper a chilling message: “The American wants a hundred million dollars.” For what? And who from? Reacher and his two new friends are told to find the American. Reacher recruits the best soldier he has ever worked with: Sergeant Frances Neagley. Their mission heats up in more ways than one, while always keeping their eyes on the prize: If they don’t get their man, the world will suffer an epic act of terrorism. From Langley to Hamburg, Jalalabad to Kiev, Night School moves like a bullet through a treacherous landscape of double crosses, faked identities, and new and terrible enemies, as Reacher maneuvers inside the game and outside the law.
Sarah Pinborough - Behind Her Eyes
Only two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. It’s said that the only people who really know what goes on in a marriage are the couple themselves. But what if even they don’t know the truth? David and Adele seem like the ideal pair. He’s a successful psychiatrist, she is his picture-perfect wife who adores him. But why is he so controlling? And why is she keeping things hidden? Louise, David’s new secretary, is intrigued. But as Louise gets closer to each of them, instead of finding answers she uncovers more puzzling questions. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise could never have guessed how wrong things really are and just how far someone might go to hide it.
Paula Hawkins - Into the Water
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return. With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . Working as a lady's companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . . Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.
Lee Child - The Midnight Line
Jack Reacher takes an aimless stroll past a pawn shop in a small Midwestern town. In the window he sees a West Point class ring from 2005. It’s tiny. It’s a woman cadet’s graduation present to herself. Why would she give it up? Reacher’s a West Pointer too, and he knows what she went through to get it
Colin Dexter - The Riddle of the Third Mile
"[Morse is] the most prickly, conceited, and genuinely brilliant detective since Hercule Poirot". --The New York Times Book Review Inspector Morse isn't sure what to make of the truncated body found dumped in the Oxford Canal, but he suspects it may be all that's left of an elderly Oxford don last seen boarding the London train several days before. Whatever the truth, the inspector knows it won't be simple--it never is. As he retraces Professor Browne-Smith's route through a London netherworld of topless bars and fancy bordellos, his forebodings are fulfilled. The evidence mounts; so do the bodies. So Morse downs another pint, unleashes his pit bull instincts, and solves a mystery that defies all logic. "[Dexter] is a magician with character, story construction, and the English language. . . . Colin Dexter and Morse are treasures of the genre". --Mystery News "It is a delight to watch this brilliant, quirky man deduce". --Minneapolis Star & Tribune
Frank Tallis - Mortal Mischief
Dr. Max Liebermann is a psychoanalyst and disciple of Sigmund Freud. We meet him in 1902, when he is in his late twenties, having just made the acquaintance of Freud. Psychoanalysis is in its very early stages of development, and the air of excitement is palpable. Liebermann regularly attends Wednesday night meetings at Freud’s apartment, Bergasse 19, where a small group of doctors gather - like a secret society - to discuss their revolutionary investigations into the darker side of human nature. Liebermann is an accomplished pianist – and enjoys musical evenings with his friend Oskar Rheinhardt, a fine lyrical baritone, who also happens to be a detective inspector. It is through Rheinhardt that Liebermann becomes involved with police investigations, applying his psychoanalytic knowledge - particularly when suspects are interviewed. Lieberman’s technique, of course, is to allow unconscious processes to betray their misdemeanours ‘through every pore’.
China Miéville - The City and the City
Better known for New Weird fantasies (Perdido Street Station, etc.), bestseller Miéville offers an outstanding take on police procedurals with this barely speculative novel. Twin southern European cities Beszel and Ul Qoma coexist in the same physical location, separated by their citizens' determination to see only one city at a time. Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad roams through the intertwined but separate cultures as he investigates the murder of Mahalia Geary, who believed that a third city, Orciny, hides in the blind spots between Beszel and Ul Qoma. As Mahalia's friends disappear and revolution brews, Tyador is forced to consider the idea that someone in unseen Orciny is manipulating the other cities. Through this exaggerated metaphor of segregation, Miéville skillfully examines the illusions people embrace to preserve their preferred social realities.
Robert Galbraith - Lethal White
When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott – once his assistant, now a partner in the agency – set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been – Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much more tricky than that.
Colin Dexter - The Daughters of Cain
It was only the second time Inspector Morse had ever taken over a murder enquiry after the preliminary--invariably dramatic--discovery and sweep of the crime scene. Secretly pleased to have missed the blood and gore, Morse and the faithful Lewis go about finding the killer who stabbed Dr. Felix McClure, late of Wolsey College. In another part of Oxford, three women--a housecleaner, a schoolteacher, and a prostitute--are playing out a drama that has long been unfolding. It will take much brain work, many pints, and not a little anguish before Morse sees the startling connections between McClure's death and the daughters of Cain....