Sophie Hénaff - The Awkward Squad - Quercus

The Awkward Squad

By Sophie Hénaff

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

A new crime series with a difference: a brilliant police officer joins forces with a team of misfits to investigate decades-old unsolved crimes.

Suspended from her job as a promising police officer for firing "one bullet too many", Anne Capestan is expecting the worst when she is summoned to H.Q. to learn her fate. Instead, she is surprised to be told that she is to head up a new police squad, working on solving old cold cases.

Though relieved to still have a job, Capestan is not overjoyed by the prospect of her new role. Even less so when she meets her new team: a crowd of misfits, troublemakers and problem cases, none of whom are fit for purpose and yet none of whom can be fired.

But from this inauspicious start, investigating the cold cases throws up a number of strange mysteries for Capestan and her team: was the old lady murdered seven years ago really just the victim of a botched robbery? Who was behind the dead sailor discovered in the Seine with three gunshot wounds? And why does there seem to be a curious link with a ferry that was shipwrecked off the Florida coast many years previously?

Translated from the French by Sam Gordon

Biographical Notes

SOPHIE HÉNAFF is a journalist, author and former Lyonnaise bar owner. She began her journalism career as a critic at Lyon Poche, before moving to Paris to write for Cosmopolitan, where she established her own humorous column, "La Cosmolite". The Awkward Squad was first published as Poulets grillés in 2015, and is her first novel.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857055767
  • Publication date: 20 Apr 2017
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
This summer's crime read — Cosmopolitan
You will not want to tear yourself away ... Extremely original — Jean-Louis Debré, Le Point
A scintillating read ... we are already hooked — Elle
From her first novel, Sophie Hénaff proves that she can really pull the trigger — Paris Match
Original and amusing, it's French noir with a sly smile. — The Times
A delightful creation, the members of her team amusing and the book lively. — Marcel Berlins, The Times
Amusing and interesting ... this very enjoyable tale has deservingly won several French literary prizes — Jessica Mann, Literary Review
Quercus

The Saffron Trail

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
MacLehose Press

The Last Days of El Comandante

Alberto Barrera Tyszka
Authors:
Alberto Barrera Tyszka

Venezuela 2012: The President's illness casts a shadow over the lives of his citizens - he divides opinion, but life without him is almost unimaginable. Miguel Sanabria is a retired oncologist, ambivalent towards the President but caught between a virulently anti-Chávez wife and a equally vehement pro-Chávez brother. He is asked by his nephew to hide a mobile phone carrying secret footage that could shed new light on the President's condition.His neighbour Fredy has found a fresh angle for a new book about Chávez, but to take advantage he must agree to a "green-card" marriage and leave his girlfriend and their son for two months, even as their landlady plots to repossess their home.In another apartment live nine-year-old María and her neurotic, near-agoraphobic mother. Taken out of school to be educated at home, María turns to internet chat rooms for company, while her mother's fears about the city's endemic violence are proved tragically prescient.The fates and fortunes of these neighbours will prove inextricably entwined as the hour of the President's death draws ever closer.REVIEWS FOR THE SICKNESS"A great book" Michael Morpurgo"Powerful themes and powerful writing" Susan HillTranslated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey

Quercus

All Summer With You

Beth Good
Authors:
Beth Good

A summer romance for fans of Heidi Swan, Daisy James and Sarah Morgan. Nursing a broken heart and after being evicted from her Boscastle home, Jennifer Bolitho is searching for a new start at Pixie Cottage. Her new landlord Alex Delgardo, a former soldier-turned-actor, is tall, rugged, and known for dating voluptuous blondes, not oddballs like Jennifer.When a misunderstanding leads Jennifer to become embroiled in Alex's family, she ends up acting as an aide to his 79-year-old grandmother, Nelly, and a confidante to his pregnant younger sister, Thelma.As she becomes closer and closer with his family, she inevitably finds herself developing feelings for Alex. But when your new life is built on a lie, it only takes one trip-up to bring it all toppling down, and lose everything you hold dear...

Quercus

The Flatshare

Beth O'Leary
Authors:
Beth O'Leary
MacLehose Press

The Faculty of Dreams

Sara Stridsberg
Authors:
Sara Stridsberg

In April 1988, Valerie Solanas - the writer, radical feminist and would-be assassin of Andy Warhol - was discovered dead in her hotel room, in a grimy corner of San Francisco. She was only 52; alone, penniless and surrounded by the typed pages of her last writings.In The Faculty of Dreams, Sara Stridsberg revisits the hotel room where Solanas died, the courtroom where she was tried and convicted of attempting to murder Andy Warhol, the Georgia wastelands where she spent her childhood, where she was repeatedly raped by her father and beaten by her alcoholic grandfather, and the mental hospitals where she was interned.Through imagined conversations and monologues, reminisces and rantings, Stridsberg reconstructs this most intriguing and enigmatic of women, articulating the thoughts and fears that she struggled to express in life and giving a powerful, heartbreaking voice to the writer of the infamous SCUM Manifesto.

Quercus

The Lost Son

Prue Leith
Authors:
Prue Leith
MacLehose Press

Soldiers of Salamis

Javier Cercas
Authors:
Javier Cercas
MacLehose Press

Lord of All the Dead

Javier Cercas
Authors:
Javier Cercas
riverrun

Prefecture D

Hideo Yokoyama
Authors:
Hideo Yokoyama

A collection of four novellas: each taking place in 1998, each set in the world of Six Four, and each centring around a mystery and the unfortunate officer tasked with solving it.SEASON OF SHADOWS"The force could lose face . . . I want you to fix this." Personnel's Futawatari receives a horrifying memo forcing him to investigate the behaviour of a legendary detective with unfinished business.CRY OF THE EARTH"It's too easy to kill a man with a rumour." Shinto of Internal Affairs receives an anonymous tipoff alleging a Station Chief is visiting the red-light district ­- a warning he soon learns is a red herring.BLACK LINES"It was supposed to be her special day." Section Chief Nanao, responsible for the force's 49 female officers, is alarmed to learn her star pupil has not reported for duty, and is believed to be missing.BRIEFCASE"We need to know what he's going to ask." On the eve of a routine debate, Political Liaison Tsuge learns a wronged politician is preparing his revenge. He must now quickly dig up dirt to silence him.Prefecture D continues Hideo Yokoyama's exploration of the themes of obsession, saving face, office politics and inter-departmental conflicts. Placing everyday characters between a rock and a hard place and then dialling up the pressure, he blends and balances the very Japanese with the very accessible, to spectacular effect.

MacLehose Press

Balco Atlantico

Jérôme Ferrari
Authors:
Jérôme Ferrari

In a village square in Corsica lies the body of ardent nationalist, Stéphane Campana, shot down at close range. And over his body weeps Virginie, the young woman who has venerated Stéphane all her life - a veneration that has led her to abandon herself to him and his twisted desires completely.Meanwhile, brother and sister Khaled and Hayet, who once gazed out to sea from the shoreline path known as "Balco Atlantico" and dreamed of a better future, are now stranded in Corsica. As Ferrari traces the history of Stéphane and Virginie that leads to the shooting in the village square, we encounter the story of Khaled and Hayet and see through their story and the stories of many others in this one Corsican square how a relentless pursuit of happiness and fulfilment can bring us perilously close to despair and disillusionment.

Quercus

The Lemon Tree Hotel

Rosanna Ley
Authors:
Rosanna Ley
riverrun

Against Nature (riverrun editions)

Joris-Karl Huysmans
Authors:
Joris-Karl Huysmans
MacLehose Press

Equator

Antonin Varenne
Authors:
Antonin Varenne
MacLehose Press

The Capital

Robert Menasse
Authors:
Robert Menasse

"A deliciously vicious - and timely - satire about the E.U. and the meaning of Europe today" - Frederick Studemann, Financial TimesBrussels. A panorama of tragic heroes, manipulative losers, involuntary accomplices. In his new novel, Robert Menasse spans a narrative arc between the times, the nations, the inevitable and the irony of fate, between petty bureaucracy and big emotions.As the fiftieth anniversary of the European Commission approaches, the Directorate-General for Culture is tasked with planning and organising a fitting celebration. The project will serve the wider purpose of revamping the Commission's image at a time of waning public support. When Fenia Xenopoulou's Austrian P.A. Martin Susman suggests putting Auschwitz at the centre of the jubilee, she is thrilled. But she has neglected to take the other E.U. institutions into account.Inspector Brunfaut is in a tricky situation too: his murder case has been suppressed at the highest level. Luckily, he's friends with the I.T. whizz at Brussels' Police H.Q., who gains access to secret files in the public prosecutor's office. Matek, the Polish hitman, knows nothing of this. But he does know that he shot the wrong guy, and for Matek, who would rather have become a priest, this is serious. And what about the pig farmers who take to the streets of the city to protest about existing trade restrictions blocking the export of pigs' ears to China . . .?The Capital is a sharp satire, a philosophical essay, a crime story, a comedy of manners, a wild pig chase, but at its heart it has the most powerful pro-European message: no-one should forget the circumstances that gave rise to the European project in the first place.

Quercus

The Night Tiger

Yangsze Choo
Authors:
Yangsze Choo

A captivating and magical story set in 1930s Malaysia about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy who are brought together by a series of unexplained deaths and an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers.They say a tiger that devours too many humans can take the form of a man and walk amongst us... In 1930s colonial Malaya, a dissolute British doctor receives a surprise gift of an eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy. Sent as a bequest from an old friend, young Ren has a mission: to find his dead master's severed finger and reunite it with his body. Ren has forty-nine days, or else his master's soul will roam the earth forever. Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker, moonlights as a dancehall girl to pay her mother's debts. One night, Ji Lin's dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir that leads her on a crooked, dark trail. As time runs out for Ren's mission, a series of unexplained deaths occur amid rumours of tigers who turn into men. In their journey to keep a promise and discover the truth, Ren and Ji Lin's paths will cross in ways they will never forget.Captivating and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores the rich world of servants and masters, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and unexpected love. Woven through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order.

Jo Fletcher Books

Blood Cruise

Mats Strandberg
Authors:
Mats Strandberg
riverrun

Salt Lane

William Shaw
Authors:
William Shaw
riverrun

All Rivers Run Free

Natasha Carthew
Authors:
Natasha Carthew
riverrun

Almost Love

Louise O'Neill
Authors:
Louise O'Neill
MacLehose Press

Name of the Dog: A Lefty Mendieta Investigation (Book 3)

Élmer Mendoza
Authors:
Élmer Mendoza

Perfect for fans of Mick Herron and John Le Carré"The most important thing that's happened in Mexican literature in the last thirty years" Gaby Wood, Sunday Telegraph.It's Christmas in Culiacán and Detective Edgar "Lefty" Mendieta can't believe his luck. An old flame has returned with a teenage son he knew nothing about. Happiness seems to finally beckon for our careworn hero. The only snag is that Jason Mendieta wants to follow in his father's footsteps-even as Mexico's drug war descends a slippery slope toward chaos.While Lefty pursues a lunatic who has taken to bumping off dentists with a heavy-calibre pistol, a secret agent infiltrates a meeting of the drug lords and hears Pacific Cartel boss Samantha Valdés implore her underlings to stay out of the war. But an audacious murder provokes Samantha to change her mind and launch a wave of grisly killings across the country.Samantha then persuades Lefty to help her find the killer that pushed her over the edge. The truth he discovers will underline an old adage: revenge is a dish best served cold. No quiet family Christmas for our detective.