The President's Gardens
By Muhsin Al-Ramli
One Hundred Years of Solitude meets The Kite-Runner in Saddam Hussein's Iraq"A contemporary tragedy of epic proportions. No author is better placed than Muhsin Al-Ramli, already a star in the Arabic literary scene, to tell this story. I read it in one sitting"Hassan Blasim, winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Iraqi ChristOn the third day of Ramadan, the village wakes to find the severed heads of nine of its sons stacked in banana crates by the bus stop.One of them belonged to one of the most wanted men in Iraq, known to his friends as Ibrahim the Fated.How did this good and humble man earn the enmity of so many? What did he do to deserve such a death?The answer lies in his lifelong friendship with Abdullah Kafka and Tariq the Befuddled, who each have their own remarkable stories to tell.It lies on the scarred, irradiated battlefields of the Gulf War and in the ashes of a revolution strangled in its cradle.It lies in the steadfast love of his wife and the festering scorn of his daughter.And, above all, it lies behind the locked gates of The President's Gardens, buried alongside the countless victims of a pitiless reign of terror.
The Awkward Squad
By Sophie Hénaff
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 relived 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 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?
Without a Word
By Kate McQuaile
I was there when it happened. I watched her disappear...'EXQUISITE' - Daily Mail'POWERFUL' - Amazon Reviewer 'TWISTY' - Good Housekeeping'ABSORBING' - Karen Perry'INCREDIBLE' - Amazon Reviewer'ELEGANT' - Sunday Mirror'GRIPPING' - Amazon Reviewer'ACCOMPLISHED' - Sunday Times'TANTALIZING' - Amazon Reviewer'COMPELLING' - Candis'INTRIGUING' - Amazon Reviewer'FAST-PACED' - Prima'ADDICTIVE' - Sunday Mirror'Everything you want in a thriller' - Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths'This fizzes with intrigue and suspense' - CandisAN EMOTIONAL AND ADDICTIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED NOVEL WHAT SHE NEVER TOLD MELillian had phoned telling her to get Skype up and running. 'I have so much to tell you.' Then, the knock on the door. 'Sorry Orla, I'd better see who it is' she said. Orla waited. Seconds became minutes. She didn't know how long she waited before she realised that something terrible had happened.For more than a decade, Lillian's disappearance has remained unsolved, and Orla has found it impossible to move on. Then she receives an unexpected visit from Ned Moynihan, the detective who led the original investigation into her friend's vanishing. Moynihan has been receiving anonymous notes accusing him of having failed to investigate the case properly. He assumes the notes are coming from Orla, yet Orla knows nothing of these letters. Is somebody trying to tell them the truth about what really happened to Lillian that night?
Winds of the Night
By Joan Sales
"Perhaps the worst thing about war is the peace that follows . . ."Winds of the Night is the follow-up, published almost thirty years later, to Joan Sales' acclaimed masterwork of the Spanish Civil War, Uncertain Glory.It describes the shell-shocked wasteland that was post-war Catalonia through the eyes of Cruells, a Republican chaplain who survives the war, and completes his theological studies only to lose his faith in a world where it seems all hope has been extinguished.As he struggles to function as a rural priest, his steps are dogged by a ghostly figures from his past, such as Lamoneda, a fascist agent provocateur who now hobnobs with Himmler and misses few opportunities to turn the febrile post-war atmosphere to his financial advantage. Against his wishes, Creulls is drawn into obsessive dialogues about the war in which only lunacy prevails, for Lamoneda seems to hold the key to the whereabouts of an old friend - the mercurial Juli Soleràs, whose charisma, for all his betrayals, still holds Cruells in thrall.An essential coda to the modern classic that is Uncertain Glory, Winds of the Night is a Beckettian vision of the traumas of combatants and country hidden beneath the rhetoric of the victors.Translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush
Adventures in Modern Marriage
By William Nicholson
With pace, wit and a beady eye, Adventures in Modern Marriage revisits the characters from Nicholson's highly acclaimed The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life. But now the children are grown up, and the adults are older, though not always wiser. Here is a big-hearted novel about life and love in the bestselling vein of Colm Toibin and Nick Hornby'So incredibly accurate and true. Utterly captures the sense of quiet desperation of ordinary lives ... and the ways in which life turns on a sixpence' Kate Mosse on The Secret Intensity of Everyday LifeFocusing on Henry and Laura Broad and their daughter Carrie, this is a minute - but in true Nicholson style, extraordinarily empathetic - dissection of relationships and what keeps them going. It is an acute and compassionate look at male mid-life crises, female sexual desire, death and the fear of it, children and the trouble with them - all the things we battle with every day.
A People without a Past
By Jaan Kross
The second part in an epic historical trilogy - The Estonian answer to Wolf Hall - by the nation's greatest modern writer The year is 1563, and by any account Balthasar Russow can be said to have risen in the world. Fresh from his studies in the German town of Stetten, he has assumed the role as pastor of Tallinn's Holy Ghost Church. Moreover, he is betrothed to a maiden of the town - much to the chagrin of her father, who has no wish to welcome peasant stock to the family when there is no shortage of upstanding young German men - and is poised to begin the chronicle that will ensure his everlasting fame.But tribulations still await the now not-quite-young Pastor - Livonia is still plagued by foreign powers, with Tallinn braced to withstand a prolonged Muscovite siege. And he will discover that marriage is a often a battlefield in itself.Translated from the Estonian by Merike Beecher
A Sense of the Beginning
By Norbert Gstrein
A poignant novel of political-religious awakening by one of Germany's literary starsAn anonymous phone call, an unattended bag discovered in the station of a small Austrian town, a piece of paper saying, "Repent!" and "Next time it will be for real!" A C.C.T.V. image of a young man. What was it that made the teacher think it was his old student, Daniel?Ten years earlier Daniel had spent time with the teacher in his remote house by the river. The town had talked. Anton had recently returned from two years teaching in Istanbul - he was unsettled, subversive, solitary. Daniel was on the brink of adulthood - idealistic, unrequitedly in love with Judith, vulnerable to influence. Those summer weeks by the river were an idyll. But did they also sow the seeds of Daniel's later obsessiveness, his biblical attitudes, his political dogmatism? As the bomb threat excites the community with all the tension of a witch hunt, and Anton himself becomes a focus for suspicion and gossip, he anatomises his memories of the preceding decade. What went wrong for Daniel, and could he have stopped it?
Madame Bovary of the Suburbs
By Sophie Divry
The story of a woman's life, from childhood to death, somewhere in provincial France, from the 1950s to just shy of 2025. She has doting parents, does well at school, finds a loving husband after one abortive attempt at passion, buys a big house with a moonlit terrace, makes decent money, has children, changes jobs, retires, grows old and dies. All in the comfort that the middle-classes have grown accustomed to. But she's bored. She takes up all sorts of outlets to try to make something happen in her life: adultery, charity work, esotericism, manic house-cleaning, motherhood and various hobbies - each one abandoned faster than the last. But no matter what she does, her life remains unfocussed and unfulfilled. Nothing truly satisfies her, because deep down - just like the town where she lives - the landscape is non-descript, flat, horizontal.Sophie Divry dramatises the philosophical conflict between freedom and comfort that marks women's lives in a materialistic world. Our heroine is an endearing, contemporary Emma Bovary, and Divry's prose will remind readers of the best of Houellebecq, the cold, implacable historian who paints a precise portrait of an era and those who inhabit it and in doing so renders existence indelibly absurd.Translated from the French by Alison Anderson
The Easy Way Out
By Steven Amsterdam
EVAN IS A SUICIDE ASSISTANT. HIS JOB IS LEGAL - JUST.'A poignant, sharply funny story that raises questions about life, death, and love' Louise O'Neill'You might just want to find and hug a nurse after finishing this thoughtful and ethically nuanced novel' GuardianShortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal 2017.Evan is the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it. Evan's friends don't know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn't know what he's up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead. As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against the limits of the law - and his own morality. And with Viv increasingly unwell, his love life complicated, to say the least, Evan begins to wonder who might be there for him, when the time comes.From an award-winning author, The Easy Way Out is a brilliantly funny and exquisitely sad novel that gets to the heart of one of the most difficult questions each of us may face: would you help someone die?
The Wednesday Club
By Kjell Westö
1938. Hitler's expansionist policies are arousing both anger and admiration, not least in Helsinki's Wednesday Club. The members of this relaxed gentleman's club are old friends of lawyer Claes Thune. But this year it is apparent that the political unrest in Europe is having an effect on the cohesion of the group.Thune has recently divorced and is at something of a loss, running his law practice with no great enthusiasm. Luckily he has the assistance of an efficient new secretary, Matilda Wiik. But behind her polished exterior Mrs Wiik is tormented by memories of the Finnish Civil War, when she experienced horrors she has been trying to forget ever since. And one evening, with the Wednesday Club gathered in Thune's office, she hears a voice she hoped she would never hear again.She is suddenly plunged back into the past. But this time she is no longer a helpless victim . . .
By Bernardo Atxaga
Nevada Days is a fictionalised account of Atxaga's nine months' stay as writer-in-residence at the Centre for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada. He is accompanied by his wife, Ángela, who is also doing research there, and by their two daughters. During their first few weeks, the family encounter a strange mapache (racoon), which is always staring at them from the garden, a flight of helicopters immediately overhead, a black widow spider, a warning about bears, a party of prisoners in the desert, a lake that is somehow far too calm and too blue, and, not long into their stay, the kidnap and murder of a young girl living in the house right next door.Atxaga tells us about all these strange encounters, and about his colleagues at the university, about the trips the family make to California and across the Sierra Nevada and to Lake Tahoe, but this narrative is also interspersed with accounts of his dreams, with stories from his past.Nevada Days seductively weaves together past and present, and shows us how deeply marked we are by experience and history and relationships, however fleeting or enduring, and reminds us what a very strange thing life is.Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
By Daryl Gregory
Meet Matthias Telemachus, Teddy Telemachus, Maureen Telemachus, Irene Telemachus, Frankie Telemachus and Buddy Telemachus! 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 on national television.We encounter this long-forgotten family two decades on, when Matty, the grandson of patriarch Teddy Telemachus, discovers powers in himself, and realises his hugely deflated, heavily indebted family truly are amazing.Spoonbenders is the legacy and legend of a dysfunctional, normal, entirely unique family across three generations of big personalities and socially inept recluses - each cursed with the potential of being something special.
Sweet After Death
By Valentina Giambanco
'As twisty and tasty a crime thriller as anyone could wish for' The Daily Mail'Tense and thrilling, a wonderful twist and great back story' Barbara NadelIn the dead of winter Homicide Detective Alice Madison is sent to the remote town of Ludlow, Washington, to investigate an unspeakable crime. Together with her partner Detective Sergeant Kevin Brown and crime scene investigator Amy Sorensen, Madison must first understand the killer's motives...but the dark mountains that surround Ludlow know how to keep their secrets and that the human heart is wilder than any beast's.As the killer strikes again Madison and her team are under siege. And as they become targets Madison realises that in the freezing woods around the pretty town a cunning evil has been waiting for her.'This is crime fiction for connoisseurs. With precision and poetry, Giambanco unfolds a delicious tale . . . First Class stuff' William Shaw