By Jonathan Dee
A rural, working class New England town elects as its mayor a New York hedge fund millionaire in this urgent and inspired novel for our times. Mark Firth is a home builder in Howland, Massachusetts who, after being swindled by a financial advisor, feels opportunity passing him and his family by. What future can he promise to his wife Karen and their young daughter Haley? When a wealthy money manager, Philip Hadi, moves to Howland to escape post-9/11 New York, he hires Mark to turn his his house into a secure location. The collision of these two men's very different worlds -- rural vs urban, middle class vs rich -- propels Jonathan Dee's powerful new novel. After the town's first selectman passes away suddenly, Hadi runs for office and begins subtly transforming the town in his image with unexpected results for Mark and his extended family. THE LOCALS is that rare work of fiction capable of capturing a fraught American moment in real time. It is also a novel that is timeless in its depiction of American small town life.
The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts
By Laura Tillman
On March 11, 2003, in Brownsville, Texas - one of America's poorest cities - John Allen Rubio and Angela Camacho murdered their three young children. The apartment building in which the brutal crimes took place was already rundown, and in their aftermath a consensus developed in the community that it should be destroyed. It was a place, neighbours felt, that was plagued by spiritual cancer.In 2008, journalist Laura Tillman covered the story for The Brownsville Herald. The questions it raised haunted her, particularly one asked by the sole member of the city's Heritage Council to oppose demolition: is there any such thing as an evil building? Her investigation took her far beyond that question, revealing the nature of the toll that the crime exacted on a city already wracked with poverty. It sprawled into a six-year inquiry into the larger significance of such acts, ones so difficult to imagine or explain that their perpetrators are often dismissed as monsters alien to humanity.With meticulous attention and stunning compassion, Tillman surveyed those surrounding the crimes, speaking with the lawyers who tried the case, the family's neighbours and relatives and teachers, even one of the murderers: John Allen Rubio himself, whom she corresponded with for years and ultimately met in person. The result is a brilliant exploration of some of our age's most important social issues, from poverty to mental illness to the death penalty, and a beautiful, profound meditation on the truly human forces that drive them. It is disturbing, insightful, and mesmerizing in equal measure.
By Louise Erdrich
Late summer in North Dakota, 1999: Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence but only when he staggers closer does he realise he has killed his neighbour's son. Dusty Ravich, the deceased boy, was best friends with Landreaux's five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have been close for years and their children played together despite going to different schools. Landreaux is horrified at what he's done; fighting off his longstanding alcoholism, he ensconces himself in a sweat lodge and prays for guidance. And there he discovers an old way of delivering justice for the wrong he's done. The next day he and his wife Emmaline deliver LaRose to the bereaved Ravich parents. Standing on the threshold of the Ravich home, they say, 'Our son will be your son now'.LaRose is quickly absorbed into his new family. Gradually he's allowed visits with his birth family, whose grief for the son and brother they gave away mirrors that of the Raviches. The years pass and LaRose becomes the linchpin that links both families. As the Irons and the Raviches grow ever more entwined, their pain begins to subside. But when a man who nurses a grudge against Landreaux fixates on the idea that there was a cover-up the day Landreaux killed Dusty - and decides to expose this secret - he threatens the fragile peace between the two families...
The Lightning Stones
By Jack du Brul
Philip Mercer, a preeminent geologist with a taste for international intrigue and danger, rides an elevator two thousand feet into the earth at the Leister Deep Mine in Minnesota. Mercer is there to visit his old friend and mentor, Abraham Jacobs, who is leading a research team to the deepest section of the mine for a groundbreaking study on climate change. But as Mercer approaches, he is stunned to hear automatic gunfire in the massive underground chambers. By the time he finds his way to them, Abe Jacobs and the entire research team have been brutally attacked - and Mercer is left seeking not only answers but revenge.Mercer immediately retraces Jacobs's tracks, searching for clues to the secret project on which the distinguished scientist was working. Staying one step ahead of a highly trained team of assassins, Mercer follows a trail that leads from a harrowing close call in the Midwest to a nail-biting showdown in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan to a remote island in the middle of the Pacific. At stake is an extraordinary scientific discovery that could irrevocably alter the planet, centred on a cache of rare crystals called lightning stones - rumored to have been aboard Amelia Earhart's plane when it vanished on 2nd July 2 1937.
Love Me Back
By Merritt Tierce
Marie is a waitress at an upscale Dallas steakhouse, attuned to the appetites of her patrons and gifted at hiding her private struggle as a young single mother behind an easy smile and a crisp white apron. It's a world of long hours and late nights, and Marie often gives in to self-destructive impulses, losing herself in a tangle of bodies and urgent highs as her desire for obliteration competes with a stubborn will to survive. Pulsing with a fierce and feral energy, Love Me Back is an unapologetic portrait of a woman cutting a precarious path through early adulthood and the herald of a powerful new voice in American fiction.
Late Eclipses (Toby Daye Book 4)
By Seanan McGuire
The fourth instalment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.October 'Toby' Daye, changeling knight in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, finds the delicate balance of her life shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended. Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile.Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher. With everything on the line, Toby will have to sort truth from lies to the people she loves most. If she can't, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never dreamed she'd have to face again...
A Local Habitation (Toby Daye Book 2)
By Seanan McGuire
October "Toby" Daye is a changeling, the daughter of Amandine of the fae and a mortal man. Like her mother, she is gifted in blood magic, able to read what has happened to a person through a mere taste of blood. Toby is the only changeling who has earned knighthood, and she re-earns that position every day, undertaking assignments for her liege, Sylvester, the Duke of the Shadowed Hills.Now Sylvester has asked her to go to the County of Tamed Lightning - otherwise known as Fremont, California - to make sure that all is well with his niece, Countess January O'Leary, whom he has not been able to contact. It seems like a simple enough assignment - but when dealing with the realm of Faerie nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Toby soon discovers that someone has begun murdering people close to January, whose domain is a buffer between Sylvester's realm and a scheming rival duchy. If Toby can't find the killer soon, she may well become the next victim.
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey
By Paula Brackston
Artist Laura Matthews and her husband Dan have given up their city life and moved to an ancient longhouse high in the mountains of Wales. Here she knows the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art, and perhaps the powerful nature of the place will give her the baby they have longed for so many years. But this high valley is home to others, too. Others such as Rhys, the charismatic loner from the croft, who pursues Laura with a fervor bordering on obsession. Or Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighboring farm who knows so much but seems to speak only in riddles. And then there is Merlin. Once he too walked these hills, when he was young and his legend as a powerful seer and magician was just beginning. It was here he fell for a young maid, and here he learned the cost of his love. In the Welsh mountains, so charged with tales and legends, Laura will find herself reaching through the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from Merlin's and discover some landscapes hold more magic than others.
The Lost Father
By Mona Simpson
In her highly acclaimed first novel, Anywhere But Here, Simpson created one of the most astute yet vulnerable heroines in contemporary fiction. Now Mayan Atassi--once Mayan Stevenson--returns in an immensely powerful novel about love and lovelessness, fathers and fatherlessness, and the loyalties that shape us even when they threaten to destroy us. Now a woman of twenty-eight and finally on her own in medical school, Mayan becomes obsessed with the father she never knew, leading her to hire detectives to dredge up the past, thus eroding her savings, ruining her career, and flirting with madness in a search spanning two continents.
The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon
By Richard Zimler
The year is 1506, and the streets of Lisbon are seething with fear and suspicion when Abraham Zarco is found dead, a naked girl at his side. Abraham was a renowned kabbalist, a practitioner of the arcane mysteries of the Jewish tradition at a time when the Jews of Portugal were forced to convert to Christianity. Berekiah, a talented young manuscript illuminator, investigates his uncle's murder, and discovers in the kabbalah clues that lead him into the labyrinth of secrets in which the Jews sought to hide from their persecutors.A challenging mystery and a powerful indictment of the evils of intolerance, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon is an extraordinary and spellbinding historical thriller.
By Allan Gurganus
In his first work of fiction in a decade, Allan Gurganus returns to the mythic site of his immortal novel Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. Time has passed; the Internet has arrived; but the daily human dramas in Falls, North Carolina prove that old habits die hard. A banker's daughter seeks the child she was forced to relinquish at birth . . . The disappearance of a star high school student sends ripples through the town, creating a cult led by her stricken mother . . . The friendship between two married men is tested by a devastating flood.Local Souls is a universal tale of gigantic hopes battling small-town conventions - a dark comedy of adultery, obsession and incest, told with affection and piercing insight.
The Lost Ones
By Ace Atkins
When Army Ranger Quinn Colson, the new sheriff of Tebbehah County, is called out to investigate a child abuse case, what he finds is a horrifying scene of neglect, thirteen empty cribs, and a shoe box full of money. Janet and Ramon Torres seem to have skipped town - but Colson's sure they'll come back for the cash. Meanwhile, Colson's sister has returned - clean and sober for good she says. His friend Boom has been drinking himself into oblivion and picking fights at the local bar. And his old flame is pregnant. But Colson can't focus on his personal problems. He and Deputy Lillie Virgil are convinced that Janet and Ramon have a taste for guns, drugs, and human trafficking. Soon Colson and Virgil find a link between the fugitive couple and a drug cartel that controls most of the Texas border, taking their investigation far beyond the rough hills of northeast Mississippi...
Leave Your World Behind - A Fantasy Fiction Sampler
By Lily Herne, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jonathan Aycliffe, Jo Walton, Edgar Allan Poe
This sampler contains something for every fantasy fan, with tasters of: Deadlands by Lily Herne The first in a series following a group of zombie-fighting teen exiles as they try to survive in the living dead-infested deadlands of Cape Town. 'The Hunger Games meets The Walking Dead.' Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls Shades of Milk & Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal The first of the Glamouist Histories series, Shades of Milk & Honey is the fantasy novel you've always wished Jane Austen had written. Full of wit, historical nuance, romantic entanglements and domestic magic, this is pure entertainment. The Silence of Ghosts by Jonathan Aycliffe A mesmerising tale of terror set during the Second World War, from the author of the ghostly classic, Naomi's Room. Psycho-Mania! Edited by Stephen Jones, story by Edgar Allan Poe The Tell-Tale Heart, a horrifying short story from a master of terror. Taken from the Psycho-Mania! collection of twisted tales of psychos, schizoids and serial killers collected by the master horror anthologist Stephen Jones. Among Others by Jo Walton Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Winner of the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novel. Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.
Lost and Found
By Tom Winter
It started with a letter ... It's hard for Carol to admit her failings. Unhappy in her marriage and with a teenage daughter who will barely converse with her, she feels trapped. So she puts pen to paper; well, it seems less daunting than airing her thoughts aloud. She isn't expecting anyone to read her letters, so she doesn't address them. Instead, she marks them with a smiley face and pops them in the post box. Albert's retirement day at Royal Mail looms and he's given one final task; organise the 'lost letters' that have been piling up in a room behind the sorting machine. Amongst the letters addressed to Santa, he arrives at one with a smiley face drawn in place of an address. Albert opens the letter, unaware that in doing so his world would never be the same again.
The Liberty Campaign
By Jonathan Dee
Gene Trowbridge, a successful advertising executive, fills the days before his retirement assessing his past and contemplating the future, increasingly aware of his own irrelevance in a field dominated by the very young. But a chance meeting with Albert Ferdinand, a reclusive neighbour who wins his regard and friendship, upsets the tenuous balance of Gene's cosseted world. Spurred on by a persistent journalist and overwhelmed by his instinctive liking and acceptance of a man apparently capable of indescribable evil, Gene is drawn into a suspenseful search for the truth about Ferdinand's past.The Liberty Campaign is a riveting, multilayered portrait of an ordinary man whose moral universe is tested by a situation that defies the parameters of his decidedly American upbringing and sensibility.
Little Green Men
By Christopher Buckley
In 1994, Christopher Buckley published one of the most acclaimed and successful comic novels of the decade, Thank You for Smoking. Now Buckley returns to the strange land of Washington, D.C., in Little Green Men, a millennial comedy of manners about aliens and pundits . . . and how much they have in common. The reluctant hero of this hilarious novel is John Oliver Banion, a stuffy Washington talk-show host, whose privileged life is thrown into upheaval when aliens abduct him from his exclusive country-club golf course. But were his gray-skinned captors aliens . . . or something far more sinister? After Banion is abducted again--this time in Palm Springs--he believes he has been chosen by the extraterrestrials to champion the most important cause of the millennium, and he embarks on a crusade, appearing before a convention of UFO believers and demanding that Congress and the White House seriously investigate UFOs. His friends and family suspect that Banion is having some kind of manic-depressive midlife crisis and urge him to seek therapy before his credibility as a pillar of the punditocracy is ruined. So John Oliver Banion must choose: keep his establishment status or become the leader of millions of impassioned and somewhat scruffy new friends who want to expose the government's secret alien agenda. Little Green Men proves once and for all that the truth is out there. Way out there. And it reaffirms Christopher Buckley's status as the funniest humanoid writer in the universe.
Look at Me
By Jennifer Egan
Reconstructive facial surgery after a car crash so alters Manhattan model Charlotte that, within the fashion world, where one's look is oneself, she is unrecognizable. Seeking a new image, Charlotte engages in an Internet experiment that may both save and damn her. As her story eerily converges with that of a plain, unhappy teenager - another Charlotte - it raises tantalizing questions about identity and reality in contemporary Western culture.Jennifer Egan's bold, innovative novel, demonstrating her virtuosity at weaving a spellbinding, ambitious tale with language that dazzles, captures the spirit of our times and offers an unsettling glimpse of the future.
A Life Apart
By Neel Mukherjee
Ritwik Ghosh, twenty-two and recently orphaned, finds the chance to start a new life when he arrives in England from Calcutta. But to do so, he must not only relive his entire past but also make sense of his relationship with his mother - scarred, abusive and all-consuming.But Oxford holds little of the salvation Ritwik is looking for. Instead he moves to London, where he drops out of official existence into a shadowy hinterland of illegal immigrants. However, the story that Ritwik writes to stave off his loneliness - a Miss Gilby who teaches English, music and Western manners to the wife of a liberal zamindar - begins to find ghostly echoes in his life with his aged landlady, Anne Cameron. But then, one night, in the badlands of King's Cross, Ritwik runs into the suave, unfathomable Zafar bin Hashm. As present and past of several lives collide, Ritwik's own goes into free fall.