What we are reading in May

New in fiction

Doctor Who: Rose

Russell T Davies

Camille Coduri reads this brand new novelisation of the Ninth Doctor’s debut TV adventure. “Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life!”

In a lair somewhere beneath central London, a malevolent alien intelligence is plotting the end of humanity. Shop window dummies that can move – and kill – are taking up key positions, ready to strike.

Rose Tyler, an ordinary Londoner, is working her shift in a department store, unaware that this is the most important day of her life. She’s about to meet the only man who understands the true nature of the threat facing Earth, a stranger who will open her eyes to all the wonder and terror of the universe – a traveller in time and space known as the Doctor. This is the story that relaunched Doctor Who for the 21st Century, novelised by showrunner Russell T Davies from his original script.

Running time: 3 hours 15 mins approx.

Like Wildfire Blazing

Mark Getty

This is a story – like all stories – about love and hate, friendship and betrayal, life and death, and above all, the kind of world we want to build.

Like Wildfire Blazing is the debut novel by Mark Getty – and is an enigmatic look at the way power is exercised, ominously paralleling our current political landscape. Written in a unique, poetic style, imbued with wit and laden with references to ancient Greek and Roman history, this is unlike anything else you will read this year.

"We know that tonight we may not see dusk, and that from tomorrow’s dawn our homes may never house us again. But now, right now, we are here in this world of trees, and sun, and wind, and rivers that run to seas, and seas that rise and fall like a beating heart …. We have good and bad and great and small; we have me for now, we have you, forever, I pray. But above all, we have hope. Tomorrow can wait."

This book is a strikingly beautiful publication that evokes the quality of a private press publication of another era.

Fall

Candice Fox

Fall is the third novel in Candice Fox's acclaimed series, following Hades, winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut 2014, and Eden, winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Novel 2015.

If Detective Frank Bennett tries hard enough, he can sometimes forget that Eden Archer, his partner in the Homicide Department, is also a moonlighting serial killer . . .

Thankfully their latest case is proving a good distraction. Someone is angry at Sydney’s beautiful people – and the results are anything but pretty. On the rain-soaked running tracks of Sydney’s parks, a predator is lurking, and it’s not long before night-time jogs become a race to stay alive.

While Frank and Eden chase shadows, a different kind of danger grows closer to home. Frank’s new girlfriend Imogen Stone is fascinated by cold cases, and her latest project – the disappearance of the two Tanner children more than twenty years ago – is leading her straight to Eden’s door.

And, as Frank knows all too well, asking too many questions about Eden Archer can get you buried as deep as her past …

Journey's End

R C Sherriff (and others)

Journey's End is an unflinching vision of life in the tranches towards the end of the First World War.

The play opens in a dugout in the trenches in France. Raleigh, a new 18-year-old officer fresh out of school, joins the besieged company of his friend and hero Stanhope. But when he arrives in the trenches, he finds Stanhope dramatically changed.

This vintage BBC radio production from 1970 stars Martin Jarvis as Captain Stanhope.

Bonus content: This BBC radio release includes The Man From Esher and his Theatre of War, a 30-minute documentary about R C Sherriff and the story behind Journey’s End.

Journey's End was an instant stage success in 1928 (starring Laurence Olivier) and remains a remarkable anti-war classic, regularly revived in theatres. A film was released in February 2018, starring Sam Claflin (Hunger Games, Me Before You) as Stanhope and Asa Butterfield (Hugo) as Raleigh, along with Paul Bettany, Toby Jones and Tom Sturridge.

Cast:
Captain Stanhope...Martin Jarvis
Osborne...Garard Green
Raleigh...Derek Seaton
Trotter...Kevin Brennan
Hibbert/Private...Michael Harbour
Colonel...Richard Hurndall
Sergeant Major...John Bentley
Mason...Malcolm Hayes
Hardy...John Graham
German soldier...Patrick Tull

Adapted by Peter Watts.
Produced by Christopher Venning.

The Woman in the Wood

Lesley Pearse

'A gripping new novel' HELLO! Magazine
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London, 1960

The lives of teenage twins Maisy and Duncan change forever the night their sick mother is taken to an asylum. Sent to live in the New Forest with their cold-hearted grandmother, Mrs Mitcham, they feel unloved and abandoned.

And when one day Duncan doesn't come home from exploring in the forest, no one - least of all his grandmother - appears to care about his disappearance. The police, who've found the bodies of other missing boys, offer little hope of finding Duncan alive.

Yet Maisy refuses to give up. Though she doesn't know the woods well, she knows someone who does. The strange old woman who lives at their heart.

Dare Maisy enlist the help of the woman in the wood?

_______________

'A real page-turner, a family story that is multi-layered just as you'd expect from Lesley Pearse, who is deservedly one of the world's favourite story tellers' My Weekly

'Characters it is impossible not to care about . . . this is storytelling at its very best' Daily Mail

Us Against You

Fredrik Backman

'I utterly believed in the residents of Beartown, and felt ripped apart by the events in the book' JOJO MOYES, bestselling author of Me Before You, on Beartown
__________________


Can a broken town survive a second tragedy? The follow-up to the international bestseller Beartown.

Beartown is dying . . .

Tucked in a forest in the frozen north, Beartown's residents are tough and hardworking. They don't expect life to be easy, but they do expect it to be fair.

Which is why the sudden loss of their hockey players to the rival town of Hed hurts. Everyone needs something to cheer for in the long winter nights. Now they have nothing.

So when a new star player arrives, Coach Peter sees an opportunity to rebuild the team - to take on Hed and restore Beartown's fortunes. But not everyone in town sees it his way.

As the big game between both towns approaches, the rivalry turns bitter and all too real. Once the stands rumbled with threats to 'kill' and 'ruin' each other, but the residents didn't mean it. Now they do.

By the time the last goal is scored, someone in Beartown will be dead . . .

Us Against You is the story of two towns, two teams and what it means to believe in something bigger than yourself. It's about how people come together - sometimes in anger, often in sorrow, but also through love. And how, when we stand together, we can bring a town back to life.

Tom Clancy's Line of Sight

Mike Maden

The stunning new thriller in the internationally bestselling Jack Ryan Jr series

On a break between missions, Jack Ryan Jr is asked by his mother to visit Sarajevo and track down a girl whose life she saved during the war. Finally, he thinks, life might be quietening down.

That's until he meets Aida - grown from a child into a beautiful and selfless woman. Jack finds himself drawn to her, not to mention impressed by her dangerous work helping Syrian refugees enter Europe.

But the region is increasingly unstable, and just as Jack lets his guard down, Aida is violently kidnapped by the Serbian mafia.

With no official status, Jack's pleas for help fall on deaf ears, and he realises he must act alone to save the woman he loves. But as the simmering tensions threaten to bubble over, Jack will soon discover Bosnia is a dangerous place to fly solo . . .


PRAISE FOR TOM CLANCY

'Heart-stopping action... entertaining and eminently topical... Clancy still reigns' Washington Post

'Highly entertaining' The Wall Street Journal

PRAISE FOR MIKE MADEN

'Maden's trail of intrigue will captivate you from page one' Clive Cussler

Peter Rabbit: Hello Flopsy!

Beatrix Potter

Introducing the littlest readers to the delightful world of Peter Rabbit.

Flopsy is off having lots of fun before her bedtime. With the most beautiful illustrations and gentle rhymes, this is a heavenly bedtime book you'll love to read with your own little bunny.

The perfect first book for babies to introduce them to Beatrix Potter's world, and help calm them down before their own bedtime.

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Hello Flopsy! forms part of a continuing range of Peter Rabbit books specifically for babies.

The Fairytale Hairdresser and the Princess and the Frog

Abie Longstaff (and others)

The Fairytale Hairdresser is styling her fairytale friends for an animal-themed parade to celebrate Prince Freddie's coronation.

But Prince Freddie is nowhere to be seen - could his mysterious cousin be behind the disappearance? And who is the funny little frog in Kittie's salon?

Together with her new friend Princess Lily, and armed with all her hairdressing skills, Kittie sets out to solve the mysteries and bring order back to Fairy Land.

Spot's Fun in the Sun

Eric Hill (and others)

Penguin presents Spot's Fun in the Sun by Eric Hill, read by David Oyelowo.

A wonderful summer collection of nine beloved Spot tales!

Join Spot, the mischievous puppy, and all his friends as they play and explore outside. A summer of fun with picnics, fun fairs and adventures in the garden.

This collection contains:

Spot Goes Camping, Spot's First Picnic, Spot at the Fair, Spot's Garden, Spot Follows his Nose, Spot's Umbrella, Spot's Windy Day, Spot's Tree House and Spot Finds a Key.

Hornblower and the Atropos

C.S. Forester

A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea.

1805, and Hornblower is both humbled and honoured in quick succession . . .

After near disaster on board a canal barge, Horatio Hornblower is given his first assignment as Captain, taking charge of the Atropos, a 22-gun sloop that will act as flagship for the funeral procession of Lord Nelson. Soon the Atropos is part of the Mediterranean fleet's assault upon Napoleon, and Captain Hornblower must execute a bold and daring salvage operation for buried treasure lying deep in Turkish waters. Under the guns of a suspicious port captain and the threat of a Spanish frigate more than double Atropos's size, Hornblower must steer his ship unscathed and triumphant. . .

This is the fourth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C.S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horation Hornblower.

'I recommend Forester to every literate I know' Ernest Hemingway

'I find Hornblower admirable, vastly entertaining' Sir Winston Churchill

The Happy Return

C.S. Forester

A Horatio Hornblower Tale of the Sea

June, 1808 - and off the Coast of Nicaragua Captain Horatio Hornblower has his hands full . . .

Now in command of HMS Lydia, a thirty-six-gun frigate, Hornblower has instructions to form an alliance against the Spanish colonies with a mad and messianic revolutionary, El Supremo; to find a water route across the Central American isthmus; and 'to take, sink, burn or destroy' the fifty-gun Spanish ship of the line Natividad - or face court-martial. And as if he did not have enough trouble, Hornblower must also contend with the beguiling charms of an unwanted passenger: Lady Barbara Wellesley . . .

This is the fifth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.

'I find Hornblower admirable, vastly entertaining' Sir Winston Churchill

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