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Pocket Notebook

Mike Thomas (Author)

Meet Jacob Smith, your good-old British policeman. But Jacob's no ordinary beat bobby. He's a tactical firearms officer; a handsome, popular, financially secure specialist. He's a connoisseur of fine cinema, who also enjoys his expansive collection of do-it-yourself 'art' DVD's (the latest of which was 'borrowed' during a drugs warrant). And he likes to keep himself in shape, hence the large steroid habit - and the even larger amount of money he owes his dealer. And did we mention he's partial to women'sfeet? The girlfriend who's desperately trying to shrug him off? Or what about his parents' dark past?

And now his family and friends are starting to worry... and his police superiors are increasingly taking notice of the way he conducts himself. Jake's a very busy boy. And life is about to get even more complicated...

Pocket Notebook is the brilliant debut novel from serving police officer Mike Thomas. An angry black comedy, it follows Jacob's very public fall from grace, all of which he meticulously records in his police notebook.

Good to a Fault

Marina Endicott (Author)

Absorbed in her own failings, 43-year-old Clara Purdy crashes her life into a sharp left turn, taking the young family in the other car along with her. When bruises on the mother, Lorraine, prove to be late-stage cancer, Clara moves the three children and their terrible grandmother into her own house while Lorraine undergoes treatment at the local hospital.

We know what is good, but we don't do it. In Good to a Fault, Clara decides to give it a try, and then has to cope with the consequences : exhaustion, fury, hilarity, and unexpected love. But she questions her own motives. Is she acting out of true goodness, or out of guilt? And most shamefully, has she taken the family over simply because she wants one of her own?

In Good to a Fault, award-winning writer Marina Endicott examines what we owe in this life and what we deserve. And the result is a profound and unforgettable novel.

April & Oliver

Tess Callahan (Author)

April and Oliver are soul mates, the attraction between them has always been palpable. But as the years have passed this once inseparable couple have become strangers. Only after the sudden death of April's brother do their wildly different lives collide once again. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student, finds himself drawn ever closer to the reckless, mystifying April - and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life.

Even as Oliver attempts to rescue his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend, and herself, it is obvious that Oliver has some secrets of his own - secrets he has never shared with anyone. April alone knows, and her reappearance derails him.

But is it April's life that is unravelling, or his own? And will their magnetic attraction for one another ever lead to happiness? Or are they better apart?

Red Dog, Red Dog

Patrick Lane (Author)

An epic novel of unrequited dreams and forestalled lives, Red Dog, Red Dog unfolds over the course of one week in and around a small town in British Columbia, 1958.

Elmer Stark is a violent man with a troubled past. Lillian, who married Elmer shortly after the Depression, finds herself retreating steadily into isolation. Their sons, Tom and Eddy, now in their twenties, are bound together by the secrets of their childhood years. As Eddy speeds freely along his reckless path, Tom, a loner, tries to sense from the fragments of the past. Then one night at a party, Eddy goes too far, and a dramatic spiral of events is set in motion.

Here is a novel about hardship and loss, revenge and ancient loyalties, about the sweetness of first love and the power of memory. A richly textured portrait of a time and a place, filled with moments of harrowing violence and breathtaking descriptions of the natural world, Red Dog, Red Dog is a deeply moving novel that explores the legacies of the past and the possibilities of salvation.

The Broken World

Tim Etchells (Author)

Writing an on-line walk-through to a computer game of some complexity can take up a lot of time. As our narrator grapples with his player's guide, real life starts to intrude in troublesome ways. The day job, the live-in girlfriend and his best friend are all causing him headaches; but nothing can distract him from the task at hand. All of his attention is demanded by The Broken World - an engrossing adventure that sees him struggling with zombies, agents, puzzles and mysteries. As each of his worlds collides and begins to affect the other, only one thing is clear. Our hero must solve the problems of life, love and happiness - not just in The Broken World, but in the real one too.

The Broken World is a dazzling new novel that fuses games with fiction in an entirely original way.

In the Rooms

Tom Shone (Author)

You meet everyone in the rooms...

English literary agent Patrick Miller came to New York dreaming of joining the big league, only to find himself selling celebrity dog books.

But when he spots the legendary novelist Douglas Kelsey on the street and follows him into an AA meeting, a world of opportunity beckons. Patrick enters a den of sex addicts, junkies and pill-poppers, all rubbing shoulders with the reclusive Kelsey.

Who knew that sobriety offered such networking possibilities? Or that the women would be so attractive?

There's only one small problem. Patrick doesn't have a problem - not with alcohol, nor with drugs, just with that little thing they call the truth. As everyone is beginning to find out...

Part Nick Hornby, part Jay McInerney, with a dash of vermouth, In the Rooms is a warm, sharply observed comedy about sex, lies and second chances.

In A Land Of Plenty

Tim Pears (Author)

In a small town in the middle of England, the aftermath of the Second World War brings change. For ambitious industrialist Charles Freeman, it offers new opportunities and marriage to Mary. He buys the big house on the hill and nails his aspirations to the future.

In quick succession, three sons and a daughter bring life to the big house and, with it, the seeds of family joy and tragedy. As the children grow and struggle with the hazards of adulthood, Charles' business expands in direct proportion to his girth and becomes a symbol of the town's fortunes as Britain claws its way back from the grey austerity of wartime Britain.

As times change, so do the family's fortunes. Their stories create a generous epic, an extraordinarily rich and plangent hymn to the transformation of middle England over the past fifty years. At its heart is a diverse and persuasive cast of loveable and odious characters attempting to contend with the restrictions of their generation. This is the story of our lives.

The Submission

Amy Waldman (Author)

A jury gathers in Manhattan to select a memorial for the victims of a devastating terrorist attack. Their fraught deliberations complete, the jurors open the envelope containing the anonymous winner's name – and discover he is an American Muslim. Instantly they are cast into roiling debate about the claims of grief, the ambiguities of art, and the meaning of Islam.

The memorial's designer is Mohammad Khan, an enigmatic, ambitious architect. His fiercest defender on the jury is its sole widow, the mediagenic Claire Burwell. But when the news of his selection leaks to the press, Claire finds herself under pressure from outraged family members and in collision with hungry journalists, wary activists, opportunistic politicians, fellow jurors, and Khan himself. All will bring the emotional weight of their own histories to bear on the urgent question of how to remember, and understand, a national tragedy.

The Borrower

Rebecca Makkai (Author)

Lucy Hull, a young children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both kidnapper and kidnapped when her favourite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy’s help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly anti-gay classes. When Lucy finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a backpack of provisions and an escape plan, she allows herself to be hijacked by him and the pair embark on a spontaneous road trip. But is it just Ian who is running away? And should Lucy really be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

Seldom Seen

Sarah Ridgard (Author)

Desiree White was walking through the fields of winter wheat and oilseed rape when she saw it.

She picked the newspaper bundle out of the ditch and took it to the phone box.

Across the baby’s tiny body she could see a faint tattoo of Lady Di’s face where some of the newsprint had rubbed off. It was like finding a featherless bird fallen out of its nest.

No-one had ever bothered much about Desiree but now everyone is interested in her, in what she saw, in who the parents might be and why they’d dump a baby.

As years go by and everyone else moves on with their lives, Desiree feels stuck, unable to forget what she saw that day. But when she starts to make connections which bring the truth dangerously close to home, it seems that some secrets are best left alone.

In the Kingdom of Men

Kim Barnes (Author)

Behind every man is a woman with a story to tell ...

When Gin McPhee’s husband Mason takes a job at the Arabian American Oil Company in Saudi Arabia, it unlocks a glamorous new lifestyle far from their humble beginnings in Oklahoma. It is a life of private clubs, dinner parties, and a houseboy at their disposal; all kept within the confines of the company compound.

But as Gin tires of the cocktails and an absent husband, the illusion of freedom is shattered, leaving boredom and curiosity for life beyond the gates - a world she soon finds is one of danger and corruption. And when a young woman is discovered dead in the bay and suspicions point to Mason, the one person she can trust is nowhere to be found.

Joy

Jonathan Lee (Author)

In a sparkling glass office in London’s Square Mile – a place bursting with flirtations, water-cooler confrontations and dangerous amounts of abject boredom – talented young lawyer Joy Stephens falls forty feet onto a marble floor.

In the shadow of this baffling event, the lives of those closest to her begin to collide and change in unexpected ways…

This Will Be Difficult to Explain and Other Stories

Johanna Skibsrud (Author)

These loosely connected hypnotic stories about memory and desire, from Giller Prize winner Johanna Skibsrud, introduces us to an astonishing array of characters who time and again find themselves face to face with what they didn’t know they didn’t know, at the exact point of intersection between impossibility and desire.

A young maid at a hotel in France encounters a man who asks to paint her portrait, only later discovering that he is someone other than who we think he is. A divorced father who fears estrangement from his thirteen-year-old daughter allows her to take the wheel of his car, realising too late that he’s made a grave mistake. Taking readers from South Dakota to Paris, to Japan, into art galleries, foreign apartments, farms and beach hotels, This Will Be Difficult to Explain is a masterful and perceptive series of tales from one of fiction’s brightest new voices.

So Much Pretty

Cara Hoffman (Author)

'A man can only take so much pretty walking back and forth in front of him.'

When nineteen-year-old Wendy White disappears, the small town of Haeden, New York, is shaken to its core. The police are unable to trace the missing waitress; everyone assumes that she has run away. But, six months later, Wendy's tortured body is found in the nearby woods. She has only been dead for a matter of days.

With no one willing to talk, the investigation slows to a halt. But local reporter Stacy Flynn and high school student Alice Piper have their own reasons for finding out what really happened.

The truth behind Wendy's disappearance has a devastating effect on the town: what was once a rural idyll is now the backdrop to murder, violence and revenge.

The Little Shadows

Marina Endicott (Author)

MARINA ENDICOTT PRESENTS

THE THREE GRACEFUL AVERY GIRLS

THE SISTER ACT TO TAKE VAUDEVILLE BY STORM

STARRING: AURORA, CLOVER and BELLA

As they set off on the road to fame and fortune, the Avery sisters join a cast of extraordinary and unforgettable characters – charming charlatans, unpredictable eccentrics, and some who seem ordinary but have magical gifts. Taking us behind the curtain and into their lives, THE LITTLE SHADOWS reveals how the art of vaudeville – in all its variety, madness, melodrama, hilarity and sorrow – echoes the art of life itself.

A Revolution Of The Sun

Tim Pears (Author)

It begins at the stroke of midnight on the first day of 1997. As the year turns, a group of disparate individuals from different backgrounds, from all corners of the country, are about to embark on separate journeys which will converge over the course of the next twelve months: among them, Rebecca - mother-to-be, Sam - amnesiac, Roderick - Conservative MP, Jack - lorry driver, Martha - cat burglar, Ben - paraplegic child, Solo - his abandoned father.

At the end of that year, their lives will have changed irrevocably, some for better, some for worse, but changed nonetheless. They cannot know what will happen to them, but there is an inevitability in their shared destiny that will prove impossible to withstand...

A Revolution of the Sun tells the story of one momentous year through the eyes of the people who lived it. It is not only their stories, but also the anatomy of a nation in flux. Ambitious, powerful, irresistible, it is the work of a writer at the peak of his powers and once again demonstrates Pears to be a great contemporary novelist.

Object Lessons

Anna Quindlen (Author)

It is the 1960s, in suburban New York City, and twelve-year-old Maggie Scanlan begins to sense that despite the calm surface of her peaceful life, everything is going strangely wrong.

When her all-powerful grandfather is struck down by a stroke, the reverberations affect Maggie's entire family. Her normally dispassionate father breaks down, her mother becomes distant and unavailable, and matters only get worse when her cousin and her best friend start doing things to each other that leave Maggie confused about sex and terrified of sin.

With all of this upheaval, how can she be sure that what she wants is even worth having?

One True Thing

Anna Quindlen (Author)

Ellen Gulden is a successful, young New York journalist. But when her mother, Kate, is diagnosed with cancer, she leaves her life in the city to return home and care for her. In the short time they have left, the relationship between mother and daughter - tender, awkward and revealing - deepens, and Ellen is forced to confront painful truths about her adored father.

But in the weeks that follow Kate's death, events take a shocking and unexpected turn. Family emotions are laid bare as a new drama is played out, and overnight Ellen goes from devoted daughter to prime suspect, accused of the mercy killing of her 'one true thing'.

One True Thing is the devastating story of a mother and daughter, of love and loss, and of shattering choices.

The Air We Breathe

Andrea Barrett (Author)

Autumn, 1916. America is preparing to enter WWI, but at Tamarack State Hospital, the danger is barely felt. Here in the crisp, mountain air where wealthy tuberculosis patients recover in private cottages and charity patients, mostly European émigrés, fill the sanatorium, time stands still. Prisoners of routine and yearning for absent families, the inmates take solace in gossip, rumour and secret attachments.

One enterprising patient initiates a weekly discussion group, but his well-meaning efforts lead instead to tragedy and betrayal. The war comes home, bringing with it a surge of anti-immigrant prejudice and vigilante sentiment. Andrea Barrett pits power and privilege against unrest and thwarted desire in a spellbinding tale of individual lives in a nation on the verge of extraordinary change.

Forgetting Zoe

Ray Robinson (Author)

Zoë Nielsen was just like any other ten-year-old walking to school, not knowing that a chance encounter with Thurman Hayes would lead to her abduction and imprisonment in a converted nuclear bunker, 4,000 miles away, beneath a remote ranch house in Arizona. Enslaved in her underground tomb, deprived of food and light and water, the girl Zoe once was steadily begins to disappear... But over time Thurman grows tired of the rapidly maturing Zoë, and when he decides it is time to get rid of her, Zoë must finally make her bid for freedom.

Forgetting Zoë is a moving, epic tale of courage, survival, horror and loss, that explores how a bond of affection and intimacy can develop between captive and captor.

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