Fiction eNewsletter for March

Welcome to the Fiction newsletter for February. A great selection of new fiction from all genres, that will guarantee many hours of reading pleasure.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

Highly recommended is the selction of new contemporary fiction is the latest novel from award winning Francesca Kay, Translation of the Bones, and also the Family Fang, a debut novel from Kevin Wilson.

Syndetics book coverOur Lady of Alice Bhatti / Mohammed Hanif.
“The patients of the Sacred Heart Hospital for All Ailments are looking for a miracle, and Alice Bhatti is looking for a job. Alice gets the position of junior nurse, grade 4. It seems she has inherited some of her father’s faith healing gifts and with guidance from the working nurse’s manual, Alice brings succor to the thousands of patients littering the hospital’s corridors and concrete courtyard. In the process she attracts the attention of a lovesick patient, Teddy Bunt, apprentice to the nefarious ‘Gentleman Squad’ of the Karachi police. They fall in love; Teddy with sudden violence, Alice with cautious optimism. Their love is unexpected, but the consequences are not. Alice soon finds that her new life is built on foundations as unstable as those of her home.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe translation of the bones / Francesca Kay. “When word gets out that Mary-Margaret O’Reilly, a slow-witted but apparently harmless young woman, may have been witness to a miracle, religious mania descends on the Church of the Sacred Heart in Battersea. The consequences will be profound, not only for Mary-Margaret but for others too, Father Diamond, the parish priest, who is in the midst of his own crisis of faith, and Stella Morrison, adrift in her marriage and aching for her ten-year old son, away at boarding school. In the same parish Alice Armitage counts the days until her soldier son comes home from Afghanistan, and Mary-Margaret’s mother, Fidelma, imprisoned in a tower block, stares out over London with nothing but her thoughts for company. No one is prepared for the shocking outcome that ensues.” – (adapted from summary)

Syndetics book coverThe family Fang / Kevin Wilson.
“Great art is difficult’ – that’s the motto of the family Fang. The family consists of Caleb and Camille Fang (the parents), Annie (Child A) and Buster (Child B). The family Fang create art: performance art, provocations, and interventions, call it what you like. And many people certainly don’t call it ‘Art’. But as Annie and Buster grow up, like all children, they find their parents’ behaviour an embarrassment. They refuse to take up their roles in these outrageous acts. They escape: Annie becomes an actor, a star in the world of indie filmmaking, and Buster pursues gonzo journalism, constantly on the trail of a good story. But when both their lives start to fall apart, there is nowhere left to go but home. Meanwhile Caleb and Camille have been planning their most ambitious project yet and the children have no choice: like it or not, they will participate in one final performance.” – (adapted from summary)

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Graphic novels

This month’s selection from the recently received new graphic novels includes three of the most fantastical creations.

Syndetics book coverArea 10 / writer, Christos N. Gage ; art, Chris Samnee.
“In New York City, a killer known as “Henry The Eighth” leaves a trail of decapitated corpses. There are no apparent clues, beyond the fact that he keeps the severed heads to use for purposes unknown. NYPD Detective Adam Kamen leads the investigation, until a seemingly unrelated freak incident leaves him with an injury to his brain, in a section known as “Brodmann Area 10.” When he recovers, Adam’s perceptions of time are altered. He becomes slowly convinced that his bizarre condition could be tied directly to the “Henry” case and that the key may lie in the ancient, mystical practice of trepanation.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Pound : horror business / writer, Stephan Nilson ; illustration, Karl Waller.
“The Pound follows Cleveland Animal Control Specialists Scott Allison and Howard Lynch, who have lost their jobs due to budget cuts and decide to start their own stray animal retrieval business. At first it’s business as usual, retrieving a mother raccoon and her newborn litter from a crawlspace or removing bats from basements,- but everything changes the night they receive a call about a large dog running loose in the halls of the high school.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZombies Vs Robots : Undercity / written by Chris Ryall ; art by Mark Torres.
“The robot forces are losing the war against these rotting masses, which leaves only one choice, head underground. Never mind the fact that a possibly even greater threat is looming in the survivors’ UnderCity shelter! It’ is all-new zombie-on-robot carnage in this collection of the four issues series by Chris Ryall and artist Mark Torres.” – (adapted from summary)

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Selected from this month’s new muder mysteries is the new V. I. Warshawski novel from Sarah Paretsky, John Lescroart’s new Wyatt Hunt novel, and the new Carol O’Connell.

Syndetics book coverBreakdown / Sara Paretsky.
“Both Paretsky and her sharp-tongued justice-seeker, V. I. Warshawski, remain formidable in the masterfully suspenseful fifteenth novel in this superb and adored Chicago-set series… called away by Petra, her young cousin, now a regular in the series, to look for the teenage girls Petra works with in a program that brings together daughters of penniless immigrants with daughters of privilege, V. I. finds them in a cemetery, performing a ritual inspired by their ardor for a series of vampire novels. She also finds a dead man with a metal rod driven through his heart. The ensuing morally reprehensible case, which V. I. compares to a Rubik’s Cube, involves class divides, a state mental hospital, warped brother-sister relationships, a tricked-out Camaro, a Holocaust survivor’s tale, a wrongful murder conviction, and the politics of hate…” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Cover imageThe chalk girl / Carol O’Connell.
“Kathy Mallory of the NYPD’s Special Crimes Unit may be the Lord Byron of police detectives. Like Byron, the gorgeous and beyond-eccentric Mallory is mad, bad, and dangerous to know. In this remarkable series, Mallory, wounded by a horrific childhood, concentrates her entire being on the vengeful pursuit of bad guys, using some well-developed criminal skills to flush them out of hiding. Mallory is pulled out of leave (brought on by the department psychiatrist’s labeling her as dangerously unstable) by a case her superiors think that only she, rocky as she is, can solve. The case turns on one witness, an eight-year-old girl with a rare genetic disorder that leaves her physically and emotionally vulnerable, who knew a serial killer’s first victim, found hanging from a tree in Central Park…” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hunter : a novel / John Lescroart.
“Raised by loving adoptive parents, San Francisco private investigator Wyatt Hunt never had an interest in finding his birth family – until he gets a chilling text message from an unknown number: “How did ur mother die?” The answer is murder, and urged on by curiosity and the mysterious texter, Hunt takes on a case he never knew existed, one that has lain unsolved for decades. His family’s dark past unfurls in dead ends. Child Protective Services, who suspected but could never prove that Hunt was being neglected, is uninformed; his birth father, twice tried but never convicted of the murder, is in hiding; Evie, his mother’s drug-addicted religious fanatic of a friend, is untraceable. And who is the texter, and how are they connected to Hunt?… The cat-and-mouse game leads Hunt across the country and eventually to places far more exotic-and far more dangerous…” (Adapted from Amazon description)

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Science fiction/fantasy

Great new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels from Ben Bova, Orson Scott Card, and Simon Green.

Syndetics book coverPower play / Ben Bova.
“When astronomy professor Jake Ross is recruited as an adviser to aspiring senator Frank Tomlinson, he is asked to become an expert on MHD, or “magnetohydrodynamics,” a new procedure intended to increase radically the generation of cheap and clean electricity. Its creator, Dr. Arlen Sinclair, is unwilling to expose this still–experimental technology to the political arena, especially since he has connections with the incumbent whose seat Tomlinson wants. Drawn further into the cutthroat world of political elections, Ross soon faces the prospect that he may not make it to Election Day alive. Bova’s latest novel, set in the near future, features a strong, plot-driven story; snappy dialog; and characters, uncluttered by backstory drama, whose personalities still leap off the page. VERDICT The winner of multiple Hugos puts the science in sf; his large following will appreciate another rapid-fire sf thriller.” – (adapted from Library Journal summary).

Syndetics book coverShadows in flight / Orson Scott Card.
“Julian “Bean” Delphiki, a friend of the legendary Ender Wiggin (Ender’s Game) from the Battle School during the war against the alien Formics, has left Earth along with his three children to spend the remainder of their artificially short lives among the stars. Bean and his children all have Anton Syndrome, a condition defined by hyper-intelligence and gigantism that results in a life span of under 25 years. Hoping to use their knowledge to discover a cure for their condition, the space travelers encounter an alien ship that may contain a surprising answer to their problem. Picking up where Shadow of the Giant leaves off, Card deals with the repercussions of bioengineering for the human species. VERDICT Card’s graceful story-telling gives this narrative the feel of a parable or a futuristic myth; it is bound to please the author’s fan base and readers who enjoyed the first book.” – (adapted from Library Journal summary)

Syndetics book coverThe bride wore black leather / Simon R. Green.
“Green’s superlative 12th Nightside novel (after 2011’s A Hard Day’s Knight), set in a world “hidden deep in the dark and dangerous heart of London,” ratchets up the stakes for series protagonist John Taylor in an intricate and action-filled plot that seamlessly blends crime and the supernatural. Taylor has been designated the new “Walker,” the public face of the rulers of the Nightside, so he begins wrapping up his personal investigation business. Then an anonymous e-mail sends Taylor to the Ball of Forever; the guest list is limited to immortals, but a killer manages to strike one down. As Taylor hunts the culprit, he learns that a powerful entity seeks to destroy the entire Nightside. The pace never flags and the sardonic Chandleresque narration (”She didn’t lose her innocence; she threw it away with both hands, first chance she got”) is perfectly suited to the Nightside’s fantastical mean streets.” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly summary)

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Other genres

This month’s selection of gripping suspense includes the latest novels from James Grippando, Tami Hoag and Faye Kellerman.

Syndetics book coverNeed you now : a novel / James Grippando.
“ Abe Cushman, the evil genius behind a $60 billion Ponzi scheme, has killed himself and taken his secrets to the grave. For Patrick Lloyd, a young Wall Street advisor at the world’s largest Swiss bank, Cushman’s fall has unexpected and deadly repercussions. Lloyd’s girlfriend, Lilly, is directly tied to billions of dollars in losses suffered by Cushman’s most dangerous victims, a group of powerful investors whose identities and dirty finances are well hidden. What Lilly knows can get her and Patrick killed, and now the pair are in a run for their lives that leads to the heart of a clandestine operation, and to a cabal of powerful officials determined to keep their agenda hidden from the public.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverDown the darkest road / Tami Hoag.
” Four years after the unsolved disappearance of her sixteen-year-old daughter, Lauren Lawton is the only one still chasing the ghosts of her perfect Santa Barbara life. The world has given her daughter up for dead. Her husband ended his own life in the aftermath. Even Lauren’s younger daughter is desperate to find what’s left of the childhood she hasn’t been allowed to have. Lauren knows exactly who took her oldest child, but there is not a shred of evidence against the man. Even as he stalks her family, Lauren is powerless to stop him. The Santa Barbara police are handcuffed by the very laws they are sworn to uphold. Looking for a fresh start in a town with no memories, Lauren and her younger daughter Leah move to idyllic Oak Knoll. But when Lauren’s suspect turns up in the same city, it feels to all that history is about to repeat itself. Leah Lawton will soon turn sixteen, and Oak Knoll has a cunning predator on the hunt.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverGun games / Faye Kellerman.
” LAPD lieutenant detective Decker and his wife, Rina, have willingly welcomed fifteen-year-old Gabriel Whitman, the son of a troubled former friend, into their home. While the enigmatic teen seems to be adapting easily, Decker knows only too well the secrets adolescents keep, witnessed by the tragic suicide of another teen, Gregory Hesse, a student at Bell and Wakefield, one of the city’s most exclusive prep schools. Gregory’s mother, Wendy, refuses to believe her son shot himself and convinces Decker to look deeper. What he finds disturbs him. The gun used in the tragedy was stolen, evidence that propels him to launch a full investigation with his trusted team, Sergeant Marge Dunn and Detective Scott Oliver. But the case becomes darkly complicated by the suicide of another Bell and Wakefield student, a death that leads them to uncover an especially nasty group of rich and privileged students with a predilection for guns and violence.” (adapted from

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