Fiction Newsletter for August

Welcome to the Fiction newsletter for August. This month New Zealand writers are featured in the Other Genre catagory, leading with Eleanore Catton‘s Mann Booker Prize contender, The Luminaries. In this selection of the best most recently recieved fiction across all genres you can be sure there will be something to tempt you.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

The selection from the new contemporary fiction selection this month includes the new blockbuster, Paris by Edward Rutherfurd, tracing the history of this fascinating city through the lives of one Parisian family.

Syndetics book coverPerfect / Rachel Joyce.
“In 1972, two seconds were added to time. It was in order to balance clock time with the movement of the Earth. Byron Hemming knew this because James Lowe had told him and James was the cleverest boy at school. But how could time change? The steady movement of hands around a clock was as certain as their golden futures. Then Byron’s mother, late for the school run, makes a devastating mistake. Byron’s perfect world is shattered. Were those two extra seconds to blame? And can what happened ever be put right?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParis / Edward Rutherfurd.
“The story of a Parisian family that starts in Roman times, then sweeps along from the building of Notre Dame to the Hundred Years’ War, the glories of Versailles, the Revolution, the Belle Epoque, the remarkable Twenties, and, finally, World War II.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe English girl : a novel / Daniel Silva.
“Gabriel Allon, Israeli secret agent and art restorer is home in Jerusalem when an intelligence acquaintance pays him a visit. The British prime minister has received a ransom demand for his captive lover, Madeline Hart. He has to pay in seven days, or she dies and the scandal will be revealed to the media. Allon’s assignment launches him on a chase around Europe and Russia, he finds a few unlikely allies in an assassin who once spared his life and a Russian businessman, as he peels away the layers of the elaborate blackmail scheme that is bigger and more dangerous than anyone anticipated.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

This month’s selection includes the first graphic novel by Yves Pelletier titled Fammy & Romeo. Just delightful. Of course the hard edged fiction is also included from apocalyptic alien invasion to Noir Crime.

Syndetics book coverTumor / written by Joshua Hale Fialkov ; art by Noel Tuazon.
“Tumor is the story of Frank Armstrong, a man at the boot heel of the world, barely scraping up a living as a private investigator in modern day Los Angeles. He finally lands a big case, finding the missing daughter of a drug kingpin, just as he’s taken by the symptoms of a late-stage brain tumor. Memories blend with reality, as the missing girl case starts to seep into the memory of his missing wife from 20 years prior. Now, with days, maybe even hours, left to live, he must save this girl, while the one thing he’s relied on all of his life fails him, his mind!” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFanny & Romeo / Yves Pelletier, Pascal Girard ; [translation by KerryAnn Cochrane]. “The story concerns a young couple, Fanny wants to have children, and Fabien doesn’t feel ready. Then a cat called Romeo comes into their lives. She falls in love, but he’s allergic. Fanny becomes more and more attached to the cat, to the point where she actually rents a separate apartment for it. But it turns out her Romeo has actually been two-timing her.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverExtermination. Volume 1, The last and dreadful hour / written by Simon Spurrier ; art by Jeffrey Edwards and V. Ken Marion.
“In the wake of an apocalyptic alien invasion, the world’s greatest super-heroes and deadliest super-villains must form an alliance to prevent their own extermination. Two arch-enemies, Nox, a driven hero, and Red Reaper, a ruthless villain, form a volatile partnership for the greater good. The enemy of your enemy is your friend, but will they be able to ultimately put aside their bitter past to prevent global genocide?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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The selection from the new mysteries for this newsletter include Scandinavian crime from Stockholm, Finland & Copenhagen

Cover imageMore bitter than death / Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff ; translated from the Swedish by Tara Chace.
“Sometimes reliving the past revives old demons …In a Stockholm apartment, five-year-old Tilde watches from under the kitchen table as her mother is brutally kicked to death. Meanwhile, in another part of town, psychotherapist Siri Bergman and her colleague Aina meet their new patients – a group of women, all of whom are victims of domestic violence. From Kattis, who was beaten by her boyfriend and lives under the constant threat of his return, to Malin, the promising young athlete who was attacked by a man she met online, and from Sofi, the teenager abused by her stepfather, to Sirkka, an older woman who had a troubled marriage – each woman takes her turn to share her story in the safety of the sessions. But as the group gets closer, it is not long before the dangers lurking in the women’s lives outside invade the peace with shattering consequences. And somehow, the fate of five-year-old Tilde is intertwined with that of Siri and the other women, so that what started out as the search for peace will swiftly turn into a tense hunt for a murderer.” (Description from

Syndetics book coverSnow angels / James Thompson.Snow Angels
“*Starred Review* American born Finnish resident Thompson’s first novel is set in northern Finland during kaamos, the country’s two weeks of complete darkness. Inspector Vaara is newly married and about to become a father, but his American wife finds northern Finland depressing and lonely, especially after a young Somali movie star is brutally murdered, and the case consumes Vaara’s days and nights. Vaara has been chief of police in his small hometown ever since being injured as a young beat cop in Helsinki, and the few murders that have come his way have been easily solved domestic disputes or drunken bar fights. That’s not the case this time, but Vaara refuses to give up, even after finding out that his ex-wife might be involved.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hanging / Lotte and Søren Hammer.
“On a cold Monday morning before school begins, two children make a gruesome discovery. Hanging from the roof of the school gymnasium are the bodies of five naked and heavily disfigured men. Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen and his team from the Murder Squad in Copenhagen are called in to investigate this horrific case – the men hanging in a geometric pattern; the scene so closely resembling a public execution. When the identities of the five victims and the disturbing link between them is leaked to the press, the sinister motivation behind the killings quickly becomes apparent to the police. Up against a building internet campaign and even members of his own team, Simonsen finds that he must battle public opinion and vigilante groups in his mission to catch the killers. A nerve-wrenching look at justice and retribution, The Hanging is a spectacular crime tale straight from the heart of Scandinavia.” (Description from

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Science fiction/fantasy

Highly recommended in this seletion of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels is the 2011 BSFA and 2012 Campbell Award winning novel titled The Islanders by Christopher Priest.

Syndetics book coverGhost spin / Chris Moriarty.
“As the brutal but reliable framework of the UN-Syndicate war collapses into anarchy in the wake of the depletion of Bose-Einstein Condensate, the material needed for reliable faster-than-light travel, Cohen, an artificial intelligence sometimes housed in a human body, commits suicide on the industrial world of New Allegheny. His lover, Catherine Li, gets word of Cohen’s death but refuses to believe that he would kill himself. She undertakes the extraordinarily dangerous journey from Earth to New Allegheny and soon gets tangled in the affairs of corrupt officials, rogue intelligence agents, and pirates.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe long war / Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.
“A new America called Valhalla grows restless under the controlling long arm of the Datum government, while all of the Long Earth is infused by the song of the trolls who are starting to react to humanity’s thoughtless exploitation, bringing humankind to the brink of war.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe islanders / Christopher Priest.
” A tale of murder, artistic rivalry and literary trickery; a Chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you.The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters.” (adapted from

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