March Fiction Newsletter

Welcome to the March Fiction Newsletter. We have selected three of the best new novels from each or our genre categories to tempt your reading. This month our Other Genre selection features Horror, Ghosts, and Vampire fiction, gripping reading, but not for the faint hearted. What ever reading preferences you have, there is bound to be something to satisfy.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

Highly recommended in this month’s selection of Contemporary Novels is the new novel by Adam Foulds, titled In the Wolf’s Mouth. This novel gives a very different perspective on World War II.

Syndetics book coverIn the wolf’s mouth / Adam Foulds. “Set in North Africa and Sicily at the end of the last war, this novel follows the Allies’ botched ‘liberation’ attempts as they chase the Germans north towards the Italian mainland. Focussing on the campaigns of two young soldiers, Will Walker, an English Field Security Officer, ambitious to master and shape events, and Ray Marfione, a wide-eyed Italian-American infantryman.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTerms & conditions / Robert Glancy.
“Frank Shaw wakes in a hospital bed with amnesia, unable to remember his family, his job, or the car accident that landed him there. Frank’s memory does slowly return: he’s a lawyer in a London-based family-owned firm, living with his corporate-career-climbing wife, Alice. But as the story progresses, Frank begins to doubt whether everything is as it seems. There’s a secret new group within his firm that resides behind a door no one else seems to see. Alice made her name by writing a bestselling business book, but the mere sight of it makes Frank furious. And why does he have such a fondness for the children’s figurine with detachable organs that he found in the closet at home?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe free / Willy Vlautin. “Leroy, a young, wounded, Iraq veteran, wakes to a rare moment of clarity, his senses flooded with the beauty of remembering who he is but the pain of realising it won’t last. When his attempt to end his half-life fails, he is taken to the local hospital where he is looked after by a nurse called Pauline, and visited by Freddie, the night-watchman from his group home for disabled men. As the stories of these three wounded characters circle and cross each other, we come to learn more of their lives, as all are still trying to come to terms with the legacy of a forgotten war, populated by those who struggle to pay for basic health care, and how it is the small acts of kindness which can make a difference between life and death, between imprisonment and liberty.” (Adapted from

Read more

Graphic novels

Another wonderfully varied selection of new Graphic novels this month that includes the first volume in Jennie Breeden’s new semi-biographical series, titled The Devil’s Panties.
Syndetics book cover
The devil’s panties. Volume 1 / Jennie Breeden. “Running the register at a comic shop, waiting tables at a restaurant, this wasn’t quite what Jennie had in mind after graduating with a shiny degree in Sequential Art. As life overwhelmed her and her drawing hand withered away, Jennie made a promise to herself to stay in practice by drawing a new comic every single day. This first volume is a compilation of those comics, from dating and clubbing to trying to make it as an artist.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverDamned / [written by Steven Grant ; art by Mike Zeck].
“A hard-hitting crime noir story. When Mick Thorne is paroled and released from prison, the only thing on his mind is keeping a promise. But in keeping that promise to deliver a message to his dead cellmate’s sister, he draws the attention of the local crime boss.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverTodd, the ugliest kid on earth. Volume 1 / written by Ken Kristensen ; art & cover by M.K. Perker. “The misadventures of the Belluomo family and their infectiously optimistic, paper-bag-wearing son. Irreverent and politically incorrect, filled with axe murderers, cults, celebrity stalkers, and a neo-Nazi prison gang. This is collection of volumes 1-4. (Adapted from

Read more


Some new mystery novels for March include the rebirth of the iconic character Phillip Marlowe from Benjamin Black, and the final fiction adaptation of the popular Danish TV series The Killing.

Syndetics book coverThe black-eyed blonde : a Philip Marlowe novel / Benjamin Black.
“Despite Robert B. Parker’s lengthy experience in the PI genre, his sequel to The Big Sleep, Perchance to Dream, pales in comparison with Black’s pitch-perfect recreation of the character and his time and place. As for the language, Black nails Chandler’s creative and memorable similes and metaphors. When Marlowe shakes hands with someone, “It was like being given a sleek, cool-skinned animal to hold for a moment or two.” The title character, Clare Cavendish, wanders into Marlowe’s office to ask him to trace her lover, Nico Peterson, who disappeared two months earlier. The case appears to wrap up quickly after Marlowe learns that Peterson was the victim of a hit-and-run, but Cavendish has some major revelations in store. While the mystery is well plotted, Black elevates it beyond mere thoughtful homage with a plausible injection of emotion in his wounded lead.” (Abridged from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverChilled to the bone / Quentin Bates.
“In her third outing, Iceland police sergeant Gunnhildur (Gunna) Gisladottir investigates the murder of a businessman found tied to a bed in an upscale Reykjavik hotel. He’s not the first man to be similarly abandoned midway through a paid-for tryst. To make matters worse, a laptop containing sensitive government data was stolen from one of the rooms. All this would be pressure enough for Gunna, but there’s someone else looking for the disappearing dominatrix Baddo, a thug just returned to Iceland after an eight-year prison stint in Lithuania… A solid police procedural with some genuinely rewarding surprises at the end. When it comes to frosty crime novels, Iceland may just be the new Sweden.” (Abridged from Booklist)

Syndetics book coverThe killing. III / David Hewson.
“Detective Inspector for homicide, Sarah Lund, is contacted by old flame Mathias Borch from National Intelligence. Borch fears that what first appeared to be a random killing at the docks is the beginning of an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Troels Hartmann. The murder draws attention towards the shipping and oil giant, Zeeland, run by billionaire Robert Zeuthen. When Zeuthen’s 9-year-old daughter, Emilie, is kidnapped the investigation takes on a different dimension as it soon becomes clear that her disappearance is linked to the murder of a young girl in Jutland some years earlier. Hartmann is in the middle of an election campaign, made all the more turbulent because of the mounting financial crisis. He needs Zeeland’s backing. Lund needs to make sense of the clues left by Emilie’s perpetrator before it’s too late. And can she finally face the demons that have long haunted her?” (Publishers description from

Read more

Science fiction/fantasy

Steampunk novels are becoming very popular and Cherie Priest’s latest novel, Fiddlehead is one of three new Steampunk novels that Wellington City Libraries received this month.

Syndetics book coverRed rising / Pierce Brown.
“All 16-year-old Darrow knows is mining for helium-3 deep below the surface of Mars, believing, as do all those of the Red clan, that they are the first peoples of Mars who sacrifice their lives to create a habitable planet for the inhabitants of an overpopulated dying Earth. But when his equally young wife is hanged for singing a forbidden song of freedom, Darrow follows her to the gallows only to be saved by members of a higher clan who want to use him to overthrow those in power. Surgically altered to resemble a ‘Gold’, the highest, most powerful clan on Mars, Darrow undergoes a demanding training and education regime in an effort to attain admittance into the Institute from which the future leaders of Mars are chosen. It is only after he is chosen as one of the top 100 most promising students that he and his classmates discover just how vicious the ruling classes are as they are forced to fight one another in war games where only the most intelligent and the most ruthless can survive and rise.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFiddlehead / Cherie Priest.
“The U.S. Civil War has continued for 20 years because an inventor knocked out Seattle with his Boneshaker engine and stirred up a poisonous gas that is still creating zombies. In Washington, DC, Gideon Bardsley’s new Fiddlehead computational engine has just predicted that the zombies will eventually destroy the human race if the North and South don’t make peace and immediately eradicate the threat. But evil profiteers want to continue the war by spreading the zombie plague and forcing Europe to enter the conflict on the side of the otherwise battle-weakened Confederate States of America. It’s a diabolical plan that just might work.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIsaac Asimov’s I, Robot : to obey / Mickey Zucker Reichert.
“2036: Robotic technology has evolved into the realm of self-aware, sentient mechanical entities. But even as humanity contends with the consequences of its most brilliant creation, there are those who have their own designs for the robots: enslavement or annihilation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Read more

Other genres

Vampires dominate, but ghosts, werewolves, and zombies are also included in this month’s selection of new Other Genre fiction. There is much to satisfy all supernatural and paranormal fiction fans.

Syndetics book coverBy blood we live / Glen Duncan.
“It’s better to kill people at the end of their psychology.” In the near future, a population explosion among werewolves has led to immense changes across the world. There are now Web sites devoted to werewolf porn, and the Catholic Church has accepted the reality of werewolves and revealed the existence of an army trained to destroy them. That shift poses an existential threat to lycanthrope Talulla Demetriou, the mother of twins who are also werewolves and her species’ battle to survive the New Inquisition.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUp from the grave / Jeaniene Frost.
“Vampire spouses Cat and Bones have faced multiple threats in their world of secret government organizations, ghouls, ghosts, and demons. Cat’s special abilities stemming from her half-vampire origin nearly sparked an interspecies war. With four of her former fellow agents have been reported killed in action, Cat and Bones and their team searching for the missing agents, make a stunning discovery: CIA agent James Madigan has betrayed them and is now engaging in genetic experimentation with a terrifying agenda.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWild things / Chloe Neill.
“Since Merit was turned into a vampire and became the protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House, it’s been a wild ride. She and Master vampire Ethan Sullivan have helped make Cadogan’s vampires the strongest in North America, and forged ties with paranormal folk of all breeds and creeds, living or dead or both. But now those alliances are about to be tested.” (Adapted from book cover)

Read more