Welcome to the Fiction Newsletter for May. We have selected the best and the most highly recommend fiction from the new additions to our collection rev to our received this month. In our ‘Other Genre’ category we feature New Zealand writers. This month there are many first novels from some exciting talented new authors. We hope you will enjoy many hours of pleasurable reading.
So many great new novels in this month’s selection of new Contemporary Fiction, that deciding on just three to tempt was difficult. But Jo Nesbo fans will be pleased to see his new novel, titled, The son has been included.
Every day is for the thief : fiction / Teju Cole with photos by the author.
“Set in contemporary Lagos, Nigeria, the novel follows a nameless narrator’s visit to his homeland after a lengthy stay in the United States. Estranged from his mother and unemotional about his father’s death, the protagonist seeks his humanity and redemption in art. Lagos, the home of numerous Internet scams and frequent power cuts-possesses a violence that both disgusts his protagonist and fascinates him. The narrator details a Nigeria that is violent and corrupt, but also multi-cultural and alive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The truth about the Harry Quebert affair / Joël Dicker ; translated from the French by Sam Taylor.
“Marcus Goldman, a successful young novelist, visits Somerset to see his mentor, Harry Quebert, one of the country’s most respected writers, and to find a cure for his writer’s block as his publisher’s deadline looms. But Marcus’s plans are violently upended when Harry is suddenly and sensationally implicated in the cold-case murder of Nola Kellergan.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The son / Jo Nesbø ; translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund.
“As a teenager, Sonny Lofthus learns of his father’s death, the circumstances of which disgrace his family and catapult Sonny into despair. To cope with his loss, Sonny seeks escape through heroin and at age 18 admits to crimes he did not commit. As payment for his confession, corrupt Oslo prison staff, lawyers, and a priest supply Sonny with a steady stream of heroin. Then, 12 years later, the same faction threatens to cut off Sonny’s heroin supply unless he confesses to a murder. At the same time, a fellow inmate provides Sonny with new information about his father’s death. Sonny breaks out of prison to make the people responsible pay for their treachery. While Oslo police search for Sonny, he untangles a web of corruption throughout the city.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Very casual, the title of the first collection of work by Canadian Michael DeForge, is highly recommended and is included as one of the best Graphic Novels from this month’s selection of new material.
God hates astronauts. Volume 1, The head that wouldn’t die! / written and illustrated by Ryan Browne.
“Conceived during a 24-hour comic creating exercise before evolving into a Webcomic, which then spurred a successful Kickstarter campaign to produce a hardcover collection, this comic has now been repackaged with many bonuses. The heroic team-known as The Power Persons Five-is hired by NASA for a mission, but often are anything but heroic as they confront all manner of strange enemies, from voodoo space bears to decapitated ghost cow heads.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Very casual / Michael DeForge.
“Prolific young Canadian-born avant-garde artist DeForge has become one of his generation’s most admired cartoonists, and this is his first sizable collection. Most of the work here has appeared in a barrage of mini-comics, small-press publications and Web comics. Many of DeForge’s comics center on body horror: in “Sweet Tat,” a popular band is made up of ugly lumps of flesh who infect their fans with a terrible disease, and some of the wordless comics deal with bodies that morph in more or less disturbing ways.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Hip hop family tree  : 1970s-1981 / Ed Piskor.
“Originating as a webcomic serialized at Boing Boing, this oversize volume is an epic, exhaustive chronicle of the most culturally impactful popular music movement of the past four decades. With its roots embedded in the streets of 1970s New York City, hip-hop and rap slowly germinated as a DIY urban party phenomenon, weaving a powerful funky spell among the Big Apple’s people of color. Local deejays and rappers were catapulted into the scene’s spotlight overnight, and the battles for performance supremacy honed the skills of the form’s progenitors at parties and clubs, which soon led the sounds they created to be recorded and distributed on bootleg vinyl. As the movement grew, so too did its visibility, and the rest is international pop-culture history.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The new mysteries for May include fiction from many popular authors, including Donna Leon and John Lescroart
The keeper : a novel / by John Lescroart.
“In the latest Dismas Hardy legal thriller, a missing-persons case gets very complicated, very fast. Hal Chase is a guard at the San Francisco County Jail; one night, while he’s out at the airport picking up a relative, his wife, Katie, disappears from their home. Hal is soon picked up by police as the prime suspect. Because Katie was a client of Hardy’s marriage-counselor wife, Hal wants Dismas to take his case. Hardy asks his old pal, former homicide cop Abe Glitsky, to pitch in with the investigative legwork. Glitsky soon uncovers some serious holes in Hal Chase’s story his alibi, for instance, is very shaky and when Katie’s body is found, and her husband is arrested for the murder, Dismas wonders if he could possibly be defending a guilty man, while Glitsky wonders if he’ll come out of this case alive. Lescroart has occupied a chair at the head table of the legal-thriller society for quite awhile, and this smartly plotted, sharply written novel will do nothing to dislodge him from that lofty perch.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)
Wolf / by Mo Hayder.
“In Hayder’s best Jack Caffery thriller yet, a worn-out Jack is feeling all the years he has put into police service and his never-ending quest to find out what happened to his long-lost brother. The novel opens with a young girl finding a stray dog with a ripped note tucked into its collar that states, “Help us.” A vagrant known as the Walking Man witnesses this and promises the young girl that he will help the dog. Never one to give out information willingly, the Walking Man surprisingly contacts Jack-offering up a trade: find out who needs help and, in return, the Walking Man will give Jack some closure about his brother. This deal with the devil sets off a home invasion novel unlike no other. The Anchor-Ferrers, a wealthy family with secrets and issues of their own, are being held hostage in their estate. Will Jack find them in time? And why was this family chosen in the first place? VERDICT Dark and twisty, this gripping crime novel by an Edgar Award winner is an outstanding read, whether Jack is a new character to the reader or an old friend.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)
By its cover / Donna Leon.“Donna Leon’s critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti series has attracted readers the world over with the beauty of its setting, the humanity of its characters, and its fearlessness in exploring politics, morality, and contemporary Italian culture. In the pages of Leon’s novels, the beloved conversations of the Brunetti family have drawn on topics of art and literature, but books are at the heart of this novel in a way they never have been before. One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem—the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist. As the investigation proceeds, the suspects multiply. And when a seemingly harmless theologian, who had spent years reading at the library turns up brutally murdered, Brunetti must question his expectations about what makes a man innocent, or guilty.” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)
The highly recommended, Descent by Ken MacLeod is included in the best of the best Science Fiction and Fantasy selection.
The long tomorrow / Leigh Brackett. “One of the original novels of post-nuclear holocaust America, published in 1955, The Long Tomorrow is considered by many to be one of the finest science fiction novels ever written on the subject. Len and Esau are young cousins living decades after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization as we know. The rulers of the post-war community have forbidden the existence of large towns and consider technology evil. ** However Len and Esau long for more than their simple agrarian existence. Rumors of mythical Bartorstown, perhaps the last city in existence, encourage the boys to embark on a journey of discovery and adventure that will call into question not only firmly held beliefs, but the boys’ own personal convictions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The chemickal marriage / G.W. Dahlquist. “The follow up to The Glass Book of Dream Eaters and The Dark Volume. Miss Temple, young, wealthy and far away from home, never wanted to be a heroine. Yet her fiancé is dead (admittedly, by her own hand), her companions slain and her nemesis, the terrifyingly wicked Contessa Lacquer-Sforza, escaped. It falls on her tiny shoulders to destroy a deadly cabal whose alchemy threatens to enslave the world. Miss Temple plots her revenge. But Dr Svenson and Cardinal Chang are alive, barely, their bodies corrupted by the poisonous blue glass. Wounded and outnumbered, Miss Temple, Dr Svenson and Cardinal Chang pursue their enemies through city slums and glittering palaces as they fight to prevent the cabal’s crushing dominion and unholy marriage between man and machine.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Descent / Ken MacLeod.
“How far would you go for the truth? Ball lightning, weather balloons, secret military aircraft, Ryan knows all the justifications for UFO sightings. But when something falls out of the sky on the hills near his small Scottish town, he finds his cynicism can’t identify or explain the phenomenon. And in a future where nothing is a secret, where everything is recorded on CCTV or reported online, why can he find no evidence of the UFO, nor anything to shed light on what occurred? Is it the political revolutionaries, is it the government or is it aliens themselves who are creating the cover-up? Or does the very idea of a cover-up hide the biggest secret of all?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
An amazing selection of New Zealand fiction features in this month’s ‘Other Genre’ category that includes some great new talented writers.
Glacier murder : a Philippa Barnes mystery / Trish McCormack.
“Glacier guide sleuth Philippa Barnes investigates a murder in New Zealand’s Westland National Park. What do you do when you need to escape from your life? Vivien Revell didn’t intend to die. She was conflicted and scared but she was also creative and clever. She should have been able to get away but years later Philippa discovers her mangled body in a crevasse on the Franz Josef Glacier. It looks like an accident but Vivien’s friend Julia is convinced she was murdered and persuades Philippa to investigate.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The road from midnight / Wendyl Nissen.
“Magazine editor Jane Lyndhurst has it all: a gorgeous . younger celebrity husband, a glamorous, fulfilling career and a beautiful, healthy daughter. But on the overnight train from Paris to Venice her five-year-old daughter Charlotte goes missing. As her life crumbles about her Jane refuses to leave Venice, clinging to a seemingly irrational belief that her daughter is alive somewhere out there.” (Adapted from book cover)
The bright side of my condition / Charlotte Randall.
“Based on the true story of four convicts who spent nearly a decade on the Snares Islands in the early nineteenth century” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)