Reichs, La Plante and Grafton : New Mysteries for September

This month we have included in our selection the latest mystery novels from many very popular, much acclaimed writers. These include Andrea Camilleri, Arne Dahl, Sue Grafton, Lynda La Plante, Kathy Reichs and Fred Vargas. There are also two debut authors, who show much promise for continuing their main characters’ development in future mysteries.

Syndetics book coverA nest of vipers / Andrea Camilleri ; translated by Stephen Sartarelli.
“On what should be a quiet Sunday morning, Inspector Montalbano is called to a murder scene on the Sicilian coast. A man has discovered his father dead in his Vigatan beach house: his body slumped on the dining room floor, his morning coffee spilt across the table, and a single gunshot wound at the base of his skull. First appearances point to the son having the most to gain from his father’s untimely death, a notion his sister can’t help but reinforce. But when Montalbano delves deeper into the case, and learns of the dishonourable life the victim led, it soon becomes clear half of Vigata has a motive for his murder and this won’t be as simple as the Inspector had once hoped.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWatching you / Arne Dahl ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“Someone is watching. At each abandoned crime scene there’s a hidden clue: a tiny metal cog, almost invisible to the naked eye. Someone is sending Detective Sam Berger a message, and that someone knows that only he will understand the cryptic trail. Someone knows. When another teenaged girl disappears without trace, Sam must convince his superiors that they’re dealing with a serial kidnapper and possible killer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGlass souls : moths for commissario Ricciardi / Maurizio de Giovanni ; translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar.
“In the abyss of a profound personal crisis, Commissario Ricciardi feels unable to open himself up to life. He has refused the love of both Enrica and Livia and the friendship of his partner. Contentment for Ricciardi proves as elusive as clues to his latest case. The beautiful countess Bianca, pleads with him to investigate an officially closed case. In the tense, charged atmosphere of 1930s Italy, where Benito Mussolini and his fascist thugs monitor the police, an unauthorized investigation is grounds for immediate dismissal. But Ricciardi’s thirst for justice cannot be sated.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPerfect remains / Helen Fields.
“Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverY is for yesterday / Sue Grafton.
“The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y is for Yesterday begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace. Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOrdeal / Jorn Lier Horst ; translated by Anne Bruce.
“Together with her one year old daughter Maja, single mother Sofie Lund moves into the house she inherited from her grandfather. Sofie has such painful memories that she has had every trace of the old man removed, every trace but a locked safe that has been bolted to the basement floor. Inside the safe, Sofie finds something shocking that will also become crucial evidence in a case that has plagued Inspector William Wisting for a long time. Following this lead though, he will cut across important loyalties and undermine confidence in the police force.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCold death in Amsterdam / Anja De Jager
“Set in Amsterdam, the novel introduces Lotte Meerman, a Cold Case detective still recovering from the emotional devastation of her previous investigation. A tip-off leads Lotte to an unresolved ten-year-old murder case in which her father was the lead detective. When she discovers irregularities surrounding the original investigation that make him a suspect, she decides to cover for him. She doesn’t tell her boss about the family connection and jeopardizes her career by hiding evidence. Now she has to find the real murderer before her cover up is discovered, otherwise her father will go to jail and she will lose her job, the one thing in life she still takes pride in.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGood Friday / Lynda La Plante.
“On the way to court, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead. Jane is a key witness, but she can’t identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOnly human / Kristine Næss ; translated from the Norwegian by Seán Kinsella.
“Bea Britt lives alone in her grandmother’s house in west Oslo. Early one morning, she wakes to find a police hunt outside her window and drama unfolding on her TV. Volunteers are scouring the local woods looking for Emilie, a missing schoolgirl. Emilie’s rucksack is found in Bea Britt’s garden. But as her spiraling doubts and suspicions take over, is she a suspect, a witness or a potential second victim?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTwo nights : a novel / Kathy Reichs.
“A childhood spent in a dangerous cult left Sunday Night never with a bone-deep instinct for survival that’s kept her alive into adulthood but left her mostly friendless. Forced into early retirement from the police force due to an injury, Sunnie retreats from an outside world she doesn’t trust and sees little use for, until a wealthy woman contacts her with a plea: her teenage granddaughter has been missing since the day of a bombing near a Jewish school. Suspecting the work of religious extremists, she believes Sunnie’s unique first-hand experience may make her the ideal woman to track down the girl and bring her captors to justice. As much as Sunnie would rather stay isolated, she won’t turn her back on an innocent life in jeopardy not when her haunted past cries out for her to take action.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe accordionist / Fred Vargas ; translated from the French by Siân Reynolds.
“When two Parisian women are shockingly murdered in their homes, the police suspect young accordionist Clement Vauquer, who was seen outside both of the apartments in question. It seems on the surface like an open-and-shut case. But now Clement has disappeared from public view. His likeness has appeared in the papers and detectives from Paris to Nevers are on his tail. To have a chance of proving his innocence, he seeks refuge with old Marthe, a former prostitute and the only mother figure he has known. Marthe calls ex-special investigator Louis Kehlweiler to help Clement. But what Louis uncovers is anything but straightforward, and he must call on some unconventional friends to help him solve his most complex case yet.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Graphic Novels for September

This month’s selection of new Graphic novels illustrates the diversity of this collection. The narratives range from comedy to tragedy, from modern life to horror, from the sublime to the surreal, and all with extraordinary art work. Highly recommended this month, but not for the faint hearted is Little Tulip, by Jerome Charryn and Francois Boucq.

Syndetics book coverHerman Melville’s Moby Dick / Chabouté ; translation, Laure Dupont.Moby Dick
“In striking black-and-white illustrations, Chaboute retells the story of the Great American Novel. Captain Ahab strikes out on a voyage, obsessively seeking revenge on the great white whale that took his leg.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLittle Tulip / Jerome Charyn and François Boucq.
“A serial killer haunts the city streets, a stalker of isolated women who leaves a Santa Claus hat at the scene of his crimes. Pavel, a Russian emigre assists the police investigation as a sketch artist. But Pavel’s true calling is as a tattoo artist, and the so-called Bad Santa killings conjure up memories of the nightmarish world in which he learned his craft: a Russian prison camp that shattered his childhood and destroyed his family. Shifting between the living hell of a 1940s Siberian gulag and the crime-ridden chaos of New York City during the 1970s, this graphic novel’s stunning artwork provides an atmospheric backdrop to its tale of corruption, murder, and revenge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpaniel rage / Vanessa Davis.
“Semi-autobiographical but more observational than confessional, a young single Jewish woman in New York accounts of dating woes, misunderstandings between her and her mother, and conversations with friends, anecdotes about her anxieties and wry truths about the contradictions of life in the big city.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPretending is lying / Dominique Goblet ; translated by Sophie Yanow in collaboration with the author.
“The first book to appear in English by the acclaimed Belgian artist Dominique Goblet, Pretending is Lying is a memoir unlike any other. In a series of dazzling fragments–skipping through time, Goblet examines the most important relationships in her life: with her partner, Guy Marc; with her daughter, Nikita; and with her parents.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Black Monday murders. Volume 1, All hail, God Mammon / words by Jonathan Hickman ; art by Tomm Coker.
“A new crypto-noir series about the power of dirty, filthy money and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it. THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels that control all of society: a secret world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep global control.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe coldest winter / written by Antony Johnston ; illustrated by Steven Perkins.
“A pre-equal to The Coldest City, again set in Cold War-ear Berlin. After a string of botched assignments for MI6 in Berlin, David Perceval is being sent home. His final mission before leaving, the defection of a Soviet scientist, goes badly wrong, as the coldest winter for 30 years descends on Europe. With transport out of Berlin impossible, and the KGB searching everywhere for their lost scientist, Perceval must improvise a deadly game of cat and mouse through the frozen city to keep the Russians at bay, and deliver his own unique brand of revenge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSnotgirl. Vol. 1, Green hair don’t care / script, Bryan Lee O’Malley ; art, Leslie Hung ; created by Bryan Lee O’Malley & Leslie Hung.
“Who is Lottie Person? Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSeven to Eternity. Vol. 1, The god of whispers / written by Rick Remender ; drawn by Jerome Opeña ; edited by Sebastian Girner.
“The God of Whispers has spread an omnipresent paranoia to every corner of the kingdom of Zhal; his spies hide in every hall spreading mistrust and fear. Adam Osidis, a dying knight from a disgraced house, must decide about joining a hopeless band of magic users in their desperate bid to free their world of the evil God.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWeird detective / script by Fred Van Lente ; art by Guiu Villanova.
“The streets of New York have been plagued by a pattern of crimes too weird and bizarre for the average detective. Lurking in the evidence are shadows of loathsome horrors from beyond space and time, seeking to usher in the unimaginable evil of the Old Ones. The only man capable of fighting against the unspeakable terrors isn’t a man at all. Detective Sebastian Green is one of them it takes a monster to catch a monster.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSnow day / Pierre Wazem, writer ; Antoine Aubin, artist ; Mark Bence, translator.
“A young outsider sheriff struggles in a small, isolated, snow-covered town populated by hard, brutal people who don’t take kindly to strangers. It’s a place where everyone minds their own business and folks do as they please. That is, until the calm, quiet sheriff decides to do his job properly and uphold the law.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Short Stories in August

This month we have selected new short story collections as the feature for our ‘Other Genres’ category. Included are three anthologies, one from Canada, with fictional stories about climate change, another a collection of stories from Icelandic writers and lastly an interesting concept of very short stories written on Twitter. This selection also includes the latest horror stories from the prolific writer Joyce Carol Oates.

Syndetics book coverAustralia Day / Melanie Cheng.
Australia Day is a collection of stories by debut author Melanie Cheng. The people she writes about are young, old, rich, poor, married, widowed, Chinese, Lebanese, Christian, and Muslim. What they have in common, no matter where they come from, is the desire we all share to feel that we belong. The stories explore universal themes of love, loss, family and identity, while at the same time asking crucial questions about the possibility of human connection in a globalized world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCli-fi : Canadian tales of climate change / edited by Bruce Meyer ; afterword by Dan Bloom.
“With the world facing the greatest global crisis of all time, climate change, personal and political indifference has wrought a series of unfolding complications that are altering our planet, and threatening our very existence. Reacting to the warnings sounded by scientists and thinkers these stories of Climate Fiction (Cli-fi) feature perspectives by culturally diverse Canadian writers of short fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and futurist works, and transcend traditional doomsday stories by inspiring us to overcome the bleak forecasted results of our current indifference.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary

Syndetics book coverThe redemption of Galen Pike / Carys Davies.
“From remote Australian settlements to the snows of Siberia, from Colorado to Cumbria, restless teenagers, middle-aged civil servants, and Quaker spinsters traverse expanses of solitude to reveal the secrets of the human heart. Stories that remind us how little we know of the lives of others.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLetters from Klara and other short stories / Tove Jansson ; translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal.
“The rich seam that is Jansson’s adult prose continues with this penultimate collection of short stories, written in her seventies at the height of her Moomin fame and translated into English for the first time. In these light-footed, beautifully crafted yet disquieting stories, Jansson tells of discomfiting encounters, unlooked for connections and moments of isolation that span generations and decades.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDis mem ber : and other stories of mystery and suspense / Joyce Carol Oates.
“Joyce Carol Oates is renowned for her rare ability to “illuminate the mind’s most disturbing corners”. That genius is on full display in her new collection of seven feverishly unsettling works, that includes “The Crawl Space,” winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction and a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Short Story.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOut of the blue : new short fiction from Iceland / Helen Mitsios, editor ; foreword by Sjón.
“This extraordinary collection, the first anthology of Icelandic short fiction published in English translation, features work by twenty of Iceland’s most popular and celebrated living authors. Included is a story titled, Self Portrait by Auaur Jonsdottir granddaughter of Halldor Laxness, who won the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature. This collection is an excursion to an island where almost two million travelers descend yearly on a population of 345 thousand natives. This promises to be a seminal collection that will define Icelandic literature in translation for decades to come.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTales on tweet : illustrated short fiction / edited & curated by Manoj Pandey.
“Manoj Pandey tweeted out several stories. Then others began tweeting tales right back at him: Margaret Atwood and Kabir Bedi with death tales, Salman Rushdie and Jeet Thayil with their dark humour, Teju Cole meditating on loneliness, Prajwal Parajuly on literature, Shashi Tharoor on India. It was a literary moment of sorts: spontaneous, changeable, tangential and then, just like Twitter itself, surprisingly poignant in bursts and flashes. But it was when these stories came together with Yuko Shimizu’s phantasmagorical images that Tales on Tweet stepped off the scrollable vortex of a webpage and into the tactile intimacy of the reading experience.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWait till you see me dance : stories / Deb Olin Unferth.
“For more than ten years, Deb Olin Unferth has been publishing startlingly askew, wickedly comic, cutting-edge fiction in magazines such as Granta, Harper’s Magazine, McSweeney’s and The Paris Review. Her stories are revered by some of the best American writers of our day, but until now there has been no stand-alone collection of her short fiction. This unforgettable collection consists of several extraordinary longer stories as well as a selection of intoxicating very short stories.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe refrigerator monologues / Catherynne M. Valente ; with illustrations by Annie Wu. 
“A series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSour heart : stories / Jenny Zhang.
“A debut story collection that conjures the experience of adolescence through the eyes of Chinese American girls growing up in New York City, frank and subversive interpreter of the immigrant experience in America. Narrated by the daughters of Chinese immigrants who fled imperiled lives as artists back home only to struggle to stay afloat, dumpster diving for food and scamming Atlantic City casino buses to make a buck, these seven stories showcase Zhang’s compassion, moral courage, and a perverse sense of humor.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Contemporary Fiction for August

The new contemporary fiction selected this month includes novels from Australia, Sweden, India, Denmark, France and Scotland. Highly recommended is the award winning novel by Su Bristow titled Sealskin.

Syndetics book coverI am behind you / John Ajvide Lindqvist ; translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy.
“Four families wake up one morning in their caravans, next to their cars, on an ordinary campsite in southern Sweden. However, during the night something strange has happened. Everything else has disappeared, and the world has been transformed into an endless expanse of grass. The sky is blue, but there is no sign of the sun; there are no trees, no flowers, no birds. And every radio plays nothing but the songs of sixties pop icon Peter Himmelstrand. As the holiday-makers try to come to terms with what has happened, they are forced to confront their deepest fears and secret desires, and in many cases expose the less appealing aspects of their character. Can any of them find a way back to reality?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSealskin / Su Bristow.
“Donald is a young fisherman, eking out a lonely living on the west coast of Scotland. One night he witnesses something miraculous and makes a terrible mistake. His action changes lives not only his own, but those of his family and the entire tightly knit community in which they live. Can he ever atone for the wrong he has done, and can love grow when its foundation is violence?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThese dividing walls / Fran Cooper.
“In a forgotten corner of Paris stands a building. Within its walls, people talk and kiss, laugh and cry; some are glad to sit alone, while others wish they did not. Though each of their walls touches someone else’s, the neighbours they pass in the courtyard remain strangers. But in distant corners of the city, as Paris is pulled taut with summer heat, there are those who meet with a darker purpose. As the feverish metropolis is brought to boiling point, secrets will rise and walls will crumble both within and without Number 37.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe French art of war / Alexis Jenni ; translated from the French by Frank Wynne.
“It was the beginning of the Gulf War. I watched it on TV and did little else. I was doing badly, you see. Everything was going wrong. I just awaited the end. But then I met Victorien Salagnon, a veteran of the great colonial wars of Indochina, Vietnam and Algeria, a commander who had led his soldiers across the globe, a man with the blood of others up to his elbows. He said he would teach me to paint. In return, he wanted me to write his life story. And so he talked, and I wrote, and through him I witnessed the rivers of blood that cut channels through France, I saw the deaths that were as numberless as they were senseless and I began finally to understand the French art of war.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhen I hit you ; or, A portrait of the writer as a young wife / Meena Kandasamy.
“Seduced by politics and poetry, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor and agrees to be his wife, but what for her is a contract of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealized version of a kept woman, bullying her out of her life as an academic and writer in the process, she attempts to push back, a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMirror, shoulder, signal / Dorthe Nors ; translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra.
“A poignant, sharp-witted tale of one woman’s journey in search of herself when there’s no one to ask for directions. Sonja’s over forty, and she’s trying to move in the right direction. She’s learning to drive. She’s joined a meditation group. And she’s attempting to reconnect with her sister. But Sonja would rather eat cake than meditate. Her driving instructor won’t let her change gear. And her sister won’t return her calls.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA fortune foretold : a novel / Agneta Pleijel ; translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy.
“The story takes place in the 1950s in the suburbs of Stockholm, in the university town of Lund, and in the United States. Neta’s childhood is in disarray. She reads, words give form to the vagueness of existence, and is busy thinking about the female sex, family, and the stupendous diversity of people in the world. Her father, a mathematician, and her mother, a musician, are in constant conflict, but she loves them both. Gradually Neta realizes that she’s grown up in a lie and that she must step carefully through the war zone of her parents’ marriage.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFava beans for breakfast / Suzanne Salem.
“In 1974, Nayeema reluctantly leaves Sydney’s inner city to move to Burraboo, a tired coastal town, with her husband Fawzy. In doing so, Nayeema surrenders her only dream, but once there she falls under the sway of new infatuations. On a houseboat in the pristine bay nearby, she sells the comforting food of her Egyptian childhood, but keeps her income a secret from her husband. Through this act of defiance and independence, Nayeema unwittingly unlocks a mysterious connection with her new land.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMissing Fay / Adam Thorpe.
“A spirited, restless fourteen-year-old, Fay, goes missing from a Lincoln council estate. Is she a runaway, or a victim, another face on a poster gradually fading with time? The story of her last two days before she vanishes is interwoven with the varied lives of six locals, whether aware or unaware of her presence or absence, all touched in life-changing ways. All are involuntary witnesses to the lost girl; paths cross, threads touch, connections are made or lost. Is Fay alive or dead, or somewhere in between?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKiss Carlo / Adriana Trigiani.
“It’s 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a re-match. Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for August

This month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels from our recently received new material includes The Black Elfstone: the fall of Shannara, the first book Terry Brooks’s new series. Also included is the first book in Yoon Ha Lee’s series Machineries of Empire, titled Ninefox gambit.

Syndetics book coverCreation machine : a novel of the Spin / Andrew Bannister.
“It is the aftermath of civil war in the vast pageant of planets and stars known as The Spin. Three years since he crushed the rebellion, Viklun Haas, industrialist and leader of the Hegemony, is eliminating all remnants of the opposition. Starting with his daughter. But Fleare Haas, fighter for Society Otherwise has had a long time to plan her next move. Sprung from her remote monastery prison and reuniting with a team of loyal friends, Fleare’s journey will take her across The Spin to the cluster of fallen planets known as the The Catastrophy Curve and from exile, to the very frontiers of war. For hundreds of millions of years, the bizarre planets and stars of The Spin itself have been the only testament to the god-like engineers that created it. Now, buried in the earth of a ruined planet, one of their machines has been found.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe black elfstone : the fall of Shannara / Terry Brooks.
“The first book of the triumphant and epic four-part conclusion to the Shannara series, from one of the all-time masters of fantasy. Across the Four Lands, peace has reigned for generations. But now, in the far north, an unknown enemy is massing. More troubling than the carnage is the strange and wondrous power wielded by the attackers, a breed of magic unfamiliar even to the Druid order. Fearing the worst, the High Druid dispatches a diplomatic party under the protection of the order’s sworn guardian, Dar Leah, to confront the mysterious, encroaching force and discover its purpose. But another crucial journey is being undertaken.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe city of woven streets / Emmi Itäranta.
“In the City of Woven Streets, human life has little value. You practice a craft to keep you alive, or you are an outcast, unwanted and tainted. Eliana is a young weaver in the House of Webs, but secretly knows she does not really belong there. She is hiding a shameful birth defect that would, if anyone knew about it, land her in the House of the Tainted, a prison for those whose very existence is considered a curse. When an unknown woman with her tongue cut off and Eliana’s name tattooed on her skin arrives at the House of Webs, Eliana discovers an invisible network of power behind the city’s facade. All the while, the sea is clawing the shores and the streets are slowly drowning.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kill society : a Sandman Slim novel / Richard Kadrey.
“Sandman Slim has found himself in an unknown land: the far, far edge of the Tenebrae, the desolate home of the lost dead. There, he collides with a caravan of the damned on a mysterious crusade, led by the ruthless Magistrate. Alone and with no idea of how to get home, he joins the caravan. Meanwhile, the Angels have put a bounty on Slim’s head after his attempt to open Heaven caused a tsunami across the universe.” (Adapted from Syndetics smmary)

Syndetics book coverNinefox gambit / Yoon Ha Lee.
“Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next. Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress. The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own. As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao, because she might be his next victim.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBirthrights / J. Kyle McNeal.
“Set in a land where magic has faded into the stuff of legend, and a corrupt council dominates the realm. The son of a street sweeper and last in line of a disgraced family, Whym has grown up in the RatsNest slum of the capital. In the hopes of escaping his father’s fate, he accepts an apprenticeship to be a seeker, something akin to a modern-day bounty hunter. Soon, he finds himself entangled in a web of treachery and set forth on a perilous journey across the Lost Land to locate a creature of myth and magic, a journey that will not only transform Whym, but shape the future of the realm.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMightier than the sword / K. J. Parker.
“An Imperial legate is called into see his aunt, who just happens to be the empress running the civilized world while her husband’s in his sick bed. After some chastisement, she dispatches her nephew to take care of the dreaded Land and Sea Raiders, pirates who’ve been attacking the realm’s monasteries. So begins a possibly doomed tour of banished relatives and uppity royals put in charge of monasteries like Cort Doce and Cort Malestan, to name a few. While attempting to discover the truth of what the pirates might be after, the legate visits great libraries and halls in each varied locale and conducts a romance of which he knows but doesn’t care his aunt will not approve. With enough wit and daring the narrator might just make it through his mission alive, or will he?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe world raven / A.J. Smith.
“The dead god is waking. His power-mad priestess has deployed a mass of men and beasts onto the plains of Ro Weir. Faced with this black swarm, the last remnants of the nation crumble and fall. This is the final battle for the mortal lands of Ro. Far to the north; the ice men of Rowanoco muster their Exemplars against the witch’s assassins. In the blistering southern deserts, a squire with no master walks unscathed through a poisoned city. And, in the halls beyond the world, a thrice-born man dares to tread the path of Giants. All that was dead will rise. All that now lives will fall. This is the final epic battle for the Lands of Ro.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJovienne / Linda Robertson.
“A horrific car accident put Jovienne in a coma. When she awakened months later, she was told that her family had died. She felt different, irreversibly changed. Years passed, and she was raised by a stranger who trained her to use the quintanumin. She excelled at every lesson, and she longed for her mentor to become much more. When the time came for her final test, a death-match against a demon, she uncovered a terrible truth: the man she had trusted to teach her had a dreadful secret, and Jovienne had become a monster’s monster. The traumatized Jovienne becomes desperate for a way out of this new life, working on a way to rescind her immortality. But this only brings the demons ever closer, one of which claims to know a secret of its own about Jovienne, a secret she doesn’t even know herself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe book of Joan : a novel / Lidia Yuknavitch.
“In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet’s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin. Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule, galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, no one can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mystery novels for August

Readers of mystery novels will be delighted with this month’s selection from our recently received new items, as every novel is set in a different country. These are France, Italy, Holland, Norway, Iran, Iceland, England, Kenya, Germany and Singapore. Not only does this provide some brilliant armchair travel to exotic places, but has some popular characters unravelling the mysteries and solving the crimes.

Syndetics book coverMurder in Saint-Germain / Cara Black.
“Paris, July 1999: Private investigator Aimée Leduc is walking through Saint-Germain when she is accosted by Suzanne Lesage, a Brigade Criminelle agent on an elite counterterrorism squad. Suzanne has just returned from the former Yugoslavia, where she was hunting down dangerous war criminals for the Hague. Back in Paris, Suzanne is convinced she’s being stalked by a ghost, a Serbian warlord her team took down. She’s suffering from PTSD and her boss thinks she’s imagining things. She begs Aimée to investigate, is it possible Mirko Vladić could be alive and in Paris with a blood vendetta? Aimée is already working on a huge case; plus, she’s got an eight-month-old baby to take care of. But she can’t say no to Suzanne, whom she owes a big favor.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe mountain / Luca D’Andrea.
“Jeremiah Salinger blames himself. The crash was his fault. He was the only survivor. Now only his daughter Clara can put a smile on his face. The depression and the nightmares are closing in. But when he takes Clara to the Bletterbach, a canyon in the Dolomites rich in fossil remains, he overhears by chance a conversation that gives his life renewed focus. In 1985 three students were murdered there, their bodies savaged, limbs severed and strewn by a killer who was never found. Salinger, a New Yorker, is far from home, and these Italian mountains, where his wife was born, harbour a close-knit, tight-lipped community whose mistrust of outsiders can turn ugly. All the same, solving this mystery might be the only thing that can keep him sane.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSleep baby sleep / David Hewson.
“Annie Schrijver is just twenty-two-years-old. She works in the picturesque Albert Cuyp flower market where her father has a stall. Brimming with personality, she’s always been popular with the customers. But then she goes missing, only to be found barely alive, tied to a stone angel in a graveyard, surrounded by a ring of fire. Her body contains traces of a drug which connect the police to a previous case: the Sleeping Beauty murders. But Annie seems to have been the lucky one, as a body is found nearby, freshly tattooed with three words: Sleep Baby Sleep.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhen It Grows Dark / Jorn Lier Horst ; translated by Anne Bruce.
“Stavern 1983: Christmas is approaching, snow is falling heavily, and a young ambitious policeman named William Wisting has just become the father of twins. After a brutal robbery he is edged off the investigation by more experienced officers, but soon he is on another case that is not only unsolved but has not even been recognised as murder. Forgotten in a dilapidated barn stands a bullet riddled old car, and it looks as if the driver did not get out alive. This case will shape William Wisting as a policeman and give him insight that he will carry with him for the rest of his professional career: generations form an unbroken chain.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAmong the ruins / Ausma Zehanat Khan.
“On leave from Canada’s Community Policing department, Esa Khattak is traveling in Iran, reconnecting with his cultural heritage and seeking peace in the country’s beautiful mosques and gardens. But Khattak’s supposed break from work is cut short when he’s approached by a Canadian government agent in Iran, asking him to look into the death of renowned Canadian-Iranian filmmaker Zahra Sobhani. Zahra was murdered at Iran’s notorious Evin prison, where she’d been seeking the release of a well-known political prisoner. Khattak quickly finds himself embroiled in Iran’s tumultuous politics and under surveillance by the regime, but when the trail leads back to Zahra’s family in Canada, Khattak calls on his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, for help.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRupture / Ragnar Jónasson ; translated by Quentin Bates.
“1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjordur. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances, the case in never solved. Fifty years later, an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couple may not have been alone on the fjord after all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSleeping in the ground / Peter Robinson.
“A shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course. But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for. When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA book of scars / William Shaw.
“1969. Five years ago, teenager Alexandra Tozer was murdered on her family farm. Her sister Helen Tozer will never forget. Returning home after quitting the Met Police, she brings with her the recovering Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen, who slowly becomes possessed by the unsolved case. He discovers the Tozers were never told the whole truth. Alexandra was tortured for twenty-four hours before she died. But when he tracks down the original investigating sergeant, the man goes missing. And so does Helen. Suspicion falls on her. But Breen is on a trail that goes far beyond the death of a schoolgirl. For the two men connected to this case met in Kenya, during the Mau Mau uprising; and the history that Britain has turned its face from is now returning to haunt it. So when another innocent woman is abducted, Breen knows he has just twenty-four hours to save her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Templars’ last secret / Martin Walker.
“When a woman’s body is found at the foot of a cliff near St. Denis,Chief of Police, Bruno suspects a connection to the great ruin that stands on the cliff above: the Chateau de Commarque, a long-ago Knights Templar stronghold which, along with the labyrinth of prehistoric caves beneath it, continues to draw the interest of scholars. Bruno learns that the dead woman was an archaeologist searching for a religious artifact of incredible importance, the discovery of which could have dramatic repercussions throughout the Middle East, not to mention in St. Denis. The woman’s tie to Islamic terrorists only heightens the pressure on Bruno to unravel the centuries-old mystery.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Graphic Novels for August

This month we have a wonderful selection of new graphic novels that covers many genres. From mystery to science fiction, fantasy to thrilling suspense, and of course several first volumes of new series. All this and the typically brilliant variation in art work, provides a reading pleasure for all graphic novel enthusiasts.

Syndetics book coverKill or be killed. Volume one / Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser.
“The twisted story of a young man forced to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret from destroying his life. Both a thriller and a deconstruction of vigilantism.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverElias the cursed / Sylviane Corgiat [writer] & Corrado Mastantuono [artist].
“Fallen king Elias is on a quest to reclaim the face that was stolen from him by the mighty sorcerer Melchior. With the help of an unlikely gang, of all fantastical shapes and sizes, and amidst magic both good and evil, Elias The Cursed will attempt to save his face, and perhaps his soul.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeowulf : a graphic novel / by Santiago García and David Rubín ; edited by Image Comics ; translation, Sam Stone and Joe Keatinge.
“The myth of Beowulf, which has endured for a thousand years and inspired an epic poem of the same name, became a foundational piece of English literature. It tells of the tale of a Scandinavian hero in lands that would become what is now Denmark and Sweden: A monster, Grendel, has arrived in the kingdom of the Danes, devouring its men and women for 12 years until Beowulf arrives to save them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLaid waste / Julia Gfrörer.
“In a plague-ravaged medieval city, survival is a harsher fate than death. As corpses accumulate around her, Agnes, a young widow possessed of supernatural strength, must weigh her obligations to the dead and dying against her desire to protect what little remains. Laid Waste is a graphic novella about love and kindness among vermin in the putrid miasma at the end of the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlabaster : the good, the bad, and the bird / written by Caitlín R. Kiernan ; drawn by Daniel Warren Johnson.
“A new evil haunts the sun-scorched back roads and ghost towns of the American South, murderous twins who command a legion of ghouls. Once again, Dancy must face down demons, those who walk the world unchallenged and those in her own shattered mind.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBy the numbers / Laurent Rullier, writer ; Stanislas Barthélémy, artist.
“The misadventures of Victor Levallois, a timid accountant that gets pulled into a life of danger. It all starts in 1948 when Victor is entrusted with an unusual errand: to deliver a suitcase to the port of Marseilles. But, when the suitcase is stolen, Victor finds himself bound for Saigon and the decadence, intrigue and ‘adventure’ of a colonial war.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverClear blue tomorrows / Meyer, Gazzotti, Vehlmann.
“In the future, the entire population is under a de facto dictatorship because of cerebral implants invented by one F.G. Wilson. Nolan Ska, an engineer, manages to travel back in time, with the intention of changing history by encouraging Wilson’s first career as a novelist. But the man who will eventually become a seemingly immortal despot turns out to be a poor writer, and it will be up to Nolan to use his own memories to be his ghost writer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe abominable Mr. Seabrook / Joe Ollmann.
“In the early twentieth century, travel writing represented the desire for the expanding bourgeoisie to experience the exotic cultures of the world past their immediate surroundings. Journalist William Buehler Seabrook was emblematic of this trend-participating in voodoo ceremonies, riding camels cross the Sahara desert, communing with cannibals and most notably, popularizing the term “zombie” in the West. He had a list of bestselling books, but of course, there was a dark side. Seabrook was a barely functioning alcoholic who was deeply obsessed with bondage and the so-called mystical properties of pain and degradation. What led the popular and vivid writer to such a sad state? Cartoonist Joe Ollmann spent seven years researching Seabrook’s life, accessing long neglected archives in order to piece together the peripatetic life of a forgotten American writer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Spire / written by Simon Spurrier ; illustrated by Jeff Stokely.
“The Spire is a mountain of metal and stone, a vast city that rises out of the middle of the radioactive desert. Filled with twisting tunnels, grinding elevators, and ancient machinery, it is home to over a million human and non-human residents. Sha, the last of the species known as the Medusi, is responsible for keeping the hodgepodge of forgotten technology and new biology safe as Commander of the City Watch. But when a string of grisly murders are committed just as a new Baroness of the Spire is about to be sworn in, Sha will have to find the killer and bring that individual to justice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBalkans arena / Philippe Thirault [writer] & Jorge Miguel [artist] ; Mercedes Claire Gilliom, translator.
“When widowed former soldier Frank Sokol returns to his native Croatia with his Canadian-born son, Ben, he must face his estranged family and the ghosts of the civil war. When 11-year old Ben is kidnapped by the local mafia and forced into the underground world of illegal online cage-fighting, Frank will stop at nothing to get him back. But the cost may be even higher than he’s willing to pay, and his son could be changed forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genre’ fiction for July featuring NZ writers

New Zealand writers are featured in this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category. This selection highlights the diversity of subject and genres in New Zealand fiction, from historical to science fiction, romance to biographical, horror to contemporary New Zealand life. Highly recommended, both historical, are Heloise by Mandy Hager, her first adult novel and Through the Lonesome Dark by much acclaimed writer Paddy Richardson.

Syndetics book coverThe Nam legacy : a novel / Carole Brungar.
The Nam Legacy is an epic love story set during the ’60s and ’70s. When the Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane drove parents crazy, teenagers found sexual freedom and peace slogans covered placards. When Vietnam abducted the nation’s young men and sent them to fight in New Zealand’s most controversial campaign. After 18 months in Vietnam, New Zealand soldier Jack Coles thought killing others to stay alive would be the hardest thing he would ever have to live with. He was wrong. Although the nightmare of what he saw and did still haunts him constantly, what tortures him the most is what he has left behind.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe last McAdam / Holly Ford.
“This romantic, irresistibly entertaining novel tells the story of Tess Drummond, who’s been sent to turn around the fortunes of a remote sheep and cattle station her employer has taken over. What Tess hasn’t counted on is coming up against the station’s handsome and charismatic head stockman, Nate McAdam, whose family owned the property for generations.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHeloise / Mandy Hager.
“What happens when the 12th century’s most famous French lovers are caught in the crossfire of factions, religious reform and zealotry? Heloise has an exceptional mind. In her determination to pursue learning rather than marriage or life as a cloistered nun, her path inevitably crosses with Peter Abelard, the celebrity philosopher, theologian and master at Paris’ famed Cathedral School. When two such brilliant minds meet and engage, sparks are likely to fly. But theirs is an impossible love. At a time when the Gregorian Reforms are starting to bite and celibacy among the clergy and church officials is being rigorously imposed, these two embark on an affair that will see their lives forever changed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEmpress of the fall / David Hair.
“Emperor Constant is dead and his rivals are scrabbling for power, but any misstep could plunge the land, already devastated by the shocking outcome of the Third Crusade, into a calamitous civil war. The Imperial throne is not the only one in jeopardy. Two brothers, imprisoned veterans of the Crusades, finally return home to find their father’s kingdom being plundered but the price of regaining their birthright will have far-reaching implications for the entire empire.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGood sons : a novel of the Great War / Greg Hall
“In early 1914 Frank Wilson and his two close friends, Tom Davis and Robert Sutherland, are growing up in Oamaru in the South Island of New Zealand. The coming war in Europe arouses the hopes and dreams of a generation of young men. The pressure becomes irresistible and one by one the boys become soldiers. Frank delays his decision but in 1916 a strange encounter shocks him into enlisting. After a rapid coming-of-age in the training camps of the North Island the novel moves to France. A reunion, the insanity of a love affair in the midst of a terrible war and a brutal event set Frank on course for the best and worst days of his young life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInto the mist / Lee Murray.
“When New Zealand Defense Force Sergeant Taine McKenna and his squad are tasked with escorting a bunch of civilian contractors into Te Urewera National Park, it seems a strange job for the army. Militant Tahoe separatists are active in the area, and with its cloying mist and steep ravines, the forest is a treacherous place in winter. Yet nothing has prepared Taine for the true danger that awaits them. They backtrack toward civilization, stalked by a prehistoric creature intent on picking them off one by one. With their weapons ineffective, the babysitting job has become a race for survival.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe suicide club / Sarah Quigley.
“When Bright is suddenly catapulted to fame, he can’t cope with the pressure. He decides to end it all by jumping from the 20th floor of a high-rise on his twentieth birthday. He’s saved by the quirky, eccentric Gibby, and soon the two boys find themselves in a love triangle, vying for the attention of the beautiful, brilliant, unreachable Lace, and also trying to protect her from harm. The three misfits, close to genius, close to the brink, travel from England to a beautiful old spa town in Bavaria. Here, in an experimental institution under the colourful Dr Geoffrey, the pressure mounts. Soon it’s no longer clear who’s in the greatest danger and who needs saving the most.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThrough the lonesome dark / Paddy Richardson.
“Blackball, West Coast, pre-World War I. For three youngsters; Pansy, Clem and Otto, life had an idyllic surface with a far from idyllic underside in this mining town. As a World War approaches, the harsh realities become apparent, just because you are smart and motivated there is no certainty that you can advance yourself in this world, especially if you are a girl. With a light hand on a dark time in history, Paddy Richardson navigates the territory between.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe insides of banana skins / Jane Seaford.
“Sukey, seventeen, lost and uncertain, shares a crowded, shabby flat with Kitty, who becomes a stripper, with Malc, a drug dealer, and Jaz, a drama student with sexual identity issues. Bridie, who lives downstairs, sells sex to support her two kids This is Sukey’s story, told from her point of view, about a young girl in a strange world and how she gradually learns to live in it.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverFive Strings / Apirana Taylor.
“Mack is a larger-than-life street philosopher and Puti’s a former gang member looking for something more. Together they’re at the bottom of the heap. They live out their lives in a haze of smoke and alcohol, accompanied by a host of other characters scraping by on the fringes of society. Will any of them be redeemed?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSouthern gold : survival and desire in a raw new land / Jude Thomas.
“Set in Dunedin and Central Otago during the gold rush period, from 1858 to1876. The story revolves around an illegitimate baby who is found on the road and brought up in the notorious community of Maclaggan Street. She grows into a singular girl, and into a young woman to be reckoned with. This is the story of courage and love against the odds.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Contemporary Fiction for July

With the large number of new fiction received this month, it was difficult to select only ten novels that will tempt readers. We hope that we have catered to most reader’s preferences, but all provide brilliant, exciting, and at times thought provoking reading. Highly recommended is Spoils: a novel by Iraq War veteran Brian Van Reet.

Syndetics book coverDragon teeth : a novel / Michael Crichton.
“The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe summer house party / Caro Fraser.
“In the gloriously hot summer of 1936, a group of people meet at a country house party. Then a shocking death puts an end to their revelry, changing everything in an instant.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEleanor Oliphant is completely fine / Gail Honeyman.
“No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe leavers : a novel / Lisa Ko.
“One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents’ desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe nothing / Hanif Kureishi.
“Waldo, a feted filmmaker, is confined by old age and ill health to his London apartment. Frail and frustrated, he is cared for by his lovely younger wife, Zee. But when he suspects that Zee is beginning an affair with Eddie, “more than an acquaintance and less than a friend for over thirty years,” Waldo is pressed to action: determined to expose the couple, he sets himself first to prove his suspicions correct and then to enact his revenge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRich people problems : a novel / Kevin Kwan.
“When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside, but he’s not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls. With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park, a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore, the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises, as relatives’ claw over heirlooms.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fractured life of Jimmy Dice / Ronan Ryan.
“Jimmy is born a twin, and while he doesn’t know it, his nearest sibling has stayed with him forever, overseeing the drama of his life played out and acting as a narrative voice. When young, Jimmy loses a lower limb to a starving attack dog, the first of many disasters and one that shapes him to become a chancer, a willful man unafraid to stand up to a notorious Dublin gangster but also a young man with heart and belief: a loyal son, a good friend, a courageous brother and a sweet and passionate lover.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKruso / Lutz Seiler ; translated by Tess Lewis.
“It is 1989, and a young literature student named Ed, fleeing unspeakable tragedy, travels to the Baltic island of Hiddensee. On the island, Ed stumbles upon the Klausner, Hiddensee’s most popular restaurant, and ends up washing dishes there, despite his lack of papers. Ed feels drawn towards the charismatic Kruso, unofficial leader of the seasonal workers. He is on a mission, but to what end, and at what cost? Ed finds himself drawn ever deeper into the island’s rituals, and ever more in need of Kruso’s acceptance and affection. As the wave of history washes over the German Democratic Republic, the friends’ grip on reality loosens and life on the island will never be the same.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe women in the castle / Jessica Shattuck.
“Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpoils : a novel / Brian Van Reet.
“It is April 2003. American forces have taken Baghdad and are now charged with winning hearts and minds. But this vital tipping point is barely recognized for what it is, as a series of miscalculations and blunders fuels the already smoldering insurgency intent of making Iraq the next graveyard of empires. This novel explores the lives on both sides of the battle lines: Cassandra Wigheard, a nineteen-year-old gunner on an American Humvee who is captured during a deadly firefight and awakens in a prison cell; Abu Al-Hool, a lifelong Mujahedeen beset by a simmering crisis of conscience as he struggles against enemies from without and within, including the next wave of far more radicalized jihadists; and Specialist Sleed, a tank crewman who goes along with a “victimless” crime, the consequences of which are more awful than any he could have imagined.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Mystery novels for July

There are several translated mystery novels included in this month’s selection from our recently received material. Highly recommend is the latest mystery from the very popular Icelandic writer Arnaldur Indriason, titled The Shadow District.

Syndetics book coverLove me not / M. J. Arlidge.
“A woman’s body lies in the road. At first it looks like a tragic accident. But when Helen Grace arrives on the scene it’s clear she’s looking at a coldblooded killing. But why would anyone target a much-loved wife and mother? Across town, a shopkeeper is killed while his customers are left unharmed. But what lies behind the killer’s choices? Who’s next? The clock is ticking. If Helen can’t solve this deadly puzzle then more blood will be shed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe shadow district / Arnaldur Indriðason ; translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb.
“In wartime Reykjavik, a young woman is found strangled behind the National Theatre, a rough and dangerous area of the city known as ‘the shadow district’. An Icelandic detective and a member of the American military police are on the trail of a brutal killer. In the present a 90-year-old man is discovered dead on his bed, smothered with his own pillow. Konrad, a former detective now bored with retirement, finds newspaper cuttings in the dead man’s home reporting the shadow district murder that date back to the second world war. Why, after all this time, would an old crime resurface? Did the police arrest the wrong man? How are these cases linked across the decades?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLove like blood / Mark Billingham.
“DI Nicola Tanner needs Tom Thorne’s help. Her partner, Susan, has been brutally murdered and Tanner is convinced that it was a case of mistaken identity, that she was the real target. The murderer’s motive might have something to do with Tanner’s recent work on a string of cold-case honor killings she believes to be related. Tanner is now on compassionate leave but insists on pursuing the case off the books and knows Thorne is just the man to jump into the fire with her. He agrees but quickly finds that working in such controversial territory is dangerous in more ways than one. When a young couple goes missing, they have a chance to investigate a case that is anything but cold.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCorpus / Rory Clements.
“1936. Europe is in turmoil. The Nazis have marched into the Rhineland. In Russia, Stalin has unleashed his Great Terror. Spain has erupted in civil war. In Berlin, a young Englishwoman evades the Gestapo to deliver vital papers to a Jewish scientist. Within weeks, she is found dead in her Cambridge bedroom, a silver syringe clutched in her fingers. In a London club, three senior members of the British establishment light the touch paper on a conspiracy that will threaten the very heart of government. Even the ancient colleges of Cambridge are not immune to political division. When a renowned member of the county set and his wife are found horribly murdered, a maverick history professor finds himself dragged into a world of espionage. But the deeper Thomas Wilde delves, the more he wonders whether the murders are linked to the death of the girl with the silver syringe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe night bird / Brian Freeman.
“Homicide detective Frost Easton doesn’t like coincidences and when a series of bizarre deaths rock San Francisco, as seemingly random women suffer violent psychotic breaks, Frost looks for a connection that leads him to psychiatrist Francesca Stein. Frankie’s controversial therapy helps people erase their most terrifying memories and all the victims were her patients. As Frost and Frankie carry out their own investigations, the case becomes increasingly personal and dangerous. Long-submerged secrets surface as someone called the Night Bird taunts the pair with cryptic messages pertaining to the deaths.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStill dark / Alex Gray.
“Called to a house after gunshots are reported, the carnage Detective Superintendent William Lorimer finds there leaves him traumatized and questioning his future with Police Scotland. Meanwhile, the body count is rising on Glasgow’s streets. A number of known addicts are dying from accidental overdoses, but something’s not adding up. Where would the city’s poorest residents get hold of high-quality morphine? As Lorimer struggles to return to duty, he spots a link between the deaths and a previous case involving the euthanasia of vulnerable patients. It seems the man responsible has resurfaced and this time he’s got the backing of a dangerous criminal from Glasgow’s underworld. Can Lorimer and his team get the killer off the streets for good before more innocent people die?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOdd numbers : a Hanne Wilhelmsen novel / Anne Holt ; translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce.
“On an early April afternoon, a bomb goes off in the Islamic Cooperation Council’s offices in Oslo, killing twenty-three people. The Police and Security Service suspect an extremist organization to be responsible for the attack, a suspicion that grows stronger when threats of yet another, bigger explosion reach the authorities. As a special adviser on cold cases, Hanne Wilhelmsen has cut all of her official ties to the Security Service and lives contentedly with her partner and their young daughter. A small computer monitor is Hanne’s only window to the outside until the day of the attacks, when her closed-off world is broken open. As the mood of the city darkens, Hanne realizes that Oslo is up against forces far more terrible and menacing than ever before.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA cold case in Amsterdam Central / Anja de Jager.
“Detective Lotte Meerman is convinced the death of Frank Stapel, a painter and decorator, isn’t an accident after she and his widow Tessa find a skeleton in a sports bag in his left luggage locker at Amsterdam Central train station. The remains date from the Second World War and Lotte’s colleagues consider it of minor importance until forensic tests show that amongst the bones is the arm bone of a crime boss who recently went missing.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNeed you dead / Peter James.
“What does it take for a decent man to turn into a killer? Greg, a married man, has been having an affair for three years with another man’s wife. One evening, after a fight with her at their rented love nest, he storms out. When he returns an hour later she is dead. Did he kill her in a fit of rage and blank it out, or did someone else do it while he was out of the building? Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Sussex Police, assigned to the case, soon discovers that there is more than one person who had a reason to kill her. But only one man has the most to lose and when his marriage and career are at stake, what lengths will he go to protect all that he holds dear? And what will he do next?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNightblind / Ragnar Jónasson ; translated by Quentin Bates.
“The peace of a close-knit Icelandic community is shattered by the murder of a policeman shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark Arctic waters closing in, it falls to Ari Thor to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik where someone is being held against their will.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)