New ‘Other Genres’ for November, featuring translated novels

In featuring translated novels in this month’s selection of new ‘Other Genres’ we highlight the best from international writers from many countries. There are novels translated from the French, Italian, Dutch, Estonian, Chinese, Spanish and Swedish. Highly recommended is the third novel in the Neapolitan novels by the elusive writer Elena Ferrante, titled Those who leave and those who stay.

Syndetics book coverMen / Marie Darrieussecq ; translated from the French by Penny Hueston.
“It’s love at first sight for French actress Solange when she lays eyes on enigmatic Cameroonian actor Kouhouesso at a party in the Hollywood Hills. Solange takes him to bed but wants more than a tryst, much more. But Kouhouesso remains elusive, focusing his energies on his passion project: directing a new version of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Solange angles for the role of the Intended, Kurtz’s fiancée, who appears in only one scene. Kouhouesso considers several better-known actresses before finally settling on Solange. And so lovesick Solange follows Kouhouesso to his native Cameroon, hoping the film shoot will allow her to peel back his protective layers and truly bring them closer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThose who leave and those who stay / Elena Ferrante ; translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein.
“Beginning in the late 1960s and early ’70s, the fiery Lila stays in Naples, having escaped an abusive marriage, and lives platonically with a man from the neighborhood, along with her young, possibly illegitimate son. The feisty Elena leaves town, graduates from a university in Pisa, publishes a successful book, marries an upper-class professor, and moves to Florence, where she gives birth to two daughters. Against the backdrop of student revolution and right-wing reaction, the two women’s tumultuous friendship seesaws up and down as each tries to outdo the other.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPenalty area / Alain Gillot ; translated from the French by Howard Curtis.
“Growing up, Vincent Barteau dreamed of being a professional soccer player. But that dream was crushed by a career-ending injury. Now Vincent keeps alive his connection to the sport by coaching a youth team in Sedan, France. One day, his circumscribed existence is shattered by the arrival of his estranged sister, Madeleine, a single mother who asks him to care for her 13-year-old son, Leonard. Vincent has had no experience caring for a teenager. But it turns out that the boy has a real talent as a soccer goalie and makes Vincent’s team suddenly viable. Thanks to the boy, Vincent begins to come out of his shell. Then, Madeleine reappears and says that she wants Leonard back.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe secret diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 1/4 years old / Hendrik Groen ; translated by Hester Velmans.
“Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn’t planning to be buried any time soon. Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter because his legs are no longer willing and he had to visit his doctor more than he’d like. Technically speaking he is elderly. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums? Hendrik sets out to write an exposé: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs, not least his new endeavour the anarchic Old-But-Not Dead Club. And when Eefje moves in, the woman Hendrik has always longed for, he polishes his shoes (and his teeth), grooms what’s left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left, with hilarious, tender and devastating consequences.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe man who spoke Snakish / Andrus Kivirähk ; translated by Christopher Moseley.
“Unfortunately people and tribes degenerate. They lose their teeth, forget their language, until finally they are bending meekly on the fields and cutting straw with a scythe. Leemut, a young boy growing up in the forest, is content living with his hunter-gatherer family. But when incomprehensible outsiders arrive aboard ships and settle nearby, with an intriguing new religion, the forest begins to empty, people are move to the village, breaking their backs tilling fields to make bread. Leemut and the last forest-dwelling humans refuse to adapt: with bare-bottomed primates and their love of ancient traditions, they live in shacks, keep wolves, and speak to snakes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe explosion chronicles / Yan Lianke ; translated from the Chinese by Carlos Rojas.
“With the Yi River on one side and the Balou Mountains on the other, the village of Explosion was founded more than a millennium ago by refugees fleeing a seismic volcanic eruption. But in the post-Mao era the name takes on a new significance as the community grows explosively from a small village to a vast metropolis. Behind this rapid expansion are members of the community’s three major families, including the four Kong brothers. Linked together by a complex web of loyalty, betrayal, desire, and ambition, these figures are the driving force behind their hometown’s transformation into an urban superpower.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover33 revolutions / Canek Sánchez Guevara ; translated from the Spanish by Howard Curtis.
“The hero of this mordant portrayal of life in contemporary Cuba is a black Cuban whose parents were enthusiastic supporters of the Castro Revolution. His father, however, having fallen foul of the regime, is accused of embezzlement and dies of a stroke. Following her husband’s death, his mother flees the country and settles in Madrid. Our hero separates from his wife and now spends much of his time in the company of his Russian neighbor, from whom he discovers the pleasures of reading. The books he reads gradually open his eyes to the incongruity between party slogans and the gray oppressive reality that surrounds him This is a candid and moving story about the disappointments of a generation that believed in the ideals of the Castro Revolution.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDivorce is in the air / Gonzalo Torné ; translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell
“There’s a lot about Joan-Marc that his estranged second wife doesn’t know, but which he now sets out to tell her. He begins with the failure of his first marriage to an American woman named Helen; describing a vacation they took in a last-ditch attempt to salvage their once-passionate romance. The recollection of this ill-fated trip triggers in him a series of flashbacks through which he narrates his life story, hopscotching between Barcelona and Madrid. Starting from pivotal moments in his childhood, his earliest sexual encounters, his father’s suicide, his mother’s emotional decline, he moves through the years to the origin of his relationship with Helen and the circumstances surrounding its deterioration.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReputations / Juan Gabriel Vásquez ; translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean.
“Javier Mallarino, renowned political cartoonist, has reached the apex of his career. He’s feted at a ceremony with speeches and a commemorative stamp while his estranged wife (whom he loves) watches from the audience. But a film tribute shown during the program triggers something in the memory of another woman in the audience, unraveling several lives as the past is revisited. Mallarino is forced to reexamine, through the eyes of this woman, the very basis of his reputation, an accusation of sexual misconduct he implied in a caricature that destroyed the career of a politician and eventually led to his death.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe brother / Joakim Zander ; translated from the Swedish by Elizabeth Clark Wessel.
“Growing up poor, Yasmine vowed she would always protect her little brother from harm. She broke her promise on the day she left home, abandoning Fadi to his life in the Stockholm slums. Now, five years later, Yasmine still carries the guilt of leaving him behind. She hears a rumor that he is dead, killed by a US drone in Syria. What happened to turn her sweet-natured brother into one of the CIA’s most wanted men? The answer will shock her.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genres’ for October, this month featuring suspense & thrillers

The new titles selected for this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category are all indexed as suspense/thriller fiction. There is plenty of variation in location, time and character in these gripping stories as the plots include political corruption, kidnapping, organized crime, missing children, conspiracies, and intelligence organisations.

Syndetics book coverThe smoke hunter / Jacquelyn Benson.
“Frustrated suffragette and would-be archaeologist Ellie Mallory stumbles across a map to a city that shouldn’t exist, a jungle metropolis alive and flourishing centuries after the Mayan civilization mysteriously collapsed. Discovering it would make her career, but Ellie isn’t the only one after the prize. A disgraced professor and his ruthless handler are hot on her heels, willing to go any extreme to acquire the map for themselves. To race them through the uncharted jungle, Ellie needs a guide. The only one with the expertise is maverick surveyor Adam Bates. But with his determination to nose his way into Ellie’s many secrets, Bates is a dangerous partner. As Ellie gets closer to her goal; she realizes it’s not just her ambitions at stake. A powerful secret lies hidden in the heart of the city and if it falls into the wrong hands, it could shake the very fate of the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome / Harlan Coben.
“A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: what can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGood as gone / Amy Gentry.
“Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic, but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts. She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When sheis contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe second life of Nick Mason / Steve Hamilton.
“Nick Mason has already spent five years inside a maximum security prison when an offer comes that will grant his release twenty years early. He accepts, but the deal comes with a terrible price. Now, back on the streets, Nick Mason has returned to society, but he’s still a prisoner. Whenever his cell phone rings, day or night, Nick must answer it and follow whatever order he is given. It’s the deal he made with Darius Cole, a criminal mastermind serving a double-life term who runs an empire from his prison cell. Forced to commit increasingly more dangerous crimes, hunted by the relentless detective who put him behind bars, and desperate to go straight and rebuild his life with his daughter and ex-wife, Nick will ultimately have to risk everything his family, his sanity, and even his life to finally break free.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRazor girl / Carl Hiaasen.
“Andrew Yancy is still doing penance as a health inspector on roach patrol for an earlier assault with a car vacuum. But when the star of a redneck reality show called Bayou Brethren goes missing, Yancy sees a chance to win back his real cop job at the sheriff’s office. Merry Mansfield, the Razor Girl, runs car-crash scams but has the proverbial heart of gold, which lands her bejewelled flip-flops in a diabolically complicated story that includes, goofball characters, sand-restoration, and an ill-fated, mongoose-owning stinky copycat psycho. Also, an environmentally invasive infestation of Gambian pouched rats, electric cars, and cruise lines, along with Sharpie pens that create a male enhancement that perhaps only this author could dream up. Or maybe it is one of the true lurid Florida tales he claims to have incorporated into the story?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOut of bounds.
“When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car, a routine DNA test could be the key to unlocking the mystery of a twenty-year-old murder inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is an expert at solving the unsolvable. With each cold case closed, justice is served. So, finding the answer should be straightforward, but it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe girl before / Rena Olsen.
“Clara Lawson is torn from her life in an instant. Without warning, her home is invaded by armed men, and she finds herself separated from her beloved husband and daughters. The last thing her husband yells to her is to say nothing. In chapters that alternate between past and present, the novel slowly unpeels the layers of Clara’s fractured life. As recollections of her past collide with new revelations, Clara must question everything she thought she knew, to come to terms with the truth of her history and to summon the strength to navigate her future.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBreaking cover / Stella Rimington.
“Liz Carlyle, still reeling from the aftershocks of a botched anti-terrorist operation in Paris, has been posted to MI5’s counter-espionage desk, where her bosses hope the relative calm might give her the chance to find her feet again. But they hadn’t counted on the fallout from Russia’s incursions into the Crimea and President Putin’s determination to silence those who would oppose him, wherever they may be living in the world. So it is not long before Liz finds herself on the hunt for a Russian spy on British soil, a spy whose intentions are unknown, and whose presence is a threat not only to Russian dissidents living in England but also to the security of the nation itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMethodical illusion / Rebekah Roth.
“The glamorous life of an international flight attendant can be anything but, as Vera Hanson discovered the morning one of her crew members was found murdered in a Paris hotel room. That morning began to put into focus some of the experiences of Vera’s thirty year airline career, which she had purposely been avoiding. It caused her to look more deeply into the questions surrounding 9/11 that never made sense to a flight attendant, but that no one had seriously investigated. With the help of her pilot friend Jim Bowman, they embark on a cross country journey employing their wisdom, experience and intense research to uncover the mysteries of what really happened to the four airplanes and the people on them that fateful day.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInfamy : a novel / Robert K. Tanenbaum.
“When a former Army veteran suddenly murders a colonel in New York, he claims that he had to do it because he was being used in mind control experiments. Is it a case of post-traumatic stress from his tours in Afghanistan or something more? New York District Attorney Roger “Butch” Karp prepares a murder case against the veteran, and meets with investigative reporter Ariadne Stupenagel, who suspects that one of her sources for a story on high-level government corruption was a victim in the shooting. They discover a monumental betrayal of the nation’s security and integrity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genre’ picks, featuring debut novels

This month we feature debut novelists in our ‘Other Genre’ category of selected new additions to the collection. As these are first novels, we are sure there will be many that will excite many readers, with their writing skill and inventive narratives, perhaps earning many followers eager for future novels. Highly recommended is The Nix by Nathan Hill.

Syndetics book coverCooking for Picasso : a novel / Camille Aubray.
“Juan-les-Pins, the French Riviera, 1936: Ondine is a sixteen-year old girl working at her family’s cafe when she is called upon to cook for Picasso, who has secretly rented a nearby villa. Picasso is successful, powerful, and virile, yet he is also a man beset by his own demons, and he’s at a great crossroads in his personal and professional life. The spirited Ondine is just beginning to discover her own talents and appetites, and she quickly blossoms in many ways from her encounter with Picasso – each inspires the other. New York, 2016: Celine, Ondine’s American granddaughter, decides to embark on a journey to the French Riviera in a quixotic quest to do what her fragile mother Julie is no longer able to do, that is, to find out what really happened when her grandmother Ondine crossed paths with the great Picasso and possibly recover a lost family treasure.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe whale : a love story / Mark Beauregard.
“In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville finds himself hounded by creditors and afraid his writing career might be coming to an end, his last three novels have been commercial failures and the critics have turned against him. In despair, Melville takes his family for a vacation to his cousin’s farm in the Berkshires, where he meets Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnic and his life turns upside down.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEveryone is watching / Megan Bradbury.
“This is a novel about the men and women who have defined New York. Through the lives and perspectives of four significant men from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, creators, artists and thinkers; and through other iconic works of art that capture its essence, New York itself solidifies. Complex, rich, sordid, tantalizing, it is constantly changing and evolving. Their stories have built New York, and this is the story of that city.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe dollhouse : a novel / Fiona Davis.The Dollhouse
“When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren’t: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn’t belong. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she’s introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance. Over half a century later, the Barbizon’s gone condo. But rumors of Darby’s involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman’s rent-controlled apartment. It’s a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby’s upstairs neighbor, to resist. Yet as Rose’s obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHere comes the sun : a novel / Nicole Dennis-Benn.
“At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman, fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves, must confront long-hidden scars.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverChronicle of a last summer : a novel of Egypt / Yasmine El Rashidi.
“Cairo, 1984, a blisteringly hot summer and a young girl in a sprawling family house. Her days pass quietly: listening to a mother’s phone conversations, looking at the Nile from a bedroom window, watching the three state-sanctioned TV stations with the volume off, daydreaming about other lives. Underlying this claustrophobic routine is mystery and loss. Relatives mutter darkly about the newly-appointed President Mubarak. Everyone talks with melancholy about the past. People disappear overnight. Her own father has left too, why, or to where, no one will say.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe nix / Nathan Hill.
“In Norwegian folklore, a nix is a spirit, sometimes appearing as a white horse, that steals children away. It’s 2011, and college professor Samuel Andresen-Anderson has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. She abandoned the family when he was a boy; now she’s re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news and inflames a politically divided country. To save her Samuel will uncover long buried secrets that stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in Norway. As he does so Samuel will relearn everything he thought he knew about his mother, and himself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe vanishing futurist / Charlotte Hobson.
“When twenty-two-year-old Gerty Freely travels to Russia to work as a governess in early 1914, she has no idea of the vast political upheavals ahead, nor how completely her fate will be shaped by them. Yet as her intimacy with the charismatic inventor, Nikita Slavkin, deepens, she’s inspired by his belief in a future free of bourgeois clutter, alight with creativity and sleek as a machine. In 1917, revolution sweeps away the Moscow Gerty knew. The middle classes, and their governesses, are fleeing the country, but she stays, throwing herself into an experiment in communal living led by Slavkin” (Adapted from Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverThe paper house / Anna Spargo-Ryan.
“Heather and Dave have found the perfect place to raise their first child. The house has character, but it’s the garden that really makes it: red-faced impatiens, pockmarked gums, six upright pittosporums to keep the neighbors out. It’s a jungle, a hiding place, a refuge, and then, without warning, that life is over. Heartbreaking, fearless, and ablaze with a coruscating beauty all its own, The Paper House tells the story of a woman sinking into the depths of grief, and the desperate efforts of her loved ones to bring her up for air.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe lost girls / Heather Young.
“In the summer of 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanished from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. The loss devastated the family. Sixty-four years later, Emily’s sister Lucy writes the story of that harrowing summer in a notebook that she bequeaths, along with the lake house and a hefty investment portfolio, to her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers a chance to give her own daughters a stable home she never had, but the dilapidated house is cold in the winter, the lake silent and forbidding, and her only neighbors are two strange old men who seem to know more than they’re telling about the summer of 1935.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genres’ for August, this month featuring New Zealand fiction

New Zealand fiction features in this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category, with some great reading selected. Included are several historical, urban suspense, and modern relationship novels. Highly recommend is Laurence Fearnley’s tenth novel titled, The quiet spectacular.

Syndetics book coverThe agency / Ian Austin.
“Dan Calder is an ex Brit and ex policeman looking for a fresh start in a new country but still carrying the baggage of failed relationships and a depressed, repressed past. He chose New Zealand because it was as far as he could get from his old life but did not take into account the universal six degrees of separation is no more than two or three in the land of the long white cloud. The Agency provides a service like no other and New Zealand is the ideal location to find a new client. When Calder first encounters it by sheer chance, his life instantly changes and before long others are depending on him too. Engaged in a deadly game with an unknown foe; this was not the new life Dan Calder planned for himself but now at stake is the ultimate reward; his own salvation.” (Adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe salted air / Thom Conroy.
“What happens when grief draws you to your partner’s married brother? 28 year-old Djuna is without a foothold. The suicide of her partner has left her derailed and casting about for the joy she fears may be gone for good. Her parents’ relationship has disintegrated, her family home is occupied by Burmese refugees, and she is drawn to the one man she must reject. In pursuit of a roving father and a renewed sense of belonging, Djuna wanders from Wellington to the natural beauty of New Zealand’s remote East Cape.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Scarlet & Magenta / Lindsey Dawson.
“In the 1880s, misbehaving wives were asking for trouble. Building a raw Bay of Plenty town was hard enough without free-thinking females upsetting local society. Violet comes to Tauranga from London with a scandalous past and an aching heart. She befriends a kindred spirit, Anna, and catches the eye of footloose Rupert, rival and rowing mate of Anna’s husband. In pioneer towns, it doesn’t do to speak your mind or seek unseemly delights. Angry words are soon flying in banks and bedrooms, with reputations and marriages at risk. There are secrets to keep and lost loved ones to find.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe quiet spectacular / Laurence Fearnley.
“Loretta is a school librarian, who embarks on compiling The Dangerous Book for Menopausal Women while waiting to collect her son from after-school activities. Chance is a teenager, who discovers an unusual creative outlet to offset the strain of her controlling mother. Riva is the founder of a wetlands sanctuary, who is seeking a way to fulfil her promise to her dying sister to do something ‘absolutely spectacular’. Within a clearing in the woods by a lake there is a den, a secret sanctuary and eventual meeting place for all three women.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA briefcase, two pies and a penthouse : a novel / by Brannavan Gnanalingam.
“In 1981, a top spy misplaced a briefcase in the Aro Valley. All it contained were his business cards, a diary of scurrilous gossip, three mince pies, two fruit pies, the NZ Listener, and a Penthouse magazine. Unfortunately for him, the briefcase was discovered by the son of a prominent political journalist. This satirical novel looks at modern day spies in New Zealand, the new existential threat of Islamic terrorism and at a very New Zealand response to a global issue.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Death on D’Urville : a Claire Hardcastle mystery / by Penelope Haines.
“Claire Hardcastle is fiery, clever, daring and she’s trying to prove herself in a man’s world. When her routine flight to pick a passenger up from a remote island in the Marlborough Sounds turns into a murder investigation she is excited to discover she may hold a clue to the crime. Why would anyone want to murder an inoffensive, reclusive novelist? Her interest in solving the murder is heightened by her growing attraction to Detective Sergeant Jack Body. As Claire and Jack’s professional and personal partnership deepens they have to accept that, for others, obsession can turn sour, and become a malignant strain that leads to murder. The key to solving Jorge’s death depends on unravelling a tangle of motives as diverse as rifled grave goods, artefact smuggling, disputed Maori history, breached tapu, and child abuse.” (Adapted from Syndetis summary)

Syndetics book coverAll day at the movies / Fiona Kidman.
“Life isn’t always like it appears in the movies. In 1952, Irene Sandle takes her young daughter to Motueka. Irene was widowed during the war and is seeking a new start and employment in the tobacco fields. There, she finds the reality of her life far removed from the glamour of the screen. Can there be romance and happy endings, or will circumstances repeat through the generations? Each subsequent episode in this poignant work follows family secrets and the dynamics of Irene’s children. The story doesn’t just track their lives, but also New Zealand itself as its attitudes and opportunities change and reverberate through the decades.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMysterious mysteries of the Aro Valley / Danyl McLauchlan. “A returning hero to a desolate valley, a missing mathematician, a glamorous and beguiling council bureaucrat with a hidden past. A cryptic map leading to an impossible labyrinth, an ancient conspiracy, an ancient evil and a housing development without proper planning permission. All these things leading to the most mysterious mystery of all.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe case of the missing body / Jenny Powell.
“The Case of the Missing Body is the true and unusual story of Lily, who has no sense of her body. She has struggled with the effects of this her whole life. Desperate to try anything to ‘be normal’, a nevertheless skeptical Lily agrees to begin work with her physiotherapist in a gymnasium. One extraordinary day, working in the gym, Lily discovers she has shoulder blades. All her life she has thought people only felt their heads, with thoughts trailing along in and behind them. Now she has shoulder blades. There is nothing easy about what is to follow. Neither Patrick (the physiotherapist) nor Lily could have predicted it. But with help from professionals, the writer of this beautiful, moving memoir becomes her own detective, searching for clues to help her find her own body.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNapoleon’s willow / Joan Norlev Taylor.
“In 1837, on remote St Helena Island in the South Atlantic Ocean, Frenchman François Lelièvre searches for the legendary willow tree beside Napoleon’s grave. A tree in which he believes Napoleon’s spirit is still alive, inspiring the noble ideals of the French Revolution, liberty, equality and brotherhood. With cuttings from Napoleon’s willow in his care, François journeys to Akaroa on the Banks Peninsular in New Zealand aboard a whaling ship, and plants these in this new land during a time of conflict, as the French and British compete to be the first to colonize this newly-discovered part of the country. Around the same time, Marianne a young schoolteacher from England sets out on a turbulent path via the new British colonies of Sydney in New South Wales and Russell in the Bay of Islands, that leads her to the same place, looking for her own sense of liberty. They both encounter and befriend a well-travelled and respected Maori man from Banks Peninsular, Manako-uri, who is facing his own difficulties and challenges as the newcomers plant their hopes and dreams in his ancestral land.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The best of the best: must reads from recent fiction selections

The following titles have been chosen from our monthly new fiction selections. They are all highly recommended for great reading.

Syndetics book coverCompany Town / Madeline Ashby.
“A brilliantly twisted science fiction mystery.”

Syndetics book coverWaking lions / Ayelet Gundar-Goshen ; translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston.
“A thrilling novel from an award winning author that explores the boundaries between love and hate, guilt and forgiveness, good and evil.”

Syndetics book coverReader, I married him : stories inspired by Jane Eyre / edited by Tracy Chevalier.
“Twenty one short stories celebrating Charlotte Bronte, published in the year of her bicentenary and stemming from the now immortal words from her great work Jane Eyre. The stories are by many much acclaimed authors, original and very entertaining.”

Syndetics book coverThe crow girl / Erik Axl Sund ; translated by Neil Smith.The Crow Girl
“Another international sensation, this new Scandinavian murder mystery will not disappoint.”

Syndetics book coverGahan Wilson’s Out there / editor, Gary Groth.
“The joy of the science fiction and fantasy cartoons and writing of Gahan Wilson, guaranteed to make you laugh.”

New ‘Other Genres’ fiction, this month featuring short stories

This month’s ‘Other Genres’ fiction features Short Stories. In this selection several edited collections of short stories have been included, with one by New Zealand writers, titled At the edge. Highly recommended is the much acclaimed author Mark Haddon’s debut collection titled The pier falls: and other stories.

Syndetics book coverAt the edge / edited by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray.
“A new collection of short stories by twenty-one New Zealand writers.” (Adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverMultitudes : eleven stories / Lucy Caldwell.
Multitudes is the beautiful debut story collection from the acclaimed, prize-winning novelist and playwright Lucy Caldwell. From Belfast to London and back again the ten stories that comprise Caldwell’s first collection explore the many facets of growing up, the pain and the heartache, the tenderness and the joy, the fleeting and the formative, or ‘the drunkenness of things being various’.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesperate Detroit : and stories of other dire places / Loren D. Estleman.
Desperate Detroit and Stories of Other Dire Places represents forty years of suspense writing in the short form. Previously published in a host of magazines and anthologies, with a new Preface and introductions to the stories written especially for this collection, these eighteen tales feature gangsters, private eyes, psychotic killers, hitmen, feuding families, prostitutes, prizefighters, bodyguards, corrupt cops, the walking dead, and ordinary people driven by desperation to commit acts of violence.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe pier falls : and other stories / Mark Haddon.
“Nine brilliant stories from a much acclaimed writer. Set in the Victorian era and the future, in commonplace and supernatural worlds, the stories are united by a cast of dispossessed characters plagued by violence or despair.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe paper menagerie and other stories / Ken Liu.
“Ken Liu now shares his finest short fiction in The Paper Menagerie. This mesmerizing collection features all of Ken’s award-winning and award-finalist stories, including: “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” (Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards),and “Mono No Aware” (Hugo Award winner).” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe doll-master and other tales of terror / Joyce Carol Oates.
“Six terrifying tales to chill the blood from the unique imagination of Joyce Carol Oates. A young boy plays with dolls instead of action figures. But as he grows older, his passion takes on a darker edge. A white man shoots dead a black boy creating a media frenzy. But could it be that it was self-defense as he claims? A nervous woman tries to escape her husband. He says he loves her, but she’s convinced he wants to kill her. These quietly lethal stories reveal the horrors that dwell within us all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSome possible solutions : stories / Helen Phillips.
“A spine-tingling new collection, the “unique”and “wickedly funny” Helen Phillips offers an idiosyncratic series of “what-ifs” about our fragile human condition. Forced to navigate these bizarre scenarios, Phillips’ characters search for solutions to the problem of how to survive in an irrational, infinitely strange world. In dystopias that are exaggerated versions of the world in which we live, these characters strive for intimacy and struggle to resolve their fraught relationships with each other, with themselves, and with their place in the natural world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReader, I married him : stories inspired by Jane Eyre / edited by Tracy Chevalier.
“The twenty-one stories in Reader, I Married Him, one of the most celebrated lines in fiction are inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre. This collection, published in the year of her bicentenary, is shaped by its perennially fascinating themes of love, compromise and self-determination.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeleted scenes for lovers / Tracey Slaughter.
“Seventeen powerful stories of contemporary New Zealand life from a writer whose penetrating gaze reveals the full experience of her characters’ lives, tragic, comic, rich.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUnder thunderous skies : eight tales of China meeting non-China / Miodrag Kojadinović.
“A girl in Shanghai in high-heels holds a doomed rabbit at the bequest of a client in Germany. The consul of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Canton talks with his mistress about their future of their son. A Chinese man cleans up the fingerprints around his European boyfriend’s body in an apartment in Macao. These unusual and intriguing stories of interactions between Chinese and non-Chinese are the work of author Miodrag Kojadinovic, born in Serbia and for eight years a teacher of English in a remote corner of China.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genres’ fiction for June, this month featuring New Zealand writers

The New Zealand writers featuring this month in our ‘Other Genre’ category reflect a wide range of theme. From historical to contemporary national issues, romance to time travel, all open some new and thought provoking views on our society. Highly recommended is the new novel from Linda Olsson, titled The Blackbird sings at Dusk.

Syndetics book coverWhispers of the past / by Owen Clough.
“Sam is employed by the Department of Conservation (DoC). His two mates are helping out. Their task is to clear out as many feral pigs as they can in the Tongariro National Park. There are three major volcanoes within this park, so the culling of the pigs has to be done with great care as there are an abundant amount of thermal and mud pools. The three friends draw even closer as they get caught up in a weather pattern with a difference. Mist, sulphur and rain envelop them and propel them back to the start of the New Zealand Wars of 1863, three modern blokes, with all the paraphernalia of the 21st century, running around in the past, confused, lost, and trying to stay out of harm’s way, once they realize where they are. Will they get home? Will they change history?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSicilian papa / Ronald C. Fama.
“This is an epic tale set within the context of Victorian England and an Italy under King Ferdinand II, this novel is full of historical detail and characters. While following the adventures of our hero, Vincenzo, as he takes to a life at sea and eventually emigrates from London to New Zealand, it becomes clear that he will never be able to escape his Sicilian roots and the inevitability of vendetta.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverCondemn not my children : the consequences of pious evil / Kasey Coory.
“When a deviant priest violates a nun, she is sworn to silence by the church in order to avoid a scandal and then married off to the priest’s older brother, with unforeseen consequences. Abandoned by those in whom she has placed her trust, a desperate mother suffers a mental breakdown and is deprived of her children. Near the end of the nineteenth century, two families immigrate to New Zealand, sparking a story that will follow both from that time through the middle of the twentieth century. As an unholy liaison interweaves the two groups, the emotional tapestry is unraveled and rewoven by women of the following generations, each with her own story of heartbreak and courage.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLosing & winning / Thomas W. Devine.
“Will New Zealand teacher, Ryan Gibson, get to claim his Lotto win? Or will Kristen Piper, his girlfriend, collect the prize for herself as a way out of the double-life she’s been living for five years? With the best of intentions, Ryan follows her across the globe, and eventually to the island of Sicily, cradle of Mediterranean culture. But someone else is also out to find her, and they will stop at nothing.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverClose to you / Kara Isaac.
“A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together and falling in love, on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe blackbird sings at dusk / Linda Olsson.
“One winter evening, Elias, a young artist, watches a woman move into his apartment building. After closing her door, however, she is not seen again. A misdirected letter finally gives Elias the opportunity to make contact. But inside her dark apartment, Elisabeth refuses to respond to his knock. Her only company is the Woman in Green, an unbidden vision from her childhood dreams. Elias, meanwhile, is not to be deterred and draws his friend Otto, an elderly widower, into his attempts to entice Elisabeth into the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe wrong sister / Kris Pearson.
“Fiona Delaporte has an impossible assignment, to care for her newly widowed brother-in-law and his tiny daughter. (The newly widowed tall, dark and delicious brother-in-law she’s secretly wanted for five long, frustrating years.) Christian Hartley would rather spend time with anyone except the tempting woman who reminds him so much of his cherished wife. But she has six weeks leave from her cruise-liner job on the other side of the world, and seems determined to do her family duty. How can craving the wrong sister feel so right?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSomething else / David Parkyn.
“In a city threatened by drought, in a country wracked by unusual weather patterns, in an empty building about to be demolished, a fugitive from art contemplates a blank canvas, a jar of old brushes and a fresh page in his journal. As he surveys the grounds on which he’s lived and worked ‘a mutinous crew’ conspires to take him on a voyage of salvage and recovery, into inner city Auckland of the ‘sixties to revisit the deaths in which he believes his early obsession is implicated. A voyage to illuminate a looming personal and global disaster, to navigate the boundaries of art and politics, obsession and friendship and the shifting shores of modern art movements.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverDolly Doll : love in the backblocks / Leo Schulz.
“Dolly is 15 and about to flower, when she runs off on a joyride with her boyfriend. They have a car, liquor, weed, cash and a gun. But their dash for glory is short-lived. They are quickly caught between the police and the Mongrel Mob. Tangled up in a deceptive world of sex, drugs and violence, will Dolly fall for the strangely gentle charms of a leader of the Mongrel Mob?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe last time we spoke / Fiona Sussman.
“One mild summer evening in rural New Zealand the lives of Carla Reid, a middle-aged farmer’s wife, and Ben Toroa, an illiterate teen, brutally collide. Neither will be the same again, their futures forever linked. In the bleak aftermath of this home invasion, this novel traces both Carla and Ben’s journey as they each try to make sense of their new reality. Carla’s long road from rage and resentment interleaves with Ben’s time in prison as he hardens into manhood. Set again these parallel stories is also the voice of a Maori ancestor who looks down from Beyond, transporting the story to a wider historical stage.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genre’ fiction this month features horror, ghosts and vampires

This month we have selected, from the recently received new fiction, novels from the supernatural genre. This, as you will see is not reading for the faint-hearted, but is now a popular section of the fiction collection. The plots of this genre also include werewolves, shapeshifting, telepathy and some romance. We are sure avid readers of this genre will be pleased with this selection.

Syndetics book coverFire touched / Patricia Briggs.
“Heroine Mercy Thompson soon discovers that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer. Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head When coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae. Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEx-isle : a novel / Peter Clines.
“It’s been years since the tidal wave of ex-humans washed over the world. Since then, thanks to St George and his fellow heroes, the community known as the Mount has been the last known outpost of safety, sanity, and freedom left to humanity. But even for the Mount, survival still balances on a razor’s edge and after a disaster decimates the town’s food supply, the heroes must make a risky gamble to keep its citizens from starving. News arrives of a strange, man-made island in the middle of the Pacific, populated not just by survivors, but by people who have also somehow managed to keep the spark of civilization alive. However, the island reveals that is a sinister mirror-image of what the heroes have built at the Mount.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe acolyte / Nick Cutter.
“Jonah Murtag is an Acolyte on the New Bethlehem police force. His job: eradicate all heretical religious faiths, their practitioners, and artefacts. Murtag has problems, one of his partners is a zealot, and he’s in love with the other one. Murtag realizes that you can rob a citizenry of almost anything, but you can’t take away its faith. When a string of bombings paralyzes the city, religious fanatics are initially suspected, but startling clues point to a far more ominous perpetrator. If Murtag doesn’t get things sorted out, the Divine Council will dispatch The Quints, aka: Heaven’s Own Bagmen. The clock is ticking towards doomsday for the Chosen of New Bethlehem.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGood girls / Glen Hirshberg.
“Reeling from the violent death of her daughter and a confrontation with the Whistler, the monster who wrecked her life, Jess has fled the South for a tiny college town in New Hampshire. There she huddles in a fire-blackened house with her crippled lover, her infant grandson, and the creature that was once her daughter’s best friend, who may or may not be a threat. Rebecca, an orphan undergrad caring for Jess’s grandson, finds in Jess’ house the promise of a family she has never known, but also a terrifying secret. Meanwhile, unhinged and unmoored, the Whistler watches from the rooftops and awaits his moment. And deep in the Mississippi Delta, the evil that spawned him stirs.” (Adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverWho’s afraid? / Maria Lewis.
“Tommi Grayson’s never exactly been a normal girl. Yet she’s never come close to guessing who she really is. When her mother dies, a shattered Tommi decides to track down her estranged father. Leaving Scotland for a remote corner of New Zealand, she discovers the truth of her heritage and it’s a whole lot more than merely human. Barely escaping with her life, now Tommi must return to her friends, pretending everything is normal, while all too aware of the dangers lurking outside and within. Worse still, something has followed her home. With the clock ticking, can Tommi learn to control her new powers in time to save the ones she loves?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAvery / Charlotte McConaghy.
“The people of Kaya die in pairs. When one lover dies, the other does, too. So it has been for thousands of years, until Ava. For although her bondmate, Avery, has been murdered and Ava’s soul has been torn in two, she is the only one who has ever been strong enough to cling to life. Vowing revenge upon the barbarian queen of Pirenti, Ava’s plan is interrupted when she is captured by the deadly prince of her enemies. Prince Ambrose has been brought up to kill and hate. But when he takes charge of a strangely captivating Kayan prisoner and is forced to survive with her on a dangerous island, he must reconsider all he holds true.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMidnight marked : a Chicagoland vampires novel / Chloe Neill.
“Merit is one of Chicago’s most skilled vampire warriors; these days, she doesn’t scare easily. But she and Master vampire Ethan have made a new and powerful enemy, and he won’t give up until he owns the Windy City. With his last plan thwarted, he’s more determined than ever to watch Cadogan burn. Ethan has put the House’s vampires on high alert, but their enemy will stop at nothing, including pitting supernatural against supernatural. In this deadly game of cat-and-mouse, the stakes are life or death and winning might mean sacrificing everything.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRunaway vampire / Lynsay Sands.
“Dante Notte has heard it said that love hurts. He just wasn’t expecting it to run him over in an RV. Still, a punctured lung and broken ribs are nothing compared to the full-body shock he feels whenever he’s near the vehicle’s driver, Mary Winslow. Most challenging of all, he needs to claim this smart, stubborn woman as his life mate. The naked, injured, insanely gorgeous younger man who clambered into her RV insists they belong together. If Mary wasn’t feeling their incredible connection in every inch of her being, she wouldn’t believe it. But now that the men who took Dante’s twin are after her too, trusting her gut means risking her life for an immortal who’s the very definition of a perfect stranger.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beast : a novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood / J.R. Ward.
“Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, and power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself. For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand or control the panic and insecurity that plague him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlackbirds / Chuck Wendig.
“Miriam Black knows how you’re going to die. This makes her daily life a living hell, especially when you can’t do anything about it, or stop trying to. She merely needs to touch you, and she knows how and when your final moments will occur. Miriam has given up trying to save people; it only makes their deaths happen. But then she hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, and she sees in thirty days that Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genres’ this month featuring New Zealand Fiction

This month we are featuring New Zealand fiction in our ‘Other Genres’ category. In this selection there is an exciting, diverse, range on novels, and some great writing. New work from two much acclaimed veteran writers Owen Marshall and Damien Wilkins are also included.

Syndetics book coverMy father’s ears / Karen Goa.
“When an Italian immigrant’s harsh but intriguing past catches up with him, his skeptical daughter Sophie sets out to discover the truth about her father, his affair with a Romanian trapeze artist and a mysterious New Zealander claiming to be his son. This twisting tale of secrets and social dilemmas is set against a remarkable and moving history of Italian immigration.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHold my teeth while I teach you to dance / Mike Johnson.
“Investigative journalist Jason Argonaut is not content to rest on his laurels and dream of past glories. No, he has to take too great an interest in his fascinating new neighbours, play the Grandfather Detective, and find himself in possession of the world best kept secret, or is it? A delicious mix of murder, mayhem and intrigue.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Image from fishpond.co.nzReturn to Lucifer Creek/ Gary Joll.
“Barry Morton is hunting illegally on Lilybank, a large property in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. He seeks a unique trophy, a pure white bull Tahr. Upon returning to his well-concealed secret camp he discovers a young woman bathing in the hot pool, a pool he believed was known only to members of his family. He is then forced to save his own life by killing two individuals wearing grey camo who clearly were intent on killing him. Barry quickly realizes this group of apparent terrorists, is killing all persons unlucky enough to encounter them. Within hours of his lethal encounter with these Grey Ghosts Barry suspects they may have killed members of the climbing party to which Helen, his unexpected camp companion, belongs. If they are to survive, Barry and Helen must play a deadly game of hide-and-seek; becoming the hunters not the hunted.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAbsence / Joanna King.
“Four sisters meet for a holiday on the spectacularly beautiful Cinque Terre Coast of Italy. One of the sisters disappears. Under the stress, the hidden emotional and sexual rivalries between the others are laid bare. For the youngest, the disappearance of her sister is a profound threat. This is the person with whom she has had the truest bond since the collapse of the family twenty years ago. Is the disappearance accidental or intentional? Have the sisters shockingly misunderstood one of their own? How radically will the missing sister’s fate alter their lives? Husbands and lovers, future hopes and the family’s past, all come under intense scrutiny in the vortex of events” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Image from fishpond.co.nzCold hard murder / Trish McCormack.
“Two people struggle on a ledge high above the surge pool at Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks. One falls to their death, beginning a sequence of violence as Department of Conservation ranger Matt Grey announces plans for a commercial tourism venture bitterly opposed by the local community. More people die, and it seems their murders are motivated by something more personal than a threat to the integrity of the national park. But the trail is as cold and twisted as some of the park’s most labyrinthine caves. Philippa Barnes is asked to do some unofficial sleuthing, which is not welcomed by the police. She delves into the lives of some strong-willed individuals, many of whom have secrets, uncovering a dark story that resonates with events in her own life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe death ray debacle / David McGill.
“In June 1935 Takapuna inventor Victor Penny was attacked by foreign agents seeking what the newspapers dubbed a ‘death ray’. The government secretly shifted him to Somes Island in Wellington harbour to develop the weapon. The novel of this true story is told by Temporary Acting Detective Dan Delaney, seconded to Special Branch, forerunner of the Security Intelligence Service.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLove as a stranger / Owen Marshall.
“Temporarily in Auckland while her husband is undergoing treatment, Sarah enjoys a walk in the coolness of the Symonds Street Cemetery. As she pauses at the grave of Emily Keeling, murdered in 1886 by a rejected suitor, a stranger named Hartley strikes up a conversation. Before long he arranges to meet Sarah for coffee. So their friendship begins, and soon blossoms into an affair, rich in mutual understanding and sexual excitement. But love may become obsession, which brings with it disquieting demands, even menace. When love is not madness, it is not love.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRachel’s legacy / Julie Thomas.
“The sequel to The Keeper of Secrets, following the fortunes of the Horowitz family from pre-war Berlin to the present. When Dr Kobi Voight is given a set of old letters by his mother he has no inkling that they will lead him around the world and deep into the tragic past of his family. Within the letters, written in Hebrew and filled with delicate illustrations, lie the reflections of a young Jewish woman, forced to give up her baby daughter while fighting with the Resistance in Berlin. Who is the author, known only as ‘Ruby’, and what became of her child? And how does a priceless work of art, stolen by the Nazis, form part of the unfolding mystery?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDad art / Damien Wilkins.
“It’s Wellington, now. Acoustic Engineer Michael Stirling’s old life is gone. He’s on the dating scene, learning te reo Maori, living in an upmarket apartment complex, and visiting his father who has dementia. Wearing his online dating disguise, Michael meets Chrissie, the widowed mother of a young son. Then his beloved adult daughter arrives from Auckland with a new attachment, an artist whose project will push them all towards key moments of risk and revelation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTwister / Jane Woodham.
“March 2013. Two months before parliament is to vote on legalising gay marriage, a spate of vicious attacks on gay men erupts in Dunedin. Then a twister rips through, uncovering the body of schoolgirl, Tracey Wenlock. Former Londoner, Detective Senior Sergeant Leo Judd, is to lead the investigation, the first such enquiry since his own daughter, Beth, went missing nine years earlier. As Judd carefully uncovers the truth surrounding Tracey Wenlock’s death, the trauma associated with his own daughter’s disappearance resurfaces.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genres’ fiction for March

This month we are featuring suspense/thriller fiction in our ‘Other Genres’ category. With novels from well-known authors that feature a diverse range of thrilling characters, from assassins to escaped prisoners, vigilantes to fugitives from justice, kidnapping victims to terrorists, all are guaranteed to be gripping, page turning reads.

Syndetics book coverThe wolves / Alex Berenson.
“Although this is the 10th spy thriller featuring ex-CIA agent John Wells, this novel is the last of a trilogy within the series that started with The Counterfeit Agent (2014) and then Twelve Days (2015). John Wells has just barely managed to stop an operation designed to drive the United States and Iran into war, but the instigator himself disappeared behind an impenetrable wall of security. Now it’s time for him to pay, and Wells has made it his personal mission.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlack widow / Christopher Brookmyre.
“There is no perfect marriage. There is no perfect murder. Diana Jager is clever, strong and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing. Then she meets Peter. He’s kind, generous, and knows nothing about her past: the second chance she’s been waiting for. Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead and Diana on trial for his murder, a nightmare end to their fairytale romance. But Peter’s sister Lucy doesn’t believe in fairytales and tasks maverick reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media is calling Black Widow.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStorm front / Robert Conroy.
“A snow storm of epic proportions shuts down the town of Sheridan, Michigan. The weather is dangerous enough on its own. But the bad weather has blown something even deadlier into town, and a duo of sadistic killers is on the loose. Experienced local weatherman Wally Wellman thought there might be trouble, but even he couldn’t predict the natural disaster that was about to lay siege to the quiet suburb of Sheridan, Michigan. Now, with resources stretched to their breaking point, Sheridan police officer Mike Stuart must try to keep the town safe. But there is something lurking in Sheridan, something as cold as the snow and ice, and just as deadly.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBack blast / Mark Greaney.
“Ex-CIA operative Court Gentry returns to the U.S. after five years dodging the kill order that has followed him all over the world. He needs to know why Denny Carmichael, the director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, issued the order; if Gentry has to leave a string of bodies behind him to get at the truth, then so be it. Gentry slowly ferrets out various official reasons for the original shoot-on-sight order, which stemmed from an early operation, Back Blast, when he supposedly went rogue and killed the wrong person while executing the op. Gentry is positive he’s innocent, but the evidence continues to mount, until even he’s no longer sure what happened.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOrphan X / Gregg Hurwitz.
“At the age of 12, Evan is taken from his group home to join an under-the-radar government project called the Orphan Program. Handler Jack Johns trains him into a weapon for solo, offline covert operations. As Orphan X, Evan is considered the best of the best. But when he’s told to take out a fellow Orphan, he quits. As a pro bono freelancer, now called Nowhere Man, he asks only that the last desperate person he helped give his number to one other person in similar need. Which works until Morena Aquilar needs him to stop an LAPD detective who is cultivating young sex slaves, and Evan later gets requests from two persons supposedly referred by Morena. In trying to determine which one to trust, he finds that he himself is the target.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFlight of dreams : a novel / Ariel Lawhon.
“This novel fictionalizes the three-day transatlantic flight of the German passenger airship Hindenburg before it exploded on May 6, 1937, while trying to dock at Lakehurst, NJ. The chapters alternate from the perspectives of “The Stewardess,” “The Journalist,” “The Navigator,” “The American,” and “The Cabin Boy”.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe passenger : a novel / Lisa Lutz.
“She’s left her dead husband and within forty-eight hours Tanya Dubois is a fugitive. It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Tanya, once Amelia, now Debra and Blue, a bartender, have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret, can she outrun her past?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNever tear us apart / Monica Murphy.
“The perspective of this novel moves from Katherine Watts (both at age 12, when she is kidnapped, and at age 21, when she recalls her ordeal); Ethan Williams, a man who’s obsessed with 21-year-old Katherine; and 15-year-old Will Monroe, who rescued 12-year-old Katie from certain death at the hands of her abductor. Ethan manipulates vulnerable, clueless Katherine into falling in love with him by exploiting their inescapable childhood bond.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeathlist / Chris Ryan.
“A bitterly cold morning in the Brecon Beacons, and the soldiers trying out for SAS Selection are preparing to face their toughest test yet. Overseeing the soldiers is John Porter: once a promising young Blade, now a broken man and a drunk, seeing out his days in the Regiment Training Wing. But before the Fan Dance can begin, six masked gunmen carry out a devastating attack. Dozens of soldiers are killed. In the aftermath of the massacre, and with a government desperate for action, Porter and another surviving operator, John Bald, are taken to a secretive briefing in London. Their orders are to hunt down and kill those responsible for the attack.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)