November Fiction Newsletter

Welcome to the monthly Fiction Newsletter. Here you will find our top three choices from each genre’s selected list of newly received fiction. This month we feature Suspense/Thriller fiction in our ‘Other Genres’ category all are guaranteed gripping page turners.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy our selections, and discover new writers, and genres you may not have tried before, happy reading.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

This month’s selection of New Contemporary Novels was comprised entirely of Award winning, international acclaimed writers; therefore selecting just three novels for this newsletter was extremely difficult. We hope you will be tempted to view the complete list of selections as there is great reading be found there.

Syndetics book cover Hag-seed : The tempest retold / Margaret Atwood.
“It’s got a thunderstorm in it. And revenge. Definitely revenge Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he’s staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional wounds. Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda, and also brewing revenge. After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The wonder : a novel / Emma Donoghue.
“Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl and soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Black rock white city / A. S. Patrić.
“During a hot Melbourne summer Jovan’s cleaning work at a bayside hospital is disrupted by acts of graffiti and violence becoming increasingly malevolent. For Jovan the mysterious words that must be cleaned away dislodge the poetry of the past. He and his wife Suzana were forced to flee Sarajevo and the death of their children. This is an essential story of Australia’s suburbs now, of displacement and immediate threat, and the unexpected responses of two refugees as they try to reclaim their dreams.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

Although this month’s selection of new Graphic novels included seven first volumes of new series, we have chosen the only three stand-alone titles for this newsletter. As you can see all three are highly accomplished, much praised graphic novelists and artists.

Syndetics book cover Something new : tales from a makeshift bride / by Lucy Knisley.
“DIY maven Lucy Knisley was fascinated by American wedding culture, but also sort of horrified by it. So she set out to plan and execute the adorable DIY wedding to end all adorable DIY weddings. And she succeeded.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Cigarette girl / Masahiko Matsumoto ; foreword by Yoshihiro Tatsumi ; translated by Spencer Fancutt, with assistance of Atsuko Saisho.
“Welcome to the quiet, evocative urban dramas of Masahiko Matsumoto, one of the leading lights of the Japanese alternative-comics movement known as “gekiga.” Originally published in 1974, these eleven stories now form the first English-language collection of Matsumoto’s mature work. His shy, uncertain heroes face broken hearts, changing families, money troubles, sexual anxiety, and the pressures of tradition, but with a whimsy and lightness of touch that is Matsumoto’s trademark.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Paul up North / Michel Rabagliati.
“Rabagliati continues his award-winning semi-autobiographical Paul series in this coming of age story. The action takes place in 1975-76 just before and during the summer Olympics in Montreal. Paul is now 16, a teenager, and he finds new experiences, changes schools, hitchhikes, falls deeply in love, gets dumped, smokes pot and drinks beer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

Mysteries this month included three translated Scandinavian mysteries and several historical mysteries mixed with the customary cold cases, missing persons and kidnappings, found with in this genre. We have selected a mixed assortment for your enjoyment.

Syndetics book cover The owl always hunts at night / Samuel Bjork ; translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund.
“When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found. Detective Mia Kruger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team is unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Malice of waves / Mark douglas-Home.
“Cal McGill is the sea detective: an oceanographer and one-of-a-kind investigator who uses his knowledge of the waves to find where objects came from, or track where they’ve gone. For five years Priest’s Island has guarded the mystery of Max Wheeler’s disappearance. In this isolated township on the edge of the Atlantic, there are no secrets, except what really happened to fourteen-year-old Max. Now Cal McGill has taken up the quest. A grieving father, a community riven by tragedy and resentful of the suspicion all make a powder keg of secrets and vengeance ready to explode.” (Adapted from Syndectics summary)
Syndetics book cover Blind sight / Carol O’Connell.
“A blind child and a Catholic nun disappear from a city sidewalk in plain sight of onlookers. There, then gone, vanished in seconds. Those who witnessed the event still cannot believe it happened. Detective Kathy Mallory and the NYPD’s Special Crimes Unit enter the investigation when the nun’s body is found with three other corpses in varying stages of decomposition left on the lawn of Gracie Mansion, home to the mayor of New York City. Sister Michael was the last to die. The child, Jonah Quill, is still missing. Behind her back, the squad’s name for her is Mallory the Machine, yet she has a dark understanding of what it is to be human. A child is waiting, time is running out, and atop her list of liars is the mayor himself, and a theory of the crimes in which no sane cop could believe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

This month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy included some well-known much acclaimed writers. With all the usual plots found in this genre, from alternative histories to zombies, there is no limit to the imaginations of these writers, giving readers a truly out of world experience.

Syndetics book cover Obelisk / Stephen Baxter.
“This collection contains stories set in the worlds of the bestselling duology ULTIMA and PROXIMA, which expand on the characters and worlds of that series, including two brand new short stories. There is also a selection of alternate histories and possible futures, building on Baxter’s work with Terry Pratchett on the LONG EARTH series.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The span of empire / Eric Flint, David Carrico ; with K.D. Wentworth.
“A new novel in the Jao Empire series. It has become clear to both the Jao and their human and Lleix partners that if they are going to defeat the Ekhat who have been terrorizing the galaxy for eons, they need more allies. To that end, Preceptor Ronz, guardian of Earth and greatest living strategist of the Jao, has harnessed the energy of Earth’s humans to create and send out an exploration fleet under the command of Caitlin Kralik. But after a long search, all the expedition has found are dead worlds and now-extinct intelligent species slaughtered by the genocidal Ekhat. Do they continue to search down the galactic arm in which Earth and the Jao worlds lie, or do they make an astounding leap in another direction?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The ghoul king / Guy Haley.
“The Knight, Quinn, is down on his luck, and he travels to the very edge of the civilized world, whatever that means any more, to restock his small but essential inventory. After fighting a series of gladiatorial bouts against the dead, he finds himself in the employ of a woman on a quest to find the secret to repairing her semi-functional robot. But the technological secret it guards may be one truth too many.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary

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Other genres

With Suspense/thriller being the feature of this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category, there was a great variation in location, time, character. The three selected for this newsletter are good examples of the amazing variation in the suspense/thriller genre.

Syndetics book cover Home / 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 cover Out 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 cover Breaking 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)

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Fiction newsletter for April

Welcome to the Wellington City Libraries March Fiction newsletter. Here we highlight the best reads from our monthly selections from the recently received new titles. Every fiction genre is represented, and in our ‘Other Genres’ category this month we feature suspense/thriller novels. We hope you enjoy our selections with many hours of reading pleasure.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

This month’s selection from the new Contemporary fiction recently received included many international acclaimed writers. We have chosen three translated novels that promise captivating reading

Syndetics book cover Am I cold / Martin Kongstad ; translator Martin Aitken.
“Copenhagen, 2008. Excess is in, austerity is out. The international crash is about to send everything tumbling down, but everyone’s too wasted to notice. And Mikkel Vallin’s own bubble has already burst. Divorced, left by his girlfriend for a successful author, sacked from his job as a food critic, the wrong side of forty, Mikkel has had enough: he’s declared war on the monogamous relationship. Jealousy, deceit, and hatred, it’s enough to make you wonder if we’d all be better off just sleeping with who we wanted for a change. Fortunately, his new girlfriend, a successful, young, beautiful Hungarian artist, agrees. Unfortunately, Mikkel might be falling in love with her.” (Adapted from Book cover)
Syndetics book cover The gun / Fuminori Nakamura ; translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell.
“On a night time walk along a Tokyo riverbank, a young man named Nishikawa stumbles on a dead body, beside which lies a gun. From the moment Nishikawa makes the decision to take the gun, the world around him blurs. Knowing he possesses the gun brings an intoxicating sense of purpose to his dull university life. But Nishikawa’s personal entanglements are becoming unexpectedly complicated. Through it all, he can’t stop thinking about the gun and the four bullets preloaded in its chamber. As he spirals into obsession, his focus is consumed by one idea: that possessing the gun is no longer enough, he must fire it.” (Adapted from Book cover)
Syndetics book cover Little Aunt Crane / Geling Yan ; translated from the Chinese by Esther Tyldesley.
“In the last days of the World War II, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria has collapsed. As the Chinese move in, the elders of the Japanese settler village of Sakito decide to preserve their honour by killing all the villagers in an act of mass suicide. Only 16-year-old Tatsuru escapes. But Tatsuru’s trials have just begun.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

Deciding on just three new Graphic novels from this month’s selection to tempt readers is always difficult, but our choice should illustrate the wonderful diversity, originality and artwork found in this genre.

Syndetics book cover Lady killer. Volume 1 / story by Joëlle Jones & Jamie S. Rich ; art by Joëlle Jones.
“Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother, but she’s also a ruthless, efficient killer. She balances cheerful domestic bliss with coldly performed assassinations, but when Josie finds herself in the crosshairs, her American-dream life is in danger.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Munnu : a boy from Kashmir / Malik Sajad.
“Seven-year-old Munnu is growing up in Indian-administered Kashmir. Life revolves around his family: Mama, Papa, sister Shahnaz, brothers Adil and Akhtar and, his favourite, older brother Bilal. Munnu’s is a childhood experienced against the backdrop of conflict. Bilal’s classmates are crossing over into the Pakistan-administered portion of Kashmir to be trained to resist the occupation; Papa and Bilal are regularly taken by the military to identification parades where informers will point out terrorists; Munnu’s school is closed; close neighbours are killed and the homes of Kashmiri Hindu families lie abandoned, as once close, mixed communities have ruptured under the pressure of Kashmir’s divisions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Long walk to Valhalla : an original graphic novel / written by Adam Smith ; illustrated and lettered by Matthew Fox.
“There are many things that Rory would like to forget – his alcoholic father, absent mother, his ex-girlfriend, now married to his ex-best friend. Sometimes, he’d even like to forget about his older brother Joe. Joe saw the world differently than other people, seeing what he always called “the Pretty Things.” But sometimes the Pretty Things turned ugly and bad things happened. When Rory’s car breaks down on the side of the road just out of town, a young girl named Sylvia appears from the corn fields. Sylvia is a Valkyrie sent by the Norse god Odin to deliver Rory to Valhalla. Because today is the day he’s going to die. Together, Rory and Sylvia walk back through the memories of Rory’s childhood, this time seeing them the way Joe saw them. Rory must face the Pretty Things, the Ugly Things, and all the real life in between before it’s time to say goodbye.” (Adapted from amazon.com)

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Mysteries

Another great selection from the new Mysteries received this month. The titles chosen for this newsletter all come highly recommended.

Syndetics book cover The killing forest / Sara Blaedel ; translated by Mark Kline.
“Following an extended leave, Louise Rick returns to work at the Special Search Agency, an elite unit of the National Police Department. She’s assigned a case involving a fifteen-year-old who vanished a week earlier. When Louise realizes that the missing teenager is the son of a butcher from Hvalsoe, she seizes the opportunity to combine the search for the teen with her personal investigation of her boyfriend’s long-ago death. Louise’s investigation takes her on a journey back through time. As she moves through the small town’s cramped network of deadly connections, Louise unearths toxic truths left unspoken and dangerous secrets.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Death under a Tuscan sun / Michele Giuttari ; translated by Isabelle Kaufeler.
“In his dark and fetid prison cell, serial killer Daniele de Robertis plans his retribution. The betrayals he has suffered haunt his dreams until, one night, he escapes. In a small, beautiful village in the Tuscan countryside a prominent lawyer and his wife are murdered. As the police inspect the scene they find nine terrifying photographs: nine women, slaughtered. It is Florentine Police Chief Michele Ferrara’s worst nightmare: a case involving the untouchable men and women at the top of Italian society, a dark and powerful cult which knows no bounds, and mounting victims. Amongst a web of obsession, manipulation and violence, Ferrara must face his demons.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Hotel du Barry / Lesley Truffle.
“When a laughing baby is found amongst the Hotel du Barry’s billowing sheets, tucked up in an expensive pair of ladies’ bloomers and neatly pegged to the laundry line, the hotel staff resolve to keep the child. The hotel’s owner, Daniel du Barry, still mourning the loss of his lover in an automobile accident, adopts the little girl, names her after his favorite champagne and seeks consolation in fatherhood. Cat du Barry grows up beloved by both hotel staff and guests, equally at home in the ninth floor premium suite as she is in the labyrinth below stairs. Years later Daniel du Barry dies in sinister circumstances and Cat determines to solve the mystery with the assistance of her extended hotel family.” (Adapted from Book cover)

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Science fiction/fantasy

Highlighted here are several highly recommend titles from our selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels added to the collection this month. A link to the complete list of selections is provided and well worth consideration for great reading.

Syndetics book cover Europe in Autumn / Dave Hutchinson.
“Following multiple economic crises and a devastating flu pandemic, Europe has fractured into countless tiny nations, duchies, polities and republics. Recruited by the shadowy organisation ‘Les Coureurs des Bois’, Rudi is schooled in espionage, but when a training mission to The Line, a sovereign nation consisting of a trans-Europe railway line, goes wrong, he is arrested, beaten and Coureur Central must attempt a rescue. With so many nations to work in, and identities to assume, Rudi is kept busy travelling across Europe. But when he is sent to smuggle someone out of Berlin and finds a severed head inside a locker instead, a conspiracy begins to wind itself around him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The detainee / Peter Liney.
“The Island is a place of hopelessness. The Island is death. And it is to this place that the entire elderly and infirm are shipped, the scapegoats for the collapse of society. There’s no escape, not from the punishment satellites that deliver instant judgment for any crime, including escape attempts, and not from the demons that come on foggy nights, when the satellites are all but blind. But when one of the Island’s inhabitants, the aging “Big Guy” Clancy, finds a network of tunnels beneath the waste, there is suddenly hope, for love, for escape, and for the chance to fight back.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover This is the night : a novel / Jonah C. Sirott.
“For more than twenty years, the Homeland has been immersed in a brutal, unwinnable war. Lance, two weeks shy of turning eighteen, has watched his older brothers leave and his mother fall apart when they fail to return. He’s never imagined a different future for himself until he meets an idealistic young woman named Lorrie and impulsively flees town with her. Lance and Lorrie move into the same building as Benny and Joe, two friends up for induction. Along with Alan, a young runaway, they frantically evade Registry agents intent on tracking down draft dodgers. With induction day looming and paranoia rampant, the only way for any of them to stay free is to uncover the truth about their uncertain world and the forces seeking to control it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

This month we are featuring suspense/thriller fiction in our ‘Other Genres’ category. A genre that guarantees gripping, spine tingling, at times shocking, page turning reads.

Syndetics book cover The 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 cover Flight 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 cover The 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)

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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)

Swedish author Henning Mankell dies

Syndetics book coverThe very popular writer Henning Mankell, aged 67 has died of cancer. Best known for his mystery thrillers, featuring the character Swedish police detective Kurt Wallander, he was also a prolific writer of stage plays, children’s books, screenplays and general fiction.
His first novel, published in 1991, was translated into English in 1997 and was titled Faceless Killers. He received, almost annually, many international awards and honours for his writing. His last novel was titled An Autumn Event and was published in 2014.

An update and addition to our evening with writer Michael Robotham

Syndetics book coverIn our recent Fiction news blog we invited readers to Wellington City Libraries evening with popular Australian suspense/thriller writer Michael Robotham on Thursday 27th August 2015 at 6.00pm on the ground floor, Central Library, 65 Victoria Street. It is with double pleasure, that we will also welcome popular Wellington author Catherine Robertson, who will be in conversation with Michael Robotham for the evening.

Syndetics book coverMany will remember Catherine from a previous event at Wellington City Libraries, where she was not only entertaining, but very informative about the writing and publishing processes.

We invite you to join us, for a great evening with two wonderfully entertaining writers.

This is free event but we recommend booking and would appreciate RSVP to Linda Bruce phone: 8014065 or email: Linda.Bruce@wcc.govt.nz

An evening with suspense/thriller writer Michael Robotham

It is with much pleasure that Wellington City Libraries will be hosting an evening with popular Australian suspense/thriller writer Michael Robotham on Thursday 27th August 2015 at 6.00pm on the ground floor, Central Library, 65 Victoria Street.

He started his career as a journalist in Sydney, later moving to the United Kingdom where he worked for several national newspapers, finally becoming a features editor. From 1996 he became a ghost writer, collaborating on over fifteen ‘autobiographies’.

Syndetics book coverHis first novel titled, The Suspect was published in 2002 and became an instant best-seller, translated into 22 languages.
A recipient of many awards for crime writing, he has published a further 9 novels. Life and Death published in 2014 has now been followed by his most recent titled, Close your Eyes.

Syndetics book coverWe invite you to join us and the many readers who enjoy Michael’s work at the Central Library on the 27th August 2015. Michael will speak about his work, and will be available for questions. This is free event but we recommend booking. Please RSVP to Linda Bruce by phone: 801 4065 or email: Linda.Bruce@wcc.govt.nz.

Fiction newsletter for February

Welcome to the first Fiction newsletter for 2015. We have chosen the best fiction from our monthly selection of recently received new material, all are highly recommended for some great reading. This month’s other genre novels feature Suspense/thrillers. We hope you will discover some exciting new authors.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

The best from the new Contemporary Fiction selection illustrates the diversity of modern fiction.

Syndetics book cover Sanctuary / by Robert Edric.
“Haworth, West Yorkshire, 1848. Branwell Brontë, un-exhibited artist, unacknowledged writer, sacked railwayman, disgraced tutor and spurned lover, finds himself unhappily back in Haworth Parsonage, to face the crushing disappointment of his father and his three sisters, whose own pseudonymous successes, allegedly kept secret from him, are only just becoming apparent. With his health failing rapidly, his literary aspirations abandoned and his once loyal circle of friends shrinking fast, Branwell lives in a world of secrets, conspiracies and seemingly endless betrayals. To restore himself to a creative and fulfilling existence in the face of an increasingly claustrophobic environment, he returns to the drugs, alcohol and the morbid self-delusion which have already played such a large part in his unhappy life.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Syndetics book cover Hush / Karen Robards.
“When Riley Cowan finds her estranged husband Jeff dead in his palatial home, she’s sure it’s no coincidence. The police rule it a suicide, but Riley thinks someone’s out for blood, specifically someone Jeff’s father ripped off in one of the biggest financial fraud cases of all time. She suspects that someone is trying to send a message to Jeff’s father: Tell me where the money is, or everyone you care about will die. Riley’s in-laws might be billionaires, but she’s afraid that not even their dirty money can protect her from an irate investor who will stop at nothing to get his hands on his misappropriated cash. Finn Bradley, Philly-based FBI agent and Riley’s love interest from way back agrees to help Riley, and the two reignite sparks they both thought were extinguished long ago. But can they discover the killer’s identity in time, before he resurfaces–and strikes again?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Harraga / Boualem Sansal ; translated from the French by Frank Wynne.
“Harraga means “path burner” in Arabic and is the name given to hopeful emigrants who burn bridges and identification papers to seek better lives overseas. Lamia, a pediatrician and “confirmed spinster” at 35, is a vocal critic of the strictures of Islam and the prevailing political regime. One day, she opens the door of her rickety old house in Rampe Valée to Chérifa, an unmarried, pregnant, charismatic teen with perfume that penetrates the air like radiation. Both are path burners of a different kind, with their open defiance of religious and cultural norms. Chérifa claims to know Lamia’s missing harraga brother, Sofiane, and the two women strike up a warm yet precarious friendship.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

The subjects and themes of our Graphic novels are as wide-ranging as our fiction collection. The three titles selected here are great examples of this.

Syndetics book cover Above the dreamless dead : World War I in poetry and comics / edited by Chris Duffy.
“The contributing artists have taken the poems they illustrate very seriously, including Hunt Emerson’s raucously comical, big-nose takes on three very vulgar soldiers’ songs. George Pratt trades pen-and-ink for rollers, putty knives, and acrylic to sculpt as much as draw the charnel figures of dead soldiers for Wilfred Owen’s Greater Love. Rather than illustrate Siegfried Sassoon’s ruefully sarcastic The General, comics writer Garth Ennis composes an angry tribute to the Tommies, whom artist Phil Winslade draws with photorealistic accuracy. Animating a night episode from a prose work, The Great Push (1916), by Patrick MacGill, and Eddie Campbell shrouds everything in Goyaesque darkness. These and the 18 other cartoonists’ portrayals of 22 further poems are equally original and evocative of the pity fearful, terrified, mournful, enraged which the poetry inhabited and embodied, as Owen so famously wrote.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Toshiro / script by Jai Nitz ; art by Janusz Pawlak.
“The mechano-samurai Toshiro travels a Victorian clockwork world, battling horrors too dark for mankind. With his mysterious partner, the world-famous adventurer Quicksilver Bob, Toshiro must face Earth’s greatest foe yet: the soul-stealing, zombie-creating jellyfish from beyond.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Benson’s cuckoos / Anouk Ricard ; translation by Helge Dascher.
“Richard thinks he’s in luck when he snags a job at the cuckoo-clock factory, but things start to go wrong right off the bat. First of all there’s his boss, who doesn’t seem to have the strongest grip on reality and has an odd penchant for silly hats. Then there are his coworkers, who are alternately evasive and idiotic when asked about anything pertaining to actually getting work done. Finally there’s George, the employee Richard’s replacing, who supposedly quit but whose family has just appeared on national TV pleading for his safe return. It’s all adding up to a very strange workplace, and when the company goes on a retreat, everything spools quickly out of control.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

Many different eras, and locations feature in this month’s New Mysteries. There is something to tempt or all readers of this genre.

Syndetics book cover The lion’s mouth / Anne Holt and Berit Reiss-Andersen ; translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce.
“Less than six months after taking office, the Norwegian Prime Minister is found dead. She has been shot in the head. But was it a politically motivated assassination or personal revenge? The death shakes the country to its core. The hunt for her killer is complicated, intense and grueling. Hanne Wilhelmsen must contain the scandal before a private tragedy becomes a public outrage, in what will become the most sensitive case of her career.” (Adapted from syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Cut out / Fergus McNeill.
“Nigel never meant for it to happen. At first, he just wanted to be Matt’s friend. But when he discovers he can hear what is going on in the flat below him, his fascination with his new neighbour drifts into obsession. Rearranging his furniture to recreate the layout of the rooms downstairs, buying the same clothes, going through his post, his things he starts becoming Matt without him ever knowing. And it would have been all right, if Matt hadn’t brought the girl home. When things spiral out of control, Detective Inspector Harland has to unravel the disturbing truth. But there’s far more to the case than meets the eye.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Soul of the fire / Eliot Pattison.
“Shan Tao Yun the former Beijing government investigator goes to Zhongje, a Tibetan community that the Chinese regard as a “showcase for the motherland.” To Shan’s astonishment, he’s been tapped to serve on the People’s International Commission for Peace and Order, “dedicated to eliminating the criminal acts of self-aggression that undermine harmonious coexistence in ethnic geographies.” Shan, who has served time in labor camps, is to fill the designated slot reserved for a reformed criminal, but on his first day on the commission, he witnesses a self-immolation. His police training causes him to doubt that the death was a suicide, and his refusal to ignore the facts puts him at odds with his superiors, who don’t want the truth derailing their political agenda.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

The best of the new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels from our monthly selection will not disappoint fans of this genre.

Syndetics book cover Ultima
“A sequel to PROXIMA, where discovered ancient alien artifacts on the planet of Per Ardua, hatches that allowed stepping across light years of space as if stepping into another room. The universe was opened. Now in ULTIMA the consequences of this new freedom make themselves felt. Discovering that there are minds in the universe that are billions of years old and they have a plan for the human race. In learning the true nature of the universe, discovery is made discover that the countless pasts all meeting in this present and that the future is terrifyingly finite. It’s time to fight to take back control.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Gleam / Tom Fletcher.
“The gargantuan Factory of Gleam is an ancient, hulking edifice of stone, metal and glass ruled over by chaste alchemists and astronomer priests. As millennia have passed, the population has decreased, and now only the central district is fully inhabited and operational; the outskirts have been left for the wilderness to reclaim. This decaying, lawless zone is the Discard; the home of Wild Alan. Clever, arrogant, and perpetually angry, Wild Alan is both loved and loathed by the Discard’s misfits. He’s convinced that the Gleam authorities were behind the disaster that killed his parents and his ambition is to prove it, but he’s about to uncover more than he bargained for.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The black guard / A.J. Smith.
“The city of Ro Canarn burns. The armies of the Red march upon the northern lords. And the children of a dead god are waking from their long slumber. The Duke of Canarn is dead, executed by the King’s decree. The city lies in chaos, its people starving, sickening, and tyrannized by the ongoing presence of the King’s mercenary army. But still hope remains: the Duke’s children, the Lord Bromvy and Lady Bronwyn, have escaped their father’s fate. Separated by enemy territory, hunted by the warrior clerics of the One God, Bromvy undertakes to win back the city with the help of the secretive outcasts of the Darkwald forest, the Dokkalfar.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

Suspense/Thriller novels feature in this month’s selection of ‘Other Genre’ fiction. The new novel from popular thriller writer Matthew Reilly titled, The great zoo of China, is highly recommended

Syndetics book cover Prague summer : a novel / Jeffrey Condran.
“Stephanie and Henry are Americans living in Prague; she works for the State Department, he is a rare books dealer. They live the life of a comfortably married couple. Until one day their world is turned upside down by the arrival from the States of Stephanie’s old friend, Selma Al-Khateeb whose husband has been mysteriously arrested and indefinitely imprisoned. At first it appears that Selma has come to escape her problems, but soon her reasons for coming to Prague grow sinister and murky. Stephanie and Henry’s placid existence is turned upside down in ways they couldn’t have imagined.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The great zoo of China / Matthew Reilly.
“It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years. They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed. It will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed. A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see its fabulous creatures for the first time. Among them is Dr Cassandra Jane ‘CJ’ Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles. The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that they are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Closer than you think / Karen Rose.
“Deacon Novak has returned home. The experienced FBI Agent knows that his move to Cincinnati’s Major Crime Enforcement Squad will be challenging, but the greater challenge will be saving his younger brother before he becomes the kind of criminal Deacon is chasing. Faith Corcoran has escaped her identity. Being a therapist to victims of sex crimes was rewarding, but her work with their offenders has jeopardized her life. Her move represents a chance to build a new life in the empty old house her grandmother has left her. What Faith doesn’t know is that a killer has made the house his playground, taking girls into the basement and murdering them. With a murderer focused on her, Faith is going to have to put her trust in Deacon if she’s going to survive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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An evening with suspense/crime writer Karin Slaughter – Tuesday 12 August

Syndetics book coverIt is with much pleasure that Wellington City Libraries will be hosting an evening with popular American suspense/crime writer Karin Slaughter on Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 6.00pm on the ground floor, Central Library, 65 Victoria Street.

Prolific writer Karin Slaughter’s first novel Blindsighted, published in 2001 became an instant bestseller that sold more than 30 million copies world wide and was translated into 32 languages. This novel set the scene and characters for five other novels in a series titled the Grant County. In 2006 she published Triptych followed by two other novels that formed the Will Trent/Atlanta series. Unseen, published 2013 was the fifth novel in her Georgia series.
Karin Slaughter’s most recent novel, the thrilling murder mystery titled Cop Town is also set in Atlanta, where she resides.

We are especially pleased to welcome Karin as not only is she such a thrilling writer but she is also a strong advocate for libraries.  We invite you to join us and the many readers who enjoy her work at our evening in the Central Library on the 12th August. Karin will be in conversation about her work and will be available for questions. This is a free event, and her novels will be available for purchase and signing.

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