Fiction Newsletter for July

Welcome to the Fiction Newsletter for July. This month’s selection of new fiction will provide some great reading for the cold mid-winter night and days. Our ‘Other Genres’ category this month features New Zealand writers and provides as always, a diverse range of theme, style and of course character. So there is much to enjoy, happy reading.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

There is some great entertaining reading in this month’s new contemporary fiction, perfect for the long cold days of winter. From the new additions to the collection, we have selected new novels from three of the most popular writers for this newsletter, but do check out all the other great reads chosen.

Syndetics book cover In the unlikely event / Judy Blume.
“When three planes crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey within the space of three months in the early 1950s, Newark airport was closed for a year. Each of these disasters was devastating not only for those on board, but also for the close-knit community of people on the ground. In Elizabeth, the plane crashes open up new wounds and mysteries, they bring some families together and tear others apart. But somehow, life continues and amid grief and loss, hope and love survive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Green Road / Anne Enright.
“The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined in Dublin, New York and various third-world towns. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she’s decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The heat of betrayal / Douglas Kennedy.
“Robin knew Paul wasn’t perfect. But he said they were so lucky to have found each other, and she believed it was true. In the heady strangeness of Morocco, he is everything she wants him to be, passionate, talented, knowledgeable. She is convinced that it is here she will finally become pregnant. But when Paul suddenly disappears, and Robin finds herself the prime suspect in the police inquiry, everything changes. As her understanding of the truth starts to unravel, Robin lurches from the crumbling art deco of Casablanca to the daunting Sahara, caught in an increasingly terrifying spiral from which there is no easy escape.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

One of the most popular collections in our library, and from our selection of the best new titles recently received it was difficult to select just three for this newsletter.

Syndetics book cover I remember Beirut / written by Zeina Abirached ; art by Zeina Abirached ; translation by Edward Gauvin.
“Zeina Abirached grew up in Beirut in the 1980s as fighting between Christians and Muslims divided the city streets. Abirached recalls the details of ordinary life inside a war zone.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Deathblow / story by Brandon Choi and Jim Lee ; art by Jim Lee and Tim Sale with Trevor Scott.
“As an lite mercenary working in the shadowy realm of special operations, Michael Cray was a one-man arsenal and one of the world’s deadliest killers. But that was before the cancer began to eat away at his brain and remorse began to eat away at his soul. To those with faith, redemption is always possible. Cray never had a lot of faith, but the agents of Hell sent to recruit him are about to adjust his attitude.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Monsieur Jean : from bachelor to father / Phillipe Dupuy & Charles Berberian.
“Follow the hapless writer, Jean, through his meandering life, from bachelor novelist through to the responsibilities of fatherhood, as he deals with relationships and exasperating friendships in this touching slice-of-life comedy drama. And all the while, Jean’s flights of fancy help the novelist through his battles with his irascible landlady, his insecurities and his occasional insomnia.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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The new mysteries selection this month included new novels from many popular writers. Mystery readers will be provided with many hours of entertaining reading.

Syndetics book cover Time of death / Mark Billingham.
“Two schoolgirls are abducted in the small, dying Warwickshire town of Polesford, driving a knife into the heart of the community where police officer Helen Weeks grew up and from which she long ago escaped. But this is a place full of secrets, where dangerous truths lie buried. When it’s splashed all over the press that family man Stephen Bates has been arrested, Helen and her partner Tom Thorne head to the flooded town to support Bates’ wife, an old school friend of Helen’s who is living under siege with two teenage children and convinced of her husband’s innocence. As residents and media bay for Bates’ blood, a decomposing body is found. The police believe they have their murderer in custody, but one man believes otherwise. With a girl still missing, Thorne sets himself on a collision course with local police, townsfolk and a merciless killer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Solitude Creek / Jeffery Deaver.
“As an investigator with the California Bureau of Investigation, Kathryn Dance is used to putting criminals behind bars. But when she’s suspended after a dangerous gang member she interviews, and deems innocent, is proven guilty and escapes in a violent shoot out, she begins to question her judgement. With her badge removed and forced to act as a consultant, Dance must turn her hand to another pressing case: a terrifying stampede of panicked music fans at a concert venue which left half a dozen people dead. Her investigations suggest that the stampede was deliberately instigated.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Water angels / Mons Kallentoft ; translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith.
“A married couple is found dead in their jacuzzi. Their adopted five-year-old daughter has vanished. Inspector Malin Fors, the troubled but brilliant star of the Linkoping police force, is put in charge of the case. But this is a haunting mystery where the borders have been blurred: those between the living and the dead, between good and evil. Malin is only too aware of her own tendencies towards obsession and addiction. As the investigation takes a darker turn, forcing Malin to confront her own demons, will she hold out long enough to find the killer and the missing girl before it’s too late?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

Highly recommended and included is this selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy novels is the first novel in a trilogy by the multiple awards winning Chinese writer Cixin Liu, titled The Three-body Problem.

Syndetics book cover The three-body problem / Cixin Liu ; translated by Ken Liu.
“Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Low town : a novel / Daniel Polansky.
“Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town. In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham¬pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent, forgotten war hero, an independent drug dealer, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens. The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis¬covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street, set¬ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The human division / John Scalzi.
“The people of Earth now know that the human Colonial Union has kept them ignorant of the dangerous universe around them. For generations the CU had defended humanity against hostile aliens, deliberately keeping Earth an ignorant backwater and a source of military recruits. Now the CU’s secrets are known to all. Other alien races have come on the scene and formed a new alliance against the Colonial Union. And they’ve invited the people of Earth to join them. For a shaken and betrayed Earth, the choice isn’t obvious or easy. It will take diplomatic finesse, political cunning and a brilliant “B Team,” centered on the resourceful Lieutenant Harry Wilson that can be deployed to deal with the unpredictable and unexpected things the universe throws at you when you’re struggling to preserve the unity of the human race.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Other genres

New Zealand fiction is featured in this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category, showcasing great writing and a diverse range of subjects. Highly recommended is the new novel from Adrienne Jansen, titled A Line of Sight.

Syndetics book cover Murder & matchmaking / Debbie Cowens.
“It is a truth universally known that a mother in possession of a surfeit of daughters must be in want of eligible bachelors. Less well documented are the extremes to which she might go if her daughters’ prospects are endangered by other neighbourhood beauties. Murder and Matchmaking is a dark comedy that answers the question: if Mrs Bennett is so worried about what will happen to her if her daughters don’t marry, why doesn’t she really do something about it?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover A line of sight / Adrienne Jansen.
“One afternoon Graham and Nick go out rabbit shooting. They spot some local cannabis growers on their land, and fire a warning shot to scare them off. One of the shots hit and a man is killed. A Line of Sight is a book about the lengths a person is willing to go to prove they’re not guilty of a crime they well have committed. It’s about male friendships, the emotional effects of war and a young blind boy name Swan, whose unexpected insight changes everything.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Maybury Place / Keitha Smith.
“Maybury Place. Tranquil, safe, and neighbourly. Until new residents move in to Number Seven and shatter the peace. Within hours of their arrival four-year old Matthew Fleming has vanished. When the residents rally to search for the young boy they find their new neighbors hostile and uncaring about Matthew’s fate. Events escalate when strange characters start visiting Number Seven, the police are seen calling and one of their homes is robbed. Suspicions grow, causing the original neighbors to unite, determined to defend Maybury Place from unsavory elements. But is everything quite as it seems? Are the new inhabitants as bad as everyone fears? And has the prior tranquility of Maybury Place merely masked hidden secrets?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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