We hope you had a wonderful festive period, and managed to get some reading done over the holidays! We’re really looking forward to another year of great books, and this collection of highlights for February suggests it’s going to be a cracker.
You might have seen our Book of the Month a few times on NetGalley.co.uk – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a book we all love, and we suspect it might be one of the most popular titles of 2018. There’s also a new Julian Barnes novel, The Only Story, which is always a cause for celebration.
Here’s to a brilliant 2018!
Book of the Month
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Sometimes you read a novel’s synopsis and just want to dive in right away – and this is certainly the case for The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Who could possibly resist a supernatural twist on an Agatha Christie-style Golden Age murder mystery?
At the end of a glamorous ball, Evelyn Hardcastle is murdered. But she will not be killed just once. Each day will start the same, repeating itself with her death, unless Aiden can uncover the murderer. But each day, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest – and someone is determined to stop him from ever getting to the truth.
Delivering on every level, this is a standout thriller that you’ll read in one glorious sitting.
The Only Story
The sublime Julian Barnes returns with another elegant, acute and deeply moving glimpse into the human heart. Paul is nineteen and in love, his first love; a love that flies in the face of social convention.But it is merely the beginning of his romantic life, one that will shape and define his years. Beautifully written, tender and surprising, The Only Story is Barnes at his incomparable best.
Force of Nature
Jane Harper’s debut, The Dry, was one of the most garlanded thrillers of 2017 and her follow-up, Force of Nature is similarly replete with tension, suspense and twists. As a team bonding exercise, five co-workers walk out for a hike. But only four return. What happened to Alice? Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has his suspicions; especially as Alice was embroiled in his latest case. Gripping from first to last.
The Gods of Love
The Gods of Love has been described as Neil Gaiman meets Bridget Jones, which gives a flavour of the humour and imagination of this wickedly funny debut. Frida is a divorce lawyer. She is also, though she doesn’t know it, a descendent of Eros. When a deranged man called Dan bursts into her office claiming only she can save the world, Frida must assume the role of humanity’s saviour…
The House of Impossible Beauties
The Harlem Ball scene – immortalised in the classic documentary Paris is Burning – inspires this witty, iconoclastic and moving tale of gay and transgender clubbers inaugurating the first all-Latino House. Between the 70s and 90s in New York City, we meet a vividly depicted cast of characters as they provide an alternative history of the City, of love, and of finding your true self, whatever that might be.
The Word for Woman is Wilderness
Abi Andrews has created a wonderfully immersive hybrid novel: part travelogue, part fiction, part rumination on nature – and it is a superb achievement. Erin is 19 and has barely ever left England – but now finds herself traversing the globe, treking through the Alaskan wildernesss. It’s a journey that will challenge her physically and mentally, as well as bringing her closer to nature and to understanding herself.
The Eye of the North
The Eye of the North is classic Children’s fiction of the highest order, suffused with magic, adventure, strange lands and mythical quests. Emmeline Widget has long believed her parents have meant her harm. But now they have vanished, and Emmeline is forced to head to the frozen north to discover the truth. It’s a mission that will find her run with ice ponies and face the terrifying Northwitch. Ideal for readers of all ages.
The Perfect Stranger
Failed journalist Leah bumps into an old friend, Emmy Grey, and decides to move out to the country with her. It’s an escape that turns strange when a woman is murdered who looks just like Emmy. And sinister when Emmy herself disappears. This unnerving tale of identity, secrets and violence is truly compelling – with enough twists to satisfy any mystery junkie.
In the Pines
The murder ballad has been a staple of songwriters since the turn of the twentieth century, and this exceptional graphic novel from the creative mind of Erik Kriek uses them as a springboard to create a series of stories that chill, surprise and horrify. Get lost in the forests, wander where the wild roses grow and watch for old Stagger Lee in this eerie collection…
The Memory Chamber
The central premise of The Memory Chamber is one of hope: the end of death. Now you can just choose your favourite memories and live them out for eternity. It sounds idyllic. But all is not quite what it seems, as Heaven Architect Isobel realises as she creates a heaven for the man she has fallen in love with. Jarek has secrets. And he is not alone…