It’s another exceptionally strong list this month – 2017 really is shaping up to be quite a year! Our top pick is a book that we’re passionate about here at NetGalley UK: Jon McGregor’s Reservoir 13. We can’t recommend it highly enough. We’re also especially excited about the return of Hari Kunzru, an unexpected memoir from Richard Beard, and one of the hottest thrillers of the year, He Said/She Said. Enjoy!
BOOK OF THE MONTH
The author of Even the Dogs and If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, returns with a shattering, exceptionally written novel that is destined to be one of the most celebrated works of fiction this year.
Amongst the moorland and farmsteads of a rural town in the heart of England, a teenage girl suddenly disappears. The town is soon the focus of the country’s media, search parties sweeping every inch of the vicinity, hoping to find evidence of her survival. But as the months go by, the town must return to their normal lives, changed and unchanged by the tragic loss of the visiting girl.
Jon McGregor’s portrait of a community in the aftermath of events that bind them all is tender, devastating and written in sentences that reverberate with love, desire, fear and hope. By the novel’s close, it feels like you have lived the lives of the wide cast of characters, and taken your place amongst them.
Reservoir 13 is that rare bird: a novel of exceptional verve and style that has heart, soul and a deep understanding of humanity in the face of adversity. Powerful and moving, this is a British classic.
Hari Kunzru has long been one of our most inventive and innovative writers, and this long-awaited new novel is his finest work to date. Seth and Carter are two twenty-something music obsessives. But their passion leads them down a dangerous road – an old blues song the catalyst that will force them to confront ghosts real and imagined. This is an explosive, brilliantly conceived novel of America now and then, and a book that revels in its incandescent and luminous intelligence.
He Said/She Said
Hodder & Stoughton
Already causing a storm with NetGalley members, He Said/She Said is a controversial, brilliantly paced and plotted thriller that asks what – and who – do you really trust? In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura and Kit interrupt something awful. Laura is sure about what happened. Later, in a panic, she tells a little white lie – and four lives are changed irreparably. As the next eclipse draws near, Laura must confront the fallout from what she saw in the darkness…
The Day that Went Missing
Richard Beard’s family memoir will be one of the most moving, shocking and surprising books you read this year. In his trademark elegant prose, he describes the moment that changed his life: the death by drowning of his brother while on holiday. Incredibly the family return immediately to the same cottage – to complete the holiday. They soon stop speaking of the catastrophe. Their epic act of collective denial writes Nicky out of the family memory. This is the book that brings him back.
Pushkin Children's Books
This is a spectacular, dark and utterly spellbinding fantasy from one of our most exciting and talented new writers. Already acclaimed by the Bookseller as ‘an unforgettable feminist epic,’ Naondel takes us deep into the opulent palace of Ohaddin, where women have one purpose – to obey. Some were brought here as girls, captured and enslaved; some as servants; some as wives. All of them must do what the Master tells them, for he wields a deadly and secret power. A truly visionary novel.
The Impossible Fortress
Faber & Faber
If you’ve watched Stranger Things and feel nostalgia for the films of the 1980s, this touching coming-of-age tale is the book for you. It’s 1987. Billy Marvin and his friends Alf and Clark see that Wheel of Fortune presenter Vanna White is on the cover of Playboy. They know that if they can get hold of the magazine, everything will change. As they set out on their mission to find the most wanted images in America, they’re blissfully unaware of the dangers, dramas and garbage dumpsters that lie ahead…
The Forever Court
In a NetGalley exclusive edition, read the first and second books in the award-winning Knights of the Borrowed Dark series! Denizen Hardwick doesn’t believe in magic, that is until he’s ambushed by a monster created from shadows and sees it destroyed by a word made of sunlight. In The Forever Court, Denizen is getting used to his new world, battling monsters in quiet Dublin bookshops, and mastering his new magical powers. Read with caution, for once you begin, you may never trust a bookseller again.
Lost for Words
An intriguing and unusual love story of mystery, redemption and the very best books. Spiky, sardonic, and reclusive Loveday Cardew has as many secrets as she does tattoos of famous lines from books. Finding refuge in an enchanting bookstore, she thinks the past is just that. Then a performance poet walks into her life, and mysterious packages begin arriving for her. Someone is trying to send Loveday a message, and she can’t hide any longer.
Ashes to Ashes
DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is one of the best new cops on the beat, and Ashes to Ashes is his latest – and possibly most brutal – case. A lone killer with a taste for fire is on the loose, his victims chosen at random and then burned alive. But that is only the beginning. John Sagan, a torturer for hire, is also at large – and Heck must return to his hometown of Bradburn – a place he vowed never to set foot in again – to put an end to Sagan’s reign of terror.
It was the game that changed the lives of millions in the early 1990s, made millionaires of its inventors, and changed the way people perceived gaming. Magic: The Gathering combined fiendishly complex game play with addictive collectability and redefined what it meant to be a geek. This compelling story, told with gusto by Titus Chalk, is not just the tale of how a card game devised in a Seattle basement conquered the world, but also how it birthed and empowered a generation.