Home In focus New books in Knowsley’s libraries this August

New books in Knowsley’s libraries this August

by Laura Johnston

Another month, another chance to discover some brilliant newly-released books at your local library…

Lisa Jewell – The Family Upstairs

In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They’ve been dead for several days.

Who has been looking after the baby?

And where did they go?

Chris Ryan – Black Ops

A series of gruesome killings take place in Dubai, Ghana and America. The victims are all connected with the SAS.

In Hereford, Danny Black realises they have something more specific in common – they were all involved in training a young Muslim soldier, Ibrahim Khan.

Khan has been working under cover in Islamic State in a mission organised by MI6. Danny Black sets out to track him down with the help of Khan’s MI6 handler on a trail that leads him to a library of ancient manuscripts in Damascus, the Syrian desert and finally back in the Brecon Beacons.

There Danny discovers that he has finally met his match, his deadliest enemy – and it is the last person he ever expected.

Val McDermid – How the Dead Speak

 After an explosive case that forced Tony Hill and Carol Jordan to reassess everything they thought they knew about right and wrong, both are dealing with the fallout in their own separate ways. While Tony must pay the price for his actions, Carol is conducting investigations into suspected miscarriages of justice.

 With Tony behind bars and Carol finally out of road as a cop, he’s finding unexpected outlets for his talents in jail and she’s joined forces with a small informal group of lawyers and forensics experts looking into suspected miscarriages of justice. But they’re doing it without each other; being in the same room at visiting hour is too painful. Meanwhile, construction is suddenly halted on the redevelopment of an orphanage after dozens of skeletons are found buried in the grounds. Forensic examination reveals they date from between twenty and forty years ago, when the nuns were running their repressive regime. But then a different set of skeletons are discovered in a far corner, young men from as recent as ten years ago.

When newly promoted DI Paula McIntyre discovers that one of the male skeletons is that of a killer who is supposedly alive and behind bars—and the subject of one of Carol’s miscarriage investigations—it brings Tony and Carol irresistibly into each other’s orbit once again.

David Lagercrantz – The girl who lived twice

Isbeth Salander’s mentor and protector Holger Palmgren is dead, and she has been gone from Stockholm since his funeral. All summer, Mikael Blomkvist has been plagued by the fear that Salander’s enemies will come after her.

He should, perhaps, be more concerned for himself.

In the pocket of an unidentified homeless man, who died with the name of a Swedish government minister on his lips, the police find a list of telephone numbers. Among them, the contact for Millennium magazine and the investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist.

Following the scorched trail of her twin sister Camilla to Moscow, Salander nevertheless continues to watch over her old friend. Soon Blomkvist will need her help. But first, she has an old score to settle; and fresh outrage to avenge.

Lynda La Plante – The Dirty Dozen

April 1980 and Jane is the first female detective to be posted to the Met’s renowned Flying Squad, commonly known as the ‘Sweeney’. Based at Rigg Approach in East London, they investigate armed robberies on banks, cash in transit and other business premises.

Jane thinks her transfer is on merit and is surprised to discover she is actually part of a short term internal experiment, intended to have a calming influence on a team that likes to dub themselves as the ‘Dirty Dozen’.

The men on the squad don’t think a woman is up to the dangers they face when dealing with some of London’s most ruthless armed criminals, who think the only ‘good cop’ is a dead cop. Determined to prove she’s as good as the men, Jane discovers from a reliable witness that a gang is going to carry out a massive robbery involving millions of pounds.

But she doesn’t know who they are, or where and when they will strike…

Stephen Booth – Drowned Lives

When council officer Chris Buckley is approached by an odd old man demanding help in healing a decades-old family rift, he sends the stranger away.

But then the old man is murdered, and the police arrive on the Chris’s doorstep asking questions to which he has no answers.

As Chris begins to look into the circumstances of the murder, he uncovers a deadly secret in the silt and mud of the local canals that he’ll realise was better kept buried.

James Patterson – The Inn

Ex-Boston homicide detective Billy Robinson has retreated to a quiet life on the New England coast. Struggling to cope following the death of his beloved wife, he must now run the inn that Siobhan took care of so well.

The inn’s quirky residents help keep Billy on solid ground as he grieves, and the group soon become an unconventional family. But this small town is in the grips of a growing opioid epidemic, and when a young resident gets hooked into the crisis, Billy knows he must act to save the people in the inn that he has grown to care so much about.

With his secretive past in Boston catching up to him, can Billy survive long enough to save the town – and its beloved inn – from ruin?

Susanna Gregory – The Sanctuary Murders

In 1360, Edward III issues a call to arms, as sporadic attacks by the French threaten to turn into a full-blown invasion. In Cambridge, fear of the enemy is magnified by the belief that foreign agents are lurking in the area. Tension runs ever higher as rumours and ignorance fan the flames of suspicion amid preparations for war.

And then the first murder occurs – of a French scholar living in the town.

At Michaelhouse, Brother Michael is now Master, but his reach of power in the university is under threat by the election of a new Chancellor and his cohort of dubious advisors. Soon, the colleges begin to squabble amongst themselves, as well as with the town that never wanted a university in the first place.

Physician Matthew Bartholomew is called upon to investigate mysterious deaths in a nearby hospital. He quickly realises that there is something odd about the inmates and their keepers – something dark and deadly, which seems to be connected to the growing number of murders in the town.

Pressure mounts as the university and the town clamour for answers, leading Bartholomew and Michael in a frantic quest for a solution before the powder-keg of animosity in Cambridge is ignited.

Ruth Ware – The Turn of the Key

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Anna Jacobs – A Daughter’s Journey

Jo Melling has arrived in Birch End from Australia, still grieving her father’s recent death. She’s not intending to stay long, but after tracking down her distant family, Jo becomes more involved in village life than she could ever have imagined – and suddenly in danger too.

Jo also finds herself drawn to Nick, a handsome newcomer to the village. Nick had planned to settle in Birch End and start a business, but as he grows closer to Jo, he realises he may have to choose between his dreams and a chance at love.

Meanwhile, the new local council are faced with some tough decisions of their own. It’s time to take a stand against the poor conditions in Backshaw Moss, the nearby slum, but some councillors want things to stay as they are – and will go to any lengths to make sure they get their way . . .

Will the decent people of the valley win a brighter future for themselves? And can Jo find a way to stay with Nick in a place she’s grown to love?

Philippa Gregory – Tidelands

Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast.

Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands

Diane Allen – The Milner’s Wife

Nineteen-year-old Meg Oversby often dreams of a more exciting life than the dull existence she faces at her family’s farm deep in the Yorkshire Dales. Growing up, she’s always sensed her father’s disappointment at not having a son to help with the farm work.

So when Meg dances all night at the local market hall with Sam Alderson, a lead miner from Swaledale, a new light enters her life. Sam and his brother Jack show Meg a side to life she didn’t know existed. But when her parents find out, she’s forbidden from ever seeing them again.

Although where there is love, there is often a way. When Meg’s uncle offers her the chance of helping to run the small village shop, she leaps at the opportunity, seeing it as a way to escape the oppressive family farm and see more of her beloved Sam. But as love blossoms, a darker truth emerges and Meg realizes that Sam may not be the man she thought he was…

Susan Lewis – Home Truths

Angie Watts used to have everything. A new home. A beloved husband. Three adored children.

But Angie’s happy life is shattered when her son Liam falls in with the wrong crowd. And after her son’s bad choices lead to the murder of her husband, it’s up to Angie to hold what’s left of her family together.

Her son is missing. Her daughter is looking for help in dangerous places. And Angie is fighting just to keep a roof over their heads.

But Angie is a mother. And a mother does anything to protect her children – even when the world is falling apart…

George Alagiah – The Burning Land

South Africa has become a powder keg. Its precious land is being sold off to the highest bidders while the country’s corrupt elite pocket the profits. As the dreams and hopes of its people are threatened, frustration turns to violence. With the shocking murder of one of the country’s bright young hopes, the fuse is well and truly lit.

When conflict mediator Lindi returns home to the country of her birth she is reunited with her childhood friend Kagiso. Suddenly the professional becomes deeply personal and they find themselves at the heart of the chaos. They have just days to save themselves and the country they love, even as events are set in motion that no one, least of all they, can control.

Louise Doughty – Platform Seven

Platform Seven at 4am: Peterborough Railway Station is deserted. The man crossing the covered walkway on this freezing November morning is confident he’s alone. As he sits on the metal bench at the far end of the platform it is clear his choice is strategic – he’s as far away from the night staff as he can get.

What the man doesn’t realise is that he has company. Lisa Evans knows what he has decided. She knows what he is about to do as she tries and fails to stop him walking to the platform edge.

Two deaths on Platform Seven. Two fatalities in eighteen months – surely they’re connected?

No one is more desperate to understand what connects them than Lisa Evans herself. After all, she was the first of the two to die.

C.F Iggulden – The Sword Saint

Success has drawn a cold gaze. A false king seeks dominion. His soldiers will bring desolation and despair to Darien. With treachery on all sides, the ancient capital looks set to fall.

Yet within the walls of that great city, a small team gathers. Tellius knows each one: a hunter, a gambler, a dead man, a wielder of threads – and the sword saint of Shiang. When Darien herself is threatened, Tellius will ask them to stand.

A city is worth more than the lives of those within. Darien’s streets and courts and homes and taverns are a bonfire on the hill, a beacon of life and light in the world.

That is why they will die to save her.

P.J. Tracy – Ice Cold Heart

On a bitterly cold winter night, Kelly Ramage leaves her suburban home, telling her husband she’s going to meet a friend.

She never comes back.

When her body is discovered and murdered, Detectives Gino and Magozzi take the case, expecting to find a flirtatious trail leading straight to the killer.

However, Kelly’s sinister lover has done a disturbingly good job of hiding his identity. This isn’t his first victim – and that she won’t be the last…

Elizabeth Gill – A Widow’s Hope

Ten years after the death of her husband, Faith Norman is surprised to see her brother-in-law, Rob Berkeley, return to their small Durham town.

Rob is determined to bring the family business, the foundering steelworks, back to full strength. But for Faith, the resemblance he bears to his brother is a painful reminder of all she has lost.

As they get to know each other once more, the likeness gradually becomes more welcome to her healing heart. This may be their one last chance for happiness, but the road is never straight nor smooth…

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