There’s plenty of new books in your local library this month – just in time if you’re going away for the May Bank Holiday or on holiday soon and looking for a new read.
With the books being so widely varied, including historical stories, crime stories, mysteries, biographies, thrillers, help and support books, you’ll find something to suit your taste – or perhaps now is the perfect time to try a type of book you would not normally consider. You might find you love it and it will open you up to a whole new world!
Dorothy Koomson – The Brighton Mermaid
When they were teenagers, Nell and Jude found a body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Soon after, Jude disappears and 25 years on, Nell quits her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was – and what happened to her best friend that summer. As Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen.
Someone seems to be watching her every move and she soon starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust…
Alex Kava – Lost Creed
Fifteen years ago, Ryder Creed’s sister, Brodie, disappeared from when she was only 11 and Creed was 14. Since then, Brodie’s disappearance has haunted him so much so that Creed has dedicated his life to his K9 business. He rescues abandoned dogs and trains them for scent detection, and together they search for the lost and missing.
A thousand miles away during a police raid, FBI special agent Maggie O’Dell stumbles upon a clue that may explain what happened to Brodie Creed all those years ago. The search and scavenger hunt that follows will be as gut-wrenching for Creed, as are the answers he discovers.
Kate Mosse – The Burning Chambers
In Carcassonne 1562, 19-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop and it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE.
Before Minou can decode the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. Piet has a dangerous mission of his own and he will need Minou’s help if he is to stay alive.
Karen Rose – Death is not Enough
Gwyn Weaver is as resilient as anyone could be; having survived an attempted murder, she has rebuilt her life and reclaimed her dignity and strength. She’s always known about her feelings for defence attorney Thomas Thorne but as her friend and a colleague, there could be no chance of anything more… or could there?
Thorne has known violence and pain all his life but he’s overcome the hardships that have been thrown at him. Now he’s thinking it might finally be time to let his guard down, and allow himself to let in the woman he’s always admired.
Then Thorne’s whole world is torn apart — he is found unconscious in his own bed, the lifeless body of a stranger lying next to him, her blood on his hands. Knowing Thorne could never have committed such a terrible crime, Gwyn and his friends attempt to clear his name.
But this is just the beginning — the beginning of a brutal campaign to destroy Thorne and everything he holds dear…
Emma Healey – Whistle in the Dark
When Jen’s 15-year-old daughter, Lana, is found after going missing in the middle of the desolate countryside, everyone thinks the worst is over. But Lana refuses to tell anyone what happened, and police draw a blank. The once-happy, loving family return to London where things start to fall apart. Lana begins acting strangely and as she stays stubbornly silent, her mum sets out to solve the mystery behind her daughter’s disappearance herself.
Jeffery Deaver – Cutting Edge
Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs return to New York City to confront a killer terrorizing couples at their happiest – and most vulnerable.
The Promisor vows to take the lives of men and women during their most precious moments such as midway through the purchase of an engagement ring, after a meeting with a wedding planner, and trying on the perfect gown for a day that will never come. The Promisor arrives silently armed with knife or gun and a time of bliss is transformed in an instant to one of horror.
Soon the Promiser makes a dangerous mistake: leaving behind an innocent witness, Vimal Lahori, a talented young diamond cutter who can help Rhyme and Sachs blow the lid off the case. They must track down Vimal before the killer can correct his fatal error. Then disaster strikes, threatening to tear apart the very fabric of the city-and providing the perfect cover for the killer to slip through the cracks.
Anne O’Brien – Queen of the North
In 1399, England’s crown is under threat. King Richard II holds onto his power by an ever-weakening thread, with exiled Henry of Lancaster back to reclaim his place on the throne.
For Elizabeth Mortimer, there is only one rightful King – her eight-year-old nephew, Edmund. Only he can guarantee her fortunes and protect her family’s rule over the precious Northern lands bordering Scotland. But many, including Elizabeth’s husband, do not want another child-King. Elizabeth must hide her true ambitions in court and go against her husband’s wishes to help build a rebel army.
This is one woman’s quest to turn history on its head.
Eddie Maher – Fast Eddie
9.30am on 22 January 1993 – it’s the moment in crime history that one of Britain’s most bold thefts ever took place and the legend of ‘Fast Eddie’ was created.
Fast Eddie is the story of how Securicor guard Eddie Maher managed to pull off a £1.2 million heist, fled the country despite every port being closed, caused an international manhunt, and managed to avoid being captured for 20 years. As Britain’s Most Wanted Man, he led 30 detectives, FBI and Interpol on a wild goose chase across the USA.
Dubbed ‘Fast Eddie’ by the press, he was always one step ahead and after two decades on the run with his family using a series of aliases and identities, Eddie began to think he’d committed the perfect crime until a cruel and dramatic betrayal proved otherwise.
Like a Hollywood movie script and told in full for the first time, Fast Eddie is the compelling story of how an ordinary British man became America’s most notorious fugitive.
Michelle Lyons – Death Row: The Final Minutes
First as a reporter and then as a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Michelle Lyons was a frequent visitor to Huntsville’s Walls Unit. Here, she recorded and relayed the final moments of death row inmates’ lives before they were put to death by the state. Michelle was in the death chamber as some of the United States’ most notorious criminals spoke their last words on earth.
Michelle supported the death penalty, before doubts began to set in. During her time in the prison system she came to know and like some of the condemned men and women she saw die.
The book is an incredibly powerful and unique look at the complex story of capital punishment, as told by those whose lives have been shaped by it.
Ian Herbert – Quiet Genius
Bob Paisley was the quiet man in the flat cap who swept all domestic and European opposition aside and produced arguably the greatest club team that Britain has ever known.
From Wembley to Rome, Manchester to Madrid, Paisley’s team was the one no one could touch. Working in a city which was on its knees, in deep post-industrial decline, still tainted by the 1981 Toxteth riots and in a state of open warfare with Margaret Thatcher, he delivered a golden era – never re-attained since – which made the city of Liverpool synonymous with success and won them supporters the world over.
Based on in-depth interviews with Paisley’s family and many of the players who he led to an extraordinary haul of honours between 1974 and 1983, Quiet Genius is the first biography to examine in depth the secrets of Paisley’s success. It is the story of how one modest man accomplished more than any other football manager, found his attributes largely unrecorded and undervalued and, in keeping with the gentler ways of his generation, did not seem to mind. It reveals an individual who seemed out of keeping with the brash, celebrity sport football was becoming, and who succeeded on his own terms.
Maggie Hartley – Battered, Broken, Healed
When six-week-old Jasmine is placed in her care, foster mother Maggie Hartley is delighted to have a baby in the house again. Maggie’s been given temporary custody of Jasmine after social services were concerned about the baby.
With Maggie’s love and care, Jasmine soon flourishes into a healthy, happy baby – but it is clear that all is not quite as it seems with her mum, Hailey. Hailey looks as though she is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and Maggie fears she may be suffering from postnatal depression until late one night she discovers Hailey on her doorstep – her body battered and broken, her spirit crushed.
Hailey admits that her husband has been abusing her for years, but this revelation places Maggie in an awful situation: there’s no way Hailey can regain custody of Jasmine until her husband is off the scene. But after years of physical and emotional abuse, can Hailey find the strength to leave him?
Roland Phillips – A Spy Named Orphan
Donald Maclean was a star diplomat, an establishment insider and a keeper of some of the West’s greatest secrets. He was also a Russian spy, driven by passionately held beliefs, whose betrayal and defection to Moscow echoed on for decades.
Christened ‘Orphan’ by his Russian recruiter, Maclean was the perfect spy and Britain’s most gifted traitor. But as he leaked huge amounts of top-secret intelligence, an international code-breaking operation was rapidly closing in on him. Moments before he was unmasked, Maclean vanished.
Drawing on previously classified material, Roland Philipps now tells this story for the first time in full. A Spy Named Orphan reveals the impact of one of the most dangerous Soviet agents of the twentieth century, whose actions heightened the tensions of the Cold War.
Clemantine Wamariya – The Girl Who Smiled Beads
Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her 15-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety.
When Clemantine was 12, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six-years-old and 100 years old.
Sarah Wilson – First, we make the beast beautiful
In First, we make the beast beautiful, Sarah Wilson, directs her focus and fierce investigatory skills into anxiety which she has suffered from her whole life. She looks at the triggers, treatments, fashions and fads. She reads widely and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts and philosophers.
Sarah pulls at the thread of the definitions of anxiety and unravels the idea that is a difficult and dangerous disease. She reframes anxiety and encourages readers to feel better about their condition, and highlights the possibilities of a richer, fuller life.
Antony Beevor – Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944
The British fascination with heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem – the battle for the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine in 1944 – in myths. Antony Beevor, the distinguished military historian, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting. It is a gripping account of an iconic moment in British and European history as well as an analysis of the cost of failure, which included pitiless German reprisals.
Wilbur Smith – On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventures
Wilbur Smith has lived an incredible life of adventure, and now he shares the extraordinary true stories that have inspired his fiction.
“I’ve been writing novels for over fifty years. I was lucky enough to miss the big wars and not get shot, but lucky enough to grow up among the heroes who had served in them and learn from their example. I have lucked into things continuously. I have done things which have seemed appalling at the time, disastrous even, but out of them have come another story or a deeper knowledge of human character and the ability to express myself better on paper, write books which people enjoy reading.
Along the way, I have lived a life that I could never have imagined. I have been privileged to meet people from all corners of the globe, I have been wherever my heart has desired and in the process my books have taken readers to many, many places. I always say I’ve started wars, I’ve burned down cities, and I’ve killed hundreds of thousands of people – but only in my imagination!”
From being attacked by lions to close encounters with deadly reef sharks, and from getting lost in the African bush without water to crawling the tunnels of gold mines, Wilbur Smith tells us the intimate stories of his life that have been the raw material for his fiction.