book of the month for May is Stephen King's brand new collection
of four novellas, including a new tale featuring the brilliant Holly
Gibney from The Outsider...
of the Month - Stephen
King: If It Bleeds
by Hodder 29th April
A collection of
four uniquely wonderful long stories, including a stand-alone sequel to
the No. 1 bestseller THE OUTSIDER.
people have a saying: 'If it bleeds, it leads'. And a bomb at Albert
Macready Middle School is guaranteed to lead any bulletin.
Gibney of the Finders Keepers detective agency is working on the case
of a missing dog - and on her own need to be more assertive - when she
sees the footage on TV. But when she tunes in again, to the late-night
report, she realises there is something not quite right about the
correspondent who was first on the scene. So begins 'If It Bleeds', a
stand-alone sequel to the No. 1 bestselling THE OUTSIDER featuring the
incomparable Holly on her first solo case - and also the riveting title
story in Stephen King's brilliant new collection.
alongside are three more wonderful long stories from this 'formidably
versatile author' (The Sunday Times) - 'Mr
Harrigan's Phone', 'The Life of Chuck' and 'Rat'. All four display the
richness of King's storytelling with grace, humour, horror and
breathtaking suspense. A fascinating Author's Note gives us a wonderful
insight into the origin of each story and the writer's unparalleled
have been looking forward to this book for several months, as I always
do with a new Stephen King. Let's look at them in order, shall we? Mr
Harrigan's Phone is purely and simply a ghost story in the same mould
as those written a century or so ago by M R James. Not out and out
horror, but supernatural goings on that can't be explained. The premise
is simple - Craig introduces Mr Harrigan to the idea of cell phones
when he buys him an iPhone. First of all Mr Harrigan leaves him a huge
sum of money that will get him through college comfortably, and then
comes to his aid when he is bullied and beaten and threatened. Even
after Mr Harrigan is dead, Craig finds he can still contact him via the
iPhone, and Mr Harrigan's interventions, whilst being somewhat extreme,
are well intended and ... final. I found this story charming and quite
satisfying. Anything that deals with maleficence and expecially
bullying in such a terminal way is OK in fantasy fiction and ghost
stories. The Life of Chuck, the second story, reminded me for a long
while of Nevil Shute's On The Beach - everyone knowing the world is
coming to an end and attempting to behave normally and rationally. The
second half of the story introduces us to Chuck and gives us some
insights into his life and times. Again, I enjoyed it, but I think it
is flawed and inconsistent, the first half seemingly totally divorced from the
first. Now to the longest novella in the collection: If It Bleeds,
which is Holly Gibney's first solo outing, and a follow-on to The
Outsider. In his afterword, Stephen King reveals that he really likes
Holly as a character, and most of us share that in common with him. She
is a brilliant character, especially when she is standing up to people
who used to push her around. The story is bog standard vampire-type
fare, but it reveals so much more about Holly that we didn't know
before, so that's good enough for me. Finally Rat, which to my mind is
another M R James type of story, this time with a humanised rat who
seems able to influence events in Drew's life, almost as though Mr
Harrigan and the Rat are bookends to the two middle tales. Hugely
enjoyable, and I'm overjoyed to have received a numbered limited
edition proof copy from Hodder - this means a great deal to me, and I will,
I know, get a finished copy as soon as they become available. The rest
of you will simply have to buy a copy, I'm afraid... but it will be
worth it. After all, he is the Master...
Ben McPherson: The Island
by Harper Collins 30th April
The chilling new psychological thriller by Ben McPherson, author of A LINE OF BLOOD.
A shocking act of violence…
should have been the safest place on earth. A summer camp for teens, on
a beautiful island off the coast of Oslo. But what started out as a
haven becomes hell on earth as two men start shooting.
A family torn apart…
Norway in shock, the families gather, desperately hoping their children
have survived. Some have their prayers answered. Some must confront
their worst nightmare. But for one family, this is just the beginning…
A daughter gone missing…
and Elsa’s daughter Licia was on the island that day. But the police
can find no trace of her – dead or alive. Stuck in limbo, Cal and Elsa
delve into their daughter’s life. The secrets they uncover are
shocking. But they still don’t know – did Licia survive the shooting?
Or is she gone forever?
in part by the massacre of 27 people, mostly children, by Anders
Behring Breivik at a summer camp in Norway on 22nd July 2011, Ben
McPherson's new book centres on just one possible victim, Licia, and
the efforts of her parents, Cal and Elsa, to find her or her body.
Gripping and very tense indeed, this is a superbly crafted thriller.
Pobi: City of Windows
by Mulholland Books 16th April 2020
injured on a case, Page retired from the FBI to become a professor. But
now his friend has been killed by a sniper in New York and Page's
extraordinary mind is needed urgently.
shot that killed the man should have been impossible: in the middle of
a blizzard, down a busy New York avenue, into a moving car. But it
Page can work out the science behind the shot, the geometry that
reveals the killer's location. The logic that says the shooter has
killed like this before. And will do it again, and again, until they
are stopped ...
Paperback version of last year's blockbuster release...
Thornton: The Fallout
by 2nd April 2020
At the school
gates, there’s no such thing as yesterday’s news . . .
Liza’s little boy has an accident at the local health club, it’s all
anyone can talk about.
nobody watching him?
Where was his mother?
Who’s to blame?
rumours, the finger-pointing, the whispers – they’re everywhere. And
Liza’s best friend, Sarah, desperately needs it to stop.
Sarah was there when it happened. It was all her fault. And if she’s
caught out on the lie, everything will fall apart.
psychological thriller revealing hidden depths of the characters
involved. The perfect read for the spring months or the summer
Lackberg: The Gilded Cage
by Harper Collins 2nd April 2020
would kill to have Faye Adelheim’s life. She lives in an ultra-swanky
apartment in the most exclusive area of Stockholm, she has a gorgeous
husband who gives her everything she’s ever wanted, and she has an
adorable daughter who lights up her world. Faye’s life is perfect.
how is it, then, that she now finds herself in a police station?
truth is that Faye’s life is far from what it seems. The truth is that
Faye isn’t even her real name. And now she’s been caught out. There’s
no way she’s going to go down without a fight. The only question is –
who will escape with their life?
gripping new thriller that will keep you hooked from the first page to
cream of Sweden's crime thriller writers is back with a sensational and
gripping thriller, where nothing is as it seems... you won't want to
put this one down!
Clifford: Far, Far The Mountain Peak
by Allison & Busby 26th March 2020
Denby had a troubled childhood and upbringing. His teenage years saw
him battling with his homosexuality in an experimental comprehensive
school in a notorious sink estate, and he was thrust into a maelstrom
of delinquent and criminalised pupils. Desperate to conceal his
sexuality and to prove his masculine credentials, he had a string of
girlfriends and led a double life - cowering beneath the surface. He
joined a youth expedition to Morocco and became tangled up in a mess of
adult ideologies and burgeoning egos, leaving him bewildered and
disillusioned. He longed to prove himself. Now at the age of sixteen,
his academic life has flourished, and he has a clutch of excellent exam
results. About to enrol in the prestigious Stirling Academy, he must
decide if this is really the path he wishes to take. Only time will
Cornwell: Sword of Kings
by Harper Collins 28th May 2020
is in turmoil as Vikings and Saxons battle for territory. Rumours build
about the fatal sickness of the King, and the country awaits an heir.
violent clash at sea forces the warrior lord Uhtred to lead his men
from his Northumbrian fortress to London and plunge into the eye of the
storm. For two kings claim the empty throne, and a new kingdom cannot
be born without bloodshed.
sword will leave one king dead and the other victorious. But sometimes
it is hard to know the will of the gods…
soon in paperback...
small print: Books
Monthly, now well into its 22nd
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