Teidil Nua

The Shape of Him by Gill Schierhout

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Set in South Africa in the early 1900s, The Shape of Him is the story of Sara Highbury, a forty-eight year old boarding house manageress. She lives her life in the past, haunted by a love affair with a diamond digger called Herbert. One day, a young girl arrives at Sara's door. Apparently she is Herbert's illegitimate daughter and it seems there is no one else to look after her. Having a child to care for disrupts Sara's quiet routine. Troubled by the mystery surrounding the girl's arrival, Sara begins to excavate the past. As the truth unfolds, Sarah must re-evaluate what she holds dear and engage once more with the world around her. With the backdrop of a rural landscape and characters that are as memorable as they are unexpected, The Shape of Him introduces a writer whose spare, exquisitely crafted prose places her deservedly in the tradition of the best of South African literary fiction.

 

Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes

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Sonokrom, a village in the Ghanaian hinterland, has not changed for thousands of years. Here, the men and women speak the language of the forest, drink aphrodisiacs with their palm wine and walk alongside the spirits of their ancestors. The discovery of sinister remains; possibly human, definitely 'evil'; in a vanished man's hut brings the modern world into the village in the form of Kayo; a young forensic pathologist convinced that scientific logic can shatter even the most inexplicable of mysteries. But as events in the village become more and more incomprehensible, Kayo and his sidekick, Constable Garba, find that Western logic and political bureaucracy are no longer equal to the task in hand. Lyrically beautiful, at once uncanny and heart-warmingly human, this is a story that tells us that at the heart of modern man there remains the capacity to know the unknowable.

 

In the Rooms by Tom Shone

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In the Rooms cover imageEnglish literary agent Patrick Miller came to New York dreaming of joining the big league, only to find himself selling celebrity dog books. But when he spots the legendary novelist Douglas Kelsey on the street and follows him into an AA meeting, a world of opportunity beckons. Patrick enters a den of sex addicts, junkies and pill-poppers, all rubbing shoulders with the reclusive Kelsey. Who knew that sobriety offered such networking possibilities? Or that the women would be so attractive? There's only one small problem. Patrick doesn't have a problem - not with alcohol, nor with drugs, just with that little thing they call the truth. As everyone is beginning to find out...Part Nick Hornby, part Jay McInerney, with a dash of vermouth, In the Rooms is a warm, sharply observed comedy about sex, lies and second chances.

 

Thin Blue Smoke by Doug Worgul

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LaVerne Williams is a reformed felon, ex-ballplayer, and owner of Kansas City's best barbecue joint. Ferguson Glen is an Episcopal priest and faded literary star, lover of God, women and liquor (but not necessarily in that order). Their lives intersect at LaVerne's diner - 'Smoke Meat', as the regulars call it. There they are joined by a cast of remarkable characters, including LaVerne's devoted right-hand man, A.B. Clayton; blues legend 'Mother' Mary Weaver; and Sammy Merzeti, a young man with a bloody past - and a bloodier future. Thin Blue Smoke is an epic redemption tale, the story of two men coming to terms with their pasts. It is also a novel about faith, race, storytelling, bourbon, the language of rabbits, and the finer points of barbecue technique. Heartrending and bitterly funny, it marks the arrival of a vital new voice in American fiction.

 

Breathless by Dean Koontz

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In the Colorado mountains something miraculous comes into the life of Grady Adams, a strong, gentle man whose past experiences have alienated him from the modern world and driven him to live in the wilds. When he sees it, he knows that one of Nature's great mysteries has been revealed to him. He takes his friend Cammy Rivers to bear witness to the phenomenal presence. As a scientist, she is stunned and awed. She emails photos to colleagues in far places to try and find a name for the wonderful beings. Before they know what is happening, Homeland Security has quarantined the wilderness around them and sent in assorted scientists to track down and 'neutralize' the threat to the known world. Grady and Cammy aren't sticking around to be mere witnesses to this atrocity -- determined to prevent it, they go on the run, and a pursuit of hair-raising suspense is under way, with no happy ending in prospect! Breathless is a unique and riveting thriller from the master of suspense.

 

The Man from Saigon by Marti Leimbach

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1967. Vietnam. Susan Gifford is one of the first female correspondents on assignment in Saigon, dedicated to her job and passionately in love with an American TV reporter. Son is a Vietnamese photographer anxious to get his work into the American press. Together they cover every aspect of the war from combat missions to the workings of field hospitals. Then one November morning, narrowly escaping death during an ambush, they find themselves the prisoners of three Vietcong soldiers who have been separated from their unit. Now, under constant threat from American air strikes, helpless in the hands of the enemy, they face the daily hardships of the jungle, living always with the threat of being killed. But Son turns out to have a history that Susan would never have guessed, and which will one day separate her from her American lover. Held under terrifyingly harsh conditions it becomes clear just how profound and important their relationship has become to both of them.

The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy

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A startling encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a run-down tenement where a life-or-death decision must be made. In that small apartment, 'Black' and 'White', as the two men are known, begin a conversation that leads each back through his own history - mining the origins of two diametrically opposing world views, they begin a dialectic redolent of the best of Beckett. White is a professor whose seemingly enviable existence of relative ease has left him nonetheless in despair. Black, an ex-con and ex-addict, is the more hopeful of the men - though he is just as desperate to convince White of the power of faith as White is to deny it. Their aim is no less than this: to discover the meaning of life. Deft, spare, and full of artful tension, The Sunset Limited is a beautifully crafted, consistently thought-provoking, and deeply intimate work by one of the most insightful writers of our time.

 

Mrs Harris goes to Paris by Paul Gallico

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Mrs Harris is a salt-of-the-earth London charlady who cheerfully cleans the houses of the rich. One day, when tidying Lady Dant's wardrobe, she comes across the most beautiful thing she has ever seen in her life - a Dior dress. In all the years of her drab and humble existence, she's never seen anything as magical as the dress before her and she's never wanted anything as much before. Determined to make her dream come true, Mrs Harris scrimps, saves and slaves away until one day, after three long, uncomplaining years, she finally has enough money to go to Paris. When she arrives at the House of Dior, Mrs Harris has little idea of how her life is about to be turned upside down and how many other lives she will transform forever. Always kind, always cheery and always winsome, the indomitable Mrs Harris takes Paris by storm and learns one of life's greatest lessons along the way. This treasure from the 1950s introduces the irrepressible Mrs Harris, part charlady, part fairy-godmother, whose adventures take her from her humble London roots to the heights of glamour.

 

 

Border Songs by Jim Lynch

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Border Songs cover imageBrandon Vanderkool thinks in pictures; he used to think everyone did. Six-foot-eight and dyslexic, he is not an obvious candidate for the Border Patrol, which polices the frontier between the United States and Canada, but somehow, as he ambles round the forest bird-watching, he seems to stumble upon every illegal immigrant and drug trafficker in the area. Meanwhile, his father is dealing with diseased dairy cows, his mother battles encroaching dementia, and their neighbour's daughter Madeline flirts with the cannabis underworld... Border Songs is an extraordinary love story and a gently satirical celebration of the coincidental and the miraculous.

 

 

The Big Bang by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

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The Big Bang cover imageThe toughest private eye in mystery fiction is back - it's the middle of the Swinging Sixties in midtown Manhattan. Hammer, recuperating from a near fatal mix-up with the Mob, disturbs some drug dealers assaulting a young motorbike messenger who was transporting medicine for a hospital. He saves the kid but the muggers are not so lucky. The Mob and a new young breed of drug trafficker assume he will target them, and they target him right back, with a street-corner knife attack. Hammer and his beautiful, deadly partner Velda take on the drug racket in New York. In a world of flashy discos, swanky bachelor pads and the occasional dark alley, Hammer deals with doctors, drug addicts and hit men, and meets changing times with his trademark brand of violent vengeance.

 

 

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

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House Rules cover imageJacob Hunt is a teenager: brilliant at maths, wicked sense of humour, extraordinarily organised, hopeless at reading social cues. Jacob has Asperger's and he is locked in his own world. Aware of the world outside, and wanting to make a connection,. Jacob tries to be like everyone else, but doesn't know how. When his tutor is found dead, all the hallmark behaviours of Jacob's syndrome, not looking someone in the eye, odd movements, inappropriate actions, start looking a lot like guilt to the police. And Jacob's mother must ask herself the hardest question in the world: is her child capable of murder?

 

 

 

Chowringhee by Sankar

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Chowringhee cover imageWelcome to the Shahjahan, one of Calcutta's oldest and most venerable hotels. In Chowringhee , the Shahjahan's new receptionist regales his audience with stories of the people who spend their days and nights within the Shahjahan's grand facade. Like Bengal itself, this is a place where greed, seduction and death live alongside love, luxury and pride. With wit, warmth, and ferocious energy, Chowringhee reveals to us an entire universe. One of the great novels of contemporary Indian literature, it presents a glittering vision of a lost metropolis, and an homage to an old Bengal of myth and memory.

 

 

 

Valeria’s Last Stand by Marc Fitten

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Valeria's Last Stand cover imageIn sixty-eight years, Valeria has never minced her words. Harrumphing through her isolated little village deep in the Hungarian steppes, she clutches her shopping basket like a battering ram and leaves nothing uncriticised - flaccid vegetables at the market; idle farmers carousing in Ibolya's Nonstop Tavern; that gauche chimpanzee of a mayor and his flashy, leggy wife; people who whistle. But one day, her spinster's heart is struck by an unlikely arrow: the village potter, with his decisive hands and solid gaze. Valeria finds herself suddenly dressing in florals and touching her hair, and what's more, smiling at people in the street. The potter makes her the most beautiful vase she has ever seen. The farmers buy a celebratory round. The problem with all this is that Ibolya (herself at least fifty-eight) has been romancing the potter for months and vows to win him back. And then there's Ferenc, the sugar beet farmer, red-headed and married but all the same hopelessly in love with Ibolya. Meanwhile the mayor has his own problems, mostly involving foreign investors and a non-existent railway. And then a roving chimney sweep arrives in the village, to make a quick buck and bring some good luck - or perhaps bad luck; no one can really decide. All anyone knows is, there's never been such a hullabaloo, which just goes to show it's never too late to try something new.

The Time is Now by Pauline McLynn

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The Time is Now cover imageIn the heart of Soho lies an elegant townhouse that is home to a group of extraordinary people. Over the past century, the inhabitants of Broadwick Street have experienced life to the full - war and peace, austerity and wealth, love and death. From an outbreak of typhoid to a stolen painting, the interlinking stories that emerge will enchant and enthrall Pauline McLynn's many fans as she transports her readers to Soho past and present.

 

 

 

 

And then there was No One by Gilbert Adair

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And then there was No One cover imageThe writer and professional controversialist Gustav Slavorigin is murdered in the small Swiss town of Meiringen during its annual Sherlock Holmes Festival, his body discovered with an arrow through the heart. A bounty of ten million dollars has been placed on Slavorigin's head by a Texan billionaire, so no one is above suspicion. No one except Evadne Mount, the formidable amateur sleuth. Nothing has prepared her for the jaw-dropping twists of this new investigation, which climaxes at Meiringen's principal tourist attraction, the Reichenbach Falls - the site of Holmes' fatal confrontation with his nemesis, Moriarty.

 

 

 

Falling to Heaven by Jeanne Peterson

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Falling to Heaven cover imageIt's Tibet, 1954. The highest pass of the Himalayas is enveloped in silence save the flapping of prayer flags. Seven thousand feet below, two Americans travelling on foot arrive in the remote town of Shigatse, intending to make it their new home. Steeped in the Quaker tradition of non-violence and longing to live in a society that has embraced pacifism for centuries, Emma and Gerald Kittredge are soon happily adopted by their Tibetan neighbours, Dorje and Rinchen, and their small family. But the arrival of Maoist soldiers into their quiet life shatters everything. In the upheaval that follows, Gerald is captured, leaving a pregnant Emma facing an agonising decision: whether to flee Tibet with her friends or stay and risk capture herself. Dorje and Rinchen's family is also torn apart as one son struggles to find a peaceful solution to an increasingly impossible situation, and the other chooses a path of violence, breaking his monastic vows. Set in a region so breathtakingly beautiful it is believed to be the ceiling of the world, Falling to Heaven is an uplifting and extraordinary novel about faith: losing it and rediscovering it in places you'd never expect

 

The Arms Maker of Berlin by Dan Fesperman

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The Arms Maker of Berlin cover imageA ruthless arms billionaire and a disgraced history professor share a terrible secret. Nat Turnbull is dragged abruptly from his quiet academic life when his former mentor Professor Gordon Wolfe is arrested for stealing top secret archive documents dating back to the Second World War. Coerced into examining the archives for the FBI, Nat finds intriguing references both to Wolfe's activities in an Allied intelligence office in Switzerland during the war, and to a mysterious student resistance group in Berlin known as the White Rose. Following Wolfe's cryptic clues to Europe, soon Nat is in a desperate race to unlock the truth, before it gets him killed.

 

 

Sunset Oasis by Bahaa Taher

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Sunset Oasis cover mageAs the 19th century draws to a close, the politically disgraced Mahmoud Abd El Zahir takes up his post as District Commissioner of the remote and dangerous Egyptian oasis of Siwa, knowing he has no choice. The hostile, warring natives are no surprise -- but little did he expect to fall in love, that his Irish wife would alienate the entire community, or that a local beauty would prove a fatal ally. As the gulf between occupier and occupied, husband and wife, dreams and reality widens, tensions reach boiling point.

 

 

 

Bryant and May off the Rails by Christopher Fowler

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Bryant and May off the Rails cover imageThey've been given just one week to find a killer they'd caught once before ...Arthur Bryant, John May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit are on the trail of an enigma: a young man called Mr Fox. But his identity is false, his links to society are invisible and his home yields no clues. All they know is that somehow he escaped from a locked room and murdered one of their best and brightest. Now the detectives are being lured down into the darkest recesses of the London Underground where their quarry, expertly disguised, has struck again. Their search takes them into the vast labyrinth of tunnels, a subterranean world full of legends and ghost stations, which tie the city together. Edging closer to what lies hidden beneath the city - and to the madness that is driving a man to murder - Bryant and May are about to uncover a mystery as bizarre as anything they have ever encountered.

 

Forgotten by Susan Lewis

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Forgotten cover imageWhen Lisa Martin and David Kirby were forced to part, they never dreamed they might one day have a second chance. Many years later, they meet again and it is clear that, despite everything that's happened to them, they are still the big love of each other's lives. Now, being in a position to marry, they don't waste any time. Nothing is going to keep them apart this time around. But then they are faced with a shocking truth. Even if they'd seen it coming, there would have been nothing Lisa and David could have done to ward it off, and once it's upon them, there is nothing they can do to turn the clock back. However, David won't be defeated. In spite of knowing this is a battle they can't win, he decides to fight anyway, in the only way he knows how. When Lisa discovers what he intends she's so horrified that she can barely even discuss it. Yet, through a chink in her fear, she can see the logic of what he's suggesting. But can she bring herself to help him?

 

Peeler by Kevin McCarthy

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Peeler cover imageWest Cork. November 1920. The Irish War of Independence rages. The body of a young woman is found brutally murdered on a windswept hillside. A scrap board sign covering her mutilated body reads 'TRATOR'. Traitor. Acting Sergeant Sean O'Keefe of the Royal Irish Constabulary, a wounded veteran of the Great War, is assigned to investigate the crime, aided by sinister detectives sent from Dublin Castle to ensure he finds the killer, just so long as the killer he finds best serves the purposes of the Crown in Ireland. The IRA has instigated its own investigation into the young woman's death, assigning young Volunteer Liam Farrell - failed gunman and former law student - to the task of finding a killer it cannot allow to be one of its own. Unknown to each other, an RIC constable and an IRA Volunteer relentlessly pursue the truth behind the savage killing, their investigations taking them from the bullet-pocked lanes and thriving brothels of war-torn Cork city to the rugged, deadly hills of West Cork.

Stolen by Lesely Pearse

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Stolen cover imageIt was Sussex, 2003. When a beautiful blonde girl is found half-drowned on a beach, she has no memory of who she is or what horrors have left her there. But an article about her in a Brighton newspaper rings alarm bells for beautician, Dale, who shows the police photographs of Lotte Wainright. The girls met working on a cruise ship and their friendship blossomed as they sailed the seas of South America, until Lotte fell under the sinister influence of an older American couple. To her regret, Dale hasn't seen Lotte since leaving the ship months earlier...but the girl on the beach - although badly bruised - is indeed her much missed friend. Their reunion only marks the beginning of a dangerous tidal wave of secrets, lies and nightmares. Where has Lotte been? Who is the man who seems to want to kill her? And what has become of the baby she's recently given birth to? Dale and Lotte must dig deep and find the strength to hold on against the odds if they are to rebuild their friendship and survive Lotte's stolen - and deadly - past.

Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman

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Pretty Little Things cover imageA terrifying new standalone psycholgical thriller from the bestselling writer of 'Retribution' Special Agent Bobby Dees knows what grief feels like. He understands the pain of losing a child. And he'll do whatever he can to prevent it from happening again. The phone call that comes on a Sunday morning will take him away from his insular world of grief and sleepless nights -- and into a far darker place. A young girl, Elaine Emerson, has gone missing and only Dees has a chance of finding her. It seems that Elaine was last seen waiting to meet her boyfriend - a mysterious figure she met secretly online who goes by the name of El Capitan, and whose reality is as cruel and chilling as the worst thing Dees can imagine!

 

The Writing on my Forehead by Nafisa Jaji

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Free-spirited and rebellious, Saira has grown up in California with her beautiful, obedient sister Ameena. From childhood, she has broken the boundaries between her desire for independence and her family's traditions - in particular, her Bombay-bred mother's idea of how girls should behave. Now, hungry for experience and curious about the world, Saira travels to Karachi for a wedding, and stumbles on family secrets that will shape the rest of her life. It's the beginning of a journey of understanding and reconciliation that goes back three generations. Further surprises are to come as Saira visits London and discovers the political forces that have driven her father's family, in India and in England. As her background gradually reveals itself, Saira finds that the battles she faces - over love, belonging and fulfillment - have faced others before, and comes to realise that her many-layered inheritance is a thing to be treasured. In a beautifully written and deeply moving narrative, Nafisa Haji explores issues of displacement and belonging and the lure of family, home and tradition versus career and the excitement of the wider world - for men as well as women.

 

The Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

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The Beach Hut cover imageFOR SALE: a rare opportunity to purchase a beach hut on the spectacular Everdene Sands. The Shack has been in the family for fifty years, and was the first to be built on this renowned stretch of golden sand...' Jane Milton doesn't want to sell her beloved beach hut, which has been the heart of so many family holidays and holds so many happy memories. But when her husband dies, leaving her with an overwhelming string of debts, she has no choice but to sell. THE BEACH HUT follows the stories of the people who own the beach huts, families who come to Everdene each year, people who fall in - or out of - love, remembering their pasts, or trying to forget them...Veronica Henry has brilliantly drawn together the comings and goings of life at the beach huts over one long, hot, lazy summer.

 

 

 

 

Howard’s End is on the Landing by Susan Hill

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Howard's End is on the Landing cover imageEarly one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, or forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her own collection again. A book which is left on a shelf for a decade is a dead thing, but it is also a chrysalis, packed with the potential to burst into new life. Wandering through her house that day, Hill's eyes were opened to how much of that life was stored in her home, neglected for years. Howard's End is on the Landing charts the journey of one of the nation's most accomplished authors as she revisits the conversations, libraries and bookshelves of the past that have informed a lifetime of reading and writing.

 

 

 

Loser’s Town by Daniel Depp

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Loser's Town cover imageSummoned to the trailer of a Hollywood star who's receiving death threats, former stuntman-turned-private investigator, David Spandau, assumes this will be another routine case. It turns out to be anything but. A-list actor Bobby Dye has become entangled with B-list gangster Richie Stella, who just wants to make a movie -- and you can't make a movie without a star. But as Richie and his cohorts are about to find out, the movie business makes the cocaine and heroin racket look like child's play. Meanwhile, Spandau finds himself drawn ever deeper into the crazy world of Bobby Dye, one of the handsomest, most idolized men on the planet -- and also one of the loneliest. All Bobby wants is someone to talk honestly to him -- but can he really cope with the blunt and bitter truth?

 

 

In the Falling Snow by Caryl Phillips

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In the Falling Snow cover imageThe streets of modern-day London are hectic, multicultural, and difficult to read if you are a white-collar, middle-aged man. Keith is a social worker who, following a brief affair with a colleague, finds himself living alone in a flat a few streets away from his wife, Annabelle, and his teenage son. His domestic problems, allied with growing tensions at work, profoundly undermine his peace of mind. Keith attempts to take refuge in a long-cherished writing project and turns his attention to the plight of his ageing father, but for the first time in his life he feels extremely vulnerable as a black man in English society. Annabelle met Keith twenty-five years ago at university, and she watches the man she married - against the wishes of her English parents - as he appears to be losing his grip on his life. However, after three years of estrangement, she realises that despite her disappointment with her former husband, the pair of them have no choice but to close ranks and protect their son, who seems to have become increasingly involved with street gangs and a world that is entirely alien to them. A brilliant and penetrating story of contemporary Britain, In the Falling Snow is Caryl Phillips' finest novel yet.