Farndale, Nigel. The Blasphemer ($32)
An astonishing, ambitious and masterful new novel, with echoes of Birdsong, that reads at the pace of a thriller.
On its way to the Galápagos Islands, a light aircraft crashes into the sea. Zoologist Daniel Kennedy is confronted with a stark Darwinian choice. Should he save himself, or Nancy, the woman he loves? But how can one moment of betrayal ever be forgiven? And after he escapes the plane and swims for help, who is the elusive figure who guides him away from certain death?
Back in London, Daniel thinks he finds the answer; it is connected with his great grandfather and the first horrific day of Passchendaele. But as the past collapses into the present, the fissures in his relationship with Nancy show through. Until he is given a second chance to prove his courage and earn her forgiveness. The Blasphemer is a novel that speaks to the head as well as the heart of the reader.
Meyers, Randy Susan. Murderers Daughters ($27) Signed A beautifully written, compulsively readable debut that deals with the after math of a shocking act of violence that leaves two young sisters with nothing but each other—in the tradition of White Oleander, this haunting novel is a testament to the power of family and the ties that bind us together, even as they threaten to tear us apart
Mama was “no macaroni-necklace-wearing kind of mother.” She was a lipstick and perfume-wearing mother, a flirt whose estranged husband still hungered for her. After Mama threw him out, she warned the girls to never let Daddy in the house, an admonition that tears at ten-year-old Lulu whenever she thinks about the day she opened the door for her drunken father, and watched as he killed her mother, stabbed her five-year-old sister Merry and tried to take his own life. Effectively orphaned by their mother’s death and father’s imprisonment, Lulu and Merry, unwanted by family members and abandoned to a terrifying group home, spend their young lives carrying more than just the visible scars from the tragedy. Even as their plan to be taken in by a well-to-do foster family succeeds, they come to learn they’ll never really belong anywhere or to anyone—that all they have to hold onto is each other. As they grow into women, Lulu holds fast to her anger, denies her father’s existence and forces Merry into a web of lies about his death that eventually ensnares her own husband and daughters. Merry, certain their safety rests on placating her needy father, dutifully visits him, seeking his approval and love at the expense of her own relationships. As they strive to carve lives of their own, the specter of their father, unrepentant and manipulative even from behind bars, haunts them. And when they learn he’s about to be paroled, the house of cards they’ve built their lives on teeters on the brink of collapse.
Rowe, Rosemary. Requiem for a Slave ($35)
The eleventh book in the Libertus Mystery of Roman Britain series - Libertus has an important order to fulfil for Quintus Severus, who has commissioned a new mosaic. But when Lucius, the pie-maker, is found dead in Libertus’ workshop, and Libertus’ faithful slave Minimus is missing, he is once again dragged into a criminal underworld. Can Libertus find Minimus, clear him of the murder, and discover who really killed the pie-seller, and why? The omens aren’t looking good . . .
Scott, Manda. Rome Emperors Spy ($31)
'Stop this fire, whatever it takes. I, your Emperor, order it'. The Emperor: Nero, Emperor of Rome and all her provinces, feared by his subjects for his temper and cruelty, is in possession of an ancient document predicting that Rome will burn. The Spy: Sebastos Pantera, assassin and spy for the Roman Legions, is ordered to stop the impending cataclysm. He knows that if he does not, his life - and those of thousands of others - are in terrible danger. The Chariot Boy: Math, a young charioteer, is a pawn drawn into the deadly game between the Emperor and the Spy, where death stalks the drivers - on the track and off it. From the author of the bestselling "Boudica" series, "The Emperor's Spy" begins a compelling new series of novels featuring Sebastos Pantera. Rich characterisation and spine tingling adventure combine in a vividly realised novel set amid the bloodshed and the chaos, the heroism and murderous betrayal of ancient Rome.
Sedley, Kate. Wheel of Fate ($35)
In fifteenth-century London, the child-king is not the only one under threat - 1483. Amidst the chaos following the death of King Edward IV, Roger the Chapman is called to London to investigate a threat to the Godslove family. In the past year, there have been two deaths and a mysterious poisoning. Roger dismisses their worries at first but, when another member of the family disappears, he stumbles across a shocking secret that threatens to destroy the entire Godslove family . . .