'This is a work of great ambition ... above all it feels like a work of virtuoso narrative for its own sake; an Icelandic 1001 Nights.' The Sunday TimesJósef Loewe can recall the moment of his birth in August, 1962 and everything that has happened since - or so he claims to the woman listening to the tale of his life . . .A love story He begins with his father, Leo, a starving Jewish fugitive in World War II Germany. In a small-town guesthouse, Leo discovers a kindred spirit in the maid who nurses him back to health; together they shape a piece of clay into a baby.A crime story Leo escapes to Iceland with the clay boy inside a hatbox, only to become embroiled in a murder mystery. It is not until 1962 that his son Jósef can be born.A science-fiction story In modern-day Reykjavík, a middle-aged Jósef attracts the interest of a rapacious geneticist. Now, what lies behind Jósef's tale emerges. And as the story of genesis comes full circle, we glimpse the dangerous path ahead for humankind. In this epic novel, Sjón has woven ancient and modern material into a singular masterpiece - encompassing genre fiction, history, theology, folklore, expressionist film, poetry, comic strips, myth, drama and, of course, the rich tradition of Icelandic storytelling.
City of Circles
By Jess Richards
CITY OF CIRCLES is an entrancing love story between Danu and Morrie, two circus performers, and Danu's Lewis Carroll-esque odyssey through the magical city of Matryoshka, that ends with a heart-warming yet bittersweet twist. Danu is in mourning for her parents after a disease has ravaged the circus she calls home. She begins a high-wire act with Morrie, a charismatic hunchback who wants to marry her. But her mother has entrusted her with a mysterious locket that will lead her down a path Morrie cannot follow.When the circus visits Danu's birthplace, the magical city of Matryoshka, she goes in search of a stranger who may hold the answer to her past. And when the circus leaves, Danu stays behind. Will she and Morrie ever be reunited, or will something unexpected be waiting for her in the mysterious heart of the city of circles?'Her exploration of self and grief will resonate with many' Ros Barber, author of The Marlowe Papers
By Anthony Trevelyan
How good are people? Let me tell you, Dee: people are as good as the pair of eyes they believe is on them...When Claudia Talwar is called to meet a mysterious visitor in the reception of her Manchester office block, she can't believe her eyes. It's Samson Glaze, former hippy turned internationally famous entrepreneur, and the fifteen-years-absent father figure of her youth.It doesn't take much for Samson to convince her to help find his son, Reggie Glaze, who's got into a bit of trouble: namely, he's joined a group called Tarantula who wear black armbands and seem obsessed with 'the next world'. Before she knows it, Claudia finds herself swept into a dark adventure of solar power, a hammer wielding assassin, and the end of our world . . .'Trevelyan's prose is wholly readable, with wonderful, concise details that conjure full moments in perfect little capsules' Dublin Inquirer
Crimes of the Father
By Thomas Keneally
Father Frank Docherty has had his run-ins with the church authorities: in the early 1970s, he was expelled from the Sydney archdiocese for preaching against the Vietnam War and has lived in Canada as a monk ever since. Twenty-five years later, back in Australia to give a lecture about celibacy and paedophile priests, he comes across an ex-nun who claims to have been abused by a now eminent cleric. If Docherty is to help her, he will be up against an institution bent on avoiding scandal. What is more, the accused man's sister is the woman Docherty nearly broke his vows for long ago. This searing, impassioned novel captures the Catholic Church at a pivotal moment: when it tried to silence its victims, wreaking lasting damage not only on innocents but on itself.
The Crime Writer
By Jill Dawson
'Brilliant'Paula HawkinsIn 1964, the eccentric American novelist Patricia Highsmith is hiding out in a cottage in Suffolk, to concentrate on her writing and escape her fans. She has another motive too - a secret romance with a married lover based in London. Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that all her demons have come with her. Prowlers, sexual obsessives, frauds, imposters, suicides and murderers: the tropes of her fictions clamour for her attention, rudely intruding on her peaceful Suffolk retreat. After the arrival of Ginny, an enigmatic young journalist bent on interviewing her, events take a catastrophic turn. Except, as always in Highsmith's troubled life, matters are not quite as they first appear . . .Masterfully recreating Highsmith's much exercised fantasies of murder and madness, Jill Dawson probes the darkest reaches of the imagination in this novel - at once a brilliant portrait of a writer and an atmospheric, emotionally charged, riveting tale.
By Andrew Miller
She is sailing. She is alone. Ahead of her is the world's curve and beyond that, everything else. The known, the imagined, the imagined known.Who else has entered Tim's life the way Maud did? This young woman who fell past him, lay seemingly dead on the ground, then stood and walked. That was where it all began.As magnetic as she is inscrutable, Maud defies expectations and evades explanation - a daughter, girlfriend and mother who, in the wake of a tragedy, embarks on a dangerous voyage across the Atlantic, not knowing where it will lead . . .By the Costa Award-winning author of Pure, this is a viscerally honest, hypnotic portrait of modern love and motherhood, the lure of the sea and the ultimate unknowability of others. This pitch-perfect novel confirms Andrew Miller's position as one of the finest writers of his generation.
By Anna Smaill
WINNER OF THE 2016 WORLD FANTASY AWARD FOR BEST NOVELLONGLISTED FOR THE 2015 MAN BOOKER PRIZEAn Elle Book of the YearAn Independent Book of the YearOne to Watch Independent on SundayA Bookseller Best Debut of 2015One to Watch 2015 Huffington PostAn Amazon Rising Star'The Chimes is a remarkable debut. It's inventive, beautifully written, and completely absorbing. I highly recommend it.' Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow BirdsA mind-expanding literary debut composed of memory, music and imagination.A boy stands on the roadside on his way to London, alone in the rain.No memories, beyond what he can hold in his hands at any given moment.No directions, as written words have long since been forbidden.No parents - just a melody that tugs at him, a thread to follow. A song that says if he can just get to the capital, he may find some answers about what happened to them.The world around Simon sings, each movement a pulse of rhythm, each object weaving its own melody, music ringing in every drop of air.Welcome to the world of The Chimes. Here, life is orchestrated by a vast musical instrument that renders people unable to form new memories. The past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is blasphony.But slowly, inexplicably, Simon is beginning to remember. He emerges from sleep each morning with a pricking feeling, and sense there is something he urgently has to do. In the city Simon meets Lucien, who has a gift for hearing, some secrets of his own, and a theory about the danger lurking in Simon's past. A stunning debut composed of memory, music, love and freedom, The Chimes pulls you into a world that will captivate, enthral and inspire.
Cooking With Bones
By Jess Richards
My sister is a formwanderer: she is a mirror of want.Two sisters flee the city of Paradon for a village by the sea, where Old Kelp's cottage - and her recipe book - await them.Amber feels this is where she finally belongs, baking honey cakes each night for the villagers to collect in the morning.Maya is a formwanderer, engineered to reflect the wants of others, but now Amber wants Maya to learn how to be herself.Kip is a child growing up amongst the songs and stories of the village. When an act of terrible violence stirs and sets free the secrets of a generation, only one of these three can reveal the truth...
By David Mitchell
By the author of THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET, David Mitchell's bestselling and Booker Prize-shortlisted novel, one of Richard & Judy's 100 Books of the Decade, CLOUD ATLAS has now been adapted for film. The major motion picture, directed by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Grant.The novel features six characters in interlocking stories, each interrupting the one before it: a reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified dinery server on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation. The narrators of CLOUD ATLAS hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changes in ways great and small.Mitchell's other novels are GHOSTWRITTEN, BLACK SWAN GREEN and NUMBER9DREAM, all published by Sceptre.www.sceptrebooks.comFacebook: Sceptre BooksTwitter: SceptreBooks
By Andrew Cowan
Ashley, a disaffected geography teacher and Jay, a printer in a local arts project, are about to start a family, though both have mixed feelings about becoming parents, especially when their house is crumbling around them and their neighbourhood seems increasingly anarchic. As Jay becomes deeply involved in the fight to save the ancient woodland of Hogslea Common from a planned motorway, Ashley corresponds with his carefree brother, who is backpacking round the world. With the gap between the couple widening as steadily as the cracks in their walls, Ashley has to choose between his parents' values and abandoning a society he finds increasingly precarious and menacing.By the author of the award-winning PIG, this is a sharply observed, often funny and thought-provoking tale of modern life and of the choices we all have to make - as parents, children and members of society.
Confessions of a Fallen Angel
By Ronan O'Brien
Following a near-death experience as a child, the narrator becomes cursed with the ability to foresee the deaths of the people closest to him. These visions come to him in his dreams and, following a disastrous attempt to save a childhood friend from drowning, a set of terrifying events begins to unfold. As a young man, he finds redemption in the arms of Ashling, his beautiful wife. But then the visions return...This is a story about one man`s struggle to live an ordinary life in extraordinary circumstances; about love lost and found and the vast range of emotions that can be weathered by the human heart. This is a story where dreams come true but can turn into nightmares; a place where true love will prevail and where death is only the beginning. \n \nSet in the fictional Dublin suburb of Rathgorman, CONFESSIONS OF A FALLEN ANGEL is a truly remarkable debut novel that will grip you from the first line and surprise you to the last.
The Coffee Story
By Peter Salmon
A NEW STATESMAN BOOK OF THE YEARA GUARDIAN READERS' BOOK OF THE YEARAt the end of his sorry life, Teddy Everett, reluctant heir to the Everett fortune realises that he may have been at his best when he was 14, the night Kebreth made him a communist by rubbing coffee bean oil on his face. Then he was with Lucy, who gave him Chinese burns and taught him how to smoke. As he remembers his family, his wives (and their lovers) he tries to understand what happened to that boy. Fuelled by caffeine and full of vituperation, this is a riotously original debut of honour, cowardice and bravery.
By Jenn Ashworth
I'm sitting on my couch, watching the local news. There's Chloe's parents, the mayor, the hangers on, all grouped round the pond for the ceremony. It's ten years since Chloe and Carl drowned, and they've finally chosen a memorial - a stupid summerhouse. The mayor has a spade decked out in pink and white ribbon, and he's started to dig.You can tell from their faces that something has gone wrong. But I'm the one who knows straightaway that the mayor has found a body. And I know who it is.This is the tale of three fourteen-year-old girls and a volatile combination of lies, jealousy and perversion that ends in tragedy. Except the tragedy is even darker and more tangled than their tight-knit community has been persuaded to believe.Blackly funny and with a surreal edge to its portrait of a northern English town, Jenn Ashworth's gripping novel captures the intensity of girls' friendships and the dangers they face in a predatory adult world they think they can handle. And it shows just how far that world is willing to let sentiment get in the way of the truth.
Cloud Atlas (flipback edition)
Published for the first time in flipback - the new, portable, stylish format that's taken Europe by storm.'Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies ...'A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagans California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified dinery server on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation. The narrators of CLOUD ATLAS hear each others echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.In his extraordinary novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity's dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.
City of Thieves
By David Benioff
From the writer of the award-winning Game of Thrones series for HBO based on the books of George R. R. Martin.'David Benioff is an exceptional storyteller . . . CITY OF THIEVES is tender, illuminating, and, be warned, often shocking.' Khaled HosseiniFour months into the siege of Leningrad, the city is starving. Seventeen-year-old Lev fears for his life when he is arrested for looting the body of a dead German paratrooper, while his charismatic cellmate, Kolya, a handsome young soldier arrested for desertion, seems bizarrely unafraid.Dawn brings, instead of an execution squad, an impossible challenge. Lev and Kolya can find a dozen eggs for an NKVD colonel to use for his daughter's wedding cake, and live. Or fail, and die.In the depths of the coldest winter in history, through a city cut off from all supplies and suffering appalling deprivation, man and boy embark on an absurd hunt. Their search will take them through desolate, lawless Leningrad and the devastated countryside surrounding it, in the captivating journey of two men trying to survive against desperate odds.
By Charles Frazier
THE INTERNATIONAL NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER.'Magnificent' Observer 'A beautiful book, written in exquisite prose' Kate AtkinsonA soldier wounded in the Civil War, Inman turns his back on the carnage of the battlefield and begins the treacherous journey home to Cold Mountain, and to Ada, the woman he loved before the war began. As Inman attempts to make his way across the mountains, through the devastated landscape of a soon-to-be-defeated South, Ada struggles to make a living from the land her once-wealthy father left when he died. Neither knows if the other is still alive.From the bestselling author of Nightwoods, this novel inspired the Oscar-winning film directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renee Zellweger.
The Constant Gardener
By John Le Carré
Tessa Quayle has been horribly murdered on the shores of Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya, the birthplace of mankind. Her putative African lover, a doctor with one of the aid agencies, has disappeared.Her husband, Justin, a career diplomat and amateur gardener at the British High Commission in Nairobi, sets out on a personal odyssey in pursuit of the killers and their motive. His quest takes him to the Foreign Office in London, across Europe and Canada and back to Africa, to the depths of South Sudan, and finally to the very spot where Tessa died.On his way Justin meets terror, violence, laughter, conspiracy and knowledge. But his greatest discovery is the woman he barely had time to love.
By Melvyn Bragg
Britain during the Dark Ages is the setting for the fascinating story of Bega, a young Irish princess who became a saint, and her lifelong bond with Padric, prince of the north-western kingdom of Rheged. This dramatic, far-reaching tale brings to life a land of warring kings, Christians and pagans, and tribes divided by language and culture, illuminating a little-known yet critical period in British history.
By Allan Massie
Gaius Caligula is known as the mad emperor, the one who made his horse a consul. He was violent and vicious, a murderer and guilty of committing incest with his sisters. Yet, when he succeeded the aged recluse Tiberius, the Romans were delighted and for a few months at least he seemed generous and enlightened. So what went wrong? Why was he murdered after a reign of only four years? Is the conventional picture true or false: was he mad and evil or the victim of circumstance and rumour? Is it possible to take a sympathetic view of Caligula... and is it possible to make sense of him?In his compelling new novel Allan Massie peels back the mask of the monster of popular myth to expose the young emperor as a real man and explore the truth of his brief but tempestuous reign.
By Tim Gautreaux
Byron Aldridge, heir to a timber empire, returns from the First World War a changed man and finds refuge as a company policeman in a backwoods Louisiana sawmill. Soon his younger brother Randolph tracks him down, assuming charge of the mill in the hope of rescuing his former idol. But as the brothers try to understand each other and their wives contend with their own hopes and fears, it is Randolph who starts a feud with the Sicilians who control the whisky and girls, and the future grows fearsome for them all.