By Toni Jordan
Meet Ella Canfield, highly qualified evolutionary biologist. Attractive, if a little serious-looking in those heavy glasses-but then she's about to put her career on the line. Dr Canfield is seeking funding for a highly unorthodox research project. She wants to prove that an extinct animal still roams in one of Australia's most popular national parks.Meet Daniel Metcalf, good-looking, expensively dishevelled millionaire. Quite witty but far too rich to be taken seriously. He heads the Metcalf Trust, which donates money to offbeat scientific research projects. He has a personal interest in animals that don't exist.Problem number one: There is no such person as Dr Ella Canfield.Problem number two: Della Gilmore, professional con artist, has never met anyone like Daniel Metcalf before. Someone is going to take a fall.A sparkling, sexy read from the author of Addition, a Richard and Judy book club hit, Fall Girl is a story about passion and loyalty, deceit and integrity, and the importance of believing in things that don't exist.
A Family Madness
By Thomas Keneally
Inspired by a true incident, this powerful and disturbing novel focuses on Rudi Kabbel, a survivor of Nazi-occupied Belorussia, and Terry Delaney, a young Australian rugby player who falls in love with Kabbel's daughter. With the optimism and innocence of those unscathed by war, Delaney gropes to understand Kabbel's outlook on life and all too slowly grasps its implications.
The Fatal Tree
By Jake Arnott
Newgate Gaol, 1726. An anonymous writer sets down the words of Edgworth Bess as she confides the adventures and misfortunes that led her all too soon to the judgement of London:Cruelly deceived, Bess is cast out onto the streets of the wicked city - and by nightfall her ruin is already certain. What matters now is her survival of it.In that dangerous underworld known in thieves' cant as Romeville, she will learn new tricks and trades. And all begins with her fateful meeting, that very first night, with the corrupt thief-taker general Jonathan Wild.But it is the infamous gaol-breaker, Jack Sheppard, who will lay Romeville at her feet . . . Drawing on the true story that mesmerised eighteenth-century society, the acclaimed author of The Long Firm delivers a tour de force: a riveting, artful tale of crime and rough justice, love and betrayal. Rich in the street slang of the era, it vividly conjures up a murky world of illicit dens and molly-houses; a world where life was lived on the edge, in the shadow of that fatal tree - the gallows.Includes a glossary.
By Jenn Ashworth
'Dark, compelling, beautifully written'Andrew Michael HurleyIn this eerie, atmospheric and mysterious tale, a woman returns to the house in Morecambe Bay where she grew up in the 1960s to find it falling apart, undermined by the roots of two huge sycamores. She is unaware that she has awoken the spirits of her parents, Jack and Nettie Clifford, who watch anxiously as their daughter Annette is overwhelmed by the state of the house and realise too late how far they neglected her as a child. As their memories come alive, the story unfolds of a crucial summer when Annette was 8 and Nettie became too ill to run their boarding house. The lodgers have to go - all except the newly arrived butcher's apprentice, because he seems to have miraculous healing powers and is Jack and Nettie's last, desperate hope. But is he who he says he is? Why do those he lays his hands on feel an erotic charge? And why does he despise his own gift? As everything comes to a head, so too does Annette's story in the present. But this time, someone is looking out for her and comes to her rescue. Finally, the spirits of her parents can let go.
Fictions and Lies
By Irina Ratushinskaya
In FICTIONS AND LIES, a writer dies suddenly, in fear of KGB pursuit. His last manuscript, which is thought to be dangerously anti-Soviet, is missing from his apartment, so immediately becomes the object of a rapid police search. As it is traced, whom will it implicate, and what else will it reveal? Deftly, we are led into a world where right and wrong are problematic in ways we never experienced in the West, where integrity and self-respect may prove costly for one's family and friends, where compromise may prove unexpectedly difficult to avoid, and yet where truth and honesty matter all the more for being so elusive.
By Elizabeth H. Winthrop
Hollis Clayton is in trouble. Still haunted by his small son's death, stalled in his writing career and over fond of the bottle, he finds himself abandoned by his wife for the summer - or, if he doesn't shape up, for good. But without his emotional anchor, Hollis continues to unravel. Besides, he's busy spying on the neighbours and sharing his meals with a stray dog. When is he going to find the time to get his life back on track?Here, in the daily rhythms of Hollis's disintegrating life, lies an evisceratingly comic portrait of suburban despair. With this deeply affecting tale of grief and renewal, Elizabeth H. Winthrop makes a striking debut.
Flying Hero Class
By Thomas Keneally
When Palestinian guerillas hijack a flight from New York to Frankfurt, they find an Aboriginal dance troupe among the passengers. Similarly dispossessed of their land, whose side will the Aborigines take? Conflicts of loyalty, terror and revolutionary fervour form the explosive ingredients in this riveting and thought-provoking novel.
For Want of a Nail
By Melvyn Bragg
Growing up in an isolated cottage in the hills of Cumberland, Tom knows the bitter cold of shooting expeditions with his grandfather and long evenings spent with his father and mother. But taken away from the hills to live in the small town of Thornton, Tom experiences a tumult of conflicting emotions which he must master before he can come to terms with his identity.
By Peter Ho Davies
Ah Ling: son of a prostitute and a white 'ghost', dispatched from Hong Kong as a boy to make his way alone in 1860s California. Anna May Wong: the first Chinese film star in Hollywood, forbidden to kiss a white man on screen. Vincent Chin: killed by a pair of Detroit auto workers in 1982 simply for looking Japanese.John Ling Smith: a half-Chinese writer visiting China for the first time, to adopt a baby girl.Inspired by three figures who lived at pivotal moments in Chinese-American history, and drawing on his own mixed-race experience, Peter Ho Davies plunges us into what it is like to feel, and be treated, like a foreigner in the country you call home.Ranging from the mouth of the Pearl River to the land of golden opportunity, this remarkable novel spans 150 years to tell a tale of familial bonds denied and fragmented, of tenacity and pride, of prejudice and the universal need to belong.
Fred and Edie
By Jill Dawson
In December 1922 Edith Thompson, a smart, bright, lower-middle class woman who worked in a milliner's shop, was tried for conspiring with her young lover Frederick Bywaters to murder her husband, Percy. The sensational trial, which took place in front of heaving crowds at the Old Bailey, unravelled a real life drama as exciting as any blockbuster: an illicit love affair, a back-street abortion, domestic violence, murder and a double execution. Fred and Edie draws together powerful threads between personal memory and public lives, between innocence and responsibility, and between fact and fiction. It is an exploration of a woman caught in the net of her own private fantasy and the conflicts of the era in which she lived, of her muddled attempt to defy convention and reshape her own destiny, and, finally, of the devastation she left in her wake.
The Friday Gospels
By Jenn Ashworth
It's Friday in the Leeke household, but this is no ordinary Friday: the Leekes are Lancastrian Mormons and tonight they will be welcoming back their son Gary from his two-year mission in Utah. His mother, Pauline, wants his homecoming to be perfect. Unfortunately, no one else seems to be following the script. In turn, the members of the family let us into their private thoughts and plans. There's teenage Jeannie, wrestling with a disastrous secret; her peculiar elder brother, Julian, who's plotting an exit according to his own warped logic; their father, Martin, dreaming of escape; and 'golden boy' Gary, who dreads his return. Then there's Pauline, who needs a doctor's help but won't ask for it. As the day progresses, a meltdown looms. Except that nothing goes according to anyone's plan, and the outcome is as unexpected as it is shocking. Laced with black humour and giving an unusual insight into the Mormon way of life, this is a superbly orchestrated and arresting tale of human folly and foibles and what counts in times of crisis.