Monday, 9 November 2009

Yum Yum, What A Haul

Isn't it a lovely feeling when you get a whole new book haul? So here's my latest. Some bought, some ARCs, some given.

BLOODY WOMEN - Helen Fitzgerald
Published: October 2009 - Polygon
Yippee - I've been looking forward to this one for a while.
Cover/online copy: Returning to Scotland to organise her wedding, Catriona is overcome with the jitters. She decides to tie up loose ends before settling permanently in Tuscany, and seeks out her ex-boyfriends. Only problem is, they're all dead.
First Lines: '"I just need you to say if this is him," the man in the white coat said, lifting the sheet that covered the lump beneath.'

Published: February 2010 - Jonathan Cape
Oooooh this one looks dark and brilliant.
Cover/online copy: On a journey from the Jersey Shore to the Pacific Ocean the driver crosses an America twisted beyond all recognition, as if in a fevered dream. He is pursued by ghosts of his traumatic past and the police, who have discovered the disturbing secret in his basement.
First Lines:'Tell me about the box they kept you in, he said.'

BURIAL - Neil Cross
Published: August 2009 - Pocket Books
Cover/online copy: Can your guiltiest secret ever be buried? Nathan has never been able to forget the worst night of his life: the party that led to the sudden, shocking death of a young woman. Only he and Bob, an untrustworthy old acquaintance, know what really happened and they have resolved to keep it that way. But one rainy night, years later, Bob appears at Nathan's door with terrifying news, and old wounds are suddenly reopened, threatening to tear Nathan's whole world apart. Because Nathan has his own secrets now. Secrets that could destroy everything he has fought to build. And maybe Bob doesn't realise just how far Nathan will go to protect them...
First Lines: 'The doorbell rang. Nathan had a feeling - but he dismissed it, muted the TV and went to the door. There stood Bob; hunched over, grinning in the darkness and rain. Saying:'Hello, mate."'

LUSH LIFE - Richard Price
Published: July 2009 - Bloomsbury Publishing
Cover/online copy: Whenever people asked him what he was planning to do with his life, Eric Cash used to have a dozen answers. Now he's thirty-five, still in the restaurant business and still serving the people he wanted to be. Not like Ike Marcus. Ike is young, good-looking, charismatic. He's going places - until two street kids step up to him and Eric one night and pull a gun. At least, that's Eric's version...
First Lines: 'The Quality of Life Task Force: four sweatshirts in a bogus taxi set up on the corner of Clinton Street alongside the Williamsburg Bridge off-ramp to profile the incoming salmon run; their mantra: Dope, guns, overtime; their motto: Everyone's got something to lose.'

Published: September 2009 - Pan
Cover/online copy: Perhaps she had been too swift to imagine a conspiracy, too easily swept up in the emotion of a teenager's shocking death. Snapping her briefcase shut, she made a decision to go about her investigation in as detached and professional a manner as she could. She was the coroner, an impartial, clear-headed, determined investigator of the truth...
First Lines: 'The first dead body Jenny ever saw was her grandfather's.'

Published: November 2009 - Headline
Cover/online copy: The Small Shop Keeper With No Name is back. Hired to find the vandals responsible for spraying graffiti on an aspiring insurance magnate's advertising hoarding, he soon finds himself up to his ears in intrigue and battling to solve murders which echo in the corridors of power. With MI5 getting involved and everyone on the hunt for a missing Jack Russell, can Our Man Behind the Counter stay alive as well as keep his world renowned but criminally ignored No Alibis mystery bookshop afloat?
First Lines: 'It was the Tuesday before Christmas Day when the Case of the Cock-Headed Man walked into No Alibis, the finest mystery bookstore in all of, um, Belfast.'

THE TWELVE - Stuart Neville
Published: July 2009 - Harvill Secker
Cover/online copy:Former paramilitary killer Gerry Fegan is haunted by his victims, twelve souls who shadow his every waking day and scream through every drunken night. Just as he reaches the edge of sanity they reveal their desire: vengeance on those who engineered their deaths. From the greedy politicians to the corrupt security forces, the street thugs to the complacent bystanders who let it happen, all must pay the price. When Fegan's vendetta threatens to derail Northern Ireland's peace process and destabilise its fledgling government, old comrades and enemies alike want him gone. David Campbell, a double agent lost between the forces of law and terror, takes the job. But he has his own reasons for eliminating Fegan; the secrets of a dirty war should stay buried, even if its ghosts do not.
First Lines:
'Maybe if he had one more drink they'd leave him alone.'

Published: July 2009 - Serpent's Tail
Cover/online copy:Michael Forsythe might be, as one of his assailants puts it, 'un-fucking-killable', but that doesn't seem to deter people from trying. He's living in Lima, reasonably well-hidden by the FBI's Witness Protection Program, but Bridget Callaghan, whose fiance he murdered twelve years ago, has an enduring wish to see him dead. So when her two goon assassins pass him the phone to speak to her before they kill him, Michael thinks she just wants to relish the moment. In fact, out of desperation, she is giving him a chance to redeem himself. All he has to do is return to Ireland and find her missing daughter. Before midnight. Tenacious and brutal, with the hunted man's instinct for trouble, Forsythe leaves a trail of mayhem as he tries to end the bloody feud once and for all. The Bloomsday Dead pulsates with break-neck action and wry literary references; McKinty's distinctly Irish voice packs a ferocious punch.
First Lines:
'"State LY Plum P Buck Mulligan." Hector handed me this message on the cliffs at Miraflores.'

Published: March 2009 - Hachette Scotland
Cover/online copy:Logan Finch has just about everything he ever wanted, including a penthouse apartment and a shot at making partner in one of Scotland's largest law firms. But there's something missing from his life: he still pines for the woman he thought was 'the one' and who left him without a word of explanation over twelve years ago. Alex Cahill is one of Logan's clients, and probably his best friend. The profane, gregarious American owns a successful security business but has a shadowy past and a capacity for violence. Detective Constable Rebecca Irvine, newly promoted to Strathclyde Police's CID, is stuck in a failing marriage. On her first day in the new job she is called to a murder scene in the affluent Southside of Glasgow. The victim is Penny Grant, Logan's former girlfriend. And her eleven-year-old daughter is missing. Against the backdrop of Glasgow city and its surroundings, GJ Moffat creates a taut thriller, a group of characters you would want to meet again and a gang of characters you most definitely wouldn't.
First Lines:
'Her vision blurred red. He hit her again.'

THE LIE - Petra Hammesfahr
Published: October 2009 - Bitter Lemon Press
Cover/online copy:Nadia and Susanne have just met. They look uncannily alike, but one is filthy rich and has both a husband and a lover while the other is dirt poor and single. So, when Nadia asks Susanne to spend a weekend with her husband, how can she refuse the outrageous fee on offer? So Susanne changes her hairstyle and clothes and, one Friday afternoon, drives Nadia's wine-red Alfa to her beautiful suburban villa. However, what appears at first to be a harmless game quickly turns into a deadly web of lies.
First Lines:
'It was a horrible sight, even for the boy who, at fourteen, had already witnessed much barbarity, though not in this country.'

Now, which one to read first?


  1. I vote for The Coroner!

    Because it is a five-star read, and because it is the only one of them I have read yet.

  2. The only one I've read is The Bloomsday Dead and it's great stuff.

  3. Fitzgerald and Bateman I shall certainly take a peek at. Neil Cross' Burial poses for me a problem: given that this basic plot has been used -- I'm just checking my records here -- 4762 times (4763 if you include an episode of Matlock) is it worth my betting a chunk of my diminishing time on Earth on Cross having done something spectacularly different with it. I don't think so, but I am willing to be corrected should dear Donna indicate it to be so in a review or such.

  4. Dorte - I've heard a lot of good things about it and I think it's going to be a Crimefest discussion group online read, so I might save that for then (so I remember it enough to discuss it!)

    Paul - any idea as to whether I should read DEAD I MAY WELL BE before THE BLOOMSDAY DEAD?

    Philip - LOL. My, don't you keep detailed records :o) It does sound familiar, and now you've said that I'm intrigued enough to find out if he DOES do anything different. I read one of his a few years ago (HOLLOWAY FALLS) and found it most excellent. I do believe that the Fitzgerald will be first up (since she's a Scottish author (although technically she's Australian) and I can therefore review it here).

    Cheers all!

  5. GJ MOffat is Scottish too. Of the ones I've read on your list my fave was Lush Life (which is on the long list for the IMPAC). BTW, just wondering what ARC means?

  6. Donna,

    You really, really should read Dead I Well May Be before The Bloomsday Dead.

  7. ARC means Advanced Review Copy

  8. Michael - yip - I feel I should read the Scottish ones first so that I can review them here :o) And as Marco says, ARC is Advance Review Copy or Advance Reading Copy. I am lucky enough to get some sometimes :o)

    Marco, cheers for that - I shall definitely read DIMWB first then.

  9. I really hope JACK RUSSELL is better than MYSTERY MAN - the first Bateman I've been disappointed with.

    Did you know there's an American crime writer named Janet Rubin? I always wanted to see her collaborate with Colin Bateman (Bateman and Rubin, see... I'll get me coat...)

  10. You can read Hammesfahr's 'The Lie' with a (fairly) clear Scottish conscience, Donna, as the translator lives in Scotland

    Mike Mitchell

  11. Thank you Mike - is it safe to assume you are he? :o) It looks good.