It’s getting to that time of year. The nights are drawing in, the heating is getting switched on and the brochures are being perused. Yes, it’s time to decide how much of our Christmas and sales money to save and which 2017 titles we must get our hands on. I’ve been lucky to have already received a few review copies for 2017 titles and what I’ve read so far have been fantastic. There will of course be hundreds of great books for us to devour over the course of next year but these are just a few of the ones that have caught my eye.
So in January save a little of your sales money for a couple of these fabulous sounding titles.
Sirens by Joseph Knox will be published by Doubleday on 12 January. I’ll let the blurb do the talking:
The runaway daughter of a dirty politician.
The unsolved disappearance of a young mother.
The crime lord who knows the city’s secrets.
The disgraced detective on the edge of it all.
Many questions. Not many answers. Not yet.
SIRENS (Read more on the publisher’s site.)
Defender by G X Todd is also out on 12 January and is published by Headline. Pilgrim lives in a world where it’s dangerous to listen to your inner voice and those that do keep quiet about it. But he listens to the voice that tells him to buy a drink from Lacey. There is a reason for them to meet. Pilgrim just doesn’t know what that reason is yet.
It would seem that 12 January is a bumper day for books as Good Me Bad Me by Ali Lands is also published by Michael Joseph then. Annie’s mother is a serial killer. Handing her into the police isn’t the end. As her mother’s trial approaches Annie can’t sleep. She has a new name and a new family, but is she her mother’s daughter after all?
Also out on 12 January is The Dry by Jane Harper, published by Little, Brown. Already a huge hit in Australia, The Dry sees Federal Agent Aaron Falk return to his home town of Kiewarra for the funeral of childhood friend Luke Hadler, his wife and son. Luke is believed to have shot his wife and son before turning the gun on himself. Aaron begins to have doubts as to the circumstances of the Hadler’s deaths. As he investigates secrets from his own past, secrets he shared with Luke, threaten to rise to the surface. Deftly told, with a gripping storyline and claustrophobic feel The Dry is a highly entertaining read.
You can read my review of The Dry here.
Little Deaths by Emma Flint will be published by Picador on 12 January. Set in 1965 Queens, New York, Ruth Malone wakes one morning to find her two children missing. Judging Ruth’s made up face, provocative clothes and signs of a less than salubrious life outside motherhood, the police leap to conclusions. So does journalist Pete Wonicke. At first. But as he watches Ruth he discovers the darker side to the press and police. Is Ruth really guilty of murder?
Another 12 January release is The Vanishing by Sophia Tobin, published by Simon and Schuster. Marcus Twentyman and his sister Hester live in White Windows, sitting on top of the Yorkshire Moors. Annaleigh, a foundling, enters service at White Windows and discovers all is not as it seems. As she grows closer to Marcus she finds herself drawn into a world of intrigue and darkness.
12 January also sees the publication of The River at Night by Erica Ferencik, published by Bloomsbury. Win Allen is recovering from the death of her brother and emerging from a bitter divorce. All she wants is to spend some time with friends. One of those friends, Pia organises a white water rafting trip in the Maine wilderness. Just nature and themselves. No other people. No phones. No help.
Also out this month is Rattle by Fiona Cummins, published by Pan Macmillan on 26 January. Rattle tells the tale of a psychopath who curates a sinister museum. A museum which needs a new addition to the collection. Both Jakey Frith and Detective Clara Foyle have what he needs and must battle to stop him.
Another 26 January publication, this time by Quercus, is The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney. Jane can’t believe her luck when she finds the rental home of her dreams. Living by her landlord’s long list of exacting rules is a small price to pay. Then she discovers that the previous tenant, Emma, died mysteriously and she begins to wonder if she will share the same fate. Written under a pseudonym The Girl Before has been sold in 35 countries and a film version directed by Ron Howard is due on the silver screen soon.
Watch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan is published by Harvill Secker on 26 January. The fourth book to feature detectives Zigic and Ferreira from the Hate Crimes team, Watch Her Disappear sees the pair investigate a serial rapist, who’s latest victim is transgender. Records are found to showing a series of violent attacks on trans women and Zigic and Ferriera must find out who is to blame for the heinous crimes.
Another book out on 26 January is Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan, published by Doubleday. Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left to breathe. Adrift in space they hold onto each other looking back to earth and the world with rules they couldn’t reconcile themselves with. What happens when you find love in a world where it is banned?
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough is another 26 January publication, this time from Harper Collins. David and Adele seem the perfect couple. But why does she hide things and why is he so controlling? When David’s new secretary, Louise gets drawn into their world she realises there is something wrong with the marriage. And someone will go to any length to protect it’s secrets. The fact that the book has the hastag #WTFthatending, gives a clue as to what could lay inside the covers.
Her Husband’s Lover by Julia Crouch is published by Headline on 26 January. Louisa Williams is trying to make a fresh start after a horrific incident. Her husband, Sam is dead, killed in a car crash along with their two children. Sam had said Louisa would never get away from him, that he would hound her if she tried to leave. Sam also betrayed her with another woman, Sophie. Now Sophie wants what Louisa has left, she wants the life she thinks she deserves and want to take away Louisa’s reputation in the process.
2 February sees Michael Joseph publish Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolas Obregon. Set in Tokyo, Inspector Iwata, newly transferred to Homicide has a new partner and an old case. A family of four murdered, the killer then eating ice cream and surfing the web before painting a black sun on the bedroom ceiling, it is a case that caused the original investigator to kill himself. Fearing police corruption Iwata knows he has a short amount of time to stop the killer, before he strike again, or before Iwata is taken off the case.
Out in February is My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood, published by Penguin on 9 February. Kate Rafter is a war reporter. She was the one that managed to escape her father, unlike her sister Sally. When her mother dies Kate returns to the family home. On her first night she hears a scream. When she hears it again she realises she can’t put it down to a simple nightmare. She must discover the secret hidden in the family home. Even if it might kill her.
Honeymoon in Paris and Other Stories by Jo Jo Moyes is published by Michael Joseph on 9 February. A collection of short stories, Jo Jo Moyes writes tales of love, loss, liberation and laughter.
Also out on 9 February is Find Me by J.S. Monroe, published by Head of Zeus. Five years ago Rosa walked off Cromer pier at night. Grieving for her father the coroner held her death was a tragic case of suicide. Her boyfriend, Jar, never agreed. He sees her everywhere, hallucinating visions of her. Then he receives an email ‘Find me Jar. Find me, before they do…’ Is Rosa dead? If so, who’s playing mind games with Jar? I’ve received a proof of this which is cleverly split into two halves, one where the reader must guess where they think Rosa is with the second part flipped over is see if Jar (and the reader) were correct.
The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer is published by Faber and Faber on 16 February. Ruby lives with Barbara and Mick. They aren’t her real parents. She’s been told to say that the bruises on her arm and the black eye she sports are from falling down the stairs. She won’t say that she’s going to find her real parents. Or speak of Shadow who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady she sees. She did tell Mick about the lady in the forest and that she saw death crawl out of her. Mick may say she was lying but she wasn’t. Ruby hunts lost souls. She’s going to find her real family and won’t let Mick stop her.
Ragdoll by Daniel Cole, published on 23 February by Trapeze, the new imprint from Orion. Ragdoll sees protagonist Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes recently returned from a lengthy suspension after a highly emotive incident faced with a corpse made up of six bodies. The killer, dubbed by the press as the Ragdoll Killer, has released a list of his next six victims. Wolf must find the murderer before the six people on the list are murdered.
Ragdoll was pre-emptively bought by Trapeze for a six-figure sum, has had rights sold in 32 countries and TV rights have already been sold. Having read Ragdoll I can predict big things for it. Daniel Cole has written an absorbing, highly entertaining tale, that would be perfect for adaptation and will be an author to look out for in the future.
You can read my review of Ragdoll here.
Also published on 23 February by Borough Press is The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan. Chilbury Village, Kent. It’s 1940 and the village women have taken against the decision of the vicar to close the choir given the male singers are at war. When music professor Primrose Trent arrives the female inhabitants take it upon themselves to form an all woman singing group. For members of the group, being able to sing will help them copy with life during the war in different ways.
Another book out on 23 February is The Fatal Tree by Jake Arnott, published by Sceptre. Edgeworth Bess, notorious prostitute and pick pocket tells her tale from her Newgate cell. Speaking to hack Billy Archer she tells the story of how she and Jack Sheppard, apprentice turned house-breaker, formed their criminal partnership. But Archer has his own secrets and as the gallows draw closer, the question is who will escape them?
On to March which sees the publication of The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel from Hodder and Stoughton on the 9th of the month. The Roanoke girls are rich and beautiful. Lane Roanoke goes to live with her grandparents after her mother’s suicide. Lane enjoys the benefits of being a Roanoke but she discovers that Roanoke girls either run or die. Lane has to decide which option she will choose.
Also out on 9 March is Between Strike and Flame by Stephanie Butland, published by Zaffre. Loveday Cardew’s job in a York bookshop is her refuge. A poet, a lover, a friend and three mysterious packages enter the bookshop and recall unsettling memories for Loveday. Will she be able to right a wrong from the past and re-write her own story in the process?
The 15 March sees Orenda Books publish Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski. In 1997 the death of Tom Jefferies is ruled as misadventure. Not everyone is convinced. The tale of what really happened is held by a close group of friends. 2017 and famed journalist Scott King attempts to take the six testimonies. As each interview is revealed you will have to decide who is telling the truth, and work out how Tom really died.
March also sees another new title from Trapeze, Tattletale by Sarah Naughton, published on 23 March. One day Jody’s life is changed forever. Unable to trust anyone, she shuts herself off. But then she meets Abe. One day Mags’ life is changed forever. She receives a call, her brother, Abe, is in hospital and no one knows what has happened. Then she meets his fiancé, Jody. She begins to piece together the life that she had left behind years earlier. But then notices that those pieces don’t seem to fit…
A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys will be published by Doubleday on 6 April. Inspired by a diary found in the home of the author’s mother, A Dangerous Crossing sees Lily Shepherd leave England in 1939 on an ocean liner heading to Australia. Seduced by the on board atmosphere Lily finds herself mixing with people who would normally ignore her. However she soon realises her fellow passengers aren’t as they seem. When the ship arrives, two passengers will have died, war will have been declared and life will have changed forever.
Also out on 6 April is The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti, published by Tinder Press. Described by Ann Patchett as ‘One part Quentin Tarantino, one part Scheherazade’ this tells the story of Samuel Hawley, who having spent years on the run settles in Olympus, Massachusetts with his daughter Loo. Samuel finds work and Loo struggles to fit in. Plaguing them both are the twelve bullet wound scars that Samuel bears, gained in a past that is threatening Loo’s present.
April also sees the publication of My Sister by Michelle Adams, which will be published by Headline on 20 April. Again, I’ll let the blurb speak for itself:
You don’t get to choose your family.
She thought she’d never go back home.
But there’s something in her sister’s voice she just can’t refuse.
And hasn’t it always been that way?
What her sister asks, she does . .
Oola by Brittany Newell is published by Borough Press on 20 April. Oola and Leif meet at a party and fall for each other. They find themselves mansion sitting across the US. However, their decision to stay in a Big Sur cabin could lead to them falling out of love, and could possibly destroy them.
‘Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty wacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one…’ The school ground ditty is well known and the fascination with Lizzie Borden inspired Sarah Schmidt to write See What I Have Done, which will be published by Headline on 4 May. When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered, Lizzie Borden, 32 and still at home, becomes chief suspect. Found innocent at trial, no one else is ever convicted. But the other members of the Borden house have their own stories to tell, from Lizzie’s older sister, to the house maid, to the boy hired by Lizzie’s uncle to solve a problem.
2 May 2017 sees the latest novel from Graeme Simsion to be published by Michael Joseph. The Best of Adam Sharp tells the tale of Adam, who though content with life, can’t help wonder what life would have been like if he hadn’t split from Angelina Brown, a strong-willed actress he knew 20 years ago. Then Angelina gets in touch and Adam may have the chance to find out what could have been.
Also published on 4 May, this time by Picador is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Eleanor Oliphant wears the same clothes everyday, eats the same meal for lunch and always has the same two bottles of vodka at the weekend. Nothing is missing from her life, except sometimes everything. She’s never been told that life should be better than just fine. But an act of kindness is going to show her just how much better life can be when things aren’t just fine.
Out in June is You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood, published by Michael Joseph. An unnamed defendant stands trial for murder. Just before closing speeches he sacks his barrister and gives his own defence speech. He reveals he was told to leave some things out. But he thinks that if he is going to prison for life then the truth must be told. He talks through eight pieces of evidence against him. The reader, the member of the jury, must keep an open mind. After his speech is finished only one question needs to be answered. Did he do it?
Calling Major Tom by David M Barnett is published by Trapeze on 29 June. Everyone knows someone like Tom. He’s the cantankerous neighbour who complains about your garden, the one who tuts when you don’t have the correct change. Tom is happy on his own. But underneath that miserly exterior there is a lonely, sad man. And he’s about to meet a family who will change his view of the world.
In July Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown will be published by Trapeze, on 27 July. Sixteen years ago a child goes missing, a sister remembering nothing of what happened. Now they are reunited and Jess moves in with Emily. But then a baby goes missing and Emily’s life begins to fall apart. Was she right to trust Jess?
We’ll have to wait until 16 November for Trapeze to publish The Devil’s Claw by Lara Dearman. Introducing new recurring characters Jennifer Dorey and Michael Gilbert we see journalist Jennifer return to her home in Guernsey to work for the local paper. When she looks into a local drowning she finds a pattern of deaths occurring over the last fifty years. Together with DCI Michael Gilbert their investigation will take them into the island’s Nazi past.
Also out next year will be The Gallows Pool by Ben Myers published by Bluemoose Books. There will also be loads of paperback editions of great 2016 books which will follow in another post.
So are there any books that tempt you? Will your 2017 to read pile spill over. I know I had better get reading to make space for some fantastic sounding titles.