Synopsis

Adult fiction


A spot of folly - Ruth Rendell
A businessman boasts about cheating on his wife, only to find his own back to the wall. A beautiful country rectory reverberates to the echo of a historical murder. A compulsive liar finds herself caught out by an act of impulsive revenge. Atmospheric, mysterious and never predictable, these are among the nine short stories of dark deeds and heart-stopping suspense collected here for the first time. Pull the curtains, settle into a chair and read on as Ruth Rendell turns the screw of psychological suspense in her inimitable style. The stories are: A Spot of Folly; An Irony of Hate; The Haunting of Shawley Rectory; A Drop Too Much; Paradise; The Thief; The Long Corridor of Time; In the Time of his Prosperity and Trebuchet. Back

 

Two kinds of truth - Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch works cold cases as a volunteer for the San Fernando police department when he's called out to a local drug store where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town's three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of prescription drug abuse. Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch's LAPD days comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him and that there's new evidence which proves it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues aren't keen to protect his reputation. He must fend for himself in clearing his name and keeping a clever killer in prison.The two unrelated cases wind across each other like strands of barbed wire, and Bosch learns that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness. Back



The passage of love - Alex Miller

Sitting in a New York park, an old man holds a book and tries to accept that his contribution to the future is over. Instead, he remembers a youthful yearning for open horizons, for Australia, a yearning he now knows inspired his life as a writer. Instinctively he picks up his pen and starts at the beginning...

At twenty-one years, Robert Crofts leaves his broken dreams in Far North Queensland, finally stopping in Melbourne almost destitute. It's there he begins to understand how books and writing might be the saving of him. They will be how he leaves his mark on the world. He also begins to understand how many obstacles there will be to thwart his ambition.

When Robert is introduced to Lena Soren, beautiful, rich and educated, his life takes a very different path. But in the intimacy of their connection lies an unknowability that both torments and tantalises as Robert and Lena long for something that neither can provide for the other.

In a rich blend of thoughtful and beautifully observed writing, the lives of a husband and wife are laid bare in their passionate struggle to engage with their individual creativity.

Alex Miller is magnificent in this most personal of all novels filled with rare wisdom and incisive observation. Back

 

Suddenly one summer - Fleur McDonald
When Brianna Donahue was three years old, her mother mysteriously disappeared while farming in Merriwell Bay, Western Australia. Her body has never been found. Brianna works the same land with her father Russell, while almost single-handedly raising her two children as her husband Caleb works as a fly-in fly-out criminal lawyer in Perth. One scorching summer's morning, her son Trent goes missing and, while frantically searching for him, Brianna must come to terms with the fact that her marriage has large cracks in it. Over two thousand kilometres away in South Australia, Detective Dave Burrows receives a phone call reporting stolen sheep from an elderly farmer. When he and his partner Jack arrive at the farm, it's clear that Guy has early signs of dementia. Following a conversation with his wife Kim, Dave becomes intrigued with Guy's family history. Was there a sister, or was there not? No one seems to know. So how will Dave's investigation impact Brianna's world? While battling the threat of bushfires back in Merriwell Bay, Brianna is faced with challenges that test her relationships with those she loves most. Suspenseful and incendiary, Suddenly One Summer is an intriguing and heartfelt story of the unlikely connections of life on the land.  Back



Shadow man - Margaret Kirk
A gripping Scottish crime thriller from the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing competition 2016. Two brutal killings rock Inverness, and bring ex-Met Detective Inspector Lukas Mahler the biggest challenge of his career...The body of the queen of daytime TV, Morven Murray is discovered by her sister, Anna, on the morning of her wedding day. But does Anna know more about the murder than she's letting on? Police informant Kevin Ramsay's murder looks like a gangland-style execution. But what could he have stumbled into that was dangerous enough to get him violently killed? Mahler has only a couple of weeks to solve both cases while dealing with his mother's fragile mental health. But caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse, is ex-Met DI Lukas Mahler hunting one killer, or two? Back

 


Edge of darkness - Karen Rose
The fourth and final book in Karen Rose's nail-biting Cincinnati Series revisits your favourite characters battling crime in the city's dark underbelly. Fans of Tess Gerritsen, James Patterson and Karin Slaughter will not be able to tear themselves away from this explosive thriller. Back

 


Hardcore twenty-four - Janet Evanovich
Headless bodies have started appearing across town in Trenton, New Jersey. At first, it's just corpses from a funeral home and the morgue that have had the heads removed. Then a homeless man is murdered and dumped behind a church. Stephanie Plum knows that she's the only one with a prayer of catching this killer. If that's not enough, Diesel's back in town. The six-foot-tall, blond-haired hunk accepts no limits, that includes locked doors, closed windows and underwear. Trenton's hottest cop, Joe Morelli, isn't pleased at his arrival, nor is Ranger, the high-powered security consultant with his own plans for Stephanie. Jersey's favourite bounty hunter is stuck in the middle with more questions than answers. Who is behind the startling epidemic of mutilated corpses? And is the enigmatic Diesel's sudden appearance a coincidence or the cause of recent deadly events? Back

 


Seven days of us - Francesca Hornak
Seven Days of Us is the only family drama you'll need this Christmas. It will warm you up, make you cry, but ultimately leave you feeling fabulous. For fans of One Day, Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral. It's Christmas, and the Birch family is gathering for the first time in years. Emma is elated at having everybody under one roof, but her oldest child, Olivia, is only home because she has nowhere else to go. She's just returned from treating an epidemic abroad and must stay in quarantine for a week - and so, too should her family.For the next seven days, no one can leave the house and no one can enter.It doesn't sound too hard. But a week with your nearest and dearest can feel like an eternity, especially when they're all harbouring secrets.One of whom is about to come knocking at their door... Back

 


The surrogate - Louise Jensen
Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat's childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.But Kat and Lisa's history hides dark secrets.And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat's perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family... Back

 


Wise Phuul - Daniel Stride
Walking corpses and black-market liquor: the quiet life. Telto Phuul, Necromancer and Library Clerk, likes his days safe and predictable. Not for him the intrigues of the Viiminian Empire, a gothic monstrosity held together by sheer force of will. Until the Empire's dreaded secret police come knocking. Caught in a web of schemes in the diseased heart of Kuolinako, the underground Imperial capital, Telto can trust no-one. Not the Northern theocrats who abhor Necromancy, and certainly not the Grand Chancellor, whose iron-fisted rule has kept the old order alive that little bit longer. When one false step means torture and disappearance, this journey will change our Necromancer forever. Back

 


Stranger child - Rachel Abbott
One Dark Secret. One act of revenge. When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident. Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie. Then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world tilts on its axis. Emma's life no longer feels secure. Does she know what really happened all those years ago? And why does she feel so frightened for herself and for her baby? When a desperate Emma reaches out to her old friend DCI Tom Douglas for help, she puts all their lives in jeopardy. Before long, a web of deceit is revealed that shocks both Emma and Tom to the core. They say you should never trust a stranger. Maybe they're right. Back

 


Kill me again - Rachel Abbott
The fifth instalment in the thrilling DCI Tom Douglas series, from bestselling author Rachel Abbott. When your life is a lie, who can you trust? When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family. The children have settled well, although her husband, Duncan, doesn't appear to be so convinced. But nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone or why. And then she discovers she's not the only one looking for him. When a woman who looks just like Maggie is brutally murdered and DCI Tom Douglas is brought in to investigate, Maggie realises how little she knows about Duncan's past. Is he the man she loves? Who is he running from? She doesn't have long to decide whether to trust him or betray him. Because one thing has been made clear to Maggie - another woman will die soon, and it might be her. Back


The sixth window - Rachel Abbott
After eighteen months of grieving for her husband Bernie, killed in a horrific hit and run accident, Natalie Gray has found love with her husband's best friend - Ed Cooper - and has moved herself and fifteen-year-old daughter, Scarlett, into his home. But Natalie begins to suspect Ed has a dark side - and even darker intentions.Desperate to get her daughter to a place of safety, she and Scarlett move to a new home that holds secrets of its own. But has removing Scarlett from one potential threat placed her in far greater danger?DCI Tom Douglas is also chasing the truth, as his investigation into the suicide of a teenage girl draws him ever closer to Natalie and Scarlett. But will he be too late to protect them from the peril they face, or from the truths that will tear their lives apart? Back



The tea gardens - Fiona McIntosh
Dr Isla Fenwick has a life that most modern women of 1933 might envy - her career gives her status, her pedigree adds freedom, and her oldest crush, Jovian Mandeville, has reappeared in her life with a marriage proposal. Her life is beginning to feel complete. However, she insists on keeping a private promise she made to her late mother to work at the coalface of medicine in India before committing to life as a dutiful wife. With Jove's blessing, Isla sails to Calcutta to set up a new midwifery clinic. What she can't anticipate is how India will test everything she relies upon within, challenging her professionalism and her loyalties. But it is the fateful meeting of enigmatic Professor Saxon Vickery that will call into question what she trusts most about herself. When the pair travel into the foothills of the Himalaya for a stay on a tea plantation outside Darjeeling, Isla must make the most important choice of her life. And at the roof of the world - where heaven and earth collide - a price will be exacted for glimpsing heaven.? Back

 


The greatest challenge of them all - Stephanie Laurens
Lord Drake Varisey, Marquess of Winchelsea, eldest son and heir of the Duke of Wolverstone, must foil a plot that threatens to shake the foundations of the realm, but the very last lady--nay, noblewoman--he needs assisting him is Lady Louisa Cynster, known throughout the ton as Lady Wild. For the past nine years, Louisa has suspected that Drake might well be the ideal husband for her, even though he's assiduous in avoiding her. But she's now twenty-seven and enough is enough. She believes propinquity will reveal exactly what it is that lies between them, and what better opportunity to work closely with Drake than this latest mission with which he patently needs her help? Unable to deny Louisa's abilities or the value of her assistance and powerless to curb her willfulness, Drake is forced to grit his teeth and acquiesce to her sticking by his side if only to ensure her safety. But all too soon, his true feelings for her surface sufficiently for her, perspicacious as she is, to see through his denials, which she then interprets as a challenge. Back

 


A mother's choice - Val Wood
1879. Delia is a professional singer on the theatrical stage, but with little money and no prospect of regular work, she struggles to provide the life she'd like to for her young illegitimate son, Robin. She makes the brave decision to return to her roots in Hull, but her parents refuse to see her. Quite by chance she comes across a farming family she used to know well and, knowing they were caring people, makes the heart-wrenching choice to leave Robin with them and disappears. She prays they will give him the stability, education and family life he deserves. Will her sacrifice prove to be the right decision? Can mother and son live without each other, and can they ever be reunited? Back

 


The Zanzibar wife - Deborah Rodriguez
Set both in Oman and on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, The Zanzibar Wife is the story of three different women, each at a turning point in her life ...Oman. The ancient land of frankincense, wind-swept deserts, craggy mountaintops and turquoise seas. A place where tales of evil spirits and eerie phenomena abound. Into this magical nation come three remarkable women, each facing a crossroad in her life. Rachel, a troubled American war photographer, who is struggling to shed the trauma of her career for a simpler, gentler life. Now she has once again picked up her camera and is headed to Oman to cover a quite different story - for a glossy travel magazine. Sophie Khan, a bubbly British woman struggling to keep up with the glitz of Dubai and ready to give up on love. She has rashly volunteered as Rachel's 'fixer', a job she's never heard of in a country she knows nothing about. And Miza, a young woman living far from her beloved homeland of Zanzibar. As the second wife of Tariq, an Omani man, she remains a secret from his terrifying 'other' wife, Maryam. Until one day, when Tariq fails to come home ...As the three women journey together across this weird and wonderful land, they are forced to confront their darkest fears and their deepest wishes. Because here in Oman, things aren't always what they appear to be... Back

 


The temptation to be happy - Shaun Whiteside
Cesare is a seventy-seven-year-old widower and cynical troublemaker, a man who has always struggled to care for others and has given up trying. Aside from an intermittent fling with a nurse called Rossana, he avoids contact with his neighbours and even his own children. One day, the enigmatic Emma moves into the neighbouring flat with her strange and sinister husband. Suspecting there is more to their relationship than meets the eye, Cesare decides to investigate. This new sense of purpose awakens his appetite for life, and he soon finds himself risking everything for a future he had never thought possible. Back

 


The little angel - Rosie Goodwin
Monday's child is fair of face ...At Treetops Foundling Home in Victorian Nuneaton, one special little girl brings sunshine and joy wherever she goes. A favourite of her foster mother, Kitty grows into a beguiling young woman, but soon attracts the attention of more than one suitor with questionable intentions. Adventurous and wilful, her head is turned by the promise of fame and riches and the family she thought lost forever. But she quickly discovers that her beauty is no protection against the peril she finds herself in, as an innocent young girl making her way in the music halls and theatres of the big city ...Perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Katie Flynn. Back

 


In the dark - Andreas Pfluger
Jenny Aaron was a government assassin, part of an elite unit tracking Germany's most dangerous criminals. She was one of the best, until a disastrous mission ended with her abandoning a wounded colleague and then going blind from her injuries. Now, five years later, she has learnt to navigate a darkened world, but is haunted by betraying her colleague. When she is called back to the force to trace a ruthless serial killer, she seizes the opportunity to solve the case and restore her honour. Strong-willed and fearless - but vulnerable too - Jenny Aaron is a character to stand side by side with Clarice Starling and Lisbeth Salander. Back

 

Non-fiction


200 women - Geoff Blackwell
Two hundred women from a variety of backgrounds are asked the same five questions. Their answers are inspiring human stories of success and courage, love and pain, redemption and generosity. From well-known activists, artists, and innovators to everyday women whose lives are no less exceptional for that, each woman shares her unique replies to questions like "What really matters to you?" and "What would you change in the world if you could?" Interviewees include conservation and animal welfare activist Jane Goodall, actor and human rights advocate Alfre Woodard, and Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberta Menchu, along with those who are making a difference behind the scenes around the world, such as Marion Wright Edelman, head of the Children's Defense Fund. Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait, resulting in a volume that is compelling in word and image-and global in its scope and resonance. This landmark book is published to coincide with an immersive traveling exhibition and an interactive website, building on this remarkable, ever-evolving project. With responses ranging from uplifting to heartbreaking, these women offer gifts of empowerment and strength-inviting us to bring positive change at a time when so many are fighting for basic freedom and equality. Back

 


Agatha Christie: a biography - Janet Morgan

Using family papers and other protected material, this biography sheds light on Agatha Christie's life, work and relationships. Agatha Christie (1890-1976), the world's best-selling author, is a public institution. Her creations, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, have become fiction's most legendary sleuths and her ingenuity has captures the imagination of generations of readers. But although she lived to a great age and was prolific, she remained elusively shy and determinedly private. Given sole access to family papers and other protected material, Janet Morgan's definitive biography unravels Agatha Christie's life, work and relationships, creating a revealing and faithfully honest portrait. Her book will intrigue those who read detective stories and delight all who are interested in the nature of a writer's life and extraordinary success. Back

 


Bad ground: inside the Beaconsfield mine rescue - Tony Wright
The exclusive, authorised story of the 14-day entombment and rescue of Beaconsfield miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell and the fascinating aftermath. Bad Ground reads like a psychological thriller as it follows the many intriguing and moving developments surrounding its central characters and their families. Tony Wright is a well-respected journalist and National Affairs Editor for The Bulletin. Bad Ground is the real story of miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb and their deliverance from entombment in the depths of the Beaconsfield hard-rock mine. But the seismic event that trapped them affected the close-knit community just as profoundly. Family, friends, fellow miners and rescuers: this is also the story of those who worked desperately against the clock and against all odds to reach the men below. Of those who held vigil, of those who grieved, and of those who never stopped believing. Tony Wright was there covering the story as it unfolded, and experienced firsthand the making of an Australian legend. Now Beaconsfield has shared with him its most personal memories and deepest secrets - woven into an enthralling narrative that reads like a psychological thriller. No-one will remain unmoved as Russell and Webb reveal the thoughts, the fears, the courage and the humanity to be found in the hearts and minds of men enduring the unendurable, down in the deepest dark. His account of their ordeal is not a fast cut-and-paste exploitative job. Back

 


Better brain food: eat to cheat dementia and cognitive decline - Ngaire Hobbins and Michelle Crawford
Groundbreaking publication on the hot topic of brain health and dementia prevention plus over 70 recipes to keep your brain healthy. Back

 

New Zealand Non-fiction


Bad things - Louise Wallace
No one can imagine how bad things must be. They sprout in the dark, damp folds of my mind. They grow there- a forest of tiny umbrellas. They flourish- a crown of terrible heads. Bad Things, the new collection by Louise Wallace - poet, not celebrity housewife - is about the different ways in which we survive. Political and personal, the collection navigates celebrity encounters, women and work, the weight of expectation, and the pasts we try to escape and the people we try to hold on to. These poems are dreamlike, confronting, funny, and sometimes unashamedly weird. Back

 


Big Pacific - Rebecca Tansley
The Pacific Ocean has been the focus of our fascination for as long as we have lived beside and on it. It covers one-third of Earth's surface - greater than all of the planet's landmasses combined. It contains half of the world's water, hides its deepest places, and is home to some of the most dazzling creatures known to science. Big Pacific presents the Pacific Ocean and its inhabitants as you have never seen them before, blending a wealth of Ultra HD colour photographs with spellbinding storytelling to take you into a realm teeming with exotic life yet rarely witnessed up close - until now. Back

 


Bird words: New Zealand writers on birds - Elisabeth Easther
A lively anthology of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, celebrating the birds of New Zealand. On the skyline a hawk languidly typing a hunting poem with its wings. - Hone Tuwhare New Zealand birds have inspired mythology, song, whimsical stories, detailed observation, humour and poetry. There are tales of shooting and taxidermy as well as of admiration and love. From the kakapo, kokako and kaka to the sparrow, starling and seagull, both native and imported birds have been immortalised in print. This is a varied and stimulating selection from the flocks of New Zealand writers who have given our birds a voice. They have brought extinct birds back to life and even enabled the kiwi to take flight on the page. Back

 


Cheap thrills: save money, save time, eat well! - Annabel Langbein

Save money, save time, eat well! Your complete guide to cooking and eating resourcefully and deliciously. Back

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