30.11.2020

We spoke to the most talked-about debut author of the year

Synopsis: When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away.

She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

My Sister The Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Amazon
Release Date: 3 January, 2019
Genre: Kitschy Thriller
You’ll like this if you loved: Dexter

The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood, Susan Elliot Wright, Amazon
Release Date: 21 February, 2019
Genre: Tragedy Fiction
You’ll like this if you loved: The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
Synopsis: From a supremely talented storyteller, The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood is a powerful novel of motherhood, loss and loneliness and how we can make damaging choices when pushed to our emotional edge.

Adèle, Leïla Slimani, Amazon
Release Date: 7 February, 2019
Genre: Literary Fiction
You’ll like this if you loved: The Nanny by Leïla Slimani
Synopsis: Adèle appears to have the perfect life. A respected journalist, she lives in a flawless Parisian apartment with her surgeon husband and their young son. But beneath the veneer of ‘having it all’, she is bored – and consumed by an insatiable need for sex, whatever the cost. Struggling to contain the twin forces of compulsion and desire, she begins to orchestrate her life around her one night stands and extramarital affairs, arriving late to work and lying to her husband about where she’s been, until she becomes ensnared in a trap of her own making.

The Flower Girls, Alice Clark-Platts, Amazon
Release Date: 27 January, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
You’ll like this if you loved: My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni
Synopsis: The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose. One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity. Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing. And the Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again…

You Know You Want This, Kristen Roupenian, Amazon
Release Date: 15 January, 2019
Genre: Short Stories about sex dating and modern life
You’ll like this if you loved: The viral hit, Cat Person, by Kristen Roupenian
Synopsis: These are stories of women’s lives now. They also happen to be horror stories. In some, women endure the horror. In others, they inflict it.

Here are women at work, at home, on dates, at the doctor’s, with their families and with their friends. Here are women grappling with desire, punishment, guilt and anger. These are stories that make you feel fascinated but repelled, scared but delighted, revolted but aroused.

The Chestnut Man, Soren Sveistrup, Amazon
Release Date: 10 January, 2019
Genre: Scandi Noir
You’ll like this if you loved: The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler
Synopsis: One blustery October morning in a quiet Copenhagen suburb, the police make a terrible discovery. A young woman is found brutally murdered with one of her hands missing. Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Ambitious young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner, Mark Hess, is a burned-out investigator who’s just been kicked out of Europol. They soon discover a mysterious piece of evidence on the chestnut man – evidence connecting it to a girl who went missing a year earlier and is presumed dead; the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung. But the man who confessed to her murder is already behind bars and the case long since closed.

Soon afterwards, a second woman is found murdered, along with another chestnut man. Thulin and Hess suspect that there’s a connection between the Hartung case and the murdered women. But what is it?

Thulin and Hess are racing against the clock, because it’s clear that the killer is on a mission that is far from over . . .

Black Is The Body, Emily Bernard, Amazon
Release Date: 5 February, 2019
Genre: Memoir/Essays
You’ll like this if you loved: The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya
Synopsis: She writes in Black Is the Body how each of the essays goes beyond a narrative of black innocence and white guilt, how each is anchored in a mystery, and how each sets out to discover a new way of telling the truth as the author has lived it. “Blackness is an art, not a science. It is a paradox: intangible and visceral; a situation and a story. It is the thread that connects these essays, but its significance as an experience emerges randomly, unpredictably . . . Race is the story of my life, and therefore black is the body of this book.”
And what most interests Bernard is looking at “blackness at its borders, where it meets whiteness in fear and hope, in anguish and love.”

On The Come Up, Angie Thomas, Amazon
Release Date: 7 February, 2019
Genre: Contemporary YA
You’ll like this if you loved: The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
Synopsis: The award-winning author of The Hate U Give returns with a powerful story about hip hop, freedom of speech – and fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you.

Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But when her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, Bri finds herself at the centre of controversy and portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. And with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it – she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.

Ruin Beach, Kate Rhodes, Amazon
Release Date: 21 February, 2019
Genre: Thriller
You’ll like this if you loved: Broadchurch, the TV series
Synopsis: Ben Kitto has become the Scilly Isles’ Deputy Chief of Police. As the island’s lazy summer takes hold, he finds himself missing the excitement of the murder squad in London. But when the body of professional diver Jude Trellon is discovered, anchored to the rocks of a nearby cave, his investigative skills are once again needed.

At first it appears that the young woman’s death was a tragic accident, but when evidence is found that suggests otherwise, the islanders close ranks. With even those closest to the victim refusing to talk, it seems that plenty of people might have had reason to harm her. As the islanders remain guarded, Ben Kitto suspects a killer is on the loose in Tresco.

Everyone is a suspect.
Nobody is safe.

Oculus, Sally Wen Mao, Amazon
Release Date: 1 February, 2019
Genre: Poetry
You’ll like this if you loved: Bury It by Sam Sax
Synopsis: In Oculus, Sally Wen Mao explores exile not just as a matter of distance and displacement, but as a migration through time and a reckoning with technology. The title poem follows a girl in Shanghai who uploaded her suicide onto Instagram. Other poems cross into animated worlds, examine robot culture, and haunt a necropolis for electronic waste. A fascinating sequence speaks in the voice of international icon and first Chinese American movie star Anna May Wong, who travels through the history of cinema with a time machine, even past her death and into the future of film, where she finds she has no progeny. With a speculative imagination and a sharpened wit, Mao powerfully confronts the paradoxes of seeing and being seen, the intimacies made possible and ruined by the screen, and the many roles and representations that women of colour are made to endure in order to survive a culture that seeks to consume them.

Black Leopard Red Wolf, Marlon James, Amazon
Release Date: 28 February, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
You’ll like this if you loved: A Brief History Of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Synopsis: ‘The child is dead. There is nothing left to know.’

Tracker is a hunter, known throughout the thirteen kingdoms as one who has a nose – and he always works alone. But he breaks his own rule when, hired to find a lost child, he finds himself part of a group of hunters all searching for the same boy. Each of these companions is stranger and more dangerous than the last, from a giant to a witch to a shape-shifting Leopard, and each has secrets of their own.

As the mismatched gang follow the boy’s scent from perfumed citadels to infested rivers to the enchanted darklands and beyond, set upon at every turn by creatures intent on destroying them, Tracker starts to wonder: who really is this mysterious boy? Why do so many people want to stop him being found? And, most important of all, who is telling the truth and who is lying?

Marlon James weaves a tapestry of breathtaking adventure through a world at once ancient and startlingly modern. And, against this exhilarating backdrop of magic and violence, he explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, the excesses of ambition, and our need to understand them all.

Bangkok Wakes To Rain, Pitchaya Sidbanthad, Amazon
Release Date: 21 February, 2019
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
You’ll like this if you loved: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Synopsis: In the restless city of Bangkok, there is a house.

Over the last two centuries, it has played host to longings and losses past, present, and future, and has witnessed lives shaped by upheaval, memory and the lure of home.

A nineteenth-century missionary pines for the comforts of New England, even as he finds the vibrant foreign chaos of Siam increasingly difficult to resist. A jazz pianist is summoned in the 1970s to conjure music that will pacify resident spirits, even as he’s haunted by ghosts of his former life. A young woman in a time much like our own gives swimming lessons in the luxury condos that have eclipsed the old house, trying to outpace the long shadow of her political past. And in the submerged Bangkok of the future, a band of savvy teenagers guides tourists and former residents past waterlogged landmarks, selling them tissues to wipe their tears for places they themselves do not remember.

Time collapses as their stories collide and converge, linked by blood, memory, yearning, chance, and the forces voraciously making and remaking the amphibian, ever-morphing city itself.

My Name is Anna, Lizzy Barber, Amazon
Release Date: 10 January, 2019
Genre: Crime
You’ll like this if you loved: The Rumour by Lesley Kara
Synopsis: Two women – desperate to unlock the truth.
How far will they go to lay the past to rest?

ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park. She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives on the same day?

ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads. Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes in full flow, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth. But will she find the answer before it tears her family apart?

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