Anticipated Books (Summer-Fall) 2014: Historical Fiction July-September

2014Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2014. Like fantasy, there were too many historical fiction books that caught my fancy for one post, so they’ve been split in two. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them!  Read More …

Anticipated Books (Summer/Fall) 2012: (historical) crime fiction

The next of my Anticipated Books (Summer/Fall) 2012 is all about crime and historical crime fiction. I adore a good crime story and I love historical fiction, so the combination of the two is a double win for me. The other posts will follow Thursday and Saturday, with the Anticipated Reads post up on the Sunday.

Crime
July

A.J. Cross – Gone in Seconds (Orion)
When the skeleton of a young woman is found near a West Midlands motorway, evidence suggests that it is that of teenager Molly James, who went missing five years ago.
Forensic psychologist Dr Kate Hanson and the Unsolved Crime Unit are called in to re-investigate Molly’s case. The deeper they dig the dirtier the clues get, and when a second set of remains is unearthed Kate suspects they’re looking for a Repeater: a killer who will adapt, grow and not stop until they are caught.
Will Dr Hanson manage to unravel the tangle of clues that the killer has left behind before he has a chance to take another innocent victim?

August

Sebastian Fitzek – The Eye Collector (Corvus)
Ready or not, here he comes…

It’s the same each time. A woman’s body is found with a ticking stopwatch clutched in her dead hand. A distraught father must find his child before the boy suffocates – and the killer takes his left eye.

Alexander Zorbach, a washed-up cop turned journalist has reported all three of the Eye Collector’s murders. But this is different. His wallet has been found next to the corpse and now he’s a suspect. The Eye Collector wants Zorbach to play.

Zorbach has exactly forty-five hours, seven minutes to save a little boy’s life. And the countdown has started…

Casey Hill – Torn (Simon & Schuster)
Read the clues. Decode the science. Reveal the murderer.
That’s Reilly Steel’s mantra. Find the answers, solve the crime. But the Quantico-trained forensic investigator is finding her skills aren’t enough when a ferociously intelligent killer strikes Dublin.
The modus operandi is as perplexing as it is macabre. What connects the two seemingly disparate, high-profile victims?
Their corpses refuse to give up their secrets and the crime scenes prove a forensic investigator’s worst nightmare. Reilly soon suspects that she may be dealing with a killer – or killers – who know all about crime scene investigation.
The police are just as frustrated by the crimes’ impenetrable nature and it’s only when a third murder occurs – equally graphic and elaborate in its execution – that they discover that this particular killer is using a very specific blueprint for his crimes.
Who is the killer’s next victim, the real target? And what’s his endgame?

September

Richard Castle – Frozen Heat (Hyperion)
NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat arrives at her latest crime scene to find an unidentified woman stabbed to death and stuffed inside a suitcase left on a Manhattan street. Nikki is in for a big shock when this new homicide connects to the unsolved murder of her own mother. Paired once again with her romantic and investigative partner, top journalist Jameson Rook, Heat works to solve the mystery of the body in the suitcase while she is forced to confront unexplored areas of her mother’s background.

Facing relentless danger as someone targets her for the next kill, Nikki’s search will unearth painful family truths, expose a startling hidden life, and cause Nikki to reexamine her own past. Heat’s passionate quest takes her and Rook from the back alleys of Manhattan to the avenues of Paris, trying to catch a ruthless killer. The question is, now that her mother’s cold case has unexpectedly thawed, will Nikki Heat finally be able to solve the dark mystery that has been her demon for ten years?

November

Kristine Ohlsson – Unwanted (Emily Bestler Books)
One mistake changes everything…
In the middle of a rainy Swedish summer, a little girl is abducted from a crowded train. Despite hundreds of potential witnesses, no one noticed when the girl was taken. Her distraught mother was left behind at the previous station in what seemed to be a coincidence. The train crew was alerted and kept a watchful eye on the sleeping child. But when the train pulled into Stockholm Central Station, the little girl had vanished. Inspector Alex Recht and his special team of federal investigators, assisted by the investigative analyst Fredrika Bergman, are assigned to what at first appears to be a classic custody fight. But when the child is found dead in the far north of Sweden with the word “unwanted” scribbled on her forehead, the case soon turns into the investigation team’s worst nightmare—the pursuit of a brilliant and ruthless killer.

Historical Crime Fiction
August

Andrew Swanston – The King’s Spy (Transworld)
Summer, 1643

England is at war with itself. King Charles I has fled London, his negotiations with Parliament in tatters.

The country is consumed by bloodshed. For Thomas Hill, a man of letters quietly running a bookshop in the rural town of Romsey, knowledge of the war is limited to the rumours that reach the local inn.

When a stranger knocks on his door one night and informs him that the king’s cryptographer has died, everything changes. Aware of Thomas’s background as a mathematician and his expertise in codes and ciphers, the king has summoned him to his court in Oxford.

On arrival, Thomas soon discovers that nothing at court is straightforward. There is evidence of a traitor in their midst. Brutal murder follows brutal murder. And when a vital message encrypted with a notoriously unbreakable cipher is intercepted, he must decipher it to reveal the king’s betrayer and prevent the violent death that defeat will surely bring.

November

Anthony Hays – The Divine Sacrifice (Corvus)
Welcome to fifth-century Britain: the Romans have left, the Saxons have invaded, the towns are decaying and the countryside is dangerous.

Malgwyn ap Cuneglas, an embittered former soldier who lost a limb in combat, is now a trusted advisor to Arthur, the High King of all Britannia. When a monk dies in horrific circumstances in Glastonbury Abbey, the Abbot calls for Malgwyn to investigate.

His search for the truth will draw him into an intricate web of religious, economic and political deceit – and a conspiracy that could endanger everything Arthur has fought for.

Anticipated Books (Summer/Fall) 2012: Popular fiction and Horror

The next of my Anticipated Books (Summer/Fall) 2012 is all about popular fiction and horror. The popular fiction titles are really genre benders with a lot of historical fiction/fantasy/horror flavours. I’m obviously not much of a horror reader, but I received Lindqvist’s Harbor for review last year and loved it and I’ve heard nothing but good about Little Star. The other posts will follow next Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with the Anticipated Reads post up on the Sunday following.

Popular Fiction
September

Ami McKay – The Virgin Cure (Orion)
‘I am Moth, a girl from the lowest part of Chrystie Street, born to a slum-house mystic and the man who broke her heart.’ So begins THE VIRGIN CURE, a novel set in the tenements of lower Manhattan in 1871. As a young child, Moth’s father smiled, tipped his hat and walked away from her forever. The summer she turned twelve, her mother sold her as a servant to a wealthy woman, with no intention of ever seeing her again.

These betrayals lead Moth to the wild, murky world of the Bowery, filled with house-thieves, pickpockets, beggars, sideshow freaks and prostitutes, where eventually she meets Miss Everett, the owner of a brothel. Miss Everett caters to gentlemen who pay dearly for companions, and the most desirable of them all are young virgins like Moth.

Through the friendship of Dr Sadie, a female physician, Moth learns to question and observe the world around her, where her new friends are falling prey to the myth of the ‘virgin cure’ to heal the incurable and tainted. She knows the law will not protect her, that polite society ignores her, and still she dreams of answering to no one but herself. There’s a high price for such independence, though, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street…

Douglas Nicholas – Something Red (Emily Bester Books)
During the 1200s in northwest England, in one of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable middle-aged Irishwoman and the troupe she leads are trying to drive their three wagons across the mountains before the heavy snows set in. Molly, her powerful and enigmatic lover, her fey granddaughter, and her young apprentice, soon discover that something terrible prowls the woods. As the group travels from refuge to refuge, it becomes apparent that the mysterious evil force must be faced and defeated—or else they will surely die.
An intoxicating and spirited blend of fantasy, mythology, and history, Something Red features the most fascinating of characters including shapeshifters, Irish battle queens, Norman knights, Templars, pilgrims, Saracens, a Lithuanian noblewoman, warrior monks, strong—even dangerous—women, and ten murderous mastiffs, as well as an epic snowstorm that an early reader described as “one of the coldest scenes since Snow Falling on Cedars.”

October

K.W. Jeter & Gareth Jefferson Jones – Death’s Apprentice (Thomas Dunne Books)
Forget about Once Upon a Time . . .

Built on top of the gates of Hell, Grimm City is the Devil’s capital on earth. A place where every coffee shop, nightclub and shopping mall is the potential hunting ground for a ghost, a demon, or any of the other supernatural entities that inhabit the Grimm City world.

Death’s seventeen-year-old apprentice, Nathaniel, comes into his own as he leads an uprising against the Devil with the help of a half-dead wraith and a giant hitman. What results is a bloody, brutal revolt that calls upon the loyalties of both the living and the dead.

Based not only upon the Brothers Grimm well-known fairy tales, but also upon their “unknown” sagas and essays, Grimm City is the first novel to be based upon the entire Grimm canon. Such a comprehensive, in-depth adaptation of the works of the Brothers Grimm has never been published before!

November

Essie Fox – Elijah’s Mermaid (Orion)
Since she was found as a baby, floating in the Thames one foggy night, the web-toed Pearl has been brought up in a brothel known as the House of Mermaids. Cosseted and pampered there, it is only when her fourteenth birthday approaches that Pearl realises she is to be sold to the highest bidder.
Meanwhile, the orphaned twins, Lily and Elijah, have shared an idyllic childhood, raised in a secluded country house with their grandfather, Augustus Lamb. But when Lily and Elijah go on a visit London, a chance meeting with the ethereal Pearl will have repercussions for all of them, binding their fates together in a dark and dangerous way…
In this bewitching, sensual novel, Essie Fox has written another tale of obsessive love and betrayal, moving from the respectable worlds of Victorian art and literature, and into the shadowy demi-monde of brothels, asylums and freak show tents – a world in which nothing and no-one is quite what they seem to be.

Horror

John Ajvide Lindqvist – Little Star (October, Thomas Dunne Books)
A man finds a baby in the woods, left for dead. He brings the baby home. The man’s son, Jerry, teaches the child music. Deciding he can’t let the girl’s uncommonly beautiful voice go unheard, Jerry enters her in a singing competition. Miles away another young girl sees the performance on television. When the two girls meet, a terrible force is ignited that catapults this duo to a top spot in the horror Hall of Fame.