Hello and welcome to another packed book haul post here on Always Trust In Books. I have been sent a huge pile of books in this last fortnight, so many brilliant authors and genres delivered to my doorstep for review. There is a lot to cover in this post so I will get right to it! Please let me know if you have read or are planning to read these titles as I would love to discuss them with you. To the Books!
July week 1/2 Book Haul
Runelight by Joanne M Harris
Published by: Gollancz
I love Runemarks and The Gospel of Loki. There is just something about Joanne M Harris’ writing that I cannot get enough of. That and brilliant mythological storylines! Can’t wait to get into this soon 😀
Official Synopsis: A chilling prophecy from the Oracle. A conflict between two girls. And with just twelve days to stave off the Apocalypse, carnage is about to be unleashed…
The squabbling Norse gods and goddesses of Runemarks are back! And there’s a feisty new heroine on the scene: Maggie, a girl the same age as Maddy but brought up a world apart – literally, in World’s End, the focus of the Order in which Maddy was raised. Now the Order is destroyed, Chaos is filling the vacuum left behind… and is breaching the everyday world.
Six hundred miles apart, two girls each bear on their skin a runemark: a symbol of the Old Days when the known Worlds were ruled by the gods from their sky citadel, Asgard.
Now Asgard lies in ruins, and the power of the gods has long since been destroyed.
Or so everyone thinks.
But nothing is lost for ever, and the gods haven’t given up yet (nor stopped squabbling!) and they want the power of the runes borne by Maddy and Maggie – these new runes, which carry huge potential, their runelight shining out as a portent to the future.
Soon both girls are swept into a maelstrom of cataclysmic events that are to draw them closer and closer to each other, and nearer and nearer to a horrific struggle where each must prove where their loyalty lies…
Darien by C F Iggulden
Published by: Michael Joseph
Already started Darien and it is brilliant. I appreciate it when you can tell that you are going to stick with a trilogy in the first 50 pages. It is like the Magnificent Seven meets Game of Thrones.
Official Synopsis: TWELVE FAMILIES. ONE THRONE.
The city of Darien stands at the weary end of a golden age. Twelve families keep order with soldiers and artefacts, spies and memories, clinging to a peace that shifts and crumbles. The people of the city endure what they cannot change.
Here, amongst old feuds, a plot is hatched to kill a king. It will summon strangers to the city – Elias Post, a hunter, Tellius, an old swordsman banished from his home, Arthur, a boy who cannot speak, Daw Threefold, a chancer and gambler, Vic Deeds, who feels no guilt – and Nancy, a girl whose talent might be the undoing of them all.
As the sun sets, their arrival inside the walls will spark a series of explosive events. Before the sun returns, six destinies will have been made – and lost – in Darien.
Welcome to the Empire of Salt, where sword and sorcery are at their finest . . .
Midnight Queen Trilogy by Sylvia Hunter
Published by: Alison & Busby
I have been sent all three instalments for the series but to avoid potential spoilers I am only sharing the first book. This series looks both quirky and intriguing. Hope the series lives up to the hype!
Official Synopsis: Gray Marshall’s Britain is a fragmented kingdom of many tongues, many gods and many magics. But all that concerns Gray is returning as soon as possible to his studies at Merlin College, Oxford and setting right the nightmare that has seen him disgraced and banished to his tutor’s home. Sophie Callender may not have magic herself and a father who forbids his daughters a magical education, but her bookish rebellion and growing friendship with Gray are the first steps of a journey. A journey that will involve them in a conspiracy at the heart of the kingdom and into the legend of a young queen who vanished without a trace years before.Sylvia Hunter has created a world that is both only slightly different and a far cry from the England we know of the 1800s, teeming with depth in language, myth and religion that defies easy categorisation.
Robin Hood Demon’s Bane: Sovereign’s War
Published by: Titan Books
I think re-imaginings are important to keep relevant and enjoyable stories alive. The Robin Hood Demon’s Bane series is a great example of how to do a decent re-imagining on a classic tale, can’t wait to see what book 3 has to offer.
Official Synopsis: These are dark days for England. The Hood is dead. The Sheriff has summoned an ally—one who leads an army sufficient to enter Sherwood and crush the resistance. Then comes news that King Richard is the prisoner of a pagan ruler. What began as a rebellion has become a war for the throne.
With hordes of demons and men at his disposal, the Sheriff is poised to seize power. A desperate mission is mounted to rescue Richard, while those who remain behind must hold off the enemy. Yet even if the true king returns, an epic battle will erupt, and the outcome cannot be foretold.
The Life and Death of Sherlock Holmes by Mattias Bostrom
Published by: Head Of Zeus
I have been waiting a long time to read this book. I am a huge Sherlock fan and I am incredibly keen on finding out more on the mythos of the series. Hopefully Mattias Bostrom can do the great detective justice 😀
Official Synopsis: Everybody knows about Sherlock Holmes, the unique literary character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who has remained popular over the decades and is more appreciated than ever today. But what made this fictional character, dreamed up by a small-town English doctor back in the 1880s, into such a great success? This is the fascinating and exciting tale of the man and people who created the Holmes legend.
The Switch by Joseph Finder
Published by: Head Of Zeus
Who can resist a potentially brilliant action/thriller? Not me! I haven’t read Joseph Finder yet but I have very high hopes.
Official Synopsis: Michael Tanner is heading home from a business trip when he accidentally picks up the wrong laptop from security. What he doesn’t know is that the owner is US senator Susan Robbins, and her laptop contains top secret files that should never have been on there in the first place.
And Senator Robbins is not the only one who wants the laptop back… Suddenly, Tanner is a hunted man. On the run, terrified for the safety of his family – he is in desperate need of a plan – but who can he trust?
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
Published by: Hamish Hamilton
This sounds emotionally comprehensive and intense! I am always looking for books that open my view of the wider world and I am certain that The Ministry of Utmost Happiness will do so effortlessly.
Official Synopsis: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on a journey of many years-the story spooling outwards from the cramped neighbourhoods of Old Delhi into the burgeoning new metropolis and beyond, to the Valley of Kashmir and the forests of Central India, where war is peace and peace is war, and where, from time to time, ‘normalcy’ is declared.
Anjum, who used to be Aftab, unrolls a threadbare carpet in a city graveyard that she calls home. A baby appears quite suddenly on a pavement, a little after midnight, in a crib of litter. The enigmatic S. Tilottama is as much of a presence as she is an absence in the lives of the three men who loved her.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at once an aching love story and a decisive remonstration. It is told in a whisper, in a shout, through tears and sometimes with a laugh. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, mended by love-and by hope. For this reason, they are as steely as they are fragile, and they never surrender. This ravishing, magnificent book reinvents what a novel can do and can be. And it demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy’s storytelling gifts.
The Dinner Party by Joshua Ferris
Published by: Viking
Funny! Satirical! Hypothetical! All my favourite things 😀 I have another Joshua Ferris book I have yet to read but I think The Dinner Party will come first as it looks potentially hilarious.
Official Synopsis: ‘He reflected in future retrospect on the evening and foretold every gesture, every word. “I can’t do it,” he said. “I can predict everything that will happen from the moment they arrive to the little kiss on the cheek goodbye and I just can’t goddamn do it.”‘
The Dinner Party immerses us in the comic and strange realities of modern life, as we journey through the lives of the unlovable, the unloved, and those who love too much: Jack, who nervously tries to befriend the surly removal man by buying him a latte and a croissant; Sarah, who endlessly imagines how her evening would have been better had she only chosen a different restaurant; Joe, who spends a night alone at the office and surreptitiously starts to rearrange his colleagues’ belongings.
These are stories about the infinite possibilities of a person’s life, from an agonizingly funny and original writer.
The Accordionist by Fred Vargas
Published by: Harvill Secker
I really liked the sound of this. An edgy cultural crime/thriller. Plus it is centred around a riddle and I adore puzzles 😀
Official Synopsis: When two Parisian women are shockingly murdered in their homes, the police suspect young accordionist Clément Vauquer, who was seen outside both of the apartments in question. It seems on the surface like an open-and-shut case.
But now Clément has disappeared from public view. His likeness has appeared in the papers and detectives from Paris to Nevers are on his tail. To have a chance of proving his innocence, he seeks refuge with old Marthe, a former prostitute and the only mother figure he has known.
Marthe calls ex-special investigator Louis Kehlweiler to help Clément. But what Louis uncovers is anything but straightforward, and he must call on some unconventional friends to help him solve his most complex case yet. Not only must Louis try to prove Clément’s innocence, he must solve a fiendish riddle to lead him to the killer…
Stalin’s Meteorologist by Olivier Rolin
Published by: Harvill Secker
Official Synopsis: One fateful day in 1934, a husband arranged to meet his wife under the colonnade of the Bolshoi theatre. As she waited for him in vain, he was only a few hundred metres away, in a cell in the notorious Lubyanka prison.
Less than a year before, Alexey Wangenheim – a celebrated meteorologist – had been hailed by Stalin as a national hero. But following his sudden arrest, he was exiled to a gulag, forced to spend his remaining years on an island in the frozen north, along with thousands of other political prisoners.
By chance, Olivier Rolin discovered an album of the letters and beautiful drawings of the natural world which Alexey sent home to his wife, Varvara, and his four-year-old daughter, Eleonora. Intrigued by these images, Rolin became determined to uncover Alexey’s story and his eventual horrifying fate.
Stalin’s Meteorologist is the fascinating and deeply moving account of an innocent man and his family caught up in the brutality of Soviet paranoia, and a timely reminder of the human consequences of political extremism.
Night of Fire by Colin Thubron
Published by: Vintage
Night Of Fire has the potential to be amazing! i think the premise is darkly superb and I am looking forward to getting stuck in. Multiple lives, multiple perspective and so much to offer the reader.
Official Synopsis: It began with a spark…
A house is burning. Its six tenants include a failed priest, a naturalist, a neurosurgeon and a photographer. Their landlord’s relationship to them is both intimate and shadowy. At times he shares their obsessions and memories. He will also share their fate.
The passions of these individuals reach beyond the dying house that holds them. One recalls a lonely childhood, another the cremation grounds of India, another an African refugee camp. But will their stories be consumed forever by the flames?
Crime Scene by Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman
Published by: Headline
Jonathan Kellerman is one of those authors you can always rely on for a decent book. 2017 is definitely the year of the psychological thriller, I am interested to see where this ranks amongst the others I have read this year!
Official Synopsis: Crime Scene is the next enthralling psychological thriller from Number One bestsellers and masters of the genre, Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman.
Natural causes or foul play? That’s the question deputy coroner Clay Edison must answer each time he examines a body. Figuring out motives and chasing down suspects aren’t part of his beat – until a seemingly open-and-shut case proves to be more than meets his highly trained eye.
Eccentric, reclusive Walter Rennert lies cold at the bottom of his stairs. At first glance the scene looks straightforward: a once-respected psychology professor done in by booze and a bad heart. But his daughter Tatiana insists that he has been murdered, and she persuades Clay to take a closer look at the grim facts of Rennert’s life.
When Clay learns that Rennert’s colleague died in a nearly identical manner, he becomes even more determined to discover the truth behind the man’s death. The twisting trail Clay follows will lead him into the darkest corners of the human soul.
It’s his job to listen to the tales told by the dead. But this time, he’s part of a story that makes his blood run cold.
The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronvitch
Published by: Gateway
I have heard great things about both Ben Aaronvitch and the Peter Grant series. It is a tad daunting coming in at book 6 but I am sure I will manage to get into the series in no time at all.
Official Synopsis: The sixth outing for PC Peter Grant in this bestselling series sees him back in London and facing up to the terrifying legacy of London’s hangings.
Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one of the most expensive apartment blocks in London. But Lady Ty’s daughter was there, and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour.
Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basements are bigger than the house and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean. But this is Peter Grant we’re talking about.
He’s been given an unparalleled opportunity to alienate old friends and create new enemies at the point where the world of magic and that of privilege intersect. Assuming he survives the week…
The Doomed City by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky
Published by: Gateway
The SF Masterworks series is a superb idea and I am loving all the titles I am getting from Gateway. This sounds so far from anything else I have read before! Should be a fun, topical and disturbing read.
Official Synopsis: From the acclaimed Soviet authors of ROADSIDE PICNIC comes a novel so incendiary that it could not be published until the freedom of perestroika came to the USSR.
It is a mysterious city whose sun is switched on in the morning and switched off at night, bordered by an abyss on one side and an impossibly high wall on the other. Its inhabitants are people who were plucked from twentieth-century history at various times and places and left to govern themselves, advised by Mentors whose purpose seems inscrutable. This is life in the Experiment.
Andrei Voronin, a young astronomer plucked from Leningrad in the 1950s, is a die-hard believer in the Experiment, even though his first job in the city is as a garbage collector. As increasinbly nightmarish scenarios begin to affect the city, he rises through the political hierarchy, with devastating effect.
Close To Me by Amanda Reynolds
Published by: Wildfire
Close To Me is going to be on a lot of TBRs this summer and I love getting caught up in the hype alongside my fellow bloggers. I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I most probably will.
Official Synopsis: She can’t remember the last year. Her husband wants to keep it that way.
Dramatic psychological suspense for fans of Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret, Clare Mackintosh’s I Let You Go, and Linda Green’s While My Eyes Were Closed.
When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia – she’s lost a whole year of memories.
A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life?
She can’t remember what she did – or what happened the night she fell.
But she’s beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought.
Scorn by Paul Hoffman
Published by: Red Opera
Scorn is another novel that is a huge departed from my reading ‘comfort zone’. I am on the blog tour for Scorn in September so be sure to check out my review and all the other festivities surrounding this oddly appealing novel.
Official Synopsis: From the incredible mind of Paul Hoffman, author of the bestselling The Left Hand of God trilogy comes a sharply intelligent and darkly funny Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde story for the 21st Century.
Raised by violence in a Catholic boarding school, depressed physicist Aaron Gall lives a life of misery anchored by his painful childhood memories. But when an accident at the Large Hadron Collider opens a miniature black hole in his brain, Aaron’s life is utterly transformed. Suddenly filled with a new zest for life, he finds himself inspired to embark on a new form of therapy – to track down the priests who caused him so much childhood trauma, and to talk to them about the effect they had on his life. And then eat them.
Told from the perspectives of both murderer, and the two detectives tasked with bringing him to justice, Scorn is a bold and sharp look at modern society filled with tragedy, pitch-black humour, and gripping revenge. A novel like no other, it pulls no punches and delivers an outstanding set of shocking twists alongside laugh-out-loud comedy.
Thank you all for coming to check out the latest (and biggest) book haul here on Always Trust In Books. I know a lot of you may also be reading Close To Me so please let me know how you are getting on with it! Any other books that take your interest or that you have finished and loved/hated please let me know in the comments. I love to chat books with you all so don’t be shy and until next time, hapy reading!