January’s a long month, isn’t it? Sure it’s a new year, new you and all that, but the fact remains that January is the Monday of the calendar year. Even our A+ fiction (and this January’s selection was brilliant, if we do say so ourselves) can only go so far towards mitigating that. But now we’ve come to February, finally, and we’ve got another fresh batch of fiction to get us through the final weeks of winter. Shall we?
Fade to Grey by John Lincoln
(9780857302892, No Exit Press, p/b, £12.99)
A seemingly cold case turns very hot indeed in this thriller from the Mail on Sunday’s crime critic.
The first book in a new series from John Lincoln, Fade to Grey introduces British private detective Gethin Grey. Down on his luck and dangerously low on cash, a job proving the innocence of convicted murderer turned cult hero author Izma M seems sent from on high. But is Izma really as innocent as his fans believe?
The Girl Without Skin by Mads Peder Nordbo
(9781911231226, Text Publishing, p/b, £10.99)
A brutal thriller from a new master in ice-cold arctic crime.
When a mummified Viking corpse is discovered in out on the edge of an ice sheet in the remote town of Nuuk, journalist Matthew Cave is sent to cover the story. Then the corpse disappears, and the body of the policeman on guard is found naked and flayed – calling back to a series of murders that plagued Nuuk in the 1970s. As Matt investigates, he starts to realise how deep the story goes – and how much danger he is in.
Harvest Home by Hilda Vaughan
(9781909983786, Honno Press, p/b, £12.99)
A gripping Gothic tale of possession, madness and murder, and a lyrical evocation of Welsh rural life.
Daniel Hafod rides home to the south-west coast of Wales from England one fine morning to become Master of Great House after the death of his uncle. But his obsessive pride and his dark desire for the pretty dairy-maid Eiluned lead to his downfall, as he and his sailor cousin, Dan, compete for her love.
The Horseman’s Song by Ben Pastor
(9781912242115, Bitter Lemon Press, p/b, £8.99)
Detective Martin Bora investigates the mystery of Federico Garcia Lorca’s death among the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War.
On assignment in the Spanish Foreign Legion,
I Am God by Giacomo Sartori
(9781632062147, Restless Books, p/b, £12.99)
An unforgettable trip through the Big Questions with the universe’s most incontestably perfect narrator.
When, inexplicably, he falls in love with a human – and a fanatical geneticist and atheist at that – God has something of an existential crisis. But what whatever happens he must safeguard his transcendental dignity. So he watches – disinterestedly, of course – as the handsome climatologist who has his sights set on her keeps having strange accidents, and the lanky geneticist herself becomes hell-bent on infiltrating the Vatican’s secret files.
Kangaroo by DH Lawrence
(9781925773187, Text Publishing, p/b, £8.99)
D.H Lawrence’s acutely observed, semi-autobiographical novel, republished as a Text classic.
After the Great War, writer Richard Lovat Somers and his wife Harriet leave disillusioned Europe for a new life in Australia. Almost immediately, Richard comes into the orbit of the charismatic ‘Kangaroo’, the leader of a somewhat dark and mysterious political movement. With its astonishing descriptions of the bush, and its free-form narrative, Kangaroo is a captivates and provocative Australian classic.
Mothlight by Adam Scovell
(9781910312377, Influx Press, p/b, £9.99)
Steeped in dusty melancholy and analogue shadows, Mothlight is an uncanny story of grief, memory and the price of obsession.
Mothlight follows young lepidopterist Thomas as he mentally unravels after the death of his friend, the much older lepidopterist Phyllis Ewans. Increasingly possessed by thoughts that he actually is Phyllis, and unable to shake the sensation that she is haunting him, Thomas rifles through her history, attempting to discover the truth and restore balance to his own mind.
No More Boats by Felicity Costagna
(9781787701588, Europa Editions, p/b, £12.99)
A moving story about the world we live in, the families we come from, and the raw impulses that we try to conceal.
Set in Sydney’s working-class suburbs, No More Boats tells of a family whose lives collide with a refugee crisis known as the Tampa Affair, when over 400 hundred refugees were left stranded fifteen miles off the Australian coast. Manipulated by the media and made vulnerable by his feelings of irrelevance, Italian immigrant and working-class family man Antonio commits an act that puts him dead in the centre of a heated immigrant debate.
Salt On My Skin by Benoite Groult
(9781642860092, World Editions, p/b, £11.99)
This sizzling international bestseller is now available in English for the first time in 25 years.
Benoite Groult’s most pioneering and best-loved work follows the passionate relationship between a pair of mismatched lovers – a Parisian intellectual and a Breton fisherman – brought together by lust. Through love-letters and exotic encounters around the world, their life-long affair evolves, liberating them from the restrictions and disappointments of everyday life.
Woman of the Ashes by Mia Couto
(9781642860399, World Editions, p/b, £11.99)
In this vivid and enchanting novel, Mia Couto masterfully interweaves history with folklore.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, the Gaza province of Mozambique is drowning in a torrent of war. Fifteen-year-old Imani struggles with her cultural identity as she is torn between her VaChopi roots and the occupying Portuguese. Her life becomes further fractured as her family is broken apart amid the conflict. Meanwhile, Germano, a sergeant wrestling with guilt and grandeur, attempts to subdue one of the last African kingdoms, but falls in love with Imani and loses himself to an infectious madness.