We’ve been saying it for a while but it is, finally, officially, sweater weather at long last. The scarves are out, the hats are on, we’re cosying up with hot water bottles and watching the fireworks outside. But what is the best thing about November? The new bout of fiction, of course!
We’ve got thrillers, we’ve got fantasy, we’ve got something for the more literary readers. Name it, we’ve got it. Check out these in titles and contact your local sales rep or check your local bookstore to get these on your shelves.
Centroeuropa by Vincente Luis Mora
Peninsula Press, 9781913512392, PB, £10.99, 2/11/2023
For readers of W. G. Sebald and Agustin Fernandez Mallo, this archaeological novel digs into Europe’s soil, uncovering a long history of violence and expropriation.
Prussia, the early 19th century. As he attempts to bury his recently deceased wife, Redo Hauptshammer uncovers the frozen body of a uniformed soldier. As he continues to dig, the bodies start to pile up — all of them fallen cavalrymen bearing the secrets of an earlier era.
Mora’s writing is audacious, melancholy, and formally experimental, with each chapter exactly double the length of the one that precedes it — as the bodies proliferate, the story keeps getting more complicated. In a bold yet lyrical translation by Rahul Bery, Centroeuropa introduces English-speaking readers to one of Europe’s pre-eminent experimental prose writers currently at work.
Now Is Not The Time To Panic by Kevin Wilson
Text Publishing Company, 9781922790866, PB, £8.99, 30/11/2023
Sixteen-year-old Frankie Budge — aspiring writer, indifferent student, offbeat loner — is determined to make it through yet another sad summer in Coalfield, Tennessee, when she meets Zeke, a talented artist who is as lonely and awkward as she is. As romantic and creative sparks begin to fly, Frankie and Zeke make an unsigned poster that becomes unforgettable to anyone who sees it. Copies of their work are everywhere in town, and rumours fly about who might be behind the ubiquitous posters. Soon, the mystery has dangerous repercussions that spread further afield, and the art that brought Frankie and Zeke together now threatens to tear them apart. Twenty years later, Frances Eleanor Budge — famous author, mother to a wonderful daughter, wife to a loving husband — gets a call that threatens to upend everything: a journalist asks if Frances might know something about the Coalfield Panic of 1996. Could Frances’ past destroy the life she has so carefully built?
The Ravaged by Norman Reedus & Frank Bill
Blackstone Publishing, 9798212882422, PB, £14.99, 1/11/2023
The highly anticipated debut novel from the acclaimed star of The Walking Dead.
Jack’s dying mother told him, “Run and never look back.” He spent his life amassing wealth, but after losing his family, he has no one to share it with. Alone with his demons and a backpack, he heads to South America, where people with nothing teach him what matters. After thrashing his dog-abusing boss, Hunter learns of his father’s death in a mysterious fire. Biker buddies Nugget and Itch ride with him from North Carolina to California. Stories from his father’s life help ease the struggles of small-town Americans. Hunter discovers a secret past. Seventeen-year-old Anne flees Tennessee after her older brother attacks her. She whacks him with a skillet and hops a freight to Alabama with her best friend. Living hand to mouth, they build friendships, uncovering something they never had: family. The Ravaged is a fast-paced, up-in-your-face novel of gritty realism, exploring three different personal quests with eerily parallel outcomes.
NYPD Red 7: The Murder Sorority by Marshall Karp
Blackstone Publishing, 9798212882439, PB, £14.99, 1/11/2023
James Patterson’s longtime co-author takes the reigns in the NYPD Red team’s most explosive case ever. Lauded by Publishers Weekly as “the best yet in the series.”
Lower Manhattan: A sniper’s bullet ends the life of a high-profile New Yorker. Five miles uptown, a second prominent victim has his throat slashed. And that’s only the beginning. A network of professional assassins is on the loose in New York City. Trained by the US military, they’re on their own now, with a new unit called Kappa Omega Delta. Killers On Demand. NYPD Red detectives Kylie MacDonald and Zach Jordan are called in to hunt them down, but these mercenaries are as gifted in the art of escape as they are in snuffing out lives. It’s the biggest professional challenge the Red team has ever faced, and before it’s over, both Kylie’s and Zach’s personal lives will change. Forever.
This Thing Of Darkness by Nicola Ann Edwards
Aderyn Press, 9781916398689, PB, £8.99, 2/11/2023
Heathcliff’s Untold Story.
When Heathcliff is blown from the pages of Wuthering Heights he is sodden and rejected, but resolute and hankering for revenge. Heathcliff travels from the Yorkshire moors to the docks of Liverpool, where he boards a ship to Sierra Leone and from there to a sugar plantation across the Atlantic. In these three lost years he is prisoner and gaoler, smuggler and swindler, son and slave trader. When he returns, he is the storm that destroys Cathy and dismantles a dynasty. Viewed almost entirely through the eyes of other characters, Heathcliff is in turn a brutalised boy to be pitied and a cruel malcontent bent on retribution.
This Thing of Darkness challenges the clichéd notion of Heathcliff as a romantic hero and facilitates a new and daring reimagining of this iconic character.
Audition by Pip Adam
Peninsula Press, 9781913512415, PB, £10.99, 9/11/2023
The spaceship Audition is hurtling through towards an event horizon. Squashed immobile into its rooms are three giants: Alba, Stanley, and Drew. If they talk, the spaceship keeps moving; if they are silent, they resume growing. So they talk, and as they do, Alba, Stanley, and Drew recover shared memories of the injustices faced back on Earth by their former selves. Or are they constructing those selves from memoryscripts that have been implanted in them? At once speculative and grimly realistic, formally experimental and politically urgent, Audition asks how we live with each other’s violences, and what happens when systems of power decide someone takes up too much space.
Justice Killer by Martin Knight
London Books, 9781739698324, PB, £10.99, 13/11/2023
Vengeance is easy. Retribution is sweet.
Paul Garfield is a suicide in waiting. Following the death of his wife and soulmate, Jan, he lives with controlled despair, going through the motions for the sake of his daughter, who is starting out in the world. When he recalls the murder of an elderly war hero he knew as a schoolboy, and believing an older local youth to be responsible, Paul is determined to confront the killer. Travelling back to his childhood home, he surprises himself by what happens next. And how it makes him feel.
The notorious rape and murder of two hitchhikers from decades past resurfaces in the news when the killer is paroled, and Paul decides that wrongs have not been adequately righted. Neither has punishment been applied to the historic abuser of his surrogate son, Bubbles. Operating from the moral high ground, Paul sets out on a quest for justice. But when a celebrity clairvoyant claims to be in touch with Jan, he becomes enraged and decides the medium must prove he isn’t a fake. A line is crossed.
Exploring themes of law and order, revenge, vigilantism and bereavement-driven despair, Justice Killer is the story of an ordinary man who has decided enough is enough.
Cruz by Nicolás Ferraro, translated by Mallory N. Craig-Kuhn
Soho Crime, 9781641295291, PB, £9.99, 14/11/2023
Set in northern Argentina, the gorgeous and gruesome story of two brothers following in their criminal father’s footsteps in a bloody battle to save their family from drug lords, perfect for fans of Don Winslow and Narcos.
Tomas Cruz swore he would never be like his father, an abusive cocaine junkie whose gangland exploits are notorious throughout the underbelly of northern Argentina. When Samuel Cruz is sentenced to thirteen years in prison, he leaves a laundry list of unfinished cartel business. Seba, Tomas’s revered older brother, has no choice but to abandon his straight life and take over his father’s underworld debt. Now fifteen years has passed, Seba has been arrested, and the ruthless cartel boss is holding his wife and daughter as collateral — just in time for the holidays. Tomas is forced to choose between protecting his family and his soul as he assumes the to-do list where Seba left off, plunging into the shocking depravity of the cartel to track a drug deal gone wrong. On a bloody quest for underworld justice that will take him from a nightmarish bar staffed by teenage sex slaves to the murky depths of the Parana River, Tomas discovers himself capable of violence he never thought possible.
This beautiful short novel about children in Moldova left behind by parents working abroad is the follow up to Liliana Corobca’s critically-acclaimed novel of censorship in eastern Europe, The Censor’s Notebook.
Kinderland unfolds through the letters of a young girl to her absent parents. Her dispatches go unanswered, but they relay to a reader lively tales of cruel pranks and jovial reconciliations, pain and tenderness, despair and hope as these young children grow up alone with sadness, and longing. With her parents gone in search of work, twelve-year-old Cristina must act as a mother to her two younger brothers. Through her eyes, we roam the streets of a contemporary Moldovan village populated almost entirely with children and old people. Just as most of the inhabitants left their countryside and homes with the desire to earn a better income, their parents also went to the world for money, the mother to Italy, the father to Siberia, and the children were left to fend for themselves. Here the youth must learn to survive on their own; they grow up fast, imitating the gestures of the absent adults, and chasing their fading memories of normal family life. A novel that deals with a painful true reality, which has over time grown to become a phenomenon: the lives and struggles of children left home alone by parents who have gone to work abroad.
For fans of authors like Douglas Stuart, Fernanda Melchor, Andres Barba.
The Child Of Hameln by Max Turner
Knight Errant, 9781999671396, PB, £10.00, 16/11/2023
This supernatural mystery and light horror is a dark fable set in 1980’s small town USA, and is a retelling of the German folktale The Pied Piper of Hameln.
Elk Pass is a town cloaked in darkness and plagued by an unknown evil, where twenty years earlier all but one of the town’s children were stolen. That remaining child, now the deputy sheriff, is left to unravel corruption and cover up when his mentor, the town sheriff, dies unexpectedly. The mystery unfolds as a snow storm blows in, threatening to isolate the town, leaving Deputy Bobby Taylor to deal with a plague of rats and the monsters, both human and fae, that follow.
Brings together elements of The Southern Vampire Mysteries and Hannibal, in a world similar to Stranger Things.
A Quiet Contagion by Jane Jesmond
Verve Books, 9780857308498, PB, £9.99, 28/11/2023
Six decades. Seven people. One unspeakable secret.
1957. A catastrophe occurs at the pharmaceutical lab in Coventry where sixteen-year-old Wilf is working for the summer. A catastrophe that needs to be covered up at all costs.
2017. Phiney is shocked by the death of her grandfather, Wilf, who has jumped from a railway bridge at a Coventry station. Journalist Mat Torrington is the only witness. Left in utter disbelief, with a swarm of unanswered questions, Phiney, Mat and Wilf’s wife, Dora, begin their own enquiries into Wilf’s death.
It is soon clear that these two events, sixty years apart, are connected — and that Wilf is not the only casualty. But what is the link? And can they find out before any more lives are lost?
For fans of Kate Morton, Emma Donoghue and Lisa Jewell.