Nick by Michael Farris Smith, £12.99 in hardback.
Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s world, he was at the centre of a very different story – one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I. An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know only from the periphery. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to transfix even the heartiest of golden age scribes, Nick reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades. At times this felt like a Western, which was very odd, but on the whole an interesting idea.
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, £8.99 paperback.
When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it’s assumed that she’s committed suicide. However, her brother has doubts, and calls in private investigator, Cormoran Strike, to look into the case. Strike – a war veteran wounded both physically and psychologically – has his life in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . . A thoroughly enjoyable read with fantastically drawn characters. A big hit with our book club.
Date with Danger by Julia Chapman, £8.99 in paperback.
Number 5 in the Dales Detective series, Date With Danger sees our intrepid leads, Samson and Delilah, on the trail of a sheep rustler turned killer. In the heart of Yorkshire, the Dales Detective Agency is about to face its biggest challenge. A fatal accident at Bruncliffe’s livestock auction mart leads auctioneer Harry Furness to call in the detective duo, but what starts out as a simple health-and-safety investigation soon takes a sinister turn – they discover evidence that suggests murder. With their enquiries ongoing, Clive Knowles approaches them for help – his sheep are being threatened by the gang of rustlers that is plaguing the Dales. Meanwhile, Poacher Pete Ferris has also decided to play his hand, setting in motion a blackmail plot which will ensure Samson is pulled back into trouble with his nemesis Rick Procter. With all three cases converging, Samson and Delilah will find that their latest investigation is fraught with danger; a danger that will leave them fighting for their lives. Thoroughly gripping from start to finish, it’s a proper whirlwind of danger and excitement.
Date with Deceit by Julia Chapman, £8.99 in paperback.
Book number 6 sees Delilah going undercover at a shoot involving dangerous criminals. A woman in tears in the Dales Detective Agency is never the best way to start the week. But when that woman is the wife of Bernard Taylor, town mayor and eminent businessman, there is even more cause for alarm. So when Nancy Taylor asks the detectives to investigate whether her husband is having an affair, Samson O’Brien and Delilah Metcalfe know they will have to tread carefully. The case, however, proves to be more complex than even they had imagined. While Delilah is undercover at a local shoot to better keep tabs on the errant husband, she is on the scene for a fatal incident that sends the town into turmoil. Soon the detective duo are embroiled in a far more serious investigation than mere infidelity as they discover that deceit is rife in Bruncliffe. And it may well prove deadly . . . As usual, fantastically constructed plotlines boil away, and well known characters weave in and out of the limelight, creating havoc and intrigue. Compelling and enjoyable as ever. We CANT’T WAIT for book number 7!
Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison, £14.99 in hardback.
1932, Glasgow. When the son-in-law of one of the city’s wealthiest shipbuilders is found floating in the River Clyde with his throat cut, it falls to Inspector Jimmy Dreghorn to lead the murder case – despite sharing a troubled history with the victim’s widow, Isla Lockhart. From the flying fists and flashing blades of Glasgow’s gangland underworld, to the backstabbing upper echelons of government and big business, Dreghorn and his partner ‘Bonnie’ Archie McDaid will have to dig deep into Glasgow society to find out who wanted the man dead and why. All the while, a sadistic murderer stalks the post-war city leaving a trail of dead bodies in their wake. As the case deepens, will Dreghorn find the killer – or lose his own life in the process? A dark historical crime novel set in a city still recovering from the Great War; split by religious division and swarming with razor gangs. Captures the essence of the time period really well and makes you root for Dreghorn in a huge way. Completely absorbing.