Blood and Sugar – Laura Shepherd-Robinson – £9.99 paperback
June, 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark. Some days later, Captain Harry Corsham – a war hero embarking upon a promising parliamentary career – is visited by the sister of an old friend. Her brother, passionate abolitionist Tad Archer, had been about to expose a secret that he believed could cause irreparable damage to the British slaving industry. He’d said people were trying to kill him, and now he is missing. To discover what happened to Tad, Harry is forced to pick up the threads of his friend’s investigation, delving into the heart of the conspiracy Tad had unearthed. His investigation will threaten his political prospects, his family’s happiness, and force a reckoning with his past, risking the revelation of secrets that have the power to destroy him. And that is only if he can survive the mortal dangers awaiting him in Deptford.
The China Room – Sunjeev Sahota – £9.99 paperback
Mehar, a young bride in rural Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. It is 1929, and she and her sisters-in-law – married to three brothers in a single ceremony – spend their days hard at work on the family farm, sequestered from contact with the men. When Mehar develops a theory as to which of them is hers, a passion is ignited that will put more than one life at risk. Spiralling around Mehar’s story is that of a young man who in 1999 flees from England to the deserted sun-scorched farm. Can a summer spent learning of love and of his family’s past give him the strength for the journey home?
Euphoria – Lily King – £9.99 paperback
In 1933 three young, gifted anthropologists are thrown together in the jungle of New Guinea. They are Nell Stone, fascinating, magnetic and famous for her controversial work; her intelligent but aggressive husband Fen, who is uneasy with her success; and Andrew Bankson, who stumbles into the lives of this strange couple and becomes totally enthralled by Nell. Within months the trio are producing their best ever work, but soon a firestorm of fierce love and jealousy begins to burn out of control, threatening their bonds, their careers and, ultimately, their lives.
They – Kay Dick – £9.99 paperback
This is Britain: but not as we know it. THEY begin with a dead dog, shadowy footsteps, confiscated books. Soon the National Gallery is purged; eerie towers survey the coast; mobs stalk the countryside destroying artworks – and those who resist. THEY capture dissidents – writers, painters, musicians, even the unmarried and childless – in military sweeps, ‘curing’ these subversives of individual identity. Survivors gather together as cultural refugees, preserving their crafts, creating, loving and remembering. But THEY make it easier to forget. Lost for half a century, newly introduced by Carmen Maria Machado, Kay Dick’s They (1977) is a rediscovered dystopian masterpiece of art under attack: a cry from the soul against censorship, a radical celebration of non-conformity – and a warning.
Moses Ascending – Sam Selvon – £9.99 paperback
Moses thinks he’s got it made. Originally a poor Caribbean immigrant, he is now the proud landlord of a ramshackle house in Shepherd’s Bush, London. He has visions of being master of his own domain, writing his memoirs while his trusty sidekick and handyman, Bob, does all the work. But Moses’ problems are far from over… Soon a Black Power group take over the basement, headed by the indomitable – but very sexy – Brenda, and an illegal people-smuggling ring is discovered upstairs. Not to mention harassment from racist police, sheep-slaughtering in the back yard and a Black Panther (the human kind) on the loose. Will Moses’ elaborately constructed castle in the air be demolished by these unruly forces?
1984 – George Orwell – £8.99 paperback
Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent – even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101. First published in 1949, 1984 is George Orwell’s terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime.
Exiles – Jane Harper – £16.99 hardback
A mother disappears from a busy festival on a warm spring night. Her baby lies alone in the pram, her mother’s possessions surrounding her, waiting for a return which never comes. A year later, Kim Gillespie’s absence still casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather to welcome a new addition to the family. Joining the celebrations on a rare break from work is federal investigator Aaron Falk, who begins to suspect that all is not as it seems. As he looks into Kim’s case, long-held secrets and resentments begin to come to the fore, secrets that show that her community is not as close as it appears. Falk will have to tread carefully if he is to expose the dark fractures at its heart, but sometimes it takes an outsider to get to the truth.