Thursday 11 August 2011

The Child Who by Simon Lelic

Seemingly inspired by the James Bulger case, a young boy of two who was murdered by two ten-year-old boys, Simon Lelic's third novel is set in an English town which is left reeling when twelve-year-old Daniel Blake is discovered to have brutally murdered his schoolmate Felicity Forbes.
For solicitor Leo Curtice, the case is to be the most high profile – and morally challenging - of his career. But as he begins his defence Leo is unprepared for the impact the public fury surrounding Felicity’s death will have on him and his wife - and his teenage daughter Ellie, above all.
While Leo struggles to get Daniel to talk to him, hoping to unearth the reasons for the boy’s terrible crime, the build-up of pressure on Leo’s family intensifies. As the case nears its climax, events will take their darkest turn. For Leo, his life will never be the same again. 
Lelic is an audacious novelist and whilst it is a brave act for a writer to take on such an uncomfortable, horrific subject, fortunately it is one that Lelic has the talent to pull off. Lelic handles his harsh subject matter with great sensitivity, concluding with a note of hope.
Lelic is in a class of his own and it's hard to imagine anyone not being impressed by this novel.
To be published in January 2012.

Monday 1 August 2011

The New Sherlock Holmes - The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

Last week I was delighted to get No. 90 from 300 copies of a beautiful signed limited edition hardback  proof of The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz.
Anthony Horowitz, an Arthur Conan Doyle fan since the age of 16, has written a new Sherlock Holmes novel. 
The book is set in 1890, and written by Watson in a retirement home, a year after the death of Holmes. The story opens with a train robbery in Boston, and moves back to London and to the tranquil settings of Wimbledon but Watson, states in the prologue that "The adventures of The Man in the Flat Cap and The House of Silk were, in some respects, the most sensational of Sherlock Holmes's career but at the time it was impossible for me to tell them, for reasons that will become abundantly clear.... It is no exaggeration to say it could tear apart the very fabric of society."
What starts out as an investigation into a robbery soon takes Holmes and Watson down some very dark and squalid parts of London and to the discovery of a secret organisation that has members from the highest echelons of British society. These members will do anything to protect their identities and their very dark secrets even if it means killing Sherlock Holmes!
For fans of Sherlock Holmes this isn't going to disappoint. Horowitz shows not only his love of Conan Doyle but his gift as a brilliant plotter and storyteller keeping the quality of the original that you would expect, but with a more modern pace. Published on the 1.11.11 The House of Silk deserves to be the publishing success of 2011 it is expected to be. I loved it.

Monday 10 January 2011

Have you read a great book recently?

Stories. We all spend our lives reading them, telling them, and listening to them. About this and that. About people and places. But some stories are so good, we wish that they would never end. They are so gripping that we will go without sleep to read a little bit more. Some stories bring us laughter. Some will bring us tears. But isn't that what a great book does? Makes us feel. Books that are so powerful, they really are with us forever.

This year promises us some great stories. The schedules are packed with debuts, both literary and commercial. Plus new titles from household names and other admired authors.

The debut which I am hugely excited about and can't wait for everyone to read is the brilliant thriller from S J Watson, Before I Go To Sleep, narrated by a woman who cannot retain her memories for longer than a day.

White Heat by Melanie McGrath is a superb debut novel and one that reminded me of Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow for it's originality, witty, intelligent and unconventional character Edie. On Craig Island, a vast landscape of ice north of the Arctic Circle, three travellers are hunting duck. Among them is expert Inuit hunter and guide, Edie Kiglatuk; a woman born of this harsh, beautiful terrain. The two men are tourists, experiencing Arctic life in the raw, but when one of the men is shot dead in mysterious circumstances, the local Council of Elders in the tiny settlement of Autisaq is keen to dismiss it as an accident.

Plague Child by Peter Ransley is the first in a trilogy set during the English Civil War. Tom Kneave doesn't know of his real background, he was rescued from the Oxford plague pit as a baby and raised by a poor man in London. But 15 years later he himself finds himself back at his birthplace, piecing together the few clues he has.

David Hewson's Nic Costa novels are a real treat for fans of Italy and especially Rome. The Fallen Angel has Detective Nic Costa facing his hardest case yet. We have commissioned a numbered edition of 250 copies. If you haven't tried David Hewson before. Now is the time.

We have managed to get more copies of our December Book of the Month signed. Snowdrops by A. D. Miller is deservedly receiving exceptional reviews.
'A tremendously assured, cool, complex, slow-burn of a novel and a bleak and superbly atmospheric portrait of modern Russia.' --William Boyd. Snowdrops is an intensely riveting psychological drama that unfolds over the course of one Moscow winter, as a young Englishman's moral compass is spun by the seductive opportunities revealed to him by a new Russia: a land of hedonism and desperation, corruption and kindness, magical dachas and debauched nightclubs; a place where secrets - and corpses - come to light only when the deep snows start to thaw - Snowdrops is a chilling story of love and moral freefall: of the corruption, by a corrupt society, of a corruptible young man. It is taut, intense and has a momentum as irresistible to the reader as the moral danger that first enchants, then threatens to overwhelm, its narrator.

The Facility is our current Book of the Month. You can read my review of this book, here. Also, there is a more information about the author and his favourite five books! If you are able, come along the launch party here at Goldsboro Books. Details here.

We have many more signed first editions available on our website. Do take the time to browse here

Don't forget to buy, read and collect!
David Headley
Goldsboro Books Limited

One to Watch

The Oracle of Stamboul
by Michael Davi Lukas

The Oracle of Stamboul

Exclusive Signed First Editions*

A magical historical novel about an astonishing eight year old girl in the last days of the Ottoman Empire.

It is 1877, on the shores of the Black Sea, and the omens for the newborn Eleanora Cohen are hardly promising. Not only does her mother die in childbirth, but her village is being attacked by the Tsar's Royal Cavalry. However, despite this bad beginning, a sour stepmother and a traumatic journey in the hold of a ship, young Eleanora grows into a remarkably clever but very engaging child. And when a heartbreaking tragedy leaves her marooned in Istanbul, where spies and boarded-up harems and sudden death are as much a part of life as delicious spices, Paris fashions and rosewater, it is Eleanora's extraordinary courage and character which lead her straight to the Sultan's court, and to her salvation.

Our Price £12.99

*Signed first editions will be Exclusive to Goldsboro Books in the UK.

Thursday 6 January 2011

The Facility by Simon Lelic - Book of the Month

Simon Lelic's debut novel Rupture was the January 2010 Book of the Month at Goldsboro Books. It was a skillfully worked crime novel that showed Lelic's perceptive talent for capturing differing voices of the same shocking event.
The Facility, January 2011 Book of the Month, is written in a more conventional style and imagines a dystopian near-future where the totalitarian governement is using counter-terrorism laws to allow the police to make people 'disappear'. When Arthur Priestly is taken, his estranged wife Julia approaches Tom Clarke, a journalist at an online campagning newspaper to help her find him. They discover that the government is imprisoning people believed to have a new and potent disease.
Lelic creates a real sense of place and deftly maintains the pace of the thriller plot as the security forces latch on to Tom and Julia. His exploration of how the rights of  the minority are violated for 'the greater good' is written with sharp and exceptional prose. This novel is challenging but well worth the read.
You can find our more about Simon Lelic on his website

About Simon Lelic

I was born in Brighton in 1976 and, after a decade or so living in London and trying to convince myself that the tube was fine, really, because it gave me a chance to read, my wife and I recently moved back to Brighton with our two young boys. That Barnaby and Joseph’s grandparents happened to live close enough by to be able to offer their babysitting services was, of course, entirely coincidental.

As well as writing, I run an import/export business. My hobbies (when I have time for them) include reading (for which I make time, because I can just about get away with claiming this is also work), golf, tennis, snowboarding and karate. My weekends belong to my family (or so my wife reminds me), as does my heart.

I studied history at the University of Exeter. After graduating I was qualified, I discovered . . . to do an MA. After that I figured I had better learn something useful, so took a post-grad course in journalism. I know, I know: so much for learning something useful. After working freelance and then in business-to-business publishing, I now write novels. Not useful either, necessarily, but fun and, in its own way, important.

My Five Favourite Books

Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

Not exactly an original pick, I realise, and some would dispute its literary merits. On the other hand, it has proved almost Shakespearean in its impact on the English psyche – and certainly on mine.

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Technically, philosophically, this is probably not McCarthy’s best book. But it is my favourite. Devastatingly simple, yet dazzling in so many ways. The book I wish I had written.

As If, Blake Morrison

A recent entrant into my ever-changing top five but a book I could read again and again –were it not so intensely heartbreaking. Although actually, that hasn’t stopped me, and nor should it any parent, son, daughter.

The Paris Review Interviews, volumes I-IV, Philip Gourevitch (ed.)

I’m cheating, I realise, by picking four books as one. Not literature these but collectively an indispensable insight into the minds of those who forge it. A regular source of inspiration, consolation and distraction.

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

What can I say that has not been said before? Just stunning.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

The Distant Hours, Kate Morton

It started with a letter...

And I'm very glad it did because in Kate Morton's hands it isn't just a letter; it's a gateway to the mystery of the Mud Man, a door that opens long buried secrets for the sisters of Milderhurst castle and the spark that sets a flame to the story of our intrepid narrator, Edie Burchill.

When a letter that's been lost for 50 years arrives in the hands of Edie's mother Meredith, Edie witnessesses an emotional reaction that she very rarely sees in her usually stoic mother and her curiosity is awakened. The letter sparks a hunt for truth behind the secrets that permeate the novel, secrets kept by the mother she realises she's never really known, secrets behind a past intertwined with an ancient castle and the secrets buried in The True History of the Mud Man; a children's book written by the mad and mysterious Raymond Blythe.

From the very first moment the mystery surrounding the Mud Man and the three sisters Blythe,  inhabitants of the now crumbling Milderhurst Castle, will inexorably draw you into their world; the prophetic nature of the narrator's voice leaving the answers tantalisingly out of reach until Morton is willing to give them. I was caught, as Edie must have been, in the story of the Blythe family - so much so that for once I wasn't tempted to read the end of the novel before even getting to the middle, I wanted this novel to unfold to me, to give up its secrets one by one.

And it doesn't disappoint. In the brilliantly executed voices of all the main protagonists of the novel the pieces of the puzzle slowly knit themselves together, making the reader feel as though they are some kind of omnipotent power; observing all these snapshot's in time, glueing the staggered pieces back together and most importantly giving you a big head. Because this is the trick, you may think you know the answers, you may have a clue, or an inkling or even be generally on the mark, but you won't; you won't have any idea until right at the very end, when slowly it begins to dawn on you exactly what happened, exactly what the answers are. And how fantastic is that? When a true mystery digs its fat, sharp claws into you and refuses to let go until you have read the very last word. Fantastic.

Of course this book is also so much more than a mystery, it is a snapshot into the ties that bind us; to our family, to our homes, to our love and ultimately to our loss. It is the story of what happens when dark secrets eat away at our hearts, a story of redemption and heart-rending 'What if's?' that lodge somehow in the readers head and refuse to move.

When I looked at the size of the book I was apprehensive with that same creeping doubt that always whispers in my head when I see a tome of a book - will it entertain me all the way through? But Morton is clever, revealing pieces of the puzzle piece by piece like a dance of the seven veils. Each chapter needs to be there, each voice, each character, they all have a part to play and they play it oh so well, coming to life in Morton's clear talent for description, using her words as a diving board with which to launch from. Even after finishing this book it lingered in my head for days. Highly, thoroughly recommended.

Goldsboro Books' Book of the Month, signed copies on sale now.

Friday 19 November 2010

Don't Miss These Great Books.....

With the holiday season upon us and Christmas a month away is it time to think about what presents we can buy friends and loved one? Books are an ideal gift especially one that is a signed first edition. Books entertain and what is better than that added extra special touch of being signed by the author, never mind the long term investment and collectability?

2010 has been a great year for debut fiction and we have had some amazing titles fly out of our door. The biggest selling title of the year and one of our favourites, The Holy Thief by William Ryan. We really The Passage - Exclusive Slipcase Editionbelieved in this book and the sales proved we were right to. We even had the first 25 numbered copies of our exclusive edition leatherbound.  There have been other extraordinary books published this year including, The Passage. This was always going to be big because word-of-mouth praise started months before publication. We were, obviously, delighted that Orion Publishers gave Goldsboro Books the exclusive slipcase edition. Copies come with a cloth The Passage bag.
Room by Emma Donoghue was a book I read in March this year andRoom - Man Booker Shortlisted 2010 loved. I just had to have it for our August Book of the Month. It isn't Emma's first book by any means but it is certainly her 'breakout' novel and now shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010, it is sure to feature prominently in the Orange Prize for fiction 2011.

I Am Number Four took us all by surprise. Both for its entertainment value and because it became the fastest selling book of the year for Goldsboro Books. Our slipcase numbered edition of 500 copies sold out before publication and the demand was unprecidented for one of our exclusives.
The Prince of MistCarlos Ruiz Zafon, the bestselling author of The Shadow of the Wind, and The Angel's Game, who returns with The Prince of Mist. This very scary ghost story stayed at the top of the Spanish book charts for two years and is now translated into English for the first time. The haunting tale is aimed at readers of all ages, so is one to share with the whole family. Goldsboro Books has an exclusive slipcase edition and a handful of copies left.

Gerard O'Donovan's debut novel, The Priest is published in paperback this The Priest - Exclusive Hardback to Goldsboro Booksmonth in the UK. We chose this excellent debut as our Book of the Month earlier in the year and commissioned the UK's only hardback exclusively for Goldsboro Books. More often, we will have hardbacks produced for us when publishers decide to publish their books in paperback only. It is the way of publishing now. There are going to be less and less hardbacks.

Other books that we have commissioned exclusively are the Young Sherlock Holmes series. Death Cloud was the first and Red Leech is available this month. We have agreed to continue with the series and hardbacks will be available exclusively for all of them from Goldsboro Books. This is a brilliant series of one of the most iconic detectives in crime fiction. Andrew Lane's reimagined and authentic teenage Sherlock Holmes made him the perfect choice to work with the Conan Doyle Estate to reinvent the world's most famous detective. We have sets of the same numbers available and will happily give you the same number throughout the series.

Young Sherlock Holmes - Books 1 & 2
Young Sherlock Holmes

Other books available in stock and possible gift ideas, if not for yourself, for others...

Field Grey Philip Kerr's prevous novel, If the Dead Rise Not, won the 2009 CWA Ellis Peters' Award for Best Historical Crime Novel. Field Grey is the new and seventh Bernie Gunther novel.
Already advertised in a previous emailer, Revenger by Rory Clements was the winner of this years CWA Ellis Peter's award and we still have a few copies available.
The Penobscot Expedition is an extraordinary story, one that has fascinated the Bernard Corwell for years.
Summer 1779, a British force of fewer than one thousand Scottish infantry were sent to build a garrison in the State of Maine. The FortThe war of Independence was in its third year and no other British troops stood between Canada and New York.
The State of Massachusetts was determined to expel the British, but when they sent a fleet of forty vessels to 'captivate, kill and destroy' they underestimated their enemies, calm in battle and ready for victory.
Told from both sides of the battle, the main characters are all real figures from history. Based on diaries, letters and court transcripts, we meet many of the war's greatest heroes, including Paul Revere and John Moore, each of whom become famous subjects of war poetry. Signed first edition copies of The Fort are available.

The brilliant and inimitable Paul Magrs has released a new novel featuring Brenda, The Bride The Time Forgot. The Wicked Witch of Whitby vs. the Bride of Frankenstein. Meet the good, the bad and the bitten...
The Bride That Time ForgotSomething is biting people on the streets of Whitby. In an ordinary town, this would be worrying. Here, it's disastrous, and only Brenda has guessed why. She's also trying to prepare for a packed festive break at her B&B, but her best friend Effie is in distracted mood: she just hasn't been the same since her suave gentleman friend Alucard reappeared.
Meanwhile, Penny has joined a book group in the new mystery bookstore, the Spooky Finger. As she is drawn into the strange and fantastic works of Edwardian lady novelist Beatrice Mapp, she makes some very surprising discoveries. Discoveries that will soon impact upon the lives of all the ladies of Whitby. When unexpected help from the shadows of the past arrives to illuminate the dangers awaiting them all, Brenda realises that unless she can find a way to save Effie, the consequences may be eternal.

One to Watch

by A. D. Miller
Snowdrops by A. D. Miller
Signed First Editions*
A. D. Miller's Snowdrops is an intensely riveting psychological drama that unfolds over the course of one Moscow winter, as a young Englishman's moral compass is spun by the seductive opportunities revealed to him by a new Russia: a land of hedonism and desperation, corruption and kindness, magical dachas and debauched nightclubs; a place where secrets - and corpses - come to light only when the deep snows start to thaw - Snowdrops is a chilling story of love and moral freefall: of the corruption, by a corrupt society, of a corruptible young man. It is taut, intense and has a momentum as irresistible to the reader as the moral danger that first enchants, then threatens to overwhelm, its narrator.
Our Price £12.99
Order a signed first edition.
*Exclusive Numbered Edition to Goldsboro Books for Book of the Month Club Members Only.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Top Ten Bestsellers - October 2010

1) Insurrection by Robyn Young
1262 A.D. In the dusty heat of French fields, knights battle for supremacy in a fierce tournament. At its violent heart is Edward of England, who leads his men under the banner of the dragon, a potent reference to the legendary King Arthur. As heir to the throne, Edward has a vision for his future kingdom -- a vision sprung from the words of an ancient prophecy written in the time of Arthur himself -- that will change the face of Britain forever. More

2) Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
A huge novel that follows five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women.
It is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family, is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to emigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution. More

3) The Fort by Bernard Cornwell
n the summer of 1779 a British force of fewer than a thousand Scottish infantry backed by three sloops-of-war , was sent to what is now Castine in the State of Maine. The War of Independence was in its third year and the Scots were the only British troops between Canada and New York. Their orders were to make a garrison that could serve as a safe haven and a naval base. The State of Massachusetts was determined to expel the British and sent a fleet of forty vessels and some one thousand infantrymen to ' captivate , kill and destroy ' the invaders. But what followed was a classic example of impetuosity and irresolution on one side , and calm professionalism on the other. More

4) Mr Chartwell by Robecca Hunt
It's July, 1964. In bed at home in Kent, Winston Churchill is waking up. There's a visitor in the room, someone he hasn't seen for a while, a dark, mute bulk, watching him with tortured concentration. It's Mr. Chartwell. In her terraced house in Battersea, Esther Hammerhans, young, vulnerable and alone, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress. It's Mr. Chartwell. More

 5) Worth Dying For by Lee Child
Has Jack Reacher finally met his match? 61 Hours ended with Reacher trapped in a desperate situation from which escape seemed impossible. Even for him. Was that really the end of the road for the maverick loner? More

6) Spook's Bestiary by Joseph Delaney
A companion title to the phenomenally successful Spook’s series. Discover how to bind a boggart and deal with a dead witch in this fascinating and lavishly illustrated Spook’s own “notebook”. A must for die-hard fans of the series and an irresistible introduction to the dark and the dangerous for new recruits. More

7) Oscar Wilde and the Nest of Vipers by Gyles Brandreth
The fourth of Gyles Brandreth’s acclaimed series of Victorian murder mysteries, Oscar Wilde and the Nest of Vipers opens in the spring of 1890 at a glamorous reception hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Albemarle. All London’s haut monde is there, including the Prince of Wales, who counts the Albemarles as close friends.  Although it is the first time Oscar and Bertie have met, Oscar seems far more interested in Rex LaSalle, a young actor, who disarmingly claims to be a vampire... More

8) Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself. More

9) Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist
It was a beautiful winter's day. Anders, his wife and their feisty six-year-old, Maja, set out across the ice of the Swedish archipelago to visit the lighthouse on Gavasten. There was no one around, so they let her go on ahead. And she disappeared, seemingly into thin air, and was never found. Two years later, Anders is a broken alcoholic, his life ruined. He returns to the archipelago, the home of his childhood and his family. But all he finds are Maja's toys and through the haze of memory, loss and alcohol, he realizes that someone or something is trying to communicate with him. Soon enough, his return sets in motion a series of horrifying events which exposes a mysterious and troubling relationship between the inhabitants of the remote island and the sea. More

10) Fool's Crusade by Pip Vaughan-Hughes
ing Louis of France is about to invade Egypt on his vainglorious Seventh Crusade. The Pope and the Emperor are at each other's throats. And where greed and ambition cross, blood soon follows. Caught in the middle of this is Petroc of Auneford, or Patch to his friends. After years aboard the Cormoran, a ship of relic-traders and adventurers, Patch has finally returned to living on dry land. Now a rich man, running a bank in Venice, life should be easy. But money and liberty are not the same thing - and all too soon, Patch is being called on by all sides to do their bidding in this deadly game of power and glory. More