Wednesday 16 December 2009

Rupture by Simon Lelic

Rupture is a debut novel by a remarkable writer, Simon Lelic. It is a brilliantly plotted detective novel that kept me hooked right until the end. Lelic writes crisp and engaging prose. Set in a north London secondary school, Samuel Szajkowski walks into morning assembly and shoots dead three pupils and a teacher before shooting himself. Detective Inspector Lucia May is expected to report quickly and close this terrible case. However, she gradually discovers that Szajkowski is not the evil psychopath that the media and authorities claim. As Lucia takes the witness statements she uncovers an extraordinary story which is as shocking as it is gripping. A brilliant debut which will appeal to fans of We Need to Talk about Kevin. Don't miss it.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Goldsboro Books' Bestsellers of 2009

1. The Library of Shadows
Hardback published exclusively for Goldsboro Books.

2. The Coroner
The first in a brilliant new series featuring Jenny Cooper.

3. The Compaints
The first novel by Ian Rankin featuring a new protagonist, another Edinburgh copper, Malcom Fox.

4. The Best of Men
English Civil War, ten years in the making, The Best of Men is a thoroughly satisfying historical novel in the vein of C J Sansom.

5. Acts of Violence
A powerful and shocking literary thriller, and without doubt my favourite thriller of 2009.

6. Mr Toppit
Who is Mr Toppit? With pitch-black humour this extraordinary debut is a delight.

7. The Swansong of Wilbur McCrum
The best first line of any book I have read in the last ten years. Love it, love it, love it.

8. Assegai
Perfect for Wilbur Smith fans.

9. Martyr
Clements has a real sense for the Elizabethan period, with a thrilling plot, this is an excellent start to a brand new series.

10. Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks
This includes two short stories never before published, and offers a fascinating insight in to her writing.

11. The Angel's Game
Shadow of the Wind was an exceptional debut, and The Angel's Game picks up years later to deliver an enchanting follow up.

12. Zulu Hart
This is a must for fans of Bernard Cornwell. A fantastic start to a new series and George Hart is a very lovable character.

13. The Owl Killers
Exclusive package for Goldsboro Books. I look forward to Karen Maitland's books like I look forward to my birthday.

14. The Kindly Ones
Signed copies exclusive to Goldsboro Books in the UK. This shocking novel is both challenging and thought-provoking, and well worth reading.

15. Mathilda Savitch
Exclusive slipcase edition. Mathilda is a wonderful creation, surprisingly written by a perceptive male author.

16. Afterlife
What The Secret History did for Donna Tartt, Afterlife will do for Sean O'Brien.

17. Nights of Villjamur
Exclusive numbered edition. Villjamur is a dark and brooding metropolis, which becomes a character in its own right. Perfect for fans of Perdido Street Station.

18. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Flavia de Luce, a precocious 11 year old sleuth, is at the centre of this brilliant first novel.

19. The Case of the Missing Servant
A brilliantly written and humourous tale that captures the sounds, smells and foibles of India.

20. The Age of Orphans
This is a stunning debut, and an emotional read from a very talented writer. Ideal for fans of A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Rising Stars

Macmillan are the publishers of such wonderful series as Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse and C J Sansom's Shardlake. It is wonderful to see that they have two brilliant rising stars in Brian McGilloway and M. R. Hall.

The Disappeared is the second novel from M. R. Hall to feature Jenny Cooper, his first being The Coroner. In this second installment Jenny is settling in to her role as Coroner for the Severn Valley when she is approached by a grief-stricken mother who doesn't believe that her son, who has disappeared, has in fact gone abroad to pursue dangerous new ideals. Jenny soon realises in her inquest into Nazim's disappearance, that it is shrouded in corruption and conspiracy and as the pressure on her increases, Jenny is pushed to breaking point. How could she know that in unravelling the mystery of the disappeared she would begin to unearth some of her own buried secrets? Having been a huge fan of The Coroner, Goldsboro Books' second biggest selling novel of 2009, I wondered if M. R. Hall could in fact better it. The Disappeared is better, the writing more assured and I literally couldn't put it down. It rightly deserves to be our December Book of the Month. (Published January 2010)

Borderlands by Brian McGilloway is my favourite crime novel published in the last 10 years and is the first book in a wonderful series featuring Benedict Devlin, Garda Inspector, in the borderlands of Northern and Southern Ireland. This fourth novel is set around an investigation into a vigilante group who have named themselves, The Rising which is the title of the book. Soon Devlin realises after the death of two drug dealers, this group is more complex than just vigilantism. Meanwhile is ex-colleague's son has gone missing during a camping trip but after searching for him he is relieved to hear that the boy's mother has had a text from him to say he's safe in Dublin. So when a body is washed up on a beach the Inspector is confused.

When Devlin thinks he is beginning to understand the vigilante case, a personal crisis strikes at the heart of his family forcing him to confront the compromises his career has forced upon him. This is McGilloway's most touching novel yet and confirms him as one of the most exciting crime writers around. If you haven't read him you are in for a treat. (Published April 2010)