New Books (February-March)

NewBooks-20180227

Featuring: Dan Abnett, Kevin J. Anderson, Melissa Caruso, John Connolly, Andrea Dunlop, Paul French, Ben Fritz, Paul Goldberg, Kristin Hannah, Jane Harper, Frank Herbert, Anthony Horowitz, Sarah A. Hoyt, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Lucas Mann, Stephen Markley, Ian McDonald, S.J. Morden, Claire North, Melissa F. Olson, Jo Piazza, Michael Redhill, Joe Mungo Reed, K.R. Richardson, Gav Thorpe, Corey J. White

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AbnettD-E4-MagosDan Abnett, THE MAGOS (Black Library)

Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn has spent his life stalking the darkest and most dangerous limits of the Imperium in pursuit of heresy and Chaos. But how long can a man walk that path without succumbing to the lure of the Warp? Is Eisenhorn still a champion of the Throne, or has he been seduced by the very evil that he hunts?

Warhammer 40,000’s most beloved anti-hero finally returns in a stunning new novel that pits him against his oldest and most constant foe, and forces him to confront the true darkness of his own self.

For the first time ever, the Black Library presents the definitive casebook of Gregor Eisenhorn, collecting all of Dan Abnett’s celebrated Inquisitor short stories into a single epic volume. The stories, some of which have never been in print before, have been compiled and introduced by the author to serve as an indispensable companion to the acclaimed Eisenhorn trilogy, and to act as an essential prologue to The Magos, a brand new, full-length Eisenhorn novel.

The fourth book in Abnett’s fan-favourite Eisenhorn series. It collects a number of short stories, and the new full-length eponymous novel. The Magos is published by Black Library.

Also on CR: Interview with Dan Abnett & Nik Vincent (2011); Reviews of Horus Rising, Prospero Burns, Know No Fear and The Unremembered Empire

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CarusoM-S&F2-DefiantHeirUSMelissa Caruso, THE DEFIANT HEIR (Orbit)

Across the border, the Witch Lords of Vaskandar are preparing for war. But before an invasion can begin, they must call a rare gathering of all seventeen lords to decide a course of action.

Lady Amalia Cornaro knows that this Conclave might be her only chance to smother the growing flames of war, and she is ready to make any sacrifice if it means saving Raverra from destruction.

Amalia and Zaira must go behind enemy lines, using every ounce of wit and cunning they have, to sway Vaskandar from war. Or else it will all come down to swords and fire.

This is the second novel in Caruso’s well-received Swords & Fire fantasy series. The first — The Tethered Mage — has been climbing my ever-growing TBR mountain, and I’ll hopefully get to it in the not-too-distant future. The Defiant Heir is due to be published by Orbit in the US and UK, in April 2018.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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ConnollyJ-CP16-WomanInTheWoodsUKJohn Connolly, THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS (Hodder)

It is spring, and the semi-preserved body of a young Jewish woman is discovered buried in the Maine woods. It is clear that she gave birth shortly before her death.

But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is engaged by the lawyer Moxie Castin to shadow the police investigation and find the infant, but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in more than a missing child, someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring.

For a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman…

This is the 16th novel in Connolly’s best-selling Charlie Parker series. Looking forward to giving it a try. The Woman in the Woods is published by Hodder in the UK (April), and Atria in North America (June).

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Review copy received from publisher

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DunlopA-SheRegretsNothingAndrea Dunlop, SHE REGRETS NOTHING (Washington Square Press)

The forgotten granddaughter of one of New York’s wealthiest men is reunited with her family just as she comes of age — and once she’s had a glimpse of their glittering world, she refuses to let it go without a fight.

When Laila Lawrence becomes an orphan at twenty-three, the sudden loss unexpectedly introduces her to three glamorous cousins from New York who show up unannounced at her mother’s funeral. The three siblings are scions of the wealthy family from which Laila’s father had been estranged long before his own untimely demise ten years before.

Two years later, Laila has left behind her quiet life in Grosse Point, Michigan to move to New York City, landing her smack in the middle of her cousins’ decadent world. As the truth about why Laila’s parents became estranged from the family patriarch becomes clear, Laila grows ever more resolved to claim what’s rightfully hers. Caught between longing for the love of her family and her relentless pursuit of the lifestyle she feels she was unfairly denied, Laila finds herself reawakening a long dead family scandal — not to mention setting off several new ones — as she becomes further enmeshed in the lives and love affairs of her cousins. But will Laila ever, truly, belong in their world?

Thought this sounded interesting — it was also described as “In the tradition of The Emperor’s Children and The House of Mirth“, which caught my attention. I’ll be reading this very soon. She Regrets Nothing is published by Washington Square Press in North America and in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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FrenchP-CityOfDevilsUKPaul French, CITY OF DEVILS (Riverrun)

1930s Shanghai could give Chicago a run for its money. In the years before the Japanese invaded, the city was a haven for outlaws from all over the world: a place where pasts could be forgotten, fascism and communism outrun, names invented, fortunes made – and lost.

‘Lucky’ Jack Riley was the most notorious of those outlaws. An ex-Navy boxing champion, he escaped from prison in the States, spotted a craze for gambling and rose to become the Slot King of Shanghai. Ruler of the clubs in that day was ‘Dapper’ Joe Farren – a Jewish boy who fled Vienna’s ghetto with a dream of dance halls. His chorus lines rivalled Ziegfeld’s and his name was in lights above the city’s biggest casino.

In 1940 they bestrode the Shanghai Badlands like kings, while all around the Solitary Island was poverty, starvation and genocide. They thought they ruled Shanghai; but the city had other ideas. This is the story of their rise to power, their downfall, and the trail of destruction they left in their wake. Shanghai was their playground for a flickering few years, a city where for a fleeting moment even the wildest dreams seemed possible.

In the vein of true crime books whose real brilliance is the recreation of a time and place, this is an impeccably researched narrative non-fiction told with superb energy and brio, as if James Ellroy had stumbled into a Shanghai cathouse.

I’m a big fan of Paul French’s work. Up until now, I’ve mainly read his shorter books and articles, each of which has been excellent — for example, Betrayal in Paris and The Badlands. I’m very much looking forward to diving into City of Devils, and also eager to get caught up with his first true-crime book, Midnight in Peking. Due to be published by Riverrun in the UK (June), and Picador in North America (July).

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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FritzB-BigPictureUSBen Fritz, THE BIG PICTURE (Eamon Dolan/HMH)

The stunning metamorphosis of twenty-first-century Hollywood and what lies ahead for the art and commerce of film

In the past decade, Hollywood has endured a cataclysm on a par with the end of silent film and the demise of the studio system. Stars and directors have seen their power dwindle, while writers and producers lift their best techniques from TV, comic books, and the toy biz. The future of Hollywood is being written by powerful corporate brands like Marvel, Amazon, Netflix, and Lego, as well as censors in China.

Ben Fritz chronicles this dramatic shakeup with unmatched skill, bringing equal fluency to both the financial and entertainment aspects of Hollywood. He dives deeply into the fruits of the Sony hack to show how the previous model, long a creative and commercial success, lost its way. And he looks ahead through interviews with dozens of key players at Disney, Marvel, Netflix, Amazon, Imax, and others to discover how they have reinvented the business. He shows us, for instance, how Marvel replaced stars with “universes,” and how Disney remade itself in Apple’s image and reaped enormous profits.

But despite the destruction of the studios’ traditional playbook, Fritz argues that these seismic shifts signal the dawn of a new heyday for film. The Big Picture shows the first glimmers of this new golden age through the eyes of the creative mavericks who are defining what our movies will look like in the new era.

This book looks really interesting. I’ll be reading this very soon. The Big Picture is published by Eamon Dolan/HMH, on March 6th, 2018 (the book will be available in the UK, too).

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Review copy received via Edelweiss

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GoldbergP-ChateauUSPaul Goldberg, THE CHÂTEAU (Picador)

“We have proverb in Florida… You know why it’s good to be on beach?”

Bill smiles, but says nothing. He wants the guy to keep talking.

“Because on beach you are surrounded by idiots on only three sides.”

“And on the remaining side you have what?” asks Bill.

“Sharks…”

It is January 2017 and Bill has hit rock bottom. Yesterday, he was William M. Katzenelenbogen, successful science reporter at The Washington Post. But things have taken a turn. Fired from his job, aimless, with exactly $1,219.37 in his checking account, he learns that his college roommate, a plastic surgeon known far and wide as the “Butt God of Miami Beach,” has fallen to his death under salacious circumstances. With nothing to lose, Bill boards a flight for Florida’s Gold Coast, ready to begin his own investigation — a last ditch attempt to revive his career.

There’s just one catch: Bill’s father, Melsor.

Melsor Yakovlevich Katzenelenbogen — poet, literary scholar, political dissident, small-time-crook — is angling for control of the condo board at the Château Sedan Neuve, a crumbling high-rise in Hollywood, Florida, populated mostly by Russian Jewish immigrants. The current board is filled with fraudsters levying “special assessments” on residents, and Melsor will use any means necessary to win the board election. And who better to help him than his estranged son?

Thought this sounded fun. Published by Picador in the US and UK, it’s out now.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Review copy received via NetGalley

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HannahK-GreatAloneUSKristin Hannah, THE GREAT ALONE (St. Martin’s Press)

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska — a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

I thought this sounded interesting. Hannah is also the author of the mega-selling The NightingaleThe Great Alone is published by St. Martin’s Press in North America and Macmillan in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

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HarperJ-2-ForceOfNatureUSJane Harper, FORCE OF NATURE (Flatiron Books)

Five women go on a hike. Only four return. How well do you really know the people you work with?

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.

But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?

The second novel in the Aaron Falk series, following the critically-acclaimed The DryForce of Nature is published by Flatiron Books in North America, and Little, Brown in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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HerbertF-D1-DuneUS50thFrank Herbert, DUNE: 50th Anniversary Edition (Ace)

Frank Herbert’s classic masterpiece — a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time.

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides — who would become known as Muad’Dib — and of a great family’s ambition to bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

I have a confession to make: I’ve never read Dune. Despite it being a classic, one recommended to me by many, many other SF fans, I’ve just never got around to it. I really should address this oversight. Dune is published in the US by Ace, and in the UK by Gollancz.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

Review copy received from publisher

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HorowitzA-TheWordIsMurderUSAnthony Horowitz, THE WORD IS MURDER (Harper)

A woman crosses a London street.

It is just after 11am on a bright spring morning, and she is going into a funeral parlor to plan her own service.

Six hours later the woman is dead, strangled with a crimson curtain cord in her own home.

Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric man as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. And Hawthorne has a partner, the celebrated novelist Anthony Horowitz, curious about the case and looking for new material.

As brusque, impatient, and annoying as Hawthorne can be, Horowitz — a seasoned hand when it comes to crime stories — suspects the detective may be on to something, and is irresistibly drawn into the mystery. But as the case unfolds, Horowitz realizes he’s at the center of a story he can’t control… and that his brilliant partner may be hiding dark and mysterious secrets of his own.

A masterful and tricky mystery which plays games at many levels, The Word Is Murder is Anthony Horowitz at his very best.

This could be interesting. I’ve always through Horowitz’s novels sounded interesting, and I listened to a good interview he did with Audible — but, for some reason, I haven’t got around to reading any of his work. I’ll try to remedy this ASAP. The Word is Murder is published in the US by Harper on June 5th, 2018. The novel is already available in the UK, published by Century (paperback out in May).

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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KiernanCR-S2-BlackHelicoptersCaitlín R. Kiernan, BLACK HELICOPTERS (Tor.com)

Just as the Signalman stood and faced the void in Agents of Dreamland, so it falls to Ptolema, a chess piece in her agency’s world-spanning game, to unravel what has become tangled and unknowable.

Something strange is happening on the shores of New England. Something stranger still is happening to the world itself, chaos unleashed, rational explanation slipped loose from the moorings of the known. Two rival agencies stare across the Void at one another. Two sisters, the deadly, sickened products of experiments going back decades, desperately evade their hunters.

An invisible war rages at the fringes of our world, with unimaginable consequences and Lovecraftian horrors that ripple centuries into the future.

The second novella from Kiernan featuring the Signalman, it sounds really interesting. I’ll be reading both — the first was Agents of Dreamland — very soon. Published by Tor.com in North America and the UK, in May 2018.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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MannL-CaptiveAudienceUSLucas Mann, CAPTIVE AUDIENCE (Vintage)

An intimate portrait of a marriage intertwined with a meditation on reality TV that reveals surprising connections and the meaning of an authentic life.

In Lucas Mann’s trademark vein — fiercely intelligent, self-deprecating, brilliantly observed, idiosyncratic, personal, funny, and infuriating — Captive Audience is an appreciation of reality television wrapped inside a love letter to his wife, with whom he shares the guilty pleasure of watching “real” people bare their souls in search of celebrity. Captive Audience resides at the intersection of popular culture with the personal; the exhibitionist impulse, with the schadenfreude of the vicarious, and in confronting some of our most suspect impulses achieves a heightened sense of what it means to live an authentic life and what it means to love a person.

This could be interesting. I’m not the biggest fan of reality TV, but I’m intrigued. Captive Audience is published by Vintage in the US and the UK, in May 2018.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via NetGalley

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MarkleyS-OhioUSSimon Markley, OHIO (Simon & Schuster)

Since the turn of the century, a generation has come of age knowing only war, recession, political gridlock, racial hostility, and a simmering fear of environmental calamity. In the country’s forgotten pockets, where industry long ago fled, where foreclosures, Walmarts, and opiates riddle the land, death rates for rural whites have skyrocketed, fueled by suicide, addiction and a rampant sense of marginalization and disillusionment. This is the world the characters in Stephen Markley’s brilliant debut novel, Ohio, inherit. This is New Canaan.

On one fateful summer night in 2013, four former classmates converge on the rust belt town where they grew up, each of them with a mission, all of them haunted by regrets, secrets, lost loves. There’s Bill Ashcraft, an alcoholic, drug-abusing activist, whose fruitless ambitions have taken him from Cambodia to Zuccotti Park to New Orleans, and now back to “The Cane” with a mysterious package strapped to the underside of his truck; Stacey Moore, a doctoral candidate reluctantly confronting the mother of her former lover; Dan Eaton, a shy veteran of three tours in Iraq, home for a dinner date with the high school sweetheart he’s tried to forget; and the beautiful, fragile Tina Ross, whose rendezvous with the captain of the football team triggers the novel’s shocking climax.

I hadn’t heard of Stephen Markley before I saw this novel available for review. Thought I’d take a chance. Sounds interesting. Ohio is due to be published by Simon & Schuster, in August 2018 (and will be available in the UK as well).

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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McDonald-TimeWasIan McDonald, TIME WAS (Tor.com)

A love story stitched across time and war, shaped by the power of books, and ultimately destroyed by it.

In the heart of World War II, Tom and Ben became lovers. Brought together by a secret project designed to hide British targets from German radar, the two founded a love that could not be revealed. When the project went wrong, Tom and Ben vanished into nothingness, presumed dead. Their bodies were never found.

Now the two are lost in time, hunting each other across decades, leaving clues in books of poetry and trying to make their desperate timelines overlap.

McDonald’s first novella for Tor.com, and it sounds really interesting. Published by Tor.com in the US and UK, in April 2018.

Also on CR: Excerpt from King of Morning, Queen of Day

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Review copy received from publisher

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MordenSJ-OneWayUSS.J. Morden, ONE WAY (Orbit)

It’s the dawn of a new era – and we’re ready to colonize Mars. But the company that’s been contracted to construct a new Mars base, has made promises they can’t fulfill and is desperate enough to cut corners. The first thing to go is the automation… the next thing they’ll have to deal with is the eight astronauts they’ll send to Mars, when there aren’t supposed to be any at all.

Frank – father, architect, murderer – is recruited for the mission to Mars with the promise of a better life, along with seven of his most notorious fellow inmates. But as his crew sets to work on the red wasteland of Mars, the accidents mount up, and Frank begins to suspect they might not be accidents at all. As the list of suspect grows shorter, it’s up to Frank to uncover the terrible truth before it’s too late.

This sounds really interesting — and it joins a wave of new novels set on Mars (and a fair few that appear kind of similar set on the Moon). I’m looking forward to reading this. One Way is due to be published by Orbit in the US and Gollancz in the UK, in April 2018.

Also on CR: Guest Post “On World-Building”

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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NorthC-84KUSClaire North, 84K (Orbit)

A dystopian vision of a world where money reigns supreme, and nothing is so precious that it can’t be bought…

The penalty for Dani Cumali’s murder: £84,000.

Theo works in the Criminal Audit Office. He assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.

These days, there’s no need to go to prison – provided that you can afford to pay the penalty for the crime you’ve committed. If you’re rich enough, you can get away with murder.

But Dani’s murder is different. When Theo finds her lifeless body, and a hired killer standing over her and calmly calling the police to confess, he can’t let her death become just an entry on a balance sheet.

Someone is responsible. And Theo is going to find them and make them pay.

The latest novel from Claire North! Each new book is something to rejoice. I’m really looking forward to reading this ASAP. 84K is due to be published by Orbit Books in the US and UK, in May 2018. (I’ll maybe hold off on posting the review until April.)

Also on CR: Reviews of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustTouchThe Gamehouse Trilogy and The Sudden Appearance of Hope

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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OlsonMF-N3-OutbreakMelissa F. Olson, OUTBREAK (Tor.com)

The Chicago field office of the Bureau of Preternatural Investigation is facing its deadliest challenge, yet — internal investigation! Alex and Lindy are on the hook, and on the run.

But when all of the BPI’s captive vampires are broken free from their maximum security prison, and Hector finally steps out of the shadows, Alex must use every trick to stay ahead of both the BPI and the world’s most dangerous shade.

Confrontation is inevitable. Success is not.

This is the third and final book in Olson’s Nightshades series. Outbreak is published by Tor.com on June 5th, 2018 in the US and UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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PiazzaJ-CharlotteWalshLikesToWinUSJo Piazza, CHARLOTTE WALSH LIKES TO WIN (Simon & Schuster)

What happens when a woman wants it all — political power, a happy marriage, and happiness — but isn’t sure just how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it.

Charlotte Walsh is running for Senate in the most important race in the country during a midterm election that will decide the balance of power in Congress. Still reeling from a presidential election that shocked and divided the country and inspired by the chance to make a difference, she’s left behind her high-powered job in Silicon Valley and returned, with her husband Max and their three young daughters, to her downtrodden Pennsylvania hometown to run in the Rust Belt state.

Once the campaign gets underway, Charlotte is blindsided by just how dirty her opponent is willing to fight, how harshly she is judged by the press and her peers, and how exhausting it becomes to navigate a marriage with an increasingly ambivalent and often resentful husband. When the opposition uncovers a secret that could threaten not just her campaign but everything Charlotte holds dear, she has to decide just how badly she wants to win and at what cost.

A searing, suspenseful story of political ambition, marriage, class, sexual politics, and infidelity, Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win is an insightful portrait of what it takes for a woman to run for national office in America today. In a dramatic political moment like no other with more women running for office than ever before, Jo Piazza’s novel is timely, engrossing, and perfect for readers on both sides of the aisle.

Thought this could be interesting. Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win is published by Simon & Schuster in July 2018.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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RedhillM-BelevueSquareCAMichael Redhill, BELLVUE SQUARE (Doubleday Canada)

Jean Mason has a doppelganger. She’s never seen her, but others swear they have. Apparently, her identical twin hangs out in Kensington Market, where she sometimes buys churros and drags an empty shopping cart down the streets, like she’s looking for something to put in it. Jean’s a grown woman with a husband and two kids, as well as a thriving bookstore in downtown Toronto, and she doesn’t rattle easily — not like she used to. But after two customers insist they’ve seen her double, Jean decides to investigate.

She begins at the crossroads of Kensington Market: a city park called Bellevue Square. Although she sees no one who looks like her, it only takes a few visits to the park for her to become obsessed with the possibility of encountering her twin in the flesh. With the aid of a small army of locals who hang around in the park, she expands her surveillance, making it known she’ll pay for information or sightings. A peculiar collection of drug addicts, scam artists, philanthropists, philosophers and vagrants — the regulars of Bellevue Square — are eager to contribute to Jean’s investigation. But when some of them start disappearing, she fears her alleged double has a sinister agenda. Unless Jean stops her, she and everyone she cares about will face a fate much stranger than death.

Bellevue Square is the latest winner of Canada’s Giller Prize. The titular park is very close to where I live in Canada. So that’s kind of cool. I’ll read this at some point hopefully soon. Bellevue Square is published by Doubleday Canada.

Follow the Author: Goodreads, Twitter

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ReedJM-WeBeginOurAscentJoe Mungo Reed, WE BEGIN OUR ASCENT (Simon & Schuster)

Sol and Liz are a couple on the cusp. He’s a professional cyclist in the Tour de France, a workhorse but not yet a star. She’s a geneticist on the brink of a major discovery, either that or a loss of funding. They’ve just welcomed their first child into the world, and their bright future lies just before them — if only they can reach out and grab it.

But as Liz’s research slows, as Sol starts doping, their dreams grow murkier and the risks graver. Over the whirlwind course of the Tour, they enter the orbit of an extraordinary cast of conmen and aspirants, who draw the young family ineluctably into the depths of an illegal drug smuggling operation. As Liz and Sol flounder to discern right from wrong, up from down, they are forced to decide: What is it we’re striving for? And what is it worth?

I am a Tour neophyte, but my partner loves it, so I’ve slowly been sucked into that fandom. Therefore, this novel caught my attention. I’ll read it soon(ish). We Begin Our Ascent is published by Simon & Schuster in North America (June), and Borough Press in the UK (July).

Follow the Author: Goodreads

Review copy received via Edelweiss

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RichardsonKR-GF1-BloodOrbitUSK.R. Richardson, BLOOD ORBIT (Pyr)

This science fiction police procedural pairs an idealistic rookie with an officer who uses cybernetic implants to process forensics; in solving a mass murder, they will uncover a vast conspiracy.

Eric Matheson, an idealistic rookie cop trying to break from his powerful family, is plunged into the investigation of a brutal crime in his first weeks on the job in Angra Dastrelas, the corrupt capital city of the corporate-owned planet Gattis. A newcomer to the planet, Matheson is unaware of the danger he’s courting when he’s promoted in the field to assist the controversial Chief Investigating Forensic Officer, Inspector J. P. Dillal, the planet’s first cybernetically enhanced investigator. Coming from a despised ethnic underclass, the brilliant and secretive Dillal seems determined to unravel the crime regardless of the consequences. The deeper they dig, the more dangerous the investigation becomes. But in a system where the cops enforce corporate will, instead of the law, the solution could expose Gattis’s most shocking secrets and cost thousands of lives — including Matheson’s and Dillal’s.

This sounds really interesting. I’ve been noticing more sci-fi crime novels, recently (new and old). Blood Orbit is the start of a new series, and I’m really looking forward to giving it a try. The novel is published by Pyr Books in May 2018, and will be available in the UK.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads (Kat Richardson), Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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ThorpeG-SMC2-AshesOfProsperoGav Thorpe, ASHES OF PROSPERO (Black Library)

The grand halls of Fenris grow ever quieter following arduous campaigns. Concerned by his Chapter’s diminishing numbers, the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar entrusts Njal Stormcaller to uncover the remedy of their plight. When a 10,000-year-old enemy embeds itself in the Rune Priest’s mind, it claims the salvation he seeks lies where it all began. On Prospero. Alongside an eclectic company of injured Space Wolves, Thralls and a Trickster who is more hindrance than help, the Stormcaller sets forth. But it soon becomes apparent that greater mechanisms are at work. It is no longer only the Sons of Russ’ fate at stake, but the entire Imperium.

This is a sequel, of sorts, to Curse of the Wulfen, and also ties in to the Horus Heresy events described in A Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns. Published by Black Library.

Also on CR: Interviews with Gav Thorpe — 2011 and 2016; Reviews of Deliverance Lost, Angels of Caliban, Ravenwing and Azrael

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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WhiteCJ-VS2-VoidBlackShadowCorey J. White (Tor.com)

Mars Xi is a living weapon, a genetically-manipulated psychic supersoldier with a body count in the thousands, and all she wanted was to be left alone. People who get involved with her get hurt, whether by MEPHISTO, by her psychic backlash, or by her acid tongue. It’s not smart to get involved with Mars, but that doesn’t stop some people from trying.

The last time MEPHISTO came for Mars they took one of her friends with them. That was a mistake. A force hasn’t been invented that can stop a voidwitch on a rampage, and Mars won’t rest until she’s settled her debts.

This is the second novella in White’s Voidwitch Saga, following on from Killing Gravity. It is due to be published by Tor.com in the US and UK, on March 27th.

Also on CR: Interview with Corey J. White (2017)

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review copy received from publisher

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