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The Silent Sister, Diane Chamberlain


WHAT IF EVERYTHING YOU BELIEVED TURNED OUT TO BE A LIE? Riley MacPherson is returning to her childhood home in North Carolina. A place that holds cherished memories. While clearing out the house she finds a box of old newspaper articles – and a shocking family secret begins to unravel.

Riley has spent her whole life believing that her older sister Lisa died tragically as a teenager. But now she’s starting to uncover the truth: her life has been built on a foundation of lies, told by everyone she loved.

Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?

As Riley tries to separate reality from fiction, her discoveries call into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Can she find the strength inside herself to decide her future.

Incredibly gripping and emotionally powerful, The Silent Sister is perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty.

His Secret Daughter, Emma Bennett

A romance novel that you won’t be able to put down


Iris is falling in love with the father of her child.  The only problem is she never told him they had a daughter.

Iris Brown is a single parent doing her best to raise her beautiful two-year-old daughter, Paola. But when Sergio, Paola’s father, a dashing-but-arrogant Spanish businessman comes back on the scene, everyone’s lives are thrown into chaos. She fears he may take Paola away from her. Iris must decide what’s best for her and her daughter, and whether she can ever trust Sergio again.

He broke her heart once. Will she let him do it again?

The Curvy Girls Club, Michele Gorman


Can the curvy girls have their cake and eat it?

Meet best friends Pixie, Ellie, Katie and Jane. Fed up with always struggling to lose weight, they start a social club where size doesn’t matter. Soon it’s the most popular place to be – having fun instead of counting carbs. And the girls suddenly find their lives changing in ways they never imagined.

But outside the club, things aren’t as rosy, as they struggle with the ups and downs of everyday life.

In this funny, heart-warming read about normal women learning to love themselves, the curvy girls soon realise that no matter what life throws at them, together, anything is possible . . .

The Scandalous Duchess, Anne O’Brien


If you will be a great man’s mistress you must pay the price…

1372, The Savoy. Widow Lady Katherine Swynford presents herself for a role in the household of merciless royal prince John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, hoping to end her destitution. But the Duke’s scandalous proposition leaves her life of pious integrity reeling…

Seduced by the glare of royal adoration, Katherine becomes John’s mistress. She will leave behind everything she has stood for to play second fiddle to his young wife and ruthless ambition. She will live in the shadows of the most powerful man in England in the hope of a love greater than propriety.

But soon the court whispers – whore, harlot, vile temptress – reach the ears of not just John’s bride but his most dangerous political enemies. As the Plantagenet prince is accused of bringing England to its knees, who better to blame than shameless she-devil Katherine Swynford?

The Last Anniversary, Liane Moriarty


One abandoned baby. Two sisters with a secret. One chance to rewrite the past.

Over seventy years have passed since sisters Rose and Connie Doughty found an abandoned baby near their home on the island Scribbly Gum. With no one to take care of it, Rose and Connie took the baby in as their own.

Since then the ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ has brought fame and fortune, putting Scribbly Gum on the tourist map, especially for the island’s annual celebration.

But now, with Connie dead and outsider Sophie Honeywell about to move into her home, Rose begins to wonder if they made the right decision all those years ago. How much longer can they cover up the lie that has sustained their community for generations? And what other secrets are about to be revealed?

Us, David Nicholls


‘I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.’

‘Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’

Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.

He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?

Hide Her Name, Nadine Dorries


In the Four Streets in Liverpool, a dreadful murder has been committed, and 14-year-old Kitty Doherty is pregnant with the dead man’s child.

This secret is so dangerous that her mother, Maura, and the redoubtable Kathleen, her best friend Nellie’s grandmother, decide the girls must be spirited away quietly to Ireland to await the birth of the baby.

But back in Liverpool, the police are not giving up their search for the truth. Somewhere, in this tight-knit Irish Catholic community, someone must know something. Someone surely will talk one day. The streets are alive with gossip and rumour and it isn’t easy to keep a secret that big.

HIDE HER NAME is the gripping sequel to Nadine Dorries’s first bestseller, THE FOUR STREETS, shot through with darkness, but also filled with humour, warmth and charm.

Yellow Crocus, Laila Ibrahim


Moments after Lisbeth is born, she’s taken from her mother and handed over to an enslaved wet nurse, Mattie, a young mother separated from her own infant son in order to care for her tiny charge. Thus begins an intense relationship that will shape both of their lives for decades to come. Though Lisbeth leads a life of privilege, she finds nothing but loneliness in the company of her overwhelmed mother and her distant, slave-owning father. As she grows older, Mattie becomes more like family to Lisbeth than her own kin and the girl’s visits to the slaves’ quarters—and their lively and loving community—bring them closer together than ever. But can two women in such disparate circumstances form a bond like theirs without consequence? This deeply moving tale of unlikely love traces the journey of these very different women as each searches for freedom and dignity.

The Letter, Kathryn Hughes

1973


Tina Craig has one mission in life – to escape her drunken, abusive husband. She works all the hours she can to save up enough money to leave him. She spends as little time as possible in the violent household she is forced to call home, even volunteering at a charity shop at the weekend to escape Rick’s clutches. One day, whilst sorting through the pockets of a second-hand suit which has been donated to the shop, she comes across an old letter. It is still firmly sealed and unfranked. Unable to resist the pull of curiosity, Tina opens the letter. It was written on 4th September 1939. She is so moved by the contents and bemused as to why the letter was never delivered, she embarks on a quest to find out what became of the writer and his intended recipient, a journey with consequences she could never have predicted.

1939

Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but he also knows how to put things right. On 4th September, 1939 he sits down to write a letter that will change his life forever. He slips it into his jacket pocket and, with a spring in his step, and full of optimism, he heads for the nearest post box. How was he to know that his heartfelt missive would not be read for another 34 years, and then by a complete stranger?

The Letter tells the story of two women, born decades apart, but whose paths are destined to cross and how one woman’s devastation leads to the other’s salvation.

The Next Always, Nora Roberts


The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look . . . at the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour – one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new – and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next . . .

The Magpies, Mark Edwards


When Jamie and Kirsty move into their first home together, they are full of optimism. The future, in which they plan to get married and start a family, is bright. The other residents of their building seem friendly too, including the Newtons, a married couple who welcome them to the building with open arms.

But then strange things start to happen. Dead rats are left on their doorstep. They hear disturbing noises, and much worse, in the night. After Jamie’s best friend is injured in a horrific accident, Jamie and Kirsty find themselves targeted by a campaign of terror.

As they are driven to the edge of despair, Jamie vows to fight back—but he has no idea what he is really up against . . .

The Magpies is a gripping psychological thriller in which the monsters are not vampires or demons but the people who live next door. It is a nightmare that could happen to anyone.

The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins


Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

Sleepyhead, Mark Billingham (Tom Thorne Novels Book 1)


The killer who Billingham’s protagonist Tom Thorne is up against is a particularly creepy specimen: he has savagely killed three victims but his fourth, although alive, is perhaps not so fortunate. She has undergone a deliberately induced stroke and although all her senses are intact, she is totally unable to move or communicate. This hideous condition, called Locked-in Syndrome is, however, quite possibly the killer’s first miscalculation … or is it? Soon the dogged Thorne (given to distrusting his own abilities) is playing a cat-and-mouse game with a psychopathic killer. And the brilliant and sadistic killer is just as interested in leading Thorne a merry dance as he is in fulfilling his degraded obsessions.

All characterisations here are spot-on, even the killer (although one wonders just how many more hyper-intelligent psychopaths readers will be prepared to take) while the British setting is handled with intelligence, the horrific set pieces with real élan:

His head moved up, through the hole and into bright white light. He blinked quickly to adjust and opened his eyes. Thorne’s last thought, before his body turned ice cold and began to shake quietly, was that he’d been right to be afraid…

 

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