Rosemary’s Book Previews 2023

February 2023

1.  Starvation Lake | John Carson

A killer on the loose.

A killer behind bars.

And a detective caught between them…

Ailsa Connolly was a brilliant psychologist and a respected criminologist.

She was also a serial killer.

Six years ago, DCI Sean Bracken caught her just before he was about to become her seventh victim. Every year on the anniversary of her incarceration, she taunts him with a phone call, giving him one message; when I get out, I’ll kill you.

Now, Bracken has transferred back to Edinburgh from Fife and is thrown into the deep end on his first day back on duty.

There’s a killer who is emulating Ailsa, threatening to surpass her body count.

Bracken knows he needs her on board to help him track the killer down, but she’s reluctant to get involved.

Then the case takes an unexpected twist, and she agrees to help. But this new killer is taking them down a dark, twisted path, where nobody sees the outcome.

Until it’s too late.

2. Last Girls Alive | Jennifer Chase

Half-buried in the muddy earth and surrounded by puddles of water lies the naked body of a beautiful young girl. Her pale skin looks like porcelain in the early morning light. Her fragile arms bent and crooked like a broken doll.

When Detective Katie Scott is called to the discovery of a young girl buried on the grounds of a former children’s home in Pine Valley, California, she’s hopeful it’s the end to a devastating cold case she’s been working on. No one has seen Candace Harlan since she ran away from Elm Hill Manor five years ago. Her death will be a tragedy, but it will also bring peace to those who miss her most. But the girl in the ground is not Candace.

The victim is almost identical to Candace in every way, but fear grips Katie as she takes in the black ink that decorates the girl’s back—a terrifying message tattooed on her skin after she drew her last breath.

Forcing down traumatic memories of losing her own parents, Katie is certain someone mistook this poor soul for Candace, and that this crumbling home for lost girls is at the heart of this terrible crime. She sets to work digging into the tragic history of the owners who lost so many children of their own and tracking down the last six residents and the staff who cared for them—but no one wants to talk, let alone remember.

The next day, a second girl’s body is found down by the creek at high water, the same words etched into her skin. Katie’s worst fear is confirmed: someone is picking off the last of the Elm Hill girls one by one. But what does the tattoo mean? And what monster would target these innocent girls who have already been through so much?

Katie must dig deep to confront her own fears and protect the vulnerable—but as the body count rises further, will there be anyone left to save?

3. Flowers on her Grave | Jennifer Chase

On the floor, amongst the piles of freshly pressed laundry, lay the woman’s lifeless body, her pale yellow nightdress soaked in blood.
“I didn’t do it…” came a whisper from the corner of the room.

Detective Katie Scott has never seen two people more in love than her aunt and uncle as they danced on the decking the night of their wedding anniversary party. But the next morning, when Katie finds her aunt’s body sprawled across the floor, that perfect image is shattered forever.

All fingers point to Katie’s uncle, Pine Valley’s beloved sheriff and protector – after all, his prints are all over the antique knife found at the scene. Grieving, but certain of her uncle’s innocence, Katie is consigned to the cold case division after she’s discovered searching the house for clues. Doessomeone want to keep her as far away from this investigation as possible?

Ignoring warnings from her team, Katie digs into her uncle’s old case files and discovers photographs of the body of a young girl found tied to a tree after a hike in search of a rare flower. Her body is covered with the same unusual lacerations her aunt suffered. Katie knows it can’t be a coincidence, but every lead she follows takes her to a dead end.

Moments before the sheriff is arrested, Katie realises that a single piece of thread she found at the crime scene could be the missing link that will stitch old crimes to new. But how can she prove her uncle’s innocence without throwing herself directly into the line of fire? She doesn’t have a choice, he’s the only family she has left…

4. No Plan B | Lee Child

Gerrardsville, Colorado. One tragic event. Two witnesses. Two conflicting accounts. One witness sees a woman throw herself in front of a bus – clearly suicide. The other witness is Jack Reacher. And he sees what really happened – a man in grey hoodie and jeans, swift and silent as a shadow, pushing the victim to her death, before grabbing her bag and sauntering away.

Reacher follows the killer, not knowing that this was no random act of violence. It is part of something much bigger…a sinister, secret conspiracy, with powerful people on the take, enmeshed in an elaborate plot that leaves no room for error. If any step is compromised, the threat will have to be quickly and permanently removed.

Because when the threat is Reacher, there is No Plan B…

5. Desert Star | Michael Connelly

SOME CRIMES YOU CAN’T FORGET.
Detective Renée Ballard is given the chance of a lifetime: revive the LAPD’s cold case unit and find justice for the families of the forgotten. The only catch is they must first crack the unsolved murder of the sister of the city councilman who is sponsoring the department – or lose everything…

OTHERS YOU CAN’T FORGIVE.
Harry Bosch is top of the list of investigators Ballard wants to recruit. The former homicide detective is a living legend – but for how long? Because Bosch has his own agenda: a crime that has haunted him for years – the murder of a whole family, buried out in the desert – which he vowed to close.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW WHO DID IT?
With the killer still out there and evidence elusive – Bosch is on a collision course with a choice he hoped never to make…

6. Racing the Light  | Robert Crais

Private investigator Elvis Cole and his enigmatic partner, Joe Pike, are back on the case in this brilliant new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Robert Crais.

Adele Schumacher isn’t a typical worried mom. When she hires Elvis to find her missing son, a controversial podcaster named Josh Shoe, she brings a bag filled with cash, bizarre tales of government conspiracies, and a squad of professional bodyguards. Finding Josh should be simple, but Elvis quickly learns he isn’t alone in the hunt—a deadly team of mysterious strangers are determined to find Josh and his adult film star girlfriend first.
With dangerous secrets lurking behind every lead, Elvis needs his friend Joe Pike more than ever to uncover the truth about Josh, corrupt politicians, and the vicious business cartels rotting the heart of Los Angeles from within. And when Elvis’s estranged girlfriend, Lucy Chenier, and her son, Ben, return, he learns just how much he has to lose…if he survives.

7. Ice Cold Malice | Rhys Dylan

Revenge is a dish best served… ice cold.

While beach combing on MOD property, two young boys stumble across a reeking mound of tangled kelp. But it isn’t the seaweed that stinks. It’s the decomposing corpse beneath it.

Called in to investigate, DCI Evan Warlow’s team are faced with finding out how and why the body of a struck-off doctor ended up on a lonely beach within sight of Laugharne’s famous Boathouse.

But this is no innocent victim. This is a man with more enemies than friends. A fact that muddies the waters no end as Warlow unearths more and more of the dead man’s sordid history. Not to mention a long line of suspects.

With a killer in their midst hell bent on achieving a deadly goal and determined to let nothing and no one stand in their way, the team need to be on their guard.

Unless they want to end up as victims, too.

8. A Killer’s Heart | Thomas Fincham

A serial killer’s heart beats inside her chest.

FBI Agent Jo Pullinger arrives in Seattle, Washington. She is grateful to leave behind her old life. One that involved having a transplant of a killer’s heart.

When a wealthy family is murdered in their mansion, the daughter’s boyfriend is taken into custody. He was found at the scene of the crime, cradling the daughter’s body, with the murder weapon at his side.

Jo’s instincts tell her the boyfriend is not guilty, even though, all the evidence is stacked against him. It’s an uphill battle for Jo, to not only convince her superiors but also to convince her new partner, Seattle PD Detective Bryan Ford.

As Jo digs deeper into the case, she quickly finds herself on a collision course with a disturbed killer.

9. Bleeding Heart Yard | Elly Griffiths

DS Cassie Fitzherbert has a secret – but it’s one she’s deleted from her memory. In the 1990s when she was at school, she and her friends killed a fellow pupil. Thirty years later, Cassie is happily married and loves her job as a police officer.

One day her husband persuades her to go to a school reunion and another ex-pupil, Garfield Rice, is found dead, supposedly from a drug overdose. As Garfield was an eminent MP and the investigation is high profile, it’s headed by Cassie’s new boss, DI Harbinder Kaur. The trouble is, Cassie can’t shake the feeling that one of her old friends has killed again.

Is Cassie right, or was Garfield murdered by one of his political cronies? It’s in Cassie’s interest to skew the investigation so that it looks like the latter and she seems to be succeeding.

Until someone else is killed…

10. The Boys from Biloxi | John Grisham

For most of the last hundred years, Biloxi was known for its beaches, resorts, and seafood industry. But it had a darker side. It was also notorious for corruption and vice, everything from gambling, prostitution, bootleg liquor, drugs . . . even contract killings. The vice was controlled by a small cabal of mobsters, many of them rumoured to be members of the Dixie Mafia.

Keith Rudy and Hugh Malco grew up in Biloxi in the sixties and were childhood friends. But as teenagers, their lives took them in different directions. Keith’s father became a legendary prosecutor, determined to ‘clean up the Coast.’ Hugh’s father became the ‘Boss’ of Biloxi’s criminal underground. Keith went to law school and followed in his father’s footsteps. Hugh preferred the nightlife and worked in his father’s clubs. The two families were headed for a showdown, one that would happen in a courtroom.

Rich with history and with a large cast of unforgettable characters, The Boys from Biloxi is a sweeping saga of two sons of immigrant families who grow up as friends, but ultimately find themselves in a knife-edge legal confrontation in which life itself hangs in the balance.

In this novel, Grisham takes his powerful storytelling to the next level, his trademark twists and turns will keep you tearing through the pages until the stunning conclusion.

‘It’s a story that spans half a century and ends inevitably in a courtroom showdown. A morally complex, compelling and illuminating read’ MAIL ON SUNDAY

‘Invites comparisons with the Godfather trilogy – it spans two generations and several postwar decades – and has a vast cast and a winning energy’ SUNDAY TIMES

11. Gone to Ground | Bronwyn Hall

HUNTED. ALONE. AFRAID… A heart-in-the-mouth and utterly addictive adventure thriller from a phenomenal debut Australian talent.


UN surgeon Rachel Forester is posted at a remote medical clinic deep in the jungle of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With violence escalating in the region, Dr Forester risks her life by remaining to tend an injured child while the rest of her team evacuates. On the cusp of her final desperate chance to leave, a soldier is carried into the camp by three other members of his unit, his condition so critical, his airlift must take priority over hers.

With no help coming, and in the path of warring militias, this small unit must flee through the heart of the jungle to reach the safety of the province capital. But in the dark wilderness lies a strangling web of crime and corruption. As they get deeper, they discover a sinister mining operation and stolen children with evidence indicating shadowy ties to the UN. But aren’t those the people Dr Forester works for? The only people who know she’s still lost out there? And now, the people who want her dead?

The further they delve, the more the web closes around them. Will they make it out alive?

12. Know no Evil | Graeme Hampton

Old crimes don’t stay buried forever…

It’s high summer, and London sizzles in the grip of a heatwave. But when the body of young mother, Leanne Wyatt, is discovered in an East London park, the heat rises to boiling point for D.I. Matthew Denning. Under pressure to solve the case, and fast, he delves into Leanne’s history and finds that she was close to some dangerous individuals – could one of them have taken her life in an angry rage? But when another woman is found dead in similar circumstances, Denning is forced to consider that a killer stalks the capital’s streets.

But when young, ambitious, D.S. Molly Fisher, discovers a horrifying link to these deaths and a killing spree in South London a decade ago – a terrifying summer where young women died at the hands of a psychopath the press dubbed ‘The Bermondsey Ripper’, the case is blown wide open. Anthony Ferguson is serving a life sentence for the crimes, so are these new deaths the result of a copycat killer – or did the police convict the wrong man? Whatever the case, Denning and Fisher need to stop a killer in his tracks – before he sets his sights on them.

13. The Soulmate | Sally Hepworth

There’s a cottage on a cliff. Gabe and Pippa’s dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Night after night Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge. Until he doesn’t.

When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral…Did the victim jump? Was she pushed?

And would Gabe, the love of Pippa’s life, her soulmate…lie? As the perfect facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel.

14. The Blood Tide | Neil Lancaster

You make people disappear.
A young man jumps from a bridge in Glasgow and falls to his death in the water below. DS Max Craigie uncovers evidence that links both victims. But if he can’t find out what cost them their lives, it won’t be long before more bodies turn up at the morgue…

You come back for revenge.
Soon cracks start to appear in the investigation, and Max’s past hurtles back to haunt him. When his loved ones are threatened, he faces a terrifying choice: let the only man he ever feared walk free, or watch his closest friend die…

15. Hidden Scars | Angela Marsons

While Jamie’s cold, lifeless body lay in the morgue, Detective Kim Stone stared at the empty board in the incident room and felt her anger boil. Why were there no photos, details, or lines of enquiry?

When a nineteen-year-old boy, Jamie Mills, is found hanging from a tree in a local park, his death is ruled a suicide. Detective Kim Stone’s instincts tell her something isn’t right – but it’s not her investigation and her temporary replacement is too busy waiting for the next big case to be asking the right questions.

Why would a seemingly healthy boy choose to end his life?
Why does his mother show no sign of emotional distress at the loss of her son?

Still mending her broken mind and body from her last harrowing case, Kim is supposed to be easing back into work gently. But then she finds a crucial, overlooked detail: Jamie had a recent injury that would have made it impossible for him to climb the tree. He must have been murdered.

Quickly taking back charge of her team and the case, Kim visits Jamie’s parents and is shocked to hear that they had sent him to a clinic to ‘cure’ him of his sexuality. According to his mother, Jamie was introverted and prone to mood swings. Yet his friend speaks of a vibrant, outgoing boy.

The clues to smashing open this disturbing case lie behind the old Victorian walls of the clinic, run by the Gardner family. They claim that patients come of their own accord and are free to leave at any time. But why are those that attended the clinic so afraid to speak of what happens there? And where did the faded restraint marks identified on Jamie’s wrists come from?

Then the body of a young woman is found dead by suffocation and Kim makes two chilling discoveries. The victim spent time at the clinic too, and her death was also staged to look like a suicide.

Scarred from an ordeal that nearly took her life, is Kim strong enough to stop a terrifying killer from silencing the clinic’s previous patients one by one?

 

16. The Girl in the Castle | James Patterson

My name is Hannah Dory and I need you to believe me

NOW: Hannah Doe is brought to Belman Psych, kicking and screaming, told she is suffering from hallucinations and delusions.

1347: Hannah Dory and her village are starving to death in a brutal winter. Hannah seeks out food and salvation in the baron’s castle. If she is caught stealing, she will surely hang.

NOW: Hannah knows the truth: she is Hannah Doe and Hannah Dory, and she must return to the past before it’s too late to save her sister. Can Jordan, the Abnormal-Psych student who seems to truly care, be the one to finally help her?

Jordan isn’t sure what to believe, and Hannah has even bigger problems: if she doesn’t make it back, her sister will die, but if she keeps going back, she might never escape.

17. Find Me in the Dark | Dea Poirier

She’d been running for so long, it felt like her legs were on fire. Her heart was pounding so hard, she was sure it would give out. Around her, the snow was falling, casting an eerie silence over the town. A crack behind her, a foot snapping a branch, it warned her that he was still coming. She whipped around and saw the knife gleaming in his hand…

As the snow begins to melt across Plattsburgh, New York, the body of a young woman is found buried in a snowbank. When Detective Harlow Durant arrives at the scene she discovers that the victim has lain there for months: her arresting beauty, brightly-coloured nails and a distinctive gold bracelet perfectly preserved in the ice.

Searching missing person reports, Harlow soon identifies the victim as college student Alyssa Trent. Her grieving family describe her as someone who had no enemies and was a dedicated student. But Alyssa’s tutor has a different view: they claim Alyssa had another life that she kept hidden. But who would want her dead?

Harlow knows all about secret lives. She has spent years running from her past and from her father, a convicted serial killer. As the only female detective at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Harlow has vowed to bring killers to justice. Now she needs to find justice for Alyssa.

When another female student is found in the thawing snow, Harlow knows that she is hunting a twisted killer. The victims knew each other but what dark secret connects them? With the small-town reeling in shock and more snow coming, Harlow knows she needs to stop a killer dead in their tracks before another innocent life is lost.

18. The Killing Parade | T. G. Reid

Who will be next?

When the body of a local talent show winner is discovered, on the eve of headlining Kilwinnoch’s annual Civic Week celebrations, it throws the festivities into chaos and threatens to tear the close-knit community apart.

For DCI Bone, the death is personal. Days earlier, he’d received a call from the victim, warning that she was about to be killed. He’d dismissed it as a hoax.

With threats of more to come, a town on edge, and a ruthless killer evading detection with ease, Bone knows from hard -worn experience that, in a case like this, one kill is never enough

19. The It Girl | Ruth Ware

April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

20. In the Deep | Loreth Anne White

I hope you don’t find him. And if you do, I hope he’s dead and that he suffered…

Real-estate mogul Martin Cresswell-Smith is the best thing that has ever happened to Ellie. After her daughter’s devastating death, a divorce, and an emotional breakdown, he’s helped her move as far as possible from the grief, the rage, and the monsters of her past. Ellie imagines her new home with Martin in an Australian coastal town will be like living a fairy tale. But behind closed doors is another story—one that ends in Martin’s brutal murder. And Ellie seems almost relieved…

Naturally, everyone thinks Mrs. Cresswell-Smith is guilty.

Senior Constable Lozza Bianchi has reasonable doubt. She sees evidence of a twisted psychological battle and a couple who seemed to bring out the worst in each other—adultery, abuse, betrayal, and revenge. If anything Ellie says can be believed, that is. As the case takes twist after spiraling twist, Lozza can’t shake the gut instinct that she’s being manipulated. That Ellie is hiding something. That there are secrets yet to surface. Lozza has no idea.

21. When we Fall | Aoife Clifford

‘It isn’t strangers you need to worry about here. Blood lines run deep and in unexpected places. Every victim, every accused, we’ll know. The past runs alongside us all the time. Some days it spills into the open.’

In the wild, coastal town of Merritt, Alex Tillerson and her mother make a shocking find on the beach. The police claim it’s an accidental death but there are whispers of murder and that it is not the first.

Bella Greggs was found dead at the bottom of a ravine but drowned in salt water. Maxine McFarlane was pulled from the ocean but with no water in her lungs. Black feathers were found with both bodies but what do they mean?

As Alex fights for answers to honour the dead, and to discover why her mother fled town as a teenager, good people keep looking the other way, memories become unreliable and secrets threaten to reveal the past.

Alex discovers the truth never dies but it can kill…

22. Day’s End | Garry Disher

WHEN HATE RUNS DEEP, THE INNOCENT SUFFER

Constable Paul Hirschausen’s rural beat in the low hills of South Australia is wide. Daybreak to day’s end, dirt roads and dust. Every problem that besets small towns and isolated properties, from unlicensed driving to arson.

But now, just as Hirsch has begun to feel he knows the fragile communities under his care, the isolation and fear of the pandemic have warped them into something angry and unrecognisable. Hirsch is seeing stresses heightened and social divisions cracking wide open. His own tolerance under strain; people getting close to the edge.

Today he’s driving an international visitor around: Janne Van Sant, whose backpacker son went missing while the borders were closed. They’re checking out his last photo site, his last employer. A feeling that the stories don’t quite add up.

Then a call comes in: a roadside fire. Nothing much – a suitcase soaked in diesel and set alight – but two noteworthy facts emerge. Janne knows more than Hirsch about forensic evidence. And the body in the suitcase is not her son’s.

23. Keeping Up Appearances | Tricia Stringer

As tensions simmer in a small country town, three women are going to need more than CWA sausage rolls and can-do community spirit to put things right. From a bestselling Australian author comes a delightful novel full of practical wisdom and dry humour that examines female friendship, buried secrets and why honesty is (usually) the best policy.


Privacy is hard to maintain in Badara, the kind of small Australian country town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. So discovers single mum Paige when she and her three children arrive from the city seeking refuge. Paige’s only respite from child care and loneliness is the Tuesday gym club, where she had feared the judgement of the town matriarchs, but she is met only with generosity and a plethora of baked goods. Besides, both the brusque Marion and her polished sister-in-law Briony are too busy dealing with their own dramas to examine hers.

Well-to-do farmer’s wife and proud mother Briony is in full denial of her family’s troubles. Even with her eldest daughter’s marriage in ruins and her son Blake’s recent bombshell. Suddenly Briony and husband Vince have a full house again – and the piles of laundry aren’t the only dirty linen that’s about to be aired.

For Marion, the unearthing of a time capsule – its contents to be read at the Celebrate Badara weekend – is a disaster. She was only a teenager when she wrote down those poisonous words, but that doesn’t mean she won’t lose friends and family if they hear what she really thinks of them – especially as the letter reveals their darkest secrets to the world.

24. Murder in Williamstown | Kerry Greenwood

When the redoubtable Miss Phryne Fisher receives threatening letters at her home, she enlists her unflappable apprentice Tinker to investigate. But as the harassment of Phryne threatens to spin out of control, her lover Lin Chung is also targeted.

Meanwhile, Dot begins to fear that her fiancé, newly promoted Sergeant Hugh Collins, has gone cold on their wedding. And Phryne’s clever daughters Ruth and Jane begin their own investigation into suspiciously dwindling funds when they are sent to help at the Blind Institute.

None of this is quite enough to prevent Phryne from accepting an invitation to a magnificent party at the house of the mysterious Hong. When the party is interrupted by shocking tragedy, Phryne gathers all of her unerring brilliance to track down the miscreants.

With some unlikely assistance, Phryne is in a race against time to save a pair of young lovers from disgrace and death

25. Broad River Station | Fleur McDonald

A young constable faces prejudice in a small country town, but the search for a missing child changes everything. A breathtaking novel of rural suspense from the bestselling Voice of the Outback.

Mia, a newly graduated constable, is assigned to the small country town of Broad River. And as certain as she is about her ability to do the job, on day one she’s already in conflict with colleagues who believe that women shouldn’t be coppers.

It takes the shine off coming home, where her grandmother, Clara, is in the early stages of dementia. Mia is accustomed to their conversations often not quite making sense, but when Clara gives Mia a mysterious key and hints of veiled family secrets, Mia isn’t sure what she should believe.

In the midst of all this, a local child goes missing and Mia is confined to barracks. When Detective Dave Burrows realises she has skills that could be put to use, Mia’s career takes a new turn, and she must decide down which road to walk.

26. Call of Empire | Peter Watt

It is 1885. After a decade spent fighting for Queen and Country across the globe, Colonel Ian Steele is enjoying the quiet life in the colony of New South Wales, reunited with his friend Conan Curry and watching over his children and numerous business enterprises.

But the British Empire’s pursuits are ceaseless, and when the colony’s soldiers are required to assist a campaign in Sudan, North Africa, Ian’s son Lieutenant Josiah Steele heeds the call, despite an ultimatum from the love of his life, Marian.

Meanwhile, Ian’s younger son Samuel is learning the family business in the Pacific islands with his friend and colleague Ling Lee. However, Lee has become embroiled in a scheme to smuggle guns for the Chinese, which sees the pair sailing directly into danger in Singapore.

As the reign of Queen Victoria draws to a close and new battles loom on several frontiers, the Steele family must face loss and heartbreak like never before.

27. One Woman’s War | Christine Wells

World War II London: When Victoire “Paddy” Bennett first walks into the Admiralty’s Room 39, home to the Intelligence Division, all the bright and lively young woman expects is a secretarial position to the charismatic Commander Ian Fleming. But soon her job is so much more, and when Fleming proposes a daring plot to deceive the Germans about Allied invasion plans he requests the newlywed Paddy’s help. She jumps at the chance to work as an agent in the field, even after the operation begins to affect her marriage. But could doing her duty for King and country come at too great a cost?

Socialite Friedl Stöttinger is a beautiful Austrian double agent determined to survive in wartime England, which means working for MI-5, investigating fifth column activity among the British elite at parties and nightclubs. But Friedl has a secret—some years before, she agreed to work for German Intelligence and spy on the British.

When her handler at MI-5 proposes that she work with Serbian agent, Duško Popov, Friedl falls hopelessly in love with the dashing spy. And when her intelligence work becomes fraught with danger, she must choose whether to remain loyal to the British and risk torture and execution by the Nazis, or betray thousands of men to their deaths.

Soon, the lives of these two extraordinarily brave women will collide, as each travels down a road of deception and danger leading to one of the greatest battles of World War II.

28. The Hidden Place | Dinah Jefferies

An island of secrets. A runaway. And a promise…
A rebellious daughter
1925. Among the ancient honey-coloured walls of the tiny island of Malta, strangers slip into the shadows and anyone can buy a new name. Rosalie Delacroix flees Paris for a dancer’s job in the bohemian clubs deep in its winding streets.

A sister with a secret
1944. Running from the brutality of war in France, Florence Baudin faces a new life. But her estranged mother makes a desperate request: to find her vanished sister, who went missing years before.

A rift over generations
Betrayals and secrets, lies and silence hang between the sisters. A faded last letter from Rosalie is Florence’s only clue, the war an immovable barrier – and time is running out…

29. The Wife Who Risked Everything | Ellie Midwood

Berlin, 1943: “No matter what happens, no matter what they do to me, they will never stop me loving you,” he said, placing a kiss on my tear-stained cheek. Based on a true story, this heartbreaking World War Two page-turner shows that, in the face of evil, love is power, courage is infectious–and the voices of many will not be silenced.

“We’re not moving until you release our men ” Margot shouts, her heart racing. In the snow, the Berlin streets dusted with white, she shifts from foot to foot with the small crowd of wives by the iron gates. She has lived in terror that this moment would come: Nazis have arrested her beloved husband.

Margot, a German seamstress, and Jochen, a Jewish artist, were madly in love. But this became a forbidden act in Hitler’s Germany. The days of Jochen filling their sixth-floor apartment with roses to surprise her vanished. Their friends started crossing the street to avoid them. They lost their jobs. And then they found themselves scrabbling for breadcrumbs on the cold cobbles outside the home that was once their own.

Yet even as their world came crashing down, they had each other. Until now.

Now, Margot risks her life to protest outside Gestapo headquarters. As days pass, hundreds are gathered. They refuse to move, even when enemy planes cross the clouds and bombs fall to the ground. Yet defying the Nazis is a death sentence…

Will this evil war ever end? Will she and Jochen survive? What will it take for Margot to see the love of her life again?

30. The Bourne Sacrifice | Robert Ludlum

Jason Bourne tackles a global media conspiracy and a murderous tech giant in the latest electrifying entry in Robert Ludlum’s New York Times bestselling series.

Bourne is back…

Jason Bourne has faced many killers before, but none as dangerous as the assassin who calls himself Lennon. Bourne thought he had Lennon cornered in Iceland, only to have the killer escape in a fiery explosion. Now Lennon’s trail leads Bourne to New York and then to Washington D.C. and the body count rises with each deadly encounter.

Bourne believes the assassin has a shadowy new employer called the Pyramid. The only clue to the group’s agenda is a young German woman, murdered in D.C. on her way to a covert meeting. But the woman’s entire identity turns out to be a lie, and news reports of her death have been strangely twisted and suppressed.

Finding the truth about this woman may be Bourne’s only chance to catch Lennon and uncover the conspiracy behind the Pyramid. But the chase comes with high stakes. Bourne’s former lover, journalist Abbey Laurent, is digging into the mystery too, and the battle against Lennon and the Pyramid will soon put Abbey in the assassin’s crosshairs. Bourne will need to use every bit of his tradecraft and his genius for mayhem to expose this web of lies and murder before Lennon kills the woman he loves.

31. The Temple of Skulls | Andy McDermott

World-renowned archaeologist Nina Wilde and her husband, former SAS soldier Eddie Chase, now lead a quiet life – the only real danger posed by their rebellious teenage daughter. Until, on a visit to a newly discovered temple, they’re suddenly engulfed in a deadly hunt for an ancient weapon which threatens the entire globe.
From the bustling streets of Mexico City to the mountainous jungles of Guatemala, Nina and Eddie – with daughter Macy in tow – are the only ones who can prevent an apocalyptic evil seizing control of an unstoppable power.


Battling special operations soldiers and blood-thirsty cults, Nina and Eddie must once again risk their lives to save the world. . .

32. A Brief Affair | Alex Miller

On the face of it, Dr Frances Egan is a woman who has it all-a loving family and a fine career – until a brief, perfect affair reveals to her an imaginative dimension to her life that is wholly her own.

Fran finds the courage and the inspiration to risk everything and change her direction at the age of forty-two. This newfound understanding of herself is fortified by the discovery of a long-forgotten diary from the asylum and the story it reveals.

Written with humour, sensitivity and the wisdom for which Miller’s work is famous, this exquisitely compassionate novel explores the interior life and the dangerous navigation of love in all its forms.

33. The Winners | Fredrik Backman

‘It’s often said that winners write history, but there are no winners here’

This is a small story about big questions.
It’s a story about family, community, life.
It starts with a storm – and a death.
But how does it end?

Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The residents continue to grapple with life’s big questions: What is a family? What is a community? And what, if anything, are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?

As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.

So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home?

Everything.

 

34. For the Lost | Lina Bengtsdotter

A MISSING CHILD
In Karlstad, nine-month-old Beatrice is missing from her pram. Her parents are in shock and the media is in a frenzy.


A PERSONAL STRUGGLE
DI Charlie Lager is struggling with her own demons when she’s called to investigate, forced to push them aside as the case intensifies.


A CLOCK RUNNING DOWN
As lead after lead goes nowhere, Charlie starts to feel like nobody actually wants the truth to come out about Beatrice as reluctant locals shut down in the face of her questions. And with each passing hour, the chance of finding Beatrice alive becomes less and less likely…

35. Little Drummer  | Kjell Ola Dahl

When a woman is found dead in her car in a Norwegian parking garage, everyone suspects an overdose until a forensics report indicates that she was murdered. Oslo Detectives Frolich and Gunnarstranda discover that the victim’s Kenyan scientist boyfriend has disappeared, and their investigations soon lead them into the shady world of international pharmaceutical deals.

While Gunnarstranda closes in on the killers in Norway, Frolich and Lise, his new journalist ally, travel to Africa, where they make a series of shocking discoveries about exploitation and corruption in the distribution of foreign aid and essential HIV medications.

When tragedy unexpectedly strikes, all three investigators face incalculable danger, spanning two continents. And not everyone will make it out alive

Exploding the confines of the Nordic Noir genre, Little Drummer is a sophisticated, fast-paced, international thriller with a searingly relevant, shocking premise that will keep you glued to the page.

36. The Lonely Ones| Hakan Nesser

A trip behind the Iron Curtain would change their lives forever . . .

It begins in 1969. Six young people arrive in Uppsala. Different circumstances push the three young couples together and, over the course of a few years, they become friends. But a summer trip through Eastern Europe changes everything, and when their time at Uppsala University is over it also signals the end of something else.

Years later, a lecturer at Lund University is found dead at the bottom of a cliff in the woods close to Kymlinge. And chillingly, it is the very same spot where one of the Uppsala students died thirty-five years before.

Detective Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti takes on this ominous case of history repeating itself, and is forced to confront an increasingly grave reality.

The Lonely Ones is the fourth novel of Håkan Nesser’s quintet about Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti.

37. Elizabeth and John | Alan Atkinson

Elizabeth and John Macarthur were the first married couple to travel voluntarily from Europe to Australia, arriving in 1790, both aged 23, within three years of the initial invasion. John Macarthur soon became famous in New South Wales and beyond as a wool pioneer, a politician, and a builder of farms at Parramatta and Camden. For a long time, Elizabeth’s life was regarded as contingent on John’s and, more recently, John’s on Elizabeth’s.

In Elizabeth and John, Alan Atkinson, the prizewinning author of The Europeans in Australia, draws on his work on the Macarthur family over 50 years to explore the dynamics of their strong and sinewy marriage, and family life across two generations. With the truth of Elizabeth and John Macarthur’s relationship much more complex and deeply human than other writers have suggested, Atkinson provides a finely drawn portrait of a powerful partnership.

38. Big Things Grow | Sarah Donnelley

This red dirt, it takes a hold of you. The blue skies, the sunsets, the starry nights, the river… Country holds onto you. Then you meet the people. Within one week of living in Wilcannia, I had signed up to stay until the end of the year.

When Sarah Donnelley left Sydney to take up a teaching post in Wilcannia, a small town two hours east of Broken Hill, she had no idea what to expect. Determined to shrug off Wilcannia’s rumoured reputation for danger and dysfunction, she threw herself into her new role. Four fulfilling years later, Sarah is an active member of a rich, complex school community that is transforming the idea of a conventional classroom experience.

Making deep connections with Indigenous elders and local families, Sarah has focused her teaching practice on empowering, listening and creating space for respectful conversations. She takes her students out on Country as often as she can, enlisting aunties and uncles in the community to share their wisdom – everything from hunting for emu eggs and cutting canoes from trees to working with local artists and learning the history of the river.

Big Things Grow is a powerful memoir about community, music and passion, laying bare the beauty and challenges of living in a part of Australia that is often overlooked.

39. The Light We Carry | Michelle Obama

In The Light We Carry, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.

She considers the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much? Michelle Obama believes that we can all lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux.

The Light We Carry offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully overcome various obstacles — the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.”

With trademark humour, candour, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness. The Light We Carry will inspire readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.

40. My Sporting Life | Michael Parkinson

Michael Parkinson recalls his sporting life in this amusing memoir full of personality, anecdotes and insight.

This exciting new autobiography charts legendary broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson’s love of cricket, football and family throughout his life.

Reflecting on his sporting life, he touches on his relationship with the late Shane Warne, who he was the first to interview in long form, and recalls his friendship with the legends of sport. A keen sportsman himself, having played for the Yorkshire seconds and a lifelong Barnsley supporter, this memoir is a love letter to sport, full of heart and humour.

MARCH 23

41. Devil’s Way | Robert Bryndza

When Private Investigator Kate Marshall is rushed to hospital after being pulled into a riptide current in the sea, the near-death experience leaves her shaken. During her recovery, she befriends Jean, an elderly lady on the same ward. Jean tells the harrowing story of how her three-year-old grandson, Charlie, went missing eleven years ago during a camping trip on Dartmoor.

By the time Kate is well enough to go home, she’s agreed to take on the case, but when Kate and her trusty sidekick Tristan start to look at the events of that fateful night, they discover that Jean has a dark past that could have put Charlie in jeopardy.

Was Charlie abducted? Or did he fall into Devil’s Way? A rushing river that vanishes into a gorge close to where they were camping.

When Kate and Tristan discover that a social worker who flagged concerns about Jean and her daughter was found brutally murdered shortly after Charlie vanished, it makes them question everything they thought they knew about the family…

42. The Fragile Ones | Jennifer Chase

“Please Mommy, can Tessa and I go play on the swing by the creek?” the little girl begs, pushing a blonde curl from her eyes. “We’ll stay together, and we promise to be safe.” Hours later, their mother waits anxiously for her darling girls to arrive home with a list of reasons why they are late. But the front door never opens…

When the bodies of eleven and twelve-year-old sisters, Tessa and Megan, are found at the bottom of a ravine-dressed in matching pastel summer outfits, their small bodies broken from the fall-Detective Katie Scott is called to one of the most shocking and heartbreaking crime scenes of her career.

Carefully picking through the fragile remains, Katie makes the first of many disturbing discoveries: the girls were not biological sisters. The youngest, Megan, is a DNA match to a kidnapping case years before. The tiny number burnt into her skin the mark of a terrifying killer intent on keeping count of his collection.

Her PTSD from the army triggered, Katie is left reeling as she maps other missing children in the local area. Has this twisted soul found a way to stay nearby his victims? Could he be watching now as Katie hits one dead end after another?

A wild storm building, matching a fiber found during the autopsy to a nearby boatyard is the break Katie needs. But when another girl goes missing, just as lightning strikes and the power goes out, Katie only has her instincts, her team and her service dog to rely on. As time runs out for Katie to finds the stolen child alive, who will become the next number on this monster’s deadly list?

43. The Girls Wo Disappeared | Claire Douglas

A car accident.

Three missing girls.

A twenty-year mystery.

A woman on the verge of discovering the truth . . .

In a rural Wilshire town lies the Devil’s Corridor–a haunted road which has witnessed eerie happenings, from unexplained deaths to the sounds of a child crying in the night.

In this bucolic stretch of Southwest England famous for its otherworldly sites, nothing is more puzzling than the Olivia Rutherford case. Four girls were driving home. After their car crashed only one–Olivia–was found.

What happened to the girls who disappeared? On the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy, journalist Jenna Halliday has arrived in Wiltshire to cover the case. The locals aren’t happy with this outsider determined to dig into the past. Least of all Olivia.

Soon, Jenna starts receiving menacing notes. The locals have made it clear she’s not welcome. But someone is going to make her leave one way or another. Jenna’s been warned: she must get out of this town before she suffers a dark fate . . . and becomes another mystery attached to this place.

44. The Last Girl To Die | Helen Fields

In search of a new life, seventeen-year-old Adriana Clark’s family moves to the ancient, ocean-battered Isle of Mull, far off the coast of Scotland. Then she goes missing. Faced with hostile locals and indifferent police, her desperate parents turn to private investigator Sadie Levesque.

Sadie is the best at what she does. But when she finds Adriana’s body in a cliffside cave, a seaweed crown carefully arranged on her head, she knows she’s dealing with something she’s never encountered before.

The deeper she digs into the island’s secrets, the closer danger creeps – and the more urgent her quest to find the killer grows. Because what if Adriana is not the last girl to die?

45. The Favour | Nicci French

A good deed
Can turn deadly…

When Liam unexpectedly turns up in Jude’s life after ten years of no contact, asking her for a favour, she just can’t say no. He was her first love, and even though she is now a successful doctor and about to get married, he will always be someone special to her.
But after she does the favour, she is contacted by the police, informing her that Liam has been found dead, and suddenly she is caught up in a murder investigation.

And she realises this one decision could cost her everything – even her life…

46. Dark Waters | G R Halliday

THREE MISTAKES. TWO MURDERS. ONE MORE VICTIM TO GO . . .

Annabelle has come to the Scottish Highlands to escape. But as she speeds along a deserted mountain road, she is suddenly forced to swerve. The next thing she remembers is waking up in a dark, damp room. A voice from the corner of the room says ‘The Doctor will be here soon’.

Scott is camping alone in the Scottish woodlands when he hears a scream. He starts to run in fear of his life. Scott is never seen again.

Meanwhile DI Monica Kennedy has been called to her first Serious Crimes case in six months – a dismembered body has been discovered, abandoned in a dam. Days later, when another victim surfaces, Monica knows she is on the hunt for a ruthless killer.

But as she begins to close in on the murderer, her own dark past isn’t far behind .

47. Chase Her Shadow | D K Hood

She wakes suddenly. Dawn is still hours away, but through the window of her log cabin in the woods, something moves in the distance. A lone figure in the forest. Her blood runs cold as the shadow begins to walk slowly toward her…

It’s Halloween in Black Rock Falls and Sheriff Jenna Alton and her deputy David Kane are called to a small lodge on the outskirts of town. Jenna is devastated to find the lifeless body of Willow Smith, a military widow whose husband went missing in action and has been presumed dead for years. Her breath catches in her throat when she notices the heart-shaped purple medal on Willow’s pale chest. Was Willow clinging to it when she died, or was it placed there after she took her last breath?

Desperately chasing down every lead, Jenna hears that Willow had been receiving silent phone calls in the dead of night. Witnesses say Willow thought her missing husband was trying to make contact. Wishful thinking of a lonely wife consumed with grief, or a heartless killer hoping to terrify her?

Days later, another woman’s body is found at the bottom of a perilous ravine. Jenna’s worst fear is confirmed the moment she spots a purple medal: a dangerous serial killer is preying on the wives of soldiers from the same platoon, and if she doesn’t act fast, more lives will be at risk.

The key lies in discovering what happened to the missing soldiers, and whether any of them made it back alive. But, separated from her team in a secluded forest, Jenna hears a branch snap behind her. She is not alone. Will she be the next victim of a twisted trained soldier on the loose? And how many more grieving widows will have their lives snatched before he’s caught?

48. The Night Watch | Neil Lancaster

A lawyer is found dead at sunrise on a lonely clifftop at Dunnet Head on the northernmost tip of Scotland. It was supposed to be his honeymoon, but now his wife will never see him again.

He’ll hunt you.
The case is linked to several mysterious deaths, including the murder of the lawyer’s last client – Scotland’s most notorious criminal… who had just walked free. DS Max Craigie knows this can only mean one thing: they have a vigilante serial killer on their hands.

He’ll leave you to die.
But this time the killer isn’t on the run; he’s on the investigation team. And the rules are different when the murderer is this close to home.

He knows their weaknesses, knows how to stay hidden, and he thinks he’s above the law…

49. The Binding Room | Nadine Matheson

In this room, no one can hear you scream…

The Serial Crimes Unit are called in to investigate when a local pastor is found stabbed to death. As DI Henley assesses the crime scene, she discovers a hidden door that conceals a room set up for torture – and bound to the bed in the middle of the room is the body of a man.

When another body is found, also tied down, Henley realises there’s someone out there torturing innocent people and leaving them for dead. But why?

There’s nothing that connects the victims. They didn’t know each other. Their paths never crossed. But someone has targeted them, and it’s up to Henley and the SCU to stop them before they find another binding room…

50. The Shadow Lily | Johanna Mo

When Jenny Ahlstrom returns from a weekend away to find her husband Thomas and their toddler Hugo missing, Detective Hanna Duncker fears the worst.

If the young boy is still alive out there, he may not be for much longer.

Though the small island is teeming with volunteer search parties, not every local has Hugo’s safety in mind. And an estranged adult daughter is only one of the troubling secrets Thomas has been hiding from his wife.

In the shadow of Hugo’s case, an unsettling truth about the murder committed by Hanna’s own father begins to take shape – something not only dark, but potentially dangerous.

51. Local Girl Missing | Lisa Regan

Through swirling dawn fog, they follow the trail of discarded items at their feet: a tube of glittery lip gloss; a cell phone; a cracked make-up compact, broken chunks of ivory powder spilling into the grass. Then the mist parts-just for a second-to reveal a beautiful young girl on the ground, her pale lips frozen forever in a silent scream…

 

On a winding mountain road into the small town of Denton, Pennsylvania, Detective Josie Quinn finds the body of a local teenage girl, Dina Hale. The sight of plum-colored bruises gathering around the girl’s neck pierces Josie’s heart, but the discovery of a second girl’s empty purse in the dirt nearby gives her a flicker of hope that one person, at least, made a lucky escape.

 

Dina’s parents are grief-stricken as the town rallies together in a desperate search for the second girl, Alison Mills, who waitressed with Dina at a local hotel. The two best friends were on their way to a shift when they were attacked. Josie was too late to save Dina, but she won’t rest until Alison is home safe.

 

Hitting a dead-end with interviews, Josie thinks she’s on to something when a photo surfaces suggesting Alison was romantically involved with one of the hotel staff. But when Josie arrives at the man’s house to find a bullet in his head, and the house ransacked, the case comes crashing down.

 

Evidence of frantic searching at both crime scenes has Josie convinced a twisted killer is on a hunt for something very personal and precious. And that they won’t stop until they find it. But how many innocent lives will be destroyed before Josie can uncover the missing piece at the heart of this deadly puzzle? And what sacrifices will she have to make to find Alison alive?

52. One Way Street | Trevor Wood

A series of bizarre drug-related deaths among runaway teenagers has set the North East’s homeless community on edge.

The word on the street is that a rogue batch of Spice – the zombie drug sweeping the inner cities – is to blame, but when one of Jimmy’s few close friends is caught up in the carnage, loyalty compels him to find out what’s really going on.

One Way Street sees the welcome return of Jimmy Mullen, the homeless, PTSD-suffering, veteran as he attempts to rebuild his life following the events in The Man on the Street.

As his probation officer constantly reminds him: all he needs to do is keep out of trouble. Sadly for him, trouble seems to have a habit of tracking Jimmy down.

53. The Gifted Son | Genevieve Gannon

The Hogarth family-Lilian, John and their children, Kate and Jamie-have faced some challenges together but all in all they consider themselves blessed. On Jamie’s last day of high school, Lilian is happily preparing a celebratory meal when he fails to come home.

The final day is a chance to let loose, and Jamie’s friends Jez and Mark want him to join them in a series of pranks to mark the end of their schooldays. Things go bad, there’s a violent brawl and Jamie is king hit with catastrophic results.

Jamie’s parents and sister each react differently: Lilian devotes herself to Jamie’s care and finds solace in her lapsed faith; career-driven Kate examines her priorities and vows to repair her relationship with her family; and John begins to panic because he hasn’t told Lilian his company is in trouble.

As Jamie lies in hospital, he tries to stay positive, but he’s haunted by strange dreams. Lilian starts collecting stories of miraculous recoveries to raise his spirits and all of this convinces Jamie that he must embark upon a campaign of good deeds to help his chances of recovery. Yet things become more complicated as the police begin investigating who threw the first punch.

54. The Work Wives | Rachael Johns

How well do you really know the people you work with?

For work wives Debra and Quinn, it’s a case of opposites attract. They are each other’s lifelines as they navigate office politics and jobs that pay the bills but don’t inspire them.

Outside work, they are also friends, but where Quinn is addicted to dating apps and desperate to find love, Deb has sworn off men. Although Deb is not close to her own mother, her teenage daughter is her life and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do to protect her. But Ramona has other ideas and is beginning to push boundaries.

Life becomes even more complicated by the arrival of a new man at the office. One woman is attracted to him, while the other hoped she’d never meet him again.

But when Deb, Quinn and Ramona are forced to choose between friends, love and family, the ramifications run deeper than they could ever have expected.

55. The One and Only Dolly Jamieson | Lisa Ireland

Life is full of downs and ups . . .

Dolly Jamieson is not homeless, she’s merely between permanent abodes. The 78-year-old spends her days keeping warm at the local library, where she enjoys sparring with the officious head librarian and helping herself to the free morning tea. It’s not so bad, really.

But it’s certainly a far cry from the 1960s, when this humble girl from Geelong became an international star of the stage. As the acclaimed lead in the Broadway production of The Rose of France, all Dolly’s dreams had come true.

So how, in her old age, did she end up here?

When Jane Leveson, a well-to-do newcomer to the library, shows an interest in Dolly, the pair strike up an unlikely friendship – and soon Jane is offering to help Dolly write her memoirs.

Yet Dolly can detect a deep sadness in the younger woman’s eyes. Perhaps by working together to recount the glittering highs, devastating lows and tragic secrets of Dolly’s life, both women can finally face their pasts and start to heal . . .

56. Dead Tide | Fiona McIntosh

Newly promoted Detective Superintendent Jack Hawksworth has headed up three major serial operations in England and in each of these cases he has lost a part of himself. While on sabbatical as guest lecturer in a London university, one of his female students dies under highly suspicious circumstances, and he finds himself drawn into a chilling new case that reaches across the world.

Jack’s investigations lead him to Adelaide where he identifies a cynical international crime consortium that preys on the anguish of childless couples and vulnerable women. Together with local major crime officers, he follows his leads to the windswept Yorke Peninsula, and becomes caught up in an intoxicating private drama.

With his personal and professional business entangled once again, Jack must put his own life on the line to bring justice to those who are grieving.

57. The Wrong Sister | Fiona Palmer

Sometimes, your heart knows the truth even before you do. The new page-turning family drama from one of Australia’s most popular storytellers.

As she approaches thirty, dedicated nurse Ellen Sutton’s life is how she wants it – well, almost. Her younger sister, Carrie, seems to have it all sorted though: a successful hair business, a devoted new boyfriend and a rosy future together. Even Ellen’s brother, Bodhi, is settled with his petite, super-chill chef girlfriend, Ingrid. So why does Ellen suddenly give up her career and family for the red dust and toil of an outback cattle station? She’s never run from anything before – it’s new territory in more ways than one.

But Ellen can’t run forever. And a family camping trip to Western Australia’s beautiful Karijini country brings the three women together once again.

This trip won’t be the dream camping holiday for any of them. But one way or another, it will show them the truth. The Wrong Sister is a heartfelt story about dreams, the importance of family and finding your true self.

58. Red Dirt Road | S R White

One outback town. Two puzzling murders. Fifty suspects.

In Unamurra, a drought-scarred, one-pub town deep in the outback, two men are savagely murdered a month apart – their bodies elaborately arranged like angels.

With no witnesses, no obvious motives and no apparent connections between the killings, how can lone police officer Detective Dana Russo – flown in from hundreds of kilometres away – possibly solve such a baffling, brutal case?

Met with silence and suspicion from locals who live by their own set of rules, Dana must take over a stalled investigation with only a week to make progress.

But with a murderer hiding in plain sight, and the parched days rapidly passing, Dana is determined to uncover the shocking secrets of this forgotten town – a place where anyone could be a killer.

59. The Midwife | Tricia Cresswell

1830. After a violent storm, a woman is found alone, naked and near death, on the Northumberland moors. She has no memory of who she is or how she got there. But she can remember how to help a woman in labour and how to expertly dress a wound, and can speak fluent French. With the odds against her, a penniless single woman, she starts to build her life from scratch, using her skills to help other woman around her. She finds a happy place in the world. Until tragedy strikes, and she must run for her life . . .

In London, Dr Borthwick lives a solitary life working as an accoucheur dealing with mothers and babies in the elegant homes of high society together with his midwife, Mrs Bates, and volunteering in the slums of the Devil’s Acre alongside a young widow, Eleanor Johnson. His professional reputation is spotless and he keeps his private life just as clean, isolating himself from any new acquaintances. But he is harbouring a dark secret from his past – one that threatens to spill over everything.

60. The Rose Villa | Leah Flemming

High above the Mediterranean, on the French Riviera, stands a beautiful pink stucco villa. Once a playground for the rich and glamorous, now in the aftermath of World War 1 it is a convalescent home for sick and wounded nurses.

Here Scottish Flora Garvie is recovering from four traumatic years on the ambulance trains. And here she will meet again charismatic but troubled Kit Carlyle, a regimental chaplain who no longer believes in his calling and certainly doesn’t believe himself worthy of Flora’s love. Their dramatic rollercoaster of a story will take them through death, separation and war, until a terrifying game of cat and mouse in Occupied France seals their fate.

61. The Artist’s Secret | Alexandra Joel

A missing girl, a hidden masterpiece, and the search for the truth

1965: After escaping from anti-war turmoil and the suffocating weight of family expectations, a beautiful young couple embrace a life free of materialism and tradition by a sapphire lake in Italy. But the past does not always let go so easily …

1987: When talented art historian Wren Summers lands her dream job at the Sydney Art Museum, it seems she can finally leave her wildly unconventional background behind until a treacherous act threatens everything she has strived for.

The revelation of a monstrous family secret sees Wren head to New York, compelled to find the missing girl who holds the key to this shocking mystery and to make a fresh start in the glittering realm of international art auctions. As she struggles to fulfil her quest, can she navigate this new, high-stakes world of swirling temptation, romance and deceit, danger and betrayal, while staying true to what she knows is right?

62. The Elopement | Tracy Rees

A wealthy heiress . . . 1897. Rowena Blythe is wealthy, entitled and beautiful. As her twenty-fourth birthday approaches, she’s expected to marry – and to marry well. An unsuitable match . . . Her parents commission a portrait of Rowena to help cement her reputation as a great society beauty. However, Bartek, the artist’s young assistant, is unlike any man Rowena has met before – wild, romantic and Bohemian. While society at large awaits the announcement of Rowena’s engagement, it is Bartek who captures Rowena’s heart along with her likeness. A scandal in society . . . Rowena knows her parents would never approve of Bartek, who in their eyes is nothing but a penniless foreigner. As her feelings grow, she has no-one to turn to. Dare she risk everything for love?

63. A Wedding in Tuscany | Sandy Barker

Love is in the air . . .

Sarah has everything she ever wished for; she lives with her gorgeous boyfriend and their cat in Sydney and life couldn’t be better. If only she wasn’t so anxious about turning the big 4 0.

Meanwhile Cat is happily loved-up with Jean-Luc, except she lives in London, and he lives in Paris. She loves their long-distance relationship so why is she worrying about their future.

But a surprise wedding proposal is about to change everything for these sisters. And with all their family and friends gathering at a vineyard in Tuscany to celebrate, love, laughter and mayhem are about to ensue.

64. The Greek Holiday | Maeve Haran

Four old university friends, Dora, Penny, Nell and Moira, reunite to relive that first hippy-dippy trip together to a beautiful, unspoilt, romantic Greek island looking for sun, sand and sea. But it’s not just about going back to when they were young. Maybe they do have dreams like Shirley Valentine, because, ultimately, they’re all looking for something to help them through some difficult times in their lives – whether it’s with their career, family or relationships. What they discover in Kyri is an opportunity to reinvent, be themselves, contribute to a community who wants their help, at the same time as having fun, being happy and even finding love. But, crucially, they discover the most valuable lesson of all – understanding the true importance of female friendship.

APRIL 23

65. The Dying Season | Rachael Amphlett

When a man is shot at point blank range outside an isolated country pub, Kay Hunter is thrust into one of the most dangerous cases of her career.

 

As personal and political disputes threaten to undermine her efforts to track down the killer, Kay’s investigation is complicated further when her superiors elect to coordinate the subsequent manhunt themselves.

 

Uncovering a covert trade in outlawed weapons and faced with witnesses too scared to talk, Kay will have to do everything in her power to stop the killer and prevent another tragedy.

Except this time, one of her team is in the direct line of fire…

66. Find her Alive | D. S. Butler

Is Karen Hart’s latest investigation a routine missing persons case–or part of a dark conspiracy?

Detective Karen Hart is finally getting her life back on track–enjoying her new relationship and dealing with the grief in her past. Then someone from her counselling group asks for help locating a missing friend, Phoebe Woodrow, who went out partying and never came home.

Karen wonders if Phoebe’s disappearance might be related to a recent spate of women having their drinks spiked. As she digs deeper, she finds out that Phoebe’s work in medical research involved a shifty alliance with Quentin Chapman, a menacing local gangster–but it was also about to make her a fortune. Did Phoebe know too much? Or was it professional jealousy that put her life at risk?

Chapman makes it very clear that he doesn’t appreciate the police looking over his shoulder. As his threats start to hit close to home, Karen will need to face her worst fears–but can she really do that when her job has already cost her so much?

67. Silent Little Angels | Jennifer Chase

The water ripples as the girl’s body escapes the reeds and floats silently upwards. Her beautiful face-blue eyes frozen open, skin as white as snow-breaks the surface. But it’s too late, this innocent soul has taken her final breath…

 When camp counselor Carolyn Sable’s body is found floating in a lake beside Eagle Ridge Summer Camp, Detective Katie Scott must dig deep to stay focused. As a child, Katie spent many happy weeks at that camp toasting marshmallows on the fire with her best friend Jenny… until the day Jenny disappeared. The loss will always haunt Katie, but Carolyn’s inconsolable family need answers.

 

Searching the area, the devastating discovery of two more bodies sends the case into a tailspin. Suddenly on the hunt for a serial killer, Katie’s blood turns to ice when she finds newspaper clippings about her own past cases planted near one of the bodiesWas this twisted killer banking on Katie taking the lead? And why?

 

Carolyn was adored by children and staff at the camp, so Katie thinks her sudden resignation is key to cracking the case. Uncovering a tragic accident involving a group of children the weeks before Carolyn left, Katie knows she’s getting close.

 

But when the carefully laid trap Katie sets to catch Carolyn’s killer backfires, Katie finds herself in unthinkable danger and unable to even trust her own team. Can she stay alive long enough to crack the toughest case of her career, and how many more innocent lives will be lost before she does? 

 

68. The Favour | Nicci French

‘Fantastic – a breathless drumbeat of dread and suspense . . . no one does it better than Nicci French’ Lee Child
‘Heart-thumping, head-scratching, nail-biting stuff: The Favour is classic Nicci French. I read it in one breathless sitting’ Erin Kelly

A good deed
Can turn deadly…
 
When Liam unexpectedly turns up in Jude’s life after ten years of no contact, asking her for a favour, she just can’t say no. He was her first love, and even though she is now a successful doctor and about to get married, he will always be someone special to her.
But after she does the favour, she is contacted by the police, informing her that Liam has been found dead, and suddenly she is caught up in a murder investigation.
 
And she realises this one decision could cost her everything – even her life…
 

69. Dark Waters | G.R. Halliday

THREE MISTAKES. TWO MURDERS. ONE MORE VICTIM TO GO . . .

Annabelle has come to the Scottish Highlands to escape. But as she speeds along a deserted mountain road, she is suddenly forced to swerve. The next thing she remembers is waking up in a dark, damp room. A voice from the corner of the room says ‘The Doctor will be here soon’.

Scott is camping alone in the Scottish woodlands when he hears a scream. He starts to run in fear of his life. Scott is never seen again.

Meanwhile DI Monica Kennedy has been called to her first Serious Crimes case in six months – a dismembered body has been discovered, abandoned in a dam. Days later, when another victim surfaces, Monica knows she is on the hunt for a ruthless killer.

But as she begins to close in on the murderer, her own dark past isn’t far behind …

70. The Last Orphan | Gregg Hurwitz

A heavily-armed counter-assault team, sedatives strong enough for large animals, a hood, mouthguard and Secret Service Agents asking for selfies.

Not your average meeting with the President.

But Orphan X is not your average guest. The last survivor of the off-the-books Orphan programme, Evan was trained to do his government’s dirty work. Until he escaped.

Now the President makes an offer- kill a man, or be executed.

Evan spent years atoning for his former life. If this mission betrays the very principles he now follows, what is left?

Putting Orphan X in an impossible spot only makes him more dangerous…

71. Still Standing | Stephen Leather

The SAS are used to deaths during combat – it goes with the turf.

But when one of their own is said to have committed suicide in Thailand, red flags are raised.

Pete Green wasn’t the sort of soldier who would ever take his own life – and no one is more sure of that than his twin brother, Davie.

Davie is determined to fly to the Land Of Smiles to find out what really happened to his twin brother. But if he is going to find out the truth he’ll need help – the sort of help only SAS Sergeant Matt Standing can provide.

But soon after they arrive they come under attack, leaving Standing to investigate on his own. There are clearly people who want to shut down all enquiries and Standing knows he will have to use all his SAS jungle skills to survive. This will be the toughest of assignments but nothing will come between him and the truth …

72. Lie to Her | Melinda Leigh

When a digital marketer is found murdered in his backyard–hands bound and face smothered by plastic wrap–Sheriff Bree Taggert and criminal investigator Matt Flynn respond to the call. Their investigation focuses on the man’s dating-app profile and the word liar carved into his forehead.

One day later, the killer strikes again.

Both victims are players in the internet dating scene. In their wake, they leave a trail of hurt–and angry–women. But Bree and Matt aren’t convinced the motive is as simple as it appears. Everyone they interview seems to be lying or hiding something.

As the list of suspects grows, the killer’s rage escalates, and he leaves a personal and deadly warning for Bree. They must act fast. Because someone Bree loves is targeted as the next to die.

73. So Shall You Reap | Donna Leon

On a cold November evening, Guido Brunetti and Paola are up late when a call from his colleague Ispettore Vianello arrives, alerting the Commissario that a hand has been seen in one of Venice’s canals. The body is soon found, and Brunetti is assigned to investigate the murder of an undocumented Sri Lankan immigrant. Because no official record of the man’s presence in Venice exists, Brunetti is forced to use the city’s far richer sources of information- gossip and the memories of people who knew the victim. Curiously, he had been living in a garden house on the grounds of a palazzo owned by a university professor, in which Brunetti discovers books revealing the victim’s interest in Buddhism, the revolutionary Tamil Tigers, and the last crop of Italian political terrorists, active in the 1980s.

As the investigation expands, Brunetti, Vianello, Commissario Griffoni, and Signorina Elettra each assemble pieces of a puzzle-random information about real estate and land use, books, university friendships-that appear to have little in common. Until Brunetti stumbles over something that transports him back to his own student days, causing him to reflect on lost ideals and the errors of youth, on Italian politics and history, and on the accidents that sometimes lead to revelation.

74. A Winter Grave | Peter May

A TOMB OF ICE

A young meteorologist checking a mountain top weather station in Kinlochleven discovers the body of a missing man entombed in ice.

A DYING DETECTIVE

Cameron Brodie, a Glasgow detective, sets out on a hazardous journey to the isolated and ice-bound village. He has his own reasons for wanting to investigate a murder case so far from his beat.

AN AGONIZING RECKONING

Brodie must face up to the ghosts of his past and to a killer determined to bury forever the chilling secret that his investigation threatens to expose.

75. The Dead of Winter | Stuart MacBride

DI Victoria Montgomery-Porter is stranded in a town full of killers in the darkly entertaining new crime novel from number one Sunday Times bestselling author Stuart MacBride.

How can you tell who did it when everyone is guilty?

It was supposed to be a simple delivery job for DI Victoria Montgomery-Porter and her sidekick, Edward Reekie – pick up a prisoner from HMP Grampian and take them to their new state-funded home – but life’s never that straightforward.

From the outside, Glenfarach looks like a quaint, sleepy, snow-dusted village, nestled in the heart of Cairngorms National Park. But things aren’t quite what they seem. The place is thick with security cameras, it doesn’t appear on any modern map, and there’s a strict nine-o’clock curfew, because Glenfarach is the last resort for criminals who’ve served their sentences but can’t be safely released into the general population.

Victoria’s just supposed to drop her ‘guest’ off and head back to Aberdeen, before the approaching blizzards shut everything down, but when an ex-cop-turned-gangster is discovered skinned alive in his bungalow, someone needs to take charge.

The weather’s closing in, tensions are mounting, and time’s running out – something nasty has come to Glenfarach, and Victoria is standing right in its way…

76. The 23rd Midnight | James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Detective Lindsay Boxer put serial killer Evan Burke behind bars. Now a new killer has recreated Burke’s most infamous crimes-and disappeared without a trace.
Detective Lindsay Boxer put serial killer Evan Burke in jail.

Reporter Cindy Thomas put Burke on the bestseller list, in her true-crime book about the case.

An obsessed fan is studying every detail-and committing fresh horrors that carry Burke’s signature.

Now Lindsay’s tracking an elusive suspect, one who’s penning a deadly playbook featuring Cindy’s name in blood-red ink.

77. Encore in Death | J.D. Robb

It was a glittering event full of A-listers, hosted by Eliza Lane and Brant Fitzhugh, the most glittering of all celebrity couples. Everyone had expected the party to be in the newspapers the next day but not because one of the hosts was murdered! As the crowd had gathered to watch Eliza sing, Fitzhugh had raised a final toast to his glamorous wife and fallen to the floor. Death by cyanide poisoning. It’s time for Lt. Eve Dallas to make her entrance.

From all accounts, Fitzhugh wasn’t the kind of star who made enemies. Eliza, on the other hand, had many rivals, and a few of them could class as enemies. Since the champagne cocktail that killed Brant was originally intended for Eliza, could it be that she was the real target?

With so many people at the party, Eve has her work cut out determining who could commit murder in the middle of a crowd. As one who’s not fond of the spotlight, she dreads the media circus surrounding a case like this. All she wants is to figure out who’s truly innocent, and who’s only acting that way…

78. The Woman Outside the Walls | Suzanne Goldring

I always knew it would come out one day. They are finding everyone who has stayed hidden. They would have come to me in the end.

 

Hamburg, 1942

Seventeen-year-old Anna knows she can never tell her proud parents the truth about where she is going. She must hide the fact that she is pregnant, that the father of her unborn child is dead and that she is on her way to a special maternity home, where her baby will be given to a perfect family. She tells herself that this is the best solution. She doesn’t expect to feel the rush of love for her beautiful baby boy in the white blanket, or the devastation when he is snatched from her, never to be seen again.

 

Desperate to forget her grief, she sees an advert for a secretary in a prison, far away in the east. Days later, she leaves Hamburg, travelling eastwards by train, feeling as if a whole new life is about to begin. It is the biggest mistake she will ever make.

 

London, 2016

Ninety-year-old Anna sits on the edge of her bed, hands trembling, eyes brimming with tears, as she looks at the picture of the soldier in the newspaper. Her friends and neighbours know her as a kindly old lady who bakes cakes and always has time to listen to their troubles. They don’t know about the hated green uniform she burned, the memories of the prisoners she tried to help and the bombed and blackened city she once called home. But now the time for a reckoning has come, will revealing the truth free Anna or destroy her?

79. The War Pianist | Mandy Robotham

Pianist: NOUN. Informal. A person who operates or controls a radio transmitter – often in code.

July, 1940

Blitz-ridden London: Marnie Fern’s life is torn apart when her grandfather is killed in an air raid. But once she discovers that he’d been working undercover as a radio operative – or pianist – for the Dutch resistance, Marnie knows she must complete his mission – no matter the cost…

Nazi-occupied Amsterdam: At the other end of the wireless, fellow pianist Corrie Bakker is caught in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse as she desperately tries to keep her loved ones out of the line of fire – even if it means sacrificing herself…

Bound together by the invisible wires of their radios, the two women lead parallel lives in their home cities, as both are betrayed by those they trust the most. But when the Nazis close in on one of them, only the other can save her…

Two cities. Two spies. Which woman survives?

80. Someone Else’s Shoes | Jo Jo Moyes

Nisha Cantor and Sam Kemp are two very different women.

Nisha, 45, lives the globetrotting life of the seriously wealthy, until her husband inexplicably cuts her off entirely. She doesn’t even have the shoes she was, until a moment ago, standing in.

That’s because Sam – 47, middle-aged, struggling to keep herself and her family afloat – has accidentally taken Nisha’s gym bag.

Now Nisha’s got nothing. And Sam’s walking tall with shoes that catch eyes – and give her career an unexpected boost.

Except Nisha wants her life back – and she’ll start with her shoes . . .

81. The Whittiers | Danielle Steel

Connie and Preston Whittier raised their six children in a once grand mansion in the centre of New York’s Manhattan. The children are now adults and have lives of their own, but the house remains the heart of the family and somewhere they all love to return, particularly in times of stress. But when Connie and Preston take what they fondly call their annual ‘wintermoon’ to go skiing in Europe, an avalanche hits their resort resulting in tragedy.

In every family, each member has their own personal struggles. The Whittiers are no exception. Lyle is successful but has an unhappy marriage. Gloria is a genius on Wall Street, but lonely. Twins Caroline and Charlie work all hours on their growing fashion brand, but have no time to enjoy life and discover who they really are. Benji has personal challenges, and requires additional support from his home environment. And Annabelle, the baby of the family, is a rebellious teenager who falls in with a bad crowd.

The future of the family and also their home is now in question. The house is a refuge providing comfort, but importantly every one of them learns that to move forward and face their personal challenges, they must be true to themselves and come together to support each other.

82. A Routine Infidelity | Elizabeth Coleman

Private investigator Edwina ‘Ted’ Bristol deals in the cheating husbands and missing chihuahuas of Melbourne, but yearns for the heart-stopping excitement of real crime.

When Ted discovers her sister, Bob, has fallen prey to an internet catfishing scam, she sets out with her beloved miniature schnauzer and shrewd sidekick, Miss Marple, to catch the swindler. Meanwhile, when conducting routine surveillance on a couple suspected of having an affair, she uncovers a plot to embezzle millions.

As Bob’s case takes a series of bizarre twists and turns and the embezzlement investigation escalates into murder, Ted finds her own life in peril. Will she crack her first criminal case before it’s too late?

83. Crows Nest | Nikki Mottram

Small Town. Big Secrets.

Fleeing problems in her own marriage, child protection worker Dana Gibson leaves Sydney for a job in the Queensland town of Toowoomba. Her first house call is to nearby Crows Nest to assess the children of Sandra Kirby, which results in her getting both her new boss and a local detective offside. Dana soon learns that, in the country, city rules do not apply.

When Sandra Kirby and her best friend are found shot dead, Dana is drawn into an investigation that will force her to strip away the friendly veneer of small-town life, while grappling with ghosts of her own. As buried secrets, bitter tensions and corruption come to light, how far will locals go to stop her uncovering the truth of what happened?

84. The Long Weekend | Judy Nunn

The Long Weekend Tracy, Eve, Jet, Mel and Danielle are looking forward – if a little nervously – to their upcoming digital detox. No phones, no laptops – just a quiet weekend in a remote mountain shack. What could go wrong?

The Wardrobe When journalist Nancy buys a rundown terrace house she knows nothing about the previous owner – until a discovery in an old wardrobe reveals the lives, loves and losses of Emily Roper.

The Otto Bin Empire- Clive’s Story To the homeless men and women who gather near the docks, the newly arrived Clive cuts an enigmatic figure. ‘I’m just a bloke going through a period of adjustment,’ he tells himself, ‘I’ll be back on my feet soon . . .’

Changes 
As she celebrates her sixty-fifth birthday, actor turned film producer Jackie looks back on her seven decades – and all the many changes in her life. Not least the most recent and most surprising one of all . . .

The House on Hill Street 
It was such a respectable address – the perfect home for Professor Jameson and his family. But the neighbours are becoming concerned. Eileen Jameson and the boys haven’t been seen for quite some time…

Just South of Rome
 On her way to England, actor Jane Prescott makes a quick stopover in Italy. When she stumbles upon the Hotel Visconti, a grand eighteenth-century villa, she has no idea that it will change her life.

85. Never to Surrender | Mary-Anne O’Connor

1941. A young German-Australian soldier meets a passionate Cretan girl and together they are caught up in guerrilla warfare during the brutal Nazi invasion of Crete. A heartfelt, sweeping saga of World War II, from the peaceful farmlands of NSW to the Mediterranean’s glittering, dangerous shores, for readers of Fiona McIntosh, Nicole Alexander and Natasha Lester.

 

1939: Australian-born Carl Smith loves his country and despises fascism, but he never meant to go to war. He is training to be a doctor and wants to protect lives, not take them. But if enlisting is the only way he can save his German-born father, Dr Louis Schmidt, from an internment camp, he will.

1941: Athena Papandrakis has grown up on the island of Crete, swimming in jewelled waters and exploring ancient ruins. Now her home is under threat and she is ready to fight to defend it from the hated Nazi invaders, just as her ancestors sought to protect their island home in the past.

When Carl arrives in Crete with Allied Forces soldiers evacuated from the Greek mainland, he and Athena are intoxicated by each other. Carl is not the man her traditional parents would have chosen for their daughter, however, and hiding the secret of his German heritage from Athena could further threaten their love.

Decisions must be made when they find themselves in an intense final stand against the Nazis as the Allied Forces retreat and the Cretan peasants are forced into guerrilla warfare. For Carl and Athena, it becomes a desperate quest for survival … and love, loyalty and trust will fight a battle to the last.

 

86. The Unbelieved | Vikki Petraitis

‘So you believed the alleged rapists over the alleged victim?’ Jane’s voice took on an indignant pitch. ‘Girls lie sometimes.’ I nodded. ‘And rapists lie all the time.’

When Senior Detective Antigone Pollard moves to the coastal town of Deception Bay, she is still in shock and grief. Back in Melbourne, one of her cases had gone catastrophically wrong, and to escape the guilt and the haunting memories, she’d requested a transfer to the quiet town she’d grown up in.

But there are some things you can’t run from. A month into her new life, she is targeted by a would-be rapist at the pub, and realises why there have been no convictions following a spate of similar sexual attacks in the surrounding district. The male witnesses in the pub back her attacker and even her boss doesn’t believe her.

Hers is the first reported case in Deception Bay, but soon there are more. As Antigone searches for answers, she encounters a wall of silence in the town built of secrets and denial and fear. The women of Deception Bay are scared and the law is not on their side. The nightmare has followed her home.

Chilling, timely and gripping, The Unbelieved takes us behind the headlines to a small-town world that is all too real – and introduces us to a brilliant new voice in crime fiction.

87. Clarke | Holly Throsby

On a hot morning in 1991 in the regional town of Clarke, Barney Clarke (no relation) is woken by the unexpected arrival of many policemen: they are going to search his backyard for the body of a missing woman.

Next door, Leonie Wallace and little Joe watch the police cars through their kitchen window. Leonie has been waiting for this day for six years. She is certain that her friend – Ginny Lawson – is buried in that backyard under a slab of suspicious concrete.

But the fate of Ginny Lawson is not the only mystery in Clarke. Barney lives alone in a rented house with a ring on his finger, but where is Barney’s wife? Leonie lives with four-year-old Joe, but where is Joe’s mother?

Clarke is a story of family and violence, of identity and longing, of unlikely connections and the comedy of everyday life. At its centre stands Leonie Wallace, a travel agent who has never travelled, a warm woman full of love and hope and grief, who must steer Joe safely through a very strange time indeed.

88.The Woman Who Knew Too Little | Olivia Wearne

1948. An unidentified dead man is found on Somerton Beach, Adelaide. Officer Kitty Wheeler yearns to work the case – but the city’s women police are typically assigned to more domestic matters. A wryly funny, sharply observed novel about one of Australia’s great mysteries, and the life choices available to mid-century women.

December, 1948. Officer Kitty Wheeler is a member of the Women Police, responsible for ‘upholding the moral virtue’ of Adelaide’s at times unruly and amorous citizens. Patrolling Somerton beach one night, Kitty and her partner spot a man leaning against the sea wall, apparently drunk. It’s late, they’re tired, and they leave him to sleep it off …

The man is dead, his identity unknown, and Kitty has missed a career-making opportunity. In the following months, the case of the Somerton Man grips first Adelaide, then Australia, as bizarre clues point towards international espionage, Eastern mysticism or salacious scandal. Kitty, preoccupied with the case, joins the investigation wherever she can, although the men are firmly in charge. Meanwhile, she must decide whether she wants husband and family, or a career – in 1940s Australia, she can’t have both. Her boyfriend Peter wants to pop the question, but Kitty is keener on solving the case …

Olivia Wearne has threaded Kitty’s story into the real-life 1940s mystery of the Somerton Man. This intriguing, sharply observed and wholly engaging novel explores the life and crimes of a city and its people, few of whom are without their secrets.

89. Wild Card | Simon Rowell

An utterly compelling police procedural set on the Murray River, by a rising star of Australian crime fiction

One foggy morning on the banks of the Murray River, a body is found in a burnt-out area of grassland. The heavily tattooed victim, who has suffered two bullet wounds to the head, is identified as Freddie Jones, a bikie from Moama.

Detective Sergeant Zoe Mayer is on the case, alongside her trusty service dog, Harry. Although Zoe is determined to track down the murderer, she finds herself stonewalled at every turn-by Freddie’s family, his associates and even the local police. But then a second body is discovered, and soon all bets are off…

Wild Card is a gripping mystery about gang warfare and small-town corruption, featuring a crime-fighting duo like no other.

90. The Girls Who Disappeared | Claire Douglas

A journalist’s life is threatened when she investigates the truth about a mysterious car crash that happened twenty years earlier in this gripping thriller from the internationally bestselling author of The Couple at Number 9 and Just Like the Other Girls.

A car accident.

Three missing girls.

A twenty-year mystery.

A woman on the verge of discovering the truth . . .

In a rural Wilshire town lies the Devil’s Corridor–a haunted road which has witnessed eerie happenings, from unexplained deaths to the sounds of a child crying in the night.

In this bucolic stretch of Southwest England famous for its otherworldly sites, nothing is more puzzling than the Olivia Rutherford case. Four girls were driving home. After their car crashed only one–Olivia–was found.

What happened to the girls who disappeared? On the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy, journalist Jenna Halliday has arrived in Wiltshire to cover the case. The locals aren’t happy with this outsider determined to dig into the past. Least of all Olivia.

Soon, Jenna starts receiving menacing notes. The locals have made it clear she’s not welcome. But someone is going to make her leave one way or another. Jenna’s been warned: she must get out of this town before she suffers a dark fate . . . and becomes another mystery attached to this place.

91. My Husband’s Killer | Laura Marshall

Seven of us arrived at a villa on the Amalfi Coast, ready to enjoy a sun-soaked weekend with our oldest friends – and one new face.

 

 

By the end of the weekend, a terrible accident will leave my husband dead.

But how can I mourn him, when on the day of his funeral I discover he was having an affair?

The only suspects are the women we went on holiday with. My oldest, closest friends.

 

 

Do I really want to dig into my husband’s secret? Do I really want to know who betrayed me?

And as I start to unravel their secrets . . . do I still believe his death was an accident?

92. Our Missing Hearts | Celeste Ng

Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in Harvard’s library. He knows not to ask too many questions, stand out too much, stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve ‘American culture’ in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic – including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.

Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is drawn into a quest to find her. His journey will take him through the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.

93. A Secret Garden Affair | Erica James

July 1981. As the country prepares to celebrate Prince Charles’ wedding to Lady Diana, Libby wants to be as far away from royal wedding fever as possible.

Having caught her own fiancé in bed with her best friend just weeks before they were due to marry, she’s fled London for the comfort of the Suffolk countryside.

At Larkspur House, with its magical garden created by renowned garden designer and one-time socialite Elfrida Ambrose, and its comfortingly familiar kitchen presided over by Libby’s great-aunt Bess, she hopes to find a way to put her life back together.

But for lifelong friends Bess and Elfrida, Libby’s arrival has stirred up the ghosts of the past. And before they can help her rebuild her shattered future, they must confront their own unspoken secrets, lost loves, and tragedies…

94. Forever Home | Ron Danta, Danny Robertshaw & Larry Linder

From the stars of the Netflix documentary Life in the Doghouse and founders of one of the most recognised rescue organisations in the world comes the poignant story of how Danny and Ron found each other during a time they each needed rescuing, and how they transformed their home into a haven for dogs in need.

 

 

Danny & Ron’s Dog Rescue is an organisation like no other. Because an abused or neglected dog can only recover and learn to trust again when it is in a loving home, Danny and Ron decided to open their doors. At any given time, there are upwards of 70 dogs lounging, frolicking, recovering and cuddling under their own roof.

 

 

In this heartwarming book, Danny and Ron chronicle their journey helping more than 13,000 dogs in need, telling the stories of many furry friends that have come into their lives and of their own ‘rescue’ as they came out together late in life. Forever Home is a reminder that hope and joy can arise from the darkest circumstances.

MAY 23

95. The Party House | Lin Anderson

Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists.

As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and in the ensuing chaos, the body of a young girl is found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now.

The excavation of Ailsa’s remains ignites old suspicions cast on the men of this small community, including Greg, the estate’s gamekeeper. At the beginning of a burgeoning relationship with a new lover, Joanne, Greg is loath to discuss old wounds. Frightened by Greg’s reaction to the missing girl’s discovery, Joanne begins to doubt how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship . . .

96. Simply Lies | David Baldacci

Following a disastrous divorce, former New Jersey detective Mickey Gibson is now employed by a global investigation company, ProEye, to track down some of the extremely wealthy who seem bent on not paying their debts. Mickey misses police work but it has no place for her new role as the sole carer of two small children.

When Mickey is asked by Arlene Robinson, a colleague from ProEye, to inventory an old mansion owned by a notorious former arms dealer, Rutger Novak, she discovers a long-decomposed body in a secret room. Apparently, Novak has cheated ProEye clients out of millions in the past and now they want to nail him.

As the police investigation begins, they discover that there is no Arlene Robinson working for ProEye. Nor is there a mansion allegedly belonging to Novak. And the dead man is named as local wealthy recluse Daniel Pottinger.

Now begins an unusual and compelling cat-and-mouse contest between the two women – revealing more about Gibson, but much more about the woman with no name, no morals and no empathy, who seems to be able to convince anyone of anything.

97. The Venetian Game | Philip Gwynne Jones

From his office on the Street of the Assassins, Nathan Sutherland, English Honorary Consul to Venice, assists unfortunate tourists as best he can. A steady but unexciting life that dramatically changes when he is offered a large sum of money to look after a small package containing a prayer book illustrated by the Venetian master Giovanni Bellini.

 

 

Unknown to Nathan, from a palazzo on the Grand Canal twin brothers Domenico and Arcangelo Moro, motivated by nothing more than mutual hatred, have been playing out a complex game of art theft for twenty years. And now Nathan finds himself unwittingly drawn into their deadly business . . .

98. I Will Find You | Harlan Coben

David and Cheryl Baskin are living the dream – married, a beautiful new house in the suburbs, a three-year-old son named Matthew – when tragedy strikes in the worst way possible.

David awakes to find himself covered in blood… but not his own, his son’s. While David is sure he did not murder his son, the overwhelming evidence against him puts him behind bars indefinitely.

Then, five years following his imprisonment, his wife’s sisterbrings David a photograph of Matthew looking very much alive, accompanied by an unknown figure.

Can David escape prison, find Matthew and bring him home?

The consequences are dire, but prospect of being reunited with his son is way too tempting to resist.

Soon David is on the run. But it soon transpires that he knows way too much, and that there are people out there who will do anything to silence him. For ever …

99. The Furies | John Connolly

EVIL TAKES MANY FORMS.

 

 

PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR CHARLIE PARKER HUNTS THEM ALL.

The Furies: mythological snake-haired goddesses of vengeance, pursuers of those who have committed unavenged crimes. Now, private investigator Charlie Parker is drawn into a world of modern furies in two linked stories.

 

 

In The Sisters Strange, the return of the criminal Raum Buker to Portland, Maine brings with it chaos and murder, as an act of theft threatens not only to tear apart his own existence but also that of Raum’s former lovers, the enigmatic sisters Dolors and Ambar Strange.

 

 

And in The Furies Parker finds himself fighting to protect two more women as the city of Portland shuts down in the face of a global pandemic, but it may be that his clients are more capable of taking care of themselves than anyone could have imagined . . .

100. So Shall You Reap | Donna Leon

On a cold November evening, Guido Brunetti and Paola are up late when a call from his colleague Ispettore Vianello arrives, alerting the Commissario that a hand has been seen in one of Venice’s canals. The body is soon found, and Brunetti is assigned to investigate the murder of an undocumented Sri Lankan immigrant. Because no official record of the man’s presence in Venice exists, Brunetti is forced to use the city’s far richer sources of information- gossip and the memories of people who knew the victim. Curiously, he had been living in a garden house on the grounds of a palazzo owned by a university professor, in which Brunetti discovers books revealing the victim’s interest in Buddhism, the revolutionary Tamil Tigers, and the last crop of Italian political terrorists, active in the 1980s.

As the investigation expands, Brunetti, Vianello, Commissario Griffoni, and Signorina Elettra each assemble pieces of a puzzle-random information about real estate and land use, books, university friendships-that appear to have little in common. Until Brunetti stumbles over something that transports him back to his own student days, causing him to reflect on lost ideals and the errors of youth, on Italian politics and history, and on the accidents that sometimes lead to revelation.

101. 23rd Midnight | James Patterson/Maxine Paetro

22 seconds…until Lindsay Boxer loses her badge – or her life.

SFPD Sergeant Lindsay Boxer has guns on her mind.

There’s word of a last-ditch shipment of drugs and weapons crossing the Mexican border ahead of new restrictive gun laws. Before Lindsay can act, her top informant tips her to a case that hits disturbingly close to home.

Former cops. Professional hits. All with the same warning scrawled on their bodies:

You talk, you die.

Now it’s Lindsay’s turn to choose.

102. Cold Blooded Liar | Karen Rose

Colton Driscoll is a compulsive liar. But there’s one thing his psychologist Sam Reeves fears he is telling the truth about: murder. Concerned his patient has committed an awful crime and that the life of another girl could be under threat, Sam calls in an anonymous tip to the San Diego Police Department.

Detective Kit McKittrick works homicide in the hope that one day she will find out what happened to her foster sister, Wren. When a tip comes in from an anonymous caller it leads her to the body of a girl whose murder has the hallmarks of a serial killer that has been at large for almost twenty years. It also leads her to the source of the information: Dr Sam Reeves.

Will Kit be able to crack the cold case in time to stop another murder being committed? And is Sam Reeves being a concerned citizen trying to help, or is there another more sinister reason he has so much information?

103. The Woman Outside the Walls | Suzanne Goldring

Hamburg, 1942

Seventeen-year-old Anna knows she can never tell her proud parents the truth about where she is going. She must hide the fact that she is pregnant, that the father of her unborn child is dead and that she is on her way to a special maternity home, where her baby will be given to a perfect family. She tells herself that this is the best solution. She doesn’t expect to feel the rush of love for her beautiful baby boy in the white blanket, or the devastation when he is snatched from her, never to be seen again.

 

Desperate to forget her grief, she sees an advert for a secretary in a prison, far away in the east. Days later, she leaves Hamburg, travelling eastwards by train, feeling as if a whole new life is about to begin. It is the biggest mistake she will ever make.

 

London, 2016

Ninety-year-old Anna sits on the edge of her bed, hands trembling, eyes brimming with tears, as she looks at the picture of the soldier in the newspaper. Her friends and neighbours know her as a kindly old lady who bakes cakes and always has time to listen to their troubles. They don’t know about the hated green uniform she burned, the memories of the prisoners she tried to help and the bombed and blackened city she once called home. But now the time for a reckoning has come, will revealing the truth free Anna or destroy her?

104. Go As A River | Sally Read

On a cool autumn day, Victoria Nash heads into the village from her family’s farm in rural Colorado pulling a rickety wagon filled with late-season peaches. As she nears an intersection, a stranger in town stops to ask her the way. Over the next few moments, as the townspeople look on warily, the course of Victoria’s life will be forged.

So begins a mesmerising story of split-second decisions and thoughtful acts that make up Victoria’s tumultuous life as she attempts to escape her dissolute family.

Gathering all the pieces of her small and extraordinary existence, spinning through the eddies of desire, heartbreak and betrayal, she will arrive at a single rocky decision that will change her life forever.

105. The War Pianist | Mandy Robotham

106. Someone Else’s Shoes | Jo Jo Moyes

Nisha Cantor and Sam Kemp are two very different women.

Nisha, 45, lives the globetrotting life of the seriously wealthy, until her husband inexplicably cuts her off entirely. She doesn’t even have the shoes she was, until a moment ago, standing in.

That’s because Sam – 47, middle-aged, struggling to keep herself and her family afloat – has accidentally taken Nisha’s gym bag.

Now Nisha’s got nothing. And Sam’s walking tall with shoes that catch eyes – and give her career an unexpected boost.

Except Nisha wants her life back – and she’ll start with her shoes . . .

107. The Italian Girl | Anita Abriel

A fearless young Italian woman risks everything to save precious artworks from the Nazis in a gripping new tale from the bestselling author of The Light After the War.

Rome, 1943: Marina Tozzi adores her father Vittorio and working together in his art gallery is her only escape from the reality of the Nazi occupation. Not only has Marina inherited her father’s passion for art but she is earning a reputation as an expert in her own right.

However, Vittorio is keeping a deadly secret from his daughter. He has been hiding a Jewish artist in their basement and one day Marina returns home to find her father has been brutally murdered by a German officer. Devastated, Marina flees to Florence to seek help from a man who owes Vittorio his life.

Renowned American art expert Bernard Berenson offers Marina sanctuary in his villa outside Florence and a job cataloguing his vast art library. Marina is grateful but she is determined to find a way to avenge her father. When handsome young artist Carlos proposes using her expertise to help the partisan cause against the Nazis, she has at last found her purpose.

In one daring and ingenious act, Marina risks her life to save a priceless painting from falling into Nazi hands and proves her worth to the partisans. But falling in love with Carlos was not part of her plan. When Carlos suddenly disappears, Marina’s dreams about building a life with him after the war turn to ashes. She will have to travel halfway around the world to unravel the past – and find her future.

108. Snowy Mountains Cattleman | Alissa Callen

The greatest risk of all is love …

Interior stylist Grace Davenport has come to the mountains for solitude and a place to heal after her parents’ death. Returning to their beloved town of Bundilla, she plans to restore a local bluestone mansion in honour of their memory. She’ll just be there for the summer, until she figures out her next step.

Rowan Parker never used to think twice about taking risks until his love for a woman blinded him to all common sense. Now, between his cattle farm in the high country and his work as a stonemason, there’s no room in his life for further mistakes. But when he meets the beautiful but reserved new owner of the historic mansion he’s been hired to rebuild, he realises his best-laid plans have run aground.

Together, Grace and Rowan work to bring the mansion back to life. But when they uncover a hidden trove of post-WWII secrets about the house’s former inhabitants, their quest to find answers draws them ever closer. And just when the stone rubble around them begins to resemble a home, a landslide threatens all that Rowan and Grace have rebuilt. With their futures as unstable as the mountainside, each must fight for what they really want, even if it means losing everything…

109. Wartime at Bletchley Park | Molly Green

Her code breaking will save lives.
But will it save the man she loves…?
September 1939.
 London is in blackout, war has been declared, but Dulcie Treadwell can think only of her heartbreak over American broadcaster, Glenn Reeves, who didn’t say goodbye before leaving for Berlin.

Posted to Bletchley Park, Dulcie must concentrate on helping the war effort by cracking the German Enigma codes. The hours are long and the conditions tough, with little recognition from above. Until she breaks her first code…

Dulcie finally settles into something she was born to do. But just as she’s proving her worth, a shocking betrayal leads to Dulcie’s brutal dismissal. Is it too late for Dulcie to prove her innocence and keep helping to save innocent lives?

110. Homecoming | Kate Morton

Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek in the grounds of the grand and mysterious mansion, a local delivery man makes a terrible discovery. A police investigation is called and a small town becomes embroiled in one of the most shocking and perplexing murder cases in the history of South Australia.

Sixty years later, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for almost twenty years, she now finds herself laid off from her full-time job and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother, Nora, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and been raced to the hospital.

Nora has always been a vibrant and strong presence: decisive, encouraging, young despite her years. When Jess visits her in the hospital she is alarmed to find her grandmother frail and confused; it’s even more alarming to hear from Nora’s housekeeper that Nora had been distracted in the weeks before her accident, and that she fell on the steps to the attic – the one place Jess was forbidden from playing when she was small.

At a loose end in Nora’s house, Jess does some digging of her own. In Nora’s bedroom, she discovers a true crime book, chronicling the police investigation into a long-buried tragedy: the Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959. It is only when Jess skims through the book that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this once-infamous crime – a crime that has never been resolved satisfactorily. And for a journalist without a story, a cold case might be the best distraction she can find…

111. Never to Surrender | Mary-Anne O’Connor

1941. A young German-Australian soldier meets a passionate Cretan girl and together they are caught up in guerrilla warfare during the brutal Nazi invasion of Crete. A heartfelt, sweeping saga of World War II, from the peaceful farmlands of NSW to the Mediterranean’s glittering, dangerous shores, for readers of Fiona McIntosh, Nicole Alexander and Natasha Lester.

 

1939: Australian-born Carl Smith loves his country and despises fascism, but he never meant to go to war. He is training to be a doctor and wants to protect lives, not take them. But if enlisting is the only way he can save his German-born father, Dr Louis Schmidt, from an internment camp, he will.

1941: Athena Papandrakis has grown up on the island of Crete, swimming in jewelled waters and exploring ancient ruins. Now her home is under threat and she is ready to fight to defend it from the hated Nazi invaders, just as her ancestors sought to protect their island home in the past.

When Carl arrives in Crete with Allied Forces soldiers evacuated from the Greek mainland, he and Athena are intoxicated by each other. Carl is not the man her traditional parents would have chosen for their daughter, however, and hiding the secret of his German heritage from Athena could further threaten their love.

Decisions must be made when they find themselves in an intense final stand against the Nazis as the Allied Forces retreat and the Cretan peasants are forced into guerrilla warfare. For Carl and Athena, it becomes a desperate quest for survival … and love, loyalty and trust will fight a battle to the last.

112. The Secret Garden Affair | Erica James

July 1981. As the country prepares to celebrate Prince Charles’ wedding to Lady Diana, Libby wants to be as far away from royal wedding fever as possible.

Having caught her own fiancé in bed with her best friend just weeks before they were due to marry, she’s fled London for the comfort of the Suffolk countryside.

At Larkspur House, with its magical garden created by renowned garden designer and one-time socialite Elfrida Ambrose, and its comfortingly familiar kitchen presided over by Libby’s great-aunt Bess, she hopes to find a way to put her life back together.

But for lifelong friends Bess and Elfrida, Libby’s arrival has stirred up the ghosts of the past. And before they can help her rebuild her shattered future, they must confront their own unspoken secrets, lost loves, and tragedies…

113. River Sing Me Home | Elanor Shearer

A mother can never be free until she finds her children…

A soaring novel inspired by true events. The Good Morning America Book Club Pick February 2023.


Mary Grace, Micah, Thomas Augustus, Cherry Jane and Mercy.

These are the names of her children. The five who survived, only to be sold to other plantations. The faces Rachel cannot forget.

It’s 1834, and the law says her people are now free. But for Rachel freedom means finding her children, even if the truth is more than she can bear.

With fear snapping at her heels, Rachel keeps moving. From sunrise to sunset, through the cane fields of Barbados to the forests of British Guiana and on to Trinidad, to the dangerous river and the open sea.

Only once she knows their stories can she rest. Only then can she finally find home.

114. Carrie Soto is Back | Taylor Jenkins Reid

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular.

By the time Carrie retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning, British player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked the ‘Battle-Axe’ anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all: Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells a story about the cost of greatness and a legendary athlete attempting a comeback.

115. The Bookbinder of Jericho | Pip Williams

What is lost when knowledge is withheld?

In 1914, when the war draws the young men of Britain away to fight, it is the women who must keep the nation running. Two of those women are Peggy and Maude, twin sisters who work in the bindery at Oxford University Press in Jericho. Peggy is intelligent, ambitious and dreams of going to Oxford University, but for most of her life she has been told her job is to bind the books, not read them. Maude, meanwhile, wants nothing more than what she has. She is extraordinary but vulnerable. Peggy needs to watch over her.

When refugees arrive from the devastated cities of Belgium, it sends ripples through the community and through the sisters’ lives. Peggy begins to see the possibility of another future where she can use her intellect and not just her hands, but as war and illness reshape her world, it is love, and the responsibility that comes with it, that threaten to hold her back.

In this beautiful companion to the international bestseller The Dictionary of Lost Words, Pip Williams explores another little-known slice of history seen through women’s eyes. Evocative, subversive and rich with unforgettable characters, The Bookbinder of Jericho is a story about knowledge who gets to make it, who gets to access it, and what is lost when it is withheld.

116. Forever Home | Ron Danta, Danny Robertshaw, Larry Linder

From the stars of the Netflix documentary Life in the Doghouse and founders of one of the most recognised rescue organisations in the world comes the poignant story of how Danny and Ron found each other during a time they each needed rescuing, and how they transformed their home into a haven for dogs in need.

 

 

Danny & Ron’s Dog Rescue is an organisation like no other. Because an abused or neglected dog can only recover and learn to trust again when it is in a loving home, Danny and Ron decided to open their doors. At any given time, there are upwards of 70 dogs lounging, frolicking, recovering and cuddling under their own roof.

 

 

In this heartwarming book, Danny and Ron chronicle their journey helping more than 13,000 dogs in need, telling the stories of many furry friends that have come into their lives and of their own ‘rescue’ as they came out together late in life. Forever Home is a reminder that hope and joy can arise from the darkest circumstances.

117. Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here | Heather Rose

And then it occurred to me that nothing bad ever happens here.

Every human life is perfect in its own way. We cannot understand that, because it seems like there is so much suffering. But maybe every life is perfect for we need to know and learn and see and understand. Even when we don’t understand, even when the suffering seems unfathomable, does some part of us understand? Could that really be true, I wondered?

Nothing bad ever happens here…

My body was shaking violently now. I held onto the rock beneath me as if I was clinging to life itself. Maybe I was. I clung to this life, my life, with all its imperfections and mistakes, with all its joy. I didn’t want to go anywhere.

After a shocking family tragedy transforms Heather Rose’s Tasmanian childhood, she becomes ‘a seeker of life and all its mysteries’. Heather has spent a lifetime testing boundaries and exploring the connections between love and death, the natural world and the body. Her questing spirit and her strong affinity with nature have inspired and driven her throughout her life-and deeply sustained her in times of darkness. Her words will bring wonder, light and comfort to all who read this astonishing book.

Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here is a luminous, compelling and utterly surprising memoir by the bestselling author of Stella Prize-winner The Museum of Modern Love and Bruny.

JUNE 23

118. Death Under a Little Sky | Stig Abell

A detective ready for a new life…
For years, Jake Jackson has been a high-flying detective in London. But then one day he receives a letter from his reclusive uncle – he has left Jake his property in the middle of the countryside. For Jake, it is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start.

A rural idyll the stuff of dreams…
At first, life in the middle of nowhere is everything Jake could wish for. His new home is beautiful, his surroundings are stunning, and he enjoys getting back to nature.

A death that disrupts everything…
But then, what starts as a fun village treasure hunt turns deadly, when a young woman’s bones are discovered. And Jake is thrust once again into the role of detective, as he tries to unearth a dangerous killer in this most unlikely of settings.

119. Her Deadly Game | Robert Dugoni

Keera Duggan was building a solid reputation as a Seattle prosecutor, until her romantic relationship with a senior colleague ended badly. For the competitive former chess prodigy, returning to her family’s failing criminal defence law firm to work for her father is the best shot she has. With the right moves, she hopes to restore the family’s reputation, her relationship with her father, and her career.

Keera’s chance to play in the big leagues comes when she’s retained by Vince LaRussa, an investment adviser accused of murdering his wealthy wife. There’s little hard evidence against him, but considering the couple’s impending and potentially nasty divorce, LaRussa faces life in prison. The prosecutor is equally challenging: Miller Ambrose, Keera’s former lover, who’s eager to destroy her in court on her first homicide defence.

As Keera and her team follow the evidence, they uncover a complicated and deadly game that’s more than Keera bargained for. When shocking information turns the case upside down, Keera must decide between her duty to her client, her family’s legacy, and her own future.

120. Letter from the Dead | Jack Gatland


“By the time you read this, I will be dead…”

When Victoria Davies was murdered in 2001, all evidence pointed to her husband Michael. But twenty years later a letter has appeared, written by Victoria before her death; a letter that was never received, and reveals new suspects; Labour MPs Shaun Donnal, Andrew MacIntyre and Charles Baker.

But two decades on, life has changed for these men. Donnal is now a paranoid alcoholic living on the streets of London, ‘Andy Mac’ is a popular YouTube Evangelist and Charles Baker is the current Conservative Home Secretary, and bookie’s choice for next Prime Minister in the upcoming Leadership Election.

Now Detective Inspector Declan Walsh must navigate a minefield filled with political intrigue, adulterous affairs and brutal, bloody murder, as he tries to solve the case, with each suspect leading his new team to another skeleton in the closet…

Can they solve the case — before history repeats itself?

121. Blood Sport | David J. Gatward

A mysterious red sports car. A bloodied animal corpse. He’s caught the scent of a brutal crime, and he won’t stop until it’s solved…

DCI Harry Grimm is weary of humanity’s evil. Dragged to the middle of nowhere during the darkest of hours, he’s enraged by grisly evidence of a horrific illegal dog fight. And when the mutilated remains turn out to be a gamekeeper’s stolen pet, the gritty detective senses he has a solid lead after learning of a long-running feud.

Immediately putting his team on the case, Grimm worries the stakes may be escalating when the animal’s owner is beaten and left for dead. And though the tough investigator puts his nose to the ground and follows the bloody clues, he fears there’s only one shot to apprehend the real monster.

Can he bring a loathsome criminal to justice before the savagery turns deadly?

122. Now You See Me | D.K.Hood

Shivering by her broken-down car at midnight, she’s relieved when a passer-by finally stops and offers her a ride. But her heart pounds as she hears the locks click shut. They’re going the wrong way. Rooted to the spot with fear, she looks into his dark eyes, as he laughs wildly…

 

When a car belonging to Black Rock Falls’ much-loved bartender Maisy Jones is found abandoned on an ice-covered road outside of town, Sheriff Jenna Alton and her deputy David Kane are called in. The exhaust has been tampered with, which can only mean one thing: someone wanted Maisy stranded on that isolated road…

 

Finding a red backpack on the same perilous stretch of highway, Jenna hopes it will contain clues to Maisy’s whereabouts. But the debit cards inside belong to local teaching assistant, Billy Stevens. He didn’t show up for work that day. Billy too has vanished into thin air.

 

Jenna needs to find Maisy and Billy fast, but her frantic search only throws up another missing person. Canvassing the small town festooned with Christmas lights, Jenna has the impossible task of tracking down a twisted murderer plucking victims from their everyday lives and leaving no trace.

 

Almost giving up hope, she makes a sickening discovery in the church at the center of town, one that sends shockwaves through the tight-knit community. Everyone is afraid to let their loved ones out of sight. But how many more innocent lives must be lost before Jenna can catch the killer among them?

 

123. Open Season | Quintin Jardine

Amidst a family celebration, a cataclysmic storm uncovers long-buried horrors – and a team of detectives struggle to solve a thirty-year-old double murder.

The police are also searching two countries for traces of a mysterious crime novelist who appears to have vanished. Has the faking of his own death been his masterpiece?

Alongside each inquiry as it evolves is former Chief Constable Sir Robert Skinner, relishing his new role as a media magnate, but drawn into reluctant action and towards a chilling discovery of his own.

With evil on one hand and intrigue on the other, will Skinner escape with either his integrity or career intact . . . or is it open season on him?

124. Small Mercies | Dennis Lehane

‘Mrs. Fennessy, please go home.’
‘And do what?’
‘Whatever you do when you’re home.’
‘And then what?’
‘Get up the next day and do it again.’
She shakes her head. ‘That’s not living.’
‘It is if you can find the small blessings.’
She smiles, but her eyes shine with agony. ‘All my small blessings are gone.’

In the summer of 1974 a heatwave blankets Boston and Mary Pat Fennessey is trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors. Mary Pat has lived her entire life in the housing projects of ‘Southie’, the Irish American enclave that stubbornly adheres to old tradition and stands proudly apart.

One night Mary Pat’s teenage daughter Jules stays out late and doesn’t come home. That same evening, a young Black man is found dead, struck by a subway train under mysterious circumstances.

The two events seem unconnected. But Mary Pat, propelled by a desperate search for her missing daughter, begins turning over stones best left untouched – asking questions that bother Marty Butler, chieftain of the Irish mob, and the men who work for him, men who don’t take kindly to any threat to their business.

125. Home Before Night | J.P. Pomare

Mother’s intuition or a deadly guilty conscience? A woman races against time to find her son in this tense and twisty thriller by the Top Ten bestselling author of The Wrong Woman

As the third wave of the virus hits, all inhabitants of Melbourne are given until 8 pm to get to their homes. Wherever they are when the curfew begins, they must live for four weeks and stay within five kilometres of. When Lou’s son, Samuel, doesn’t arrive home by nightfall, she begins to panic.

He doesn’t answer his phone. He doesn’t message. His social media channels are inactive. Lou is out of her mind with worry, but she can’t go to the police, because she has secrets of her own. Secrets that Samuel just can’t find out about. Lou must find her son herself and bring him home.

126. A Jewish Girl in Paris | Melanie Levensohn

Paris, 1940: The City of Lights under German occupation. Christian, son of a bank director, falls in love with Jewish girl Judith. The young couple secretly plan to flee, but suddenly Judith disappears. Christian begins a frantic search.

Montreal, 1982: Shortly before his death, Lica Grunberg confesses to his daughter, Jacobina, that she has an older half-sister, Judith. Lica escaped the Nazis but lost all contact with his first-born daughter. Jacobina must promise her father to find the sister she never knew. But the search languishes for twenty-five years, until Jacobina is spurred on by her much-younger friend Béatrice, a French diplomat experiencing a painful midlife crisis.

At the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., they meet Grégoire. Not only does he make Béatrice’s head turn, he also finds clues to Judith’s whereabouts. Soon the two women discover a dark family secret, stretching over two continents and six decades. It will change their lives forever.

127. The Stolen Hours | Karen Swan

A reluctant bride. A forbidden romance. An island full of secrets . . .

It’s the summer of 1929 and Mhairi MacKinnon is in need of a husband. As the eldest girl among nine children, her father has made it clear he can’t support her past the coming winter. On the small, Scottish island of St Kilda, her options are limited. But the MacKinnons’ neighbour, Donald, has a business acquaintance on distant Harris also in need of a spouse. A plan is hatched for Donald to chaperone Mhairi and make the introduction on his final crossing of the year, before the autumn seas close them off to the outside world.

Mhairi returns as an engaged woman who has lost her heart – but not to her fiance. In love with the wrong man yet knowing he can never be hers, she awaits the spring with growing dread, for the onset of calm waters will see her sent from home to become a stranger’s wife.

When word comes that St Kilda is to be evacuated, the lovers are granted a few months’ reprieve, enjoying a summer of stolen hours together. Only, those last days on St Kilda will also bring trauma and heartache for Mhairi and her friends, Effie and Flora. And when a dead body is later found on the abandoned isle, all three have reason enough to find themselves under the shadow of suspicion . . .

128. That Bligh Girl | Sue Williams

Mary Bligh is no shrinking violet. After an horrific six-month sea voyage from Britain, she proves as strong-willed as her bloody-minded father, the newly appointed Governor William Bligh. The pair immediately scandalise Sydney with their personalities, his politics and her pantaloons.

When three hundred armed soldiers of the Rum Rebellion march on Government House to depose him, the governor is nowhere to be see. Instead, Mary stands defiantly at the gates, fighting them back with just her parasol.

Despite being bullied, belittled and betrayed, Mary remains steadfast, even when her desperate father double-crosses her yet again in his last-ditch attempt to cling onto power. But will Mary turn out to be her father’s daughter and deceive him in pursuit of her own dreams and ambitions?

129. The wonderful thing about Phoenix Rose | Josephine Moon

Phoenix Rose is a 35-year-old neurodivergent teacher who is at a crossroads in her career and in her relationship with her boyfriend, Zack. With her sick leave finished, her principal demands she return to school, whether Phoenix feels ready or not. But when she receives an urgent plea from a friend in Tasmania who needs to rehome her beloved animals, Phoenix, who has always led with her heart, spontaneously decides to help.

When she suddenly finds herself the custodian of an eccentric dog, two cats, a clutch of chickens and a geriatric pony, she makes another snap decision – to provide a new home for them all herself. The trouble is, she will have to drive the menagerie all the way back to Brisbane in time to return to Zack and her job – and she cannot do it alone.

She enlists the help of Lily – a colourful younger woman who, like Phoenix, is autistic – as well as resourceful members of their online community. Together the new friends must navigate unexpected twists, setbacks and moments of heartbreak and triumph as they both move towards a new identity and understanding of themselves.

As well, they seem to be collecting ever-more stray animals along the journey . . .

130. Bottlebrush Creek | Maya Linnell

Between managing a bustling beauty salon, hectic volunteer commitments and the lion’s share of parenting two-year-old Claudia, Angie McIntyre barely has time to turn around. And with each passing month, she feels her relationship with fly-in, fly-out boyfriend Rob Jones slipping through her fingers.

When Rob faces retrenchment, and the most fabulous fixer-upper comes onto the market, Angie knows this derelict weatherboard cottage will be the perfect project to draw their little family together.

There’s just one catch: the 200-acre property is right next door to Rob’s parents in south-west Victoria.

It doesn’t take long for rising tensions to set a wedge between the hard-working couple. Angie and Rob have to find out the hard way whether their grand design will draw them closer together or be the very thing that tears them apart.

131. Into the Night | Fleur McDonald

Detective Dave Burrows is devastated. After an acrimonious divorce, Dave has no choice but to let his ex-wife and her father Mark call the shots: supervised, one-hour visits are all he’s allowed if he wants to see his two young daughters. And he knows he’ll jump through any hoops to see Bec and Alice.

On Leo Perry’s farm, sixty kilometres out of Yorkenup, the only positive in Leo’s day is the unswerving loyalty of his dog, Coffee. Thanks to yet another power outage, Leo is out in the morning heat, refuelling the water pump. But seconds later he watches in horror as the tank explodes. Flames engulf wooden beams and sparks ignite grass just as Leo realises he’s at the end of a one-way petrol trail, the fire roaring straight for him.

When Dave and his partner Detective Bob Holden are called to Leo’s ravaged farm, they’re unclear if they’re dealing with arson, suicide or something else. There’s been no sign of Leo anywhere, and his wife Jill is distraught. Leo and his dog appear to have vanished. But, when Dave and Bob begin their investigation, what they find makes no sense at all.

132. Homecoming | Kate Morton

Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek in the grounds of the grand and mysterious mansion, a local delivery man makes a terrible discovery. A police investigation is called and a small town becomes embroiled in one of the most shocking and perplexing murder cases in the history of South Australia.

Sixty years later, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for almost twenty years, she now finds herself laid off from her full-time job and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother, Nora, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and been raced to the hospital.

Nora has always been a vibrant and strong presence: decisive, encouraging, young despite her years. When Jess visits her in the hospital she is alarmed to find her grandmother frail and confused; it’s even more alarming to hear from Nora’s housekeeper that Nora had been distracted in the weeks before her accident, and that she fell on the steps to the attic – the one place Jess was forbidden from playing when she was small.

At a loose end in Nora’s house, Jess does some digging of her own. In Nora’s bedroom, she discovers a true crime book, chronicling the police investigation into a long-buried tragedy: the Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959. It is only when Jess skims through the book that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this once-infamous crime – a crime that has never been resolved satisfactorily. And for a journalist without a story, a cold case might be the best distraction she can find…

133. The Rush | Michelle Prak

Some threats are closer than they appear …

The first drops start to fall when Quinn spies the body. With no reception and nothing but an empty road for miles, does she stop to help or keep driving to safety?

Back at the iconic country pub where Quinn works, Andrea is sandbagging the place in preparation for heavy rains. Alone with her sleeping son in the back room, she reluctantly lets a biker in to wait out the storm.

Out on the wet roads, tensions arise among four backpackers on their way to Darwin. They haven’t prepared for this kind of weather and the flooding isn’t the only threat on the horizon …

134. Return to Valetto | Dominic Smith

A nearly abandoned Italian village, the family that stayed, and long-buried secrets from World War II.

On a hilltop in Umbria sits Valetto. Once a thriving village-and a hub of resistance and refuge during World War II-centuries of earthquakes, landslides and the lure of a better life have left it neglected. Only ten residents remain, including the widows Serafino – three eccentric sisters and their steely centenarian mother – who live quietly in their medieval villa. Then their nephew and grandson, Hugh, a historian, returns.

But someone else has arrived before him, laying claim to the cottage where Hugh spent his childhood summers. The unwelcome guest is the captivating and no-nonsense Elisa Tomassi, who asserts that the family patriarch, Aldo Serafino, a resistance fighter whom her own family harboured, gave the cottage to them in gratitude. Like so many threads of history, this revelation unravels a secret – a betrayal, a disappearance and an unspeakable act of violence – that has impacted Valetto across generations. Who will answer for the crimes of the past?

135. The Fall Between | Darcy Tindale

On a hot November morning, the first body lies in a cattle trough . . . It will be another two hours before rigor mortis sets in. Until then, the slim fingers will float below the water’s surface, gently bobbing, beckoning Detective Giles to come and find her.

Detective Rebecca Giles has just finished interviewing aging petty crim Sticky Pete over a spate of break-and-enters when a disturbing new report comes in. Twelve-year-old Kayleen Ellis has vanished from her home in Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter Valley.

Hours later, Giles is a local hero, having apparently solved Kayleen’s case and the spate of jewellery thefts.

Yet the hangover from her celebrations has barely kicked in when the body of young jillaroo Ava Emmerson is discovered in gruesome circumstances on a nearby farm.

Giles is convinced the link between all three cases lies in the town’s tragic history, perhaps even in her own mother’s mysterious drowning thirty years ago.

In a place where nothing much changes, suddenly a great deal is happening – and Giles’s life and career are now on the line.

136. Outback | Patricia Wolf

TWO MISSING BACKPACKERS. ONE VAST OUTBACK.

DS Lucas Walker is on leave in his hometown, Caloodie, taking care of his dying grandmother. When two young German backpackers, Berndt and Rita, vanish from the area, he finds himself unofficially on the case.


But why all the interest from the Federal Police when they have probably just ditched the heat and dust of the outback for the coast? Working in the organised crime unit has opened Walker’s eyes to the growing drug trade in Australia’s remote interior – and he becomes convinced there is more at play.


As the number of days since the couple’s disappearance climbs, Walker is joined by Rita’s older sister. A detective herself with Berlin CID, she has flown to Australia – desperate to find her sister.


Their search becomes ever more urgent as temperatures soar. Even if Walker does find the young couple, will it be too late?

137. Outside | Ragar Jonasson

Four friends. One night. Not everyone will come out alive . . . The ice-cold new stand-alone mystery from ‘world-class crime writer’ Ragnar J nasson

In a deadly Icelandic snowstorm, four friends break into an abandoned hunting lodge, hoping to wait out the storm until morning.
But nothing can prepare them for what’s inside…
With no other option, they are forced to spend a terrifying night in the cabin- watching as intently and silently as they themselves are being watched. As the night darkens, old secrets spill into the light, and tensions rise between the four friends. Soon it’s clear that what they’ve discovered in the cabin is far from the only mystery lurking there.
Nor the only thing to be afraid of…

JULY 23

138. Only the Dead | Jack Carr

1978, Rhode Island: A freshman senator is gunned down, sending shockwaves through Washington that are still reverberating over four decades later.

Now: In a world on the brink of war facing rampant inflation, political division, and shocking assassinations, a secret cabal of global elites are ready to assume control. And with the world’s most dangerous man locked in solitary confinement, the conspirators believe the final obstacle to complete domination has been eliminated. They’re wrong.

139. Three Small Bones | Jennifer Chase

Smoke curls from what’s left of the beautiful family home on the edge of the woods. The heat is unbearable as she descends the stairs to the basement, past a set of bicycles–two big, one small. That’s when she sees three little white bones in the cracked earth at her feet, turning her blood to ice…

 

When firefighters tackling a blazing house in a quiet suburb of Pine ValleyCalifornia discover human remains, Detective Katie Scott races to 717 Maple Street. She calls a halt to the excavations the moment she sees the full number and size of the bones; someone has buried a whole family down here.

 

Working night and day, it’s up to Katie to prove her theory that the fire was no accident, that someone wanted to expose the secret in the basement. Tiny traces of explosives residue found at the scene is all the proof she needs. But the Cross family have been missing for months–leaving friends and loved ones in agonizing pain–what twisted soul would do this now? And why?

 

The case takes another heart-shattering turn when Katie’s suspicions over recent renovation work on the house leads to the discovery of more bodies in the back yard: two little girls, buried years apart. What other devastating secrets are hidden in this perfect family home?

 

It’s a dead end at every turn as Katie tracks down anyone who knew the family. Just when it looks like all hope is lost, reports of the Cross’s landlord harassing the family before they went missing gives Katie a crucial lead. With a menacing grey sedan following her every move, how many more innocent lives will be lost before Katie can dig up the truth?

140. The Rose Girls | Jennifer Chase

Like a precious doll, the girl leans against the towering pine tree with her long bare legs stretched out and her hands folded neatly in her lap. Her head tilts towards the sky, but this innocent child will never feel the warm glow of morning sun again; her fragile little body is cold, her tender heart is still.

When Detective Katie Scott receives a plea from neighboring Coldwater Creek to help with a tragic murder, she doesn’t hesitate. Fifteen-year-old Ivy Miller’s naked body was found tied to a tree, a freshly inked pink rose tattoo on her arm. The word “MORE” carved into her back means sweet Ivy could be the first of many…

Katie’s heart aches for the young girl whose life ended before it had even begun. But she has her work cut out with the inexperienced police department fumbling the case at every turn. There hasn’t been a murder in this small town for as long as anyone can remember, but why will none of the locals cooperate? Katie’s only lead is a blurry photograph of Ivy’s long-missing mother found in Ivy’s bedroom. If she can find out where it was taken, Katie knows she’ll have the first clue in a mystery that has been haunting Coldwater Creek for years.

But Katie’s world crashes down when Ivy’s two best friends are found murdered in the same woods days later. Inked with the same pretty flower, the rose girls were keeping a deadly secret. Katie will never forgive herself for not making the connection in time. As mothers cling to their daughters, terrified to let them out of their sight, Katie’s search leads her to an abandoned building deep in the forest where the last photo of Ivy’s mother was taken. But will she survive long enough to stop more heart-shattering tragedies?

141. Where are the Children Now? | Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

In Where Are the Children? young mother Nancy Harmon, convicted of murdering her two children, became such a pariah that she was forced to move across the country, change her identity and start a new life. Years later her two children from a second marriage, Mike and Melissa, would go missing, and Nancy yet again became the prime suspect – but this time, Nancy was able to confront the secrets buried in her past and rescue her kids from a dangerous predator.

In this thrilling sequel, Melissa, a lawyer turned successful podcaster, has recently married a man whose first wife died tragically, leaving him and their young daughter, Riley, behind. While Melissa and her brother, Mike, help their mother relocate to the idyllic Hamptons, Melissa’s new stepdaughter goes missing.

Drawing on the experience of their own abduction, Melissa and Mike race to find Riley to save her from the trauma they still struggle with – or worse.

142. Her Deadly Game | Robert Dugoni

Keera Duggan was building a solid reputation as a Seattle prosecutor, until her romantic relationship with a senior colleague ended badly. For the competitive former chess prodigy, returning to her family’s failing criminal defense law firm to work for her father is the best shot she has. With the right moves, she hopes to restore the family’s reputation, her relationship with her father, and her career.

 

143. Whisper for the Reaper | Jack Gatland

Sometimes the quietest villages have the loudest secrets…

Ten years ago, DCI Patrick Walsh found himself hunting The Red Reaper; a serial killer so cunning that every body found with his calling card was reluctantly classed as a suicide.

Never seen, never found, never caught.

Now, DI Declan Walsh, suspended and on injury leave following the harrowing events of HUNTER HUNTED, finds himself pulled back into this unsolved case of his late father, when a series of new bodies start to appear in his village; all seemingly suicides, and all with the same calling card.

With the Last Chance Saloon now disbanded and under review, it’s up to Declan and his colleagues to take matters into their own hands, as they investigate a serial killer casethat takes them back to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and a cunning, brutal psychopath who was believed to be killed five years ago…

But who seems to be back, and has started again…

144. Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder | Kerryn Mayne

Lenny Marks is good at not remembering.

She has spent the last twenty years not thinking about the day her mother left her when she was still a child. Her stepfather’s parting words, however, remain annoyingly unforgettable- ‘You did this.’

Now thirty-seven, Lenny prefers contentment and order over the unreliability of happiness and the messiness of relationships. She fills her days teaching at the local primary school, and her nights playing Scrabble with her pretend housemate, watching reruns of Friends and rearranging her thirty-six copies of The Hobbit.

Recently though, if only to appease her beloved foster-mum, Lenny has set herself the goal of ‘getting a life’.
Then, out of the blue, a letter arrives from the Adult Parole Board. And when her desperate attempts to ignore it fail, Lenny starts to unravel.

Worse, she starts to remember . . .

145. Drowning | T.J. Newman

Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 1421 crashes into the Pacific Ocean. During the evacuation, an engine explodes and the plane is flooded. Those still alive are forced to close the doors but it’s too late. The plane sinks to the bottom with twelve passengers trapped inside.

More than two hundred feet below the surface, engineer Will Kent and his eleven-year-old daughter Shannon are waist-deep in water and fighting for their lives.

Their only chance at survival is an elite rescue team on the surface led by professional diver Chris Kent – Shannon’s mother and Will’s soon-to-be ex-wife – who must work together with Will to find a way to save their daughter and rescue the passengers from the sealed airplane, which is now teetering on the edge of an undersea cliff.

There’s not much time.

There’s even less air.

146. Close Her Eyes | Lisa Regan

The young woman lay among the rocks next to the creek like a broken doll, strands of her long dark hair covering her face. Her body was the kind of cold that only the dead can be…

A body lies beside Kettlewell Creek, the waters rushing and churning next to her broken form. When Detective Josie Quinn arrives at the scene, she finds few clues and a victim with no enemies. Nineteen-year-old Sharon Eddy was cherished by her beloved grandmother, who raised her, and her death shocks the Denton community where she worked at the local animal hospital.

When Josie is called to the morgue to hear the results of Sharon’s autopsy, the case takes a sinister turn. She is horrified to see that a mark has been burned on to Sharon’s left hip with a cattle brand: a horseshoe shot through with an arrow. Shaken and terrified, the usually cool and collected Medical Examiner Anya Feist lifts her own top to show Josie an identical mark. Ten years ago, Anya fled her hometown after her marriage to her high school sweetheart ended in terror.

But Josie can find nothing to connect Anya’s ex-husband Vance Hadlee to the murder. Her search of his family farm leads to more questions than answers.

Then another body is found. A young woman in a red coat, lying in her final resting place, her hip bearing the same tell-tale horseshoe mark. As Josie gets closer to finding the truth, the killer creeps ever closer to home, threatening the lives of those Josie loves the most. Can she put together the pieces of this terrifying puzzle before it’s too late?

147. The Last Lifeboat | Hazel Gaynor

Liverpool 1940. Alice King stands on the deck of SS Carlisle, waiting to escort a group of children to Canada as overseas evacuees. She is finally doing her bit for the war.

In London, as the Blitz bombs rain down and the threat of German invasion looms, Lily Nicholls anxiously counts the days for news of her son and daughter’s safe arrival.

But when disaster strikes in the Atlantic, Alice and Lily – one at sea, the other on land – will quickly become one another’s very best hope. The events of one night, and the eight unimaginable days that follow, will bind the two women together in unforgettable ways.

148. Winter at Bletchley Park | Molly Green

When Rosie Frost was jilted on her wedding day, she didn’t think life could get any worse. But six years later in the throes of the Second World War, she is unceremoniously dismissed from her job after they discover her illegitimate child.

Thankfully, top secret war office Bletchley Park recognises Rosie’s talent and recruits her to decipher their Italian naval signals. Proud to be doing her bit for the war effort, Rosie settles into her new life.

But when she spots a familiar face at the Park, Rosie’s world threatens to come crashing down once more. Can she put the past behind her in order to excel at the job she was born to do? And will her hard work help safeguard her nation’s future…?

149. Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt | Harry Whittaker

1928, Paris

A boy is found, moments from death, and taken in by a kindly family. Gentle, precocious, talented, he flourishes in his new home, and the family show him a life he hadn’t dreamed possible. But he refuses to speak a word about who he really is. As he grows into a young man, falling in love and taking classes at the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris, he can almost forget the terrors of his past, or the promise he has vowed to keep. But across Europe an evil is rising, and no-one’s safety is certain. In his heart, he knows the time will come where he must flee once more.

2008, the Aegean

The seven sisters are gathered together for the first time, on board the Titan to say a final goodbye to the enigmatic father they loved so dearly.

To the surprise of everyone, it is the missing sister who Pa Salt has chosen to entrust with the clue to their pasts. But for every truth revealed, another question emerges. The sisters must confront the idea that their adored father was someone they barely knew. And even more shockingly: that these long-buried secrets may still have consequences for them today.

150. The Book That Wouldn’t Burn | Mark Lawrence

Evar has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities.

Livira has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust where nightmares stalk and no one goes.

The world has never noticed them.

That’s about to change.

As their stories spiral around each other, across worlds and time, each will unlock vast secrets about the world and themselves. This is a tale of truth and lies and hearts, and the blurring of one into another.

151. Itentity | Nora Roberts

Former Army brat Morgan Albright has finally planted roots in a friendly neighborhood near Baltimore. Her friend and roommate Nina helps her make the mortgage payments, as does Morgan’s job as a bartender. But after she and Nina host their first dinner party attended by Luke, the flirtatious IT guy who’d been chatting her up at the bar her carefully built world is shattered. The back door glass is broken, cash and jewelry are missing, her car is gone, and Nina lies dead on the floor.

Soon, a horrific truth emerges: It was Morgan who let the monster in. “Luke” is actually a cold-hearted con artist named Gavin who targets a particular type of woman, steals her assets and identity, and then commits his ultimate goal: murder.

What the FBI tells Morgan is beyond chilling. Nina wasn’t his type. Morgan is. Nina was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Morgan’s nightmare is just beginning. Soon she has no choice but to flee to her mother’s home in Vermont. While she struggles to build something new, she meets another man, Miles Jameson. He isn’t flashy or flirtatious, and his family business has deep roots in town. But Gavin is still out there hunting new victims, and he hasn’t forgotten the one who got away.

152. Happy Place | Emily Henry


Harriet and Wyn are the perfect couple – they go together like bread and butter, gin and tonic, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. Every year for the past decade, they have left behind their lives to drink far too much wine and soak up the sea air with their favourite people in the world. Except this year, they are lying through their teeth. Harriet and Wyn broke up six months ago. And they still haven’t told anyone.

This is the last time they’ll all be together here. The cottage is for sale, and since they can’t bear to break their best friends’ hearts, they’ll fake it for one more week. But how can you pretend to be in love – and get away with it – in front of the people who know you best?

153. The Woman on the Bridge | Sheila O’Flanagan

Dublin. The 1920s. As war tears Ireland apart, two young people are caught up in events that will bring love, tragedy – and the hardest of choices.

In a country fighting for freedom, it’s hard to live a normal life. Winnie O’Leary supports the cause, but she doesn’t go looking for trouble. Then rebel Joseph Burke steps into her workplace. Winnie is furious with him about a broken window. She’s not interested in romance. But love comes when you least expect it.

Joseph’s family shelter fugitives and smuggle weapons. Joseph would never ask Winnie to join the fight; but his mother and sisters demand commitment. Will Winnie choose Joseph, and put her own loved ones in deadly danger? Or wait for a time of peace that may never come?

154. The Wedding Planner | Danielle Steel

A day to remember . . .

Faith Ferguson is one of New York’s most sought after wedding planners. Realizing dreams and making magic happen are part of why Faith loves her job. But weddings are not always champagne and roses, and this particular year sees challenges both professionally and personally that even she questions.

The Alberts’ show-stopper event for hundreds on an estate in the Hamptons with orchid swans, a firework extravaganza and added family strife does not come without its problems. And Morgan and Alex’s chic, tasteful and joyful celebration in a handsome New York townhouse runs like clockwork until a last minute addition to the guest list threatens to derail it. While a stiff, formal reception at a city club with a groom who cares more for his colleagues than his bride-to-be sends warning signals to Faith.

Faith, herself, has come close to marriage twice with disastrous consequences. She loves making magic happen for others, but believes it’s not for her. But the saying ‘Never say never’ is true, and you know when it’s time to say ‘I do’.

155. Snowy Mountains Promise | Alissa Callen

Hettie Burbrook is the first to admit she’s happiest when flying solo through the outback skies. After her hobby of photographing farmers lands her a book deal, it provides the ideal cover story to visit small-town Bundilla. But every photograph brings her closer to uncovering the answers behind why she is really in the mountains…

Deer farmer Taite Lancaster is as strong as the tempered steel he welds into lifelike animal sculptures. Unlike his father, he will never allow feelings to break him. But when the old schoolfriend of his twin sister lands on the airstrip of their high-country station, he knows he’s in trouble. Hettie is the one woman he can’t forget.

While they’re both determined to keep to themselves, between dog races, a ute muster and a winter ball, Hettie and Taite are forced to face how much they need each other. And when a long-buried scandal erupts into the present, relationships and lives are threatened.

Can a man who locks away his emotions reveal his vulnerability before the mountain snow melts? And can a woman intent on righting a decades-old tragedy listen to her heart before history repeats itself?

156. The Other Side of Her | B.M. Carroll

A missing backpacker

A million-dollar reward

Ordinary people cracking under pressure


Busy parents Mia and Ryan were devastated when their former nanny, Irish backpacker Tara, tragically disappeared. But that was two years ago. Now they want to move on and focus on their son … so why are the police questioning them again?

When single mum Beth wakes up to a house burglary, she immediately suspects her abusive ex-husband. But when bad things continue to happen to Beth, her fear is overtaken by desperation and anger.

A dark secret binds these families together. How far will they go to protect their own?

157. The Tea Ladies | Amanda Hampson

They keep everyone’s secrets, until there’s a murder…

Sydney, 1965- After a chance encounter with a stranger, tea ladies Hazel, Betty and Irene become accidental sleuths, stumbling into a world of ruthless crooks and racketeers in search of a young woman believed to be in danger.

In the meantime, Hazel’s job at Empire Fashionwear is in jeopardy. The firm has turned out the same frocks and blouses for the past twenty years and when the mini-skirt bursts onto the scene, it rocks the rag trade to its foundations. War breaks out between departments and it falls to Hazel, the quiet diplomat, to broker peace and save the firm.

When there is a murder in the building, the tea ladies draw on their wider network and put themselves in danger as they piece together clues that connect the murder to a nearby arson and a kidnapping. But if there’s one thing tea ladies can handle, it’s hot water.

158. One More Time | Mandy Magro

One split-second choice. A spark of magic. What if your life could be completely different?

Grace Burrows knows her seventieth birthday celebration is going to be an enchanting affair. And she can’t wait to immerse herself in an evening surrounded by family and her closest friends, to waltz across the dance floor as she used to and reminisce over shared memories gathered across the decades. But it’s also the evening she’ll have to finally reveal a secret that she knows will devastate her family – her time left with them is too short to be fair…

Scarred by his war-time experiences and losses, Charlie Wilson knows he’s made a lot of mistakes. Too many. But none greater than ruining his marriage to Grace when they were young. Tonight, as they dance, Charlie is determined to tell her he’s always loved her. But when old feelings and resentments are drawn to the surface, tempers fray and Charlie and Grace are left on opposite sides of the same old argument.

Fate, however, will give them one last chance to be truthful – and as a touch of magic sparks, everything changes…

159. The Secret World of Connie Starr | Robbi Neal

Connie Starr was always a difficult child. Her mother knew as soon as Connie entered the world that day in Ballarat in 1934 and opened her lungs to scream, there was more chaos in the world than before and it wouldn’t leave until Connie did. From the safety of a branch high in her lemon tree where she speaks to angels, she sees the world for what it is – a swirling mass of beauty and darkness, of trauma and family, of love and war and truth and lies – lies that might just undo her and drive her to a desperate act.

This ambitious, complex and insightful novel intertwines numerous stories of lives from before World War II and beyond, recreating with intimacy and breadth a world that is now lost to us. This book is a brightly coloured patchwork quilt of everything from shoes to polio, lemon trees to rivers, death to life that melds into one beautiful, luminous work of art.

160. Paradise | Patricia Wolf

In a beach paradise, an unspeakable crime is committed. The only witness lies in a coma, fighting for her life… Australia’s Gold Coast : On a stunningly beautiful stretch of coastline, a young mother is brutally murdered and her daughter, Gabby , is left in a coma, with her life hanging in the balance. DS Lucas Walker has just arrived in Surfer’s Paradise for some much-needed recovery after injuries sustained in his last investigation. But he is soon pulled into the dark twists and turns of this home invasion gone wrong, vowing to find the men responsible. As Walker digs deeper into the dark underbelly of this shimmering city by the ocean, a case from his own past resurfaces, with deadly consequences. And as eight-year-old Gabby, the sole witness her mother’s murder, wakes in her hospital bed, Walker is in a race against time to stop those responsible before they return to silence her forever… Don’t miss the next instalment in the tense and gripping DS Lucas Walker series. Fans of The Dry by Jane Harper, Cara Hunter and Chris Whitaker will be hooked from the very first page until the final breathtaking conclusion.

161. The Girl By The Bridge | Arnaldur Indridason

When a young woman known for drug smuggling goes missing, her elderly grandparents have no choice but to call the retired Detective Konrad.

Still looking for his own father’s murderer, Konrad agrees to investigate the case.

But digging into the past reveals more than he set out to discover, and a strange connection to a little girl who drowned in the Reykjavik city pond decades ago recaptures everyone’s attention.

162. Killing Moon | Jo Nesbo

THE HUNT IS ON AND THE POLICE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME.

Two women are missing, their only connection being they attended the same party, hosted by a notorious real-estate magnate. When one of the women is found murdered, the police discover an unusual signature left by the killer, giving them reason to suspect he will strike again.

THEY’RE FACING A KILLER UNLIKE ANY OTHER.

And catching him calls for a detective like no other. But the legendary Harry Hole is gone. Struck off the force, down and out in Los Angeles, it seems that nothing can entice him back to Oslo. Until the woman who saved Harry’s life is put in grave danger, and he has no choice but to return to the city that haunts him and hunt for the murderer.

TO CATCH HIM WILL PUSH HARRY TO THE LIMIT.

He’ll need to bring together a misfit team of former operatives to do what he can’t do alone- stop an unstoppable killer. But as the evidence mounts, it becomes clear that there is more to this case than meets the eye…

AND FOR HARRY, THIS JUST GOT PERSONAL.

163. Happily Married | Victoria Jenkins

My husband is keeping secrets. I’m watching his every move…

Jake and I were childhood sweethearts. Strong, dependable and with a smile that melts my heart, he is the perfect husband and father to our beautiful little daughter. We have our money troubles – but getting a lodger, Kara, calms the panic I feel about our bills. Jake is reluctant but what choice do we have?

I’m relieved that Kara is so sweet, playing endless games of hide and seek with Elsie and settling into our home. But when I catch Jake and Kara sitting close together on the sofa one evening, they jump apart when I walk into the room. Jake promises it’s nothing…

When I search Kara’s room, I know for sure. My husband is keeping a terrible secret. And it’s much, much worse than I imagined.

Confronting him will tear our marriage apart, but I’ll do anything to protect my precious daughter.

Even if it means putting on a smile as I greet Kara at the breakfast table.

Even if it means lying to my husband’s face.

Even if it means someone has to die…

164. Old Babes in the Wood | Margaret Atwood

A highly personal new collection of stories by the bestselling, twice Booker-winning cultural icon

Margaret Atwood is celebrated as one of the most gifted storytellers in the world. This new collection showcases her many talents — and the return of her beloved characters Nell & Tig

They explore the full warp and weft of experience, from two best friends disagreeing about their shared past, to the right way to stop someone from choking; from a daughter determining if her mother really is a witch, to what to do with inherited relics such as World War II parade swords.

They feature beloved cats, a confused snail, Martha Gellhorn, George Orwell, philosopher-astronomer-mathematician Hypatia of Alexandria, a cabal of elderly female academics, and an alien tasked with retelling human fairy tales.

At the heart of the collection is a stunning sequence that follows a married couple as they travel the road together, the moments big and small that make up a long life of love — and what comes after.

165. Old God’s Time | Sebastian Barry

There were no saints in any era, Tom knew, just good men and bad, and sometimes both in the one bottle.

Retired policeman Tom Kettle is enjoying the quiet of his new home, a lean to annexed to a white Victorian Castle in Dalkey overlooking the sea. For months he has barely seen a soul, but his peace is interrupted when two former colleagues turn up at his door to ask questions about a decades-old case. A traumatic case which Tom never quite came to terms with.

His peace is further disturbed by a young mother and family who move in next door, a woman on the run from her own troubles. And what of Tom’s family, his wife June and their two children?

166. Cuddy | Benjamin Myers

Cuddy is a bold and experimental retelling of the story of the hermit St. Cuthbert, unofficial patron saint of the North of England.

Incorporating poetry, prose, play, diary and real historical accounts to create a novel like no other, Cuddy straddles historical eras – from the first Christian-slaying Viking invaders of the holy island of Lindisfarne in the 8th century to a contemporary England defined by class and austerity.

Along the way we meet brewers and masons, archers and academics, monks and labourers, their visionary voices and stories echoing through their ancestors and down the ages.

And all the while at the centre sits Durham Cathedral and the lives of those who live and work around this place of pilgrimage – their dreams, desires, connections and communities.

167. Look Back on Languor | Frank Hurley

30 years till retiring in 2013. He was then BMI Patron for a further five years. He served numerous terms as President and as Secretary. He played a leading role in the restoration and revitalisation of the BMI in the ten or so years from 2000.
 
In other spheres, Frank was deeply involved, as a senior academic for 25 years, in the evolution of the University of Ballarat (now Federation University) and in the establishment of the University’s Arts Academy city campus in the complex of former government buildings on Camp/Lydiard Streets.
 
Frank lived some of his boyhood years in Howitt St, Wendouree. He attended St. Columba’s Primary School and St Patrick’s College before moving to Melbourne in 1952. With his wife Helen and their four daughters, he returned for a “second coming in Ballarat”, as his memoir terms it, in 1974. Over the 40 years since, he has been a prominent participant in social, political, cultural and educational affairs as a media commentator, writer, speaker and member of a wide range of committees and organisations.
 
With insight, candour and wit, in this memoir Frank recounts and reflects on his experiences, his beliefs, values and the changing times of his life.
 
Frank reckons that the old Scots phrase “hurkle durkle”, meaning “to lie in bed, or lounge, long after it is time to get up” sums him up well.

168. Aphrodite’s Breath | Susan Johnson

In life, as in myth, women are the ones who are supposed to stay home like Penelope, weaving at their looms, rather than leaving home like Odysseus. Meet eighty-five-year-old Barbara and her sixty-two-year-old writer–daughter Susan, who asked her mother—on a whim—if she wanted to accompany her to live on the Greek island of Kythera. What follows is a moving unravelling of the mother–daughter relationship told in irresistible prose.

169. Did I Ever Tell You This | Sam Neil

In this unexpected memoir, written in a creative burst of just a few months in 2022, Sam Neill tells the story of how he became one of the world’s most celebrated actors, who has worked with everyone from Meryl Streep to Isabel Adjani, from Jeff Goldblum to Sean Connery, from Steven Spielberg to Jane Campion.

By his own account, his career has been a series of unpredictable turns of fortune. Born in 1947 in Northern Ireland, he emigrated to New Zealand at the age of seven. His family settled in Dunedin on the South Island, but young Sam was sent away to boarding school in Christchurch, where he was hopeless at sports and discovered he enjoyed acting.

But how did you become an actor in New Zealand in the 1960 and 1970s where there was no film industry? After university he made documentary films while also appearing in occasional amateur productions of Shakespeare. In 1977 he took the lead in Sleeping Dogs, the first feature made in New Zealand in more than a decade, a project that led to a major role in Gillian Armstrong’s celebrated My Brilliant Career.

And after that Sam Neill found his way, sometimes by accident, into his own brilliant career. He has worked around the world, an actor who has moved effortlessly from blockbuster to art house to TV, from Dr Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park movies to The Piano and Peaky Blinders.

170. Mother Land | Stephanie Trethewey

Stories of the strength, heartbreak and passion of rural mothers.

Motherhood has not been an easy journey for me. After moving to the farm in 2019 with a 6-month-old in tow, I soon felt the pang of isolation. I started the Motherland Australia podcast to fill a gaping hole I felt out here…connection. I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone. That some of the challenges I was facing as a mum were understandable. That being a rural mum matters, and even though we’re all out here living our ‘ordinary’ lives, all our stories are extraordinary in their own way.

Behind the scenes of our farms and outback stations are incredible women whose stories reveal strength, vision and love, no matter the challenges they’ve overcome.

Stephanie Trethewey’s Motherland gives a voice to the extraordinary lives of fourteen rural mothers across states, territories, cultures and generations. Each offers an unfiltered insight into the tragedies and triumphs that have shaped their lives on the land, motherhood being the most challenging role of all.

When her own transition to rural motherhood became fraught, Stephanie launched the Motherland podcast. She hoped that hearing other women’s stories would help her feel less alone and believed that other rural mums might feel the same. There is now a powerful Motherland online community who generously share their experiences and forge strong connections just as Stephanie had dreamed.

Views: 76

BMI Fundraiser

Featuring:
The Hideaways,
The Harmonies &
Surf Shadows. 

2 course dinner & lots
of dancing