CHOICE: New fiction this week
So say the fallen
By: Stuart Neville
The fallout from DCI Serena Flanagan’s last major case, which saw her home invaded and her husband attacked, has left the previously close family fractured. When Serena is asked to sign off the suicide of a severely disabled local businessman, she finds herself envying the grieving widow’s comfortable life and devoted marriage, until the widow’s close relationship with the local reverend start to sound an alarm. But with a clean crime scene and no evidence to back her up, have Serena’s instincts led her down the wrong path? With her husband struggling to deal with the aftermath of an attack that nearly cost him his life and her young children anxious and unhappy, Serena’s determination to unlock the mystery of what happened in that house may cost her her job – and her family.
Barbed wire and cherry blossoms
By: Anita Heiss
5 August, 1944: Over 1000 Japanese soldiers attempt to break out of the No. 12 Prisoner of War compound on the fringes of Cowra. In the carnage, hundreds are killed, many are recaptured and imprisoned, and some take their own lives rather than suffer the humiliation of ongoing defeat. But one soldier, Hiroshi, determined to avoid either fate, manages to escape. At nearby Erambie Aboriginal mission, Banjo Williams, father of nine and proud man of his community, discovers a distraught Hiroshi, pleading for help. The people of Erambie have seen enough death and heartache, so Banjo and the Erambie community decide to offer Hiroshi refuge. Mary, Banjo’s daughter, recently returned from being in service in Sydney, is intrigued by the Japanese stranger, and is charged with his care. Love blossoms, but life for the community on the mission is one of restriction – living under Acts of Protection and Assimilation, and always under the watchful eye of the mission manager. In wartime Australia, the children are terrified of air raids, but their parents fear a life without rights. And for Mary and Hiroshi, there is much in their way. Mary is forbidden under the Act, and by her own father, to marry Hiroshi, so together they plot their own escape from the mission. But solidarity in the community is eroding and trouble is brewing.
When the music’s over
By: Peter Robinson
When the body of a young girl is found in a remote countryside lane, evidence suggests she was drugged, abused and thrown from a moving van – before being beaten to death. While DI Annie Cabbot investigates the circumstances in which a 14-year-old could possibly fall victim to such a crime, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Alan Banks must do the same – but the crime Banks is investigating is the coldest of cases. Fifty years ago Linda Palmer was attacked by celebrity entertainer Danny Caxton, yet no investigation ever took place. Now Caxton stands accused at the centre of a historical abuse investigation and it’s Banks’s first task as superintendent to find out the truth. As more women step forward with accounts of Caxton’s manipulation, Banks must piece together decades-old evidence.
By: James Patterson
Caught in the crossfire of a deadly stand-off, Detective Michael Bennett must kill…or be killed. Tensions between America and Russia are the highest they’ve been since the Cold War. As the countries’ presidents travel to the United Nations to iron out their differences, a fashionable husband-and-wife team of lethal assassins prowls the streets of Manhattan hunting their prey – a professor hiding a scandalous secret. Their next target: the extremely popular President of the United States of America. Pulled away from his family and pressed into service, Detective Michael Bennett must trace the source of a threat that could rip the country apart – and what he finds may turn the Cold War red hot once again. With allegiances constantly in doubt and no one above suspicion, only Bennett can step into the line of fire to save the President before the deadly kill shot hits its mark.
By: Roisin Meaney
It’s September 2015 and sisters Caroline and Eleanor Plunkett receive invitations to their twenty year school reunion. But for both, the invitation takes them back to a time they’d rather forget. For Caroline, it’s a reminder of a night she’s never told anyone about – and the traumatic consequences she had to face on her own. While for Eleanor, who has spent the past fourteen years trying to get over the death of her young daughter, the school reunion is a stark reminder of life before grief. As the reunion approaches, both sisters face choices and decisions about their lives. Caroline, a successful knitwear designer living in England must choose between love and honesty. Eleanor, who long ago removed herself from the restaurant she started with her husband, must finally make a decision to choose the man she married and the son she has forgotten for so long.