New Books and Recommendations

Some notable new Adult Fiction:

Ngugi wa Thiong’o – The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gikuyu and Mumbi

Blending folklore, mythology and allegory, The Perfect Nine chronicles the adventures of Gikuyu and Mumbi, and how their brave daughters became the matriarchs of the Gikuyu clans. Gikuyu and Mumbi settled on the peaceful and bounteous foot of Mount Kenya after fleeing war and hunger. When 99 suitors arrive on their land, seeking to marry their famously beautiful daughters, called The Perfect Nine, the parents ask their daughters to choose for themselves, but to choose wisely.

First the young women must embark on a treacherous quest with the suitors, to find a magical cure for their youngest sister, Warigia, who cannot walk. As they journey up the mountain, the number of suitors diminishes and the sisters put their sharp minds and bold hearts to the test, conquering fear, doubt, hunger and many menacing ogres, as they attempt to return home. But it is perhaps Warigia’s unexpected adventure that will be most challenging of all.


Maggie O’Farrell – Hamnet

A stunning new departure for Maggie O’Farrell’s fiction – the heart-stopping story behind Shakespeare’s most famous play.On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home? Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week. Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; a kestrel and its mistress; and a glovemaker’s son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.


Jane Sanderson – Mix Tape

Mix Tape is a novel that manages to evoke not only nostalgia for a time pre-streaming, pre-ipods or even pre-cds, but the power music in all its forms can have over each of us. . This bittersweet story transports the reader, much like the aforementioned mixtape, around the world from 1970’s Sheffield to 2012’s Adelaide and Edinburgh through the lives of Dan and Ali, their love of music and ultimately each other.
The book combines 2 separate timelines. The first follows a young Dan and Ali’s through their blossoming romance in working class Sheffield in 1979. The second takes place 30 years later, when Dan unintentionally comes across Ali on Twitter and sends her a link to a song. This simple act becomes the catalyst for our story, as it is that very song that transports our protagonists back to 1979 before the Ali is forced to flee with no warning. Though time has moved on and the mixtape has now been replaced with Youtube links and Spotify, the sentiment remains the same. Jane Sanderson expertly weaves together the threads of both timelines and the lives of the characters both past and present.

Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson is available for loan at Laois Libraries, alternatively you can borrow both the ebook and the audiobook, narrated by Candida Gubbins, through the Borrowbox app.




Greer Hendricks – The Wife Between Us 

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.

The old unreliable author thriller finds a new voice. If you enjoyed Gone Girl, this domestic thriller is for you.


Tim Wenton – The Shephard’s Hut

Master storyteller Tim Winton delivers a tender and raw meditation on masculinity and power, violence and self-restraint, and on forgiveness and kindness as the ultimate acts of love.Jaxie dreads going home. His mother’s dead, the old man beats him without mercy, and he doesn’t know how much more he can take. Then, in one terrible moment of violence, the life he’s known ends – forcing Jaxie to flee his sleepy hometown. He’s not just running from the cops; he’s headed north for the only person in the world who understands him.Carrying with him only a rifle and a water jug, Jaxie traverses the vast, bare West Australian wheatbelt, staying out of sight long enough to reach the refuge of the salt country at the edge of the desert. But once he discovers he’s not alone out there, all Jaxie’s plans go awry.He meets a fellow exile, the ruined priest Fintan MacGillis, a man he’s never certain he can trust, but on whom his life will soon depend. And what he finds out there will challenge everything he’s ever thought about himself, about what’s right and wrong, about love and death and survival. And it will haunt him forever.The Shepherd’s Hut is an exquisite coming of age novel, with action that turns on the edge of a knife and an anti-hero who will break your heart.




Andrew Sean Greer – Less

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

A rip roaring satire of the american abroad by Pulitzer prize winner author Andrew Sean Greer.




Phoebe Locke – The Tall Man


If you read just one psychological suspense novel this year, this month, this week or until 4am today (or if you’re looking for your next fix of psychological suspense thriller) , make it Phoebe Locke’s The Tall Man. A Creepy legend, the disappearance of a young mother and a teenage girl acquitted of murder… Sounds good to me.

The Tall Man is an addictive and unforgettable blend of psychological suspense and spine-tingling chills that will be perfect for fans of Stephen King, Ruth Ware, Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes. If you love Stranger Things, prepare to be haunted by The Tall Man.




Krystan Ritter – Bonfire

Nothing burns as bright as the truth.

Ten years have passed since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s economic heart, she begins to find strange connections to a decade-old scandal involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

You think you know the story of missing Kaycee and the mystery that surrounds the small town of The Barrens, but the book will keep you guessing from chapter to chapter as main character Abby investigates the wrong doings.

With tantalising twists, slow-burning suspense an introverted and not fully reliable narrator, who may or may not be losing, and a remote, rural town of five claustrophobic miles. Bonfire is a dark exploration of what happens when your past and present collide.

Recommended for fans of Girl on a Train.



Ron Liebman – Big Law

As a young partner at Dunn & Sullivan, one of New York’s most prestigious law firms, Carney Blake has represented dozens of high-profile clients. But being a pawn of Big Law often means defending the corporate dirt bags of the world—the spillers, the drillers, and the killers. Morality aside, Carney is starting to make a name for himself.

So when Carney is suddenly asked by his firm’s chairman to represent the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit—and not, as usual, the corporate bad guys—he warily accepts. Maybe they’re turning a corner, he thinks. But Carney can’t fool himself for very long. As he digs deeper into the case, he uncovers corruption and maliciously orchestrated schemes that go straight to the top of Dunn & Sullivan.

A high-energy legal thriller that exudes insider perspectives for John Grisham and Steve Cavanagh fans.

John Banville – Mrs Osmond

Having fled Rome and a stultifying marriage, Isabel Osmond is in London, brooding on the recent disclosure of her husband’s shockingyears-long betrayal of her. What should she do now, and which way should she turn, in the emotional labyrinth where she has been trapped for so long? Reawakened by grief and the knowledge of having been grievously wronged, she determines to resume her youthful quest for freedom and independence.

Soon Isabel must return to Italy and confront her husband, and seek to break his powerful hold on her. But will she succeed in outwitting him, and securing her revenge?

Mrs Osmond is a masterly novel of betrayal, corruption and moral ambiguity, from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea.

A worthy sequel to The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, Banville recreates James’s atmosphere and pacing, a brilliant feat of literary ventriloquism.

Jesmyn Ward – Sing Unburied Sing

Winner Of The National Book Award 2017
Selected as a  Book Of The Year by The New York TimesNew StatesmanFinancial TimesNew York Times Book ReviewTime and The BBC
Finalist for the Kirkus Prize
Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

‘This wrenching new novel by Jesmyn Ward digs deep into the not-buried heart of the American nightmare. A must’ Margaret Atwood

‘A powerfully alive novel haunted by ghosts; a road trip where people can go but they can never leave; a visceral and intimate drama that plays out like a grand epic, Sing, Unburied, Sing is staggering’ Marlon James, Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015

An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Singexamines the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power – and limitations – of family bonds.

Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first century America. It is a majestic new work from an extraordinary and singular author.


Adrian Goldsworthy – Vindolanda

AD 98, Vindolanda. A fort on the edge of the roman world.

The bustling army base at Vindolanda lies on the northern frontier of Britannia and the entire Roman world. In just over twenty years time, Emperor Hadrian will build his wall. But for now defences are weak as local tribes rebel against Rome.

It falls to Flavius Ferox, Briton and Roman centurion, to keep the peace. But it will take more than just a soldier’s courage to survive life in Roman Britain.

Whilst the books clearly owes a lot to the “Last of the Mohicans” and even boys’ adventure books, the genius of this fiction is to take genuine archaeological discoveries (a tablet found at the site of Vindolanda) and contemporary historical sources and stick them in the context of a ripping adventure set a generation prior to the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. This is a hugely authentic historical novel, written by one of Britain’s leading historians.


Simon Toyne – The Boy who saw

The electrifying new thriller from Sunday Times bestselling author, Simon Toyne.

Only one boy can see the darkness. Only one man can save him from it.

A Murder
An elderly tailor is found tortured and murdered in the ancient town of Cordes. Written in blood beside the body are the words: FINISHING WHAT WAS BEGUN.

A Secret
But the dead man has left a cryptic message for his granddaughter and her son, Leo – one that puts them in immediate danger.

A Race
They are forced to go on the run, accompanied by the enigmatic Solomon Creed. What began as small-town murder becomes a race to uncover a devastating secret dating from World War II. The few men who know the truth are being killed by a powerful organization, and only one man stands in its way.

Only Solomon Creed can stop the murders.
Only he can save the boy.

Recommended for fans of John Connolly’s Parker books and Lee Child.


Elizabeth Bear – The Stone in the Skull

Best SFF Books 2017—The Guardian

Hugo Award–winning author Elizabeth Bear returns to her critically acclaimed epic fantasy world of the Eternal Sky inspired by 13th-century Asia and The Arabian Nights.

A rousing, artful adventure

The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms.

The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort.

They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire.

One of the best and most original female authors working today in speculative fiction.


Joe Hill – Strange Weather

Winner of The Bram Stoker Award for Best Collection

Four short novels from the author of THE FIREMAN and HORNS, ranging from creepy horror to powerful explorations of our modern society.

One autumnal day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails, splinters of bright crystal that tear apart anyone who isn’t safely under cover. ‘Rain’ explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as clouds of nails spread out across the country and the world. Amidst the chaos, a girl studying law enforcement takes it upon herself to resolve a series of almost trivial mysteries . . . apparently harmless puzzles that turn out to have lethal answers.

In ‘Loaded’ a mall security guard heroically stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun movement. Under the hot glare of the spotlights, though, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it…

‘Snapshot, 1988’ tells the story of an kid in Silicon Valley who finds himself threatened by The Phoenician, a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid that can steal memories…

And in ‘Aloft’ a young man takes to the skies to experience parachuting for the first time . . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapour that seems animated by a mind of its own.

If you enjoy Stephen King books, you’re sure to love the Joe Hill’s books. Like father like son.