Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Authors' Recommended Reads...

It's almost Autumn, so it's about time we had a handful of established authors (mostly from Crime Fiction) to share their favourite books in 2014! Who better to give their top recommendations than experts in their field:

1. Ruth Rendell's latest book The Girl Next Door came out last month. Ruth gives the thumbs up to Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, about 82-year-old Maud who finds herself embroiled in a mystery.

Lately, Maud's been getting forgetful. She keeps buying peach slices when she has a cupboard full, forgets to drink the cups of tea she's made and writes notes to remind herself of things. But Maud is determined to discover what has happened to her friend, Elizabeth, and what it has to do with the unsolved disappearance of her sister Sukey, years back, just after the war.

2. Ian Rankin likes Tana French and describes Broken Harbour as a 'clever and compelling mystery.'

In a ghost estate outside Dublin - half-built, half-inhabited, half-abandoned - two children and their father are dead. The mother is on her way to intensive care. Police think this is a simple case: Pat Spain was a casualty of the recession, so he killed his children, tried to kill his wife Jenny, and finished off with himself. But there are too many inexplicable details and the evidence is pointing in two directions at once. 

3. Louise Doughty is the author of the beautifully written, Apple Tree Yard (much admired by Ruth Rendell). Louise votes for Gloria by Caribbean writer, Kerry Young.

“Kerry Young tells the absorbing, uplifting story of a young woman's escape from the brutal poverty of rural Jamaica to a new life in the violent world of its capital, Kingston ... Written in the gentle, hypnotic patois and encompassing the birth pangs of Jamaican independence, this is a highly evocative portrait of a country in transition, and of one woman's search for self-awareness and self-respect” –  Mail on Sunday - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/gloria-9781408822883/#sthash.TdMqXpLR.dpuf
Jamaica, 1938. Gloria Campbell is sixteen years old when a single violent act changes her life forever. She and her younger sister flee their hometown to forge a new life in Kingston. Set against the turbulent backdrop of a country on the cusp of a new era, Gloria is an enthralling and illuminating story of love and redemption.

4. Justin Cartright, author of The Promise of Happiness, a novel I enjoyed in 2005, reveres the unique style of WG Sebald in A Place in the Country. Ironically, it is about the writers who most influenced Sebald himself.

When W. G. Sebald travelled to Manchester in 1966, he packed in his bags certain literary favourites which would remain central to him throughout the rest of his life and during the years when he was settled in England. In A Place in the Country, he reflects on six of the figures who shaped him as a person and as a writer, from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Jan Peter Tripp. 

5. Hilary Mantell - the Queen of  historical literature, recommends Toby Clements' Kingmaker:Winter Pilgrims, which she describes as a 'savage and tender adventure story':

February, 1460: in the bitter dawn of a winter's morning a young nun is caught outside her priory walls by a corrupt knight and his vicious retinue. In the fight that follows, she is rescued by a young monk and the knight is defeated. But the consequences are far-reaching...

That brings an end to this little round up. Looks like the bookshop beckons...

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AJ Waines is the author of Psychological Thrillers:  The Evil Beneath and Girl on a Train.
Both books went to Number One in 'Murder' and 'Psychological Thrillers' in the UK Kindle charts.

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