The Valley of Amazement by Amy TanIn fin de siecle Shanghai, Violet Minturn grows up at Hidden Jade Path, the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when revolution comes, she is separated from her mother and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Both Chinese and American, Violet moves between these cultural worlds, becoming a shrewd businesswoman who deals in seduction and illusion. But her successes belie her private turmoil. Violet's need for answers propels her on a quest of discovery: a journey to make sense of her life, to right the wrongs of the past - to find love requited. Spanning fifty years and two continents, 'The Valley of Amazement' dramatises the collapse of China's imperial dynasty and the secret life of the courtesan house. Unfolding old family secrets, this novel returns readers to the compelling territory of 'The Joy Luck Club'. With her characteristic wisdom, grace and humour, she conjures a story of the inheritance of love, its mysteries and betrayals, and its illusions and truths.
Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason
Hitchcock meets the Coen Brothers in a darkly comic suspense novel with the tense pacing of a thriller and the beauty of the best of literary fiction "A ripping good novel" The New York Times "An astonishing debut novel, smart and stylish...with an absolutely Hitchcockian menace" Peter Straub There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard. But it could always be worse. Lonely widower Jason Getty killed a man he wished he'd never met, and buried him behind his own house. A year later, just as he's ready to move on, Jason's gardeners dig up two other bodies on his property, a man and a woman. Apparently unrelated, the surprising stories behind each murder begin to unravel as Jason becomes entangled in a race against time, two determined police detectives, and his own conscience. Jamie Mason's dark imagination, tender wisdom and sharp sense of comedy take us inside the hearts and souls of all her characters - policemen, criminals, victims, innocent bystanders and one truly remarkable dog. Psychologically brilliant, relentlessly entertaining and irresistibly pitch-perfect, Three Graves Full is a dazzling literary debut.
The Eloquence of the Dead
'Bodies can tell you a lot. There can be an eloquence about the dead. But you have to be able to interpret what they are telling you...'. When a Dublin Pawnbroker is found murdered and the lead suspect goes missing, Sergeant Joe Swallow is handed the poisoned chalice of the investigation. With authorities pressing for a quick resolution, the public living in fear of attack and the newspapers happy to point to the police’s every mistake, Swallow must use every trick in his arsenal to crack the case. On the way he uncovers deep-rooted corruption, discovers the power of new, scientific detection techniques and encounters a ruthless adversary. Following leads from Trim to the Tower of London, The Eloquence of the Dead is the second of the Joe Swallow books and is a fast-paced and gripping crime thriller from the pen of a truly talented writer.
A Girl is a Half formed thing by Eimear McBride
Eimear McBride's novel tells the story of a young woman's relationship with her brother who is living with the after effects of a brain tumor. Not so much a stream of consciousness, as an unconscious railing against a life that makes little sense, and a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and sensual urges of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist, to read A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing is to plunge inside its narrator's head, experiencing her world first-hand. This isn't always comfortable - but it is always a revelation.