This is a bit of a laundry list post, I’m afraid, but I don’t feel creative enough to write anything more brain-engaging tonight. The “big sellers” predicted for September by the Bookseller (5 June issue, p 29) include Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol (Bantam, £18.99 but half that on Amazon, probably in common with all these “big sellers”), James Patterson’s Alex Cross’s Trial (Century, £18.99), The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith (Little, Brown, £17.99), an Isabel Dalhousie novel, and Dick and Felix Francis’s Even Money (Michael Joseph, £18.99). There are some interesting general fiction books also: Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked (Viking, £18.99); A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks (Hutchinson, £18.99); and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury, £18.99), which includes some of the same characters from Oryx and Crake although it is not strictly a sequel. I’ve read a couple of features about Atwood’s new novel and I am half-tempted, though I could not honestly say I have enjoyed any of the four or five of her books I’ve read – including Oryx and Crake, which was well-written but had an utterly predictable plot and a very annoying “who cares about the reader” ending. Non-fiction-wise, you might be intrigued by Andy MacNab’s Spoken from the Front (Bantam, £20), a collection of “true tales from the battlefields of Afghanistan…to convey all of the courage and hardship of British servicemen and the unique difficulties posed by the conflict”. Watch out for a linked TV series.
Of much more relevance to the main theme of this blog are the regular crime fiction titles due out. Top of my list is Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason (Harvill, £11.99 trade PB) – can’t wait for that one! There’s a Val McDermid, Fever of the Bone, her first with her new publisher Little, Brown (£18.99), and a Tony Hill series novel. Quercus has several titles due out: If the Dead Rise Not by Philip Kerr, a new Bernie Gunther novel (£17.99), Bones of Betrayal by Jefferson Bass (£12.99), and a reissue of David Pearce’s 1974 and 1977 (£12.99 each), in “gorgeous” hardback editions. Peter [son of Elmore] Leonard’s second novel, Trust Me, is published by Faber (£12.99, trade PB) and Brian Freeman’s thriller The Burying Place (Headline, £12.99) sounds good. A couple of very experienced, prolific authors also have titles due out in September: Lynda La Plante’s latest has a publisher, Simon&Schuster, a price, £18.99, but no title (unless it’s Untitled😉 ); and John Sandford (same publisher, £12.99 for a trade PB) offers Rough Country, a Virgil Flowers novel (the character, a homicide detective, is a protege of Sandford’s usual hero, Lucas Davenport). I’ve heard good things about Gerald Seymour’s The Collaborator (Hodder, £16.99), and Macmillan is serving up Chelsea Cain’s fourth novel, Evil at Heart (£12.99). The featured crime debut for September is Walking in Pimlico by Ann Featherstone (John Murray, £14.99), a murder mystery set in the world of Victorian music hall.