New UK paperbacks in February 2010

Finally, just in time for this week's issue, I have caught up with my archive of Booksellers. From the 23 October issue comes news of the paperbacks that will be published in the UK in February 2010. 
Among the predicted "top sellers" are Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child (Bantam, £7.99), which opens with Jack Reacher suspecting a woman on the New York subway of being a terrorist. For me, these books have become somewhat mechanical, but the Bookseller calls this "one of his best" and says that the next one (the 14th) is even better. Other predicted top sellers are Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid (Sphere, £6.99), a fast paperback publication for this novel about an internet stalker of teenagers; John Connelly's The Lovers (Hodder, £7.99), about Charlie Parker's childhood; and Alexander McCall Smith's Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (Abacus, £7.99), a series that I've enjoyed but am about three behind.
Moving to the "major sellers" category, we have The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith (Pocket, £7.99), his follow-up to the amazingly successful Child 44; and The Given Day by Dennis Lehane (Black Swan, £7.99), not strictly a crime title, being "an epic American novel of Boston in 1918/19, of strikes, poverty, racism…..action-packed and violent…", etc. Its release has been delayed from 2009 to coinicide with the film of Shutter Island.
Perhaps more interesting than any of these are some titles from the "more normal" categories, including The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (Orion, £7.99), apparently "a pastiche of an Agatha Christie-style English country murder mystery, only our detective is a precocious 11-year-old girl". This book has received tremendously positive reviews in many places.
Titles I can highly recommend on the basis of having read them myself (links go to my reviews) are: After the Fire by Karen Campbell (Hodder & Stoughton, £7.99); Red Bones by Ann Cleeves (Pan, £7.99); Skin and Bones by Tom Bale (Preface, £7.99), Close-Up by Esther Verhoef (Quercus, £7.99); Shadow by Karin Alvtegen (Canongate, £7.99); and The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas (Vintage, £7.99) – winner of the International CWA Dagger for 2009.
Titles I haven't read but have heard good things about include Dead in the Water by Aline Templeton (Hodder, £7.99); Death Watch by Jim Kelly (Penguin, £7.99), War Damage by Elizabeth Wilson (Serpent's Tail, £7.99); A Visible Darkness by Michael Gregorio (Faber, £6.99); Angel with Two Faces by Nicola Upson (Faber, £7.99) and The Hidden Man by David Ellis (Quercus, £7.99). These are just a few selected titles, there are plenty more! (Including TV or film "tie-in" editions of three more of Henning Mankell's books, The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, and Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane – which must be a leading candidate for my prize for the novel with the worst "cheat twist" I've ever read.)

2 thoughts on “New UK paperbacks in February 2010

  1. Several temptations (hooray for Amazon and Abebooks). I received my four November books the other day so I may manage a few weeks now without withdrawal symptoms.
    I wonder which of the above are on your own wish list?

  2. Of the ones I haven’t already read, I think I’m most tempted by David Ellis (The Hidden Man) as he’s so highly regarded yet I have not read him yet. I have a copy of War Damage by Elizabeth Wilson on my shelf so I’ll probably read that at some point, too.

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