While I was away on holiday, the Bookseller produced what it calls a "double issue" (one issue for the weeks of 6 and 13 August). Next week it will do the same (20/27 August). Given that it costs so much for a subscription (one has been my Christmas present for the past 2 years), I think this is a pretty poor show – as the double issue is about the same size as a single one.
As it happens, I am somewhat behind because of the vain attempt to catch up after being away, and have only just last night read the 23 July issue, which is most notable for a preview of new November paperbacks to be published in the UK. The verdict is "a lean month but one filled with fantastic titles" (i.e. titles booksellers can sell heaps of, presumably). Drawing a veil over one or two of these, one of which has the dreaded JP initials, I'll note a few which I either have already found interesting or think I might want to read. One of these is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (Quercus, £7.99) – I find it hard to believe there is anyone left who hasn't read it, but I am sure November will prove me wrong!
Innocent by Scott Turow (Pan) is another November paperback – I haven't read this one, but might if the paperback is a good price (£7.99 officially). I also haven't read Mo Hayder's Gone (Bantam, £6.99), having been a bit put off by the earlier Ritual and Skin, which combined gruesomeness with disappointing plots, but I may give it a try in the light of Michelle's very positive Euro Crime review. Another paperback due out is The Last Ten Seconds by Simon Kernick (Corgi, £6.99), which I reviewed for Euro Crime.
The Passage by Justin Cronin (Orion) is coming out in trade paperback with a hefty £14.99 price. It's 790 pages long and about a vampire-infested apocalyptic world. Vampires here seem to be returning to how they were usually portrayed before Stephanie Meyer and her host of imitators which are all one can see in the "teen" section of bookshops these days. (I long for that to change, and I am sure so do many "teens".) However, my knowledge of vampire books is almost entirely limited to years-ago reading of Stephen King and Bram Stoker, so I don't really know what I'm writing about on the topic of vampires, as I have no interest in them.
What of translated fiction other than Stieg Larsson? Death and the Devil by Frank Schatzing (Quercus, £7.99) is a medieval thriller set around the building of Cologne cathedral. I have the hardback but have not yet read it. Kingdom of Light by Guilio Leonis (Vintage, £6.99) is yet another medieval thriller, part of his Dante series. That seems to be it, unfortunately.
There are plenty of other enticing titles to come in November, though, including Snow Angels by James Thompson (Avon, £6.99), a superior police procedural set in Finland; The Burning by Jane Casey (Ebury, £6.99), her second novel after her good debut The Missing (unfortunately this one is about a serial killer who burns his victims so probably not for me); I Was Waiting for You by Maxim Jakubowski (Accent, £7.99), billed as a crime tale with strong erotic elements; The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag (Orion, £6.99), Alan Bradley's follow-up to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie; and The Spire by Richard North Patterson (Pan, £6.99). There are lots of other books due out also, including by Elmore Leonard, Thomas Perry, Douglas Preston, Joseph Wambaugh, and Too Many Murders, a "Christie-esque college murder mystery" by Colleen McCullough (Harper, £7.99).