Every month or so, The Bookseller runs a feature called "Bookseller's choice", in which a panel of, er, booksellers select their favourites of the upcoming titles that they'll be selling soon. The feature in the current (15 October) issue focuses on books that will be on sale in the UK in the new year, and though the selections aren't bound by genre, it's interesting that several of the picks are the same as those I highlighted in my post the other day, New UK fiction for January. I thought I'd share some of the booksellers' choices and views.
Emma Giacon of Amazon picks The Leopard by Jo Nesbo (Harvill Secker) – which, according to its stellar translator, Don Bartlett, may be bought forward to be available before Christmas, I and other readers of this blog will be pleased to know. Emma Giacon says that "fans will not be disappointed with the new Harry Hole thriller…….many a Christmas gift voucher will be spent on this hardback come January."
Several booksellers pick out Snowdrops by A. D. Miller (Atlantic). Sarah Clarke of the Torbay Bookshop calls it a "sophisticated and subtly chilling first novel…It tells the tale of Nick Platt, an English lawyer living in Moscow….Reeking of corruption from the start, the darkest secrets are not uncovered until the final pages." Sue Scholes of W. H. Smith says this "intense psychological drama….has a wonderful sense of place and the plot unfolds with great skill as we get the steady but inevitable slide into corruption, tragedy and the darker side of modern Russia." Rodney Troubridge of Waterstones and Emma Giacon also recommend this novel.
Sarah Clarke likes The Facility by Simon Lelic, his second novel after the stunning The Rupture (aka A Thousand Cuts). She calls it "at times an edgy and uncomfortable read…..it concerns a top-secret institution where a number of prisoners have been taken against their will, supposedly under anti-terrorism legislation. None is a terrorist, and one is an innocent dentist. Conspiracies and frightening repercussions come about when his wife and a journalist try to find him."
Patrick Neale of Jaffe&Neale bookshop (a wonderful place, in Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds) highlights Three Stations by Martin Cruz Smith (Mantle) – more Russia. "A young girl searches for her lost baby and Arkady Renko battles to solve a murder that the authorities want to bury as a drug overdose. Contemporary Moscow, the backdrop for this funny and fast-paced story, is at its most glitzy and chilling. The Three Stations terminus is one of the few places where the rich and impoverished cross each others' paths and Cruz Smith walks you through all of its secret places. Once started, you will race to learn how the tale unfolds."
Sue Scholes also recommends The Holmes Affair by Graham Moore (Century), a historical conspiracy thriller which "cleverly weaves the Victorian London of Conan Doyle with the modern New York of Harold White, literary researcher and Sherlock Holmes obsessive. The plot has twists, turns, murder and intrigue aplenty."
Finally Ruth Hunter of Bertrams singles out two novels I am looking forward to. Darkside (Bantam) is Belinda Bauer's new novel after Blacklands, "set in the same, remote Exmoor village and just as sinister and disturbing." A local policeman investigates a crime while looking after his wife who has MS. "It's a compelling and scary mystery, with a nice twist at the end that makes you reconsider the whole book." Second, The House at Seas End by Elly Griffiths (Quercus) is the third book about Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist – investigating a 70-year-old case while dealing with some personal elements that I won't reveal here in case you have not read the previous two novels in this delightful series (The Crossing Places and The Janus Stone).