Fiction to look out for this month

The Devil's Beat, by Robert EdricThere’s been a veritable plethora of new titles this March, so many that I am, frankly, overwhelmed. Plus, if I were to list them all you’d just get bored, shrug and wander off. Therefore I’ll only give you a brief run through of the titles and authors who catch my eye or take my fancy.

First up, for no particular reason we have The Devil’s Beat by Robert Edric, which has been described as Picnic at Hanging Rock meets Howard’s End meets The Crucible. Interesting.

The excellent Camilla Lackberg is back with The Drowning which has been very well reviewed, and Walter Mosley has a new novel out, which is always good news. All I Did Was Shoot My Man has one of those titles that gives you a real sense of mood, tone and atmosphere.

Grandad, there's a head on the beach, by Colin CotterillTitle of the Month has to go to Grandad, There’s a Head on the Beach by Colin Cotterill. At first this reminded me of childhood holidays in Dundee but this tale is, amazingly, even more exotic, violent and unsettling than a Broughty Ferry picnic.

Dashiell Hammett Prize-winner Holy City by Argentinian journalist Guillermo Orsi looks tough, gritty and gory. Good, in other words… and The Voice of the Spirits by Xavier-Marie Bonnot looks great, too. As I was reading the synopsis I half-expected (hoped..?) to learn that this subtle murder mystery was going to switch tracks to an insane and overblown Lovecraftian psycho-fest. No. Such. Luck. What it does promise still looks good, though. Papuan headhunters, Marseille thugs, primal masks, mysterious head wounds, dead suspects… Can’t wait.

The Gods of Gotham, by Lyndsay FayeDisappointingly, Lyndsay Faye’s The Gods of Gotham has absolutely nothing to do with Batman. It is, however, chock-full of violence, mayhem, intrigue, bigotry, betrayal, redemption… So, not a complete loss.                  

Author’s Name of the Month goes to… Ron Rash, sounds like the stage name of a spectacularly misguided porn star. His novel The Cove looks intriguing. A romance/mystery set in the Appalachians. Not my cup of tea, but, hey… good name.

Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar looks excellent. The set-up is four young entrepreneurs starting one of those implausible-yet-popular lifestyle businesses.
They’ll apologise. For you. For a price. Their next client is a serial killer.   

The Quiddity of Will Self, by Sam MillsIf I was Will Self, The Quiddity of Will Self would probably have me a bit worried. The whole concept’s a bit stalker-y. Sam Mills’ story is apparently “A quirky, comic literary novel for fans of original fiction and Will Self.” Uh-oh, ‘quirky’. Could be good, could be dreadful. Give it a go.

John O’Farrell is always good value and reliably funny. The Man Who Forgot His Wife is about precisely that and will probably cause every woman in the country over 30 to fall in love instantly with O’Farrell.

Various Pets Alive and Dead by Marina Lewycka is a multi-generational family comedy with lentils, lies and animals and looks set to be extremely popular, this one won’t be on the shelves for long.          

Recipe for Love is by Katie Fforde. It’s a romance with the backdrop of a TV cookery programme. I feel cheap and dirty just thinking about it…

Capital, by John LanchesterMenacing, cruel, strange, funny; The Uninvited Guests is apparently unlike Sadie Jones’ previous work but worth a look nonetheless. Capital by John Lanchester is described on its blurb as “a post-crash state-of-the nation novel” and from what I’ve read it does look extremely timely and, more importantly, good.

Finally Clive Cussler is back with The Thief – another maritime thriller.

‘Til next time…

[Robert]

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