Saturday, 25 June 2011


 This is a monthly feature where I highlight just a few of the great reads coming out in the UK in the following month.

The Caspian Gates by Harry Sidebottom (4th in the Warrior of Rome series)
Published:  7 July 2011 - UK & USA

AD262 - the imperium is in turmoil after the struggle for the throne. Furthermore, Ephesus, Asia’s metropolis, lies in ruins, shattered by a mighty earthquake. Its citizens live in fear as the mob overwhelms the city, baying for blood to avenge the gods who have punished them.

Yet an even greater threat to the Empire advances from the North. The barbaric Goth tribes sail towards Ephesus, determined to pillage the city. Only Ballista, Warrior of Rome, knows the ways of the barbarians, and only he can defeat them.

The Goths’ appetite for brutality and destruction is limitless and before long Ballista is locked into a deadly bloodfeud, with an enemy that has sworn to destroy him – and the imperium - at all costs.

Harry Sidebottom is a Fellow and Director of Studies in Ancient History at St Benets Hall, Oxford and a Lecturer in Ancient History at Lincoln College.  His website is here


All For You by Sheila O’Flanagan
Published:  7 July 2011 - UK & USA …..... Aug 2011 - South Africa ….... Sept 2011 - Canada

As TV's favourite weather forecaster, Lainey is good at making predictions. But what she doesn't foresee is that her own life is about to hit a stormy patch. With a string of failed relationships behind her, surely history isn't about to repeat itself with her beloved Ken? To add fuel to the fire, her estranged mother announces that she's returning to Dublin. Deanna has always been dismissive of Lainey's choices - particularly in men. And Deanna's lectures are the last thing Lainey needs now.

Yet is there more to her mother than she knows? Uncovering some long-concealed family secrets, Lainey begins to reassess her life. Is the happy-ever-after she's always dreamed of really what she wants after all?

Everything you need to know about Sheila O’Flanagan can be found at her website.

I’ve only read two of Sheila’s books.  Anyone But Him and A Season to Remember.  Both of which I enjoyed.


House of the Hanged by Mark Mills
Published:  7 July 2011 - UK …..... 1 July 2011 - Australia

A riveting and evocative tale of passion and murder, set on the French Riviera in the 1930s, from the No.1 bestselling author of The Savage Garden.
France, 1935: At the poor man’s end of the Riviera sits Le Rayol, a haven for artists, expatriates and refugees. Here, a world away from the rumblings of a continent heading towards war, Tom Nash has rebuilt his life after a turbulent career in the Secret Intelligence Service.
His past, though, is less willing to leave him behind. When a midnight intruder tries to kill him, Tom knows it is just a matter of time before another assassination attempt is made.
Gathered at Le Rayol for the summer months are all those he holds most dear, including his beloved goddaughter Lucy. Reluctantly, Tom comes to believe that one of them must have betrayed him. If he is to live, Tom must draw his enemy out, but at what cost to himself and the people he loves…?

If I read a better novel than House of the Hanged this year I’ll count myself lucky.” says


The Little Village School (6th book in the Dales series) by Gervase Phinn
Published:  7 July 2011 - UK ….......... 1 Nov 2011 - USA

She was wearing red shoes! With silver heels! Elisabeth Devine causes quite a stir on her arrival in the village. No one can     understand why the head of a big inner city school would want to come to sleepy little Barton-in-the-Dale, to a primary with more problems than school dinners. And that's not even counting the challenges the mysterious Elisabeth herself will face: a bitter former head teacher, a grumpy caretaker and a duplicitous chair of governors, to name but a few. Then there's the gossip. After all, a woman who would wear red shoes to an interview is obviously capable of anything ...Warm, funny and poignant, Gervase Phinn's first novel for adults creates a fictional world that's as real as can be. It will delight all his fans, and win him many more.

I remember reading Gervase Phinn’s endearing and funny books recounting his experiences as a schools inspector in the Yorkshire Dales many years ago.
This is his first novel for adults.

His website detailing all his books is here


Agent 6  (3rd book in the Leo Demidov series) by Tom Rob Smith
Published:  7 July 2011 - UK …........ 5 Jan 2012 - USA

How far would you go to solve a crime against your family?

It is 1965. Leo Demidov, a former secret police agent, is forbidden to travel with his wife and daughters from Moscow to New York. They are part of a "Peace Tour," meant to foster closer relations between the two Cold War enemies. On the tour, Leo's family is caught up in a conspiracy and betrayal that ends in tragedy. In the horrible aftermath, Leo demands one thing: that he be allowed to investigate and find the attacker that struck at the heart of his family on foreign soil. From the highest levels of the Soviet government, he is told No, that is impossible. Leo is haunted by the question: what happened in New York? In a surprising, epic story that spans decades and continents-from 1950s Moscow to 1960s America to the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s-Leo's long pursuit of justice will force him to confront everything he ever thought he knew about his country, his family, and himself.

To learn more about Tom Rob Smith see his official page on Simon & Schuster’s website.

I have this book to read as well as his 1st in this series ….. Child 44 …........ my review is here


The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff
Published:  12 July 2011 - UK & USA

An ambitious novel that spans decades and continents, The Things We Cherished tells the story of Charlotte Gold and Jack Harrington, two fiercely independent attorneys who find themselves slowly falling for one another while working to defend the brother of a Holocaust hero against allegations of World War II-era war crimes.

The defendant, wealthy financier Roger Dykmans, mysteriously refuses to help in his own defense, revealing only that proof of his innocence lies within an intricate timepiece last seen in Nazi Germany. As the narrative moves from Philadelphia to Germany, Poland, and Italy, we are given glimpses of the lives that the anniversary clock has touched over the past century, and learn about the love affair that turned a brother into a traitor.

Rich in historical detail, Jenoff's astonishing new work is a testament to true love under the worst of circumstances.

Pam Jenoff is the author of the international best-selling book The Kommandant’s Girl’ 

To read a fab review of this head on over to Rhapsody in Books


And Then It Happened by Linda Green
Published:  21 July 2011 - UK

Mel Taylor found her Mr Right at age thirteen. Twenty years on they remain blissfully in love. Everything is perfect – she has the man she loves, a gorgeous daughter, a great job and a dream home. But Mel’s happiness is overshadowed by a niggling feeling that it’s all been a bit too easy. Despite her husband Adam’s efforts to reassure her that nothing bad is going to happen, Mel can’t shake the feeling that all good things must come to an end. And then it happens…

According to this article Linda Green’s new novel has been written with help from staff at Daniel Yorath House.


Hotwire by Alex Kava  (9th book in the Maggie O’Dell Series)
Published:  21 July 2011 - UK …......... 12 July 2011 - USA

On a crisp fall evening in western Nebraska, what started as a group of kids filming their drug-fueled party ends in an explosive light show, leaving the victims apparently electrocuted, with odd scorch marks being the only evidence. While Maggie tries to make sense of the different stories, sifting through what is real and what is hallucination, she realizes that the surviving teens are being targeted and systematically eliminated.
Meanwhile on the East Coast, Maggie's FBI partner, R.J. Tully, and Army colonel Benjamin Platt are at the scene of a deadly outbreak, desperate to identify the pathogen that has infected children at a Virginia elementary school. Despite the miles that separate them, the two cases collide as Maggie, Tully, and Platt uncover secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the remote Midwest landscape.

According to best-selling author Lisa Gardner “Twisted plots, shocking characters, breakneck pacing.  An Alex Kava thriller is guaranteed to keep you up all night, and you’ll be happy about it!”

The website of Alex Kava can be found here


The House By The Sea by Santa Montefiore
Published:  21 July 2011 - UK & USA

Ten-year-old Floriana is captivated by the beauty of the magnificent Tuscan villa that overlooks the sea just outside her small village. She likes to spy from the crumbling wall into the gardens, and imagine that one day she'll escape her meagre existence and live there.
One day, Dante, the son of the villa's powerful industrialist owner, invites her inside. From that moment on Floriana knows that her destiny is there, with him.
But as they grow up they cross an unseen line, jeopardising the very thing they hold most dear. Decades later and hundreds of miles away, a beautiful old country house hotel on England's Devon coast has fallen on hard times. Its owner, Marina, advertises for an artist-in-residence to stay the summer and teach the guests how to paint. Rafael Santoro is charismatic and wise, and soon begins to pacify the discord in her family. However, Rafa is not who he seems. He has his own agenda. Whether to destroy, to seduce, or to heal, it is certain to affect them all.
Spanning four decades and sweeping from the Italian countryside to the English coast, this new story by Santa Montefiore is a moving and mysterious tale of love, forgiveness and the past revealed.

I have this book to read.   I see from her website that she is a very prolific writer, though I’ve never read any of her books before.  I’m looking forward to this.

Sharon at Jera's Jamboree has recently read this ...... read her brilliant review here .......... I think she enjoyed it!



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