HOW DID I NOT SEE by Kally Haynes
The first line of the book states:
“In the underground car park, I slip into the red Bentley and slam the heavy door.”
So, we are clearly not dealing with events taking place on a dingy Birmingham council estate. Kate (the driver of the Bentley) is clearly not short of a bob or two, but she does lack a Mr Right. She decides to enroll with a online dating agency. What could possibly go wrong?
After a couple of false starts she meets – and is smitten with – the impossibly handsome and disarmingly charming Greg. A breathless romance is followed by marriage, nothwithstanding Kate’s friends urging caution. She dreams of a match made in heaven and, hopefully, motherhood.
Inevitably, it all goes pear shaped. You can find out just how, exactly, by reading the book, which is published by the Book Guild and is available now.
KNOW MORE LIES by Chris Gray
Definitely not in the Bentley and up-market apartment league, but still in the Midlands, this novel tells the tale of Robbie Howard, a lying, thieving young chancer, grifting away on the slightly grubby streets of Leicester. To be fair, Robbie has not had it easy, having been effectively orphaned at the age of 8.
He now lives with – and lies through his teeth to – his elderly and ailing grandfather. As is usually the way with petty crooks, it all becomes unraveled. Robbie tries to engineer a scam involving celebrity second hand clothes (once worn by a famous rock star) that have been donated to a charity shop.
Sadly for the 23 year-old his scheme upsets the wrong people and, in the words of the cover blurb, “COULD ROBBIE’S TIME BE RUNNING OUT?” To find the answer you will have to read the book, which is published by the Book Guild and out now.
RED TRAITOR by Owen Matthews
When you get to my age, you will not only remember where you were and what you were doing when Jack Kennedy was shot, but you will also recall the events of the previous autumn, when the Cuban Missile Crisis seemed to be pushing the world to the brink of war. In a sentence, the USA blockaded the Russian navy, who were intent on delivering nuclear missiles to Fidel Castro’s Cuba, a potential launch site which put every city in America within easy reach.
This novel is based on the real life presence of Russian nuclear submarines in the area, and the story of one Russian naval officer, tired and stressed, deep under the Caribbean, who is ordered to fire a torpedo at one of the American warships. We all know that he didn’t, but this deeply scary novel poses some very interesting “what-ifs”. Published by Bantam Press, Red Traitor is out on 29th July.
BLEAK ENCOUNTER AT THE CAPE by Richard Trahair.
We are in the south-west of England, Cornwall, to be precise, and book lovers will know that its rugged coastline and stormy Atlantic waves have long been a popular location for novelists. Richard Trahair may not yet be in the same league as Wilkie Collins (The Dead Secret) or Daphne du Maurier ( Rebecca, Jamaica Inn) but he brings us a spirited tale of a local volunteer coastguard who discovers a body on the rocks at Cape Cornwall.
When the police shelve the case due to lack of evidence and information, Petroc Tomlyn – and his sceptical wife – decide to mount their own investigation. Their search takes them far beyond Cornwall – to the shores of Lake Geneva – and they uncover a devastating conspiracy. Things come full circle, however, and the dramatic denouement of this novel takes place where it began – on the wild Cornish shore. The novel is published by the Book Guild and is out now.