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The ninth hour / Alice McDermott
Alice McDermott
The ninth hour
(London : Bloomsbury, 2017)
Set in Brooklyn in the early twentieth century this precisely-observed and compassionate novel tells the story of Jim and Annie. He sends his pregnant wife out to the shops and commits suicide. A nun in a nearby convent gives the distraught young widow and expectant mother a job in the convent laundry. In a world framed by decorum, superstition and shame the suicide is never spoken of but it reverberates down through the generations. It is a story that is at once wholly individual and universal, and McDermott's telling makes for a very fine work of literature. McDermott has written seven previous novels and lives near Washington D.C.

‌‌The legacy / Yrsa Sigurdadottir
Yrsa Sigurdardottir
The legacy
(London : Hodder & Stoughton, 2017)
Gruesome murders and nail-biting tension are the order of the day in this latest novel by Sigurdardottir, who is often described as the 'Queen of Icelandic Noir'. The methods of dispatch are beyond your most horrible imaginings but the characters and social background of Iceland are nicely observed. Its meant to be the first in a new series of novels featuring 'The Children's House', a refuge for abused or otherwise endangered children. Watch out for the next instalment!

‌‌‌‌The only story / Julian Barnes
Julian Barnes
The only story
(London : Jonathan Cape, 2018)
Barnes uses as an epigraph in this book Samuel Johnson's definition of the novel - 'Novel: A small tale, generally of love' - and this definition from 1755 is still the core of what English fiction is about, human relationships. The 'only story' of the title is the story of how one has loved. Barnes is the author of thirteen novels including The Noise of Time and the Booker Prize winning The Sense of an Ending, as well as short stories, essays and two books of non-fiction. 

‌‌Dunbar / Edward St. Aubyn
Edward St Aubyn
(London : Hogarth, 2017)
This is another volume in the Hogarth Shakespeare Project which features the most acclaimed and bestselling novelists of today retelling Shakespeare's plays as modern fiction. Dunbar tackles King Lear. Henry Dunbar is a once-powerful media magnate now in his dotage in a care home in the Lake District, with three daughters, two of them unkind. St Aubyn is the author of the five Patrick Melrose novels about the British aristocracy which are now being filmed for television with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role.

The saboteur / Andrew Gross
Andrew Gross
The saboteur
(London : Macmillan, 2017)
The saboteur of the title is Kurt Nordstrum, the time is 1943, the place is Norway, the Nazi hold over Europe looks as if it is weakening but the Nazis have one last card to play - the development of the atomic bomb. The centre of research for this is in a complex in the remote north of Norway so Nordstrum teams up with some of his Resistance comrades to sabotage the project. Can they succeed and how much will they have to sacrifice to free their Norwegian homeland and put an end to the Nazis dreams of world domination? This is a brilliant thriller and war story by an author who began his career co-authoring with James Patterson. 

‌‌In the midst of winter / Isabel Allende
Isabel Allende
In the midst of winter
(London : Scribner, 2017)
This is the most recent novel from the Chilean who first attracted the attention of the literary world with her debut novel from 1982, The House of the  Spirits. A cousin of the murdered Chilean president Salvador Allende, she lives in the United States where President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.

‌‌The impostor / Javier Cercas
Javier Cercas
The impostor
(London : MacLehose Press, 2017)
A true story that is packed with fiction - created by the main character, Enric Marco. Cercas's latest novel is billed as fiction but Enric Marco really existed. He was a celebrity in Spain, almost the concience of the nation, a survivor of Mauthausen concentration camp, a fighter against fascism, a veteran of the Civil War, an opponent of Franco - until he was unmasked as a charlatan in 2005. What Cercas explores is Marco's motivation and mankind's capacity for self-deception - and mankind's need for acceptance. Translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne, The Impostor is longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.

‌‌Fear / Dirk Kurbjuweit
Dirk Kurbjuweit
(London : Orion, 2018)
This German thriller is the first by Kurbjuweit to be translated into English though several of his seven novels have been adapted for film, television and radio in Germany. Published in German as Angst, it poses the question what would you do to protect your this case a stalker is living downstairs, someone who is ratcheting up the terror on the family upstairs, and no-one is prepared to help, not the police, not the law. You might die for your family, but would you kill? Perhaps you might...

‌‌The well of ice / Andrea Carter
Andrea Carter
The well of ice
(London : Constable, 2017)
Set on the Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal, this 'traditional' crime story features solicitor Benedicta O'Keeffe and her boyfriend Sergeant Tom Molloy. On a trip to Dublin Benedicta meets Luke Kirby - the man who killed her sister. He is out of jail and though initially remorseful, he tells her something that chills her to the bone. Back in Inishowen in time for Christmas she and Tom are out for a walk on Christmas morning when they discover a body lying face down in the snow. Andrea Carter lived on Inishowen for many years and she is now a barrister in Dublin - this is her third novel, following Death at Whitewater Church and Treacherous Strand.

‌‌The life to come / Michelle de Kretser
Michelle de Kretser
The life to come
(London : Allen & Unwin, 2018)
This novel, or more accurately perhaps, this series of five interlocking stories, is about the true value of friendship and the grip of the past on our lives It is set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka. Pippa, a writer longing for success, is the link between the stories - Celeste is trying to convince herself that her married lover loves her, Ash is haunted by the memories of his childhood in Sri Lanka, Christabel is an elderly Sri Lankan who has made her life caring for her friend in Australia. The author was born in Sri Lanka and lives in Australia. Her previous novel Questions of Travel won the Miles Franklin Literary Award, one of the top literary prizes in Australia.

‌‌To die in spring / Ralf Rothmann
Ralf Rothmann
To die in spring
(London : Picador, 2017),
This novel, translated from the German, has been described (in the Spanish magazine El Pais) as the finest novel about the end of the Second World War for years. Two young German lads, best of friends, are forced to 'volunteer' for the Waffen SS in the final months of the war. One of them, Fiete, is sent to the front, where, revolted by the senseless slaughter, he deserts, only to be captured and sentenced to death. And at the end he is reunited with his friend Walter in catastrophic circumstances. The German title is Im Fruhling sterben, the translation is by Shaun Whiteside. It is Rothmann's eighth novel but the first to be published in the UK.

‌‌‌A long way from home / Peter Carey
Peter Carey
A long way from home
(London : Faber, 2018)
Irene Bobs and her husband Titch are motor sport enthusiasts in 1950s Australia and they enter the Redex Trial, an Australian road race across the continent, with Willie Bachhuber, the fairhaired son of a Protestant preacher, as navigator. Their journey  becomes an exploration of Australia's brutal history of racism and the exploitation and degradation of its indigenous population. Carey's previous novels include the multi-award winning Oscar and Lucinda and The True History of the Kelly Gang. He was born in Australia and lives in New York.

‌‌First person / Richard Flanagan
Richard Flanagan
First person
(London : Chatto & Windus, 2017)
Flanagan's first novel since his Booker Prize winning The Narrow Road to the Deep North is based on an incident from his own life, when as a young writer he was invited to ghostwrite the memoirs of a notorious conman John Friedrich. In the novel Kif Kehlman, a penniless writer, is offered $10,000 to ghostwrite the memoirs of Siegfried Heidl, a corporate criminal who is about to go to jail for his crimes. He accepts the commission but is corrupted by Heidl's corruption and becomes just another purveyor of fake news.

 All these titles are available in Cork City Libraries. Further suggestions from your local librarian at Adult Lending, Bishopstown, Douglas, Tory-Top, Blackpool, Mayfield, and Hollyhill. For additions-to-stock lists in the Rory Gallagher Music Library check here. For selected new films click here 

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