Hmm, someone has been let loose on NetGalley…
Train Man by Andrew Mulligan (eARC, courtesy of Chatto & Windus, NetGalley and Random Things Tours)
It’s never too late to get back on track.
Michael is a broken man. He’s waiting for the 09.46 to Gloucester, so as to reach Crewe for 11.22: the platforms are long at Crewe, and he can walk easily into the path of a high-speed train to London. He’s planned it all: a net of tangerines (for when the refreshments trolley is cancelled), and a juice carton, full of neat whisky. To make identification swift, he has taped his last credit card to the inside of his shoe.
What Michael hasn’t factored in is a twelve-minute delay, which risks him missing his connection, and making new ones. He longs to silence the voices in his own head: ex-girlfriends, colleagues, and the memories from his schooldays, decades old. They all torment him. What Michael needs is somebody to listen.
A last, lonely journey becomes a lesson in the power of human connection, proving that no matter how bad things seem, it’s never too late to get back on track.
Journeys intersect. People find hope when and where they least expect it. A missed connection needn’t be a disaster: it could just save your life.
The Stationmaster’s Daughter by Kathleen McGurl (eARC, courtesy of HQ Digital, NetGalley and Rachel’s Random Resources)
As the last train leaves, will life ever be the same?
Dorset, 1935. Stationmaster Ted has never cared much for romance. Occupied with ensuring England’s most beautiful railway runs on time, love has always felt like a comparatively trivial matter. Yet when he meets Annie Galbraith on the 8.42 train to Lynford, he can’t help but instantly fall for her.
But when the railway is forced to close and a terrible accident occurs within the station grounds. Ted finds his job and any hope of a relationship with Annie hanging in the balance…
Present day. Recovering from heartbreak after a disastrous marriage, Tilly decides to escape from the bustling capital and move to Dorset to stay with her dad, Ken. When Ken convinces Tilly to help with the restoration of the old railway, she discovers a diary hidden in the old ticket office. Tilly is soon swept up in Ted’s story, and the fateful accident that changed his life forever. But an encounter with an enigmatic stranger takes Tilly by surprise, and she can’t help but feel a connection with Ted’s story in the past…
The Most Difficult Thing by Charlotte Philby (eARC, courtesy of The Borough Press and NetGalley)
On the surface, Anna Witherall personifies everything the aspirational magazine she works for represents. Married to her university boyfriend David, she has a beautiful home and gorgeous three-year-old twin daughters, Stella and Rose. But beneath the veneer of success and happiness, Anna is hiding a dark secret, one that threatens to unravel everything she has worked so hard to create.
As Anna finds herself drawn into the dark and highly controlled world of secret intelligence, she is forced to question her family’s safety, and her own. Only one thing is certain: in order to protect her children, she must leave them, forever.
And someone is watching. Someone she thought she could trust. Someone who is determined to make them all pay.
Stylish and assured, The Most Difficult Thing is an irresistible combination of contemporary espionage and domestic suspense, and a compulsive, highly charged examination of betrayal.
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (eARC, courtesy of Vintage and NetGalley)
Olive, Again follows the blunt, contradictory yet deeply loveable Olive Kitteridge as she grows older, navigating the second half of her life as she comes to terms with the changes – sometimes welcome, sometimes not – in her own existence and in those around her.
Olive adjusts to her new life with her second husband, challenges her estranged son and his family to accept him, experiences loss and loneliness, witnesses the triumphs and heartbreaks of her friends and neighbours in the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine – and, finally, opens herself to new lessons about life.
Razia by Abda Khan (eARC, courtesy of Unbound and Random Things Tours)
Farah is a young lawyer living and working in London. She’s just ended a long relationship, and her parents are looking for a husband – whether Farah wants one or not. So far, so normal. But at a work dinner, hosted by a dangerously powerful man, she comes across a young woman called Razia, who Farah soon realises is being kept as a domestic slave. We follow Farah’s daring investigations from the law courts of London to the brick kilns of Lahore, as she begins to uncover the traps that keep generation after generation enslaved. Everywhere she turns there is deep-rooted oppression and corruption, and when the authorities finally intervene, their actions have dire consequences. Farah teams up with a human rights lawyer, Ali, and the two become close… but can she trust him; can they help Razia and others like her; and will they ever discover the explosive secret behind these tragic events?
A Cornish Affair by Jo Lambert (eARC, courtesy of ChocLit and Rachel’s Random Resources)
Even in your hometown, you can feel like an outsider …
In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.
The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.
But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …
Bone China by Laura Purcell (eARC, courtesy of Raven Books and NetGalley)
Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm.
Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last…
A Tapestry of Treason by Anne O’Brien (eARC, courtesy of HQ Stories and NetGalley)
1399: Constance of York, Lady Despenser, proves herself more than a mere observer in the devious intrigues of her magnificently dysfunctional family, The House of York.
Surrounded by power-hungry men, including her aggressively self-centred husband Thomas and ruthless siblings Edward and Richard, Constance places herself at the heart of two treasonous plots against King Henry IV. Will it be possible for this Plantagenet family to safeguard its own political power by restoring either King Richard II to the throne, or the precarious Mortimer claimant?
Although the execution of these conspiracies will place them all in jeopardy, Constance is not deterred, even when the cost of her ambition threatens to overwhelm her. Even when it endangers her new-found happiness.
With treason, tragedy, heartbreak and betrayal, this is the story of a woman ahead of her time, fighting for herself and what she believes to be right in a world of men.
On What Cathy Read Next last week
Wednesday – WWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just read, what I’m currently reading and what I plan to read next…and have a good nose around to see what other bloggers are reading. I also hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Body Lies by Jo Baker sharing my review of this intriguing literary thriller.
Saturday – I published my review of my Buchan of the Month for June, The Dancing Floor by John Buchan.
As always, thanks to everyone who has liked, commented on or shared my blog posts on social media this week.
On What Cathy Read Next this week
- Book Review: Where the Hornbeam Grows by Beth Lynch
- Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Favourites
- Waiting on Wednesday
- Book Review: Hudson’s Kill by Paddy Hirsch
- Six Degrees of Separation
- Blog Tour/Book Review: Train Man by Andew Mulligan