When Margot goes in search of her birth mother for the first time, she meets her aunt, Nikki, instead. Margot learns that her mother, Susan, was a sex worker murdered soon after Margot’s adoption. To this day, Susan’s killer has never been found. Nikki asks Margot for help. She has received threatening and haunting letters from the murderer, for decades. She is determined to find him, but she can’t do it alone.
While on her daily walk with her dog in the nearby woods, our protagonist comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground with stones. Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body. Shaky even on her best days, she is also alone, and new to this area, having moved here from her long-time home after the death of her husband, and now deeply alarmed. Her brooding about the note grows quickly into a full-blown obsession, as she explores multiple theories about who Magda was and how she met her fate. Her suppositions begin to find echoes in the real world, and the fog of mystery starts to form into a concrete and menacing shape. But is there either a more innocent explanation for all this, or a much more sinister one – one that strikes closer to home?
Natasha Rothwell leads a sheltered life with her beautiful, bohemian mother in a crumbling house by the sea. From a young age she has been beset by strange dreams that she believes predict the future. The summer Natasha turns fifteen, strange dancing lights appear in the sky above her small seaside town, lights that she interprets as portents of doom and which lead her to reveal her gift to the small, insular community. Meanwhile, the arrival of a new lodger, the handsome Mr Bowen, threatens to upset the delicate equilibrium between mother and daughter. As news of the lights spreads, more and more visitors arrive, creating a feverish atmosphere of anticipation and dread. Then a local teenager goes missing, and Natasha is called on to use her powers to help.
Teenage Eulabee and her magnetic best friend, Maria Fabiola, own the streets of Sea Cliff, their foggy oceanside San Francisco neighbourhood. They know Sea Cliff’s homes and beaches, its hidden corners and eccentric characters – as well as the upscale all-girls’ school they attend. One day, walking to school with friends, they witness a horrible act – or do they? Eulabee and Maria Fabiola vehemently disagree on what happened, and their rupture is followed by Maria Fabiola’s sudden disappearance – a potential kidnapping that shakes the quiet community and threatens to expose unspoken truths. Suspenseful and poignant, ‘We Run the Tides’ is Vendela Vida’s masterful portrait of an inimitable place on the brink of radical transformation.
When his daughter Samantha calls in the dead of night, John Rebus knows it’s not good news. Her husband has been missing for two days. Rebus fears the worst – and knows from his lifetime in the police that his daughter will be the prime suspect. He wasn’t the best father – the job always came first – but now his daughter needs him more than ever. But is he going as a father or a detective? As he leaves at dawn to drive to the windswept coast – and a small town with big secrets – he wonders whether this might be the first time in his life where the truth is the one thing he doesn’t want to find.
1957, south-east suburbs of London. Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper, disappointed in love and – on the brink of 40 – living a limited existence with her truculent mother: a small life from which there is no likelihood of escape. When a young Swiss woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud. But the more Jean investigates, the more her life becomes strangely (and not unpleasantly) intertwined with that of the Tilburys.
Robert is a struggling writer living in Berlin with his wife and two young daughters. In a bookshop one night, he meets Patrick, an enigmatic stranger with a sensational story to tell: a ghostwriter for a Russian oligarch recently found hanged, who is now being followed. But is he really in danger? Patrick’s life strikes Robert as a fabrication, but a magnetic one that begins to obsess him. He decides to use Patrick, and his story.
When an American sailor from the Holy Loch Base goes missing, Harry McCoy is determined to find him. But as he investigates, a wave of bombings hits Glasgow – with the threat of more to come. Soon McCoy realises that the sailor may be part of a shadowy organisation committed to a very different kind of Scotland. One they are prepared to kill for. Meanwhile Cooper, McCoy’s long-time criminal friend, is released from jail and convinced he has a traitor in his midst. As allies become enemies, Cooper has to fight for his position and his life.
Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Inside the walls of their old cottage they make music, and in the garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance. But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother’s secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake.
Millie Spark can kill anyone. A special effects make-up artist, her talent is to create realistic scenes of bloody violence. Then, one day, she wakes to find her lover dead in her bed. 25 years later, her sentence for murder served, Millicent is ready to give up on her broken life – until she meets troubled film student and reluctant petty thief Jerry. Together, they begin to discover that all was not what it seemed on that fateful night – and someone doesn’t want them to find out why.
‘American Dirt’ explores the experience of attempting to illegally cross the US-Mexico border, a journey which thousands of migrants make each year. Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop. Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist. Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved most in the world. Today, her eight-year-old son Luca is all she has left. For him, she will carry a machete strapped to her leg. For him, she will leap onto the roof of a high speed train. For him, she will find the strength to keep running.
Marlene Wegener is on the run. She has stolen something from her husband, something priceless, irreplaceable. But she doesn’t get very far. When her car veers off a bleak midwinter road she takes refuge in the remote home of Simon Keller, a tough mountain man who lives alone with his demons. Here in her high mountain sanctuary, she begins to rekindle a sense of herself: tough, capable, no longer the trophy on a gangster’s arm. But Herr Wegener does not know how to forgive, and in his rage he makes a pact with the devil. The Trusted Man. He cannot be called off, he cannot be reasoned with and one way or another he will get the job done. Unless, of course, he’s beaten to it.