Publishers Picks – Thin Blue Spine

Ones to Watch: Spring 2018

 

Jenny Quintana
The Missing Girl (1 January)

When Anna Flores’ adored older sister goes missing as a teenager, Anna copes by disappearing too, just as soon as she can: running as far away from her family as possible, and eventually building a life for herself abroad. QUINTANA

Thirty years later, the death of her mother finally forces Anna to return home. Tasked with sorting through her mother’s possessions, she begins to confront not just her mother’s death, but also the huge hole Gabriella’s disappearance left in her life – and finds herself asking a question she’s not allowed herself to ask for years: what really happened to her sister?

With that question comes the revelation that her biggest fear isn’t discovering the worst; it’s never knowing the answer. But is it too late for Anna to uncover the truth about Gabriella’s disappearance?


Danya Kukafka

Girl in Snow  (11 January)

As morning dawns in a sleepy Colorado suburb, a dusting of snow covers high-school freshman Lucinda Hayes’s dead body on a playground carousel. Accusations spread quickly and Lucinda’s tragic death draws three outsiders from the shadows.girl-in-snow-

Oddball Cameron Whitley loved – still loves – Lucinda. Though they’ve hardly ever spoken, and any sensible onlooker would call him Lucinda’s stalker, Cameron is convinced that he knows her better than anyone. Completely untethered by the news of her death, Cameron’s erratic behaviour provides the town ample reason to suspect that he’s the killer.

Jade Dixon-Burns hates Lucinda. Lucinda took everything from her. The worst part was Lucinda’s blissful ignorance to the damage she’d wrought.

Officer Russ Fletcher doesn’t know Lucinda, but he knows the kid everyone is talking about, the boy who may have killed her. Cameron Whitley is his ex-partner’s son. Now Russ must take a painful journey through the past to solve Lucinda’s murder and keep a promise he made long ago.


 

Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
The Wife Between Us (8 February)

The woman before . . .Wife between us

Vanessa and Richard fell deeply in love and were married for seven years – until he left her for another woman, someone younger and more desirable. She now spends her days immersed in painful memories, trying to decipher how it all went so wrong. Of course, she isn’t blameless – she was never the woman Richard thought she was.

. . . the woman after

Nellie is engaged to the man of her dreams. Caring, charismatic and accomplished, Richard provides her with the security she has always craved. But as their wedding draws closer, she can’t shake the sense that someone is watching her. That someone is following her wherever she goes.

The wife in between . . .

No one knows the truth about what really happens within a marriage, even a seemingly happy one. But Vanessa is certain of one thing: She will do whatever it takes to stop Richard’s wedding before it’s too late. . .


 

Fiona Cummins
The Collector (22 February)

‘A THRILLING FOLLOW-UP TO RATTLE FROM THE NEW BLOOD PANEL AUTHOR’
‘TERRIFIC’ – Val McDermid
‘EXCELLENT’ – Martina Cole

The Collector is out there.PROD-Fiona-Cummings
Watching.
Waiting.

He can’t forget the one who got away and the detective who destroyed his dreams.
He won’t give up.
And this time he has nothing to lose
Because this time, he has an apprentice …


Rhiannon Navin
Only Child (8 March)

The thing I later remembered the most about the day the gunman came was my teacher Miss Russell’s breath. It was hot and smelled like coffee.
Rhiannon Navin
THE GUNMAN DESTROYED SEVEN YEAR-OLD ZACH’S WORLD THAT DAY.

Miss Russell got everyone in the closet and pulled the door shut. The whole time we could hear the POP sounds. I tried to count them in my head.
POP – 1 POP – 2 POP – 3

PUTTING IT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN WILL BE HARD.

My throat felt very dry and scratchy. I really wanted a drink of water.

ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND A LOT OF WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR OWN HEAD, LET ALONE OTHER PEOPLE’S.

POP – 4 POP – 5 POP – 6
“Please, please, please,” Miss Russell whispered. And then she talked to God and she called him “Dear Lord” and I couldn’t understand the rest she said because she was whispering so quiet and fast, I think she wanted only God to hear.

IF YOU’RE CLEVER AND BRAVE AND HAVE BOOKS AND A BROTHER TO HELP YOU, PERHAPS YOU CAN GRADUALLY FIGURE IT OUT.

POP – 7 POP – 8 POP – 9
Always three POPs and then a break.

BUT CAN YOU PERSUADE THE ADULTS AROUND YOU TO LISTEN TO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY?

Told in Zach’s voice, Only Child is a novel about trying to first survive, and then achieve, the unthinkable. It’s a story of love, forgiveness, and being seven-years-old in a world that has suddenly ceased to make sense but where the answer, ultimately, is simple. Impossible — unthinkable, even — but simple . . .


Tom Marcus
Capture or Kill (22 March)

Matt Logan is an MI5 operative for the British government, working undercover to track a pair of brothers known to him and his colleagues as Iron Sword and Stone Fist. They’re both highly dangerous individuals who are suspected of plotting a major terrorist event – an attack that, if unleashed, will rock the country to its very core.

Frustrated by always needing to obey the rules, Logan yearns for a way to break through the bureaucracy that halts his progress. His wishes appear to come true when the Director General of MI5 calls him to a clandestine meeting and offers him the chance to head up a new, deniable operatives outfit known as The Executive. Knowing that taking on this new role will mean he sees less and less of his already distant family, Logan is torn between his professional and private lives.

It’s only when his wife Sarah and their only child Joseph are killed in a random attack on a day trip to the zoo – while he was, as ever, busy hunting on the streets – that Logan’s mind is made up for him. He will join The Executive and become their fiercest, most ruthless operative yet . . .

Capture or Kill is the first in a breathtaking new series featuring tortured MI5 operative Matt Logan.


 

Michelle Davies
False Witness (22 March)

michelle-davies

It began with a lie . . .

Two children are seen on top of a wall in a school.
Shortly later one of them lies fatally injured at the bottom.

Did the boy fall or was he pushed?

As a family liaison offer, DC Maggie Neville has seen parents crumble under the weight of their child’s death. Imogen Tyler is no different. Her son’s fall was witnessed by the school caretaker and another pupil is under suspicion/being questioned, but Imogen is paralysed by questions. Why was he at the school so early? Why was he with a girl who wasn’t a friend?

For Maggie, finding the answers to these questions is paramount if she is to help the mother. But as she investigates, further questions emerge and the truth suddenly seems far from certain. Could the witness be mistaken about what happened and if he is, then who is responsible? And how far will they go to cover up the boy’s death?


Abigail Tarttelin  
Dead Girls (5 April)

Whose side are you on?

Do I know Billie Brooke? Do I know Billie? How am I supposed to answer that? Billie May Brooke and me have been best, true, forever friends since we were in the same antenatal class in our Mums’ tums when we were minus 6 months old.
DEAD GIRLS BOOK
Thera Emily Kathryn Wilde is 11 years, 3 months, 5 days, 17 hours, and 32 minutes old when she’s asked by a police woman if she knows Billie Brooke. She’s always had what might politely be called a mind of her own, and she’s a firm believer in the adage that if you want something doing, then you should do it yourself. So, when it subsequently turns out that Billie has been murdered, it’s no surprise that Thera decides it’s her duty – as Billie’s official best friend, and the last-person-but-one to see her alive – to find the killer and avenge her death.

Aided in her quest by a Ouija board, Billie’s ghost, and the spirits of four other dead girls, Thera is determined. The trouble is that when Thera sets her mind to something, there’s every chance she’ll succeed.
Even if she has no idea what she’s getting into.

Tense, visceral and endearing, Dead Girls is the new novel from Abigail Tarttelin, the critically acclaimed author of Golden Boy.


Jessica Knoll

The Favourite Sister (19 April)Jessica Knoll

From the author of the bestselling debut novel of 2015 Luckiest Girl Alive comes Jessica Knoll’s new thriller, featuring a pair of competitive and uber-successful sisters whose secrets and lies result in murder.

When five hyper-successful, beautiful, and hugely competitive women agree to appear on a new TV show set in New York City called “Goal Diggers”, executives expect a season filled with the petty grievances, vicious social media attacks, and outrageous posturing that makes these shows catnip to the viewing public. But they can’t anticipate the second season of “Goal Diggers” will feature murder.

Structured as a series of episodes, Jessica Knoll’s second novel again delivers a deliciously scathing expose and the same hair-raising plot twists readers loved in Luckiest Girl Alive.