New Fiction in October

Here's a sneak peek at some of the newest and most enticing fiction landing on the shelves in the Upper Clutha branch libraries

 


Killing and Dying is a stunning showcase of the possibilities of the graphic novel medium and a wry exploration of loss, creative ambition, identity, and family dynamics. With this work, Adrian Tomine (Shortcomings, Scenes from an Impending Marriage) reaffirms his place not only as one of the most significant creators of contemporary comics but as one of the great voices of modern American literature. His gift for capturing emotion and intellect resonates here: the weight of love and its absence, the pride and disappointment of family, the anxiety and hopefulness of being alive in the twenty-first century.

 


A new teacher at a New England prep school ignites a gender war with deadly consequences in The Swallows.
What do you love? What do you hate? What do you want? It starts with this simple writing prompt from Alex Witt, Stonebridge Academy's new creative writing teacher. When the students' answers raise disturbing questions of their own, Ms. Witt knows there's more going on the school than the faculty wants to see. As the school's secrets begin to trickle out, a boys-versus-girls skirmish turns into an all-out war, with deeply personal - and potentially fatal - consequences for everyone involved. Lisa Lutz's blistering, timely tale shows us what can happen when silence wins out over decency for too long.

 


One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach. Seth Beauman can't sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans. But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home, and someone is watching. Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction's most exceptional voices.

 


Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it, teaching diving lessons, baking cookies for new neighbors, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run their local book club. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her adorable infant son. And, of course, the steadfast and supportive Charlotte. But Amy's sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night. Sultry and magnetic, Roux beguiles the group with her feral charm. She keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it's naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way, a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did.
A diabolically entertaining tale of betrayal, deception, temptation, and love filled with dark twists leavened by Joshilyn Jackson's trademark humor, Never Have I Ever explores what happens when the transgressions of our past come back with a vengeance.

 


Alex Pheby's extraordinary novel Lucia takes us inside the darkness of Lucia Joyce - gifted dancer, lover of Samuel Beckett, daughter of James Joyce - who spent her last thirty years in an asylum. Since her death her voice has been silenced, her correspondence burned and her story shrouded in mystery. In sharp, cutting shards of narrative this novel evokes the things that may have been done to Lucia, for her and against her. Yet while it tells these stories in vivid and heart-breaking detail, it also questions what it means to recreate a life.

 


We drive at high speed along back roads, through woods, vineyards, and oat fields. The bike smells like gasoline and makes a lot of noise, and sometimes I'm frightened when the wheels slip on the gravel on the dirt road, but the only thing that matters is that I'm holding on to him, that I'm holding on to him outside.
Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back at the relationship he's never forgotten, a hidden affair with a gorgeous boy named Thomas during their last year of high school. Without ever acknowledging they know each other in the halls, they steal time to meet in secret, carrying on a passionate, world-altering affair. Besson's powerfully moving coming-of-age story Lie with me captures the eroticism and tenderness of first love, and the heartbreaking passage of time.



Jack Bick's life is imploding under the pressure of alcoholism and his many deceptions. When an interview with a cult novelist reveals a huge story, he knows it could save his job at a lifestyle magazine. But the novelist knows something about Bick, and the two men are drawn into a bizarre, violent partnership.
With its rich emotional palette, Plume explores the relationship between truth and memory: personal truth, journalistic truth, novelistic truth. It is a surreal and mysterious exploration of the precariousness of life in modern London.

 

In A song for a day, a captivating new science fiction novel from an award-winning author, public gatherings are illegal making concerts impossible, except for those willing to break the law for the love of music, and for one chance at human connection.
In the Before, when the government didn't prohibit large public gatherings, Luce Cannon was on top of the world. One of her songs had just taken off and she was on her way to becoming a star. Now, in the After, terror attacks and deadly viruses have led the government to ban concerts, and Luce's connection to the world - her music, her purpose - is closed off forever. She does what she has to do, performing in illegal concerts to a small but passionate community while always evading the law.
Rosemary Laws barely remembers the Before times. She spends her days in Hoodspace, helping customers order all of their goods online for drone delivery, no physical contact with humans needed. By lucky chance, she finds a new job and a new calling: discover amazing musicians and bring their concerts to everyone via virtual reality. The only catch is that she'll have to do something she's never done before - go out in public to and the illegal concerts and bring musicians into the limelight they deserve. But when she sees how the world could actually be, that won't be enough.

Set in a 1960s English new town, Your Fault charts one boy's childhood from first memory to first love. A year older in each chapter, Peter's story is told to him by his future self as he attempts to recreate the optimism and futurism of the 1960s, and to reveal how that utopianism fares as it emerges into the Seventies. It's an untold story of British working class experience, written with extraordinary precision and tenderness.