For the past couple of years I’ve been pretty restrained with my book buying. Partly due to my commitment to only buy from Australian stores (books are darned expensive here so I am selective). Partly due to my desire for less clutter (I keep only books I adore and want to share with others or read again). Partly due to wanting to save money for other things (turns out I can’t renovate a house and buy my own weight in books every few weeks). But over the last month or two I have regressed to the bad old days of buying more books than I can possibly read even though I have a pile of unread books waiting at home and a perfectly wonderful library system at my disposal.
I’ve been telling myself it’s because I’m trying to find something interesting to nominate for my book club (it’s my turn this month) but myself doesn’t really believe that excuse. It’s not like I’m going to read the first chapters of them all before deciding which one to choose for us all to read.
I think I just missed buying books. And in the scheme of things it’s a pretty harmless addiction so I’m not going to fret too much. Most of the house renovations are done now 🙂
Meanwhile, I have no clue what to choose for my book club to read so it’s over to you… vote in the poll or leave a comment offering a passionate argument for one or other of these books…especially if you think it’s a good book for a group read/discussion.
Confession: I’ve actually bought more books than this but for one reason or another they are not suitable for book club. Which of course makes the book club defence even more outlandish than ever. Sigh.
Australia – Can you become someone else without the world noticing? When David’s wife confesses that she was once a prostitute, the revelation doesn’t disturb him — he considers it simply an error of youth. But the following night David collapses from a rare brain disease and within a few months his world is turned upside down. It was a perfectly acceptable life — successful business, happy marriage, two children. Why then has David involved himself in an identity-theft crime worth millions of dollars? Why is he taking instructions from the oddly eloquent, handsome criminal, Ben Strbic? David can’t quite understand the sequence of events that has led him here, only that he must continue to the very end. As the days and months progress, a scam that was meant to be straightforward becomes a perilous mystery unfolding in David’s very own life.
Norway – When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found.
Detective Mia Krüger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.
But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team are unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.
Sweden – Historical – Stockholm 1856. Magnus is a geologist. When the Minister sends him to survey the distant but strategically vital Lapland region around Blackasen Mountain, it is a perfect cover for another mission: Magnus must investigate why one of the nomadic Sami people, native to the region, has apparently slaughtered in cold blood a priest, a law officer and a settler in their rectory.
Is there some bigger threat afoot? Blackasen seems to be a place of many secrets.
But the Minister has more than a professional tie to Magnus, and at the last moment, he adds another responsibility. Disgusted by the wayward behaviour of his daughter Lovisa – Magnus’s sister-in law – the Minister demands that Magnus take her with him on his arduous journey.
Thus the two unlikely companions must venture out of the sophisticated city, up the coast and across country, to the rough-hewn religion and politics of the settler communities, the mystical, pre-Christian ways of the people who have always lived on this land, and the strange, compelling light of the midnight sun.
Japan – When a body wrapped in a blue plastic tarp and tied up with twine is discovered near the bushes near a quiet suburban Tokyo neighborhood, Lt. Reiko Himekawa and her squad take the case. The victim was slaughtered brutally—his wounds are bizarre, and no one can figure out the “what” or the “why” of this crime.
At age twenty-nine, Reiko Himekawa of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police’s Homicide Division is young to have been made lieutenant, particularly because she lacks any kind of political or family connections. Despite barriers created by age, gender, and lack of connections, she is mentally tough, oblivious to danger, and has an impressive ability to solve crimes.
Reiko makes a discovery that leads the police to uncover eleven other bodies, all wrapped in the same sort of plastic. Few of the bodies are identifiable, but the ones that are have no connection to each other. The only possible clue is a long shot lead to a website spoken only in whispers on the Internet, something on the dark web known as “Strawberry Night.”
But while she is hunting the killer, the killer is hunting her… and she may very well have been marked as the next victim.
Australia – It starts in a suburban backyard with Darren Keefe and his older brother, sons of a fierce and gutsy single mother. The endless glow of summer, the bottomless fury of contest. All the love and hatred in two small bodies poured into the rules of a made-up game. Darren has two big talents: cricket and trouble. No surprise that he becomes an Australian sporting star of the bad-boy variety—one of those men who’s always got away with things and just keeps getting. Until the day we meet him, middle aged, in the boot of a car. Gagged, cable-tied, a bullet in his knee. Everything pointing towards a shallow grave.