The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan
When DS Cormac Reilly’s girlfriend Emma stumbles across the victim of a hit and run early one morning, he is first on the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him.
The dead girl is carrying an ID, that of Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company. The investigation into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure.
Blood Orange – Harriet Tyce
Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…
I did it. I killed him.
Alison’s client stabbed her husband; she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story feels off…
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
Someone knows Alison’s secret. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….
Bold, provocative and compelling, Blood Orange introduces a stunning new voice in psychological suspense.
Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan
Brain on Fire is the stunning debut from journalist and author Susannah Cahalan, recounting the real-life horror story of how a sudden and mysterious illness put her on descent into a madness for which there seemed to be no cure
‘My first serious blackout marked the line between sanity and insanity. Though I would have moments of lucidity over the coming days and weeks, I would never again be the same person …’
Susannah Cahalan was a happy, clever, healthy twenty-four-year old. Then one day she woke up in hospital, with no memory of what had happened or how she had got there. Within weeks, she would be transformed into someone unrecognizable, descending into a state of acute psychosis, undergoing rages and convulsions, hallucinating that her father had murdered his wife; that she could control time with her mind. Everything she had taken for granted about her life, and who she was, was wiped out.
This is Susannah’s story of her terrifying descent into madness and the desperate hunt for a diagnosis, as, after dozens of tests and scans, baffled doctors concluded she should be confined in a psychiatric ward. It is also the story of how one brilliant man, Syria-born Dr Najar, finally proved – using a simple pen and paper – that Susannah’s psychotic behaviour was caused by a rare autoimmune disease attacking her brain. His diagnosis of this little-known condition, thought to have been the real cause of devil-possessions through history, saved her life, and possibly the lives of many others. Cahalan takes readers inside this newly-discovered disease through the progress of her own harrowing journey, piecing it together using memories, journals, hospital videos and records. Written with passionate honesty and intelligence, Brain on Fire is a searingly personal yet universal book, which asks what happens when your identity is suddenly destroyed, and how you get it back.
The Nickel Boys – Colson Whitehead
Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide ‘physical, intellectual and moral training’ which will equip its inmates to become ‘honorable and honest men’.
In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear ‘out back’. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King’s ringing assertion, ‘Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.’ But Elwood’s fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors.
The tension between Elwood’s idealism and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions.
Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.
Based on a True Story – Delphine De Vigan
‘A wonderful literary trompe l’oeil: a book about friendship, writing and the boundary between reality and fantasy … Dark, smart, strange, compelling’
Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and suffering from a crippling inability to write, Delphine meets L.
L. embodies everything Delphine admires; sophisticated and unusually intuitive, she slowly but deliberately carves herself a niche in the writer’s life. However, as she makes herself indispensable to Delphine, the intensity of this unexpected friendship manifests itself in increasingly sinister ways. And as their lives become further entwined, L. begins to threaten Delphine’s identity and her safety.
To vote on this month’s choice head on over to the Facebook page and cast your photo. Voting closes 12 midnight Thursday 9th January and we will announce the choice the next day!
See you there! Much love Amanda xx