I flagged up Jess Richards' debut novel Snake Ropes a few days ago, but today I wanted to give you a closer look at the cover - which is by Dan Funderburgh - as it's very striking and rather beautiful, and a snippet of the text to get the feel of it.
Here's the book's opening:
"The tall men in boats are coming. I see them through the window, close to the beach. My little brother is sat on my lap. Him puts hims hands on the table, leans round and looks up at me. Hims brown eyes have my reflection inside.
I smile at him, stroke the curls on the back of hims head where they need a wash. I say, 'Sorry Barney. I've got to get you hid, them're coming.' Him grips on my neck hard, buries hims face in my hair and I carry him across the room. Him is so warm and I want to hang on to him, but I put him down by the cupboard door, and hims face trying to look all angered makes we want to laugh, but I dun."
The book features crows who become statues and sisters who get tangled in each other's hair, keys that talk and ghosts who demand to be buried - intriguing stuff, well matched, by the look of it, by that great design.