Following on from yesterday's post, here is the balance of this week's arrivals:
A Commonplace Killing is the last novel by Siân Busby who sadly died in September. The book has an introduction by the BBC's Robert Peston, Siân's husband, who transcribed the final part of the handwritten manuscript in the days after her death, and you can read it here. The novel itself will be broadcast on Radio 4's Book at Bedtime in June, and is about the discovery of a body, that of Lillian Frobisher, on a bomb site in north London in 1946. How did she come to be on the site? Whay was her husband unaware that she hadn't come home that night? "In this gripping murder story, Siân Busby gradually peels away the veneer of stoicism and respectability to reveal the dark truths at the heart of postwar austerity Britain."
Next, "a Victorian gothic thriller by a master of the genre," The Asylum by John Harwood. "A young woman wakes in a strange bed... a sickly light filters through a metal grille. Dr. Maynard Straker steps into the room, and speaks. 'Have no fear, Miss Ashton. I am entirely at your service.' But that is not her name and she should not be here - in the Asylum. She is Miss Georgina Ferrars, of Gresham's Yard, London. And she can prove it. But when Dr. Straker sends a telegram to her uncle, the reply is swift: 'Georgina Ferrars here. Your patient must be an imposter.'"A Girl Like You by Maureen Lindley begins in 1939 in rural California. Thirteen-year-old "Satomi Baker is used to being different, being half American, half Japanese. When war is declared, Satomi's father Aaron is one of the first to sign up and is sent to the base at Pearl Harbor. He never returns. The community which has tolerated its foreign residents for decades suddenly turns on them, and along with thousands of other Japanese-American citizens, Satomi and her mother are sent to a brutal labour camp in the wilderness ... At Manzanar, Satomi learns what it takes to survive, and what it means to be American. But it will be years before she will discover who she really is under the surface of her skin."
Winner of the Athens Prize for Literature in 2008, What Lot's Wife Saw by Ioanna Bourazopoulou, translated by Yiannis Panas, is a story of betrayal, sacrifice and unconditional love in a post-apocalyptic world. "It's been twenty-five years since the Overflow flooded Southern Europe, drowning Rome, Vienna and Istanbul, and turning Paris into a major port. At the Dead Sea, the earth has opened up to reveal a strange violet salt to the which the world has become addicted, and a colony has been established by the mysterious Consortium of Seventy-Five to control the supply. Run by murderers, fugitives and liars, the Colony is a haven to those fleeing Europe, but when its governor dies suddenly and mysteriously, the six officials turn on each other, sparking a terrifying chain of events which threatens its very existence. In Paris, Phileas Book, the greatest crossword compiler of his age and creator of the Epistleword, is recruited by the sinister Consortium. Presented with the epistolary confessions of the six, he is ordered to sift truth from lies to find out who killed the governor. But as Phileas starts to unravel the mystery, he begins to realise that these are no ordinary letters and that nothing less than the course of human history is at stake."