I got a copy of Buzz Books 2016, an exclusive preview of the top 40 highest anticipated adult fiction, debut fiction and non-fiction from NetGalley.
My top picks for adult fiction and debut fiction are below. These all sound like cracking reads. The extracts included made me really want to read them.
ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR BY ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE
BLURB: Late one winter afternoon in upstate New York, George Clare comes home to find his wife murdered and their three-year-old daughter alone–for how many hours?–in her room down the hall. He had recently, begrudgingly, taken a position at the private college nearby teaching art history, and moved his family into this tight-knit, impoverished town. And he is the immediate suspect–the question of his guilt echoing in a story shot through with secrets both personal and professional. While his parents rescue him from suspicion, a persistent cop is stymied at every turn in proving Clare a heartless murderer. The pall of death is ongoing, and relentless; behind one crime are others, and more than twenty years will pass before a hard kind of justice is finally served. At once a classic “who-dun-it” that morphs into a “why-and-how-dun-it,” this is also a rich and complex portrait of a psychopath and a marriage, and an astute study of the various taints that can scar very different families, and even an entire community.
RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2016
THERE WILL BE STARS BY BILLY COFFEY
BLURB: “In a life full of lies, he settled finally for the truth.” No one in Mattingly ever believed Bobby Barnes would live to see old age. Drink would either rot Bobby from the inside out or dull his senses just enough to send his truck off the mountain on one of his nightly rides. Although Bobby believes such an end possible-and even likely-it doesn’t stop him from taking his twin sons Matthew and Mark into the mountains one Saturday night. A sharp curve, blinding headlights, metal on metal, his sons’ screams. Bobby’s final thought as he sinks into blackness is a curious one-there will be stars. Yet it is not death that greets him beyond the veil. Instead, he returns to the day he has just lived and finds he is not alone in this strange new world. Six others are trapped there with him. Bobby soon discovers that rather than the place of peace he had been led to believe he was in, it’s actually a place of secrets and hidden dangers. Along with three others, he seeks to escape, even as the world around him begins to crumble. The escape will lead some to greater life, others to endless death …and Bobby Barnes to understand the deepest nature of love.
RELEASE DATE: June 9, 2016
WHERE I LOST HER BY T. GREENWOOD
BLURB: Eight years ago, Tess and Jake were considered a power couple of the New York publishing world–happy, in love, planning a family. Failed fertility treatments and a heartbreaking attempt at adoption have fractured their marriage and left Tess edgy and adrift. A visit to friends in rural Vermont throws Tess’s world into further chaos when she sees a young, half-dressed child in the middle of the road, who then runs into the woods like a frightened deer.
The entire town begins searching for the little girl. But there are no sightings, no other witnesses, no reports of missing children. As local police and Jake point out, Tess’s imagination has played her false before. And yet Tess is compelled to keep looking, not only to save the little girl she can’t forget but to salvage her broken heart as well.
Blending her trademark lyrical prose with a superbly crafted and suspenseful narrative, Where I Lost Her is a gripping, haunting novel from a remarkable storyteller.
RELEASE DATE: 23 February, 2016
BEFORE THE FALL BY NOAH HAWLEY
BLURB: The elite have everything: money, cars, private jets and beautiful families. David Whitehead and Ben Kipling are the top of the elite, both influential men with jobs in the media and finance, both travelling back to New York on a private jet after a vacation with their families, and both with secrets that could ruin their lives.
Invited on a whim by David’s wife, Scott Burroughs, a middle-aged painter, finds himself on their plane – he needs to visit New York for a meeting that could spark a revival in his failed career.
But sixteen minutes into its journey the plane crashes into the sea, Scott and the Whiteheads’ four-year-old son are the only survivors. With a little boy’s life in his hands Scott begins to swim – an epic journey to the coast. In the rectifying hours, he cannot imagine how his life will be changed forever.
With the SEC, FBI and National Transportation Safety Board investigating what happened to the plane, and the lives of everyone on board – the Whiteheads, the Kiplings and the crew – it is not long before their secrets start to come into the light. It seems as though the crash might be more than a tragic accident…
RELEASE DATE: January 5, 2017
THE FIREMAN BY JOE HILL
BLURB: No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.
Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.
Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.
In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.
RELEASE DATE: June 7, 2016
ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN BY WENDY WALKER
BLURB: In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut, everything seems picture perfect.
Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.
As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.
RELEASE DATE: July 2, 2016
UNDER THE HARROW BY FLYNN BERRY
BLURB: When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel’s familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder.
Stunned and adrift, Nora finds she can’t return to her former life. An unsolved assault in the past has shaken her faith in the police, and she can’t trust them to find her sister’s killer. Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger. As Nora’s fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.
RELEASE DATE: June 14, 2016
THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER BY PHAEDRA PATRICK
BLURB: Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater-vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden.
But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam’s death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam’s possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he’s never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife’s secret life before they met—a journey that leads him to find hope, healing and self-discovery in the most unexpected places.
RELEASE DATE: May 3, 2016
MAGRUDER’S CURIOSITY CABINET BY H.P WOOD
BLURB: Kitty Hayward and her mother are ready to experience the spectacles of Coney Island s newest attraction, the Dreamland amusement park. But when Kitty s mother vanishes from their hotel, she finds herself penniless, alone, and far from her native England. The last people she expects to help are the cast of characters at Magruder s Curiosity Cabinet, a museum of oddities. From con men to strongmen, from flea wranglers to lion tamers, Kitty s new friends quickly adopt her and vow to help find the missing Mrs. Hayward. But even these unusual inhabitants may not be a match for the insidious sickness that begins to spread through Coney Island…or the panic that turns Dreamland into a nightmare. With shades of Water For Elephants and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Magruder s Curiosity Cabinet sweeps readers into a mesmerizing world where nothing is as it seems, and where normal is the exception to the rule.
RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2016