Books in the news... January 30-31

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The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum features lots of new fiction! All available to request from the library. 

Dead Joker / Anne Holt ; translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce
Chief Prosecutor Sigurd Halvorsrud's wife is found dead in front of the fireplace in the family living room. The cause of death is instantly apparent - she has been brutally decapitated. Halvorsrud immediately falls under suspicion. Then a journalist at one of Oslo's largest newspapers is found beheaded. What links these two horrifically violent crimes? Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen is called in to lead the investigation with her old colleague Billy T. But the most demanding task that Hanne Wilhelmsen has ever faced in her career clashes with the worst crisis in her personal life. Cecilie, the woman she lived with for almost twenty years, is seriously ill. Wilhelmsen must ask herself: is the truth worth chasing at all costs?


Beside myself / Anne Morgan
Helen and Ellie are identical twins - like two peas in a pod, everyone says. ..The girls know this isn't true, though: Helen is the leader and Ellie the follower...Until they decide to swap places: just for fun, and just for one day...But Ellie refuses to swap back...And so begins a nightmare from which Helen cannot wake up. Her toys, her clothes, her friends, her glowing record at school, the favour of her mother and the future she had dreamed of are all gone to a sister who blossoms in the approval that used to belong to Helen. And as the years pass, she loses not only her memory of that day but also herself - until eventually only 'Smudge' is left...Twenty-five years later, Smudge receives a call from out of the blue. It threatens to pull her back into her sister's dangerous orbit, but if this is her only chance to face the past, how can she resist?..Beside Myself is a compulsive and darkly brilliant psychological thriller about family and identity - what makes us who we are and how very fragile it can be.

All the stars in the heavens : a novel / Adriana Trigiani
Born in the golden age of Hollywood, All the Stars in the Heavens captures the luster, drama, power, and secrets that could only thrive in the studio system viewed through the lives of an unforgettable cast of players creating magic on the screen and behind the scenes.In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling, and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Adriana Trigiani takes us back to Tinsel Town's golden age an era as brutal as it was resplendent and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame and success. With meticulous, beautiful detail, Trigiani paints a rich, historical landscape of 1930s Los Angeles, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he's already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress instantly.Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young's secretary, the innocent and pious young Alda must navigate the wild terrain of Hollywood with fierce determination and a moral code that derives from her Italian roots. Over the course of decades, she and Loretta encounter scandal and adventure, choose love and passion, and forge an enduring bond of love and loyalty that will be put to the test when they eventually face the greatest obstacle of their lives.

Eden gardens / Louise Brown
Calcutta, the 1940s. In a ramshackle house, streets away from the grand colonial mansions of the British, live Maisy, her Mam and their ayah, Pushpa. Whiskey-fuelled and poverty-stricken, Mam entertains officers in the night - a disgrace to British India. All hopes are on beautiful Maisy to restore their good fortune.



Grand Slam / Kathryn Ledson
Erica Jewell can't worry about hunky hired gun, Jack Jones, and his commitment-phobic ways. She's flat out managing Dega Oil's sponsorship of the Australian Open tennis, and doing a pretty good job of it. That is until a devastating oil rig explosion sends Dega's reputation and share price plummeting.

Public outrage over the incident upsets Emilio Méndez – the tournament's biggest drawcard – and he wants to cut ties with Dega. When Erica is sent to calm him, Emilio becomes convinced he can't win without her. He demands she stay close and the media misinterprets their relationship, much to Jack's irritation. Meanwhile, danger lurks, threatening Emilio and Erica, and she must race against time to discover: who's trying to kill them and why?

The things we keep / Sally Hepworth
Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.



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