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By Michael Robotham

A girl is found hiding in a secret room in a house being renovated after a terrible crime.
For weeks, she has survived by sneaking out at night, stealing food for herself and two dogs that are kept in the garden. The nurses at the hospital where she is taken call her "Angel Face" because she won't tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. 
Six years later, still unidentified, the same girl is living in a secure children's home with a new name, Evie Cormac, when she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult. Psychologist Cyrus Haven is sent to interview Evie and decide if she's ready to go free, but Evie Cormac is unlike anyone he's ever met. She's damaged, destructive, and self-hating, yet possessed of a gift, or a curse, that makes her both fascinating and dangerous to be with - the ability to tell when someone is lying. Soon, he is embroiled in her unique and dangerous world, his life in utmost peril.

 

The Blue Rosecover up

By Kate Forsyth

Viviane de Faitaud has grown up alone at the Chateau de Belisama-sur-le-Lac in Brittany. After a hailstorm destroys the chateau's orchards and gardens, an ambitious young Welshman, David Stronach, accepts the commission to plan the chateau's new gardens in the hope of making his name as a landscape designer. David and Viviane fall in love, but it is an impossible romance. Her father has betrothed her to a rich duke who she is forced to marry and David is hunted from the property. Viviane goes to court and becomes a maid-in-waiting to Marie-Antoinette and a member of the extended royal family. Angry and embittered, David sails away from England with Lord Macartney, who hopes to open up trade with Imperial China. David hears the story of 'The Blue Rose', a Chinese fable of impossible love, and discovers the blood-red rose growing in the wintry garden. He realises that he is still in love with Viviane and must find her. Viviane escapes the French Revolution and returns to the ruin of Chateau de Belisima to rebuild her life. David carrying a cluster of rosehips finds her there, and together they decide to grow the fabled red rose of China in France.

Ghosts of the Pastlove song

By Tony Park

German South West Africa 1906, Australian horse trader Cyril Blake is executed in cold blood by the Kaiser's soldiers. Sydney, the present day. Blake's great nephew, recently widowed Nick Eatwell, is approached by South African journalist Susan Vidler who is investigating his ancestor's mysterious demise. Intrigued and looking for distraction, Nick discovers a long-lost manuscript which tells how Blake stayed in South Africa after serving in the Anglo-Boer War and joined the Nama people in their rebellion against the Germans in South West Africa, modern-day Namibia.
In Munich, historian Anja Berghoff, researching the origin of the wild 'ghost' horses of Namibia, stumbles across intriguing letters from Irish-German spy Claire Martin, with whom Blake had an affair. As Nick and Anja's paths cross, they find themselves racing through southern Africa, and through time, on the trail of a legend. But they're not alone.
Someone else is chasing these ghosts of the past, looking for a hidden treasure worth killing for.

 

Oone goodne Good Deed

By David Baldacci

In 1949, Aloysius Archer arrives in the dusty Southern town of Poca City. He has nothing but a handful of dollars, the clothes he's wearing and an appointment with his new parole officer. After his wartime experiences in Italy and a prison sentence for a crime he didn't commit, Archer is looking for a fresh start and a peaceful life. On his first night of freedom, Archer meets local business tycoon Hank Pittleman, who promises Archer handsome compensation to work as his debt collector. Yet Archer takes on more than he bargains for, as he becomes embroiled in a long-running feud between the drought-struck town's most dangerous residents. When one of them dies, the authorities label Archer as their number one suspect. A bloody game is being played above and below the law. Everybody playing has a deeply buried secret, and Archer must uncover them all - if he's to avoid going back behind bars.

 

The Guardian of Liesstiehl assassin

By Kate Furnivall

953, the South of France. The fragile peace between the West and Soviet Russia hangs on a knife edge. And one family has been torn apart by secrets and conflicting allegiances.
Eloise Caussade is a courageous young Frenchwoman, raised on a bull farm near Arles in the Camargue. She idolises her older brother, Andre, and when he leaves to become an Intelligence Officer working for the CIA in Paris to help protect France, she soon follows him. Having exchanged the strict confines of her father's farm for a life of freedom in Paris, her world comes alive.
But everything changes when Andre is injured - a direct result of Eloise's actions. Unable to work, Andre returns to his father's farm, but Eloise's sense of guilt and responsibility for his injuries sets her on the trail of the person who attempted to kill him. Eloise finds her hometown in a state of unrest and conflict. Those who are angry at the construction of the American airbase nearby, with its lethal nuclear armaments, confront those who support it, and anger flares into violence, stirred up by Soviet agents. Throughout all this unrest, Eloise is still relentlessly hunting down the man who betrayed her brother and his country, and she is learning to look at those she loves and at herself with different eyes. She no longer knows who she can trust. Who is working for Soviet Intelligence and who is not? And what side do her own family lie on? 

 

The Desert Midwifenight window

By Fiona McArthur

What if the love of your life forgot who you were? When outback midwife Ava May meets Zac on a flight to Alice Springs, they tumble into a whirlwind affair. But an exciting adventure leads to a terrible accident, with shattering consequences. The couple who had so much going for them now find themselves with everything to lose. Devastated, Ava retreats to her family cattle station to help salvage what she can of the critical situation. But at home on the drought-ridden farm, her brother is being pushed to his limits, and as his depression intensifies, Ava must step in to prevent another family tragedy. Against the majestic backdrop of Australia's Red Centre, old dreams are shattered, new babies are born and true love takes flight.

 

 The Secret Hourssecret hours

 By Santa Monefiore

Arethusa Clayton has always been formidable, used to getting her own way. On her death, she leaves unexpected instructions. Instead of being buried in America, on the wealthy East Coast where she and her late husband raised their two children, Arethusa has decreed that her ashes be scattered in a remote corner of Ireland, on the hills overlooking the sea.
All Arethusa ever told Faye was that she grew up in a poor farming family and left Ireland, alone, to start a new life in America. But who were her family in Ireland and where are they now? What was the real reason that she turned away from them? And who is the mysterious benefactor of a significant share of Arethusa’s estate? Arethusa is gone. There is no one left to tell her story. Faye feels bereft, as if her mother’s whole family has died with her. Leaving her own husband and children behind, she travels to the picturesque village of Ballinakelly, determined to fulfil her mother’s last wish and to find out the reason for Arethusa’s insistence on being laid to rest in this faraway land.

 

Under Currentsthe ex

By Nora Roberts

From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looks perfect and the Bigelows seem like the perfect family: the respected surgeon father, the glamorous, devoted mother and two beautiful children.
A perfect family, in a perfect house living their perfect lives. But perfect surfaces can hide dark undercurrents and behind closed doors lies a very different story. Teenager Zane and his younger sister, Britt, are terrorised by their violent father and dysfunctional mother. Too afraid to speak out, Zane does his best to protect his sister and counts the days until they can finally be free. One dark, brutal night when their father's temper takes a horrifying turn for the worse, the perfect facade is exposed for the lie it is and Zane and Britt manage to escape. With the help of their beloved aunt, they rebuild their lives a day at a time, creating new families and putting their past behind them. But a childhood like that can cast a shadow the length of a lifetime. Can Zane and Britt ever be free of their past? Or will those dark undercurrents rise to the surface, forcing them to fight for their lives once again...

 

NON-FICTIONthe thinking woman

The Thinking of Women

By Julienne Van Loon

One of the age-old questions of philosophy is what does it mean to live a good life? In this extraordinary book, scholar and writer, Julienne van Loon, applies a range of philosophical ideas to her own experience. Van Loon engages with the work of six leading contemporary thinkers and writers - Rosi Braidotti, Nancy Holmstrom, Siri Hustvedt, Laura Kipnis, Julia Kristeva and Marina Warner - through interrogating and enlivening their ideas on love, play, fear, work, wonder and friendship.
Her journey is intellectual and deeply personal, political and intimate at once. It introduces readers to six extraordinary women whose own deeply thoughtful work has much to offer all of us.
They may transform our own views of what it means to live a good life.

 

In the closet of the Vatican : power, homosexuality, hypocrisy

By Frédéric Martelvatican

The rot at the heart of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church today is exposed here. This brilliant piece of investigative writing is based on four years' authoritative research, including extensive interviews with those in power. The celibacy of priests, the condemnation of the use of contraceptives, countless cases of sexual abuse, the resignation of Benedict XVI, misogyny among the clergy, the dramatic fall in Europe of the number of vocations to the priesthood, the plotting against Pope Francis - all these issues are clouded in mystery and secrecy.
In the Closet of the Vatican is a book that reveals these secrets and penetrates this enigma.
It derives from a system founded on a clerical culture of secrecy which starts in junior seminaries and continues right up to the Vatican itself. It is based on the double lives of priests and on extreme homophobia. The resulting schizophrenia in the Church is hard to fathom. But the more a prelate is homophobic, the more likely it is that he is himself gay. "Behind rigidity there is always something hidden, in many cases a double life." These are the words of Pope Francis himself and with them, the Pope has unlocked the closet. No one can claim to really understand the Catholic Church today until they have read this book. It reveals a truth that is extraordinary and disturbing.

 

beer in the loireA beer in the Loire : one family's quest to brew British beer in French wine country

By Tommy Barnes 

Frustrated by a dead end job, fed up with renting and the loathsome daily commute and, to cap it all, failing to make it as a stand-up comedian, Tommy Barnes was at breaking point.
But he didn't break - instead he made himself redundant and took off to France with girlfriend Rose to pursue his dream of brewing beer. Settled in a dilapidated house in the Loire they are beset by calamities (mainly of Tommy's making), mad neighbours and an unexpected pregnancy. Not to mention, Burt the Satanic dog who truly has it in for his master.
Featuring colourful characters, a stunning location a collection of beer recipes, this is an irresistible feast of humour and heart.

 

Dead People I Have KnowDead People 1

By Shayne Carter

The legendary New Zealand musician Shayne Carter tells the story of a life in music, taking us deep behind the scenes and songs of his riotous teenage bands Bored Games and the Doublehappys and his best-known bands Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer. He traces an intimate history of the Dunedin Sound--that distinctive jangly indie sound that emerged in the seventies, heavily influenced by punk--and the record label Flying Nun.  Alongside the fellow musicians, friends and family who appear so vividly here, this book is peopled by neighbours, kids at school, people on the street, and the other passing characters who have stayed on in his memory. We also learn of the other major force in Carter's life: sport. Harness racing, wrestling, basketball and football have provided him with a similar solace, even escape, as music. Dead People I Have Known is a frank, moving, often incredibly funny autobiography; the story of making a life as a musician over the last forty years in New Zealand, and a work of art in its own right.

Shirley Smith

By Sara Gaitanos

 
Shirley Smith was one of the most remarkable New Zealanders of the 20th century, a woman whomamas boyse lifelong commitment to social justice, legal reform, gender equality and community service left a profound legacy. She was born in Wellington in1916. While her childhood was clouded by loss - she had a privileged upbringing. She studied classics at Oxford University, where she threw herself into social, cultural and political activities. Despite contracting TB and spending months in a Swiss clinic, she graduated with a good Second and an intellectual and moral education that would guide her through the rest of her life. She returned to New Zealand when war broke out, and taught classics at Victoria and Auckland University Colleges, before marrying eminent economist and public servant Dr W.B. Sutch in 1944. Shirley had reached her own political turning point in 1956, with Khrushchev's revelations about Stalin and the Hungarian crisis, but she remained loyal to her husband, and the ongoing controversy weighed heavily on her later years. Shirley Smith: An Examined Life tells the story of a remarkably warm and generous woman, one with a rare gift for frankness, an implacable sense of principle, and a personality of complexity and formidable energy. Her life was shaped by some of the most turbulent currents of the 20th century, and she in turn helped shape her country for the better.
 

Stranger Country

By Monica Tan stranger country

What happens when a 32-year-old first-generation Australian woman decides to chuck in a dream job, pack a sleeping bag and tent, and hit the long, dusty road for six months?
Thirty-thousand kilometres later, Monica Tan has the answer, and it completely surprises her.
In mid-2016, Monica left Sydney, unsure of her place in Australia. As a Chinese Australian city slicker, she couldn't have felt more distant from powerful mythologies like the Digger, the Drover's Wife and Clancy of the Overflow. And more importantly, Monica wondered, how could she ever feel she truly belonged to a land that has been the spiritual domain of Indigenous Australians for over 60,000 years?
Stranger Country is the riveting account of the six months Monica drove and camped her way through some of Australia's most beautiful and remote landscapes.
She shared meals, beers and conversations with miners, greynomads, artists, farmers, community workers and small business owners from across the nation: some Aboriginal, some white, some Asian, and even a few who managed to be all three. The result is an enthralling and entertaining celebration of the spirit of adventure, a thoughtful quest for understanding and a unique portrait of Australia and all it means to those who live here.

 

 

Updated 06/08/2019