STRANGE SALLY DIAMOND by Liz Nugent (Sandycove £14.99, 384pp)
STRANGE SALLY DIAMOND
by Liz Nugent (Sandycove £14.99, 384pp)
Idiosyncratic Sally Diamond has lived a bizarre, isolated life with her 82-year-old psychiatrist father for years — he has protected her from the outside world and has always told her that when he dies, she should ‘put me out with the bins’.
So when he expires, she does exactly that. Sally folds his dead body into a large garden waste bag and shoves him into the incinerator in the barn behind their secluded house in rural Ireland along with the rest of the household rubbish. Five days later a neighbour tells her there is a ‘wild smell’ coming from the barn…
So begins this captivating novel which gradually reveals that Sally isn’t her father’s daughter at all but actually the daughter of a woman kept prisoner from the age of 11 by a local man — who gave birth to two of his children. Slowly the truth begins to surface — and the reason for Sally’s strangeness emerges. Hypnotic and terrifying, her story seeps into the imagination and leaves behind a haunting memory.
RED QUEEN by Juan Gomez-Jurado (Macmillan £16.99, 384pp)
by Juan Gomez-Jurado (Macmillan £16.99, 384pp)
This first in a trilogy that has been the biggest seller in Spain for the past two years — and is about to become a major television series — introduces Antonia Scott, daughter of a British diplomat and a Spanish mother, with an IQ off the scale at 242 and an extraordinary forensic brain.
In the past she has solved mystifying murders without breaking sweat, but has recently retired to her Madrid flat to live as a virtual recluse. Enter disgraced detective Gutierrez, who is offered redemption if he can persuade Antonia to investigate a case of ritualistic murder involving the teenage son of a wealthy family.
Gutierrez succeeds, but finds himself enraged and fascinated by his new partner as they struggle to get to the bottom of a crime that seems insoluble. Often compared with Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Antonia Scott looks destined to leave every bit as lasting an impression.
YOU CAN RUN by Trevor Wood (Quercus £16.99, 400pp)
YOU CAN RUN
by Trevor Wood (Quercus £16.99, 400pp)
The Newcastle-based Wood made his name with the Jimmy Mullen series, but here he strikes out in a fresh direction with a standalone story about 15-year-old Ruby Winter, living alone with her father — who has a secret that she knows nothing about.
One day a soldier appears at the front door of their house in a rural Northumberland village and a fight breaks out. Her father stabs the soldier, leaving him bleeding to death, then tells her that they must leave at once. As they start to run, her father is shot and taken away in what appears to be a military ambulance, leaving Ruby to hide while soldiers start to search for her.
So begins a frightening game of cat and mouse with Ruby as the target. With the help of a local lad, she sets out to find her father, while trying to evade capture by the soldiers — who are telling everyone to stay indoors.
At once tense and compelling, Ruby is a character that no one could fail to root for.
Source: Read Full Article