So, new this month? Trump is trying to sneak into the UK, Snapchat has decided to put us in a personal safety crisis with their new ‘Snap Maps’ feature, and almost everyone is addicted to ITV’s Love Island. Here are a few new releases this month that might drag you away from living Charlie Brooker’s real-life nightmare.
Sam Bourne – To Kill the President
The title may seem like wishful thinking to some at the moment, but Bourne’s novel features a fictional President and a fictional undercover plot to kill the slightly-too-dictator ruler.
It is set during a time of international tension which threatens the safety of millions of citizens due to the possibility of a mutual nuclear attack between the U.S. and North Korea. When Maggie Costello discovers the plan to murder the U.S. President, she finds herself torn between her initial urge to unveil it and her moral obligation to allow it in order that the U.S. may rid itself of such tyrannical rule.
Rachel Clarke – Your Life in My Hands
Upon first inspection, I thought this book was going to be fictional – it was described as a tale following a junior doctor trying to manage their ridiculous schedule, as well as the stresses and occasional traumas that come with the job. But Your Life in My Hands is no work of fiction.
Clarke, who has previously worked as a TV journalist but chose later to enter the medical profession, has released this account as a medical biography to describe the realities of working for the NHS. She talks of the almost inhuman mental and physical strength medics have to clutch at every day just to make it through their day’s work, and the sheer selflessness that must come with a job that currently demands the treatment of patients at the risk of the doctors’ own health.
Carrie Hope Fletcher – All That She Can See
Carrie Hope Fletcher is a multi-skilled human being: she can sing, dance, act, and her second book would go to show that she’s not a bad writer, either. All That She Can See is an easygoing novel about a woman who runs a bakery with a twist: she has a special kind of sight that enables her to put joy and happiness into her cakes.
For the time being, it works well – the locals flock to her bakery because they know that for some reason those cakes make their lives feel better. Everything is threatened when Chase, who also possesses this rare sight, emerges with the ability to do the opposite; he can bring negativity to people by giving them a taste of what he can see, turning sweet very sour indeed.
Matt Haig – How to Stop Time
How to Stop Time is a story set in the normal world, with just a touch of fantasy: Tom, the protagonist, has a rare condition that has allowed him to live for hundreds of years. However, his face hasn’t shrivelled and shrunk into that of a Benjamin Button-esque old man, and he has resorted to consistently changing his identity to allow his appearance to seem plausible with the age he gives himself – he claims to be fourty-one years old.
Taking the occupation of history teacher at a London high school, Tom can teach events with complete confidence and accuracy, since he witnessed many of these things himself. The crucial part of his system of false identities is that he must not develop romantic feelings – but does this make his extended lifetime seem lifeless?
Stuart MacBride – Now We Are Dead
MacBride is most well-known for his series featuring the Scottish detective sergeant Logan McRae, but he is now releasing a standalone novel following DS Steel. She is trying to restore safety on the streets for women after an attacker who swings for females is released from custody.
However, her previous desperation to solve the case possessed her to fit up this man as a suspect in a number of crimes, so she cannot investigate the attacks properly without being completely fired. Steel knows that her reputation has been damaged and, should she pursue him further, her career would be irreparable. She must choose between her career, and her conscience – every extra woman suffering from the attacks is one that could have been prevented with her help.
Karin Slaughter – The Good Daughter
Even before I knew the plot of this novel, even the fact that the author’s name rhymes with the title is satisfying enough to make it worth reading. To find out that the plot featured death, violence and trauma contented me even more, based on the connotations of the writer’s surname. The book itself sounds pretty good, too – it follows Charlie Quinn, a high-performing, conventional ‘good daughter’ who has spent years trying to ignore the memories of violence that hit her family when she was a child. However, she is sent to the scene of a local tragedy as a lawyer, and all those repressed traumas hit her. She even finds out a few details about her own family tragedy that she might have been better not knowing…