Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

16 Mar 2017

BiP eNews: March New Releases

David Foenkinos    $24.99 HB

Charlotte Salomon is born into a family stricken by suicide and a country at war - but there is something exceptional about her. She has a gift, a talent for painting. And she has a great love, for a brilliant, eccentric musician. But just as she is coming in to her own as an artist, death is coming to control her country. The Nazis have come to power and, a Jew in Berlin, her life is narrowing - she is kept from her art, torn from her love and her family, chased from her country. And still she is not safe, not from the madness that has hunted her family, or the one gripping Europe...Charlotte is a heartbreaking true story - inspiring, unflinching, awful, hopeful - of a life filled with curiosity, animated by genius and cut short by hatred. A beautifully, lucidly told memorial, it has become an international sensation.

Exit West
Mohsin Hamid    $32.99 HB

In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war, Saeed and Nadia share a cup of coffee, and he makes her smile. A few days later they go for dinner, and over time they share many more meals. They try not to notice the sound of bombs getting closer every night, the radio announcing new laws, the public executions. Eventually the problem is too big to ignore: it's not safe for Nadia to live alone, she must move in with Saeed's family, even though they are not married and that too is a problem. Meanwhile, rumours are spreading of strange black doors in secret places across the city, doors that lead to London or San Francisco, Greece or Dubai. One day soon, when the streets are no longer usable, the time will come for Nadia and Saeed to seek out one such door, joining the great outpouring of those fleeing a collapsing city, hoping against hope, looking for their place in the world. An extraordinary story of love and hope, travelling from the Middle East to London and beyond, from the Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

In the Name of the Family: A Novel of Machiavelli and the Borgias
Sarah Dunant    $29.99 PB

1502 and Renaissance Italy is in turmoil. Backed by the money and wily power of his ageing father Pope Alexander VI, Cesare Borgia is soaring like a military comet, carving out a state for the Borgia dynasty. From Florence, a young diplomat, one Niccolo Machiavelli, is sent to shadow him to keep track of the danger. While many tremble in the presence of this brilliant unscrupulous man, Machiavelli is entranced and the relationship he forges with Cesare allows him - and us - to witness history in the making. Meanwhile, the Pope's beloved daughter Lucrezia is on her way to a third dynastic marriage in the state of Ferrara, where if she is to survive she must fast produce an heir for the rival Este family. Cesare holds his sister dear, but striving always for conquest rather than conciliation, he pays little mind to her precarious position. As the Borgia enemies gather, in Rome, the pope grows older and ever more cantankerous. Sarah Dunant dramatizes the rise of one of history's most fascinating characters, Niccolo Machiavelli, during the formative years of his life. In the Name of the Family breathes new life into the daring and corruption of a family that history will never forget. This is a moment from which no one will emerge unscathed.

Rory Clements    $29.99 PB

A new novel for fans of spy thrillers. Corpus is set in 1936 as Europe is falling apart with the rise of Nazism. Nancy, a young Englishwoman from Cambridge manages to deliver vital notes to a Jewish scientist in Berlin. Not long afterwards she is found dead in her room at home, holding a syringe. Her death is followed by the brutal murder of a well-known county couple. Thomas Wilde, a history professor in Cambridge, is drawn into the murky world of espionage to investigate what could be a scandal involving both the government as well as the King and Mrs. Simpson. Drawing on his speciality on the Elizabethan secret service, Thomas needs skills that he has only read about, to prevent tragedy for his country. Corpus is an ‘absolutely ripping’ tale of spies, murder and mayhem. If you enjoyed the Robert Goddard Wide World trilogy, this is the book for you. It is part one of a series: we cannot wait for Book Two.    BiP staff review by Leonie

The Long Drop
Denise Mina    $32.99 PB

Denis Mina is yet another of the current group of talented Scottish crime writers. Based on the true story of Peter Manuel, ‘The Beast of Birkenhead’, Denise Mina has delivered a tightly-plotted novel which builds the tension with her matter-of-fact writing style. Set in Glasgow, Denise Mina’s home town, The Long Drop is named after the method of hanging used in state executions in the 1950s. William Watt suspected Peter Manuel of the murders of his wife, daughter and sister-in-law. Watt himself was a suspect at the time. The story shifts between Peter Manuel’s trial and the weird eleven-hour long pub crawl taken by Watt and Manuel after the murders. Denise Mina really evokes the grim Glasgow of the 1950s, using real characters from the city’s low-life to give a sense of menace to this gripping tale.    BiP staff review by Leonie