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Reviews - Novels

Hilarious and heartwarming, this book proves that while the search for love takes many forms, the heartbreak and exhilaration are universal.

Kavita Daswani: 'For Matrimonial Purposes'

The novel's central action is motivated by Anju's deeply held belief that she must find a husband and fulfill the role of dutiful wife if she is ever going to have any worth. Even her successful career as a fashion publicist cannot take away Anju's sense of inadequacy. Traveling from India to New York and back, Anju's life is one whose every moment is filtered, every moment in Anju's life is filtered through her desire to find a mate. At home in India, Anju's parents encourage this endeavor, despite the unhappiness and loneliness the fruitless search causes her.

Daswani's novel breaks Anju's world down into simple dichotomies. The complexities of a modern woman still operating under the influence of traditional hegemonies are lost in the oversimplification of Anju's relationship to her parents, men and India itself. At no point through the course of the novel does Anju consider any compromise with the beliefs of her native land, nor are those beliefs shown to meld with the modern world in any way. Instead, Daswani's India, like Anju, is stubborn, archaic and unyielding, perhaps appearing to change on the surface but otherwise stolid.

Price: 12,50 EUR (Paperback)



This desire to know and to accept that knowing is the only possible way forward is the theme tackled here.

Penelope Lively: 'The Photograph'

When the successful landscape historian Glyn Peters, "facts man, par excellence," discovers the infidelity of his deceased wife, Kath, he plunges into an obsessive quest for answers, interviewing her former friends and acquaintances in a belated attempt to understand her. Kath's lover turns out to be the husband of her older sister, Elaine, who responds to the posthumous revelation with alacrity by dumping her philandering spouse, no questions asked.

Evidently, Lively likes her fictional worlds neat. Without exception, her self-absorbed academics, demanding garden designers, and unregenerate dreamers pull their schematic weight. The characters in The Photograph are either "striving ants" or fiddling grasshoppers, with the ants winning in the end. The competing accounts of Kath are also carefully managed to support Lively's grand philosophical architecture; each is internally consistent and separated from the previous one by a few finely calibrated degrees.

Price: 12,80 EUR (Paperback)



The new bestseller from the world's most popular author.

John Grisham: 'The Last Juror'

In 1970, one of Mississippi's more colorful weekly newspapers, The Ford County Times, went bankrupt. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper.

The mur derer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courthouse in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

But in Mississippi in 1970, "life" didn't necessarily mean "life," and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.

Price: 24,- EUR (Hardback)



Commissario Brunetti's 12th case

Donna Leon: 'Doctored Evidence'

When the body of an elderly woman is found in her Venetian apartment brutally murdered, the prime suspect is her Romanian housekeeper. The afternoon of the murder, the maid boards a train heading back to Romania. But when the old woman's neighbor returns from a business trip in London, it becomes clear that the maid could not have had time to kill the old woman before boarding her train. The only investigator who believes the alibi is Commissario Brunetti, who will have to go under the noses of his superiors to vindicate the Romanian and find her employer's actual killer. But perhaps Brunetti is following a false trail and thinking of the wrong deadly sin altogether. As Brunetti investigates, he becomes entangled in the intrigues of Venetian bureaucracy - and eventually discovers the worst.

Price: 24,80 EUR (Hardback) / 18,- EUR (Paperback)




Move over Patricia Cornwell, here comes Jilliane Hoffman, a new exciting and thrilling crime writer.

Jilliane Hoffman: 'Retribution'

Twelve years ago, Chloe was an average person worrying if she will pass the bar examination and hoping her boyfriend will propose to her. One night when she wakes up, a man wearing a clown costume rapes and tortures Chloe.

In the present, the serial killer who has raped, tortured, and killed ten blonde women ages eighteen to twenty five is caught with a dead body in the trunk by a rookie patrol officer in a routine traffic violation. Chloe, now going by the name of C.J. Townsend, is the prosecutor assigned the case. At the first hearing, she lays eyes on the face of William Robert Bantling and recognizes him as her rapist from his voice and a scar on his arm. She doesn't tell anyone that she should be excused. She decides to prosecute Robert seeking justice or is it retribution?

Price: 19,50 EUR (Paperback)


Joanne Harris claims that this book is not the book that her publishers wanted her to write, but the book that she wanted to write

Joanne Harris: 'Holy Fools'

Set in 17th-century France against a backdrop of witch trials, regicide and religious frenzy, this is the story of growing hysteria where the strong Catholic element adds to the Gothic atmosphere.

Holy Fools opens in a nunnery, with the story of a young woman, Juliette, now known as Souer Auguste, and her young daughter Fleur. Juliette is escaping from her past, it seems, as a circus performer, and living as a nun to protect herself and her daughter from Guy LeMerle, a mysterious man known as 'The Blackbird', who, it is suggested, is Fleur's father. When the old Abbess dies, a young girl, Mère Isabelle, and her advisor, Père Columbin, who is none other than LeMerle, replace her. Chaos ensues in the nunnery, as the pair apparently try to restore order but in fact create utter chaos.

Price: 10,80 EUR (Paperback)



A novel of fear and suspense, love, loss and redemption - it is Koontz's most chilling, gripping and original novel to date.

Dean Koontz: 'The Face'

Channing Manheim's moniker of "the Face" stems from his eminence as the top actor in Hollywood. But not everyone lives in envy of the superstar, and someone sends vaguely menacing presents. Face won't be back soon, so Truman, Manheim's head of security, refuses to panic. Nevertheless, Truman begins increasing security patrols and surveillance. But then he dies. Twice. In the same day. But apparently he didn't really die.

Truman begins putting the pieces of the bizarre puzzle together and finally determines that Fric, the son of Face, may be the target of the stalker. But the stalker's seamy acquaintances know their way around the estate, and the kidnap plot appears foolproof.

Price: 10,80 EUR (Paperback)



The all-new revised essential companion to all things discworldian.

Terry Pratchett: 'The new Discworld Companion'

Rationality does not enter here to spoil the view. The wit of this dimension is condensed into the literary equivalent of Dr. Dinwiddie's frog pills which stop him losing his sanity by making him hallucinate he is sane. 'The New Discworld Companion' has an unerring logic to its absurdities that persuades you that this prolific author really does have a return ticket to an orbit about the Great A'Tuin.

Price: 12,30 EUR (Paperback)



Another work of the 'story-telling machine'.

T. C. Boyle: 'Drop City'

A Flower power may be a thing of the past but the '60's counterculture occupies center stage. Drop City is the name of a commune in Sonoma, California. Set in 1970, the group consists of seventy or so hippies headed by 40-something Norm Sender and his "chick," Premstar. After a drug bust the hippie commune leaves Carlifornia and settles down in a small town in Alaska. As the two communities collide, unexpected friendship and dangerous enmities are born.

Price: 10,50 EUR (Paperback)



Joy Fielding has written an extremely interesting book with an ending that will come as a surprise to anyone who thinks they know what has occurred.

Joy Fielding: 'Lost'

Julia moves back home with her mother. It is a big adjustment for all of them because Julia is so self- absorbed but Cindy is trying hard to make it work because she doesn't want Julia to leave her again.

On the day that Julia has an audition with a Hollywood director for a role in a movie, she has a fight with every person in the house. When Julia fails to come home, Cindy doesn't get worried because she believes her daughter is off somewhere pouting. As the hours turn in to days and then into weeks, Cindy is afraid that she will never see her daughter again because after an intensive investigation, the police don't have a clue as to what happened to Julia.

Price: 9,90 EUR (Paperback)



Groundbraking and moving biography of the royal family of Monaco, full of triumphs and tragedies, romance and heartbreak.

J. Randy Taraborelli: 'Once Upon a Time'

She was an Oscar-winning Hollywood actress. He the scion of Europe's longest reigning monarchy. The marriage of movie star Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier Grimaldi of Monaco was one of the 20th century's most enchanting fables come to life. Yet, in veteran Hollywood biographer J. Randy Taraborelli's retelling, (the first comprehensive chronicle of the royal couple's romance and quarter-century reign) their day-to-day struggle with romantic inertia and a legacy of familial dysfunction cast their fairy tale existence in a bittersweet light long before the 1982 automobile accident that took Grace's life. The biography is based on hundreds of exclusive interviews with familiy, friends and acquaintances.

Price: 10,80 EUR (Paperback)



Stephenson follows on from his cult historical novel 'Quicksilver' with the extraordinary second volume of his 'The Baroque Cycle'.

Neal Stephenson: 'The Confusion'

The saga continues in the late 1600s, as slaves escaped from a pirate ship hunt down treasure and a beautiful French spy is reintroduced to the Sun King's court.

Price: 24,90 EUR (Paperback)
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