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7:00am Saturday 10th March 2012 in AdXtra
A look at the latest releases, plus what's new in paperback.
By Sarah O'Meara.
The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore is published in hardback by Hammer Books, priced £9.99. Available now.
The Greatcoat is the first ghost story from Orange Prize winner Helen Dunmore.
Set in 1950s East Yorkshire, Isabel Carey is a young newly-wed getting used to domestic life. Her husband Philip, the local GP, is well-meaning but Isabel soon grows lonely in her new role as a dutiful wife.
One night in her freezing flat, she discovers an old RAF greatcoat hiding at the back of a cupboard. She sleeps under it and begins to dream.
Not long afterwards while her husband is out, she is woken by a vision of a young RAF pilot knocking at her window. His name is Alec and he stirs up emotions in Isabel that she has never known.
But is Alec a reality or a wishful figment of Isabel's imagination?
Sadly, while the idea for this story is charming, the novel often feels flat. Dunmore doesn't fully explore her characters, and the language tends to lack real richness.
Still, it's a sweetly spooky and romantic tale.
6/10 (Review by Daisy Wyatt).
All The Single Ladies by Jane Costello is published in hardback by Simon and Schuster, priced £12.99. Available now.
The fifth book from Sunday Times Top 10 best-selling author Jane Costello doesn't disappoint.
All The Single Ladies is a fabulously funny journey following the escapades of Samantha Brooks. At first glance Sam has everything she wants, including her loving and intelligent boyfriend, Jamie.
Unfortunately for Sam, Jamie has increasingly itchy feet. Wanderlust gets too much for him so he quits the job he hates, books a one-way flight to South America and tells Sam it's all over.
Not about to give up on the greatest love of her life, Sam, together with friends Jen and Ellie, plots a host of devious tricks to win him back before he is due to leave in three months time.
Will Jamie come to his senses and realise what he is about to leave behind? Or will Sam lose her heart to someone new as she learns more about herself and ultimately what she wants from life?
9/10 (Review by Rachel Howdle).
Celebrity In Death by JD Robb is published in hardback by Piatkus, priced £17.99. Available now.
International best-selling author JD Robb returns with another thrilling adventure following homicide cop Eve Dallas and billionaire Irish rogue Roarke.
Using her nom de plume, romance writer Nora Roberts has woven a tale that straddles the fictional world of Hollywood and the working world of Lieutenant Dallas and her partner Detective Peabody as a top studio makes a film about them.
The lines blur when actress KT Harris, who is playing Peabody in the film, is found dead. It is quickly uncovered that KT was a difficult person with few friends, whose public image had been carefully managed.
Coroner confirmation that her death is cold-blooded murder sets a frenzied media circus in motion. As the movie bigwigs circle to save their reputations, and keep their secrets quiet, the detectives home in on the culprit.
Can the murderer stay hidden in a business that needs to be squeaky clean to survive?
8/10 (Review by Rachel Howdle).
Q by Evan Mandery is published in hardback by Fourth Estate, priced £16.99. Available now.
With two works of fiction and two non-fiction books to his name, Evan Mandery, who is also a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, brings wit and economy to his third novel - the love story Q.
A writer and historian is visited by a future self, who warns him against planning a future with his current girlfriend.
But when he takes this advice, the unnamed protagonist finds that the hole left by his former lover is difficult to fill.
This leads to a number of future selves coming back in time in a bid to alter his life for the better, but this only leaves him more unsatisfied and, ultimately, eager for change.
Mandery adeptly explores the questions of love and loss with poise and humility, revealing how even the smallest decisions can irrevocably change a person, leaving them richer or poorer, and not as they'd ever intended to be.
7/10 (Review by Ben Major).
The Istanbul Puzzle by Laurence O'Bryan is published in paperback by Harper Collins, priced £6.99. Available now.
A brutal murder. An ancient temple. A long-lost treasure. This is the first in a new series - and his first published book - by Northern Ireland author Laurence O'Bryan.
The thriller opens with the beheading of Alex Zegliwski in Istanbul, and his death lands friend and colleague Sean Ryan in a web of deceit, conspiracy and terrorism.
Sean teams up with British diplomat Isabel Sharp to uncover the mystery of Alex's murder, and they soon end up as targets. The forgotten past of Istanbul is the key to saving hundreds of lives, as the two try and uncover what the terrorists are really after, and why.
It's a race against the clock, and reading the novel feels a little like watching television show 24.
However, because it's fast-paced and information-heavy, the plot does have a tendency to become clunky and difficult to follow.
But if you like Dan Brown thrillers, then this is the one for you.
7/10 (Review by Emma Everingham)
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