The Forgiven by Lawrence Osborne (Hogarth, $25)
Based on a true story, this novel is set in the fossil-mining desert towns of the Moroccan Sahara.
The plot involves Dr. David Henniger and his wife, Jo. While driving in a remote area to a party, they are in the middle of an argument when two men step out into the middle of the dusty road.
Distracted, Henniger doesn’t see the men and hits them with his vehicle, killing one while the other flees into the desert. Not knowing what else to do, the dead man is loaded into the backseat and the Hennigers continues to the party. Even though they try to keep the news of the accident from their hosts and other party guests, word begins to spread among the staff.
This atmospheric tale is suspenseful reading full of unexpected plot twists and turns.
Beggar’s Feast by Randy Boyagoda (Pintail, $16)
Sam Kandy is born in a remote village in Ceylon in 1899. By the time he dies a century later, he has become a wealthy and influential headman of the same settlement, his years of influence leaving it forever transformed.
Beginning with his boyhood abandonment at the gates of a monastery and his subsequent abuse and escape, this is the story of a man, his pride, ambition and fate. Toronto-based author Randy Boyagoda has crafted a novel that brims with interesting characters and a plot that attempts to show the delicate balance of tradition and modernity.
The Code by G.B. Joyce (Pintail, $16)
Brad Shade has retired after fourteen years of bouncing around in the world of hockey. Living out of a suitcase and scouting for Los Angeles, his life takes an unexpected turn when he is invited to an old-timers charity game. A legendary coach is found murdered in the parking lot and Shade becomes determined to find and identify the killer.
G.B. Joyce, author of six books of sports non-fiction, serves up a story that unfolds in the grisly world of professional hockey.
The Hiding Place by David Bell (NAL Trade Paperback Original, $15)
In his debut novel, “Cemetery Girl,” Bell crafted the story of a kidnapped daughter who is returned to her family. His latest book centers around the twenty-five year old murder of Justin Manning. When Dante Rogers, who was tried and convicted of Manning’s murder, is released from prison and arrives in the small southwestern Ohio town of Dove Point, it creates turbulence.
Local detective Frank Stynes is interested in Rogers, too, since he has an uneasy feeling that he put the wrong man in prison. Even though he is retired, he begins questioning witnesses again including members of the Manning family.
This riveting novel is about a family’s pain and loss, and the uncertainty that can suddenly erupt when questions are raised.
“The Hiding Place” is perfect reading for a crisp autumn night.
Kept in the Dark by Penny Hancock (Plume, $15)
Set in London, when fifteen-year-old Jez visits Sonia, his voice coach, to borrow some music, he becomes missing. When it is obvious that something terrible has happened, Sonia is the last person anyone would suspect. At forty-three, she is an attractive wife and mother but things are not always as they seem to be.
This story is suspenseful and slowly builds to a shocking climax. Creepy, atmospheric, and deliciously dark, Hancock has crafted a thrilling story of a woman living on the edge.
Hancock is a Cambridge-based writer. This is her first novel and it is a horrifying literary ride that will shock and entertain until the very last page. Hang on tight, suspense novels don’t get much better than this.