Great North West Reads

This is a collection of recently published books that we recommend. They all have some sort of connection to the North West, be it a location in the novel or that the author lives in, or comes from, the region.

Fell ashworthAshworth, Jennifer, “Fell”. “A haunting, mysterious tale imbued with the force of myth, by the award-winning author of A Kind of Intimacy. When Annette Clifford returns to her childhood home on the edge of Morecambe Bay, she despairs: the long-empty house is crumbling, undermined by two voracious sycamores. What she doesn't realise is that she's not alone”

Bolton Craftsman paperbackBolton, Sharon, “The Craftsman”. A murderer is buried in a Lancashire town, many years after he himself buried children. That was shocking enough to new police constable Florence Lovelady but then evidence comes to light that he may not have been the murderer, and the police officer who put him behind bars discovers thirty years too late that magic comes in many shades.” Sharon (previously known as SJ) Bolton was born and raised in the area and the local knowledge shows.

Splinter Blood Ashley DyerDyer, Ashley “Splinter in the Blood”. “Sergeant Ruth Lake and DCI Greg Carver are on the hunt for a serial killer who poses his victims fully-dressed and carefully arranged, every inch of their bodies covered in intricate, cryptic tattoos. The ‘Thorn Killer’, uses a primitive and excruciatingly painful thorn method to etch his victims. After many months, a breakthrough feels imminent. Then the killer gets personal: the latest victim – a student found only a week earlier – is staged to look like Carver’s wife”. Ashley Dyer is actually two people: Margaret Murphy lives on the Wirral, Helen Pepper is senior lecturer in policing an forensics.

Martin EdwardsEdwards, Martin, The Lake District Mysteries. “featuring Detective Chief Inspector Hannah Scarlett and historian Daniel Kind, The Arsenic Labyrinth was short-listed for the Lakeland Book of the Year Award in 2008. The Hanging Wood was long-listed for both the Audible Sounds of Crime Award and the Ebook Award at Crimefest 2012”. Born in Cheshire and living in Warrington, Martin is the President of the Crime Writers Association and has written several anthologies of crime writing as well as the popular Harry Devlin series.

Dixon, Patricia, "Over My shoulder". "A dark psychological drama about power and control". Mancunian Patricia has made a radical move from the fashion industry into writing "women's fiction" about living in France and now has written a couple of tense thrillers. What will she do next?

High Mortality of Doves Kate EllisEllis, Kate,”A High Mortality of Doves”. “When Darren Hatman reports his daughter missing, DI Wesley Peterson isn't too concerned. Leanne Hatman is an aspiring model, keen to abandon her native Devon for the bright lights of London. However, Darren's claim that a photographer has been stalking Leanne soon changes Wesley's opinion.”. Born and brought up in Manchester, Kate now lives in Cheshire.    

Greenhalgh, Shaun, “A Forger’s Tale”. This isn’t fiction; it’s the story of an international art forger who successfully teamed up with his brother and elderly parents, making nearly £1 million in the process. The books goes into the process of how the artworks were forged and shows how easily the art world was fooled ... and the mistake that brought it all crashing down for the forger. Shaun was born in Lancashire and still lives in the UK.

Save me mandasue hellerHaywood, Sarah, “The Cactus”. Like Bridget Jones but with a really spikey independent main character, this book looks at what happens to Susan Green when her mother’s will is revealed to be markedly different to what was expected … and she discovers why. Sarah lives in Liverpool.

Heller, Mandasue, “Save Me”. Ellie Fisher saves the life of a mystery when he attempts suicide in front of her. But she’s not thanked for it and, as time goes on, she has cause to begin to regret …  Mandasue was born in Cheshire and now lives in Manchester.

vertical drawing of tree and houseHurley, Andrew Michael,  “The Loney”: British Book of the Year Awards Winner 2016  If it had another name, I never knew, but the locals called it the Loney - that strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest.” He has also written “Devil’s Day” based in the Lancashire moors.

Jackson, David, “Don’t Make A Sound”. A child goes missing in Merseyside and suspiciaon falls on the parents. But then another disappears and the police discover they have an even more serious problem on their hands. David has written the Callum Doyle and DS Nathan Cody series. He lives in the Wirral.

Joseph Knox Smiling ManKnox, Joseph, “The Smiling Man”. A death occurs in a grand but shuttered Manchester hotel. Powerful people are implicated so the police are under pressure to not see it as a murder. But it is. And why is the corpse smiling?

McGowan, Anthony “The Art of Failing”. Anthony McGowan stumbles from one improbable fiasco to the next. On the mean streets of West Hampstead he reflects upon all that is at the heart of life itself – socks with holes, underwhelming packed lunches, broken washing machines, Kierkegaard, liver salts, British Library eccentricities and disapproving ladies on trains. In this chronicle of one man’s daily failures and disappointments, McGowan can’t help but speak his mind – with cringeworthy and hilarious results.” Anthony was born and educated in Manchester.

Slavin, Helen, "The Stopping Place", "For a woman who wants to remain invisible, a shelving job at a quiet suburban library provides the perfect cover. Ruby sees a lot from behind the stacks — maybe even enough to bring her out of hiding. And that could be a problem. Because everyone has a history, especially someone who’s trying desperately to forget their own…". Helen was born in Heywood, Lancashire.

Girl in the Green Dress StaincliffeStaincliffe, Cath, “The Girl in the Green Dress”. “The novel tells the story of teenager Allie Kennaway who heads off for Prom night, cheered on by her dad Steve and her little sister Teagan. But Allie never comes home, beaten to death in an apparent hate crime because of her transgender identity”. Cath lives in Manchester and has written three crime series as well as several stand-alone titles.

Thomson, Hugh, “One Man And A Mule: Across England with a Pack Mule”. “Using old drovers’ roads that have largely passed into disrepair, Hugh and his trusty mule Jethro set out to travel across England, from the Lake District to the Yorkshire Moors. Along the way, they discover a landscape rich in history, and encounter the charismatic people who bring it to life.”

Witch Finder's Sister UnderdownUnderdown, Beth, “The Witchfinder’s Sister”.  This is her first novel, based on the life of the 1640s witch finder Matthew Hopkins, whom she first came across while reading a book about seventeenth-century midwifery. As you do.” Beth was born in Rochdale and is now a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Manchester.

Veste, Luca, “The Bone Keeper”. “the figure that haunted your nightmares as child, the myth of the man in the woods, was real?”. Luca is the writer of the Murphy & Rossi series of Liverpool-based crime novels.

Wand, Zosia, “Trust Me”. Something seems to be going on with Sam, Lizzie’s stepson, only ten years younger than she is. But what is it? And how come everyone thinks that Lizzie herself is to blame? Zosia is based in Cumbria.

North West Libraries

Librarians in the North West have pioneered partnership working to encourage new readers into libraries. Time To Read is a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development activity in public library authorities in the North West Region. 22 public library authorities in the region currently support Time To Read.

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