All that fall

The days are get­ting shorter which sim­ply means one thing: more time to read. Donal O’Donoghue pre­views a few of the new ti­tles com­ing to a book­shelf ( or web­site) near you

RTÉ Guide - - Books -

Last year in the UK, 500 new hard­back books were pub­lished on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 5. Su­per Thurs­day is what they call it in the pub­lish­ing world and this year it hap­pens on Oc­to­ber 4 (Gra­ham Norton’s new novel, A Keeper, ar­rives that day). Long be­fore that avalanche, though, many new ti­tles will be vy­ing for your at­ten­tion. Here are just a few.

Danc­ing with the Tsars

by Ross O’Car­roll-Kelly (Pen­guin Ire­land) “Life as a stayin-bed hus­band turned out to be a lot more com­pli­cated than I ex­pected. My wife was preg­nant with a baby that pos­si­bly wasn’t mine. My old man was en­gaged in a war with the fem­i­nist move­ment that he was never go­ing to win. And my old dear was mak­ing a lot of un­ex­plained trips to Rus­sia.”

The never-end­ing es­capades of Ire­land’s most fa­mously feck­less, layabout (and one-time rugby ‘star’) has him try­ing to make sense of a world of ram­pant Fake News, pos­si­ble sex ad­dic­tion and the rare op­por­tu­nity of win­ning the most cov­eted gong that South Dublin has to of­fer, the Strictly Mount Anville glit­ter ball. (Septem­ber 6)

Lethal White by Robert Gal­braith (Sphere)

JK Rowl­ing’s (for Mr Gal­braith is she) most dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter af­ter Harry Pot­ter, the pri­vate eye Cor­moran Strike, re­turns in the fourth vol­ume of the se­ries which was also adapted for the small screen by the BBC. Lethal White opens, as the pre­vi­ous nov­els do, with a visit to Strike’s clut­tered office. The vis­i­tor is a trou­bled young man called Billy who is look­ing for help to in­ves­ti­gate a crime he wit­nessed (or did he?) as a child. The Ra­belaisian Strike, as ever, faces stiff op­po­si­tion as star of the show from his long-suf­fer­ing and bril­liant side­kick, Robin El­la­cott and the city of London it­self, a mag­nif­i­cently brood­ing pres­ence in these mys­tery tales. (Septem­ber 18)

The Dark­est Place by Jo Spain (Quer­cus)

“Forty years was too long to wait for some­body to come back from the dead” is how the lat­est mys­tery yarn fea­tur­ing Dublin de­tec­tive Tom Reynolds (now a DCI) opens. From there it’s a hel­ter-skel­ter ride with echoes of Shut­ter Is­land as well as nods to re­cent dark Ir­ish his­tory (mass graves) as Reynolds trav­els to Oileán na Caillte, an is­land once home to a con­tro­ver­sial psy­chi­atric in­sti­tu­tion and where buried se­crets have risen into the present. Spain, a best-sell­ing nov­el­ist and co-writer (with Stu­art Carolan) of the hotly an­tic­i­pated new RTÉ crime se­ries, Taken Down, serves up an­other teas­ingly twisty thriller. (Septem­ber 20)

The Im­por­tance of Be­ing Ais­ling

by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen (Gill)

It be­gan as a bit of lark when in 2008, flat­mates Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, started shar­ing ‘Ais­ling-isms’ with their friends. A Face­book page fol­lowed but it was the phe­nom­e­nally suc­cess­ful 2017 de­but, Oh My God, What A Com­plete Ais­ling, that had the tills ring­ing and the crit­ics laud­ing the duo, who sub­se­quently landed a six-fig­ure two-book deal, as Ire­land’s an­swer to Brid­get Jones. Now comes the ‘dif­fi­cult’ sec­ond book. Subti­tled, ‘Coun­try Roads, Take Her Home,’ we hook up again with Ais­ling, now 29, but still a com­plete Ais­ling as she heads home to Bal­ly­gob­bard fol­low­ing some shock news. (Septem­ber 21)

A Keeper by Gra­ham Norton (Hod­der & Stoughton)

Last year, Gra­ham Norton made an im­pres­sive fic­tion de­but with Hold­ing, a mys­tery yarn about the lonely pas­sions of a garda in ru­ral County Cork (the au­thor’s old

turf). Any­one who read Norton’s 2014 au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, The Lives and Loves of a He Devil, could see he had writ­ing chops. And while the end­ing of his first novel sug­gested a se­quel, this sopho­more work is some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent, a con­vo­luted love story that switches be­tween past and present, as one woman tries to de­ci­pher the mys­tery of her mother and an­other woman strives to find her­self. Can light­ning strike twice for GN? (Oc­to­ber 4)

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