Spire by Fiona Snyckers (Clockwork Books; R230) An Antarctic station, a container of viruses, sudden contagion, polar storm, ominous presence – and one woman. Those, in a test tube, are the elements of this thriller in which virologist Caroline Burchell must save everything, from her own sanity to the world. SPIRE will have you promising yourself to go to sleep after just one more page, or two (okay, maybe nine pages). Gripping and thought provoking.
Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings by Wendy Holden (Head of Zeus; R421) A lucky encounter leads Parisian Laura Lake to a magazine internship in London. But her luck runs out and she is soon sleeping in a cupboard and living on canapes. Her one hope for success: to land the scoop on three high-society weddings. A hilarious tongue-in-cheek look at the celeb-osphere.
The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews (Counterpoint; R256) Hattie Troutman is a recently-single and immature 28-year-old Canadian artist living in Paris. But her world is turned upside down when she hears that her sister, Min, has been checked into a psychiatric hospital, and she finds herself flying back home to care for her emotionally-neglected niece and nephew. It’s a heartfelt story centred around a family trying to survive during overwhelming times.