BookwormBeyondBorders

The Sealwoman’s Gift, by Sally Magnusson

In 1627, Barbary pirates raided the shores of Iceland and captured over 400 of its people, including 250 from a small island. Among that number were the island’s pastor, his pregnant wife and their three children. Although the raid is well-known, the fate of the captives, the women and children in particular, is not. Ásta, wife and niece to Lutheran Icelandic pastors, finds herself ripped from her quiet life on a small island, sees her friends and neighbours killed around her and is forced onto a stinking ship. To add to her hardships, Ásta gives birth on the slave ship, on the way to her uncertain future. Upon reaching Algiers, Ásta is bought by a wealthy man and set to work in his house. Ásta deals with the loss of her freedom and her children by escaping into the stories of her homeland. Read More »

The Longest Winter, by Kevin Sullivan

Sarajevo 1992. The country is at war, with neighbour fighting neighbour, the government is powerless and the city is under siege. Terry is a British doctor who has travelled into this warzone to rescue a young boy who needs immediate evacuation for life-saving surgery in London. Brad is an American journalist, desperately trying to salvage his reputation after the disastrous ending to his last posting. Milena fled her home and her husband in Eastern Bosnia when the fighting started. She now lives and works in the besieged city, barely getting by. In the aftermath of the assassination of a government minister, these three lives become ever more entangled as the situation worsens around them. Read More »

And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

First, there were ten. An odd assortment of characters, all invited as guests to a small private island off the coast of Devon. Their mysterious host is nowhere to be found and everything seems a little strange. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they are unwilling to reveal. By the morning of the second day on the island, two of the party are dead. Signs point to foul play, but with the island cut off from the mainland by a storm, the murderer must be one of them. Only the dead are above suspicion. And when the guests realize that the murders are happening in sequence, following a famous nursery rhyme which is hung in every bedroom, tensions run high. By the end of the weekend, there will be none. Read More »

The Road Trip, by Beth O’Leary

Addie and her sister have planned the perfect road trip to their friend’s wedding in Scotland, the snacks are packed and the playlist ready. But shortly after setting off, someone drives into the back of their Mini. The other drive is none other than Dylan, Addie’s ex, who she hasn’t seen or spoken to since their traumatic break-up two years ago. Dylan and his best friend were on their way to the same wedding, but now their car is a wreck. Addie and her sister have no choice but to offer them a lift. Soon the tiny car is full of luggage and limbs, tension and secrets. With three hundred miles ahead of them, Addie and Dylan can’t avoid confronting the messy end of their relationship. But is it really the end of the road for these two? Read More »

The House Between Tides, by Sarah Maine

Following the death of her last living relative, Hetty Deveraux is left with an intriguing inheritance, Muirlan House. This ancestral family home, located on a remote Scottish island, is now a crumbling ruin. Hetty sees in this house the opportunity for a new start, away from London and her strained relationship. She journeys to this isolated Scottish island to establish the scale of the repairs. But when a skeleton is unearthed under the floorboards, the past is now right in front of her. What happened at Muirlan House all those years ago? And how will this new information change Hetty’s plans for the future? Read More »

The Sanatorium, by Sarah Pearse

Although on compassionate leave from her job as a police detective, Elin Warner has no desire to travel. But, when an invitation to her estranged brother’s engagement party arrives, she cannot refuse. So she finds herself in an ultra-modern and very isolated hotel in the Swiss Alps. The new hotel might be the height of luxury, but Elin senses a strange feeling about the place. Maybe it is only the hotel’s history as a sanatorium?
However, they wake up the next morning to find her brother Isaac’s fiancée is missing. With the hotel cut off from the outside world by a major snowstorm, Elin is tasked by the Swiss police to investigate the disappearance. As time passes and they are no nearer to finding her, the remaining hotel guests begin to panic. But nobody has realised that another woman is also missing. Read More »