Snowdrops by A.D. Miller (A novel that immediately grabbed my attention)
Snowdrops. That’s what the Russians call them-the bodies that float up into the light in the thaw. Drunks, most of them, and homeless people who just give up and lie down into the whiteness, and murder victims hidden in the drifts by their killers.
Nick has a confession. When he worked as a high-flying British lawyer in Moscow, he was seduced by Masha, an enigmatic woman who led him through her city: the electric nightclubs and intimate dachas, the human kindnesses and state-wide corruption. Yet as Nick fell for Masha, he found that he fell away from himsel; he knew that she was dangerous, but life in Russia was addictive, and it was too easy to bury secrets in the winter storms…
Shatter the Bones by Stuart MacBride
Alison and Jenny McGregor – Aberdeen’s own mother-daughter singing sensation – are through to the semi-finals of TV smath-hit Britain’s Next Big Star. They’re in all the gossip magazines, they’ve got millions of YouTube hits, everyone loves them.
But their reality-TV dream has turned into a real-life nightmare.
The ransom demand appears in all the papers, on the TV, and the internet, telling the nation to dig deep if they want to keep Alison and Jenny alive.
The media want action: the public displays of grief and anger are reaching fever pitch. Time is running out, but DS Logan McRae and his colleagues have nothing to go on: the kidnappers haven’t left a single piece of forensic evidence. The investigation is going nowhere.
It looks as if the price of fame just got a lot higher….
Sleep like the Dead by Alex Gray
Everyone is searching for Billy Brogan and his sister, Marianne. Marianne’s ex-husband Kenneth Scott is gunned down in his home and two men are found dead in Billy’s West End flat. But Billy is on the run to Spain, with the money that was meant to pay the hit man who killed Kenneth. Now the hit man remains in Glasgow, seeking not just his fee for his job but the elusive Marianne. The woman has been a mature student of Dr Solomon Brightman, psychology lecturer at Glasgow University and criminal profiler. Why, when she meets him unexpectedly in a Glasgow bookshop, does she tell him she owes him such a lot? And what is her relationship to Amit, the educated Pakistani refugee from Lahore? DCI Lorimer is given the news that psychological profiling is no longer allowed following a case of wrongful arrest down South, but can his friendship with Solly produce the necessary clues in this case? And will Solly be able to find his missing student before time runs out for her?
Nine by Andrzej Stasiuk (I have heard great things about this novel and the author)
Pawel, a young Polish businessman, is in trouble; in debt to loan sharks his only hope lies with former friends, many of whom are now prominent in Warsaw’s drug-dealing underground. Embarking on a desperate fool’s-gold chase through the city’s grimy apartments and creaking transport system Pawel struggles for survival as part of a generation adrift in moral space and disconnected from family, neighbours and friends.
City of Bohane by Kevin Barry (I could not resist this)
Forty years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines. There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the Northside Rises and the eerie bogs of Big Nothin’ that the city really lives.
The Reborn by Lin Anderson
The clown suddenly appeared beside a group of kids at the candy floss van, bringing Kira to an abrupt halt. Then it began. The rapid heartbeat, the burst of perspiration, the gasping breath. The baby lurched inside her, as though sharing her panic. When the body of a pregnant teenager is found in a Hall of Mirrors with the full-term foetus surgically removed, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is called in to assist the police. Suspicion falls on Jeff Coulter, a psychotic inmate at a nearby hospital whose hobby is making Reborns — chillingly realistic baby dolls intended for bereaved parents or those unable to conceive. But how could he have orchestrated the murder from a secure mental facility? The investigation leads to a group of teenage girls who seem to have all got pregnant at the same time. Then a Reborn doll is discovered near the crime scene and a second girl from the group is found dead.
A Life Apart by Neel Mukherjee ( The reading of this book really grabbed my attention)