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What links the three missing children?
11:34am Monday 21st January 2013 in Books
Light Shining In The Forest by Paul Torday (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £12.99)
SALMON Fishing In The Yemen writer Paul Torday’s latest work uses the stark environment of the North-East as an effective backdrop in this page-turner concerning the mysterious disappearance of three children.
All three seemingly have very different lives, with each case headed under the emotionless police conclusion of ‘‘a child goes missing every five minutes’’. It takes the unlikely alliance of a bored regional journalist and a faceless government bureaucrat to help uncover the mystery of each case, and what may link them.
The Northumberland writer’s exploration of human anguish and pain, interspersed with the dark, haunting rural environment, provides the template, while his biting social comment showcases a writer at the very top of his game.
Sutton by JR Moehringer (Blue Door, £12.99)
PULITZER Prize winner J R Moehringer has turned his attention to a different subject following his best-selling memoir The Tender Bar and Open, which he cowrote with tennis champ Andre Agassi.
This time he looks at one of the most notorious criminals in US history – prolific bank robber William “Willie” Sutton.
The Brooklyn-born criminal with Irish roots was considered one of the country’s public enemies and appeared on the FBI’s first most wanted list after he stole an estimated $2m from banks during the Prohibition era, earning him the title of a modern Robin Hood.
After spending half of his adult life in prison, he was released on Christmas Eve 1969 and gave only one interview, driving around New York with a reporter and photographer.
Flitting from past to present, Sutton is Moehringer’s imagining of what happened that day as the notorious outlaw relives his story from his childhood years to the days before he got captured. It’s compelling and highly absorbing.
The Burning Air by Erin Kelly (Hodder & Stoughton, £16.99)
A MOMENTARY lapse of judgement results in far-reaching and terrible consequences in this new psychological thriller as Kelly, whose much-praised debut The Poison Tree was adapted for TV, catapults us into a world of deceit and revenge, where nothing is quite as it seems.
We follow the MacBride family to their second home in Devon, where they gather to scatter the ashes of dead matriarch Lydia. Daughter Sophie, battling to save her own marriage, leaves her young baby with her brother’s new girlfriend but returns to find the girl and her precious baby have both vanished. What follows is a skilfully woven web of revelations, showing how past mistakes come back to haunt in the future.
Flitting between past and present and told through the perspective of no less than five characters, it is a chilling, atmospheric book that is almost impossible to put down. There is no let-up in the tension as we hurtle towards the shocking conclusion.