She smiles, but her eyes shine with agony. 'All my small blessings are gone.'
In the summer of 1974 a heatwave blankets Boston and Mary Pat Fennessey is trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors. Mary Pat has lived her entire life in the housing projects of 'Southie', the Irish American enclave that stubbornly adheres to old tradition and stands proudly apart.
One night Mary Pat's teenage daughter Jules stays out late and doesn't come home. That same evening, a young Black man is found dead, struck by a subway train under mysterious circumstances.
The two events seem unconnected. But Mary Pat, propelled by a desperate search for her missing daughter, begins turning over stones best left untouched - asking questions that bother Marty Butler, chieftain of the Irish mob, and the men who work for him, men who don't take kindly to any threat to their business.
Set against the hot, tumultuous months when the city's desegregation of its public schools exploded in violence, Small Mercies is a superb thriller, a brutal depiction of criminality and power, and an unflinching portrait of the dark heart of American racism.
The Summer Place
As three women return to the summer place of their youth for a beach wedding, each is grappling with the cards life has dealt them. Erin, recovering from a near-fatal cycling accident, is the reluctant maid of honour. Still coming to terms with her devastating injuries, will she find what she needs to walk down the aisle with all eyes on her? Years ago, Jenna fell in love with the groom at his family's treasured holiday spot. Will watching him marry someone else finally allow her to get over him? Cassie, living in Barcelona and recently widowed, is desperate to move on from her grief. The invitation to return to Australia for the wedding will give her a chance to step away from her life - and come to terms with more than she bargained for. Emotions run high as each woman faces a crossroad, yet they will find that the place at the coast offers all of them a chance to learn to heal, love and belong . . .
Bernie Moon has given her life to other people: her husband, her son, her friends (who are these days, mostly online). At nineteen she was full of dreams and ambitions; now almost fifty, and going through the menopause, she's fading, fast. Heartbroken and hormonal, she often feels like she's losing her mind.
But when a young woman is murdered in a local park, it sparks a series of childhood memories in Bernie and with them, a talent that has lain dormant most of her adult life.
She promised herself she'd never think of it again. When she was a teenager, it almost destroyed her. But now she's older, could it be the power she's been missing?
Could it be the chance to, finally, make them look?
Time After Time
Alice Croydon has the perfect life: she has a loving family and she's about to marry her high school sweetheart Finn. Alice couldn't be happier. Except for the occasional niggle whenever she thinks about her career. Fashion design has always been her passion, but living in a small country town doesn't offer much opportunity to pursue that dream.
Until one day the unexpected happens. The only problem? She has to move to the other side of the world and give up one dream for another.
Living in London should have been exciting, but for Alice, far away from home, her sole focus becomes working within a renown couture fashion house. Alice knows it's unlikely but she secretly hopes that Finn might still want to try again.
But you can't turn back time, and fate may have other plans.
Only the Dead
In a world on the brink of war facing rampant inflation, political division, and shocking assassinations, a secret cabal of global elites are ready to assume control. And with the world’s most dangerous man locked in solitary confinement, the conspirators believe the final obstacle to complete domination has been eliminated. They’re wrong. From the firms of Wall Street to the corridors of power in Washington, DC and Moscow, secrets from the past have the uncanny ability to rise to the surface and with the odds stacked against him, James Reece is on a deadly mission that is generations in the making.
After the Smoke Clears
Her family offered her a neat life of privilege and power, until Lotti turned away from her father’s plans – and toward what she really wanted. Now happy as a primary school teacher, Lotti may even have found the right man, a single dad, not the kind of guy who will fit in with her family, but who nonetheless feels like home.
But Lotti isn’t the only one running from her past. August’s strong silent demeanour may be part of his attraction, but as they get closer, his inability to talk about his past begins to interfere with their future.
When August receives a cryptic text message that prompts an immediate departure, Lotti and Augie’s six-year-old son Otto follow him to his small hometown where decades of lies begin to unravel. When details of a shocking crime emerge, Lotti will have to decide if she trusts the man August has become more than she fears the man he once was.
Death of a Bookseller
Roach - bookseller, loner and true crime obsessive - is not interested in making friends. She has all the company she needs in her serial killer books, murder podcasts and her pet snail, Bleep.
That is, until Laura joins the bookshop.
Smelling of roses, with her cute literary tote bags and beautiful poetry, she's everyone's new favourite bookseller. But beneath the shiny veneer, Roach senses a darkness within Laura, the same darkness Roach possesses.
As Roach's curiosity blooms into morbid obsession, it becomes clear that she is prepared to infiltrate Laura's life at any cost.
After the Rain
Malti Fortune is uneasy. She has turned away from her birthplace of Fiji to make a new life in Melbourne. But all that she thought was certain is now in danger of being swept away. Her husband, Benjamin, a linguist, is a conundrum. He has changed. Or has she? The stories and superstitions of her childhood are telling her something she knows but doesn't want to hear - about being a trespasser, about not belonging.
In the years to come, Malti and Benjamin's daughters are also to learn some hard truths. For Ellery, the hands-on father of her memories vanishes for months on end and the remembered fragments of good times aren't enough to sustain her anymore. Verona, on the verge of adulthood, can't imagine a world without her beloved Dad. He is her rock and hero. But Malti and Ellery both know that you can't depend on Benjamin.
What makes a family? What does home look like? All three women are seeking answers. Each is haunted by her own ghosts. And by Benjamin. To find what they are looking for, they need to be honest with themselves and make peace with their own unreliable memories.
Home Before Night
As the third wave of the virus hits, all inhabitants of Melbourne are given until 8 pm to get to their homes. Wherever they are when the curfew begins, they must live for four weeks and stay within five kilometres of. When Lou's son, Samuel, doesn't arrive home by nightfall, she begins to panic.
He doesn't answer his phone. He doesn't message. His social media channels are inactive. Lou is out of her mind with worry, but she can't go to the police, because she has secrets of her own. Secrets that Samuel just can't find out about. Lou must find her son herself and bring him home.
Life After Ted
Ted McCall is a legend among Bondi lifesavers. When he is killed in a surfing accident, his death exposes long-held family secrets and sets in motion a series of revelations and betrayals. Only one thing is certain: Ted's death is a defining moment for his loved ones. But will it make his family stronger, or break them apart?
Ted's adoring wife of forty years, Connie Blunt, witnesses the tragedy. Focused on her own grief, which plays out in unexpected ways, she is incapable of offering comfort to her son, Sebastian, who worshipped Ted.
Seb is an evangelical Christian. General practitioner Connie, seventy going on twenty-five, is a devout atheist, a free spirit with an edgy taste in music. Clever, sharp-tongued, often generous, cherished by both of Seb's children, she can also be intolerant, stubborn and on occasion downright unlikeable.
Yet Seb has never doubted his mother's love for his dad. Or not until three days after Ted's funeral, when he discovers her in bed with another man.
Ted's death turns an already tense mother-son relationship toxic. Seb demands answers, but Connie is not ready to reveal that she and Ted were keeping a secret from their son. For Connie, though, harder to confront will be the secret Ted kept from her.