Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive. Intense and gripping, Pines is another masterful thriller from the mind of bestselling novelist Blake Crouch.
The Kindle Deal of the day for those in the UK is The Merrily Watkins series by Phil Rickman, the first four volumes for $1.59 / £0.99 apiece (US editions run about $6). Although not a part of the deal, you can also pick up the eighth in the series, The Remains of an Altar (Main/UK), for £1.80.
The Wine of Angels (Main/UK)
Merrily Watkins: late thirties, single mum, parish priest. Cosy? I don’t think so…
The new vicar had never wanted a picture-postcard parish – or a huge and haunted vicarage. Nor had she wanted to walk into a dispute over a controversial play about a seventeenth-century clergyman accused of witchcraft… a story that certain long-established families would rather remained obscure.
But this is Ledwardine, steeped in cider and secrets…
A paradise of cobbled streets and timber-framed houses. And also – as Merrily Watkins and her teenage daughter, Jane, discover – a village where horrific murder is a tradition that spans centuries.
‘They’ll follow you home… breathe down your phone at night… a prime target for every psychotic grinder of the dark satanic mills that ever sacrificed a chicken…’
Diocesan Exorcist: a job viewed by the Church of England with such extreme suspicion that they changed the name.
It’s Deliverance Consultant now. Still, it seems, no job for a woman. But when the Bishop offers it to Merrily Watkins, parish priest and single mum, she’s in no position to refuse.
It starts badly for Merrily and gets no easier. As an early winter slices through the old city of Hereford, a body is found in the River Wye, an ancient church is desecrated and signs of evil appear in the cathedral itself, where the tomb of a medieval saint lies in pieces.
‘This receptacle was found in the wall beside the fireplace. It has been suggested you may wish to restore it to its proper place.’
When a redundant church is bought by a young pagan couple, the local fundamentalist minister reacts with fury. In an isolated community on the Welsh border, a modern witch hunt begins. Diocesan exorcist Merrily Watkins is expected to keep the lid on the cauldron… but what she finds out will seriously test her beliefs.
Also, there’s the problem of the country solicitor who won’t be parted from his dead wife. The mystery of five ancient churches all dedicated to St Michael, slayer of dragons.
And a killer with an old tradition to guard…
‘Black poles against the pale night… like a site laid out for a mass-crucifixion.’
In Herefordshire’s hop-growing country, where the river flows as dark as beer, a converted kiln is the scene of a savage murder. When the local vicar refuses to help its new owners cope with the aftermath, diocesan exorcist Merrily Watkins is sent in by the Bishop. Already involved in the case of a schoolgirl whose mother thinks she’s possessed by evil, the hesitant Merrily is drawn into a deadly tangle of deceit, corruption and sexual menace as she uncovers the secrets of a village with a past as twisted as the hop-bines which once enclosed it.
The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy knew they wouldn’t be friends. But when Bean plays a joke on her sister, Nancy, and has to hide, quick! Ivy comes to the rescue, proving that sometimes the best of friends are people never meant to like each other. Vibrant characters and lots of humor make this a charming – and addictive – introduction to a new series.
Grade Level: 1 and up
Today’s Kindle Kids Daily Deal is Gooney Bird and the Room Mother ($1.99), by Lois Lowry and Middy Thomas (Illustrator).
Gooney Bird Greene knows exactly where she likes to be: “right smack in the middle of everything.” Sure enough, her colorful fashion sense, exuberant personality, and “absolutely true” stories land her at the center of attention most of the time, but as Mrs. Pidgeon’s second grade class prepares for their Thanksgiving pageant, the lead role of Squanto is still up for grabs. And so is the role of Room Mother, but with each of the children’s parents already overloaded, there are no volunteers to bring cupcakes to their play. So Gooney Bird promises to find one—in exchange for the lead. There’s just one catch: the person she convinces to be Room Mother insists on remaining incognito. As the class struggles to decorate the mural, make costumes, and learn their songs for the play, the suspense builds: will the pageant be a success? And who is their mysterious Room Mother?
Two-time Newbery Award–winning author Lois Lowry has once again captured the eager energy of an elementary school classroom and the hilarious antics and anecdotes of its students, especially those of the irrepressible Gooney Bird Greene herself. In her second literary appearance, Gooney Bird is back with more “absolutely true” stories to tell, more tips for her fellow aspiring storytellers, and a few challenging vocabulary words to share, too.
Grade Level: 3 and up