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Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

Arctic Norway comes eerily to life in this broodingly atmospheric ghost story. Subtle in its execution it draws the reader deeper and deeper into the story until you can feel the intense pressure of the endless dark days and nights. You'll hear every breath, every creak and feel every shadow and before long you'll be there on your own with your senses playing havoc with your mind.

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Pub Walks in Underhill Country by Nat Segnit

Although written as if a guide to 15 local walks this is actually an unusual and amusing novel. Graham Underhill is an avid rambler and its his rather pompous voice that accompanies the reader on each foray into the countryside. Blind to the infidelities of his young, beautiful Bengali wife, Graham's personal life increasingly pervades his pedantic narrative and you can't help but join each walk just to hear the next installment of his life.

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The Only Glow of the Day by Martin Malone

Dublin 1863, and pregnant 18 year-old, Rosanna Doyle, prepares to follow her boyfriend to his army camp in the Curragh. The reader instinctively fears the worst for her and, sure enough, the worst is what she finds. This bleak, but sublimely written book, packs a great deal of incident into its short length, not least a brutal murder. However, its the indomitable spirit of Rosanna that is the essence of the book and will have the reader rooting for her from start to finish.

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Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto by Maile Chapman

American nurse Sunny Taylor works at Suvanto convalescence hospital. Here, she takes care of the ‘up patients’ – a group of wealthy women who seek respite at Suvanto during the cruel Finnish winter months. At first, this appears to be a harmless story of pampered ladies who are allowed to indulge in their ailments under the protection of Sunny and her charge nurses. However, without really noticing, this very subtly becomes a rather unnerving tale, which, at the end, left me questioning things I had previously taken for granted.

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