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The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington

Just the book for a dark, scary night. Witches, necromancers, ghosts, skeletons, graveyards, a depraved Inquisitor, monsters and skeletons. What more could you ask? Oh yes, a sort of love story, and a tale of the astonishing commitment of friends. And did I mention the stark naked vampires?

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The Roost by Neil Butler

Drink drugs and sex seem to rule the lives of a group of Shetland secondary school students. They think they are worldly but relationships are so tricky, and the isolation and magic of the islands complicate everything. Sharp perceptive and scary, these linked stories of angst should carry a worry warning for readers with a teen or preteen in the family, but read them anyway for a reminder of what it's like to be that young.

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Unspoken by Gerard Stembridge

Real life historical figures mingle with fictitious characters to illustrate the impact of the coming of television on Irish culture and society. Part intimate family saga, part social documentary, this is an unsentimental but affectionate chronicle of life in the Irish Republic during the Sixties, before the Celtic Tiger roared. Moving without being searing.

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The Appointment by Herta Muller

The innocuous title refers to a summons by Romania’s secret police; the charge prostitution. Delivered in a stream of consciousness during a tram ride to ‘the appointment’, the narrator is a seamstress caught sewing marriage proposals into suits destined for Italy, to escape an oppressive regime. Full of claustrophic anxiety, it is an exploration of the human soul in a state of helplessness. The ending felt ambiguous, or am I being irrational?

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