May Indie Reads

Love books published by small presses and independent publishers? Check out these new books out this month. A book for everyone.

Singapore, 1942. As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked, leaving only three survivors, one of them a tiny child. In a neighbouring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is bundled into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel. After sixty years of silence, what she saw and experienced there still haunts her.

And in the year 2000, twelve-year-old Kevin is sitting beside his ailing grandmother when he overhears a mumbled confession. He sets out to discover the truth, wherever it might lead, setting in motion a chain of events he could never have foreseen.

Out: 2nd May

Publisher: OneWorld

Set in a 1960s English new town, Your Fault charts one boy’s childhood from first memory to first love. A year older in each chapter, Peter’s story is told to him by his future self as he attempts to recreate the optimism and futurism of the 1960s, and to reveal how that utopianism fares as it emerges into the Seventies. It’s an untold story of British working class experience, written with extraordinary precision and tenderness.

Out: 15th May

Publisher: Salt Publishing

Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself.

Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearing at the point of death and using her compassion to guide them over the threshold.

Out: 2nd May

Publisher: Unbound

Myles Carver is dead. But his estate, Watermere, lives on, waiting for a new Carver to move in. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key. Julia Merrow has a secret almost as dark as Watermere’s. But when she and Paul fall in love they think their problems might be over. How can they know what Fate―and Annabel―have in store for them?

Out: 30th May

Publisher: Flame Tree Press

It is late 1942. Group Captain Robert Sutherland's first week in charge of Military Intelligence 11's operations in Scotland and northern England is not going smoothly. A murder at the Commando Basic Training Centre in the Highlands is being investigated by one of his teams, until events take an even darker turn that draws Bob in personally. He is also trying to discover who was behind an attempt to steal an advanced reconnaissance aircraft from a military airfield in Fife, an investigation made no easier by the perpetrator's death. The complication he could really live without comes via a telephone call from Monique Dubois in MI5. 

Out: 10th May

Publisher: Fledgling Press

In the middle of her life, a writer finds herself in a dark wood, despairing at how modern Britain has become a place of such greed and indifference. In an attempt to understand her country and her species, she and her lover rent a busted-out van and journey through France and down to the Mediterranean, across Italy and the Balkans, finishing in Greece and its islands. Along the way, they drive through the Norman Conquest, the Hundred Years War, the Italian Renaissance, the 1990s and on to the current refugee crisis, encountering the shades of history, sometimes figuratively and sometimes - such as Joan of Arc, sitting pertly in the back of the van - quite literally.

Out: 2nd May

Publisher: Atlantic Books

Tom is a successful author, but he’s struggling to finish his novel. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone.

Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her father and her social-media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has.

When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world is turned upside down, and Tom is free to live his life again, to concentrate on writing.

But things aren’t really adding up. For Tom is distracted but also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he feels powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he’s letting on.

Out: 11th May

Publisher: Orenda Books


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Kate Moore - a mother with an interesting past - is living the quiet life in another European city, or trying to. On her way to drop her children off at school in the city centre, the cafes and streets of Paris start to come alive around her. Kate's husband Dex, meanwhile, charged with finding a particular present for their son's birthday, is struggling to focus on the job in hand as a financial matter at work seems to be playing on his mind.

Out: 7th May

Publisher: Faber Books

Delphine Venner is an old woman now. She is old, but she remembers everything. She remembers what it is to be a child of war, she remembers fighting for her life and she remembers what the terrifying creatures from another world took from her all those years ago. She remembers the gateway, and those she lost.

Out: 2nd May

Publisher: Canongate

What if reading the wrong book could get you arrested? In a decaying city controlled by the First General and his army, expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences. Clara Winter knows this better than anyone. When she was a child, her father was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. Now Clara teaches at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much – and her weapons are the banned books her father left behind. 

Out: 2nd May

Publisher: Unbound

Laura confronts single parenting after her divorce, leading a life her own teenage self would be in awe of. After many years of enduring pain and the persistent feeling of never being understood, Laura navigates her own sexuality and her unrecognized chronic condition the best she can, forced to question her beliefs as she learns to find a certain peace, even in an impossible situation. 

Out: 30th May

Publisher: Dead Ink Books

Inspector Mario Conde investigates a murder in the Barrio Chino, the rundown Chinatown of Havana. Not his usual beat, but when he's asked to take the case by the beautiful Police Lieutenant Patricia Chion, he cant resist. Pedro Cuang is found hanging naked from a beam in the ceiling of his dingy room. One of his fingers has been cut off, and the outline of two arrows was carved on his chest. 

Out: 16th May

Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press

Sarah and David are in love - the obsessive, uncertain love of teenagers on the edge of adulthood. They have just started their first term at a performing arts school, where the rules are made by their magnetic and manipulative drama instructor Mr Kingsley. 

Enclosing his students in a rarefied bubble where performance is everything, Mr Kingsley initiates them into a dangerous game that blurs the boundary between teacher and students. The outside world can't affect them - until the bubble bursts, and the students are left to deal with the fallout.

Out: 2nd May

Publisher: Serpent’s Tail, Profile Books

Life is a lucrative business, as long as you play by the rules. Ambitious businesswoman Mae Yu runs Golden Oaks - a luxury retreat transforming the fertility industry. There, women get the very best of everything: organic meals, fitness trainers, daily massages and big money. Provided they dedicate themselves to producing the perfect baby. For someone else.

Jane is a young immigrant in search of a better future. Stuck living in a cramped dorm with her baby daughter and her shrewd aunt Ate, she sees an unmissable chance to change her life. But at what cost?

Out: 7th May

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing


Eva and her son Torin have to leave London and move back to Ireland. Eva to find the daughter she left behind and Torin from a life that was threatening his freedom. It is about dislocation and becoming unanchored and the need for a home and belonging and the disturbance when you're wrenched out of your environment.

Out: 30th May

Publisher: Bluemoose Books

Ellinor is thirty-six. She wears soft black sweatpants and a Michelin Man jacket. She fights. Smart and unsentimental, she tries her hand at online dating, only to be stranded by a snowstorm with a literary critic. Cut to Max Lamas, an author who dreams of a polyglot lover, a woman who will understand him in every tongue. His search takes him to Italy, where he befriends a marchesa whose old Roman family is on the brink of ruin. At the heart of this literary intrigue is a handwritten manuscript that leaves no one unaffected.

Out: 2nd May

Publisher: And Other Stories

The year is 1759 and London is shrouded in a cloak of fear. With the constables at the mercy of highwaymen, it’s a perilous time to work the already dangerous streets of Soho. Lizzie Hardwicke makes her living as a prostitute, somewhat protected from the fray as one of Mrs Farley’s girls. But then one of her wealthy customers is found brutally murdered… and Lizzie was the last person to see him alive. Constable William Davenport has no hard evidence against Lizzie but his presence and questions make life increasingly difficult.

Out: 13th May

Publisher: Canelo