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Books Down Under: The Best Books of Winter 2014

While those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are deciding on our summer reads, those in the Southern Hemisphere will be spending the next few months rugged up and reading with a hot drink in hand. Thankfully, there are plenty of new releases to stock up on to keep you busy through the winter.

Lethal Sky

Action, explosions, adventure, terrorist plots and conspiracies combine in Greg Barron’s Lethal Sky, in which intelligence agent Marika Hartmann must make a life and death decision in the skies over Sydney. Perfect for fans of Ludlum and Clancy.

From Hugh Howey, the international bestselling author of the Wool trilogy, comes Sand, where the old world has been buried and a new one has been forged atop the shifting dunes. Here, four siblings find themselves scattered and lost…

Cop Town

Atlanta, 1974: a brutal killing and a furious manhunt has rocked the city. With the killer poised to strike again, will Kate Murphy and Maggie Lawson have the courage to pursue their own line of investigation in the male-dominated world of the Atlanta Police Department? The only way you’ll find out is by reading Cop Town by Karin Slaughter.

To celebrate 50 years since the publication of Tom Keneally’s first novel, The Place at Whitton, a special edition is being released with a new authors note about the novel and fifty years of writing. When a man is found brutally murdered in Whitton’s monastery, Dr Stenner, Whitton’s president, is horrified. Could it possibly be the work of one of his priests?

The Silkworm

The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series by J.K. Rowling writing under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym, featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

Why would a man escape from prison the day before he’s due to be released? That’s the question Michael Robotham poses in his new novel Life or Death. Audie Palmer has spent a decade in prison for an armed robbery in which four people died, including two of the gang. Seven million dollars has never been recovered and everybody believes that Audie knows where the money is. So why would he run the day before he’s able to retrieve it?

LandlineRainbow Rowell returns with a captivating, quirky and heartwarming new novel, Landline, where a wife discovers an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts.

My Salinger Year recounts Joanna Smith Rakoff time as an office assistant in New York City working for a literary agent when she was handed the responsibility of replying to all correspondence written to the agency’s notorious client, J. D. Salinger.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of PilgrimageColorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, the new international bestseller by Haruki Murakami, the author of 1Q84, is about four best friends at school whose names all contained a color. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi, ‘blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, ‘white root’, and Kurono, ‘black field’. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it. One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want to see him, or talk to him, ever again. But why?

Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

What will you be reading this winter?

Simon McDonald simon@thereadingroom.com