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Everyone hates Fiona Methodist.
Her war veteran father shot a young couple in broad daylight before killing himself. The engaged pair witnessed a robbery and were due to give evidence but with all three dead, no one knows the true motive.
For Fiona, it’s destroyed her life. It’s not just those who whisper behind her back or the friends who pretend she doesn’t exist; it’s the landlords who spot her name and say no, the job agencies who can’t find her work.
But Fiona knows her dad didn’t do it. He couldn’t have – he’s her father and he wouldn’t do that..would he?
Private Investigator Andrew Hunter takes pity on the girl and, even with stolen bengal cats to find, plus an ex-wife who’s not quite so ‘ex’, he can’t escape the creeping feeling that Fiona might be right after all.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Craig Macklin was a teenager when his headteacher told him he was heading to either prison or the grave. Instead, Craig left the north of England, saying goodbye to his friends and family to start a new life.
Thirteen years on, redundant and separated from his wife, he returns for the first time.
It’s Christmas: markets in full swing, lights twinkling, shoppers shopping, revellers revelling.
Manchester has seen a revolution. The buildings soar higher, the shopping centres sprawl wider. New industries have replaced old and yet, away from the glitter, the tinsel, the hot spiced cider and the enormous inflatable Santa, some things will never change.
Amid the season, there are secrets from which he cannot escape and, when debt-collectors attack his parents’ house, Craig realises the teenage hell-raiser he left behind might not be so buried after all.
NOTHING BUT TROUBLE (JESSICA DANIEL 11)
Niall O’Brien is a veteran living on the edge of a rundown estate, refusing to sell his house to developers. He’s the only remaining resident, alone and frightened by a series of break-ins. He’s been threatening to shoot the next intruder but he can’t be serious…what if the next person through the door is a police officer trying to help?
Elsewhere, on a bright Manchester morning, a vehicle screeches across a junction and wipes out a prison van. Two prisoners run for it, leaving the police to track them down.
They don’t have long to wait.
Hours later, one of the escapees is hanged from a motorway bridge. Was he broken out solely to be killed, or is there something deeper going on?
Meanwhile, someone’s conning pensioners out of their savings and there are rumours that the bareknuckle British middleweight title fight is coming to the city. DI Jessica Daniel fears finding herself in the middle of an all-out war, not knowing the biggest threat might come from a frightened pensioner.
Poppy Kinsey doesn’t really do birthdays.
Hers falls on the type of heart-wrenching, agonising anniversary she would far rather forget. The worst day of them all.
But this year is special because the person dearest to her has left a set of letters from beyond the grave, one for each of her next ten birthdays.
As Poppy opens them year by year, she realises that lessons from the past can just as well be pointers for the present.
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF ELEANOR PARKER
Seventeen-year-old Eleanor Parker wakes with a splutter and a cough. It’s the early hours of a Sunday morning and she’s in the river that runs through the centre of her village with no memory of how she got there.
All she has is an overwhelming sense that something bad happened to her. No, something worse than bad. As terrible as it gets.
She remembers a hand on her chest, another on her head, water in her throat, those final gasps for air.
But if she drowned, then why is she still alive?
And if someone killed her, then who?