The Covid-19 Catastrophe
Which books to read along the route of LNER
21st March 2020
Which books to read along the route of LNER?
These are testing times. Travel is restricted that most of us now have to resort to armchair travel. Here we cherrypick some top titles – a mix across genres – along the route. LNER just happens to be our local network to get us both to London and up to Scotland from Northumberland.
We begin our trip in London which is the starting point for many a journey and then visit some of the major locations along the LNER route. Click on the heading for each location and you can find all the titles we list in that place! Enjoy the journey!
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.
Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.
The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying.
Platform Seven by Louise Doughty (which of course is set largely ON Peterborough Station)
Platform Seven is new. It is also the furthest point of Peterborough Station from the entrance. It is completely deserted. The man walking along the covered walkway at 4am on this freezing November morning knows that. As he sits on the metal bench at the far end of the platform it is clear his choice is strategic: a wall hides him from the CCTV camera’s persistent blink.
What the man fails to realise is that he is not alone, and what Lisa Evans knows, to her cost, is what his decision to be here means, as she tries and fails to stop him standing and walking to the platform edge.
Two deaths on Platform Seven. Two fatalities in eighteen months – surely they’re connected?
No one is more desperate to understand what connects them than Lisa Evans herself. She was after all the first of the two to die.
Behind the Scenes of the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn’t married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but here she was, stuck in a flat above the pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster, with sensible and sardonic Patrica aged five, greedy cross-patch Gillian who refused to be ignored, and Ruby…
Ruby tells the story of The Family, from the day at the end of the nineteenth century when a travelling French photographer catches frail beautiful Alice and her children, like flowers in amber, to the startling, witty, and memorable events of Ruby’s own life.
The Man on the Street by Trevor Wood
It started with a splash. Jimmy, a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, did his best to pretend he hadn’t heard it – the sound of something heavy falling into the Tyne at the height of an argument between two men on the riverbank. Not his fight.
Then he sees the headline: GIRL IN MISSING DAD PLEA. The girl, Carrie, reminds him of someone he lost, and this makes his mind up: it’s time to stop hiding from his past. But telling Carrie, what he heard – or thought he heard – turns out to be just the beginning of the story.
The police don’t believe him, but Carrie is adamant that something awful has happened to her dad and Jimmy agrees to help her, putting himself at risk from enemies old and new.
But Jimmy has one big advantage: when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.
44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
First in the series. The stories are centred around the residents of a house in Edinburgh, and offer slices of life through the different characters who live there and whose lives overlap. (A note in the introduction that this idea for this series began at a party given by Amy Tan and in a conversation with Armistad Maupin and originally these stories appeared in a newspaper …)
Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride (the first in the Logan McRae series)
It’s DS Logan McRae’s first day back on the job after a year off on the sick, and it couldn’t get much worse. Three-year-old David Reid’s body is discovered in a ditch: strangled, mutilated and a long time dead. And he’s only the first. There’s a serial killer stalking the Granite City and the local media are baying for blood.
Soon the dead are piling up in the morgue almost as fast as the snow on the streets, and Logan knows time is running out. More children are going missing. More are going to die. And if Logan isn’t careful, he could end up joining them.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
1946, and Claire Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank. It’s a second honeymoon, a chance to re-establish their loving marriage. But one afternoon, Claire walks through a circle of standing stones and vanishes into 1743, where the first person she meets is a British army officer – her husband’s six-times great-grandfather.
Unfortunately, Black Jack Randall is not the man his descendant is, and while trying to escape him, Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Scottish outlaws, and finds herself a Sassenach – an outlander – in danger from both Jacobites and Redcoats.
Marooned amid danger, passion and violence, her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.
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