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Paperbacks

Fallen by Lia Mills

Fallen by Lia Mills

(Penguin, £12.99)

With recommendations from Anne Enright and Kevin Barry, Mills's Dublin-set First World War romance generates high expectations. But they are not easily filled as this is a fairly conventional tale of love-against-the-odds, when feisty heroine Katie, who wants to go against her family and continue her education, meets and falls for her dead brother's soldier friend.

Blood And Sand by Frank Gardner (Transworld, £9.99)

It is 10 years since the BBC security correspondent was shot and paralysed by al Qaida gunmen in Saudi Arabia. His account of the attack on him is shocking, not least for the way a local crowd gathered round him and did nothing to help. But his passion for the region and its people is really what this book is about.

Blood Whispers by John Gordon Sinclair

(Faber, £12.99)

East European sex trafficking gangs are certainly giving crime fiction writers plenty of material, and Sinclair makes good use of local settings and more exotic ones in this tale about a damaged but tough Glasgow lawyer and a damaged but tough Serbian prostitute. No surprises here - obligatory switches between points of view - but written with pace.

The Marijuana Chronicles edited by Jonathan Santlofer (No Exit Press, £9.99)

It's hard to imagine a collection bringing together writers as diverse as Lee Child and Joyce Carol Oates, but this one pulls it off, mixing touching memoir and some surprisingly good fiction to positive effect, and asking us to think about the drug differently. It is especially timely now that 19 US states have legalized medical marijuana.

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