The new reads our Books Editor can't put down...
New book recommendations for 2015!
The British summer is in full swing. And when the sun shines, perhaps you’ll steal away a sunny five minutes to read outside. There are plenty of new reads to keep you entertained – whether you enjoy gripping crime novels, elegantly-written short stories, a tense thriller or something funny.
2015 is set to be an exciting year in the literary world. And it is only just the beginning. This month’s highlights include two page-turning debuts, a feel-good Cornish romance and a chilling crime drama. From idyllic beach side cafes to dark, gripping stories about loss and crime, there is something for everyone in this round of book recommendations. Once you’ve read one, let us know your thoughts.
Our Books Editor, Fanny Blake reads countless new novels every week, so her book recommendations are guaranteed to be good. Keep clicking for the new reads she couldn’t put down…
Unforgettably dark and complex, The Sisters is the award-winning psychological thriller from journalist-turned-author, Claire Douglas.
The tale of twin sisters, Lucy and Beth, who are tragically forced apart. One dies and the other leaves their small town to start a fresh elsewhere. There she meets Bea, who bears a striking resemblance to her sister, and becomes intertwined in a deep dark secret one person will do anything to hide. When truth comes out, will anyone survive?
The Sisters won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award, which was judged by bestselling author, Cecelia Ahern. If you loved The Girl on the Train or Her, you’ll love this.
A daughter searches for her mother who disappeared from an elephant sanctuary ten years earlier. Unputdownable.
The lives of three women unfold until they’re brought together in this warm-hearted, romantic read.
Bookseller Joe Goldberg is a stalker who sets his sights on one woman. A gasp-inducing portrait of obsession.
Bipolar Dana wakes with a hangover to discover her neighbour Celia is dead. Could she be responsible? Complex characters and plenty of intrigue.
The discovery of a shocking secret is just the start of a holiday that the Tarrant family will not forget in a hurry.
Sixty-something Petra falls for her best friend’s husband. But she is not the only woman in the world dealing with the consequences of betrayal. Funny, touching and surprising, Moggach has her finger right on the older woman’s pulse.
Damaged Italian siblings Antonella and Matteo Fullardi bring havoc into the lives of the wealthy Tennison family. Beadily observed and quietly compelling – I happily polished it off one evening.
Arriving at Pencraw House, Lorna experiences an uncanny sense of deja vu. What happened there decades earlier begins to take its hold. Atmospheric, with echoes of du Mauriet, this haunting novel enchanted me.
Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby undertake a testing journey through the freezing cold Alaskan wastelands in search of Ruby’s father. But someone else is out there, watching from the dark. Chilling in every sense.
What I’m reading now…
‘The internet is a dark and dangerous place, especially when something private gets in to the wrong hands. So learns fifteen-year-old Romy when an intimate video of her and a classmate leaks at school. The worst part? The headmistress dealing with the fall out happens to be her mother. A gripping tale of family secrets that explores just how much we share online, and the long-term effects our misdemeanours can have on the ones we love. I’m a quarter of the way through and hooked!’
Natalie Cornish, Online Editor
Keep clicking for Fanny’s favourite new reads…
The heart-rending story of a boy on the run in 1944, the time of the gypsy holocaust, interweaves with those of his Roma father and English mother. An extraordinary, evocative novel about love and survival.
Jean Perdu runs a bookshop on a barge on the Seine. Shattered to discover why his lover Manon left him, he embarks on a journey through the waterways of France to learn her fate. A novel about love and books – what better?
Anna, an American ex-pat in Switzerland, tries to be a good wife and mother but her life is unravelling through a series of affairs. I read this at a sitting, transfixed by this insightful and shocking portrait of a woman on the edge.
Buy Haus Frau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
A devoted wife and mother gets drawn into her murdered sister’s chatroom life with devastating results. By the author of Before I go to Sleep , this tension-driven novel is packed with suspense and surprises.
Buy Second Life by SJ Watson
1717. In a Swedish community fraught with superstitions, Maija sets out to see if a mutilated body was murdered. Strong sense of place, robust characters and gothicky atmosphere.
Buy Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback
Millie’s daughter’s abroad, her second-best friend’s having more sex than her, she’s broke and overweight. When offered the opportunity to test a diet pill, she leaps at it, but it’s not the cure-all she hopes for. Funny and touching.
Buy Losing It by Helen Lederer
This fictional diary of Vanessa Bell depicts the complex and difficult relationship she has with her sister, Virginia Woolf. At a time when Victorian conventions were being shed, I found this an absorbing and evocative read.
Buy Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parama
Beneath the golden life shared by Julian and Julia and their daughter Mira lies a secret. A razor-sharp dissection of a relationship, this is exquisitely written and plotted.
Buy The Kindness by Polly Samson
Justine runs from an abusive relationship to the Highlands where she meets Michael and Hannah, equally escaping their past but to mend their marriage. A compassionate and poignant novel about forgiveness and identity.
Buy Rise by Karen Campbell
Five footprints in cement are all that’s left of Anna’s four-year-old son, who has vanished without a trace. Will a visionary pyschic help solve the mystery, or is he a fraud? A twisty, fast-paced plot that kept me on tenterhooks.
Buy The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer
The Cornish idyll enjoyed by Polly Waterford and her boyfriend, Huckle, is threatened when the ownership changes of the bakery she runs. A fun, warm hearted read with recipes too.
Buy Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
Claustophobic story told by a girl taken from her home by her survivalist father and forced to live in an isolated hut with minimum resources. Astonishing sense of place and with a sense of tension that gripped me from the off.
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
This accomplished and enthralling debut novel follows what happens after the abduction of an eight-year-old girl, Carmel. Told from both her and her mother’s points of view, this had me guessing until the very last page.
Buy The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer
In his first novel for ten years, Booker-winning Ishiguro takes us to the Dark Ages when a dragon’s mist covers the land, dimming memory. At its heart an elderly couple embark on a journey to find their son. This riveting and intriguing fable about memory, love and war completely seduced me.
Buy The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
A fabulously engrossing epic read that moves through the 20th century, as Kate Darling’s search for the story behind a postcard sends her on a journey into her family’s past. A story of love, disgrace and family secrets.
Buy The Book Of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley
When Ada and her daughter Pepper arrive to clear Ada’s mother’s house, they don’t intend to stay. But things change. Fanny was drawn into this marvellous debut by the exquisite writing, the characters and the strong sense of pace.
Buy Weathering by Lucy Wood
One woman survives a jungle massacre in Botswana. Six years later, a horrific murder in Boston may be linked to it. Detective Jane Rizzoli and forensic pathologist Maura Isles are on the case. A gruesome, gripping up all-nighter.
Buy Die Again by Tess Gerritsen
Our Books Editor, Fanny Blake only discovered this superlative short story writer a couple of years ago. Her elegant new collection of shrewdly observed stories dealing with love, friendship, ageing and much more delivers in every way.
Buy Honeydew by Edith Pearlman
In the vein of The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time or The Shock Of The Fall, this is an intriguing and moving story of a troubled teenage boy who tries to exorcise his demons by keeping a journal.
Buy Alice and The Fly by James Rice
1935. An Independence Day BBQ simmers with racial tension and resentments. By morning, a terrible crime has been committed. Off the Florida coast, a hurricane is heading their way. So tense, Fanny raced through it.
Buy Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye
A woman becomes involved in a criminal investigation because of what she has seen from her daily commuter train. Reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and The Silent Wife, a novel that grabbed Fanny from the start and didn’t let go.
Buy The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Eve is murdered days after Melody’s attacker is released from jail. Will the killer come for Melody again? This intriguing and twisty thriller kept our Books Editor reading into the night as a network of lies and deceit unravel.
Buy The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth
On her way to a party dressed as a superhero, Jenny Pepper stumbles on a street crime. She steps in and feels fantastic. So begins her double life, tackling petty crime by night, being an ordinary housewife by day…until her lives collide. A quirky, entertaining read – Fanny loved it.
Buy Vigilante by Shelley Harris