The days have grown longer, we’ve had warnings about reservoirs drying up, and then, from nowhere, rain and thunder storms of near Biblical proportions, meaning just one thing – the Great British summer has arrived!
Whether you’re sunbathing on the beach, lounging by a pool or simply enjoying the sunshine in your own garden, what better way to relax than with a good book?
From sun-kissed Caribbean escapism to gothic mysteries, apocalyptic thrillers and vicarious tales of life on the tracks, here are our picks of some of the best new and recent books to read this summer!
We’re kicking things off with a big one!
First published in 1979, Paul Theroux’s majestic THE OLD PATAGONIAN EXPRESS is without doubt one of the finest and most celebrated travelogues ever written. Having captivated readers for decades with its entrancing exploration of life of the tracks, the book has now been newly presented in this stunning collector’s edition courtesy of The Folio Society, featuring an exclusive new introduction by Theroux and 24 original colour photographs.
Setting off from his home town in Massachusetts, Theroux’s epic journey takes him thousands of miles across North America, over the Mexican border and through Central America, and then over the Andes and into South America, travelling on some of the most dangerous and most scenic railways in the world.
Beautifully written and filled with enlightening facts and commentary, the book gives us a deep and wonderfully entertaining understanding of the people, cultures and flavours he visits along the way.
If vicarious train travel is what you’re after this summer, then you won’t be disappointed. Immerse yourself in this sensational work and let Theroux transport you through the Americas.
Three Lancashire ladies in their sixties leave their troubles behind and set sail aboard the luxury Diamond Star for a two-week Christmas cruise around the Caribbean in this joyous, feel-good new novel from Caroline James.
Leaving behind the heartache, guilt and disappointment of their real lives, three friends decide that now they’re in their sixties, it’s time they finally did something for themselves! Swapping Christmas turkeys and BBC reruns for crystal waters, white sandy beaches and smooth golden rum, Anne, Jane and Kath throw caution (and tradition) to the wind as they set sail on a luxury two-week Christmas cruise around the Caribbean. Will the three friends find the comfort and joy they seek aboard the Diamond Star?
The perfect summer holiday read, filled with laugh-out-loud hilarity, naughtiness and heartwarming poignancy, THE CRUISE is a girls trip with a difference, guaranteed to leave you beaming from ear to ear – and probably desperate to book a Caribbean cruise!
Winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Hernan Diaz’s magnificent, slow-burning puzzle-box novel employs a clever, Rashomon-esque structure to deliver its sweeping, New York set tale of power, greed, deception and truth.
Can one person change the course of history? A Wall Street tycoon takes a young woman as his wife. Together, they rise to the top in an age of excess and speculation. Now a novelist is threatening to reveal the secrets behind their marriage. Who will have the final word in their story of greed, love and betrayal?
Beginning in the Roaring Twenties, this deliciously twisting novel is composed of four differing versions of the deceptive tale, taking readers on an enigmatic quest for the truth amid a wealth of lies, deceit and buried secrets.
A sharp, unpredictable and richly layered page turner perfect to lose yourself in this summer!
Immersive, vivid, atmospheric, steeped in mystery, Freya Berry’s twisting treasure hunt of a novel has it all. A rich, gothic-tinged tale of dark obsession and long-buried secrets, set between New York and a remote Scottish castle in the early twentieth century.
To the reader with an inquisitive mind and a fearless disposition, You are invited to embark on a quest, a treasure hunt, if you will, down a path only a puzzler may dare tread. Within this book lie pages from a diary – ripped out and hidden by a woman in love, terrified for her life. Inside the diary she concealed a trail of clues, all pointing to a book, The Birdcage Library, a faded tome found in her possessions after she disappeared. The clues, once solved, lead to the location of a secret so prized a man might go to any lengths to find it… What was the fate of the diary’s owner? And what of the treasure she guarded so fiercely? Curious reader, can you unlock the mystery? Will you set her secret free?
Part historical thriller, part sweeping romance, part gripping whodunnit, Berry’s complex, multi-layered novel is a beautifully crafted and hugely compelling work that is sure to entertain and captivate readers of all ages.
Just a brilliant story brilliantly told.
Four years after the release of Knife, thriller maestro Jo Nesbo is back with KILLING MOON, the blistering thirteenth instalment in the multi-million-selling Harry Hole series, and sure to be one of the must-read, murder-mystery thrillers this summer.
Two young women are missing. Strangers to each other, but last seen at the same party. When the body of one of them is found with fresh stitches along her hairline, the hunt is on to find a murderer with singular methods. Catching this criminal calls for a detective with a singular mind. Only Harry Hole can stop this ingenious psychopath. But Harry is gone: struck off the force, down and out in LA. It seems like nothing can entice him back to Oslo. Until someone close to him comes under threat. But there is more to this case than meets the eye and the clock is ticking to find the missing woman, before the body count rises.
Gruesome, incredibly tense and filled with signature twists and turns aplenty, this marks a real return to top form for Nesbo and a very welcome new entry in the essential Harry Hole series.
Gripping, ingeniously plotted and with non-stop thrills, Gillian McAllister’s spellbinding page-turner is unquestionably one of the year’s most brilliantly crafted thrillers.
Playing out like a bingeworthy Netflix boxset, and filled with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing, McAllister’s novel mixes elements of murder mystery, sci-fi and psychological thriller to weave its time-travelling tale of a mother’s desperate attempts to prevent a murder at the hands of her teenage son.
It’s Groundhog Day with a dark and twisted difference.
It’s late. You’re waiting up for your son.
Then you spot him: he’s with someone. And – you can’t believe what you see – your funny, happy teenage boy stabs this stranger.
You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your son is charged with murder. His future is lost.
That night you fall asleep in despair. But when you wake… it is yesterday. The day before the murder.
Somewhere in the past lie the answers – a reason for this crime.
And your only chance to stop it…
Top Hanks is not only one of the finest actors ever to grace the silver screen, but he’s also an incredibly gifted and engaging storyteller, as this wonderful new novel affirms.
THE MAKING OF ANOTHER MOTION PICTURE MASTERPIECE is a funny, thought-provoking and wildly ambitious tale of movie-making, show business and storytelling, spanning 80 years in a rapidly changing America and offering a touching insider’s take on the momentous efforts it takes to make a film. A magical must-read novel.
Culminating in the opening of the film, we meet a colourful cast of characters including a troubled soldier returning from war, a young boy with an artistic gift, an inspired and eccentric director, a pompous film star on the rise, a tireless production assistant and countless film crew members that together create Hollywood magic. At once a reflection on America’s past and present, on the world of show business and the real world we all live in.
Following the release of The Last Day in 2020, Andrew Hunter Murray returns in fine style with this high concept, post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller filled with unsettling mysteries and gripping, unpredictable twists.
Sanctuary Rock is a perfect place. A remote island, owned by a wealthy philanthropist who is building a brand-new world on the ruins of the old one. Ben only came to the island to bring his fiancée Cara home. But when he arrives, he is rapidly seduced by the vision of a better way of life, as described by the charismatic and mysterious Sir John. Before long, he decides to stay. But the island holds darker secrets than he could ever have suspected. Then he learns the only route back to the mainland is about to close for good. And his own life may be in terrible danger . . .