The Seduction by Joanna Briscoe
Beth lives by Camden Lock with her partner Sol and their daughter Fern. Life is peaceful, but Beth is troubled by increasing unease. It could be to do with her mother's disappearance years ago. It could be her sense that Fern is keeping secrets from her. She goes into therapy and her sessions with Dr Tamara Bywater become the highlight of her week. But Beth is in over her head, spilling all her secrets, before she realises Tamara might not be all she seems. What if the person you trust the most turns out to be the greatest danger of all? This is an addictive new story of desire and obsession from the bestselling author of Sleep With Me.
“Elegant. Gripping. Seductive. A pitch-perfect thriller about obsession and paranoia.” – David Nicholls, author of One Day
Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
Mary Rose Whitehead isn’t looking for trouble, but when it shows up at her front door, she finds she can’t turn away. Corinne Shepherd, newly widowed, wants nothing more than to mind her own business, and for everyone else to mind theirs. But when the town she has spent years rebelling against closes ranks, she realises she is going to have to take a side. Debra Ann is motherless, lonely and in need of a friend. But in a place like Odessa, choosing who to trust can be a dangerous game. Gloria Ramirez, 14 years old and out of her depth, survives the brutality of one man only to face the indifference and prejudices of many. When justice is as slippery as oil, and kindness becomes a hazardous act, sometimes courage is all we have to keep us alive. A top ten New York Times bestseller, this compulsive debut novel explores the aftershock of a brutal crime on the women of a small Texas oil town.
“The very definition of a stunning debut.” – Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House
This Happy by Niamh Campbell
When Alannah was 23, she met a man who was older than her – a married man – and fell in love. Things happened suddenly. They met in April, in the first bit of mild weather; in August, they went to stay in rural Ireland, overseen by their cottage's landlady. Six years later, when Alannah is newly married to another man, she sees the landlady from afar. Memories of those days spent in bliss, then torture, return to her. So too comes the realisation that, all this time, she has been waiting to be rediscovered. Intertwining wry, sharp acuity with passion and longing, Campbell’s debut novel about a young woman who looks back on a formative affair is a profound meditation on love, pain, denial and the power of memory.
“Reading this razorblade of a debut I often laughed out loud, and more often still shivered with recognition. A hot, ripe portrait of the recent shifts in Ireland and what it means to be a woman inside it.” – Sue Rainsford, author of Follow Me To Ground
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age 16, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a riveting, emotional family story.
“The Vanishing Half is an utterly mesmerising novel. It seduces with its literary flair, surprises with its breath-taking plot twists, delights with its psychological insights, and challenges us to consider the corrupting consequences of racism on different communities and individual lives. I absolutely loved this book.” – Bernardine Evaristo, winner of the Booker Prize 2019
The Cat and The City by Nick Bradley
A stray cat is weaving her way through the back alleys of Tokyo. With each detour, she brushes up against the seemingly disparate lives of the city’s dwellers, connecting them in unexpected ways. But Tokyo is changing. As it does, it pushes her to the margins, where she chances upon a series of apparent strangers: a homeless man squatting in an abandoned hotel, a shut-in hermit afraid to leave his house, a convenience store worker searching for love. The cat orbits Tokyo's denizens, drawing them ever closer. A tender and darkly comic story about belonging and loneliness.
“If you're itching to read a new novel by David Mitchell, try this.” – The Times
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemi Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. Noemi is an unlikely rescuer: she's a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited to cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she's also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin's new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemi; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi's dreams with visions of doom. Her only ally is the family's youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemi, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family's past.
“Blends chilling scenes of all-out horror with elements of traditional gothic… It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America.” – The Guardian
Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
It’s 1957 in the south-east suburbs of London. Jean Swinney is a features writer on a local paper, disappointed in love and – on the brink of 40 – living a limited existence with her truculent mother. When a young Swiss woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud. But the more she investigates, the more her life becomes strangely intertwined with that of the Tilburys: Gretchen herself, her husband Howard and her charming daughter Margaret. But they are the subject of the story Jean is researching for the newspaper, a story that increasingly seems to be causing dark ripples across all their lives. Jean cannot bring herself to give up the chance of finally tasting happiness, but there will be a price to pay.
“This is one of the most tender, beautiful books I have ever read. Please, please order it now. I honestly don't want you to be without it. It is exquisite.” – Lucy Mangan, author of Bookworm
Intruders by EC Scullion
Disgraced security consultant Tom Holt accepts a job from a mysterious lawyer, on behalf of a client named Capricorn. Holt’s team comprises Anil, a safe-cracking ex-con; Ray, a disgruntled logistics man; and Becca, a fiery red-headed thief with as much attitude as she has talent for picking pockets. On arrival in the alluring Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, Holt’s past swiftly catches up with him. As he begins to question the client’s motives, he finds there are darker, more sinister characters who show loyalty to his employer. Who is Capricorn? What’s inside the safe? Holt is about to discover how far he will go to expose the truth, even if it means risking everything, including his own life.
“A tense, twisting, international thriller. A talented writer to watch.” – Adam Hamdy, author of The Hunter