5 new books to read this week

·6 min read

Bestseller Florence Given is back with her first foray into fiction…


1. Dark Music by David Lagercrantz is published in hardback by MacLehose Press, priced £20 (ebook £11.99). Available August 18

A crime thriller inspired by Sherlock Holmes, written by the author who successfully continued writing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy sounds like a dream. But it’s happened, and Stockholm-based David Lagercrantz has penned a classic murder mystery bringing together two unlikely allies, needing each other’s expertise to uncover an international conspiracy. Local community police officer Micaela Vargas opens the story after being drafted into a murder inquiry, because she knew the suspect. She teams up with Professor Hans Rekke, a specialist in interrogation techniques, who is brought in to help obtain a confession. Bringing together a well-educated man from the upper classes with a young local police officer from Stockholm’s suburbs is an ingenious idea, and you’ll love the massive contrast in styles of the two main characters, as they cope with the ups and downs of a complicated investigation – one Holmes himself would have loved to solve.8/10(Review by Alan Jones)

2. The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid is published in hardback by Hamish Hamilton, priced £12.99 (ebook £7.99). Available August 11

This latest novel by Mohsin Hamid is a parable-like account of a town whose inhabitants abruptly begin to change skin tone from white to brown. Hamid relates in a detached, rolling manner the tensions, conflicts and near societal breakdown that result, with a particular focus on the impact on the lives of yoga instructor Oona and gym trainer Anders, some of the first to change. It is in recounting the relationship between Oona and Anders, their thoughts and feelings, their struggles with loss – of family members, identity and community – that the novel is strongest, to the extent that wider consequences of the changes, the conspiracy theories and the riots, almost fade from view. The personal experience of difference and assimilation, a familiar theme from Hamid’s other work, is movingly evoked, and gives this novelistic fable its emotional root.7/10(Review by Joshua Pugh Ginn)

3. Girlcrush by Florence Given is published in hardback by Brazen, priced £16.99 (ebook £7.99). Available now

When artist Eartha finally dumps her unfaithful and fairly useless boyfriend, she is excited to be her true self and try dating women as well as men. She soon finds relationships can be tricky, regardless of who they are with, and life gets even more complicated when her drunken coming out video makes her a social media celebrity. Given’s enjoyable first novel looks at how people interact with each other in person and online, and considers how real life differs from the constructed social media images people create. The easy-to-read story also provides an interesting perspective on the price influencers are sometimes expected to pay to make a living.7/10(Review by Beverley Rouse)


4. Forgiveness: An Exploration by Marina Cantacuzino is published in hardback by Simon & Schuster UK, priced £14.99 (ebook £8.99). Available now

What does it really mean to forgive? Is it an act of kindness, selfishness, or something else entirely? That’s what Cantacuzino’s ongoing Forgiveness Project sets out to discover. As such, Forgiveness is less a self-help book than an in-depth case study of what exactly it means to forgive. Bringing together a series of personal stories and expert insights to present and challenge various definitions of forgiveness from across the world, applying science, religion and spirituality to refine the concept, it offers readers a more objective understanding of how forgiveness can help us overcome trauma and live free from resentment. A tentative warning: the personal stories Cantacuzino has chosen are often extreme and sometimes harrowing, and can often make the sentiment of forgiveness difficult to engage with as an average reader. Approach with care and do not necessarily expect to feel more forgiving when you turn the final page.5/10(Review by Scarlett Sangster)

Children’s book of the week

5. Peter Rabbit: Hide And Seek! by Rachel Bright, illustrated by Nicola Kinnear, is published in paperback by Puffin, priced £7.99 (ebook £5.99). Available now

The world’s most beloved bunny is back on the childhood agenda with Hollywood films, an animated TV show, and now a new adventure thanks to author Rachel Bright. Peter Rabbit: Hide And Seek! is the second in this new series of adventures for the floppy-eared hero, and sees him playing tricks on Mr Tod the fox, and inventing a cloak of leaves to shield him from view. But when Peter becomes boastful, he attracts unwanted attention that puts him in danger once more. Bright presents a fresh story that feels in keeping with the original books, and is peppered with characters from the Beatrix Potter canon, but with a sweetness that departs from Potter’s franker tone. With an encouraging and playful narrative complimented by luscious illustrations by Nicola Kinnear, this lyrical tale is a welcome addition to any young child’s bookshelf.8/10(Review by Holly Cowell)


HARDBACK (FICTION)1. The Accomplice by Steve Cavanagh2. Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson3. Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus4. The House Of Fortune by Jessie Burton5. Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin6. Meantime by Frankie Boyle7. The Furies by John Connolly8. Murder Before Evensong by Reverend Richard Coles9. The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell10. Glow by Raven Kennedy(Compiled by Waterstones)

HARDBACK (NON-FICTION)1. Jane’s Patisserie Celebrate! by Jane Dunn2. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith3. Revenge by Tom Bower4. Femina by Janina Ramirez5. None Of The Above by Travis Alabanza6. House Arrest by Alan Bennett7. Killer In The Kremlin by John Sweeney8. The Hong Kong Diaries by Chris Patten9. The Girls Bathroom by Cinzia Baylis-Zullo & Sophia Tuxford10. The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland(Compiled by Waterstones)

AUDIOBOOKS (FICTION AND NON-FICTION)1. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens2. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith3. The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell4. Atomic Habits by James Clear5. Revenge by Tom Bower6. Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus7. This Much Is True by Miriam Margolyes8. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman9. One Last Secret by Adele Parks10. The Hollow Crown by Dan Jones(Compiled by Audible)