From historical thrills to family drama, these are the page-turners you need to make room in your suitcase for…
Whether you’re taking advantage of your double-jabbed status, sweating over the traffic light system or playing safe with a staycation, one thing your holiday can’t do without is a good book.
Whatever your plans, there are stacks of exciting new fiction releases to dive into, meaning we’re spoiled for choice this summer.
So, to make your packing decisions a little easier, we’ve sifted through some of the year’s best books so far to narrow things down a little.
These are the five books you need to put straight to the top of your reading list, wherever you’re spending your next break…
1. People Of Abandoned Character – Clare Whitfield
What would you do if you suspected your husband was Jack the Ripper?
That’s the question posed to protagonist Susannah, when her new husband begins to display increasingly volatile behaviour, and his late-night disappearances begin to coincide with the discovery of victim after victim.
A twisty-turny crime thriller set in 19th century London that will have you on the edge of your beach towel.
2. The Night Of The Flood – Zoë Somerville
Norfolk in the 1950s, and young Verity Frost feels trapped – trapped by life on the family farm and the stifling attentions of childhood friend Arthur.
Then she meets Jack, a charismatic American pilot, and the possibility of escape rears its head – only for her world to be turned on its head by a devastating storm, and a love triangle that soon turns murderous…
Big on atmosphere and with tension to spare, this is perfect for anyone who prefers their romance with a darker edge.
3. Patience - Victoria Scott
If you were offered a chance to cure your child’s disease, would you take it?
This is the dilemma facing the Willow family, when an experimental gene therapy provides the hope of a cure for the locked-in syndrome that afflicts youngest daughter Patience.
The risks are real, the stakes impossibly high, and with opinions differing amongst the family, the tension is almost unbearable. As for Patience, she knows what she wants, but with no way of communicating it, she is forced to watch on along with the reader.
A thoughtful and sensitive meditation on disability and the notion of a “normal life” – expect to find yourself welling up by the pool.
4. The Thief On The Winged Horse – Kate Mascarenhas
Persephone Kendrick’s family have been making dolls for hundreds of years. Not just any dolls either. Dolls with the ability to provoke extreme emotion in a person after a single touch.
Persephone longs to learn the magic involved in the family craft, but that knowledge is only afforded to her male relatives – so when a handsome new arrival approaches the Kendricks, claiming to be one of their own, she sees the chance to take what she wants…
Come for the fantasy thrills, stay for the scathing assessment of gender inequality.
5. The Silence Of Scheherazade – Defne Suman
Set in the ancient city of Smyrna, this is the story of four families enduring the violent destruction of their peaceful lives during the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
Birth, death, romance and grief are shared unevenly amongst them as Smyrna becomes a mere bargaining chip in the wake of the First World War.
A powerful work of historical fiction, touching on everything from race and religion, to nationhood and cultural identity, consider this one a must-read.
Ready to upgrade your summer reading list? All of the titles above and many more are available to buy from Head of Zeus publishing. Shop the full range here.