We think a good book read at the right time is the perfect read, whatever the season! Our summer fiction list therefore features our usual blend of all kinds of novel, including plenty in translation.
Contemporary and 20th C life:
The suspenseful Before the Fall by Noah Hawley is set on Martha’s Vineyard. Chains of Sand by Jemma Wayne explores conflict in the Middle East, and Egyptian Basma Abdel Aziz concentrates on the microcosm of life that is The Queue. On home ground, How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry and Love, Or Nearest Offer by Adèle Geras are real treats. It’s back to the 1960s for three novels: Jill Dawson’s The Crime Writer which takes Patricia Highsmith as its subject, and small town America in Susan Beale’s The Good Guy and a novel influenced by the Manson Murders in Emma Cline’s The Girls. The 1970s are the setting for Nina Stibbe’s Paradise Lodge which combines teenagers and a residential care home for much comic drama. Rose Tremain’s The Gustav Sonata covers the second half of the 20th century in a Swiss setting. We’re back to the 21st century for the contemplative novel The Sacred Combe by Thomas Maloney and the dissected family relationships in The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss; This Must be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell is also the story of a modern marriage.
Crime & Thrillers:
Louise Doughty’s new novel Black Water is a very different to her previous thriller, but fans of Pierre Lemaitre’s French new noir novels will be delighted by the standalone psychological drama Blood Wedding. Italian author Massimo Carlotto is the author of the ‘Alligator’ series of which For All the Gold in the World is the latest. Our next choice takes us to Lapland for In the Month of the Midnight Sun, the second novel by Cecilia Ekbäck. If you like cozy crime – of the Victorian kind, The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders may appeal, or Christie tribute The Sinking Admiral – a group-written mystery from members of the Crime Club!
We go WWII Paris for Alan Furst’s A Hero in France, and between the wars for the fictional account of Churchill and Chaplin’s friendship Two Gentlemen on the Beach. Set further back in 1893 is Sarah Perry’s much anticipated second novel The Essex Serpent. Continuing back in time to the 1770s,The Revelations of Carey Ravine by Debra Daley will be perfect for fans of Georgian London.
To keep you wondering:
There’s Jenn Ashworth’s fourth novel Fell and Eowyn Ivey’s tale of Alaskan exploration To the Bright Edge of the World, plus David Mitchell’s ghostly Slade House is now out in paperback
and finally, Short Stories:
We always like to include at least one selection and Rosy Thornton’s new collection Sandlands, set in Suffolk is stunning.
Annabel, Fiction editor