Nora Ephron – Heartburn, £9.99 paperback
Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that this woman has a ‘neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb’ is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel is a cookery writer, and between trying to win Mark back and wishing him dead, she offers us some of her favourite recipes. Heartburn is a roller coaster of love, betrayal, loss and most satisfyingly revenge. This is Nora Ephron’s (screenwriter of When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle) roman a clef.
Zora Neale Hurston – Their Eyes Were Watching God, £9.99 paperback
She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. When, at sixteen, Janie is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams – who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds. ‘For me, Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century.
Benjamin Myers – These Darkening Days, £9.99 paperback
As autumn draws in, a series of unexplained vicious attacks occur in a small northern town renowned for being a bohemian backwater. As the national media descends, local journalist Roddy Mace attempts to tell the story, but finds the very nature of truth brought into question. He turns to disgraced detective James Brindle for help. When further attacks occur the shattered community becomes the focus of an accelerating media that favours immediacy over truth. Murder and myth collide in a folk-crime story about place, identity and the tangled lives of those who never leave.
Graeme Macrae Burnet – Case Study, £9.99 paperback
An unworldly young woman suspects charismatic psychotherapist Collins Braithwaite of involvement in a death in her family. Determined to find out more, she becomes a client of his under a false identity. But she soon finds herself drawn into a world in which she can no longer be certain of anything. In Case Study, Graeme Macrae Burnet presents both sides: the woman’s notes and the life of Collins Braithwaite. The result is a dazzling, page-turning and wickedly humorous meditation on the nature of sanity, identity and truth itself, by one of the most inventive novelists writing today.
Louise Penny – The Beautiful Mystery, £8.99 paperback
There is more to solving a crime than following the clues. Welcome to Chief Inspector Gamache’s world of facts and feelings. Hidden deep in the wilderness are the cloisters of two dozen monks – men of prayer and music, famous the world over for their glorious voices. But a brutal death throws the monastery doors open to the world. And through them walks the only man who can shine light upon the dark deeds within: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Who among the brothers has become an angel of death? As the peace of the monastery crumbles around him, Gamache finds clues in the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.
Doug Johnstone – The Space Between Us, £9.99 paperback
Lennox is a troubled teenager with no family. Ava is eight months pregnant and fleeing her abusive husband. Heather is a grieving mother and cancer sufferer. They don’t know each other, but when a meteor streaks over Edinburgh, all three suffer instant, catastrophic strokes, only to wake up the following day in hospital, miraculously recovered. When news reaches them of an octopus-like creature washed up on the shore near where the meteor came to earth, Lennox senses that some extra-terrestrial force is at play. With the help of Ava, Heather and a journalist, Ewan, he rescues the creature they call ‘Sandy’ and goes on the run. But they aren’t the only ones with an interest in the alien – close behind are Ava’s husband, the police and a government unit who wants to capture the creature, at all costs. And Sandy’s arrival may have implications beyond anything anyone could imagine.
Ben Hinshaw – Exactly What You Mean, £9.99 paperback
Surrounded by the dramatic beauty of Guernsey, a teenager discovers a secret and finds his betrayal has the power to ruin adult lives. In London, a marriage shot through with infidelity leads to a quest for revenge, resulting in a series of simultaneously comical and catastrophic events. And in California, as wildfires threaten landscapes and lives, a young veteran struggles with the trauma of war, seeking solace at a local ranch. In this extraordinary debut, a cast of characters grapple with unexpected betrayal, the loss of innocence and the lies we tell.
Charlotte Leonard – Afterwards, £9.99 paperback
When Emma gets home after work one evening, she calls hello to her husband Jay, as she always does. Stepping into the kitchen, she sees he has done the shopping, as she had reminded him to; remembered to buy peppercorns; has bought her flowers. Everything is neatly put away. But Jay is not there. A photographer, all Jay has left behind is his camera containing five photographs, which are unlike his other work. Emma follows the images to Cornwall, beginning a journey in which old relationships are re-written and new ones are formed. As the visual mystery of each photograph unfolds, Emma finds herself unravelling and perilously close to breaking point. But could her unlikely salvation lie in the sea, a small community of swimmers and the promise of something Emma thought she didn’t want?