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Five new books to read this week

Five new books to read this week

Cosy up with some gripping thrillers in this week’s new releases…


1. Her by Mira V Shah is published in paperback by Hodder. Available now

When Natalie moves into the same street as Rani, she seems to have it all. Rani is an unfulfilled housewife, grappling with low self-esteem and struggling to fit into the wealthy neighbourhood she rents her flat in, whilst Natalie has the perfect husband, house and job. However, as Rani befriends Natalie, the closer she gets the more she realises that this world is not as perfect as it would seem. Natalie is hiding secrets from her past that even she is struggling to uncover. Narrated from the thoughts of both Rani and Natalie, two very different contrasting and complex characters, this psychological thriller is filled with twists and turns that keep you gripped to the very end. You won’t want to put it down.
(Review by Jacqueline Ling)

2. Murder Town by Shelley Burr is published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton on December 28th.

It’s obvious why Rainier is known as murder town – three people were killed, shattering the local community for a generation. Just when memories start to fade after 15 years, a controversial plan to run tours around the murder sites rekindles the horrors of the past. But the tour operator is murdered, sparking fears of a copycat Rainier Ripper. The desperate authorities enlist a prisoner to try to befriend the original Ripper in his cell for possible clues. The main characters of Murder Town are compelling, such as teashop owner Gemma Guillory, who discovered one of the original murder victims, and her police officer husband with his dark secrets. The plot takes several twists, skilfully told by Australian writer Shelley Burr – while the ending leaves open the mouth-watering prospect of a follow up.
(Review by Alan Jones)

3. Central Places by Delia Cai is published in paperback by Merky Books. Available now

In her debut, Vanity Fair writer Delia Cai takes on themes of racial ‘passing’ and belonging through the Chinese-American experience of her 27-year-old protagonist, Audrey Zhou. On a reluctant visit to her parents in Illinois for the first time in eight years, Audrey struggles to reconcile her small-town teenage self with the New Yorker adult she has become. As the borders between Illinois and New York dissipate, so too do those built up between Audrey and the parents who immigrated from Wuhan to raise her. In the midst of her own self-discovery, she also has to choose between her childhood crush and her golden-boy fiancé. It is a simple story, but Cai gives a witty insight into what it is like to navigate life as a young Chinese-American woman.
(Review by Kristina Wemyss)


4. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien is published in hardback by WH Allen. Available now

From the extensive introduction to the last page, this is a compelling read. A thought-provoking and illuminating book; O’Brien doesn’t hold any punches when taking the reader through the characters and events populating British society since 2010. It is a book which will make you gasp in shock, shake your head in bewilderment and wonder how any of this was allowed to take place in 21st century Britain. Whilst it would have been easy for the book to become about the author’s frustrations with the governing party since 2010, he has done a great job of keeping it factual, interesting, and informative, tracing the role of the press, politicians and commentators and their impact. It’s an easy and fascinating read; well-constructed and with the rhythm required to maintain interest.
(Review by Frances Taylor-Cook)

Children’s book of the week

5. The Robin Who Stole Christmas by Rachel Morrisroe, illustrated by Richard Merritt, is published in paperback by Puffin. Available now

This is a bright, witty, rhyming Christmas treat, telling the story of Rotten Robin as he learns about the true meaning of Christmas. The vivid, humorous, and detailed illustrations complement the cheeky nature of the story perfectly. The storytelling is a refreshing change from the usual narrative of children’s Christmas stories, balancing the perfect amount of naughty and nice, with age-relevant humour aplenty. This is sure to be a tale that will be asked for again and again, and will spark the imagination of children to explore all the other things that Rotten Robin and his grim and grizzly crew could get up to.
(Review by Frances Taylor-Cook)


1. Prophet Song by Paul Lynch
2. The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman
3. The Secret by Lee Child & Andrew Child
4. In Memoriam by Alice Winn
5. A Stroke Of The Pen by Terry Pratchett
6. The Bee Sting by Paul Murray
7. Yellowface by Rebecca F Kuang
8. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
9. The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
10. The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Private Eye Annual: 2023 by Ian Hislop
2. Politics On The Edge by Rory Stewart
3. Guinness World Records 2024
4. Rambling Man by Billy Connolly
5. 5 Ingredients Mediterranean by Jamie Oliver
6. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien
7. Unruly by David Mitchell
8. The Woman In Me by Britney Spears
9. Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
10. Loosely Based On A Made-up Story by James Blunt
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Unruly by David Mitchell
2. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien
3. Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
4. None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
5. The Woman In Me by Britney Spears
6. Atomic Habits by James Clear
7. The Twat Files by Dawn French
8. Loosely Based On A Made-Up Story by James Blunt
9. Be Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger
10. The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman
(Compiled by Audible)