Skip to content
More +
Recommendations

New fiction for August 2020

Final cut by S J Watson, Blunt Force by Lynda La Plante, The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel

Check out the latest new titles in our Fiction range.

Still Life by Val McDermid

When lobster fishermen pull a body out of the sea, local police quickly discover the murdered man was the prime suspect in a mysterious disappearance ten years before. Cold case detective Karen Pirie's name is on the file as the last person to review the case. As she starts to unpick the threads of the past, Karen finds herself at the heart of a tangled web of dark and troubling secrets.

Invisible girl by Lisa Jewell

London: On a fine avenue of grand houses, big cars and electronic gates, lies a neglected urban wasteland. It is nearly midnight and very cold. Yet in this dark place of long grass and tall trees where cats hunt and foxes shriek, a girl is waiting. When Saffyre Maddox was 10 something terrible happened and she's carried the pain of it around with her ever since. The man who she thought was going to heal her didn't, and now she hides from him, invisible in the shadows, learning his secrets; secrets she could use to blow his cosy world apart.

Owen Pick is invisible too. He's 33 years old and he's never had a girlfriend, he's never even had a friend. Nobody sees him. Nobody cares about him. But when Saffyre disappears from opposite his house on Valentine's night, suddenly the whole world is looking at him. Accusing him. Holding him responsible. Because he's just the type, isn't he? A bit creepy?

The killings at Kingfisher Hill: the new Hercule Poirot mystery by Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate, where Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiance, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. But there is a strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there. The coach is forced to stop when a distressed woman demands to get off, insisting that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered.

Although the rest of the journey passes without anyone being harmed, Poirot's curiosity is aroused, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered with a macabre note attached. Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And if Helen is innocent, can Poirot find the true culprit in time to save her from the gallows?

The Lies You Told by Harriet Tyce

Sadie has moved back to London so her daughter can attend the exclusive school her domineering father has secured her a place at. It's highly sought-after and highly competitive - just like the other mothers, Sadie soon discovers. While she's trying to get her daughter settled and navigate the fraught politics of the school gate, Sadie is also trying to reclaim a position in her old legal chambers - she used to practice as a criminal barrister. She's given the junior brief on a scandalous case involving a male teacher and his student. It's an opportunity to prove herself, but will she let a dangerous flirtation cloud her professional judgement? And will her sudden close friendship with another mother prevent her from seeing the truth - and the threat that she's inviting into her home?

Summerwater by Sarah Moss

'Summerwater' is a devastating story told over 24 hours in the Scottish highlands, and a searing exploration of our capacity for both kinship and cruelty in these divided times. On the longest day of the summer, twelve people sit cooped up with their families in a faded Scottish cabin park. The endless rain leaves them with little to do but watch the other residents. A woman goes running up the Ben as if fleeing; a retired couple reminisce about neighbours long since moved on; a teenage boy braves the dark waters of the loch in his red kayak.

Each person is wrapped in their own cares but increasingly alert to the makeshift community around them. One particular family, a mother and daughter without the right clothes or the right manners, starts to draw the attention of the others. Tensions rise and all watch on, unaware of the tragedy that lies ahead as night finally falls.

Blunt force by Lynda La Plante

Things can't get much worse for detective Jane Tennison. Unceremoniously kicked off the adrenaline-fuelled Flying Squad, she now plies her trade in Gerald Road, a small and sleepy police station in the heart of London's affluent Knightsbridge. With only petty crime to sink her teeth into, Tennison can feel her career slowly flatlining. That is until the discovery of the most brutal murder Jane has ever seen: Charlie Foxley has been found viciously beaten to death with a cricket bat - his body dismembered and disembowelled. As a big-time theatrical agent, Foxley had a lot of powerful friends - but just as many enemies. And alongside her old friend DS Spencer Gibbs, Tennison must journey into the salacious world of show business to find out which one is the killer, before they strike again.

Blue Ticket by Sophie MacKintosh

Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you children. A blue ticket grants you freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And, once you've taken your ticket, there is no going back. But what if the life you're given is the wrong one?

The glass hotel by Emily St John Mandel

Vincent is the beautiful bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass-and-cedar palace on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it's the beginning of their life together. That same day, a hooded figure scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: 'Why don't you swallow broken glass'. Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship.

Dead to her by Sarah Pinborough

When Marcie met Jason Maddox, she couldn't believe her luck. Becoming Jason's second wife catapulted her into the elite world of high society. But underneath the polite, old money manners, she knows she'll always be an outsider, and her hard-won life hangs by a thread. Then Jason's widowed boss brings back a new wife from his trip to London. Young, beautiful, reckless - nobody can take their eyes off Keisha. Including Jason. Marcie refuses to be replaced so easily. People would kill for her life of luxury. What will Marcie do to keep it?

Midnight at Malabar House by Vaseem Khan

Bombay, New Year's Eve, 1949. As India celebrates the arrival of a momentous new decade, Inspector Persis Wadia stands vigil in the basement of Malabar House, home to the city's most unwanted unit of police officers. Six months after joining the force she remains India's first female police detective, mistrusted, sidelined and now consigned to the midnight shift. And so, when the phone rings to report the murder of prominent English diplomat Sir James Herriot, the country's most sensational case falls into her lap. As 1950 dawns and India prepares to become the world's largest republic, Persis, accompanied by Scotland Yard criminalist Archie Blackfinch, finds herself investigating a case that is becoming more political by the second.

Death in her hands by Ottessa Moshfegh

While on her daily walk with her dog in the nearby woods, our protagonist comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground with stones. Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body. Shaky even on her best days, she is also alone, and new to this area, having moved here from her long-time home after the death of her husband, and now deeply alarmed.

Her brooding about the note grows quickly into a full-blown obsession, as she explores multiple theories about who Magda was and how she met her fate. Her suppositions begin to find echoes in the real world, and the fog of mystery starts to form into a concrete and menacing shape. But is there either a more innocent explanation for all this, or a much more sinister one - one that strikes closer to home?

Must I go by Yiyun Li

Lilia Liska is 81. She has shrewdly outlived three husbands, raised five children and seen the arrival of seventeen grandchildren. Now she has turned her keen attention to a strange little book published by a vanity press: the diary of a long-forgotten man named Roland Bouley, with whom she once had a fleeting affair. Increasingly obsessed by this fragment of intimate history, Lilia begins to annotate the diary with her own rather different version of events. Gradually she undercuts Roland's charming but arrogant voice with an incisive and deeply moving commentary. She reveals to us the surprising, long-held secrets of her past. And she returns inexorably to her daughter, Lucy, who took her own life at the age of 27. 'Must I Go' is an unconventional epistolary novel, a gleefully one-way correspondence between the very-much-alive Lilia and the long-departed Roland.

Final Cut by S.J. Watson

Blackwood Bay. An ordinary place, home to ordinary people. It used to be a buzzing seaside destination. But now, ravaged by the effects of dwindling tourism and economic downturn, it's a ghost town - and the perfect place for film-maker Alex to shoot her new documentary. But the community is deeply suspicious of her intentions. After all, nothing exciting ever happens in Blackwood Bay - or does it?