Skip to content
More +
Recommendations

New fiction for October 2021

by Brandon King

Take a look at our latest fiction titles for October 2021.

Better off dead, by Lee Child and Andrew Child

Reacher never backs down from a problem. And he's about to find a big one, on a deserted road in Arizona, where a car has crashed into the only tree for miles around. Minutes later, Reacher is heading into town. To introduce himself to the shadowy crew who made it happen. Their boss has a terrifying reputation and the stakes are high. Just to get in and meet him, Reacher is going to have to achieve the impossible. To get answers will be even harder. There are people in this hostile, empty place who would rather die, than reveal their secrets. But then, if Reacher is coming after you, you might be better off dead.

Oh William!, by Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton is a successful writer living in New York, navigating the second half of her life as a recent widow and parent to two adult daughters. A surprise encounter leads her to reconnect with William, her first husband - and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidante. Recalling their college years, the birth of their daughters, the painful dissolution of their marriage, and the lives they built with other people, Strout weaves a portrait, stunning in its subtlety, of a tender, complex, decades-long partnership.

Silverview, by John Le Carré

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the City for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian's evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian's family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise. When a letter turns up at the door of a spy chief in London warning him of a dangerous leak, the investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea.

Three sisters, by Heather Morris

A promise to stay together. An unbreakable bond. A fierce will to survive. When they are little girls, Cibi, Magda and Livia make a promise to their father - that they will stay together, no matter what. Years later, at just 15, Livia is ordered to Auschwitz by the Nazis. Cibi, only 19 herself, remembers their promise and follows Livia, determined to protect her sister, or die with her. Magda, aged 17, escapes capture for a time but eventually she too is transported to the death camp. Reunited, the three sisters make another promise: that they will live. Their fight for survival takes them from the hell of Auschwitz-Birkenau, to a death march across war-torn Europe and eventually home to Slovakia, now under iron Communist rule. Determined to begin again, they embark on a voyage of renewal, to the new Jewish homeland, Israel.

Agatha Raisin in down the hatch, by M.C. Beaton

Nothing could be more relaxing or sedate than a quiet game of bowls on a pristine bowling green bathed in the sunshine of an English summer's afternoon in the Cotswolds - unless there's a dead body lying on the grass. Agatha Raisin becomes embroiled in a turmoil of jealousy and lies when the tranquility of her local bowls club explodes into a storm of accusation and intrigue - and murder.

Treacle Walker, by Alan Garner

'Ragbone! Ragbone! Any rags! Pots for rags! Donkey stone!' Joe looked up from his comic and lifted his eye patch. There was a white pony in the yard. It was harnessed to a cart, a flat cart, with a wooden chest on it. A man was sitting at a front corner of the cart, holding the reins. His face was creased. He wore a long coat and a floppy high-crowned hat, with hair straggling beneath, and a leather bag was slung from his shoulder across his hip. Joe Coppock squints at the world with his lazy eye. He reads his comics, collects birds' eggs and treasures his marbles, particularly his prized dobbers. When Treacle Walker appears off the Cheshire moor one day - a wanderer, a healer - an unlikely friendship is forged and the young boy is introduced to a world he could never have imagined.

A change of circumstances, by Susan Hill

Simon Serrailler finds himself in devastating new territory as a sophisticated drugs' network sets its sights on Lafferton and the surrounding villages.

Metamorphosis: selected stories, by Penelope Lively

Wry, compassionate, and glittering with wit, Penelope Lively's stories get beneath the everyday to the beating heart of human experience. In intimate stories of growing up and growing old, chance encounters and life-long relationships, Lively explores with keen insight the ways that individuals can become tangled in history, and small acts ripple through the generations.

The lonely ones, by Håkan Nesser

A trip behind the Iron Curtain would change their lives forever. It begins in 1969. Six young people arrive in Uppsala. Different circumstances push the three young couples together and, over the course of a few years, they become friends. But a summer trip through Eastern Europe changes everything, and when their time at Uppsala University is over it also signals the end of something else. Years later, a lecturer at Lund University is found dead at the bottom of a cliff in the woods close to Kymlinge. And, chillingly, it is the very same spot where one of the Uppsala students died thirty-five years before. Detective Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti takes on this ominous case of history repeating itself, and is forced to confront an increasingly grave reality.

Case study, by Graeme Macrae Burnet

London, 1965. An unworldly young woman believes that a charismatic psychotherapist, Collins Braithwaite, has driven her sister to suicide. Intent on confirming her suspicions, she assumes a false identity and presents herself to him as a client, recording her experiences in a series of notebooks. But she soon finds herself drawn into a world in which she can no longer be certain of anything. Even her own character. In 'Case Study', Graeme Macrae Burnet presents these notebooks interspersed with his own biographical research into Collins Braithwaite. The result is a dazzling - and often wickedly humorous - meditation on the nature of sanity, identity and truth itself, by one of the most inventive novelists writing today.

The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. With his mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett plans to pick up his eight-year-old brother Billy and head to California to start a new life. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have stowed away in the trunk of the warden's car. They have a very different plan for Emmett's future, one that will take the four of them on a fateful journey in the opposite direction - to New York City.

Crossroads, by Jonathan Franzen

It's December 23, 1971, and the Hildebrandt family is at a crossroads. The patriarch, Russ, the associate pastor of a suburban Chicago church, is poised to break free of a marriage he finds joyless - unless his brilliant and unstable wife, Marion, breaks free of it first. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college afire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem's sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high school class, has veered into the era's counterculture, while their younger brother Perry, fed up with selling pot to support his drug habit, has firmly resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threatens to complicate.