One of the big publishing events of the year. George Smiley returns in 85-year-old John le Carré’s latest book. It is said that it will ‘close George Smiley’s story’. A Legacy of Spies will also see the return of Smiley’s colleagues from the British secret service – or the Circus, as they were known in the original books.
The novel features Smiley’s protégé Peter Guillam. Summoned back to London, Guillam and his colleagues are subject to scrutiny for past misdemeanours, committed at a time when the ends justified the means and nobody worried much about how those events would appear to a future generation who have forgotten the Cold War.
Another blockbuster title from Robert Harris. I would recommend getting your reservation in early for this one:
“Set over four days against the backdrop of the Munich Conference of September 1938, this book follows the fortunes of two men who were friends at Oxford together in the 1920s. Hugh Legat is a rising star of the British diplomatic service, serving in 10 Downing Street as a private secretary to the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. Paul von Hartmann is on the staff of the German Foreign Office - and secretly a member of the anti-Hitler resistance.
“They have not been in contact for more than a decade. But when Hugh flies with Chamberlain from London to Munich, and Paul travels on Hitler’s train overnight from Berlin, their paths are set on a collision course - with dramatic results.”
David Lagercrantz delivers his hotly anticipated sequel to The Girl in the Spider’s Web:
“Confinement to the secure unit of a women’s prison is intended as a punishment. Instead, Lisbeth finds herself in relative safety. Flodberga is a failing prison, effectively controlled by the inmates, and for a computer hacker of her exceptional gifts there are no boundaries.
“Lisbeth knows she is coming closer to solving the mysteries of her early life; and even within the confines of the prison, she feels the deadly influence exerted by her twin sister. Lisbeth will stand up for what she believes in. She will find out the truth. Whatever the cost.”
“In the winter of 2016, English Heritage sent some of the UK’s finest contemporary writers to stay at different sites of historical importance across the UK. From Dover Castle to York’s Cold War Bunker, their experiences informed their chilling creations. This volume brings together eight unsettling stories of the supernatural.”
If the concept doesn’t hook you, the writers might; they include Sarah Perry, Jeanette Winterson and Kamila Shamsie.
Salman Rushdie dips his toe into the world of contemporary US politics in his new novel. The narrative follows real-estate tycoon Nero Golden as he emigrates to the US. The story of the powerful Golden family is told from the point of view of their Manhattanite neighbour and confidant, René, an aspiring filmmaker who finds in the Goldens the perfect subject.
“15 years ago, two teenagers were mysteriously found dead by the old railroad tracks in a small affluent town in New Jersey. One of them was Nap Dumas’ twin, Leo, and the other, the town’s sheriff’s daughter. Most people concluded it a double suicide, others, just didn’t buy it. Nap has dedicated his life to finding out what really happened that summer and when his missing ex-girlfriend’s fingerprints show up at a crime scene, he’s thrown into a labyrinth of dark family secrets and lies.
“Teaming up with the now retired sheriff, the two embark on a search for the truth where they will discover that conspiracies big and small can kill.”
More twists and turns from the master suspense writer. You will find it hard to put this one down.
For fans of Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series, this is a novella rather than a fully-realised novel:
“There’s something going bump on the Metropolitan line and Sergeant Jaget Kumar knows exactly who to call. It’s PC Peter Grant’s speciality. Only it’s more than going ‘bump’. Traumatised travellers have been reporting strange encounters on their morning commute, with strangely dressed people trying to deliver an urgent message. Stranger still, despite calling the police themselves, within a few minutes the commuters have already forgotten the encounter - making the follow up interviews rather difficult.
“So with a little help from Abigail and Toby the ghost hunting dog, Peter and Jaget are heading out on a ghost hunting expedition. Because finding the ghost and deciphering their urgent message might just be a matter of life and death.”
Forty-four-year-old Amy is shocked when her husband, Hugh, declares that he wants to take a break from their marriage. He plans to travel through South East Asia and sever all contact for six months. Leaving Amy and three children behind, he heads off with a rucksack and a newly discovered sense of freedom. Amy is devastated but she picks herself up and carries on, regardless.