It’s October, it’s autumn and it’s time to curl up with a good book. With that in mind, Jennifer McShane has chosen four reads, suitable for any occasion this month.
THE ALL-NIGHTER READ
Award-winning Irish author Tana French returns with her anticipated sixth novel in the Dublin Murder Squad crime series, The Trespasser (Hachette Books Ireland, approx €18, out now). This time, the main narrator switches to Antoinette Conway, the tough, abrasive detective featured in 2014’s The Secret Place. Conway and her partner, Steve Moran, head up an investigation following the murder of 26-year-old Aislinn Murray. It should be clear-cut; the result of a standard “lovers-tiff”, but something is off and each step takes Conway further from the truth. Compelling, tense and full of surprise twists.
THE BEDSIDE READ
Given the old adage “write about what you know”, it comes as little surprise that Graham Norton’s fiction debut Holding (Hodder & Stoughton, approx €18, out October 6) is set in rural Ireland. The author admitted that it seemed a good place to start, for what is his first novel and one that will have you hooked from the first chapter. Duneen is a quiet, remote town, but the grim discovery of human remains on an old farm – said to be that of Tommy Burke, who vanished 20 years ago – reveals its dark side. It’s up to PJ Collins, the town’s only policeman, to unravel the mystery and work the most thrilling case of his stagnant career. He soon discovers that no one in this sleepy town is who they appear to be. What happened that someone was so desperate to hide? This is an eloquent and brilliant fiction debut from Norton.
THE COMFY COUCH READ
Lauren Oliver’s dual-novel Replica (Hodder & Stoughton, approx €20, out October 6) changes the standard narrative for the reader: the same story is told from the point of view of the two central characters but in separate books – once you finish book one, you turn it over, flip it upside down and you have the second book. This YA novel is already being praised for offering a new reading experience. It blends the stories of Gemma and Lyra — one, a girl who has spent her life in and out of hospitals, and the other a Replica, born and raised in a private research facility. The book is ambitious and thought-provoking, with each character’s story arc examining what it means to be human. Both stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters.
THE COMMUTING READ
Fleur Smithwick’s second psychological thriller One Little Mistake (Black Swan, €8.99, out October 20) sees mum-of-three Vicky slip out for 20 minutes, thinking no one will ever know that she has left her newborn son Josh upstairs, sleeping alone. But it’s a mistake that turns her life upside down, as she returns home to find an intruder holding her son. Her best friend Amber insists no one can ever know the truth and that she’ll keep Vicky’s secret. But the lies change everything. Will one mistake shatter their lives? A cleverly written story that explores how the past, and one moment you regret, can catch up with you in the most unexpected of ways.
Don’t forget to Bag A Book…
Today, October 6th, the BOOKS ARE MY BAG campaign kicks off. Keep an eye out for a very special tote bag designed by talented Irish illustrator Fatti Burke, as well another collectors’ edition bag by award-winning designer Coralie Bickford-Smith. booksaremybag.com