Summer by the book

In the first of a three-part summer books special Lucinda Obank rounds up the best new fiction on the shelves

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You by Phil Whitaker (Salt, £9.99) is the sixth novel by the practising doctor, following a man on a journey to find his daughter whom he has not heard from in seven years. Exploring themes of parental alienation and the breakdown of family relationships, You questions the power love has to prevail. 

We Know What We Are by Russ Litten (Obliterati, £8.99) is the author’s debut short story collection. The stories in the book are based on people living around the city of Hull and shine a spotlight on the lives of ordinary citizens over the last year through each of the tense and edgy tales. 

Old Baggage by Lissa Evans (Transworld, £14.99) asks what do you do after you’ve changed the world? Prize-winning novelist Evans delves into the past through the life of Matilda Simpkin, who was a militant campaigner for women’s suffrage. When she discovers a small wooden club after rooting through a cupboard she is struck with a new idea, but her militant past comes back to threaten her. 

The House We Called Home by Jenny Oliver (HQ, £7.99) is an amusing summer read set in Cornwall where Stella and her sister Amy grew up. Their home has never changed but this summer something feels different. Their father is nowhere to be seen and her mother remains curiously unfazed by his absence but eager to talk about her mysterious dog-walking friend Mitch. 

Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson (Doubleday, £12.99) is an emotional tale of friendship and new beginnings. Tina Hopgood, stirred by memories from her childhood past, writes a letter to lonely museum curator Anders Larsen. Although she did not expect a reply, their unexpected exchanges blossom as they both bare their souls to each other in search of a better future. 

An Ocean Of Minutes by Thea Lim (Quercus, £14.99) follows young couple Polly and Frank who are madly in love but disaster strikes when a deadly virus is released leaving Frank with only four months left to live. Polly is given an opportunity to help which requires her to time travel forwards to help fund a corporation involved in developing life saving treatment but means leaving Frank behind. Lim explores the heavy costs of love and the enduring sacrifices that come with it in this moving and compelling novel. 

City Of Sinners by AA Dhand (Transworld, £16.99) is the third in the critically acclaimed DI Harry Virdee crime series and returns to the author’s hometown of Bradford. This crime thriller starts with a body being discovered, positioned in an elaborate and painstakingly odd way, and designed to send a message – but to whom? Virdee is tasked with finding out, but what the inspector doesn’t know is that the killer is after him too. 

OK, Mr Field by Katharine Kilalea (Faber, £10) is about a pianist who has an accident forcing him to abandon his career. He moves to South Africa with his wife to live in a house he becomes obsessed with, despite only seeing it in a newspaper. But after only a few weeks his wife disappears unexpectedly and he begins to stalk its prior inhabitant. In an unusual but gripping piece of literature, Kilalea conveys some of the deepest emotions in the most curious details. 

Sleeper 13 by Rob Sinclair (Orion, £7.99), the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series of espionage thrillers, is an action-packed thriller full of danger and tension on every page. Smuggled to the Middle East as a child and trained as an elite insurgent, he who is Sleeper 13 seeks to break free and hunt down those who turned him into a monster, drawing on all his training to survive. 

Dead Girls by Abigail Tarttelin (Mantle, £14.99) begins when Thera’s best friend Billie is murdered and she considers it her duty to find the killer. Tarttelin’s third novel is dedicated to dead and missing girls. Unicef claims an adolescent girl dies a violent death every 10 minutes. 

Escape and Evasion by Christopher Wakling (Faber, £7.99) tells the story of city banker Joseph Ashcroft who steals £1.34 billion from his own bank before untraceably giving it to impoverished strangers around the world and fleeing. He opts to hide close by and as an ex-soldier is adept at doing so. However Ben Lancaster is on his trail, a former army friend with whom he shares a violent, guilt-ridden past. 

The Sons by Antonia Svensson (Sphere, £8.99) is the second part of the international hit series Made In Sweden. It follows notorious criminal Leo Duvnjac, acquitted after spending six years in prison of all but two of the 10 bank robberies he and his two brothers committed. Once released, he seeks out his brothers for one last job but with Detective Broncks on his back and instructions from his father, the thrilling but tragic destinies of their childhoods built on betrayal are played out. 

White Fur by Jardine Libaire (W&N, £8.99) is set in New York and is a tale of young lovers, who despite the odds set against them prove love can blossom in the most unlikely places. Jamey is from a privileged background and belongs to New York’s elegant, ferocious elite whilst mixed-race Elise is brave and uncensored. They meet by chance and connect instantly. Money, class, sex and family intersect to raise questions about what we will do to be free. 

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton (Raven Books, £12.99) follows Louise who, struggling with life in New York, dreams of being a writer. One day she meets Lavinia who has everything and invites her into her charmed circle. She takes her to the best parties and shares everything with Louise. Louise knows this can’t last forever but what is she prepared to do to have Lavinia’s life? 

Kill For Me by Tom Wood (Sphere, £19.99) is an action-packed and twisting thriller following two sisters who have vied for the turf of their dead crime boss father. Throughout Guatemala City bodies have piled up and the US Drug Enforcement Agency is powerless to stop the fighting. But one sister has a weapon – Victor, a cold amoral hit man previously employed by the CIA and MI6. Yet even he finds himself at the centre of a storm he could be powerless to stop. 

The Rending And The Nest by Kaethe Schwehn (Bloomsbury Publishing, £18.99) is a post-apocalyptic and coming of age tale set when 95 per cent of the population disappears and Mira forms her own community named Zion. When her best friend Lana announces her pregnancy and gives birth to an inanimate object, Mira’s thin veil of normality in this new life begins to fray. When Lana runs away, Mira must decide how much she’s willing to let go to save her friend and herself. 

Music Across The Mersey by Geraldine O’Neill (Orion, £7.99), author of the Tara Flynn trilogy, is based on family and friendship, duty and desire. Handsome widower Johnny Cassidy is lost when it comes to looking after his four children and is forced to accept help from his wife’s spinster cousin Nora. With her around, each member of the Cassidy family can realise their cherished dreams, but will this bring them closer together or tear them apart?

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