Our top book picks this month range from chilling psychological thrillers to emotional dramas to evocative debuts. The genres, stories and characters are incredibly diverse and yet they all have one thing in common. All six books are impossible to put down.
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
The latest book from New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin is an exploration of morality, privilege, consent and the devastating effect of viral social media.
At the centre of the story are two very different families whose lives are rocked when a compromising photo hits the internet and spreads like wildfire. A damning spotlight falls on the tight-knight community, as judgement, blame and lies circle the two teenagers, Lyla and Finch, at the centre of the scandal, threatening their once promising futures.
Told from three distinct perspectives, All We Ever Wanted is a thought-provoking, relevant and emotional page-turner. (4 April, Arrow)
One More Lie by Amy Lloyd
All Charlotte wants is to forget her past. Recently released from prison, she has to wear an ankle monitor and meet with a therapist as part of her parole. Yet Charlotte has no recollection of the crime she committed when she was younger and when an old friend tracks her down, she’s forced to confront her past in more ways than one.
The follow-up to Amy Lloyd’s debut, The Innocent Wife, is a dark and compulsively readable psychological thriller that hooks you in from the off.
Alternating between now and then, this is the kind of book that slowly escalates, ratcheting up the tension until it reaches its chilling end. (4 April, Century)
The Girl In The Letter by Emily Gunnis
Emily Gunnis’ heart-wrenching debut tells the story of two women and a sixty-year-old mystery.
Journalist Sam is desperate for a break when she stumbles upon a letter from the past written by a young woman begging to be rescued from a house for unmarried mothers. The terrified and trapped girl in the letter is Ivy and she’ll never leave the house she was sent in disgrace to. Pulled into the tragic story, Sam investigates a spate of unexplained deaths linked to St. Margaret’s house, uncovering disturbing truths close to home.
Similar to Kathryn Hughes’ The Key, this is an evocative and stirring tale that really lingers in your mind. (4 April, Headline)
Fled by Meg Keneally
Meg Keneally’s first solo novel is based on the true story of Cornish convict Mary Bryant, who was sent to England’s penal colony in Australia in the late 18th century to carry out her sentence.
Fled’s Bryant-esque central character is poverty stricken Jenny, who finds herself on a harsh and unforgiving land after being convicted of highway robbery. Jenny becomes the leader of a daring plot to escape, braving the seas in a small rowboat in search of a better life for her family.
It’s a historical drama about courage, love, treachery, motherhood and freedom. Perfect if you enjoyed ITV’s short-lived serial Banished. (15 April, Zaffre)
Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech
Secrets can be deadly, as radio presenter Stella McKeever discovers in Louise Beech’s tense and twisty psychological thriller, Call Me Star Girl.
It’s Stella’s final radio show and the theme is secrets. Listeners call in with something they want to reveal and Stella in turn will share a secret of her own every half hour. This isn’t a theme picked at random though. Stella is trying to lure one particular listener into finally revealing the identity of a murderer who killed a woman close to the radio station three weeks ago.
A haunting, cleverly plotted and elegantly written story that shows yet another side to Beech’s writing talent. (18 April, Orenda)
The Mother In Law by Sally Hepworth
If you enjoyed Sally Hepworth’s previous domestic drama The Family Next Door, you’ll love The Mother In Law – a gripping, suspenseful story that explores the often difficult dynamic between women and their mothers in law.
In the past we follow Lucy as she meets her husband’s aloof mother Diana for the first time, trying and failing to win her over. In the present, Diana has been found dead and an autopsy throws suspicion on the suicide note discovered near the body. As Lucy’s secrets start to unravel, we get glimpses into Diana’s mind-set and her complicated backstory.
Hepworth perceptively dissects family relationships and the secrets people hide from those closest to them. (E-book 23 April, Paperback 27 June, Hodder)