1. The Future by Naomi Alderman is published in hardback by Fourth Estate
It’s the not-too-distant future and the end of the world is looming. Technology is god and civilisation is now at the mercy of three corporations who control consumerism, social media and even the weather. The rich are ready and have bunkers waiting – the rest who have seen what’s coming are planning how to survive. In The Future, Naomi Alderman has made a terrifying cataclysmic event seem horrifyingly palpable. The idea that a single corporation can control all spending doesn’t seem like too far of a stretch from our current climate. What makes The Future an incredible page-turner though, is being witness to a group of women in the tech industry, and a survival expert, stand up against the billionaires of the world and essentially bite the hand that has kept them safe for so long. From former cult members to disillusioned youth, there is a glimmer of hope in this book, that will have you racing towards the end.
2. Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly is published in hardback by Orion
The Lincoln Lawyer and Harry Bosch have joined forces again to work on yet another seemingly non-winnable case. This time, retired LAPD homicide detective Bosch is tasked with helping his half-brother Mickey Haller to secure the freedom of a young mother locked up for the fatal shooting of her husband, a sheriff’s deputy. The case is fraught with danger and there is more than a whiff of corruption in the Californian air. As ever, with former newspaper reporter Connelly’s long-running series, there is an uneasy feeling that life is constantly teetering on the edge of catastrophe – and no-one, not even Bosch, is safe. It may be a slightly formulaic genre, but this is nevertheless yet another slick blockbuster of a legal-detective thriller from a master of his craft.
3. The Fake Wife by Sharon Bolton is published in hardback by Orion
The Fake Wife by Sharon Bolton is an edge-of-your-seat psychological suspense novel that draws you in and constantly surprises you. We’re introduced to Olive, who is dining alone at a restaurant, and a stranger, who sits down at Olive’s table and pretends to be her wife. The game turns dangerous, with secrets and lies unfolding. The more we learn about Olive’s life and marriage to MP Michael Anderson, the more the façade of her happily married life slips, and the tangled web start to unravel. Kidnapping, murder, lies, stolen jewels and retribution weave through the novel linking storylines and timespans. Although the novel starts slow, and some of the decisions Olive makes are baffling, her flawed character is one you can connect and empathise with. A good read with great characters, that will shock and keep you turning the pages.
4. Taking Back My Power by Georgia Harrison is published in hardback by Renegade Books
In her debut book, former Love Island and The Only Way Is Essex star Georgia Harrison speaks to the younger generation, inspiring hope for change and earnestly warning of the dangers of social media. The 28-year-old does not shy away from her struggles after reporting Stephen Bear for sharing intimate footage of her online, or the impact of navigating a legal system that currently requires a proof of intent to cause distress in revenge porn cases. Bear, a winner of Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother, was jailed earlier this year and Harrison’s journey does not end there. Her eloquence during the court case, which she details, propelled her into campaigning on sexual violence and work with MPs on the Online Safety Act. She also brought to the attention of an audience, raised on reality TV, the dangers of the current internet environment where everything can be shared instantly.
Children’s book of the week
5. The Incredible Adventures Of Gaston Le Dog by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Viviane Schwarz
Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen has struck gold again with this charming short novel – perfect for young readers aged seven to nine. Gaston le Dog is determined to head back to the wonderful beach he remembers from long ago, though he has doubts about leaving his friends behind. As he embarks on an adventure, he finds himself helped along the way by new friends, including a hedgehog called Hérisson. But the journey isn’t always easy and the array of animals get into all manner of scrapes. So, will they make it to the beach? And what will they learn about themselves and the world along the way? Rosen, who pledged to finish this tale during his long recovery from Covid-19, has based the story on characters he used to describe to his young son. It’s true to say it’s been worth the wait.