Five new books to read this week

Five New Books To Read This Week
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By Prudence Wade, PA

Jack Reacher is back for his 28th adventure in The Secret…


1. The Secret by Lee Child and Andrew Child is published in hardback by Bantam. Available now.


The Secret by Lee Child and Andrew Child

The 28th Jack Reacher book continues to follow the fast-paced life of the military hardman, as he is asked by the US government to investigate a spate of deaths. The book opens with a heart attack patient being thrown out of a hospital window by two sisters searching for an answer to the death of their father years before. Roberta and Veronica Sanson seek out, and murder, more people looking for the one name they want to complete their revenge mission. Reacher is the key to tracking down the killers, even though the lone wolf has to be part of a CIA, FBI, Treasury task force he would normally steer clear of. Fans of Reacher will again be gripped by the antics of the charismatic rebel with a cause at the heart of the latest collaboration between the Child brothers, in another impressive example of their award-winning writing.
(Review by Alan Jones)

2. Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward is published in hardback by Bloomsbury Publishing. Available now.


Jesmyn Ward became a household name with her stunning 2017 novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing, and she continues with similar themes of family, struggle, freedom and the supernatural in Let Us Descend. This is her first historical novel, opening on a slave plantation in the Carolinas. It follows a young girl, Annis, who is enslaved but learns how to fight from her mother. When she has to survive on her own – after being sold and travelling in a convoy across the country to the slave market of New Orleans, then onto the next plantation – she’s constantly accompanied by the spirit of her ancestor. It’s a dark and gruelling read that mixes brutal reality with mystical themes.
(Review by Prudence Wade)

3. Luda by Grant Morrison is published in paperback by Europa Editions. Available now.


The set-up for this book is unique and captivating. Luci LaBang is an ageing drag star, who is playing the lead in a new pantomime – while desperately trying to hold on to her youth. When her co-star gets injured in a mysterious accident, in comes Luda: a young woman who is gobsmackingly gorgeous and talented – but all is not as it seems. Luci falls under Luda’s spell and agrees to mentor her – sharing everything she knows, including about the occult. It’s a fun framework, but it feels like every second sentence is some kind of cultural reference or joke, meaning it can be a bit of an exhausting read – particularly at over 400 pages. When the plot gets going it’s a lot more enjoyable and the characters are beautifully drawn, but it ultimately feels like it’s trying just a bit too hard.
(Review by Prudence Wade)


4. The Book You Want Everyone You Love* To Read *(And Maybe A Few You Don’t) by Philippa Perry is published in hardback by Cornerstone Press. Available now.


The Book You Want Everyone You Love to Read
(Cornerstone Press/PA)

This book is definitely one to pass on to friends and family. Psychotherapist and agony aunt Philippa Perry dives into day-to-day challenges, giving an insight on how we might react to them – and how to deal with them. She provides mechanisms to assist in sometimes awkward situations and relationships. The book covers everything we might go through – including love, change, loss and conflict. The book will help you feel more in charge, and in a better position to manage situations that lie ahead – proving that even in the most important situations, there’s always advice to keep you on an even keel. Full of everyday wisdom, this book contains excellent and inspiring advice.
(Review by Joanne Brennan)

Children’s book of the week

5. Oscar’s Lion by Adam Baron, illustrated by Benji Davies, is published in hardback by HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks. Available now.


When Oscar’s parents go away suddenly, the little boy ends up waking up to find a lion looking after him. On the one hand, having a lion around allows Oscar to eat what he wants and repeatedly read his favourite story. However, on the other is the sadness of missing his parents and fear of the unknown. The story takes us on a journey as we find out that the lion has the ability to transform into various animals. Along their adventure, Oscar and the Lion encounter historical events that come to life, adding depth to the story. This is a beautifully written book that guides us through a child’s perspective, where we see the fear and joy of being parentless. This is sure to be a firm favourite for children for years to come.
(Review by Jacqueline Ling)


1. The Secret by Lee Child & Andrew Child
2. The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
3. The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman
4. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
5. Hercule Poirot’s Silent Night by Sophie Hannah & Agatha Christie
6. The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett
7. The Fragile Threads Of Power by V.E. Schwab
8. Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare
9. Sharpe’s Command by Bernard Cornwell
10. A Stroke Of The Pen by Terry Pratchett
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. The Woman In Me by Britney Spears
2. Be Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger
3. Rambling Man by Billy Connolly
4. The Chateau – Forever Home by Dick Strawbridge & Angel Strawbridge
5. Keira & Me by Professor Noel Fitzpatrick
6. GHOSTS by Mat Baynton, Simon Farnaby et al
7. Unruly by David Mitchell
8. Shakespeare by Judi Dench
9. Space by Tim Peake
10. Deep Blue by Steve Backshall
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. The Woman In Me by Britney Spears
2. Be Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger
3. The Secret by Lee Child and Andrew Child
4. Unruly by David Mitchell
5. Alan Partridge: Big Beacon & Alan Partridge
6. The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
7. Ghost Stories: Stephen Fry’s Definitive Collection by Stephen Fry et al
8. The Twat Files by Dawn French
9. The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman
10. The Diary Of A CEO by Steven Bartlett
(Compiled by Audible)

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