5 new books to read this week

5 New Books To Read This Week
Argylle is set to be one of the biggest releases of the month.
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By Prudence Wade, PA

Argylle is set to be one of the biggest releases of the month, coinciding with a blockbuster movie coming out…


1. Argylle by Elly Conway is published in hardback by Bantam on January 4, priced £18.99 (ebook £9.99). Available Jnauary 4th


Argylle by Elly Conway
Photo: Bantam/PA. 

If you’ve never put a toe into the waters that is TikTok, and have stayed well away from the murky pool that is X (formerly known as Twitter), the hotbed of gossip surrounding this book will be a total mystery to you – the wildest theory being that Taylor Swift is actually the author. Whoever Elly Conway is, the story stands up. The titular character, Argylle, has grown up in the jungles of Thailand.

When a plane goes down in the drug-growing region, Argylle comes under the watchful eye of a spymaster at the CIA, and is quickly forced into joining an elite mission.


As with every spy thriller, there must be a bad guy, and here it is the turn of ruthless Russian magnate, Vasily Federov, who will stop at nothing to get what he wants – which is to be president. It’s a ridiculously good read – and will just leave you wondering how the accompanying film, starring Henry Cavill and Bryce Dallas Howard, will fit it all in.
(Review by Rachel Howdle)

2. Alibi by Lynda La Plante is published in paperback by Zaffre, priced £9.99 (ebook £6.99). Available now

Alibi by Lynda La Plante
Photo: Zaffre/PA. 


Two women brutally murdered, another survives – three men confess, but the police know they are covering for the attacker. And so another gripping novel by one of the world’s most celebrated crime authors unfolds, with La Plante’s trademark gift of keeping the reader guessing until the final few pages.

Police investigating two horrific murders believe they have a breakthrough when another woman survives to give a description of her attacker and his distinctive van. They arrest the suspect, Damon Morton, but three of his employees admit to the crimes, and his wife and girlfriend each provide him with an alibi for the days of the attacks.

The police investigation turns into a courtroom drama, with the eyewitness’s emotional testimony coming up against women prepared to lie under oath. You’ll love being kept on tenterhooks to see if justice prevails, with fans of crime thrillers in for a treat with Alibi.
(Review by Alan Jones)

3. The Witch’s Daughter by Imogen Edwards-Jones is published in hardback by Bloomsbury Publishing, priced £20 (ebook £7.99). Available now


The Witch's Daughter by Imogen Edwards-Jones
Photo: Bloomsbury Publishing/PA. 

Set amidst the bloody turmoil of the 1917 Russian Revolution, The Witch’s Daughter is the sequel to Edwards-Jones’ previous work, The Witches Of St Petersburg. But it can be enjoyed as a standalone novel, for it follows the story of Nadezhda, the daughter of one of the Black Princesses of Montenegro, a young girl who refuses to accept the unearthly powers that flow through her royal veins.

But as the Romanovs are slaughtered and Petrograd is gripped by anarchy, Nadezhda is compelled to accept her destiny in order to save those she loves. Packed with historic detail and based on true accounts of the Russian Revolution, The Witch’s Daughter sheds light on a dark and turbulent period in modern history, from a new and unusual perspective.


It will appeal to readers who prefer their fiction to be densely packed with description, narrative and a broad cast of characters, and who will find, in Nadezhda, a reluctant heroine who is battling forces beyond her and within.
(Review by Hannah Colby)


4. Style And Substance: Why What We Wear Matters by Bay Garnett is published in hardback by John Murray, priced £20 (ebook £11.99). Available now

To market Style And Substance as a “book about fashion” is to do its author, Bay Garnett, a disservice. From the opening pages, it is clear that it contains far more than just a narrative on current trends. This is a book that celebrates diversity in more than just a merely fashionable sense.

Its carefully-curated collection of articles, subdivided into five themed sections, includes discussions with style icons such as Bella Freud and Chloë Sevigny, passages from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sylvia Plath, and musings from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ib Kamara, to name but a few. Style And Substance explores the history, mood and psychology behind the clothes that we choose to wear.

It is a book where gravity mingles with frivolity, humour with weight, never taking itself or its subject too seriously, but allowing it the attention it deserves. In a world of fleeting trends, Bay Garnett has created an accessory to treasure, earning Style And Substance an enduring place in the canon of fashion literature.
(Review by Hannah Colby)

Children’s book of the week

5. Heartstopper Volume 5 by Alice Oseman is published in paperback by Hodder Children’s Books, priced £12.99 (ebook £7.49). Available now

The Heartstopper franchise has become something of a beast – it’s the UK’s fastest-ever selling graphic novel, and has spawned a hit Netflix show starring Kit Connor. Fans of the show will be clamouring for the next instalment, set to be the second-last ever. It’s very much a continuation of the story, so if you’re new to the series you’ll probably want to start at the beginning. In the fifth volume, we find Nick and Charlie in love and taking their relationship to the next level – but there’s the looming worry of Nick going to university next year, and what that will do to their relationship. With a familiar cast of diverse characters, Oseman once again delivers a sweet and real depiction of life as LGBTQ+ teenagers – dealing with all the troubles life throws at them, while also finding love and happiness.
(Review by Prudence Wade)


1. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
2. Iron Flame by Rebeca Yarros, Rebecca
3. The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman
4. A Stroke Of The Pen by Terry Pratchett
5. A Curse For True Love by Stephanie Garber
6. Prophet Song by Paul Lynch
7. The Secret by Lee Child & Andrew Child
8. Welcome To The Hyunam-dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-reum
9. Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree
10. What You Are Looking For Is In The Library by Michiko Aoyama
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. Politics On The Edge by Rory Stewart
2. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien
3. Unruly by David Mitchell
4. Ghosts: The Button House Archives by Mat Baynton, Simon Farnaby et al
5. Abroad In Japan by Chris Broad
6. Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
7. Private Eye Annual: 2023 by Ian Hislop
8. Emperor Of Rome by Professor Mary Beard
9. Pinch Of Nom Express by Kay Allinson & Kate Allinson
10. The Woman In Me by Britney Spears
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
2. Atomic Habits by James Clear
3. Unruly by David Mitchell
4. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
5. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien
6. Friends, Lovers And The Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
7. None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
8. Feel-Good Productivity by Ali Abdaal
9. Pax: War And Peace In Rome’s Golden Age by Tom Holland
10. Strong Female Character by Fern Brady
(Compiled by Audible)

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