Five new books to read this week

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

New releases range from gripping thrillers to heart-wrenching YA novels…


1. The Tattoo Murder by Akimitsu Takagi, translated by Deborah Boehm, is published in paperback by Pushkin Vertigo, priced £8.99. Available October 6th


The Tattoo Murder by Akimitsu Takagi
(Pushkin Vertigo/PA)

Agatha Christie was the queen of the locked room mystery – but now we have the opportunity to enjoy The Tattoo Murder. The novel is set after the Second World War, as Japan is starting to pick up the pieces of life after the bombs fell. Kinue Nomura managed to survive the war, but she doesn’t live for long after she displays her full back tattoo at a meeting of the Edo Tattoo Society. When a dismembered body is discovered in a bathroom, locked from the inside, her lover teams up with a young detective and delves into Tokyo’s seedy underbelly of yakuza gangsters, illegal tattoos and obsessions. Originally published in 1948, Takagi’s highly descriptive mystery, translated by Deborah Boehm, transcends time. There is no technology or gadgets, but it feels modern in the way the case is laid out within the story. As the evenings draw in, this mystery will keep the cold at bay.
(Review by Rachel Howdle)

2. Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng is published in hardback by Abacus. Available now



A financial crisis, racial tensions, violent protests – not the subject of a news bulletin, but the basis for Our Missing Hearts, the latest novel from Celeste Ng. The author of Little Fires Everywhere tells of an America where laws to preserve the national culture can come at the cost of family life. The book, reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, follows 12-year-old Bird Gardner as he attempts to find his poet mother, who went missing when he was nine. Ng’s compelling writing paints a picture of a world so real you can almost touch it. Despite the darkness of the story,the love of a family stands out. What is perhaps the most chilling aspect of the dystopian society Ng creates, is how much it reflects the world we live in now.
(Review by Eleanor Barlow)

3. The Book Of Goose by Yiyun Li is published in hardback by Fourth Estate. Available now



A compelling story of toxic female friendship, obsession, grief and class divides. Agnès and Fabienne grow up in each other’s pockets in a rural French burg, though one is always more dominant than the other. Easily led and infatuated with her friend’s reckless energy, Agnès is forever the follower, while Fabienne sits aloof on the pedestal Agnès builds her. But in the end, it is not Fabienne who will have the chance at fame and fortune, for Agnès is the prodigy – it’s her who will have the chance to leave the French countryside for a private English education. Told entirely in retrospect, at the start of the novel, Fabienne is already dead. Now in her 20s, Agnès must filter back through her memory and come to terms with all that their friendship was – and all that it wasn’t. A beguiling coming-of-age story, and a perfect book club read.
(Review by Scarlett Sangster)


4. Making A Scene by Constance Wu is published in hardback by Scribner. Available now

There’s been a buzz around this memoir from Crazy Rich Asians star Constance Wu, who faced a backlash after her controversial tweets in 2019 expressed her dismay that Fresh Off The Boat, the series which launched her career, had been recommissioned. But the furore forms just a small part of her collection of 18 enlightening essays covering different aspects of her life. The daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, she recalls both uplifting and heartbreaking stories of culture, race, falling in and out of love, and working like a dog to gain a foothold in Hollywood. Along the way, there are charming recollections of baking bread, joining community theatre and acquiring her beloved pet bunny Lida Rose, but they sit side by side with disturbing accounts of alleged sexual harassment and attempted suicide following the tweetstorm, which at times feels like a jarring combination. Like her, the book is bold, emotional and unexpurgated; the story of an Asian American who always wanted to fit in, and ended up just wanting to be her true self.
(Review by Hannah Stephenson)

Children’s book of the week

5. As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh is published in hardback by Bloomsbury YA. Available now

Set in Syria amid the war which broke out in March 2011, the book centres around a young woman who has lost any innocence she once had, despite just leaving childhood behind her. Salama, a first-year pharmacist, is rapidly forcibly promoted to senior doctor at a hospital receiving daily injured civilians. A yearning for safety in Europe is explored along with a sense of belonging and homeland that is likely to resonate with the Syrian diaspora. The book does not shy away from descriptions of the atrocities – and many of the stories are true, according to the author’s notes. Although the war’s timeline does not accurately measure up with the events in the book, it does not pretend to be a historically accurate account – instead focusing on the humanity. Loss, grievance and PTSD are all explored through the eyes of 18-year-old Salama. It’s a story that will remain with the reader for a long time after the book is finished.
(Review by Sonia Twigg)

1. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman
2. The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith
3. Shrines Of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
4. Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes
5. Act Of Oblivion by Robert Harris
6. The Golden Enclaves: TikTok made me read it by Naomi Novik
7. Fairy Tale by Stephen King
8. Kingdom of the Feared by Kerri Maniscalco
9. The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell
10. Babel by R.F. Kuang
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. One by Jamie Oliver
2. Diddly Squat: ‘Til The Cows Come Home by Jeremy Clarkson
3. Guinness World Records 2023 by Guinness World Records
4. Undoctored by Adam Kay
5. Fresh Mob: Over 100 Tasty Healthy-ish Recipes
6. A Pocketful Of Happiness by Richard E. Grant
7. Landlines by Raynor Winn
8. Faith, Hope And Carnage by Nick Cave & Seán O’Hagan
9. Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes: The Official Biography by Rob Wilkins
10. Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 by Max Hastings
(Compiled by Waterstones)

1. From The Oasthouse by Alan Partridge
2. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman
3. Shrines Of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
4. Picture You Dead by Peter James
5. The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith
6. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
7. Fairy Tale by Stephen King
8. 12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson
9. The Fellowship Of The Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
10. Ten by Rylan Clark
(Compiled by Audible)

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