10 Best New Novels for Your Collection

18th December 2018

Running out of good reads? Not to worry! We've put together a sparkling selection of brand new contemporary novels to escape into for a while. Featuring heart-pounding journeys, unforgettable characters, poignant romances and more, see below for the best new novels for your collection.

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1. The Root of Evil 

Hakan Nesser

Hakan Nesser has solidified his reputation as the Godfather of Swedish Crime with The Root of Evil. He began writing novels about Inspector Barbarotti in 2006 and his latest sees him tackle his most mysterious and challenging case yet. In July 2007 he received a letter detailing a murder that was about to take place, by the time the police found the victim he was already dead. Then the letters kept coming and a diary centre stage as the death toll threatens to rise. 

2. And So It Begins

Rachel Abbott

This season's top psychological thriller is And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott, a nail-biting read from start to finish. Cleo is happy when she finds out her brother Mark is seeing someone new after the death of his first wife until things take a dark turn. Evie is having a lot of accidents at home and Mark is starting to look suspicious. At the same time, a court case to determine who's responsible for a clifftop murder... If a suspenseful thriller is what you’re looking for then this book is ideal.  

3. Absolute Proof

Peter James

Peter James' new novel is a fascinating exploration of religion and science. Investigative reporter Ross Hunter has no idea how much one phone call could change his life until it leads him to find proof of God's existence. Hunter becomes determined to find a way to secure proof that will convince the rest of the world but there are some that will do anything to stop this news reaching the public. This is an incredible journey that would make compelling reading for anyone who likes a book that keeps them thinking long after they've finished reading. 

4. A Spark of Light

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult's latest book is just as though--provoking and poignant as her previous works. This novel focuses on the theme of abortion. The Center for Women's Reproductive Health plays a controversial role and is not unfamiliar with protestors. One day, an armed protestor takes everyone inside the Center as hostages. Told in reverse, this is a gripping story that shows the perspectives of many individuals in one compelling narrative. 

5. The Stranger Diaries

Elly Griffiths

This compelling crime story has a Gothic twist. Clare Cassidy is a literature teacher who specialises in the Gothic writing of R. M. Holland but the darkness looks set to creep in to her real life when one of her colleagues is murdered. She starts writing about her concerns and fears in her diary until she sees writing in her diary that isn't her own...

6. Bright Young Dead

Jessica Fellowes

This is the second novel in the Mitford Murders series which is in the style of the Golden Age crime stories and based on real cases. The Bright Young Things are 1920s hedonists who take part in famed treasure hunts. When they organise a treasure hunt for the 18th birthday of Pamela Mitford they get more than they bargained for after the cruel Adrian Curtis is pushed to his death. Their maid, Dulcie, is initially thought to be the killer but Lousia Cannon, the Mitford sisters' chaperone, is determined to prove her innoncence. 

7. The Turn of Midnight 

Minette Walters

If a historical treat is more your thing then Minette Walters' fantastic The Last Hours series make for great reading. The Turn of Midnight is a sequel of The Last Hours and which saw the people of Develish in Dorseteshire driven into quarantine from the threat of the Black Death. This is a hugely gripping sequel that you will want to read again. 

8. One Enchanted Evening

Anton Du Beke

Anton Du Beke, star of Strictly Come Dancing, has written a novel filled with as much glitz and glamour as you'd expect from a ballroom professional. Set just before the outbreak of World War Two, One Enchanted Evening is a story full of secrets and scandals. At the exclusive Buckingham Hotel, the rich gather to dance and gossip whilst the staff listen in to their every word...

9. Moscow, Midnight

John Simpson

Journalist John Simpson's high-stakes thriller is filled with shocking twists and turns and a dry wit. When a government minister is found dead, everything about the situation is suspicious. In a matter of days his flat is burgled and his friend, journalist Jon Swift, finds his research on other government officials who have been found in similar states. Swift needs answers and in his quest for the truth he find himself in Moscow where he's about to encounter danger like he's never known. 

10. Agatha Raisin & The Dead Ringer

M.C. Beaton

M. C. Beaton's latest Agatha Raisin story is just as entertaining and readable as the others. A bell ringer has been killed and Agatha is on the case to find whodunit. The lawyer Joseph Kennell is looking like the most likely suspect and when Millicent Dupin, one of the most enthusiastic bell ringers in England and one of Joseph's least favourite people is also found dead, he's looking all the more suspicious. 

Can't get enough incredible new fiction? (We hear you!) See our full range of the best contemporary novels.

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    Shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award, Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent is based in London in 1893. Cora Seaborne's controlling husband has died, and it's up to her to step into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness.

    Along with her son Francis - a curious, obsessive boy - she leaves town for Essex, in the hope that fresh air and open space will provide refuge.

    On arrival, rumours reach them that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for superstition, is enthralled and goes to investigate...
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    Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is a No.1 bestseller that has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017. Original, emotional and profound, it is Roy's first novel in 20 years - and it's been well worth the wait.

    The story spools from the cramped neighbourhoods of Old Delhi through to the Valley of Kashmir and the forests of Central India, where war is peace and peace is war. It's a place where 'normalcy' is declared on an occasional basis.

    An aching love story about heroes who have been broken by the world they live in and subsequently rescued and mended by love and hope. This is a timely tale from a master storyteller...
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    Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself. Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portraits, Homegoing is a searing and profound debut from a masterly new writer.
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    The Book of Bera is a Viking adventure fantasy novel which follows the saga of Bera, a young Viking woman who is struggling to control her invisible twin spirit and develop her inherited gift of Sight. On a long winter night, Bera is left to defend her stark village alone, and in the ensuing battle, her dear childhood friend, Bjorn, is killed. When soon after her father weds her to the chieftain of a rival clan, Bera realises the unthinkable: his second-in-command is responsible for her friend's death. Though she must now learn how to be a wife and a stepmother to a hostile boy, Bera vows her revenge and sets off on a path to grow in power and hone her skills in the rough, macho clan into which she has been sold. As her gifts continue to grow, her visions of looming disaster become more and more ominous until she has to make the ultimate choice: Will she choose revenge? Or will she succeed in leading her people to safety before it's too late? The Book of Bera is a work of great character, imagination and considerable drive that will take you on an epic journey of duty, vengeance and salvation.
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    Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017, White Teeth author Zadie Smith's Swing Time is an ambitious, extraordinary and beautifully written novel about two brown girls who meet in a dance class in West London.

    Both girls dream of being dancers but only one has the requisite talent. The other is full of ideas about rhythm, time and what it means to belong and to be free. They have a close but complicated childhood friendship that comes to abrupt end in their early 20s. Although it's never revisited, neither girl forgets what it meant...

    This is a story about music and identity, race and class, and about those who follow the dance and those who lead it . . .
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    Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017, Mohsin Hamid's Exit West is a story about two ordinary people - fundamentalist Nadia and Saeed - who attempt to do the extraordinary thing of falling in love in a world turned upside down.

    Although a love story at its heart, this is also book about how we live in modern times and how two humans will negotiate their way through a world in the midst of a crisis. Civil War now engulfs the city Nadia and Saeed call home and they know they will have to leave... but many others have the same idea.

    Will any of them be able to find their place in the world?
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    Sunday Times top thriller read of the year 2016 The rich are different. But fate is blind. Down-on-his-luck artist Scott Burroughs would usually take the ferry back to New York from Martha's Vineyard, but he is unexpectedly offered a spare seat on the Bateman family's private jet. Then just minutes after take-off, the plane crashes into the ocean and of the eight passengers and three crew, only Scott and the Batemans' small son, JJ, are left alive. The extraordinary nature of their survival, combined with the fact that David Bateman was CEO of a populist TV news channel, means that Scott will not be returning to anonymity. Along with the orphaned boy, he is engulfed by a maelstrom of speculation, which soon overtakes the official investigation into the tragedy. Who else was on the plane? Was there a bomb, a missile? Who is Scott Burroughs? As the chapters drive towards their heart-stopping conclusion, weaving with ever-increasing suspense between the shocking aftermath of the crash and the intimate backstory of each of the passengers and crew members, Noah Hawley creates a searching, thrilling novel of love, fame, wealth, art, entertainment and power.
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    Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017 and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2017, Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad is an exciting, impeccable and moving read about a slave's desperate bid for freedom.

    Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia and also an outcast even among her fellow Africans. She is approaching womanhood and it's clear that even greater pain lies ahead. When Caesar, a slave who has only recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to escape to the north...

    The Underground Railroad is a dilapidated box car being pulled along tracks by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives along the way and Cora and Caesar first stop off in South Carolina. it seems like a haven but then they discover a slave catcher is close on their heels.

    Every stop of the journey finds a different world in this novel that expertly recreates the unique terrors for black people during the pre-Civil War era.
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    After signing up for the US army in the 1850s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, fight in the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Having both fled terrible hardships, their days are now vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in. Then when a young Indian girl crosses their path, the possibility of lasting happiness seems within reach, if only they can survive.
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    "Wondering if Into the Water could be as The Girl on the Train? It's better. A triumph." (Clare Mackintosh, bestselling author of I Let You Go). The addictive new psychological thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train, the runaway Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller and global phenomenon. In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn't pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she's afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool...With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, satisfying read that hinges on the stories we tell about our pasts and their power to destroy the lives we live now. "Paula Hawkins does it again! Into the Water is a moody and chilling thriller that will have you madly turning the pages. A gripping, compulsive read!". (Shari Lapena, bestselling author of The Couple Next Door).