2018 has some incredible books set for publication so being the ever helpful person, I decided to pick my Top 18 for 2018. I am extremely fortunate to have read some absolute CRACKERS early thanks to the publishers, Netgalley and the authors so I thought it would be great to put them all in one post and you can add them to your wishlist or pre-order them now.
Below are two lists – books I’ve read and recommend and books I’ve pre-ordered and can’t wait to read.
If you have read any of these already or have some recommendations for me – please pop a comment on the post below.
Books I’ve read early and highly recommend:
Sarah Vaughan – The Anatomy of A Scandal – Published by Simon & Schuster on 11th January 2018 – Read my full review here
An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.
Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.
Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.
Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.
Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?
CJ Tudor – The Chalk Man – Published by Penguin on 11th January 2018 – Read my full review here
In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.
In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.
Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.
Jo Spain – The Confession – Published by Quercus on 11th January 2018 – Read my full review here
Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.
Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?
This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?
Luke Allnutt – We Own the Sky – Published by Trapeze on 8th February 2018 – Read my full review here
A story about love, loss and finding hope-against all odds.
Rob Coates can’t believe his luck. There is Anna, his incredible wife, and most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. Rob feels like he’s won the lottery of life. Or rather-he did. Until the day it all changes when Anna becomes convinced there is something wrong with Jack.
Now Rob sleepwalks through his days, unable to bridge the gulf that separates him from his wife, his son and the business of living. But he’s determined to come to terms with what’s happened-and find a way back to life, and forgiveness.
We Own the Sky will resonate with anyone who has ever suffered loss or experienced great love. Luke Allnutt shows that the journey from hope to despair and back is never as simple as we think, and that even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.
BA Paris – Bring Me Back – Published by HQ on 8th March 2018 – Read my full review here
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…
Books I can’t wait to read:
Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen – The Wife Between Us – Published by Macmillan on 2nd January 2018
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement.
It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves.
The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Heather Morris – The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Published by Zaffre on 11th January 2018
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews, who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Lale used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he had been caught he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.
There have been many books about the Holocaust – and there will be many more. What makes this one so memorable is Lale Sokolov’s incredible zest for life. He understood exactly what was in store for him and his fellow prisoners and he was determined to survive – not just to survive, but to leave the camp with his dignity and integrity intact, to live his life to the full. Terrible though this story is, it is also a story of hope and of courage. It is also – almost unbelievably – a love story. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight and he determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure that Gita did, too. His story – their story – will make you weep, but you will also find it uplifting. It shows the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.
Like many survivors, Lale and Gita told few people their story after the war. They eventually made their way to Australia, where they raised a son and had a successful life. But when Gita died, Lale felt he could no longer carry the burden of their past alone. He chose to tell his story.
AJ Finn – The Woman in the Window – Published by HarperCollins on 25th January 2018
What did she see?
It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.
Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.
But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?
Steve Cavanagh – Thirteen – Published by Orion on 25th January 2018
They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.
This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.
All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.
What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?
What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?
Samantha Hayes: The Reunion – Published by Bookouture on 9th February 2018
They were all there the day your sister went missing…
Who is lying? Who is next?
THEN – In charge of her little sister at the beach, Claire allowed Eleanor to walk to the shop alone to buy an ice cream. Placing a coin into her hand, Claire told her to be quick, knowing how much she wanted the freedom.
Eleanor never came back.
NOW – The time has finally come to sell the family farm and Claire is organising a reunion of her dearest friends, the same friends who were present the day her sister went missing.
When another girl disappears, long-buried secrets begin to surface. One of the group hides the darkest secret of them all…
Holly Cave – The Memory Chamber – Published by Quercus on 22nd February 2018
True death is a thing of the past. Now you can spend the rest of eternity re-living your happiest memories: that first kiss, falling in love, the birth of your children, enjoyed on loop for ever and ever.
Isobel is a Heaven Architect, and she helps dying people create afterlives from these memories. So when she falls for Jarek, one of her terminal – and married – clients, she knows that while she cannot save him, she can create the most beautiful of heavens, just for him.
But when Jarek’s wife is found dead, Isobel uncovers a darker side of the world she works within, and she can trust no one with what she finds…
The Memory Chamber is a thrilling and original story which vaults the reader into a world that is terrifyingly close to our own, where we can avoid everything we fear – even death itself. But can we ever escape the truth?
Luca Veste – The Bone Keeper – Published by Simon & Schuster on 8th March 2018
What if the figure that haunted your nightmares as child, the myth of the man in the woods, was real?
He’ll slice your flesh.
Your bones he’ll keep.
Twenty years ago, four teenagers went exploring in the local woods, trying to find to the supposed home of The Bone Keeper. Only three returned.
Now, a woman is found wandering the streets of Liverpool, horrifically injured, claiming to have fled the Bone Keeper. Investigating officer DC Louise Henderson must convince sceptical colleagues that this urban myth might be flesh and blood. But when a body is unearthed in the woodland the woman has fled from, the case takes on a much darker tone.
The disappeared have been found. And their killer is watching every move the police make.
Clare Mackintosh – Let Me Lie – Published by Sphere on 8th March 2018
The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.
One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.
Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to ask questions about her parents’ deaths. But by digging up the past, is she putting her future in danger? Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie . . .
Sarah Hilary – Come and Find Me (DI Marnie Rome 5) – Published by Headline on 22nd March 2018
On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.
DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.
As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.
Sharon Bolton – The Craftsman – Published by Trapeze on 5th April 2018
Devoted father or merciless killer?
His secrets are buried with him.
Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.
Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start
to repeat themselves. Did she get it wrong all those years ago? Or is there something much darker at play?
Liz Nugent – Skin Deep – Published by Penguin on 5th April 2018
‘Once I had cleared the bottles away and washed the blood off the floor, I needed to get out of the flat.’
Cordelia Russell has been living on the Côte d’Azur for ten years, posing as an English heiress. Now her money is gone and her luck is running out.
Desperate to escape her grotty flat and grim reality, Cordelia spends a decadent night at a penthouse party. But surrounded by the young, beautiful and privileged she feels her age and her poverty.
As dawn breaks she stumbles home through the back streets. Even before she opens her door she can hear the flies buzzing. It hasn’t taken long for the corpse in her bedroom to commence decomposing …
Liz Nugent’s novel is the dark, twisted and shocking story of what takes Cordelia from an island childhood in Ireland to ruin in Nice.
SK Tremayne – Just Before I Died – published by HarperCollins on 19th April 2018
Why did you do that to me Mummy, don’t you love me?
Kath lives with her husband Adam and daughter Lyla in a desolate stone longhouse deep in Dartmoor National Park. She likes her life – the moors are beautiful, if bleak – and she counts herself as happy, even if they struggle with money, and work, and her daughter’s shyness.
But one day Kath wakes up from a coma, with a vague memory of a near-fatal car accident. She hugs her daughter close, likewise her husband Adam. But there’s something wrong. Adam seems furious with her and Lyla is acting evermore strangely. They should be delighted to see her alive, snatched from certain death. But they won’t meet her gaze…
Then Kath learns that the car crash wasn’t an accident, and her whole life collapses into a world of panic, and danger…
Terry Hayes – The Year of The Locust – Published by Transworld on 20th September 2018
Luke Truman is a junior officer on board the USS Leviathan, the most advanced and powerful warship ever built. It is an eight-hundred-foot-long submarine which, among its vast array of weaponry and secret systems, boasts a top secret “cloaking technology.” Bending light around objects to render them invisible, it is the hottest military research innovation not just in the US but throughout the world. Now the time has come for the first large-scale trial of its effectiveness. But neither Luke nor the United States government realize the astonishing forces this experiment will unleash. What Luke discovers on board the Leviathan is that the future of our world is at a deadly tipping point and that only he will be able to stop the cascade of events which are leading them all inexorably towards doom.