Pick of the Paperbacks – October

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Ace storyteller Ken Follett continues the saga that began in The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. We are in 1558 and Queen Elizabeth I has ascended the throne but is still not safe in this dangerous world, where Catholic Europe and Mary Queen of Scots would like to see her removed. She sets up her own secret service to keep her safe and searches for one special man – who would be prepared to die for his queen. And that man is Ned Willard who will keep her safe or die trying.



The murder of high school student Lucinda Hayes leaves the whole of her sleepy Colorado suburb affected, from the boy who loved her to the girl who envied her and the police officer heading the investigation. In this fast-paced and deftly plotted thriller, that  focuses on those affected by the murder rather than the crime itself, Danya Kukafka asks – what’s the difference between what people appear to be and who they really are?



Dan and Sylvie try to add some surprises to their 10-year-old marriage to keep things interesting, but instead secrets are uncovered that threaten their unshakable bond. Featuring, love, sex, undies, misunderstandings, friends and life in general this is a book to make you laugh and cry, showing up the hidden layers that exist in the closest relationships.  




Longlisted for the Man Booker prize, this is an unputdownable crime novel with heart. Eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters are left in their broken-down car while mum goes for help. Yet she never returns. When they go in search they find the motorway emergency phone dangling from the box. And so Jack is left in charge, foraging for food and trying not to let anyone know they are now alone, until he finds out the truth about what happened to their mother. 



Playing into the modern obsession with property, Candlish describes the horror of finding another family has moved into your house – even though you didn’t sell it. Fi Lawson arrives home to find strangers moving in and is plunged into terror and confusion.  Her husband Bram has disappeared – is he the guilty party? She tries to make sense of events as Candlish plants twists and turns to stay ahead of the reader. 



Factual Paperback Pick

According to Ben Macinytre, this book is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how spies’ minds work. It tells the story of Adolf Tolkachev, who became one of the West’s most valuable spies. At enormous risk he and his handlers conducted clandestine meetings across Moscow, using spy cameras, props, and private codes to elude the KGB, until a betrayal put them all at risk. Hoffman skilfully turns archive research into page-turning prose, that is soon to be a major new film looking at the psychology of the secret service operators. 



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