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Get lost in a good book: February’s new releases

Looking for that next juicy read? Wallingford indie bookshop owner Ali Jinks reveals the new tomes she's most looking forward to curling up with this month.

Gripping island tale: Our Fathers by Rebecca Wait (riverrun, £8.99)

Set in the Hebrides this is a beautiful novel about fathers and sons, family and their collective memories after a fateful shooting. Rebecca is a young author we really love – she is our top one to watch for future prizes.

Searing thriller: The Ice by John Kare Raake (Pushkin, £9.99)

A great thriller set at the North Pole, Anna Aune is ex-Norwegian special forces and working on a scientific expedition when a flare goes up into the arctic darkness. At the nearby Chinese base, she discovers a massacre and the killer still out there in the ice…

Chilling page-turner: The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd (Corgi, £7.99)

In this psychological thriller, Elissa finds herself imprisoned in a remote wood. Elijah is the boy who finds her, but he has never had a friend before and doesn’t want her to leave, even though he knows what can happen in the Memory Wood.

Devastating dystopian fiction: Q by Christina Dalcher (HQ, £8.99)

This book is brilliant because it is so prescient. An education programme that benefits everyone is what Elena Fairchild believes in until a low Q score means her younger daughter is taken away. When she follows Freddie to the government institution she is sent to, it leads her to question everything she’s always believed in.

Romance and history: The Hiding Game by Naomi Wood (Picador, £8.99)

In Roaring Twenties Germany, Paul Charlotte and Walter meet at the Bauhaus Art School. Secrets and rivalries collide as Walter makes a terrible mistake. As the Nazi’s rise to power, its exposure threatens all of them.

Family drama: Love after Love by Ingrid Persaud (Faber, £8.99)

Betty Ramdin, her shy son Solo and their lodger Mr Chetan form an unconventional household. In an increasingly dangerous Trinidad, this home is a safe refuge until one night it is exploded apart over a glass of rum. Now, this unlikely family has to rebuild itself.

Contemporary romance: The Switch by Beth O’Leary (Quercus, £8.99)

A fun and sweet novel for this darker part of the year! After blowing a big presentation, Leena is given a two-month sabbatical to get herself back together. Her grandmother, Eileen has just been left by her husband and would like a second chance at love, but the pickings are slim in her small Yorkshire village. So, they swap. 

Haunting and provocative: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (Fourth Estate, £8.99)

Vanessa Wye was fifteen when her relationship with her teacher, Jacob Strane, began. Now in 2017 he is accused of abuse by a former pupil and Vanessa is forced to re-examine her own past – that this was not the great love story she thought and the possibility she may have been a victim, one of many. Hard hitting but brilliant and complex.

Suspense and thrills: City of Vengeance by D V Bishop (Macmillan, £14.99)

Cesare Aldo, an officer of Florence’s feared criminal court, is given four days to solve the murder of a Jewish money lender by Duke Alessandro d’Medici. During his investigation he uncovers a plot to overthrow the Duke but with a rival court officer bent on exposing Aldo’s own secrets, can he stop the destruction of not just the city, but himself as well.

Intense and visceral: The Octopus Man by Jasper Gibson (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, £14.99)

Once a brilliant law student, Tom is now stuck in the mental health system, talking to Malamock, the Octopus Man, who only he can hear. But when a new drug trial offers the chance to silence the voice no-one, especially not Tom, is prepared for what happens when the Octopus Man is threatened. This novel is funny and tragic and altogether touching.

Dark and comic: Luster by Raven Leilani (Picador, £14.99)

Edie doesn’t know what she’s doing and no-one else seems to care. She is failing at her dead-end admin job in an all-white office and at her art, her one passion. then she meets middle aged Eric and finds herself absorbed by his family, whether she wants it or not.

Exhilarating historical deep dive: A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago (Bloomsbury, £16.99)

Based on a true scandal at the court of James I, Anna and Frankie enter the savage ground of the court, relying on each other and their wits to rise. But as they gain notice, they gain enemies and at court nothing is simple, even love and friendship.

During lockdown Wallingford Bookshop is taking orders by email or phone, and is happy to set up Zoom, what’s app or Facetime consultations. They deliver to OX10, Goring, Streatley and Upper and Lower Basildon, or can post orders, as well as offering a gift wrap service.

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