As the nights draw in, it’s the perfect time to settle in with a great book. Thanks to lockdown, there’s more choice than ever as many of 2020’s most exciting reads are finally released.
Whether you’re into romance, thrillers, or historical fiction, you won’t be stuck for a book to get lost in this autumn.
From Richard Osman to Ian Rankin, these are ten of the best new fiction reads that you can find at your local bookshop right now.
1. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Written by Pointless co-host Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club is set in a peaceful retirement complex, where four elderly friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings.
When a local property developer shows up dead, the octogenarian amateur sleuths find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Smart yet funny, Osman’s debut novel has been described as ‘a thoroughly contemporary take on a classic murder mystery’.
2. Just Like You by Nick Hornby
From the author of About a Boy and High Fidelity, Nick Hornby’s warm and entertaining 21st century love story explores what it means to be someone’s perfect match.
Set in the months leading up to the 2016 Brexit referendum, it features a divorced teacher and an aspiring DJ. Hornby’s tender yet hilarious book shows why being with someone who is just like you can be an absolute disaster when it comes to love.
3. Jack by Marilynne Robinson
Jack is the fourth and final book in Pulitzer-winner Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead series. A story of interracial love after the Second World War, it focuses on John Ames ‘Jack’ Boughton, the prodigal son of a Presbyterian minister.
Readers will be familiar with Jack from Robinson’s previous novels, Gilead, Home, and Lila. In the latest instalment, the protagonist falls in love with an African American high school teacher, creating an unlikely love story that’s filled with humour, mystery and joy.
4. Real Life by Brandon Taylor
Shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, Brandon Taylor’s brilliant debut novel tells the tale of black gay student Wallace, who is four years into a biochemistry degree at a lakeside Midwestern university.
The novel takes place over a single weekend, not long after Wallace’s father has died. Described as a ‘blistering coming of age story’, Real Life is a profound novel that explores race, sexuality, loneliness, and grief.
5. The Searcher by Tana French
From best-selling mystery writer Tana French, The Searcher is a page-turning psychological thriller set in a remote Irish village.
The novel is centred around former Chicago police officer Cal Hooper, who’s persuaded to use his investigative powers again when a local child goes missing. If you’re a crime fiction fan, this tale of suspense will have you hooked.
6. Love by Roddy Doyle
Named by The Times, the i and The Guardian as one of the best books for autumn, Love tells the story of two grown-up friends who meet in a Dublin restaurant to relive their past.
With secrets to tell and keep hidden, neither Davy nor Joe are the men they used to be. From Booker winner Roddy Doyle, Love is a comic yet moving novel that examines the complexities of friendship, romance and mortality.
7. Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze
Nominated for the 2020 Booker Prize, Gabriel Krauze’s debut novel Who They Was offers an unflinching depiction of London’s violent gang culture.
The book’s rawness isn’t for the faint-hearted, but if you’re looking for a powerful and moving tale that bristles with energy, it’s certainly worth a try.
8. V2 by Robert Harris
Robert Harris has been described as the king of the page-turning thriller, and V2 is no exception.
Set in the Second World War, the novel focuses on the intertwined stories of a German rocket engineer and a young British intelligence officer. If you love historical fiction, you won’t be disappointed.
9. A Song For The Dark Times by Ian Rankin
From number one bestseller Ian Rankin, A Song For The Dark Times is the latest must-read Rebus thriller.
Maverick detective John Rebus is called upon to investigate the disappearance of his daughter’s husband, but along the way learns of big secrets that should never be uncovered. This is great fiction that you won’t want to put down.
10. When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut
When We Cease to Understand the World is the first book by Benjamín Labatut to be translated into English. Described as ‘fiction based on real events’, it illuminates the unexpected connections between the founders of quantum mechanics and the evils of two world wars.
Featuring well-known figures like Hermann Göring, Alan Turing, and Fritz Haber, it explores how strokes of genius can both revolutionise the world and cause immense suffering. Described as a ‘monstrous and brilliant book’, Labatut’s novel is utterly original and crackles with energy throughout.