Books

MUST READS

MUST READS

THE DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER by Stuart Turton (Raven £8.99, 574pp)

THE DEVIL AND THE DARK WATER

by Stuart Turton (Raven £8.99, 574pp)

Stuart Turton won a Costa First Novel award for his genre-busting debut, The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle.

His second novel is an equally vibrant mix of history, fantasy and detective fiction, set in 1634 aboard the Saardam, a ship transporting a colonial governor of the Dutch East India company to Amsterdam.

Also aboard the ship is Samuel Pipps, a famous detective who helped the governor recover a mysterious scientific object but is now chained in a tiny cell, and Pipps’s bodyguard, Arent Hayes, as huge and ugly as Pipps is small and handsome.

The Saardam’s crew and passengers are all in dread of Old Tom, a malevolent demon apparently determined to destroy the ship. With its rollicking plot and swarming cast, Turton’s novel invites readers to sit back and embrace its strange enchantments.

HOME STRETCH

by Graham Norton (Coronet £8.99, 368pp)

In A small town in County Cork, two families are preparing for a wedding when a car crashes. Three passengers are dead: the fiancés, Bernie and David, and their bridesmaid, Carmel.

Bernie’s sister, Linda, is seriously injured. Two people are unharmed: Martin, a trainee doctor, and Connor, the local publican’s son, who was driving.

Unable to bear the guilt, Connor leaves Ireland. Away from the gossip of Irish small-town life, he can explore his gay identity.

But family bonds remain strong, and a chance encounter in a New York bar with Connor’s nephew, Finbarr, reveals startling truths about the events that changed so many lives.

Graham Norton’s bestselling novel gives a warm and perceptive account of tragedy, self-discovery and forgiveness in a tightly-knit community.

THE WINDSOR DIARIES by Alathea Fitzalan Howard (Hodder £10.99, 368pp)

THE WINDSOR DIARIES

by Alathea Fitzalan Howard (Hodder £10.99, 368pp)

When Alathea Fitzalan Howard was born on November 24, 1923, her birth could have been grounds for rejoicing: if she had been a boy, she would have become the Duke of Norfolk. But alas, ‘no tassel’, as Alathea’s mother put it. At which point her unhappily married parents appe-ared to lose interest in her.

In 1940, aged 16, Alathea was sent to live at Windsor with her high-minded grandfather, Lord Fitzalan. Here her lonely existence was cheered by the friendship of 14-year-old Princess Elizabeth and ten-year-old Margaret.

Alathea’s daily diary gives an inslghtful picture of the Royal Household in wartime.

Loyal, loving and a little sad, this is a fascinating insider’s portrait of the surprisingly ‘normal, simple’ life of the young princesses.

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