Books by Stacey Halls, Anthony Horowitz and Oyinkan Braithwaite are among the six novels in this autumn’s picks for the Richard and Judy Book Club.
Halls kicks the list off with The Familiars (Zaffre Books), set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials and described by Madeley as “a tremendous read”. He said: "These ancient witch-hunts have become allegories for the deep prejudices faced by women throughout history. These are stories steeped in mystery and terror.”
Horowitz gets his second pick by the club with The Sentence is Death (Century), in which the author plays a Watson character to ex-cop, turned private detective, Daniel Hawthorne. Finnigan praised the book for “a twist worthy of a classic episode of Foyle's War”.
Next up is Braithwaite’s Booker-longlisted debut My Sister the Serial Killer (Atlantic). Madeley branded it “a story to relish and make your hair curl at the same time".
Multigenerational love story The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley (Macmillan) also makes an appearance. Finnigan raved: "The Butterfly Room is a real Forsyte Saga of a novel; layered, complex, fascinating and, in the end, deeply satisfying.”
Also featuring is Sleep by C L Taylor (Avon), a gripping story about the survivor of a fatal motorway car-crash. Madeley commented: "Running through the story like a jagged blade is sleep – or rather, the paralysing, frustrating, mind-bending lack of it.
Wrapping up the list is My Lovely Wife by debut author Samantha Downing (Michael Joseph), a chilling domestic thriller described by Finnigan as "unbelievable, but utterly convincing; over- the-top, but totally mesmerising".
The club launches with a series of podcasts from 10th October, providing introductions to all the featured titles as well as an exclusive interview with each author. WH Smith customers can get exclusive special editions of the Book Club titles with bonus content.