Robert Harris, Kiran Millwood Hargrave and debut novelist Robinne Lee are among the six authors selected for Richard & Judy's Summer Book Club, in a line-up dominated by thrillers.
Harris launches the season with his 1944 Second World War thriller, V2 (Hutchinson). The novel follows German rocket scientist Rudi, who believes he is helping to develop spaceships to take men to the moon. Meanwhile, WAAF officer Kay finds herself in newly liberated Belgium, on a mission to locate the secret V2 launch sites. Gradually Kay and Rudi find their destinies becoming brutally intertwined in what Judy Finnigan described as “another rocket-fuelled tale”.
The second title is psychological thriller That Night (Penguin), by Gillian McAllister. The novel revolves around central characters Cathy and Joe, who rush to their sister’s side following a desperate phone call for help and find they face an intensely destructive moral dilemma.
US actor and author Lee's debut novel, The Idea of You (Penguin) is the third title in the selection. “We are fascinated by romances, love affairs, marriages and passionate liaisons between couples with a significant age difference," Richard Madeley said. Lee’s novel follows 39-year-old Solene, devoted mother, dedicated colleague and considerate ex-wife, as she falls for a considerably younger British popstar, idolised by her 12-year-old daughter.
Next up is husband and wife co-authors, Colette Lyons and Paul Vlitos, writing together under the pseudonym Ellery Lloyd. Their novel, People Like Her (Mantle), is a chillingly suspenseful tale which brings us Emmy Jackson also known as Mamabare: a social media phenomenon, a yummy mummy, and a fraud. “It’s timely, perceptive and a total page turner," Finnigan said.
Michael Robotham’s psychological thriller, When She Was Good (Sphere), follows Evie, a girl who was discovered hiding in the secret room of a house in the aftermath of a brutal murder; the only survivor, and, presumably, the only witness. Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven is digging into Evie’s past and unknowingly leading some very dangerous men straight to her.
Concluding this Summer Book Club collection is The Mercies (Picador), by Millwood Hargrave. Inspired by the Scandinavian witch trials and the true story of 1617’s storm over the island of Vardo, this novel brings a tale of faith, control and survival. Richard Madeley said: “It’s also about stunning landscapes, fascinating characters and is simply a wonderful story. We both loved it.”
W H Smith customers can get exclusive special editions of the titles with bonus content, including book club discussion points, author Q&As and more recommended reads. The Richard and Judy Book Club podcast also returns for another series, with the couple joined by the authors and celebrity guests, including actor Sid Owen and journalist Bella Mackie.
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