Get summer holiday ready with our pick of the best fiction books for 2024

According to our Books Editor, Sharon Reid

Summer fiction books

by Sharon Reid |
Updated on

Our resident fiction expert and Books Editor Sharon Reid introduces her current favourite summer reads and highlights a few more must-have books.

Sceptre

Ministry of TimeAmazon
Price: $16.44

A disaffected civil servant is offered a lucrative job in a mysterious new government ministry set up to test the limits of time travel. Her role is to work as a ‘bridge’: living with and monitoring Commander Graham Gore who has been plucked from history, moments before his death in 1847, as part of Sir John Franklin’s doomed expedition to the Arctic. As their relationship moves from awkwardness to genuine friendship, to something more, they also begin to realise the sinister truth about the project that brought them together.

Avon

Second ChanceHarper Collins

“A heart-warming, delight of a read,” says Belinda Nunn. Nell has always known her expiry date after a psychic predicted her death date 20 years ago. But when the fateful day comes, she unexpectedly wakes up the next morning – very much alive. How will she seize this second chance at life?

Harper Collins

Lucy FoleyLucy Foley

“A dark, brilliant read full of chilling suspects and motives,”says Sam Harper. In the shadows of an ancient wood, guests gather for the opening weekend of The Manor, a beautiful new countryside retreat. But under the burning midsummer sun, old friends and enemies circulate among the guests and, just before the solstice supper, a body is found…

HQ

The TripAmazon
Price: £11.59

“A perfect holiday thriller,” says Jenny Wilton. Four friends decide to go on the holiday of a lifetime. Until a vicious murder shatters their paradise. They were friends who’d do anything for each other… until now. Only one of them committed a crime, but all four know how to keep a secret. And they’re all guilty of something…

HQ

The SwapThe Works

“A warm-hearted story of friendship and forgiveness,” says Valery Clarke. When Cecilia’s 75th birthday celebrations take an unexpected turn, she seeks solace at Dune Cottage. But on arrival she discovers Lily Thomas, a struggling artist, has secretly been staying there. As an unlikely bond forms between the women; will they be able to swap old dreams for new ones?

Lose yourself in these heartwarming and romantic stories

Penguin

Love in ProvenceAmazon
Price: $10.50

Del moved to the south of France and found new purpose and love with the gorgeous Fabien. But just as harvest time is about to get under way on the lavender farm, Fabien is unexpectedly called away and then another bombshell dropped means the whole community has to pull together to help.

Penguin

Second Chance SummerAmazon
Price: £10.50

From the moment Lily arrives at a remote retreat on the Scilly Isles, she is itching to get back to civilisation – so she quickly clashes with the gorgeous, but dour, Sam. Then an incident changes her perspective on everything. Will she have the courage to give the retreat, and Sam, a second chance?

Doubleday

Silence in betweenAmazon
Price: $16.40

Imagine waking up and a wall has divided your city in two. Imagine that on the other side is your new-born baby… Lisette lives in East Berlin but gives birth in West Berlin. Under doctor’s orders, she goes home to rest, leaving the baby in the care of the hospital. But overnight the border between East and West closes, slicing her world in two.

HQ

Novel Love StoryAmazon
Price: £11.38

Ever found yourself lost in a good book… literally? When Eileen’s car breaks down she finds herself stranded in a quaint town that feels like it’s right out of a novel… because she’s trapped in her favourite author’s unfinished story. Can Eileen help bring the town its happily ever after?

Head of Zeus

Bookshop ladiesAmazon
Price: $18.74

A saga of friendship, betrayal and secrets as a widow searches for answers to a shocking confession by her dying husband. Joy is determined to find out why her husband left a valuable painting to another woman. She travels to Ballycove to meet the recipient, Robyn, who runs a rather chaotic bookshop...

Headline

Echoes of usAmazon
Price: £9.99

What would you change if you could live your love story all over again? Robbie and Jenn know that, this time, it’s forever. But as a truck hurtles towards their car, Robbie is thrown into Jenn’s past and finds himself a spectator of the most important moments of her life. Can he right the wrongs in their past and, more importantly, can he change their present in order to save their future?

Get engrossed in cosy crime stories and gripping thrillers

HQ

The WinnerAmazon
Price: £11.05

This highly original thriller offers a terrifying look at celebrity culture. What would happen if Love Island turned deadly? Heather is thrilled to win a place in the luxurious ‘Triple F’ lottery, where fame, fortune and followers await. She becomes a social media sensation overnight. But there’s trouble in paradise, someone seems to know their secrets, and is stirring up hatred online and Heather is afraid for her life.

HQ

Queen of poisonsAmazon
Price: £10.92

Judith, Suzie and Becks, AKA The Marlow Murder Club, are once more on the hunt for a killer… Geoffrey Lushington, the affable Mayor of Marlow, dies suddenly during a Town Council meeting. When traces of aconite – also known as the queen of poisons – are found in his coffee cup, the police realise he was murdered. But who did it? And why?

Headline

Lucky GirlsAmazon
Price: £11.81

A gripping tale of secrets and revenge. For Dee the holiday is a chance to escape the secret that's been suffocating her for years. Meanwhile, Willa and her fiancé's whole family have gathered on the island to celebrate their marriage. But Willa can't wait for this sham to be over. By the end of the holiday, two people will be dead, lives will be shattered and no one's secret will be safe.

Century

SwitchAmazon
Price: £8.27

A unputdownable thriller with a shocking twist. Elena and Adam are seduced by their new upscale surroundings while housesitting in Wimbledon. Their beautiful, enigmatic neighbour Sophia proposes a wicked game whereby they swap partners in secret. Before long Elena starts an illicit love affair. But Sophia's plans are far more dangerous than anyone could ever have imagined...

Headline

LoyaltyAmazon
Price: $11.14

In equal measure tense, thought provoking and heartbreaking. At Holly Brookes Children’s Home, two young girls unite in the face of horrific abuse and form an unbreakable bond. But when their loyalty is tested can they rely on each other to do the right thing? A return to form for the crime queen.

Hodder & Stoughton

D is for DeathAmazon
Price: £9.99

Meet Dora Wildwood: runaway bride, book lover, and historical crime’s brilliant new heroine. Escaping from her impending marriage, Dora hides out in the London Library where she stumbles across her first dead body. She's certain she will prove to be an invaluable help to the gruff Detective Inspector Fox who swiftly arrives on the scene. For as everyone knows, women see everything and make the best detectives.

Harper Collins

Karen slaughterAmazon
Price: £9.99

The incredible new thriller featuring investigator Will Trent and medical examiner Sara Linton. At a remote luxury mountain getaway all the guests are all hiding something. Then Mercy McAlpine threatens to expose everybody's secrets. Just hours later, Mercy is dead. In an area this remote, it’s easy to get away with murder. But Will and Sara are here on their honeymoon. And now, with the killer poised to strike again, the holiday of a lifetime becomes a race against the clock…

Cornerston

think twiceamazon
Price: £9.19

Greg Downing’s DNA is found at a double murder scene, making him the prime suspect. But Greg died three years ago... Former client and rival, Myron Bolitar is looking for answers, but the more he discovers the more dangerous his world becomes.

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