8 gripping stories worth starting a book club for

8 gripping stories worth starting a book club for

It can be difficult to decide which stories deserve a spot on your own bookshelf, let alone what to revolve group discussions and clubs around. We’ve rounded up 8 must-reads that are being published this year to inspire conversation, entice your feelings and leave your book club wanting more.

  1. Marked for Death by Tony Kent (7th February 2019)


Marked for Death is the thrilling follow-up to Kent’s 2018’s debut, Killer Intent. Assigned to the story from the start, news reporter Sarah Truman sets out to investigate a murder, not suspecting that the trail will lead back to her fiance Michael Devlin. A criminal barrister determined to prove the innocence of his client, Michael is at first oblivious to the return of a figure from his past – until tragedy strikes closer to home. Struggling with his grief and guilt and now caught up in a madman’s quest for revenge, Michael must race to bring the killer to justice – before it’s too late.

2. Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley (14th February 2019)


Alexandr, Christine, Zachary and Lydia have been friends since they first met in their twenties. Thirty years later, Alex and Christine are spending a leisurely evening at home when they receive a call from Lydia: she is at the hospital. Zach is dead.


Inconsolable, Lydia soon moves in with Alex and Christine. Instead of loss bringing them closer, the three of them find that grievances rise from the past and love and sorrow gives way to anger and bitterness. Late in the Day explores the tangled webs at the centre of our most intimate relationships.

3. The Pull of the River by Matt Gaw (21st February 2019)


In this book, two foolhardy explorers do what we would all love to do: they turn their world upside down and seek adventure on their doorstep. In a homemade canoe, Matt and his friend James delve into a watery landscape that invites us to see the world through new eyes. Showing that it is still possible to get lost while knowing exactly where you are, The Pull of the River beautifully explores nature, place and friendship.

4. The Snakes by Sadie Jones (7th March 2019)


Bea and Dan, recently married, rent out their small London flat to escape for a few precious months. Driving through France they visit Bea’s brother Alex at the hotel he runs in Burgundy but disturbingly, they find him alone and the hotel deserted – apart from the nest of snakes in the attic.


When Alex and Bea’s parents make a surprise visit, Dan can’t understand why Bea’s never wanted him to meet them; Liv and Griff Adamson are charming and outrageously rich. Tragedy soon strikes though and in its aftermath, the family is stripped back to its rotten core in this devastating, all-consuming story.

5. Freefall by Jessica Barry (7th March 2019)


Freefall opens with the catastrophic crash of an aircraft. Allison, the only survivor, knows that the life that she’s built for herself has disappeared in the blink of an eye and now she must run. Not only to escape the dark secrets in her past, but to outwit the man who is stalking her every move.


On the other side of the country, Allison’s mother is desperate for news of her daughter, who is missing and presumed dead. Maggie refuses to accept that she could have lost her only child and sets out to discover the truth. Mother and daughter must fight for survival to find their way back to one another – before it’s too late.

6. Frankissstein: A Love Story by Jeanette Winterson (23rd May 2019)


In Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love with Victor Stein – against their better judgement – a celebrated professor leading the public debate around Artificial Intelligence. In Frankissstein. A Love Story, Jeanette Winterson shows us how much closer we are to that future than we realise, whilst exploring the bodies we live in and the bodies we desire. Funny, furious and bold, this is a modern reimagining of Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, set to grapple with sexuality and technology.

7. What Red Was by Rosie Price (9th May 2019)


Through their four years at university, Kate and Max are inseparable. For him, she breaks her solitude and for her, he leaves his busy circles behind. However, loving Max means knowing his family and the wealthy Rippons are full of generosity, social ease and quiet repression. Their world is not Kate’s world.


What Red Was explores the effects of trauma on mind and body, the tyrannies of memory and the courage of a young woman in speaking out. This is a startling novel of modern love and toxic inheritance from a brilliant new British voice.

8. The Travelers by Regina Porter (4 July 2019)


James Vincent is born in 1942 to a working class white couple whose marriage is on the rocks. James escapes the violence at home to attend law school in Michigan, where he begins to envision his future as prosperous and bright. Meanwhile in Georgia, Agnes Miller, a black woman on her first date with a handsome suitor, is pulled over by the police and the moments that follow make her question whether she will have a future at all. Unexpected turns of fate start to connect their lives as they come up against the forces of race, class, and gender. This book is both an intimate family portrait and a searing examination of America today.

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