Debut Books

Looking to try something new? Check out our Debuts of the Month selection. You never know, one might become your favourite new author and a special discovery!  

My Name is Jensen

My Name is Jensen

Author: Heidi Amsinck Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/07/2022

Guilty. One word on a beggar's cardboard sign. And now he is dead, stabbed in a wintry Copenhagen street, the second homeless victim in as many weeks. Dagbladet reporter Jensen, stumbling across the body on her way to work, calls her ex lover DI Henrik Jungersen. As, inevitably, old passions are rekindled, so are old regrets, and that is just the start of Jensen's troubles. The front page is an open goal, but nothing feels right..... When a third body turns up, it seems certain that a serial killer is on the loose. But why pick on the homeless? And is the link to an old murder case just a coincidence? With her teenage apprentice Gustav, Jensen soon finds herself putting everything on the line to discover exactly who is guilty ...

Debut Books of the Month
Patience

Patience

Author: Victoria Scott Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2022

If you were offered a chance to cure your child's disease, would you take it? The Willows have been through a lot. Louise has devoted her life to caring for her disabled youngest daughter. Pete works abroad, almost never seeing his loved ones. And their eldest, Eliza, is burdened by all the secrets she's trying to keep from her overloaded family. Meanwhile, Patience observes the world while trapped in her own body. She laughs, she cries, she has opinions and knows what she wants. But those who love her most - and make every decision about her life - will never know. Or will they? When the Willows are offered the opportunity for Patience to take part in a new gene therapy trial to cure her Rett syndrome, they face an impossible dilemma. Are the very real risks worth the chance of the reward, no matter how small?

Debut Books of the Month
The Bone Road

The Bone Road

Author: N.E. Solomons Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2022

I love it when a book that is written to entertain provides an insight into a world I am not familiar with or to places I have never been. This cleverly written thriller does both. As we learn about the world of competitive cycling, Solomons takes us on a descriptive journey through Serbia and the Balkans where we meet people who are still recovering from, and suffering the effects of, a war that only ended in 1995. Serbia, we discover, is a country of great beauty but with dark secrets born of a violent past. Combine a Wallender-style detective with a former Olympic cyclist and you have a recipe for fireworks. As the body count climbs, The Bone Road doesn’t disappoint.

Debut Books of the Month
Shape of a Boy My Family and Other Adventures

Shape of a Boy My Family and Other Adventures

Author: Kate Wickers Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2022

The perfect beach read, Shape of a Boy is a laugh-out-loud travel memoir featured in National Geographic Traveller’s best travel books of 2022 Shape of a Boy is a hilarious and eye-opening travel memoir by the mother of three boys as she documents her travels with her family around the world. 'Have kids, will travel' is veteran travel journalist Kate's mantra. Her intrepid spirit is infectious in this warm, engaging account of her family's adventures and misadventures. She shares the life lessons learnt on their travels, from overcoming disappointment in Thailand to saying sorry in Japan, discovering perseverance in Borneo and learning about conservation in Malaysia. From the jungles of southeast Asia to the waterfront in Havana and the blazing heat of Egypt, Shape of a Boy captures the essence of being a parent in the thick of it and learning on the hoof. Inspirational for anyone who has dreaded travelling with a baby, toddler, or teen, it is a life-affirming read for every wannabe-traveller. Kate's vivid evocation of the highs and lows of family time make you belly-laugh and bring a lump to your throat.  This is a must-read for every wannabe-traveller grounded by lockdown and for every parent who has dreaded travelling with a baby.

Debut Books of the Month
Lightseekers

Lightseekers

Author: Femi Kayode Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2022

Winner of the 2019 UEA Crime Writing Prize, Lightseekers is the start of a major new crime series introducing investigative psychologist Dr Philip Taiwo. When three young students are brutally murdered in a Nigerian university town, their killings - and their killers - are caught on social media. The world knows who murdered them; what no one knows is why. As the legal trial begins, investigative psychologist Philip Taiwo is contacted by the father of one of the boys, desperate for some answers to his son's murder. But Philip is an expert in crowd behaviour and violence, not a detective, and after travelling to the sleepy university town that bore witness to the killings, he soon feels dramatically out of his depth. Will he finally be able to uncover the truth of what happened to the Okiri Three?

Star Books
Dele Weds Destiny

Dele Weds Destiny

Author: Tomi Obaro Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/06/2022

Heralding the arrival of a new, crisply lyrical voice in fiction, devotees of novels that centre women’s experiences with wisdom and fresh, thoughtful perspectives will find Tomi Obaro’s Dele Weds Destiny debut utterly un-put-down-able. It follows the interlocked lives of Zainab, Funmi and Enitan, who first meet as students at university in northern Nigeria. Bound by this seminal experience, a time when all three young women made huge leaps in discovering who they were, their lives diverge on different paths around the world, and they’re now reunited at the wedding of Funmi's daughter, Destiny, with each character brilliantly nuanced. As for those divergent paths, which we follow alongside the 2015 context of Destiny’s wedding, Funmi lives in luxury as the wife of a big businessman, New York-based Enitan is separating from her husband (a white man she eloped with), and Zainab is a single mother to four sons. As seen during their reunion, the women exemplify tremendous differences in status and experiences, and yet their connections still hold, with their daughters further revealing generational connections and divergences that ring with universal truths about life, experiences of friendship, and what it means to feel at home.

Debut Books of the Month
The Siege

The Siege

Author: John Sutherland Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/06/2022

An enthralling, rewarding, and ever so satisfying debut crime thriller. Covering ten hours, from beginning to end, a far-right extremist takes nine people from an immigrant support group hostage. Author John Sutherland is a retired Borough Commander with the Metropolitan Police, during his time in the job he was a hostage negotiator, in other words he knows his stuff. Not only that, he is also a gifted, passionate, and compassionate speaker and I’ve listened to his inspiring words on several occasions at Literary Festivals. This may be his debut novel, but he already has two non-fiction books to his name, Blue: A Memoir and Crossing the Line are both fascinating books about policing. When I knew he was venturing into fiction I grabbed a proof just as fast as I could with one question on my mind, could his knowledge and abilities translate into a novel? Yes, yes they can. If you’ve read his books, newspaper articles or his blog, heard him on the TV, at talks or worked with him then you will know he is principled, honourable, thoughtful, and that clearly comes across in his writing. Yet being from the policing family means he has seen it all, experienced the highs and lows that this job throws at you. So while the tone is unmistakably him, calm with no fuss or bluster, it feels real, right up in your face real. The three main characters have equal billing, concentrating in turn on their lives, who they are, what makes them tick. There is a straightforward clarity to the writing that ensures the words hit with intensity. As the story gained momentum, as the lives of these people began to really matter to me, I couldn’t put the book down. At one point I cried, and I know how good a book is by how it makes me react, how it makes me feel. So, this novel joins our LoveReading Star Book community, it also sits as a Liz Robinson Pick for its month of publication. For those of you who have been waiting, hand-on-heart, it’s worth it. The Siege is not only thrilling and entertaining, it’s also engaging and meaningful, and comes with the hugest of ticks in the must-read box from me.

Star Books
The Final Strife

The Final Strife

Author: Saara El-Arifi Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/06/2022

A debut that sings, in fact roars with strong vibrant themes, beautiful storytelling, and fabulous characters. Three women sit centre stage as the trials begin to find the next rulers of the Empire, each has different coloured blood and were born to very different roles. This is the first in the The Final Strife series, and Author Saara El-Arifi has created the most compelling world with roots in Ghanian folklore and Arabian myths. A vivid energy crackles into life from the start. The sense of place is immense, I saw, I felt, I believed. The three very different young women who lead in the story, in such different ways, have fascinating characters. The story flows through some thought-provoking topics, from oppression and rebellion through to drug addiction. Love can be found in its many guises including friendship as well as romance. While tyranny rules, this in an inclusive land in terms of relationships and diversity. I would say this is definitely not for younger teens due to content, but is suitable for those heading towards their twenties as well as adults. This first book sets up the continuing story rather wonderfully and I can’t wait to see where we head next. A LoveReading Star Book and Liz Pick of the Month, The Final Strife, so very clever, bold and provocative has set aflame a new world that promises much, highly recommended.

Star Books
Double Booked

Double Booked

Author: Lily Lindon Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/06/2022

Of the many books birthed in the pandemic, Lily Lindon’s Double Booked is perhaps one of the funniest. Dubbed a queer romcom, the book is also a coming-of-age story for those who’ve outgrown their teens and are well on the way to adulthood. It makes Double Booked a refreshing take on self-discovery, a subject normally the preserve of the very young. We follow Gina as she takes on another self, George, in an attempt to live two different lives. Alongside the funnies is plenty of fizz. There’s an infectious energy to Lindon’s writing and every pages brims with real-life chat/goss/angst/love. As an editor working in publishing and someone who honed her comedic chops at Cambridge’s famous Footlights, the author is somewhat ‘double booking’ herself – and it’s paid off wonderfully. The LoveReading LitFest invited Lily Lindon to the festival to talk about Double Booked. The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.

Debut Books of the Month
The Other Black Girl

The Other Black Girl

Author: Zakiya Dalila Harris Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/06/2022

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and the micro-aggressions, she's thrilled when Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They've only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events cause Nella to become Public Enemy Number One and Hazel, the Office Darling. Then the notes begin to appear on Nella's desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW. It's hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realises that there is a lot more at stake than her career. Dark, funny and furiously entertaining, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.

Debut Books of the Month
Nightcrawling

Nightcrawling

Author: Leila Mottley Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/06/2022

Sparked by a real-life police abuse scandal in Oakland, California, Leila Mottley’s intensely affecting Nightcrawling debut, written when she was just seventeen, burns with brutal truths and a raw beauty that lays bare an astounding spirit of love and survival. Though not quite 18, Kiara has long had to play an adult role in life. Her former Black Panther father is dead, as is her little sister. Her mama is in a halfway house “prison without the bars”, while her older brother clings to a dream of making it in rap music. So, it’s fallen to Kiara to take responsibility for paying rent and putting food on the table. What’s more, she also cares for Trevor, a ten-year-old child whose mother keeps going AWOL. Trapped in poverty, and unable to get a job, Kiara is forced to nightcrawl. “It’s just a body,” she tells herself. After being picked up by a couple of cops, Kiara is forced to have sex with them and their colleagues. Though she had no choice, she wishes she’d never given them her number - “they only want me to show themselves they can have me…These are the men who load their guns and point them with a grin, and find a girl in an alley and decide she is theirs”. Later, when one of the cops is found dead, Kiara finds herself at the heart of an investigation into police corruption and sexual exploitation, but being named as a key witness puts everything and everyone she knows into danger. As the case exposes the adultification of Black girls and the corrupt core of an unjust system, Kiara keeps on caring for Trevor, keeps on trying to help her brother, keeps on living and loving.

Debut Books of the Month
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Author: Emily Austin Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2022

Meet Gilda. She cannot stop thinking about death. Desperate for relief from her anxious mind and alienated from her repressive family, she responds to a flyer for free therapy at a local church and finds herself abruptly hired to replace the deceased receptionist Grace. It's not the most obvious job - she's queer and an atheist for starters - and so in between trying to learn mass, hiding her new maybe-girlfriend and conducting an amateur investigation into Grace's death, Gilda must avoid revealing the truth of her mortifying existence. A blend of warmth, deadpan humour, and pitch-perfect observations about the human condition, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a crackling exploration of what it takes to stay afloat in a world where your expiration - and the expiration of those you love - is the only certainty.

Debut Books of the Month