Star Books

At LoveReading we read a LOT of books. Here you can find a selection of our favourites, the ones that really stand out from the crowd. If you are only going to buy a few books this year, pick from this list as they are all stars! Each calendar year the books featured here become our Books of the Year.

The Man Who Died Twice

It's the following Thursday. Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He's made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life. As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in ...

Razorblade Tears

Hitting with hammer hard precision, thrilling storytelling is balanced with pointed social commentary in this fabulous novel set in the USA. Two fathers, both ex-cons, seek revenge for the murder of their sons. One of my favourite books from last year was S. A. Cosby’s debut Blacktop Wasteland which I read for the Crime Writers’ Association Gold ...

The House with the Golden Door

The second adrenaline-charged instalment of Elodie Harper's Pompeii-set trilogy (we adored The Wolf Den), The House with the Golden Door picks up Amara’s gripping story after she’s been freed from Pompeii’s most notorious brothel, though that comes at a perilously high price, and she’s far from a free woman. Richly evocative, and ...

Take My Hand

Haunting and powerful Take My Hand burrowed its way into my awareness and will stay with me. Newly qualified nurse Civil Townsend is set to truly take care of her African American community, but a shocking discovery tests her resolve and courage. This skilful blend of fact and fiction is set in 2016 and early 1970’s Alabama, and the sense ...

England on Fire

A stunningly provocative and thought-provoking book viewing England from a different perspective, one where: “magic and rebellion and destruction are the horses to which the country is hitched. On these fabled shores we are all castaways, whether our family has lived here for four thousand years or four”. Stephen Ellcock’s books are particular favourites of mine, ...

When Women Were Dragons

Otherworldly, yet rooted in patriarchal realities, Kelly Barnhill‘s When Women Were Dragons is a storytelling masterwork. Set from the 1950s, it presents a magnificent maelstrom of fire-breathing women who refuse to keep quiet, exposing the trauma of enforced silence, and shining a blazing light on how vital it is to transcend imposed shame and live your ...

The Dying Squad

DYING IS HELL . . . SOLVING YOUR OWN MURDER IS PURGATORY When Detective Inspector Joe Lazarus storms a Lincolnshire farmhouse, he expects to bring down a notorious drug gang; instead, he discovers his own dead body and a spirit guide called Daisy-May. She's there to enlist him to the Dying Squad, a spectral police force made up of the recently deceased. Joe ...

A Tidy Ending

A uniquely twisted and thought-scrambling psychological thriller set in the most routinely humdrum of circumstances, it made me think, wince, raise my eyebrows, and even cackle! Linda lives a mundane life, she looks out and dreams of more, but then her neighbourhood is shattered when young women start to go missing just as her husband begins to act differently, secretively ...

The Attic Child

Lola Jaye’s The Attic Child is a truly exceptional novel. An utterly immersive dual-narrative experience that will break your heart as it lays bare atrocious abuses of power and privilege. An illuminating story that enriches understanding of Black British history with tremendous courage and storytelling verve – I can’t recommend it highly enough. In 1903, following the ...

Into the Dark

This fabulous crime thriller is full, absolutely stuffed full to overflowing with intense, smart, powerful writing. A local family goes missing in suspicious circumstances, the police, their friends and neighbours rush to fill in the gaps of their disappearance in order to find them. The novel runs along different timelines, revealing stories from both before and after the Holden’...

Young Mungo

Powerful, thought-provoking, and stunningly eloquent, this remarkable novel will be one of my books of the year. Two young men meet, under normal circumstances they would battle on different sides of the Glaswegian Catholic and Protestant divide, instead they fall in love. Although no date is given, this potentially takes place in the 90’s. Two different time frames slip ...

Sorrowland

A triumphant, genre-bending novel, following a young Black woman through a nightmarish yet recognisable landscape as she attempts to create a new life for herself and her children. Vern, a hunted woman alone in the woods, gives birth to twins and raises them away from the influence of the outside world. But something is wrong - not with them, but ...