Lionel Shriver – We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin stormed the charts when it was first published in 2003, and it went on to win the 2005 Orange Prize amid huge critical acclaim. Since then, the novel has been adapted for the big screen, with national UK release set for October this year. If you haven’t yet read the novel, I’d strongly recommend picking up a copy.  Alice Reeves writing for The Vibe describes the novel as “an absolute triumph in storytelling … nothing is as it seems and the ending is ultimately heart-wrenching and completely unexpected”. For Books Sake was also struck by the ending – it “made my stomach flip.

I’ve never had such a physical response to a work of fiction”. Medieval Bookworm also relates to the imaginative response We Need to Talk About Kevin evokes –  ”I found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading and talking about it to everyone who had an ear to listen.  It truly was fascinating and I found it completely deserving of its Orange Prize.”

John le Carre – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Le Carre’s British espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy  is another great novel seeing an all-star film adaptation release later this year. The book has received high praise from readers. In an interview with Bookgeeks, author Howard Linskey reveals that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the book he’d most liked to have written himself, saying that “On one level, it’s a beautifully written, highly nuanced story of betrayal but it also works as a classic thriller”.

James Patterson – Postcard Killers

Postcard Killers  is a collaborative novel between the highly successful crime author, James Patterson – who grabbed headlines last week with the news that he cashed in over £51 million last year, making him comfortably the richest author in the world – and the lesser known Liza Marklund. As noted by Nordic Bookblog, Patterson’s influence is more clearly identifiable than Marklund’s, “Postcard Killers has short sentences in short paragraphs in short chapters. And it moves at a blistering pace, if possible even faster than the usual Patterson bestseller.” Hardly surprising really, if you’re teaming up to write a crime fiction novel with James Patterson, probably best to let him take the reins. The action takes place in mainland Europe, where a serial killer is hopping from country to country leaving a trail of  young, murdered couples in their wake. From each crime scene they post a card to the newspaper of his next destination, forewarning them of their arrival and their intentions when gets there. Bookaholic’s Review says that the book lives up to Patterson’s impressive back catalogue, “Another perfect James Patterson novel. No unneeded details or descriptions, vivid descriptions bring mental pictures to mind that make you shudder, characters that are complicated with simple words, and short chapters make this a quick, but very enjoyable, read. Highly recommended!”

Sophie Hannah – Lasting Damage

One night when Connie Bowskill is browsing a property website, she discovers more than she expected. A dead body in a pool of blood appears in a virtual tour of a house, and she drags her husband Kit out of bed to see it – but when they refresh the tour the body is gone. So starts Hannah’s latest novel, Lasting Damage. As is typical of Hannah’s writing, this is a storming thriller that will have the reader second-guessing every development in the story. Gaskella praises Hannah’s writing as “very involving – you feel you’re right inside the minds of her lead characters”, and I think I just blogged myself describes the novel as “a whirlwind of tension, fear, and excitement”.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh – The Language of Flowers

Diffenbaugh’s debut novel The Language of Flowers tells the mesmerising story of teenager Victoria Jones, who uses the Victorian trend for expressing sentiments through flowers to communicate with the world. Caroline Smails wrote a glowing review of the novel, describing it as “compelling, beautiful and, really, very special”, while for Creatures of Culture the novel “moves at a good pace and switches seamlessly from the present to Victoria’s past, providing the reader with a good insight into the feelings and personality development of Victoria, allowing a deeper level of reader involvement with the story”. High Heels & Book Deals goes as far as calling the novel “literary fiction at its best”. To mark the release of the book, a website has also been created where users can learn about the meanings behind different flowers and send virtual bouquets to friends.