Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan unveil their latest selection of recommendations for this Autumn’s Richard and Judy Book Club, with returning novelist Jessie Burton and debut authors Jake Jones and Lara Prior-Palmer.
With tense thrillers, extraordinary memoirs and engrossing novels, the fantastic line-up of this season’s six, must-read picks are available online and in WHSmith stores across the country.
The Heatwave – Kate Riordan
Elodie was beautiful. Elodie was smart. Elodie was troubled. Elodie is dead.
Sylvie hasn't been back to her crumbling French family home in years. Not since the death of her eldest daughter Elodie.
Every corner of the old house feels haunted by memories of her - memories she has tried to forget.
But as temperatures rise, and forest fires rage through the French countryside, a long-buried family secret is about to come to light.
Because there's something Sylvie's been hiding about what really happened to Elodie that summer.
And it could change everything.
The Boy From The Woods – Harlan Coben
Thirty years ago, a child was found in the New Jersey backwoods.
He had been living a feral existence, with no memory of how he got there or even who he is. Everyone just calls him Wilde.
Now a former soldier and security expert, he lives off the grid, shunned by the community – until they need him.
A child has gone missing. With her family suspecting she’s just playing a disappearing game, nobody seems concerned except for criminal attorney Hester Crimstein. She contacts Wilde, asking him to use his unique skills to find the girl.
But even he can find no trace of her. On the fourth, a human finger shows up in the mail. And now Wilde knows this is no game. It’s a race against time
The Confession – Jessie Burton
One winter's afternoon on Hampstead Heath, Elise Morceau meets Connie Holden and quickly falls under her spell. Connie is bold and alluring, a successful writer whose novel is being turned into a major Hollywood film. Elise follows Connie to LA, a city of strange dreams and glamorous people. But whilst Connie thrives on the heat and electricity of this new world no one is telling the truth and Elise finds herself floundering. When she overhears a conversation at a party that turns everything on its head, Elise makes an impulsive decision that will change her life forever.
Three decades later, Rose Simmons is seeking answers about her mother, who disappeared when she was a baby. Having learned that the last person to see her was Constance Holden, a reclusive novelist who withdrew at the peak of her fame, Rose is drawn to Connie's imposing house in search of a confession...
Can You Hear Me? – Jake Jones
A young man has stopped breathing in a supermarket toilet. A pedestrian with a nasty head injury won’t let the crew near him on a busy road. A newborn baby is worryingly silent. An addict urinates on the ambulance floor when denied a fix. This is the life of an NHS ambulance paramedic.
Jake Jones has worked in the UK ambulance service for ten years: every day, he sees a dozen of the scenes we hope to see only once in a lifetime. Can You Hear Me? – the first thing he says when he arrives on the scene – is a memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life on the front-lines of medicine in the UK.
Fifty Fifty – Steve Cavanagh
Two sisters on trial for murder. They accuse each other. Who do YOU believe?
‘911 what’s your emergency?’
‘My dad’s dead. My sister Sofia killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’
‘My dad’s dead. My sister Alexandra killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’
One of them is a liar and a killer. But which one?
Rough Magic – Lara Prior-Palmer
The Mongol Derby is the world’s toughest horse race. A feat of endurance across the vast Mongolian plains, competitors ride 25 horses across a distance of 1000km. Many riders don’t make it to the finish line.
In 2013 Lara Prior-Palmer – nineteen, underprepared but seeking the great unknown – decided to enter the race. Driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses, she raced for seven days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. In one of the Derby’s most unexpected results, she became the youngest-ever champion and the first woman to win the race.
Rough Magic is the extraordinary story of one young woman’s encounter with oblivion, and herself.