Cleverly written as a novel within a novel, Louise Candlish’s The Heights begins with a high-profile creative writing tutor offering advice to his class. The setting, he says, is a nice choice. ‘ A good, safe entry point for any narrative’. So the opening line, then, of a story one of the class hands in should prove his point. ‘ Kieran Watts has been dead for over two years when I see him standing on the roof of a building in Shad Thames.’ An opening line that certainly got his, and our, attention. And from there … it’s just twists and turns and psychological suspense. Simon and Schuster, available from exclusivebooks.co.za
• Twenty-five years ago, an upstanding citizen, father and husband walked through the streets of his neighbourhood and killed eleven people, one of whom was four-year-old Cassie Colman’s father. As this quarter-century anniversary approaches, Cassie finds something hidden in her mum’s possessions which suggests the murders were not what everyone believes. Suspecting she’s been lied to her entire life, she keeps digging, wanting to find out the truth. But someone in the neighbourhood would prefer to keep it buried! The Anniversary is Laura Marshall’s third gripping psychological thriller (and if you’ve yet to read Friend Request, add that to you book shopping list, too). Sphere, available from exclusivebooks.co.za
Claire Adlam’s This Might Sting A Bit is described as a laugh-while-you-weep story … one of hope, survival and family. It’s the story of Kit, a regular teen growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe, who, after a freak accident (stilettos, weed, wine … bad idea) ends up having a love affair with pharmaceuticals … one she struggles to escape from. It’s the story of her, her dysfunctional but endearing family, of drugs and love and skeletons falling every-which-way out of the family closet. Quickfox, available from exclusivebooks.co.za
• People would kill to have Faye’s life. A lovely apartment, a gorgeous husband, an adorable daughter. Which is why it’s a little odd that she now finds herself in a police station. Does, perhaps, the woman who has everything, have something to hide? The truth, it appears, is that her life is not what it seems. And she’s been caught out. But she’s not going to go down without a fight. Camilla Lackberg’s The Gilded Cage is a thrill a minute read. Harper Collins, available from exclusivebooks.co.za
Four cases. Four killers. Moving from art collections, forgery and theft in Geneva to a luxury liner en route to New York to London, where a new unit has been put together to solve cold cases, Jeffrey Archer’s Over My Dead Body sees Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick and ex-undercover operative Ross Hogan work together in the kinds of rollercoaster thriller Archer does so well. HarperCollins Publishers, available from exclusivebooks.co.za
Shanti is a bright teenager, stifled by life in rural India and facing an arranged marriage. Thinking South Africa may be an opportunity to start afresh, she heads for The Colony of Natal. After a harrowing sea voyage, she arrives, to a life not of one she dreamed, but of profound hardship and arduous labour. Set against the backdrop of 19th century India and the sugar cane plantations of Natal, and spanning four decades, Children of Sugarcane is South African media personality Joanne Joseph’s first work of fiction.
Jonathan Ball Publishers, available from exclusivebooks.co.za
Fancy winning all these books? And more. We’re giving one reader a R10 000 voucher (TEN. THOUSAND. RAND!) from Exclusive Books this Christmas. Look out for our Get It Festive Spoil post on our Instagram page.
The colour is ruby, clear and bright. The taste is all blackcurrants and raspberries, with a hint of violets, and French oak.
The wine is Journey’s End V2 Merlot 2016 … elegant, polished, and perfect for a festive special occasion. Around R180 from fine wine boutiques or shop.journeysend.co.za