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Marvellous holiday must-reads

What if your mother had been writing to a serial killer? A convicted murderer with a story to tell. Serial killer Michael Reave – known as The Red Wolf – has been locked in Belmarsh Prison for over 20 years for the brutal and ritualistic murders of countless women. When ex-journalist Heather Evans returns to her childhood home after her mother’s inexplicable suicide, she discovers something chilling … hundreds of letters between her mother and Reave, dating back decades. When the body of a woman is found decorated with flowers, just like Michael’s victims, Reave is the only person alive who could help. After years of silence, he will speak to Heather, and only Heather. If she wants to unearth the truth and stop further bloodshed, she’ll have to confront a monster. Dog Rose Dirt by Jen Williams is a chilling read … could well be the thriller of the month! HarperCollins, available at exclusivebooks.co.za

Oh … we love a Sinéad Moriarty read. Always laugh-out-loud funny, keep-the-tissues on hand heartbreakingly real. About Us revolves around three couples, all at different stages of their lives. The couple who thought retirement would be their second spring; instead it’s an icy winter. The pair who were lovers, best friends, parents … in that order; now never mind being on the same page, they’re not even reading from the same book. And the couple who’re newly falling in love but her complicated past makes her unsure if she can have an intimate relationship. The perfect holiday read. Penguin, available at exclusivebooks.co.za

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For a holiday book, you can’t beat Sophie Kinsella, who’s just released her irresistible new standalone novel. Meet Effie, who’s still not over her parents splitting up (and thinks no-one should have to deal with their father and his new girlfriend’s PDA all over Instagram, or with the hashtags #viagraworks and #sexinyoursixties). Now the family’s split up, the family home needs to be sold; but there’ll be one last party. Effie hasn’t been invited! But that’s not going to stop her going. After all, there are precious dolls from her childhood to find, old boyfriends to bump into, and secrets to discover. You had us at the hashtags … The Party Crasher is a hilarious beach read. Penguin, available at exclusivebooks.co.za

Youth is a passing phase. And before we know it, it’s gone. Then there’s the rest of our lives. So says Charlottte Bauer in How to Get Over Being Young – A Rough Guide to Midlife. With no subjects off limits, this is described as a funny and sage guide to midlife, an unscientific, flaws-and-all account of one woman’s adventures and misadventures through the dark comedy of the wilderness years. If you’re hitting ‘the rest of your life’, this is the holiday read you’ve been waiting for. Atlantic Books, available at exclusivebooks.co.za

How far would you go to cure your child’s disease? Louise has devoted her life to caring for her disabled youngest daughter. Her husband Pete works abroad, and is hardly ever home. Her eldest daughter Eliza is keeping secrets. And Patience, the youngest, has Rett syndrome, and is trapped in her own body. She laughs, cries, has opinions, but can’t share them. Then the family is offered the opportunity for Patience to take part in a new medical trial … one which may cure her. Are the risks worth the chance of reward? Love, hope, family, all wrapped up in Patience by Victoria Scott. Head of Zeus, available at 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

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