Whether you’re looking for Christmas present ideas or just a great read, here’s this week’s selection of intriguing books.
Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon
Published by Simon & Schuster, priced £12.99
It’s 1949 and young Jewish writer Alex is living in America, having fled the Nazis before the war. But now he finds himself a subject of the McCarthy witch hunts and is forced into a desperate bargain with the CIA – he will be allowed to ultimately return to the US if he becomes their agent in his native Berlin. Once there, he discovers the true nature of his assignment: spying on the first woman he ever loved. Faced with impossible dilemmas, where will Alex draw the moral line?
Great for: Fans of wartime, political and historical thrillers
Gray Mountain by John Grisham
Published by Hodder & Stoughton, priced £20
In a classic ‘fish out of water’ tale, high flying New York lawyer Samantha finds her life turned upside down by the collapse of Lehman Brothers bank. Now she’s just an unpaid intern at a small-town law firm, where the real problems of the down-at-heel locals present her with a big challenge. Critics have compared this story to hugely successful previous Grisham novel, The Pelican Brief, which was made into a Hollywood film starring Julia Roberts.
Great for: Fans of courtroom dramas
Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Published by Penguin Books, priced £12.99
This debut novel by Zoe Sugg – otherwise known as YouTube phenomenon Zoella – has already been a massive hit with teenagers. Penny explores her school dramas, romances and panic attacks by writing an anonymous blog and when her family take her to New York, she has even more to document. But although meeting the gorgeous Noah seems like a dream come true, he also has a secret – one that could blow Penny’s cover and ruin her closest friendship.
Great for: Teenage girls and fans of romance
The Churchill Factor by Boris Johnson
Published by Hodder & Stoughton, priced £25
Written by another larger-than-life political character in his own entertaining style, The Churchill Factor is a study of what defines one of history’s most brilliant leaders. Taking on the myths and misconceptions about the former Prime Minister, Johnson takes a deeper look at the man’s courage, eloquence and skill for strategy, alongside his incorrigible political incorrectness. As Johnson says, “Churchill is the resounding human rebuttal to all who think history is the story of vast and impersonal economic forces”.
Great for: Fans of history, politics and biography