Here’s this week’s pick of the best new books around.
A Song of Shadows by John Connolly
After a near-fatal shooting, grievously wounded private detective Charlie Parker retreats to a quiet Maine town to recover. When he meets a young widow, Ruth and her daughter, it emerges that Ruth has her own secrets, with their origins in the Second World War and a concentration camp like no other. As old sinners come out of the woodwork, desperate to prevent their crimes from being unearthed, Charlie puts his life on the line for a woman who is just as afraid of him as she is of her pursuers.
Published by Hodder & Stoughton General Division, priced at £14.99
Miracle at Augusta by James Patterson & Peter de Jonge
If you’ve been inspired by Jordan Spieth’s triumph at The Masters, you’ll probably enjoy this tale of hope, redemption and beating the odds, set on the same iconic US golf course. A year on from his shock win at the US Senior Open, former unknown amateur Travis is now a famous and successful golfer, but all is not well – he can’t escape the feeling of being an imposter. The opportunity to prove his own worth comes in the form of a talented teenage outcast, as the pair set out to achieve the impossible.
Published by Cornerstone, priced at £16.99
The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell
Fans of Dan Brown should find much to enjoy in this mystery thriller, in which the curator of an intriguing new Vatican exhibition about Christianity’s greatest secret is murdered before it opens. When his research partner, Father Alex, suffers a break-in at his home, the priest realises he must open his own investigation in order to keep his family safe. But just as Father Alex begins to uncover the truth about a secret Fifth Gospel and a controversial Holy Relic, he realises that someone else is on the trail too…
Published by Simon & Schuster, priced at £14.99
The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District by James Rebanks
The first son of a shepherd – who was, in turn, the first son of a shepherd – James Rebanks has captivated the nation with his daily tales of life in the Lake District, attracting over 40,000 Twitter followers with his updates and photos. His family has herded sheep on the fells for generations and their work has not really changed for centuries, so this book provides a rare insight into a truly ancient way of life and a simplicity that most people can only dream of in the modern world. From the hardships of winter to the dizzying hope of spring, join James as he reveals the highs and lows of a truly traditional occupation.
Published by Penguin Books, priced at £16.99
A Decent Ride by Irvine Welsh
Force of nature ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson has been causing chaos on the streets of Edinburgh with his drug-dealing, womanising ways, but has the misogynistic – yet strangely decent – taxi driver finally met his match in a Hurricane ‘Bawbag’? Terry must try to track down a missing beauty, keep her idiot lover out of prison, discover the real motives of an American reality star and try to deal with a terrible event in his own life, in Irvine Welsh’s funniest and naughtiest novel yet. A Decent Ride has been shortlisted for the 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.
Published by Vintage (on April 16), priced at £12.99