The top 12 books to read this winter
Cosy season is officially upon us and what better way to spend those cold winter nights than snuggled up with a good book? Whether you’re looking for an escape to a tropical paradise or to transport yourself back to a forgotten time, there’s something for everyone in our line-up of the very best recent releases. Keep on reading and take your pick of the best fiction reads this winter.
Geneva by Richard Armitage
Actor Richard Armitage makes his writing debut with this tense and twisty thriller. Geneva follows a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who has started to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease, just like her father. When she’s invited to attend a prestigious biotech conference with her husband, she finds herself questioning who she can really trust – including herself. A dynamic and atmospheric story, well worth a read.
Upon A Frosted Star by M.A. Kuzniar
Following on from the success of her novel Midnight in Everwood, Kuzniar brings us another spellbinding story. When struggling artist, Forster, discovers an invitation to a glamourous annual party, he is desperate to find out more about the mysterious house and the secrets that lie inside – including a cursed woman who is desperate to be set free. Inspired by The Great Gatsby and Swan Lake, this is a beautiful and heart-breaking love story and the perfect escape on a cold winter’s night.
The Hike by Lucy Clarke
The bestselling author of the 2021 thriller, The Castaways, Lucy Clarke is back with an absorbing story of four friends who embark on the hike of a lifetime in the Norwegian wilderness, which soon takes a dramatic turn for the worst. Unbeknownst to them, they’re about to find themselves on the same trail as a killer, who will do anything to keep their own secrets buried.
The Last Train Home by Elle Cook
For anyone looking for a slice of feel-good romance, Cook’s latest novel follows the lives of journalist Abbie and financial analyst Tom who find themselves in the middle of a will-they-won’t-they love affair. After an unthinkable tragedy binds them together, we follow the highs and lows of their lives over the next few years. It’s an emotional and gripping story that will leave you rooting for their happy ending.
The Wayward Sisters by Kate Hodges
For fans of eerie Gothic mystery, The Wayward Sisters has it all. Transporting you to 18th century Scotland, Hodges’ latest novel offers a modern and feminist perspective on Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the Three Witches. The protagonist Nancy Lockaby finds herself drawn to fellow scholar Caleb and his eccentric charm until she receives an ominous warning from three witches alerting her to his real intentions.
The Island by Catherine Cooper
If you’re looking for an escape to sunnier climes, Cooper’s new release does just the trick. Set at a luxury resort in the beautiful Maldives, a group of influencers and journalists descend for what should be a dream press trip. But their five-star retreat quickly turns deadly when the island is cut off by an intense storm, and guests soon start turning up dead. This is a fast-paced thriller that will keep you well and truly hooked.
This Christmas by Emma Heatherington
Playing out our own Christmas fantasies, this book is perfect for fans of the ultimate Christmas rom-com, The Holiday. We’re transported to Donegal in Ireland where we meet Rose and Charlie, two strangers who both have reservations about spending this festive season alone – only to discover that their rural countryside retreat has been double-booked for the holidays, meaning they might just be forced to spend it together. After a few chapters of this, you’ll soon find yourself dreaming of your own Christmas romance.
None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
When it comes to thrillers, New York Times and Sunday Times Number One bestselling author Lisa Jewell needs little introduction. Her latest thriller follows podcaster Alix Summer who crosses paths with another woman, Josie, who also happens to be celebrating her 45th birthday on the very same night. It soon becomes clear that Josie’s hiding her own dark secrets, and to make matters worse, she’s already forced herself into Alix’s life. This is an absorbing read not to be missed.
Just Between Us by Adele Parks
Despite being written as a sequel to Parks’s 2021 novel, Both of You, this book can still be read and understood as a standalone piece – though, for double the mystery and suspense, give Parks’s previous novel a read before this one. DC Clements returns to investigate the disappearance of Kyle Gillingham, a woman married to two men, both of whom are suspects in this missing person’s case. If that wasn’t enough intrigue, you’re left to watch as another woman’s reclusive life starts to unravel, leaving you to question where the connections lie. There’s a reason this page-turning thriller reached the top of The Sunday Times Bestseller list in a matter of days.
The Revels by Stacey Thomas
This mesmerising debut takes us back to England in 1645, as the country finds itself torn apart by civil war, escalating tensions and rumours of witchcraft. Here, we meet aspiring playwright Nicholas Pearce who finds himself concealing a hidden gift during these turbulent times: his ability to hear the dead. For fans of historical fiction, Thomas effectively portrays the gender power struggle, the hysteria around witches and the deeply ingrained attitudes towards class.
The Hotel by Louise Mumford
The Hotel tells the story of four students who travel to an abandoned hotel on the rugged Welsh coast, except only three return and the other is never seen again. Ten years on, they return to the hotel one last time, but it soon becomes clear that some of the friends know more about the tragic disappearance than they’re letting on.
Flying Home for Christmas by Helen Whitaker
When a snowstorm grounds Thea’s flight on Christmas Eve, she’s forced to spend the night in a nearby hotel. But fate has other plans when she finds herself fighting over the last available room with a handsome stranger. This is escapism at its best, perfect for the build-up to the festive season.