New Voices – ones to watch in 2016 (part one)

As 2015 draws to a close I’ve been been reflecting on some of the brilliant debut novels that I’ve read over the last year. ‘The Girl On A Train’ by Paula Hawkins and ‘I Let You Go’ by Clare Mackintosh were both runaway successes and totally deserve all they hype that they received. Vanessa Lafaye’s ‘Summertime’ blew me away at the beginning of the year and Andy Jones brought me to tears with his debut ‘The Two of Us’

So what will 2016 bring? I’ve been talking to some people in the know ie the publishers and they’ve been sharing with me their hot picks for 2016. Take a look at the books you should be adding to your reading list January through to March.


  • riverofink River of Ink by Paul M M Cooper (Bloomsbury)

Set in 13th century Sri Lanka River of Ink is a powerful historical tale set in the shadow of oppression–one with deep allegorical resonances in any time–celebrating the triumph of literature and love.

‘Potent, beautiful and wholly absorbing, Cooper’s portrait of a reluctant revolutionary had me in thrall from its first chapter. A wonderful, memorable debut’- Madeline Miller, Orange prize-winning author of The Song of Achilles

  • the widow The Widow by Fiona Barton (Transworld)

For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, an electrifying thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.


  • rebound Rebound by Aga Lesiewicz (Pan MacMillan)

Claustrophobic and tightly wound, Rebound by debut author Aga Lesiewicz is a real edge-of-your-seat read. After she meets a handsome stranger on Hampstead Heath, Anna becomes obsessed. Then a series of violent attacks on a women take place in the same area and she starts to think her life might be in danger (Good Housekeeping)

  • mostbeautiful For The Most Beautiful by Emily Hauser (Transworld)

In this startlingly original and thrillingly imagined debut, a brilliant new voice reveals the untold story behind the Trojan war: the princess and the slave who undid Achilles and fought to save Troy . . .

Perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier’s The Girl with the Pearl Earring and Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist

  • landofpapergods In A Land of Paper Gods by Rebecca Mackenzie (Tinder Press)

A gorgeous literary debut in the tradition of The Poisonwood Bible about a school for the children of British missionaries in China, at the top of a mountain, at the edge of the Second World War


  • lookatme Look At Me by Sara by Sarah Duguid (Tinder Press)

Look at Me is a deft exploration of family, grief, and the delicate balance between moving forward and not quite being able to leave someone behind. It is an acute portrayal of how familial upheaval can cause misunderstanding and madness, damaging those you love most.


  • goneastray Gone Astray by Michelle Davies (Pan MacMillan)

A compelling debut crime novel featuring FLO Maggie Neville.

  • siren Siren by AnneMarie Neary (Hutchinson)

A dark and suspenseful psychological thriller about the slippery nature of truth in post-conflict Ireland, and a redemptive story of a woman claiming back her own identity.

  • finding The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace (Transworld)

A peculiarly charming story of friendship, fairy tales and finding your own sense of identity. Perfect for fans of Amelie, Hugo and Elizabeth is Missing.

Part two coming soon.

by Sam (Manor Farm library)


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