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A 2021 FT and Herald Book of the Year

?A deadly flu epidemic sweeps through Moscow, killing hundreds of thousands. Anya and her husband Sergey decide they have no choice but to flee to a lake in the far north of Russia.

Joining them on their journey are her son and father-in-law; Sergey’s ex-wife and son; and their garish neighbours. But then some friends of Sergey show up to complete Anya’s list of people she’d least like to be left with at the end of the civilised world.

As the wave of infection expands from the capital, their food and fuel start to run low. Menaced both by the harsh Russian winter and by the desperate people they encounter, they must put their hatreds behind them if they’re to have a chance of reaching safety…

Inspired by a real-life flu epidemic in Moscow, To the Lake was a number one bestseller in Russia, and has now appeared in a dozen languages and been adapted into a Netflix TV series.

Social psychologist Ben Monroe has returned to Tokyo after a failed marriage, determined to seek out his former lover Kozue. His estranged teenage daughter Mazzy reluctantly flies from California to join him. On the flight she meets a young Japanese man, Koji, a cult survivor, who tells her the story of the luminous night princess Kaguya, a powerful tale of beauty and obsession. As Ben delves deeper into the underworld in search of Kozue, Mazzy and Koji are compelled to follow, and their four lives dangerously intersect as past and present collide.

‘A very funny, intelligent, deliberately and engagingly resistant, and moving piece of writing’ Amit Chaudhuri

A ‘recovering writer’ – his first novel having been littered with typos and selling only fifty copies – Frank Jasper is plucked from obscurity in Port Jumbo in Nigeria by Mrs Kirkpatrick, a white woman and wife of an American professor, to attend the prestigious William Blake Program for Emerging Writers in Boston.

Once there, however, it becomes painfully clear that he and the other Fellows are expected to meet certain obligations as representatives of their ‘cultures.’ His colleagues, veterans of residencies in Europe and America, know how to play up to the stereotypes expected of them, but Frank isn’t interested in being the African Writer at William Blake – any anyway, there is another Fellow, Barongo Akello Kabumba, who happily fills that role.

Eventually expelled from the fellowship for ‘non-performance’ and ‘non-participation,’ Frank Jasper sets off on trip to visit his father’s college friend in Nebraska – where he learns not only surprising truths about his father, but also how to parlay his experiences into a lucrative new career once he returns to Nigeria: as a commentator on American life…

Seesaw is an energetic comedy of cultural dislocation – and in its humour, intelligence and piety-pricking, it is a refreshing and hugely enjoyable act of literary rebellion.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo meets Sharp Objects in this internationally bestselling thriller, for fans of Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankell

Danish journalist Heloise Kaldan is in the middle of a nightmare. One of her sources has been caught lying, and she could lose her job over it. And then she receives the first in a series of cryptic letters from an alleged killer.

Anna Kiel is wanted for murder but hasn’t been seen by anyone in three years. When the reporter who first wrote about the case is found murdered in his apartment, detective Erik Schafer comes up with the first lead. Has Anna Kiel struck again? If so, why does every clue point directly to Heloise Kaldan?

As Heloise starts digging deeper she realises that to tell Anna’s story she will have to revisit her darkest past, and confront the one person she swore she’d never see again…

The scandalous new novel from the godfather of the legal thriller.

Lucia Gomez is a female police chief in a man’s world and she’s walked a fine line to succeed at the top. Now a trio of police officers in Kindle County have accused her of soliciting sex for promotions and she’s in deep.

Rik Dudek is an attorney and old friend of Lucia’s. He’s the only one she can trust, but he’s never had a headline criminal case. This ugly smear campaign is already breaking the internet and will be his biggest challenge yet.

Clarice ‘Pinky’ Granum is a fearless PI who plays by her own rules. Her 4-D imagination is her biggest asset when it comes to digging up dirt for Rik but not all locks are best picked.

It’s cops against cops in this hive of lies. And it will take more than honeyed words from the defence to change the punchline and save the Chief from her own cell.

The House Next to the Factory shows a changing India over three decades through the lens of one family and the house that they live in.

Life in the house is humdrum and confining, but on a rare evening out, Kavya sets off in search of a nun; a beloved teacher is caught in the aftermath of the anti-Sikh riots; a loyal servant worries over his relationship with a low caste woman; while in England, an aunt reads William Trevor and pines for all that she has left behind. Over the years, the family’s steel utensil business blossoms, and amid the clanging of metal and the churning of machines, the household transitions from bourgeois to elite. Yet at thirty, Kavya finds herself in Paris, hoping to get past the sorrows of her young life…

Delicate and finely textured, Sonal Kohli’s extraordinary debut lays bare the complexities of class and culture and the difficulties as well as excitements of change, even as it evokes loves and triumphs, the pull of incongruous desires and the tragedies of everyday life.

A sensational new novel from the bestselling author of Less Than Zero and American Psycho that tracks a group of privileged Los Angeles high school friends as a serial killer strikes across the city. His first novel in 13 years, The Shards is Bret Easton Ellis at his inimitable best.

LA, 1981. Buckley College in heat. 17-year-old Bret is a senior at the exclusive Buckley prep school when a new student arrives with a mysterious past. Robert Mallory is bright, handsome, charismatic, and shielding a secret from Bret and his friends, even as he becomes a part of their tightly knit circle. Bret’s obsession with Mallory is equalled only by his increasingly unsettling preoccupation with The Trawler, a serial killer on the loose who seems to be drawing ever closer to Bret and his friends, taunting them with grotesque threats and horrific, sharply local acts of violence.

Can he trust his friends – or his own mind – to make sense of the danger they appear to be in? Thwarted by the world and by his own innate desires, buffeted by unhealthy fixations, Bret spirals into paranoia and isolation as the relationship between The Trawler and Robert Mallory hurtles inexorably toward a collision.

Gripping, sly, suspenseful, deeply haunting and often darkly funny, The Shards is a mesmerizing fusing of fact and fiction that brilliantly explores the emotional fabric of Bret’s life at 17 – sex and jealousy, obsession and murderous rage.

‘You can’t stand the idea that a woman might be better at this than you’

Ingrid Yung’s life is full of firsts. A first-generation Chinese American, the first lawyer in her family, she’s about to collect the holy grail of ‘firsts’ and become the first minority woman to make partner at the venerable old law firm Parsons Valentine & Hunt.

Ingrid has perfected the art of ‘passing’ and seamlessly blends into the old-boy corporate culture. But when an offensive incident at the summer outing threatens the firm’s reputation, Ingrid’s outsider status is suddenly thrown into sharp relief. For the first time, Ingrid must question her place in the firm. Pitted against her colleagues, including her golden-boy boyfriend, Ingrid begins to wonder whether the prestige of partnership is worth breaching her ethics. But can she risk throwing away the American dream that is finally within her reach?

A boy has disappeared from his school. Heloise Kaldan heads over there to look into it. At the schoolyard she runs into her close friend Erik Schäfer, the outspoken investigator on this case. The boy, Lukas, doesn’t show up, but his phone does. It reveals that Lukas is obsessed with pareidolia: the psychological phenomenon that makes us see faces in random things. One particular photo of a barn door that looks like a face catches their attention. Is this where Lukas is?

Heloise is ordered to drop her current article, a controversial investigation into soldiers with PTSD, to cover the story of the missing boy. But when things that point to the traumatized soldiers appear in Lukas’ case, Schäfer will need Heloise’s help making heads or tails of this enormous jumble of clues…

The Empress is a dazzling reimagining of the courtship between one of history’s most iconic and beloved couples: Sisi and Franz of Austria.

The year is 1853, and sixteen-year-old Elisabeth “Sisi” of Bavaria has been very clear: she will wait for the sweeping, head-over-heels kind of love the poets speak of, or she will have no love at all. It is not her fault Mother refuses to listen. After all, just because her older sister Helene has chosen the line of duty, and is preparing to marry Emperor Franz of Austria, does not mean Sisi also needs to subject herself to such a passionless, regimented existence. Sisi knows there is more to life than corsets, luncheons, and woefully unfashionable dukes … if only someone would give her the chance to experience it firsthand.

Meanwhile, in Austria, the Emperor is recovering from an assassination attempt that left him wounded and scared. In a bid to keep the peace, Franz has recommitted himself to his imperial duties-and promised to romance the pliant Bavarian princess, Helene, at his upcoming birthday celebration. How better to unite the country than with the announcement of a new Empress?

But when Sisi and Franz meet unexpectedly in the palace gardens, away from the prying eyes and relentless critique of their families, their connection cannot be denied. And as their illicit conversations turn into something more, they must soon choose between the expectations of the court, and the burning desires of their hearts…

Epic, captivating, and deliciously steamy, The Empress is a remarkably contemporary tale of falling in love and finding one’s voice.