A look at the latest releases, plus what's new in paperback.

By Sarah O'Meara

New fiction

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult is published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton, priced £18.99. Available February 28.

Award-winning novelist Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister's Keeper, which was adapted into a 2009 film, returns with Lone Wolf.

An estranged family face the toughest decision of their lives when father Luke is involved in a car accident that leaves him in a coma, and brother and sister, Edward and Cara, in disagreement about whether to turn off his life support.

With each sibling trying to do the right thing, and Luke's ex-wife playing peacekeeper, the novel deftly exposes the moral dilemmas facing them, and ultimately, who has the right to decide whether somebody should die.

Picoult has again created a heart-wrenching situation for a cast of troubled characters, who take an emotional journey into the controversial world of assisted dying.

A solid work, especially for fans of the writer.


(Review by Ben Major)

Waiting For Sunrise by William Boyd is published in hardback by Bloomsbury, priced £18.99. Available February 16.

The king of the literary thriller is at it again with this tale of spies and soldiers set against a backdrop of the West End and the Western Front.

Forced to flee Vienna under a cloud, actor Lysander Rief finds himself in debt to some of British diplomacy's shadier characters as World War One approaches and is soon enlisted on the home front to help find a traitor undermining the war effort.

Boyd's books tend to cut across genres as easily as his characters cross continents and the latest is no different.

More of a page turner than the usual thriller and much cleverer than the typical spy story, Waiting For Sunrise inhabits the best of both worlds.

A slice of smart, very readable fiction that is begging to be brought to the small screen like his earlier work Any Human Heart.


(Review by Robert Dex)

The Stag And Hen Weekend by Mike Gayle is published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton, priced £12.99. Available now.

In keeping with his recurring theme of relationships, Mike Gayle's 10th book follows an engaged pair on the verge of getting married. But in a novel twist, the tales of the characters' respective hen and stag weekends are told completely separately, doubling the anticipation of a new Gayle offering.

It really is like two books for the price of one and requires the reader to physically flip the book around to read each story. And because the stories include common characters, the reader can enjoy either tale first.

The stories themselves spill the beans on the hen and stag nights of Helen and Phil. The weekends start off well for both sides but, of course, nothing goes to plan, with events conspiring to test the couple's love for each other.

And cleverly, the ending of neither the hen nor the stag story ruins the ending of the other. A must for Gayle fans.


(Review by Debbie Murray)

The Lewis Man by Peter May is published in hardback by Quercus, priced £12.99. Available now.

This is the second part of Peter May's Lewis trilogy (the first being The Blackhouse). The Lewis Man is a preserved body discovered in a peat bog on the Isle of Lewis, one of the islands in Scotland's Outer Hebrides.

The autopsy reveals he's a young man who was violently murdered in the 1950s. A DNA test shows he was the brother of local farmer Tormod MacDonald, now an elderly great-grandfather suffering from dementia, and supposedly an only child.

His daughter Marsaili asks her neighbour Fin Macleod for help. Fin, her childhood sweetheart, has just returned to Lewis after leaving the Edinburgh police force and feels duty bound to solve the mystery, soon discovering the real Tormod MacDonald died in 1958.

The reader enters Tormod's mind, sharing his fragmented recollections combined with Fin's investigation to discover his true identity, his grim and moving childhood and tragic secret.

But events of the past collide with the present, putting Marsaili and her family in grave danger.

May is a masterful story-teller. He skilfully combines pathos and the themes of identity, lost love and family ties to create an exciting, page-turning thriller.


(Review by Laura Wurzal)