From John Grisham’s escapist latest to Pomeranski by Gerald Jacobs, a debut by Leaf Arbuthnot & Catherine Lacey’s Pew, this week’s best new fiction
John Grisham Hodder & Stoughton £20
The Camino Island series, featuring trouble-prone bookseller Bruce Cable, is a chance for Grisham to have fun. This time the Florida barrier island is struck by a hurricane and amid the chaos a thriller writer is murdered.
Could it have something to do with the book he was working on? You bet. A perfect escapist mix of detective action, insider riffs on the literary world – and even a little romance.
Gerald Jacobs Quartet £14
Benny the Fixer, Fancy Goods Harry, Sam the Stick… The cast of Jacobs’ latest novel could have come straight out of Damon Runyon. To find them as pillars of a Jewish community in Brixton in the 1950s is as unexpected as it is delicious.
Lovable rogues or something more sinister? Readers will have to decide, but Jacobs’ flair as a raconteur and his keen eye for period detail make this freewheeling novel a constant joy.
Looking For Eliza
Leaf Arbuthnot Trapeze £14.99
Intergenerational friendship seems an audaciously dreary subject for a debut novel. Nonetheless, Arbuthnot – whose wry observations pinpoint beauty and absurdity in the everyday – has written a page-turner.
Thrown together by loneliness, bound by Primo Levi, an unlikely intimacy blossoms between a student in her 20s and her widowed, sexagenarian neighbour. As each finds joy and stability, lessons are learnt, wisdom exchanged. A tender-hearted tale of the redeeming power of friendship.
Catherine Lacey Granta 12.99
One Sunday morning, a young person of indeterminate race and gender is found sleeping in a church in America’s small-town South. The congregation names the silent figure ‘Pew’, and a local family provides shelter while they try to solve the riddle of their amnesiac visitor.
Not knowing whether Pew is to be pitied or feared, communal anxiety culminates in a powerful climax. A taut fable of identity and faith.