From Karin Slaughter’s gripping latest to The Lightness by Emily Temple, Jean-Baptiste Andrea’s latest and a fierce story by Elizabeth Wetmore, this week’s best new fiction
The Silent Wife
Karin Slaughter HarperCollins £20
The books in Slaughter’s series featuring detective Will Trent and medical examiner Sara Linton have deservedly become bestsellers, combining an authoritative grasp of forensics and procedure with thoroughly believable characters.
The Silent Wife starts with a serial killer on the loose in the Georgia woods. Could it be that Sara’s dead ex-husband bears the responsibility for leaving him free to murder?
Gripping, gruesome and emotionally powerful, this is Slaughter doing what she does best.
A Hundred Million Years And A Day
Jean-Baptiste Andrea Gallic £10.99
In 1954 a French palaeontologist nearing the end of his career stakes everything on a final expedition. He’s hoping to find the remains of a dinosaur high in the Alps – but it’s a race against time as winter weather closes in, threatening to leave him stranded.
As ambition imperils him, his childhood and his relationship with his brutal father are explored in flashbacks. This is an unforgettable novel, beautifully written and utterly gripping.
Elizabeth Wetmore Fourth Estate £14.99
From its tense, tragic opening in the Texan desert to a climactic stand-off in a dust storm, nothing about this powerful novel hints that it is Wetmore’s first. It’s set in the 1970s, and shows how the brutal rape of a 14-year-old Mexican American touches the lives of four women.
Misogyny and racism define a hardscrabble existence but, toggling between their contrasting perspectives, Wetmore spins a fierce, luminous story of grit and survival.
Emily Temple The Borough Press £14.99
The intensity of teenage girlhood suffuses this darkly mesmerising debut. Olivia’s search for her Buddhist father carries her to a meditation retreat for wayward adolescents where, in thrall to beauty, she’s drawn into an aloof clique.
The summer assumes a dreamlike, ominous momentum as charismatic Serena leads their increasingly perilous attempts to master levitation. Layering theology, ritual and folklore, this is a disquieting and astute reflection on desire, truth, friendship and the siren call of weightlessness.