MUST READS

MUST READS

THE SURVIVORS by Jane Harper

THE SURVIVORS

by Jane Harper

(Abacus £8.99, 384 pp)

For Kieran Elliott and his girlfriend, Mia, a trip from their Sydney home back to the Tasmanian fishing village of Evelyn Bay, where they grew up, is filled with troubled memories.

When Kieran was 18, his elder brother, Finn, and a friend were on their way to rescue Kieran, who had been marooned by the rising tide, when their boat capsized and both men died. Mia’s best friend, Gabby, then 14, vanished the same night.

Now Kieran’s parents are leaving Evelyn Bay, but as Kieran, Mia and their baby daughter make their last visit to the family home, another tragedy occurs: the body of a young woman is found on the beach.

This atmospheric thriller stealthily peels back layers of silence that cover the unspeakable secrets of a tightly knit community.

A DEL OF A LIFE

by David Jason

(Penguin £8.99, 336 pp)

David Jason has had a long and eventful career — and at 81, it is not over yet. In his gloriously chatty memoir, he muses on the life lessons he’s learnt as he enters his ninth decade.

‘In an attempt to find the middle ground somewhere between Socrates and Derek Trotter’, he reflects on his juvenile debut at the East Finchley Drama Festival of 1954, his role as Del Boy in the iconic Only Fools And Horses (where he and Nicholas Lyndhurst were often laughing so much they could hardly get to the end of a scene), and the ingenious ways he kept busy during lockdown.

As the anecdotes keep coming, each more uproarious than the last, it is no surprise to learn that when he was knighted in 2005, he chose as his motto, ‘conata perficere’, which roughly translates as ‘get it done!’

THE HAUNTING OF ALMA FIELDING by Kate Summerscale

THE HAUNTING OF ALMA FIELDING

by Kate Summerscale

(Bloomsbury £9.99, 368 pp)

In the years between the two World Wars, the increasing popularity of mediums and psychic phenomena attracted the attention of scientific researchers, and one of these, a Hungarian refugee called Nandor Fodor, found his ideal subject in Alma Fielding, a suburban housewife from Croydon.

In 1938, all sorts of extraordinary manifestations were occurring in Alma’s house in Thornton Heath: flying crockery, animated eiderdowns, mysterious whisperings, nocturnal visitations — all apparently the work of a poltergeist with malevolent intent.

Kate Summerscale’s meticulously researched account of Fodor’s investigations and their troublesome consequences reads as vividly as a ghost story. 

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