MUST READS

MUST READS

THE MIDNIGHT HOUR by Elly Griffiths (Quercus £8.99, 368pp)

THE MIDNIGHT HOUR 

by Elly Griffiths (Quercus £8.99, 368pp) 

Sunday afternoon, thinks former music hall star Verity Malone, is a blameless time of day — a time for snoozing — which is exactly what her husband, the theatrical impresario Bert Billington, is doing, asleep in his armchair in their Brighton home. 

In fact, Bert is not dozing, but dead. He was 90 years old, so his death is not altogether unexpected, but a pathologist’s report finds it was rat poison that finished him off. 

When police start looking into the case, alongside private detectives Emma Holmes and Sam Collins, their investigation turns up shocking details of Bert’s past, and a throng of people with reasons to want him dead, starting with Verity. 

The sixth novel in Elly Griffiths’s bestselling Brighton Mysteries series is an intricately plotted whodunnit.

STRONGER 

by Gareth Thomas (Ebury Press £10.99, 336pp) 

When the former Wales rugby international Gareth Thomas was diagnosed with HIV, he felt that his world had ‘completely ended’. Although he immediately began taking drugs to control the virus, he didn’t tell anyone close to him of his diagnosis for several years. 

His mental state deteriorated further when a blackmailer told the Press. His parents eventually learned that he had HIV from a journalist, but that moment proved a turning point. 

Having come out once, as a gay man, Gareth decided to come out for a second time, as HIV-positive. 

His inspiring memoir records the challenges he has faced, particularly since his diagnosis, when he completed the gruelling Ironman Wales triathlon. 

It ends with a celebration of the joy of being an ‘everyday person’, surrounded by the love of family, friends and his husband.

SILVERVIEW by John Le Carré (Penguin £8.99, 224pp)

SILVERVIEW 

by John Le Carré (Penguin £8.99, 224pp) 

John Le ­Carré’s 26th novel , published after his death in 2020, is set in a small seaside town in East Anglia where 33-year-old Julian Lawndsley has recently renounced a high-flying City career for the quieter occupation of running a bookshop. 

It is not long before Julian meets Edward Avon, an old book-lover who lives in a house named Silverview. Edward claims to have been at school with Julian’s father, a disgraced vicar, but his past life seems rich in mystery. He is married to Deborah, a former intelligence agent, and it is not long before he asks Julian to deliver a letter to an enigmatic young woman. 

Meanwhile, a spy chief in London is investigating the source of a leak, whose origins seem to lead him to Julian’s town. 

Le Carré’s gem-like masterwork is a posthumous treat for his many fans. 

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