There is nothing better than getting engrossed in a good book. Especially whilst you’re on holiday, relaxing in your villa by your private swimming pool.
We have reviewed 5 of the top Summer 2018 books you’re guaranteed to love. PLUS, you have the chance to win a surprise book to enjoy wherever you are this summer.
Keith Oswin - Senior Customer Service Executive
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner.
Crime thrillers are my genre of choice for ‘in-flight’ or ‘by-pool’ reading so I was happy when this one landed in my lap. I hadn’t come across Susie Steiner before and this was her third book, the second involving DI Manon Bradshaw.
The story is of a brutal murder in a Cambridgeshire park, a pregnant single-mother detective struggling with her private life, a sub-plot which inevitably turns out to be linked with the main case and enough twists and turns along the way to make you dizzy!
It came as no surprise that fellow crime writer Mark Billingham praised Steiner’s work as my first thoughts were that DI Manon Bradshaw was a female version of his own DI Tom Thorne. Steiner’s unusual writing style (each character gets their own chapter which is written in the first person) takes a while to get used to but I was quickly drawn into the characters and began to care about their lives – so much so that I’ve since bought the previous book to find out more about Manon Bradshaw.
Serene Henderson - Social Media Supervisor
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.
Set in 1990s Ohio this book tells the tale of two families from different backgrounds brought together by their children. The backdrop for this story, is Shaker Heights. One of America’s first planned communities, it has the feel of a utopian environment, where residents see themselves as superior to others.
When artist Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl move to the community for a change, they move into a property owned by the Richardson family. Their lifestyle is completely different to that of this wealthy family who are highly thought of and respected in the community. Their children grow close to Pearl and she aspires to be part of the family, however their youngest, Izzy, grows close to and looks up to Mia.
When a Chinese baby is adopted in the community, the truth about Mia’s past comes out and the community’s attitudes towards race become apparent. A legal battle begins between the baby’s mother and her adoptive parents. The verdict rocks the community and sets off little fires everywhere.
The book is full of contrasts and tells us a lot about attitudes towards race. Celeste NG’s writing is captivating, descriptive and gripping. Once you start it you can’t put it down. It makes a great holiday read.
Sarah Timms - Product Performance Analyst
Together by Julie Cohen.
This book will have you hooked right from the first paragraph with tragedy bringing your emotions to the forefront. From then the story works its way backwards telling a powerful love story which came with huge sacrifices but still conquered all through the trials and tribulations of life and their longing for a child. The characters are brought to life so well you feel that you are living their experiences, and falling in love with them, whilst also highlighting you should never just settle when it comes to love but strive to do anything for ‘the one’. Even after the decades Robbie and Emily’s love never wavers, despite keeping a secret that they will take to their graves. This secret is totally unexpected and the twist at the end leaves you pondering for some time. The perfect holiday read that I just never wanted to put down – a totally exhilarating and thought provoking read from start to finish!
Daryl Binelli - Marketing Communications Manager
The Midnight Line by Lee Childs.
Will you like this book? Well, if you are a fan of the Jack Reacher series I have good news for you – you’re going to love it! If you are a fan of action, detective novels, mystery’s and adventure in general, then there is a good chance that you’ll love this book as well. From the first page, through to the novels dramatic conclusion 396 pages later, this is the epitome of a non-stop page turner that you just can’t put down.
The Midnight Line focuses on our protagonist trying to figure out the fate of a fellow member of the prestigious West Point Military school, based on a ring he has spotted in a pawn shop. If you earned your ring at West Point, you don’t just pawn it, something must have happened…
What entails is typical Jack Reacher brilliance, stopping at nothing and stopping at no-one to get the information he needs. Lee Child displays all of his skills as a writer to keep you hooked and keep you guessing, not that we should be surprised considering he has now sold more than 125 million books across 42 different languages.
To put it simply, The Midnight Line is as close to a perfect holiday book as you are going to find, ideal for dipping in to, just as you dip in and out of the pool.
Dennis Mouroutis - Operations Executive
The Party by Elizabeth Day.
A very captivating book, with surprising plot twists every few chapters. The characters are well written, charged with more personality and complexity as you delve deeper into the book. Exceptionally written, with the characters and narrative portrayed by jumping back and forth in time whilst alternating between the main characters.
The locations and spaces are briefly explained which gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself by using your own imagination which is always a great asset in a book. The characters are relatable and express fears, insecurities and thoughts that probably all of us have both experienced and would prefer not to have to go through.
At times, it was difficult to place yourself in the narrative due to the frequent jumping from one character and time to another, but apart from that altogether a great read.
Want to win a summer reading book? We have 5 paperback books up for grabs for you to win! To enter our competition all you need to do is comment on our Facebook and Twitter posts letting us know what your favourite quote from a book is. It's that simple! Good Luck
T&Cs: The closing period for entries to the competition is midnight 12th August 2018. The winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. The winners will each receive one paperback book. The book selected will be chosen at random and is not one of the five listed above. No cash alternative for prize will be offered. Not open to Villa Plus staff. Good luck.