Books

Easy Holiday Reads That’ll Make You Look Like A Genius

Five page-turners with an intelligent streak running through them. You'll be proud to be seen holding one on the beach

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Easy Holiday Reads That'll Make You Look Like A Genius

You Were Never Really Here | Jonathan Ames

Joe is the hero of this ice-cold modern noir. His favourite weapon is a hammer. He scratches together a living by saving girls from the Manhattan sex trade, but when he gets involved with a famously crooked senator, things get dark. Really dark. But also fun!

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All The Old Knives | Olen Steinhauer

It's a CIA story, set around a dinner between two old flames. But they're also old colleagues. From the CIA. And one of them’s the mole for a terrorist group responsible for an atrocity they were both investigating years before. Uh oh! There's flashbacks aplenty, but the tension’s incredible.

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Tightrope | Simon Mawer

An ex-Special Ops parachutist tries to keep her genius brother safe from spooks on both sides. It sounds like ITV Sunday-night fodder, but Mawer's research and attention to period is unmatched, with the uneasy Cold War atmosphere seeping through the page.

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A Quiet Place | Seicho Matsumoto

The wife of a Japanese bureaucrat (wait! Come back!) drops dead in a Tokyo boutique, so naturally he goes to apologise for all the fuss. You would, wouldn't you? But it turns out it's a word-to-the-wise rendezvous for secret lovers. Think Gone Girl Goes To Japan and you’re not far off.

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Federer And Me | William Skidelsky

The author doesn’t so much live vicariously through his hero, as build his whole self-image around him. Almost a dual biography – there’s certainly a lot of the “And Me” – but it's so fascinating, and the grace of his writing about Federer’s game is so strong, that you’ll tear through to the end.

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