It’s safe to say July’s weather was a little unpredictable – and knowing the great British summer, August’s is likely to be just as unreliable. But one thing is for certain: there are loads of brilliant new books to keep us occupied, come rain or shine. Or hail, thunder, lightning…
With exciting new releases from the likes of Harlan Coben, Val McDermid and Ruth Ware, whether you like your crime dark and psychological or prefer escaping with an atmospheric detective novel, this month has something for you.
The weather might not know what it’s up to, but we sure know what we’ll be doing: lots and lots of reading. Here’s our pick of the best books out in August.
The best books out in August 2019:
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
This tense mystery has all the hallmarks of a great Lisa Jewell thriller: it’s dark, twisty and perfectly paced, with intriguing characters and a creepy premise. From the moment you open it, we promise you’ll struggle to put this book down – so cancel your plans, settle back and prepare to be gripped. Read a chapter here.
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Full of menace, The Turn of the Key is a modern-day haunted house thriller from the author of In A Dark, Dark Wood and The Death of Mrs Westaway. It’s a genuinely suspenseful read permeated with a creeping sense of dread, and it’s sure to have you holding your breath right up to the dramatic conclusion. Read a chapter here.
Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas
When her childhood best friend is accused of a terrible crime, Jess returns to the seaside town where they grew up to try and work out what happened. Full of twists and turns, this thrilling page turner is one you should bump up to the top of your reading list. Find out more about the book’s setting here.
How the Dead Speak by Val McDermid
Psychological profiler Tony Hill and ex-DCI Carol Jordan are back this month – but they’re both out of action when human remains are discovered in the grounds of an old convent. Val McDermid’s impeccable characterisation always ensures we keep coming back for more, while her masterly plotting keeps us guessing time and time again. Don’t miss this.
When I Lost You by Merilyn Davies
The debut novel by former Crime Analyst Merilyn Davies is the first book in a brand new crime series that blends psychological suspense with police procedural brilliantly. Tense and slow-burning, with a host of unforgettable characters, it’s the perfect summer read for fans of Helen Fields and Cara Hunter.
Platform Seven by Louise Doughty
Apple Tree Yard fans won’t want to miss Louise Doughty’s compelling new book when it hits shelves later this month. Hugely atmospheric and wonderfully written, this is a haunting novel that will take you on an emotional roller coaster and stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.
The Cabin by Jorn Lier Horst
Following The Katharina Code, The Cabin is the second police procedural in the Cold Case Quartet by Jorn Lier Horst – a former police officer and one of Norway’s biggest crime authors. This instalment sees Chief Inspector William Wisting discover that a murdered politician’s past could endanger future of the entire country. If you love Wallander, you should definitely give this a try. Find out more about Wisting here.
The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz
Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series continues this month with the release of David Lagercrantz’s new continuation novel, which sees the girl with the dragon tattoo finally confront her nemesis with the help of her old friend Mikael Blomkvist. We’re guaranteed an action-packed ride packed with thrills aplenty – we can’t wait to read it.
This Poison Will Remain by Fred Vargas
Commissaire Adamsberg must put his reputation on the line to trace the murderer before the death toll rises in Fred Vargas’ latest book. We love this series; the writing is quirky, imaginative and original, making the books an absolute delight to read. We can’t recommend this one enough. Find out more about the series here.
Ice Cold Heart by P J Tracy
With their trademark combination of sharp, brilliant plotting, characters you really care about and witty, fast-paced dialogue, P J Tracy thrillers never disappoint – and Ice Cold Heart is no exception. This chilling instalment sees detectives Gino and Magozzi on the hunt for a particularly sinister serial killer who’s evaded justice for far too long. Find out more about the series here.
The Perfect Wife by J P Delaney
From the author of The Girl Before comes The Perfect Wife, a story that follows an AI robot, originally built to replace her deceased human self, as she pieces together memories from her past life of her not-so-perfect husband. Highly original, with twists you won’t see coming, this is a thriller like no other.
Devotion by Madeline Stevens
Madeline Stevens’ debut is a creepy, suspenseful and thoroughly absorbing read. Following a nanny mesmerised by her employer, this is a tale about resentment, obsession and the dark, destructive side of desire. This is one slow burner that will hook you in from the very beginning and refuse to let you go.
The pick of the paperbacks
These beauties have already hit the shelves in hardback and are newly available in paperback this month.
Have we missed any of the best books out in August 2019? Let us know in the comments below!