The ten best: Summer reads

Get your hands on a good book this summer
Get your hands on a good book this summer
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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1 Tuesday’s Gone by Nicci French (Michael Joseph, out July 19, £12.99)

The husband-and-wife team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French bring us the second in the Frieda Klein series, in which psychiatrist Klein is called in to help when the naked, rotting corpse of a man is found in the living room of a confused woman.

2 XO by Jeffery Deaver (Hodder & Stoughton, £18.99)

Deaver’s third thriller featuring the body language expert Kathryn Dance sees her go to the aid of her friend, a young country and western singer who is attracting the attentions of a stalker. As the body count rises, there are the classic Deaver twists in the tale – his fans won’t be disappointed.

3 Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell (Century, out July 19, £9.99)

The award-winning novelist, author of Ralph’s Party and 31 Dream Street, sets this story in two time zones – the Britpop Nineties and the Roaring Twenties, as a young woman called Betty moves to London from Guernsey to trace the mysterious beneficiary in her grandmother’s will.

4 Perfect Strangers by Tasmina Perry (Headline Review, £12.99)

Exotic locations and glamorous people are the trademarks of this popular author and her new novel jets from London to New York to the Cote D’Azur and into a world where a case of mistaken identity unravels a web of lies and conspiracy.

5 The Second World War by Antony Beevor (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25)

Famed for focusing on the human aspects of war, Beevor’s latest tome begins with a remarkable introductory story of a Korean soldier. Starting with the invasion of Poland, he encompasses conflicts from the Sino-Japanese War to the Winter War in Finland which were different facets of what we know as the Second World War.

6 Gold by Chris Cleave (Sceptre, £16.99)

The 2012 Olympics is the backdrop to this riveting tale of two British female cyclists vying for one place in the Olympics. Cleave shows the sacrifices they have to make in both their personal and professional lives in their quest for the ultimate prize.

7 The Truth by Michael Palin (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, out July 5, £18.99)

This second novel from the actor, intrepid traveller and writer tells the story of ‘everyman’ Keith Mabbut.

He is offered the chance to write the biography of the elusive Hamish Melville, a highly influential activist and humanitarian.

Mabbutt decided to seize the chance to write something meaningful.

8 Finding My Voice by Elkie Brooks (Robson, out July 18, £20)

She has recorded some of the most memorable songs in pop history, including Pearl’s A Singer and Sunshine After the Rain. Fans can find out about her rollercoaster ride to fame in this new autobiography.

9 Four Children And It by Jacqueline Wilson (Penguin, out August 16, £12.99)

Snap up a copy of this modern variation of the much-loved E Nesbit classic Five Children And It. Wilson’s book is a tribute to the original and demonstrates how 21st century children compare to the Edwardians of the original.

10 It’s All News To Me by Jeremy Vine (Simon & Schuster, £18.99)

The Radio 2 presenter spills the beans on his 25 years at the BBC, providing a waspish and witty view of the corporation and recounting amusing and insightful anecdotes.