2018 looks set to be a great year for publishing with an eclectic new range of books to appear. This year we also start to see a gradual move away from the predominance of the Psychological Thriller / Domestic Noir genre (though there are still plenty of these to be released) but we also see a return to publishers looking for more light-hearted fiction. Something quirky is seen as a good bet, probably due to the huge successes of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: Debut Bestseller and Costa First Novel Book Award winner 2017 The Trouble with Goats and Sheep Interestingly, there is set to be a renewed focus on Ghost stories this year. This may be due to the success of books from 2017 such as The Silent Companions: A ghost story
Crime fiction is set to be ever popular in 2018. Kicking off proceedings is the excellent Elly Griffith’s The Dark Angel: The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 10 (and which I’ve read, and is really good!) and the first standalone story that Elly has written in the psychological thriller genre called The Stranger Diaries (we have to wait till November for that one though!). Another favourite writer of mine Keigo Higashino brings out the English translation of Newcomer: A Mystery his latest in the Detective Kaga series after Malice. Kaga was my favourite of the detective characters of Higashino’s that I’ve read so far, so I’m particularly looking forward to this which will be released again in November. Seventeen: the new novel from the bestselling Japanese sensation Hideo Yokoyama is released in March and is excellent! It tells the story of a conflicted man and the worst plane crash in Japanese history of which I previously knew nothing about!
In the Domestic Noir genre new releases to look out for include: the Hitchcokian The Woman in the Window: The most exciting debut thriller of the year by A.J. Finn, Lullaby the French set nanny thriller by Leila Slimani, Fear: The most original thriller of 2018 a stalker inbued thriller based on real life experiences by Dirk Kurbjuweit and the terrifying sounding Thirteen: The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the juryby Steve Cavanagh.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is set to be one of the big release of the year and is a book I’m currently reading, it narrates the story of a shipping merchant who is given a mermaid in Georgian England, a quirky historical fiction novel that is set to do well. Also, this may be the year of the ‘Mermaid’ with mermaid films set to be released in 2018 so perhaps mermaids will replace unicorns as pop culture icons which will promote this book even further. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is a Young Adult novel in the Fantasy genre released in February that is set to be big and will no doubt crossover and be read by adult readers too.
Melmoth a gothic fiction story by Sarah Perry will be released in November also and will no doubt be huge after the success of The Essex Serpent. Out in March another Gothic thriller set in 1950s Morocco is Tangerine by Christine Mangan, a book that has been compared to the best of Daphne Du Maurier and Patricia Highsmith and is one definitely on my to be read pile. A more modern set literary thriller is New York set during the time of Hurricane Sandy, Neon in Daylight by Hermione Hoby.
There is set to be an increase in releases of Feminist fiction and non-fiction which is nice to see after a university lecturer once said to me, if you want to go into Feminist Studies, you’ll never get published! And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O Connell, Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean are two non-fiction books worth checking out. In Feminist fiction we see releases by Meg Wolitzer The Female Persuasion Peach(a truly, uniquely narrated book) by Emma Glass, Circe by Madeline Miller, The Merry Spinster: Tales of everyday horror by Malorie Ortberg and Red Clocks by Leni Zumas which is a dystopian story in the vein of A Handmaid’s Tale.
Another theme that we saw last year with the release of The Good Immigrant is an increasing focus on the stories of racial and international inequality. Due a resurgence of nationalism and a world that feels ever more divided it is good to see publishing highlight this and bring us books such as This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jenkins, The Line Becomes A River by Francisco Cantu (an electrifying read about a Hispanic US border agent working along the Mexican border), new releases Freshwater by Awaeke Emezi and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones creatively explore these multicultural issues in a changing world. Another one I’m looking forward to, is the always excellent Zadie Smith who examines this issue and others in her new book: Feel Free: Essays
Phew! Though this list seems long, I have only scratched the surface of all the new releases this year. I will revisit this halfway through the year in June and give an update. In the meantime: ‘Happy Reading!’