Having spent my working life first as a secondary school English teacher and then as a consultant, adviser and inspector for English and Literacy I know just how important reading is to success and enjoyment in life. When Annabelle Wright asked me if I would like to help promote Quick Reads 2018 – brilliant short books by bestselling authors for busy people and less confident readers – I jumped at the chance, especially as 1 in 6 adults in the UK struggles with reading, and 1 in 3 doesn’t read for pleasure.
This year’s Quick Reads exciting writers are: Fern Britton, Mark Billingham, Kit de Waal, Dorothy Koomson, Tammy Cohen and Vaseem Khan. You can find out more by following the hashtag #QuickReads on Twitter and by visiting the Reading Agency Website.
Quick Reads will launch on 1st Feb 2018, and these well-loved authors offer something for everyone, from crime, to women’s fiction and domestic noir, with themes of friendship, secrets and lies in settings spanning the globe. Tickets for the launch are available for purchase here.
I’m delighted to be running a giveaway for two of these books, Fern Britton’s The Great Cornish Getaway and Mark Billingham’s Cut Off, that you can enter at the bottom of this blog post.
The Quick Reads titles for 2018
Cut Off by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown): A punchy, taut urban thriller about that moment we all fear: losing our phone! For Louise, losing hers in a local café takes a sinister turn. Billingham has sold five million copies of his novels and has twice won the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Award for Crime Novel of the Year.
The Great Cornish Getaway by Fern Britton (HarperCollins): As the sun sits high in the sky over Cornwall, and the sea breeze brings a welcome relief to the residents of the seaside village of Trevay, a stranger arrives in need of a safe haven. The former presenter of This Morning, Britton is now a Sunday Times bestselling author and this story is full of her usual warmth and wit.
Clean Break by Tammy Cohen (Transworld): A dark and twisty portrait of a marriage coming to its bitter end, from the mistress of domestic noir. Can Kate rid herself of her jealous husband before it’s too late? Cohen’s acclaimed novels include The Mistress’s Revenge, The War of the Wives and Someone Else’s Wedding.
Inspector Chopra and the Million-Dollar Motor Car by Vaseem Khan (Hodder & Stoughton): An enchanting Baby Ganesh Agency novella from the bestselling Khan set in the bustling back-streets of Mumbai. Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick have two days to solve the mystery of a missing – and very costly – car for its gangster owner, or there’ll be a heavy price to pay.
The Beach Wedding by Dorothy Koomson (Arrow): A gripping short read featuring a wedding, family drama, and old secrets. Tessa is thrilled when her daughter arrives in Ghana to get married but memories of the last time she was there haunt her; can she lay the ghosts of the past to rest or will they come back to haunt her daughter’s future? Koomson is the bestselling author of 12 novels including The Ice-Cream Girls, My Best Friends’ Girl and most recently The Friend.
Six Foot Six by Kit de Waal (Viking): A charming novella from Costa First Novel Award shortlisted author de Waal about finding friendship in the most unlikely of places. Everything changes for Timothy, a 21 year old with learning difficulties, when local builder Charlie calls on him for help. De Waal worked in criminal and family law and was a magistrate for many years before her international bestseller, My Name is Leon was published.
The Great Cornish Getaway by Fern Britton and Cut Off by Mark Billingham
The fact that the stranger is a Hollywood heartthrob makes villagers Penny and Dorrie even more keen to help. They both know what it’s like to feel that you need a break from life, and they bring the village together to keep their stranger’s secret. It’s not long before he’s helping some of the villagers find the answers to their own problems. In return, they find a place for him in their hearts.
Pendruggan: A Cornish village with secrets at its heart
It’s the moment we all fear: losing our phone, leaving us cut off from family and friends. But, for Louise, losing hers in a local café takes her somewhere much darker.
After many hours of panic, Louise is relieved when someone gets in touch offering to return the phone. From then on she is impatient to get back to normal life.
But when they meet on the beach, Louise realises you should be careful what you wish for…