We are proud to launch the 2017 list from our fiction arm, Lightning Books.
The Hopkins Conundrum
by Simon Edge blends the real stories of the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and the nuns from his masterpiece The Wreck of the Deutschland
with a comic modern narrative. Harriett Gilbert, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s A Good Read
, says: “I love this novel. It pulls off the three-card trick of being entertaining, genuinely touching, and a fascinating insight into Hopkins’ poetry.”
Douglas Board, author of the business school comedy MBA (Lightning Books, 2015), returns with Time of Lies
, an explosive political satire set in an all-too-believable near future, after Britain elects its own Donald Trump in 2020. Drawing comparisons with Jonathan Franzen and Dave Eggers, The Guardian
's Danuta Kean notes that the novel is in “the vanguard of Brexit fiction”.
Zoë Duncan’s The Shifting Pools
is a dark, lyrical fantasy about healing. Fleeing war and the death of her family, Eve is troubled by disturbing dreams that plunge her into a battle for survival. Novelist and broadcaster Emma Jane Kirby calls the novel “a beautiful moving story that skilfully stitches together the fragmented pieces of a brutalised and shattered soul so that it just might fly again”.
Finally, The Pinocchio Brief
is a gripping courtroom thriller by lawyer-novelist Abi Silver. A schoolboy is accused of the brutal murder of one of his teachers. But his veteran lawyer has her own secrets which she risks exposing when it emerges that a lie-detecting device nicknamed Pinocchio will be used during the trial. This remarkable debut has echoes of John Grisham and JG Ballard.