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This week’s best new fiction

From a haunting novel by Phil Rickman to This Time Tomorrow from Emma Straub and Geraldine Brooks’s latest, this week’s best new fiction

The Fever Of The World

Phil Rickman                                                                                                    Corvus £20

Merrily Watkins, priest and exorcist for the diocese of Hereford, is an unusual sleuth. Covid has unleashed new terrors on her remote, rural turf – terrors apparently foretold by a Wordsworth poem.

Did he encounter an ancient evil that persists to this day, or is there a more mundane explanation for a series of possible murders around the River Wye? Haunting and unique as ever.

John Williams

 

Horse

Geraldine Brooks                                                                        Little, Brown £18.99

What links an art history student in 2019 with an enslaved groom in 19th Century Kentucky? Or Martha Jackson, the mid-20th Century gallery owner who collected Lee Krasner and Henry Moore, to a scientist obsessed with skeletons?

The answer is famous stallion Lexington. Over three centuries, Horse covers racism, equine science and racing. Brilliantly varied and with a galloping pace.

Francesca Peacock

 

This Time Tomorrow

Emma Straub                                                                          Michael Joseph £16.99

On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice Stern discovers that she can time-travel back to 1996, the year she turned 16.

Not only does she have a future that’s glittering with potential and an intact friendship with one Tommy Joffey, but her father, who in the present is in a coma, remains perfectly healthy. Can she reverse fate?

Full of deftly managed plot twists, it’s both fun and poignant.

Hephzibah Anderson

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