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Richard and Judy – bookselling gurus


If you’re not from the UK, here’s an article about Richard & Judy – who account for 26% of the top 100 sales in the UK. Although they are day-time talkshow hosts, Richard & Judy are quite different to Oprah. For a start, no-one is accusing them of setting up a cult. The real story concerns Amanda Ross – the lady behind R & J and now the most powerful single person in UK publishing.

Richard and Judy’s hot summer reads

The Outcast by Sadie Jones (Chatto & Windus). Set in the south of England in the 1950s, this tells the story of a boy who becomes estranged from his family and environment after witnessing a terrible, tragic accident.

No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay (Orion). A page-turning thriller in which a teenage girl wakes up one morning to discover her family has vanished without trace. Twenty-five years later, she begins to learn the truth behind their sudden disappearance.

East of the Sun by Julia Gregson (Orion). A sweeping epic set in 1928. Three women are travelling to India: Rose is to going marry a man she barely knows, Tor is in search of a husband and Viva, their chaperone, is travelling back to the country where she was born and where she lost her parents.

Down River by John Hart (John Murray). A Chandleresque thriller about Adam Chase, who has spent the past five years in New York trying to wipe out the memory of his family’s rejection after he was accused and acquitted of murder. He returns home after a call from an old friend to find more murders have begun.

The Pirate’s Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson (Headline Review). A multi-generational story based on the extraordinary true story of Errol Flynn‘s arrival in 1940s Jamaica. The Pirate’s Daughter follows Ida, a girl who falls for Flynn’s charms. Through the eyes of Ida and her daughter, May, it also tells the story of their home, Jamaica, before and after independence.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller (Canongate). Married to an older man, and living in a retirement village in her fifties, Pippa Lee appears to be the perfect wife to her overbearing literary-agent husband, but behind this front lies a troubled and varied past.

Addition by Toni Jordan (Sceptre). Grace Lisa Vandenburg counts: the letters in her name (19); the steps she takes each morning to the local cafe (920); the number of poppy seeds on her orange cake. Her orderly world is thrown into confusion when she meets a charming man in a supermarket.

The Resurrectionist by James Bradley (Faber & Faber). A dark and compelling gothic thriller set in 1826, when Gabriel Swift arrives in London to study with Edwin Poll, the greatest anatomist in the city. He soon finds himself drawn to his master’s nemesis, Lucan, the most powerful resurrectionist in London and governor of its trade in stolen bodies.

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Richard Davies

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