| Books 62 Bestsellers PAPERBACK FICTION 1 Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens 1,500 2 Girl, Woman, Other Barnardine Evaristo 766 3 4 Normal People Sally Rooney 655 Conversations with Friends Sally Rooney 612 5 6 The Silent Patient Alex Michaelides 524 The Beekeeper of Aleppo Christy Lefteri 462 7 Little Fires Everywhere Celeste Ng 338 8 Night Boat to Tangier Kevin Barry 287 9 The Giver of Stars Jojo Moyes 275 10 Girl Edna O’Brien 216 ORIGINAL FICTION 1 The Women WhoRan Away Sheila O’Flanagan 1,023 2 The Pull of the Stars Emma Donoghue 1,016 3 4 5 American Dirt Jeanine Cummins Apeirogon Colum McCann ATraveller at the Gates of Wisdom 744 559 John Boyne 550 6 7 8 The End of Her Shari Lapena The Guest List Lucy Foley 474 Below the Big Blue Sky Anna McPartlin 476 All that you can’t leave behind 395 9 Our Little Cruelties Liz Nugent 378 10 The Silent Wife Karin Slaughter 377 PAPERBACK NON- FICTION Crime Fiction “caught between a wannabe Pablo Escobar chopping motherfuckers up and putting them in grease buckets and a redneck Walter White”. Not that Bug has a whole lot of options: “Listen,” he tells his teenage son, “when you’re a black man in America you live with the weight of people’s low expectations on your back every day.” Racism, functional poverty and those low expectations all play their part in Bug’s dilemma – although once the reader realises that most of his financial issues could be resolved if only Bug would agree to sell his beloved muscle car, sympathy for his plight begins to seep away. That said, Blacktop Wasteland is an effective neo- noir that skilfully ratchets up the tension as it rumbles towards its inevitable conclusion. DA Mishani’s ( Riverrun, £ 11.99) is an unusual psychological thriller that engages with the serial killer tropes from the victims’ perspectives. Translated by Jessica Cohen, the novel opens in a suburb of Tel Aviv, with Orna surfing a dating site for divorced singles. When she agrees to meet with Gil, a lawyer, she decides he’s “unexciting” and “nothing too special”, but a tentative romance begins, even though Orna ( and the reader) senses that something isn’t quite right about her new beau. Shortlisted for the Sapir Prize – the “Israeli Booker” – Three is less obviously a crime novel than Mishani’s previous offerings ( most of which have been police procedurals), although much of what makes his novels so compelling can be found here: even as Gil’s personality is gradually revealed through the women he preys upon, Mishani is much more fascinated by the women themselves, and concerned with detailing and celebrating the minutiae of their lives. A slow- burning psychological thriller, Three will reward the patient reader. ing, with no established protocol in the matter of procedure complicating matters further. McAlinden, whose legal studies in Galway have been interrupted by the war, is a little too fond of his literary references ( anything from Sophocles to Peter Pan, by way of Hamlet and War and Peace), but his conversational style is humorously irreverent and profane, which allows McQuade to sidestep the awkward formalities that can suffocate a historical narrative. The result is a smart and pacy debut that details a historical period, and policing context, that deserves further exploration. Set in a small Texas town, Julia Heaberlin’s ( Penguin, £ 14.99) centres on Odette Tucker, the latest in a long line of cops, and a woman obsessed with discovering the truth about the disappearance of Trumanell Branson some years previously. When Odette discovers a young one- eyed girl, Angel, sheltering at the home of Trumanell’s brother Wyatt, things come to a head – Wyatt, an ex- con, is a suspected serial killer and infamous as the focus of a recent TV docu- series. What follows is an absorbing account of a town’s complicity in the tragedy that befell Trumanell Branson: Odette isn’t simply striving to establish the facts, but trying to come to terms with how her own history is inextricably bound up with that of the missing girl. (“[ Finn] knew how much the night Trumanell was threaded in my own story.”) Halfway through, however, the story abruptly switches away from Odette’s perspective to introduce a second narrator, which delivers a wholly implausible conclusion to the story. SA Crosby’s ( Headline, £ 14.99) revolves around Beauregard “Bug” Montage, a mechanic by day and a drag- racer ( and occasional getaway driver) by night. An ex- juvenile delinquent lured into the fabled one last heist that will allow him pay his mounting debts, family man Bug discovers himself 1 Jump: One Girl’s Search for Meaning Daniella Moyles 385 Declan Burke 2 3 4 5 The Russian Affair David Walsh 366 Love In, Love Out Dr Malie The Power of NowEckhart Tolle 244 The Body: AGuide for Occupants T Coyne 293 he serial killer yarn is probably the most hackneyed of crime fiction’s sub- genres, which is likely why Catherine Ryan Howard, arguably the most inventive of the current crop of Irish crime writers when it comes to subverting the conventions, decided to give it a shot in the arm. ( Corvus, £ 14.99) is the title of Howard’s latest novel as well as the book- within- a- book ( which comes complete with its own ISBN number), a true crime account written by Eve Black about the murder of her family in 2001. Eve’s book, which is “the story of Cork’s most famous crime”, is being read by Jim, the media- dubbed Nothing Man, who is initially horrified to hear that his old crimes are being raked over, but who grows increasingly aware that the old thrill is being rekindled. Has Eve put herself in harm’s way by writing The Nothing Man? Or is that the whole point of the exercise? A deftly blended composite of the serial killer, psychological thriller and true crime narratives, The Nothing Man is a compelling novel that brilliantly deconstructs the genre’s cliches of the charming sociopath. Set in rural Mayo in 1920, Aidan McQuade’s ( Unbound, £ 8.99) is narrated by Michael McAlinden, an IRA man recently seconded to the newly established Irish Republican Police. When a young boy is discovered dead in mysterious circumstances, McAlinden and his superior, Eamon Gleason, are commissioned to investigate. Ridiculed as “two bogmen trying to emulate the detectives of Dublin Castle or Scotland Yard”, the pair aren’t short of suspects; unfortunately, they include the parish priest and their officer command- Bill Bryson 244 6 Atomic Habits James Clear 236 7 Three WomenLisa Taddeo 8 Emotional Healing Harry Barry 223 9 Good Vibes, Good Life Vex King 221 10 12 Rules for Life Jordan B Peterson 227 218 HARDBACKNON- FICTION 1 Too Much and Never Enough The Nothing Man Mary L Trump 1,200 2 The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Charlie Mackesy 1,120 WeAre All the Samein the 3 The Happy Pear: Vegan Cooking for Everyone David Flynn Dark & Stephen Flynn 772 4 5 The Daly Dish Gina Daly & WomenDon’t Owe You Pretty Karol Daly 339 Three Florence Given 314 6 7 WhatI Know for Sure Oprah Winfrey 294 Skincare: The Ultimate No- Nonsense Guide Caroline 8 WhatMummy Makes Rebecca Wilson 222 9 The Secret Rhonda Byrne 10 Deliciously Ella Quick & Easy Hirons 235 171 Ella Mills Woodward 169 CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION 1 The World’s Worst Parents David Walliams 1,341 Walliams 480 2 3 Slime David Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal Jeff Kinney 292 4 For Whom the Ball Rolls: Dog Man Dav Pilkey 284 The Undiscovered Country 5 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Suzanne Collins 236 6 7 Dog Man: Fetch- 22 Dav Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone JK Rowling Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets JK Rowling Mirabelle Gets Up to Mischief Pilkey 203 203 8 Blacktop Wasteland 184 9 Harriet Muncaster 184 10 One of Us Is Lying Karen McManus 182 Data supplied by Nielsen BookScan, taken from the Irish consumer market for the week ending August 1st Declan Burke’s current novel , The Lammisters, is published by No Alibis Press THE IRISH TIMES | | Saturday, August 8, 2020 Ticket
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