FIVE TO BUY: August Fiction

New novels from Martin Amis and Sarah Waters

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This is a bumper week for book lovers - here is ELLE's pick of the best

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (Virago, out August 28)

In a once-genteel, now impoverished post-WW1 household newly devoid of men, widowed Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter Frances are forced to take in lodgers. Fans of The Little Stranger will not be disappointed by this novel set in 1922 London.

The Secret Place by Tana French (Hodder, out August 28)

A photo of a boy murdered a year before is pinned to the Secret Place, a noticeboard at an exclusive boarding school where girls can post anonymously, along with the note I Know Who Killed Him. Detective Stephen Harper has to wade through the secrets and lies told by teenage girls to uncover the truth. A gripping literary thriller to fill Gone Girl-shaped hole in your life.

The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman (W&N, out August 28)

There is a huge buzz around this debut novel. Fans of The Crimson Petal & The White and Tipping the Velvet will love this romp through the underworld of late 18th century Bristol. Following the intertwined lives of Ruth and Charlotte, two very different women vying for the championship boxing title, and empowerment in their own lives, this is a unique historical novel.

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The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis (Jonathan Cape, out August 21)

Set in Auschwitz (here named Kat Zet), this is a black comedy, a love story, a tale of revenge and jealousy. Tipped by some as the his best in years, this disturbing morality-infused tale is a tour de force from the writer of London Fields.

How to be Both by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton, out August 28)

Smith is one of the UK’s most exciting and experimental voices in fiction – if you loved The Accidental and Girl Meets Boy, this should be on your bedside table right now. This literary double-take weaves two very different lives five centuries apart into one single, and singular, tapestry.

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