John Grisham, Gerald Jacobs, Leaf Arbuthnot and Catherine Lacey: This week’s best new fiction

From John Grisham’s escapist latest to Pomeranski by Gerald Jacobs, a debut by Leaf Arbuthnot & Catherine Lacey’s Pew, this week’s best new fiction

Camino Winds

John Grisham                                                                    Hodder & Stoughton £20

The Camino Island series, featuring trouble-prone bookseller Bruce Cable, is a chance for Grisham to have fun. This time the Florida barrier island is struck by a hurricane and amid the chaos a thriller writer is murdered. 

Could it have something to do with the book he was working on? You bet. A perfect escapist mix of detective action, insider riffs on the literary world – and even a little romance.

John Williams



Gerald Jacobs                                                                                                 Quartet £14

Benny the Fixer, Fancy Goods Harry, Sam the Stick… The cast of Jacobs’ latest novel could have come straight out of Damon Runyon. To find them as pillars of a Jewish community in Brixton in the 1950s is as unexpected as it is delicious. 

Lovable rogues or something more sinister? Readers will have to decide, but Jacobs’ flair as a raconteur and his keen eye for period detail make this freewheeling novel a constant joy.

Max Davidson


Looking For Eliza

Leaf Arbuthnot                                                                                       Trapeze £14.99

Intergenerational friendship seems an audaciously dreary subject for a debut novel. Nonetheless, Arbuthnot – whose wry observations pinpoint beauty and absurdity in the everyday – has written a page-turner. 

Thrown together by loneliness, bound by Primo Levi, an unlikely intimacy blossoms between a student in her 20s and her widowed, sexagenarian neighbour. As each finds joy and stability, lessons are learnt, wisdom exchanged. A tender-hearted tale of the redeeming power of friendship.

Madeleine Feeny



Catherine Lacey                                                                                          Granta 12.99

One Sunday morning, a young person of indeterminate race and gender is found sleeping in a church in America’s small-town South. The congregation names the silent figure ‘Pew’, and a local family provides shelter while they try to solve the riddle of their amnesiac visitor. 

Not knowing whether Pew is to be pitied or feared, communal anxiety culminates in a powerful climax. A taut fable of identity and faith.

Hephzibah Anderson