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Discover the best in WHSmith books & products with reviews and features below.

Filtered by MODERN & CONTEMPORARY FICTION

Day One

Marty told the reporters that she saw it happen. She saw the gunman enter the hall. She saw her mother die trying to protect them all. That’s the version of Day One Marty wishes was true. But strange inconsistencies in her story begin to surface. Details that don’t add up. Questions she can’t answer. The story ignites. Amidst the media frenzy, conspiracy theorists become obsessed with exposing what really happened. And at the epicentre of it all is a small community changed forever. Survivors crushed by guilt. Families torn in half. Outsiders consumed by the hunt for truth.

It Takes a Town

Everyone dies famous in a country town, but glamorous Vanessa Walton was a shining star. A celebrity since she was a child, Vanessa is back on the front page for all the wrong reasons; after a terrible storm she has been found dead at the bottom of her stairs. At first her death seems to be a simple accident, but anonymous letters are discovered that suggest otherwise – and when 16-year-old Jasmine Langridge claims it is murder, she suddenly disappears. As the police begin to investigate, secrets are exposed and friendships unravel.

A Calamity of Souls

Jack Lee is a white lawyer from Freeman County, Virginia, who has never done anything to push back against racism, until he decides to represent Jerome Washington, a Black man charged with brutally killing an elderly and wealthy white couple. Doubting his decision, Lee fears that his legal skills may not be enough to prevail in a case where the odds are already stacked against both him and his client. And he quickly finds himself out of his depth when he realizes that what is at stake is far greater than the outcome of a murder trial.

Sisterhood

As the waves crash on to a wild Atlantic beach, Lou is at a crossroads. For the first time ever, just giving up seems like an option. In just one night, at her own 50th birthday, her world has imploded. Her mother has kept a secret hidden all her life. And it changes everything. Before Lou can take another step, she needs to get to the bottom of the shocking truth that alters who she really is.

The Women

‘Women can be heroes, too’. When twenty-year-old nursing student, Frances “Frankie” McGrath, hears these unexpected words, it is a revelation. Raised on California’s idyllic Coronado Island and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing, being a good girl. But in 1965 the world is changing, and she suddenly imagines a different path for her life. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she impulsively joins the Army Nurses Corps and follows his path.

Whenever You’re Ready

An unexpected death finds Lizzie, Alice and Margot at various crossroads in their lives, torn between looking back and moving on. Lizzie is reeling from her discovery of a decades-old secret that changes everything she thought she knew about her friends, her family and her marriage. Alice has always been the good-time girl, as charismatic presenting the weather on television as she is working as a life model.

The Roadmap of Loss

It’s 1997 in Melbourne, Australia, and Mark Ward is struggling to make sense of the world following the sudden death of his mother. His father, Dylan, had abandoned him and his mother when Mark was still a child, and Mark has always believed he died in a car accident shortly afterwards. For most of his life, he has carried an unjustifiable sense of guilt about his father’s absence, overlaid with memories of him as a cruel and unloving man.

Good Woman’s Guide to Making Good Choices

Loyal country girl Libby Popovic lives a golden life with her confident financier husband Ludo and their two children, Harrison and Ava. When Ludo is jailed for financial fraud, and her friends and family lose tens of thousands of dollars as a result, Libby feels agonizingly complicit for hosting the final investor pitch in their home. Matters go from atrocious to worse when her possessions and home are repossessed, Libby is sacked and a priceless family heirloom is wrecked. While camping out at the rural goat farm where she was raised, she’s forced to re-evaluate her life choices.

The Night Tide

A secluded, peaceful and diverse waterside community faces turmoil as corporate greed threatens to undo generations of heritage and tradition. Tensions mount as the community’s way of life is threatened. Meanwhile, in the city, Dominic Cochrane is at a crossroads. He is made redundant and retreats to the quiet Sydney bay.

Love and Other Scores

Gabriel is a global tennis superstar and heart-throb. As he eyes his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, the pressure is getting to him. After an intense practice session, Gabriel finds refuge in a bar, where he meets Noah. Oblivious to sports, Noah doesn’t recognise Gabriel, but there is an instant connection. The more time they spend together in the blazing heat of a Melbourne summer, the more their feelings and attraction grow.

The Broken Wave

In the small seaside town of Queenscliff, two boys from opposite sides of the world forge a friendship over a summer of sun, adventure and brotherhood. Until a catastrophic event shatters their idyllic childhoods. Two lives are lost. A lie is told.

Boy Swallows Universe [Tv Tie-In]

Brisbane, 1985: A lost father, a mute brother, a junkie mum, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It’s not as if Eli Bell’s life isn’t complicated enough already. He’s just trying to follow his heart and understand what it means to be a good man, but fate keeps throwing obstacles in his way – not the least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer.

Stone Yard Devotional

A woman abandons her city life and marriage to return to the place of her childhood, holing up in a small religious community hidden away on the stark plains of the Monaro. She does not believe in God, doesn’t know what prayer is, and finds herself living this strange, reclusive life almost by accident. As she gradually adjusts to the rhythms of monastic life, she finds herself turning again and again to thoughts of her mother, whose early death she can’t forget.

Burn

When a tragic bushfire puts two kids in hospital, Indigenous teenager Andrew knows the police will come after him first. But Andrew almost wants to be caught, because at least it might make his dad come and rescue him from suburban Brisbane and his neglectful mother.
Growing up in small-town Tasmania, Andrew struggled at home, at school, at everything. The only thing that distracted or excited him was starting little fires. Flames boosted his morale and purified his thoughts, and they were the only thing in his life he could control. Until one day things got out of hand, and Andrew was forced to leave everything behind.

Something Bad is Going to Happen

Adella is facing the dawn of a new year and the end of her twenties – and she’s in a psychiatric unit recovering from a mental breakdown. A decade earlier, her life held such promise; she had every option in her hand. How did it come to this?

The Soulmate

Gabe is alone at the cliff’s edge. His arms are outstretched, palms facing the empty air. He said she jumped. He wouldn’t lie. Before the woman went over the cliff, Pippa and Gabe were happy. They had the kind of marriage that everyone envies, as well as two sweet young daughters, a supportive family, and a picturesque cliff-side home – which would have been idyllic had the tall beachside cliffs not become so popular among those wishing to end their lives.

The Shot

Producer Mara Bolt is the queen of reality TV. Ambitious to the point of ruthlessness, Mara will do anything for ratings. When she meets Kristy Shaw, Mara is certain she’s found the star of her newest series, The Shot. Kristy is languishing in her small hometown and a dead-end job, pining for her first love, Max Irving. The Shot offers her a Total Body Transformation – extreme plastic surgery to render her unrecognisable – as a way to recapture Max’s affections under a new identity. But there’s a catch: if she doesn’t secure his heart in thirty days, she must have her surgeries reversed, and go back to her previous life.

Black River

Adam Bowman, a battling journalist who grew up as the son of a teacher at Prince Albert College, might be the only person who can uncover the links between the school murder and the ‘Blue Moon Killer’. But he will have to go into the darkest places of his childhood to piece together the clues. Detective Sergeant Rose Riley, meanwhile, is part of the taskforce desperately trying to find the killer before he strikes again. Adam Bowman’s excavation of his past might turn out to be Rose’s biggest trump card or it may bring the whole investigation crashing down, and put her own life in danger.

The Heart is a Star

Layla Byrnes is exhausted. She’s juggling a demanding job as an anaesthetist, a disintegrating marriage, her young kids, and a needy lover. And most particularly she’s managing her histrionically unstable mother, who repeatedly threatens to kill herself. But this year, it’s different. When her mother rings just before Christmas, she doesn’t follow the usual script. Instead, she tells Layla that there’s something she needs to tell her about her much-loved father.