Books: What will be the publishing industry's Girl On A Train of 2017?
As we reach this year's closing chapter, we ask industry experts about the hotly-tipped new titles for 2017
READY for the next Girl On The Train? Or perhaps you want to dip into a debut you'll devour in one sitting? Next year is looking promising for both fiction and non-fiction fans, as both new and established authors come to the fore. There'll be new novels from famous names, including Wilbur Smith, Bernard Cornwell and Jo Nesbo, as well as a raft of female fiction from Jane Fallon, Katie Fforde, Sophie Kinsella and Joanna Trollope.
Celebrities entering the mix include Brooklyn Beckham, who is releasing his debut photography book What I See; a book on ageing called The Joy Of Big Knickers by Kate Garraway; and I Am Distracted By Everything, an 'annual for grown-ups' by Liza Tarbuck.
There'll be a flurry of new books to mark 100 years since the Russian revolution, while gardening books are likely to be blooming in popularity, says Caroline Sanderson, associate editor of trade magazine The Bookseller.
Sanderson predicts the following non-fiction titles could be big:
:: Centaur by Declan Murphy and Amy Rao (Doubleday, Apr 27, £16.99): It's a real triumph-over-tragedy story about a champion jockey who had a terrible fall in the Nineties, and went from near death to riding again 18 months later.
:: Fathers & Sons by Howard Cunnell (Picador, Feb 9, £14.99): Sanderson describes this as "a really outstanding memoir about what it means to be a man". It's about a boy growing up without a father and finding his way to be a father himself, while his transgender step-daughter becomes his son.
:: A Manual For Heartache by Cathy Rentzenbrink (Picador, Jun 29, £10): Following the heart-breaking memoir The Last Act Of Love, in which Rentzenbrink laid bare the effects of an accident which left her brother in a permanent vegetative state, this book explores how to live with grief and loss and find joy in the world again.
:: Utopia For Realists: And How We Can Get There by Rutger Bregman (Bloomsbury, Mar 9, £16.99): Given the current political turmoil, Sanderson reckons there will be a focus on current affairs and this short book by Dutch historian Bregman reveals how we need new utopian thinking. It's a thought-provoking read. "People are in the market for new thinking post-Brexit and post-Trump," she concludes.
Chris White, fiction buyer for Waterstones, continues: "People think that because of the political climate, we're all going to delve into escapism such as cosy crime, historical fiction or fantasy, just ways of not thinking about the world, or utopia rather than dystopia.
He says that following The Girl On The Train and Gone Girl, psychological crime novels have become more popular, but adds: "The only thing about trends is that no one ever predicts them accurately." White says there's been a buzz in the industry about the following titles, which he predicts could be big sellers:
:: Sirens by Joseph Knox (Doubleday, out Jan 12, £12.99): Transworld's big crime debut set in Manchester, launching a series featuring DC Aidan Waits. "It's Raymond Chandler meets Get Carter, procedural but noir fiction and UK-based," says White. "Ian Rankin is the model for the kind of fiction he's writing."
:: Little Deaths by Emma Flint (Picador, Jan 12, £12.99): This impressive debut is based on a real-life historical crime in 1960s New York, where a mother was accused of strangling her children. "Psychological crime has been a trend - this is in that mould and is extremely well written, and the psychological depth of the characters is probably more developed than a lot of things. There's a lot of buzz around this one," says White.
:: In The Name Of The Family by Sarah Dunant (Virago, Mar 2, £16.99): The sequel to her last book, Blood & Beauty, is set among the House of Borgias in 16th century Florence. Dunant holds up a mirror to this turbulent moment of history. "She has that Hilary Mantel touch," says White.
:: Lincoln In The Bardo by George Saunders (Bloomsbury, March 9, £18.99): This debut from the acclaimed short story writer and essayist tells the story of Abraham Lincoln and the death of his son, told in multiple voices. "It's getting a huge amount of attention already," says White.
:: 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (Faber & Faber, Jan 31, £20): In a similar vein to Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, in which the author imagines a life turning out in different ways, the acclaimed American writer's whopping 880-page tome focuses on a boy born in New Jersey in 1947, whose life takes four simultaneous and independent fictional paths.
:: The Nix by Nathan Hill (Picador, Jan 26, £16.99): This debut novel sees a once-promising literary figure now languishing as a teacher at a private college. When his editor demands the return of an advance for a debut novel he hasn't delivered, he resorts to writing about his mother who abandoned him and has now been arrested for a politically motivated crime.
Others to look out for include:
:: Into The Water by Paula Hawkins (Doubleday, May 2, £20): Following the success of The Girl On The Train, there's huge anticipation around Hawkins's second novel, another psychological thriller centring on the discovery of the body of a mother and her daughter in a river, and the investigation that follows in the local riverside town.
:: Origin by Dan Brown (Bantam, Sep 26, £20): Fans of The Da Vinci Code and its follow-ons will be waiting for the latest Robert Langdon adventure as the Harvard professor investigates the brutal murder of an elderly curator inside the Louvre museum, and tries to crack the codes found next to the body.