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 Caboodle Firsts

Caboodle Firsts give you the chance to read the next big thing, before anyone else! Every month we'll give away 100 advance copies of a book we think will be on everyone's lips. Plus we'll have a sample chapter so you can start reading straight away. 

This month

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and the city's vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.

When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.

But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking. . .

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Previous Caboodle Firsts

The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

The Last of the Greenwoods

Tom and Kate’s daughter turns six tomorrow, and they have to tell her about sleep.

If you sleep unwatched, you could be Taken.

If you are Taken, then watching won’t save you.

Nothing saves you.

For fans of The Girl With All the Gifts and The Passage, The Feed asks: What would you sacrifice to save the world?

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This Is How It Ends


This is How it Ends
by Eva Dolan

This is how it begins.

With a near-empty building, the inhabitants forced out of their homes by property developers.

With two women: idealistic, impassioned blogger Ella and seasoned campaigner, Molly.

With a body hidden in a lift shaft.

But how will it end?



The Last of the Greenwoods by Clare Morrall

The Last of the Greenwoods

In a field outside Birmingham, the elderly Greenwood brothers live in two overgrown railway carriages. No one visits and they never speak to each other.  Until one day Zohra Dasgupta, a young postwoman, delivers a shocking letter - from a woman claiming to be their sister, who was murdered in 1969.

Who could this impostor be?  Or have the brothers been misled for decades? Now Nick and Johnny Greenwood are forced to revisit old traumas, which they thought they had successfully buried.

Zohra also has painful memories. Once an outgoing teenager headed for university, she still panics at the thought of meeting former classmates. The only friend she will see from her schooldays is laidback Crispin, who has roped her in to the restoration of an old railway line on his father's land.  For which, as it happens, they need some carriages . . .

With wry humour and a cast of characters as delightful as they are damaged, Clare Morrall tells an engrossing story of past misdeeds and present reckoning, which shows that for all the wrong turnings we might take, sometimes it is possible to retrace our steps.

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Sing, Unburied, SingSing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is black and her children’s father is white. Embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances, she wants to be a better mother, but can’t put her children above her own needs.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another boy: the ghost of a dead inmate, who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Sing, Unburied, Sing turns the American road novel on its head – you will never read anything like it again.





Silence: In the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge


What is silence? Where can it be found? Why is it more important now than ever?
Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge once spent fifty days walking solo across Antarctica, his radio broken. In this charming, quietly life-changing book - now an international bestseller - he takes us on a journey to unlock the power of silence. And he shows us how to find perfect silence in our daily lives, however busy we are.

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The Silent CompanionsThe Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband's crumbling country estate, The Bridge.

With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband's awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. But inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself...






Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy

Beyond the Wild River

When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship's comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship's safety.

One minute the children are there, and the next they're gone.

What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents - now turning on one another and blaming themselves - try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

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The IceThe Ice by Laline Paull

It's the day after tomorrow and the Arctic sea ice has melted. While global business carves up the new frontier, cruise ships race each other to ever-rarer wildlife sightings. The passengers of the Vanir have come seeking a polar bear. What they find is even more astonishing: a dead body.

It is Tom Harding, lost in an accident three years ago and now revealed by the melting ice of Midgard glacier. Tom had come to Midgard to help launch the new venture of his best friend of thirty years, Sean Cawson – a man whose business relies on discretion and powerful connections – and who was the last person to see him alive.

Their friendship had been forged by a shared obsession with Arctic exploration. And although Tom's need to save the world often clashed with Sean's desire to conquer it, Sean has always believed that underneath it all, they shared the same goals. 

But as the inquest into Tom's death begins, the choices made by both men – in love and in life – are put on the stand. And when cracks appear in the foundations of Sean's glamorous world, he is forced to question what price he has really paid for a seat at the establishment's table.

Just how deep do the lies go?





Beyond the Wild River by Sarah Maine

Beyond the Wild River

Nineteen-year-old Evelyn tires of being cooped up in her family’s estate on the Scottish borders, and longs to be taken seriously. An invitation to accompany her father to Canada is a chance for Evelyn to escape her limited existence, but soon she comes face-to-face with a dark secret from her family’s past. Along with James – her childhood best friend, to whom she now, as an adult, feels a growing connection – Evelyn must uncover the truth behind a brutal murder which took place a decade ago.

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Stay With Me

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything - arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, dances with prophets, appeals to God. But when her in-laws insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 80s Nigeria, Stay With Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings. Ayobami Adebayo weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.

Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves by Rachel Malik

Barkskins by Annie Proux

During the Second World War, Rene Hargreaves boards a train without buying a return ticket, so sure is she that she never wants to see her husband again. Instead she starts a new life as a Land Girl on Starlight Farm. She finds its owner Elsie Boston and her country ways strange at first, yet as their relationship develops they become inextricably dependent on each other, long after the war has ended. When their shared life is threatened by a visitor, they must begin to fight a war of their own against not just their community, but the nation's press, and the full force of the law.

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This Is How It Always Is

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Rosie and Penn always wanted a daughter. Four sons later, they decide to try one last time - and their beautiful little boy Claude is born. Life continues happily for this big, loving family until the day when Claude says that, when he grows up, he wants to be a girl. As far as Rosie and Penn are concerned, bright, funny and wonderful Claude can be whoever he or she wants. But as problems begin at school and in the community, the family faces a seemingly impossible dilemma: should Claude change, or should they and Claude try to change the world?

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 

Barkskins by Annie Proux

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

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Holding Up the Universe

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed 'America's Fattest Teen'. But no one's taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he's got swagger, but he's also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can't recognize faces.

When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world - theirs and yours.


by Annie Proux 

Barkskins by Annie Proux

In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a “seigneur,” for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters – barkskins.

Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years – their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions; the revenge of rivals; accidents; pestilence; Indian attacks; and cultural annihilation. Over and over again, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse. 




Tastes Like FearTastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary

The young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene. A runaway who doesn’t want to be found, she only wants to go home. To the one man who understands her. Gives her shelter. Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house. He’s the head of her new family. He’s Harm.




Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All by Jonas Jonasson 

Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All

Featuring one violent killer, two shrewd business brains, an outrageous plan, an even more outrageous plan, and many crates of Moldovan red wine, Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All is a madcap adventure about belief, the media, and the fact that it’s never too late to start again.

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Six Tudor QueensSix Tudor Queens - Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir

A Spanish princess. Raised to be modest, obedient and devout. Destined to be an English Queen. Six weeks from home across treacherous seas, everything is different: the language, the food, the weather. And for her there is no comfort in any of it. At sixteen years-old, Catalina is alone among strangers. She misses her mother. She mourns her lost brother. She cannot trust even those assigned to her protection. Katherine of Aragon. The first of Henry's Queens. Her story.






 River of Ink by Paul M.M. Cooper 

River of Ink

From his humble village beginnings, Asanka has risen to the prestigious position of court poet, delighting in a life of ease. But when the ruthless Kalinga Magha usurps the throne, Asanka’s world is changed beyond imagination. To his horror, the king tasks him with the translation of an epic Sanskrit poem designed to civilise his subjects and snuff out the fires of rebellion. Asanka has always believed poetry makes nothing happen, but as lines on the page become cries in the street he learns true power lies not at the point of a sword, but in the tip of a pen.

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Win My Name is LeonMy Name is Leon by Kit de Waal

Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have moved in with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in whispers, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Because Jake is white and Leon is not.

My Name is Leon is a story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how - just when we least expect it - we manage to find our way home.






The Way We Were by Sinead MoriartyThe Way We Were

Alice and Ben. A couple like any other. Bound together by love, work, children, familiarity, a shared sense of purpose. But when Ben takes a step into the unknown, and brings devastation on the family, it forces them to look at everything in a whole new way.

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Ryan Stradal


Kitchens of the Great Midwest by Ryan Stradel


Kitchens of the Great Midwest is already a hotly anticipated debut—about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation.   




A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman

Marvellous Ways




A Year of Marvellous Ways is a glorious, life-affirming story about the magic in everyday life and the pull of the sea, the healing powers of storytelling and sloe gin, love and death and how we carry on when grief comes snapping at our heels.

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Seni Glaister

The Museum of Things Left Behind by Seni Glaister


Full of wisdom, humour and light, THE MUSEUM OF THINGS LEFT BEHIND is a heart-warming fable for our times that asks us to consider what we have lost and what we have gained in modern life. A book about bureaucracy, religion and the people that really get things done, it is above all else a hymn to the inconstancy of time and the pivotal importance of a good cup of tea.

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Amy Snow

Amy Snow by Tracey Rees 

Left to perish on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy has never known love, never known family. The beautiful Hatville heiress, Aurelia Vennaway, is Amy’s only advocate – she becomes the light of Amy’s life, and the centre of her existence. So when Aurelia dies young, Amy’s world collapses. But Aurelia leaves Amy with one last gift. A treasure hunt that only Amy can unlock.

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Free sample chapter

Patrick Gale

A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale


In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love.

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