WITH plenty of dark winter nights to come it is an idea time to settle down with a good book.

There are plenty of riveting reads around at the moment, here are a few ideas for page turners to keep readers enthralled in the coming weeks.

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton is published in hardback by Viking, priced £14.99 (ebook £9.99). Available now

Three hours doesn't seem long enough to fill a whole novel, but Rosamund Lupton has packed every single second of Three Hours with chilling suspense. Centred around a terrorist attack on a Somerset school, the incident is told through the eyes of key characters: from sixth former Hannah in the library, desperately trying to keep headteacher Mr Marr alive; to DI Rose Polstein, attempting to uncover the psychopath behind the hostage situation; and 16-year-old Syrian refugee Rafi, who will do whatever it takes to protect his little brother. How did this happen? Why was the school targeted? Who is behind the balaclava? As the police try to stage a rescue, parents desperately wait for news and students barricade themselves into classrooms, bravery and love collide with unimaginable terror. In the age of cyber threats, terrorist attacks and ongoing racism, Lupton has made global atrocities local. Today's very real topical issues are mapped to the themes of Shakespeare's Macbeth - the school's annual theatre production. A twist at every turn, there's absolutely no let-up in pace. Three Hours is rooted in the horrors of reality and yet somehow finds bravery and love in a situation that should be devoid of either.


(Review by Rebecca Wilcock)

A Long Petal Of The Sea by Isabel Allende is published in hardback by Bloomsbury, priced £16.99 (ebook £10.31). Available now

A Long Petal Of The Sea is the latest offering from New York Times bestselling author of The House Of The Spirits, Isabel Allende. Moving away from the magical realism for which she is often known, Allende uses historical detail to tell the complex story of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. Amongst that epic tale, there is also the intimate story of one family's fight for love and freedom. Pregnant young widow Roser reluctantly marries her dead lover's brother Victor and together they board the HMS Winnipeg and set off for Chile, in hope of starting new lives and finding a place to call home. The unlikely partners face trial after trial and huge emotional hardship, but also manage to unearth a little joy. The author, who now lives in California, was born in Peru and raised in Chile. This inside knowledge shines through as the reader is immersed in another time and place.


(Review by Rachel Farrow)

Who Did You Tell? by Lesley Kara is published in hardback by Bantam Press, priced £12.99 (ebook 99p). Available now

Astrid Phelps' life is a mess, she's made many mistakes and can't stop letting people down, yet you'll be rooting for her in no time. The 32-year-old recovering alcoholic is back in her sleepy hometown, under the watchful eye of her mother, and this is her last chance not to screw up. A new relationship and a friend she makes at AA are the only things keeping her sane (and away from booze), but someone is leaving sinister clues that they know a dark secret from Astrid's drunken past - and they'll have you guessing up until the very end. This grippy page-turner is immersive from the get go, and perfectly timed. While sympathetically - and expertly - tackling the subject and all the complex intricacies of addiction, it's ultimately a tale of redemption, and showing someone your true self in a judgemental world.


(Review by Lauren Taylor)


Rootbound: Rewilding A Life by Alice Vincent is published in hardback by Canongate, priced £14.99 (ebook £11.99). Available January 30

A memoir of broken love, learning to live with just yourself again, and the benefits of sticking your hands in soil, Rootbound sees journalist Alice Vincent outline how the end of a relationship took her outside onto the balcony. She shares her experiments with herbs and bulbs, describes the brain-space a bit of digging can provide and draws the struggles her generation faced after being promised the world (if you jumped through the right hoops), only to be rewarded with recession and an inability to just slow down and be. Rootbound's at its best though when telling stories of women gardeners through history, who broke with convention to pursue their plant obsessions. That, and Vincent's descriptions of how plants - like the pilea - have cleverly, even sneakily, wound up in our homes. Slightly uncomfortably, she does rail against the trappings of modern life and screen time, without addressing the success of her Instagram account, but overall, Rootbound is a thoughtful musing on the strength to be found in nurturing green stuff.


(Review by Ella Walker)


The Boy Who Fooled The World by Lisa Thompson is published in paperback by Scholastic, priced £6.99 (ebook £4.68). Available now

A little white lie leads to big trouble for 12-year old Cole Miller in Lisa Thompson's excellent latest tale. It is another story packed with adventure, mystery, moral messages and great characters from the author of The Goldfish Boy and The Light Jar. Cole's family is struggling to make ends meet and he finds himself targeted by bullies at school until he is suddenly, and unexpectantly, thrown into the limelight after a painting he made in art class attracts the attention of a renowned artist. But when it sells for a thousand pounds, the art world demands another masterpiece, and Cole ends up tangling himself in a lie that spirals out of control. It sees him face an agonising dilemma and plunges his family back into poverty, though Cole has one chance left to redeem himself - if he can only solve the riddle of a mysterious painting. With just the right amount of intrigue and emotional twists, it is sure to become another hit with younger readers.


(Review by Holly Williams)