February 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Annakarin Klerfalk has a look at what’s on offer and chooses Hear No Evil, 12 Hours to Say I Love You, and Breathless which are all out in February.

Hear No Evil

Hear No Evil, is a historical novel, written by Sarah Smith. The story was inspired by a landmark case in Scottish legal history – and it begins in Glasgow, in 1817, when a young deaf woman is accused of throwing a child into the River Clyde.

The main character, Jean, is being held in Edinburgh’s Tolbooth prison and a teacher called Robert is trying to help interpret the world for her. Jean confides in Robert, but he quickly turns from interpreter to investigator.

Is there more to it than guilt and innocence?

Author Anita Frank reviewed it as: “A meticulously researched, sensitively executed novel, richly evocative of its period & inspired by the true case of one woman’s fight for compassion & justice at a time when ‘other’ was viewed with suspicion & distaste.”

Hear No Evil is published by Two Roads on 3 February.

Images above: Hear No Evil front cover, author Sarah Smith

12 Hours to Say I Love You

Olivia Poulet and Laurence Dobiesz are writers and actors based in London. Their comedy drama, Blessed, was written by them for Radio and broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

12 Hours to Say I Love You is a gripping love story, told from two perspectives. The reader is introduced to Pippa Gallagher, who has been in a traffic accident and is rushed to hospital. Pippa is unconscious but memories come back to her; when she met Steve, the love of her life – and her best friend.

Steve sits by her bedside, heartbroken and feeling guilty for not being there when she needed him.

During the next twelve hours, Steve tells Pippa all the reasons why he loves her. But is it too late?

Tom Allen said it’s “Not just a beautifully tender love story but also a wonderful journey of exaltation, desperation and heartbreak – life affirming.”

Headline will release 12 hours to Say I Love You on 3 February.

Images above: 12 Hours to Say I Love You, authors Olivia Poulet and Laurence Dobiesz


Amy McCulloch has written eight novels for children and young adults, including the number one bestseller The Magpie Society: One for sorrow with Zoe Sugg. Breathless is Amy’s adult fiction debut.

Breathless tells the story of Cecily Wong, who is a journalist on an expedition to climb one of the world’s highest mountains. But things start to go wrong. There’s a theft, followed by an accident – and a note, with a clear warning that there is a killer hiding in her team. Being so far up, there’s nowhere to hide. And then Cecily finds the first body…

Joel Richardson, who acquired the book for Michael Joseph, said “This is a really special thriller. It’s full of wonderfully claustrophobic suspense with a killer hiding amongst a small group of people, but a classic formula is made totally fresh by its extraordinary setting, which no-one but Amy could have written.”

Breathless is published by Penguin (Michael Joseph) on 17 February.

Images above: Breathless front cover, author Amy McCulloch

Annakarin Klerfalk

Anna is a literary agent based in Chiswick who is keen to hear from authors trying to get their books published. Contact her on anna@intersaga.co.uk. She used to run the Waterstones bookshop in Chiswick. You can read more about her and Intersaga here.


See more of Anna’s book choices here

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