May 2020 Books

What’s new and good to read this month? Annakarin Klerfalk has a look at what’s on offer and chooses three good reads for May. When the lights go out, Dear Child and The Lizard are all published this month.

When the Lights Go Out

Carys Bray had her breakthrough with A Song for Issy Bradley and now she is back with a novel called When the lights go out. Bray examines family life again but this time against the backdrop of Climate Change. Whilst the earth is getting warmer, the Abrams’ marriage is cooling, and Emma tries to engage in her husband’s new eco-system. Emma wants to release Chris from his worries but all he tries to do is drag her down with him. When the lights go out is a story about cultivating hope and weathering change.

Shelley Harris, author of Jubliee, reviewed it as “So timely, and so deeply human, a novel which takes us right into the heart of a marriage and at the same time grapples with the most crucial issue of our age. It’s bursting with compassion and wisdom.”

When the lights go out is published on 7 May by Hutchinson.

Dear Child

Dear Child is mentioned as a thriller between Room and Gone Girl. It’s written by debut author Romy Hausmann, one of Germany’s hottest new talents. It features Lena and her two children, who live in a windowless shack in the woods. Their daily life is controlled by the children’s father. He protects his family from danger and makes sure that the mother always looks after his children. One day Lena escapes but it only leads to more problems. Is she really “Lena”, the woman who disappeared 14 years ago? The police become involved and have to piece together a puzzle that doesn’t quite fit.

Peter James said: “Dear Child is an accomplished thriller, beautifully written, intriguing and very compelling.”

Dear Child is out on 14 May.

The Lizard

The Lizard is a debut thriller written by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, an Anglo-Scottish stage and screen actor who also works as a director, and most recently played Michael Gove in The Last Temptation of Boris. We meet Alistair Haston in 1988 on his way to the Greek Islands, where his ex-girlfriend is on holiday. He is obsessed about getting her back but becomes swept away by parties, wild sex and drugs. Then a body is found and everything points to Alistair. Arrested, he quickly escapes, but when more bodies are found, all he can do is to run.

Charles Cumming reviewed it as “Full of intrigue, action and excitement… A terrific debut.”

The Lizard is published by Muswell Press on 1 May, published by Quercus Books.

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 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

Read about the annual Chiswick Book Festival here