Best Summer Pack for Your Beach Vacation

Lazy summer days are ahead, and the avid readers among us will be looking to spend them with a beloved book in hand. Below, a selection of stories offers the kind of family drama, mystery, crime and romance that beaches were made for:

Kevin Kwan, Rich People Problems

The author of Crazy Rich Asians has just delivered his latest juicy novel, which sees family members descend on the home of their matriarch to stake their claim on her fortune. True to form, it promises “an ex-wife driven psychotic with jealousy, a battle royale fought through couture gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia’s greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance.”

John Grisham, Camino Island

The author known for his legal thrillers delivers a heist novel set in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Florida’s Camino Island. Here we find bookstore owner Bruce Cable, who dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts, and the young novelist Mercer Mann, who accepts an offer from a mysterious company to go undercover and infiltrate Cable’s literary circle.

Paula Hawkins, Into the Water

After the huge success of The Girl on the Train, Hawkins’ second novel is once again set in the UK, in a small town through which a river runs. The town becomes a crime scene when a single mother and a teenage girl are found dead at the bottom of the river within the space of a few weeks. The investigation that follows dredges up all kinds of family secrets.

Stephanie Garber, Caraval

This YA novel tells the story of two sisters, Scarlett and Tella, who live on a tiny island. Scarlett has long dreamt of seeing Caraval, a far-away, once-a-year performance in which the audience participates in the show. Their chance soon arrives, but when Tella is kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organizer, Scarlett must find her before the five nights of the game are over.

Nancy Thayer, Secrets in Summer

If beachside romance is your summer guilty pleasure, this one should tick a lot of boxes for you. Set in Nantucket and written by an author The Star-Ledger has called “the queen of beach books,” this novel sees year-round island resident Darcy navigate a new relationship with a local carpenter while becoming smitten with a handsome vacationer.

Maile Meloy, Do Not Become Alarmed

Two families head out on a holiday cruise that goes horribly wrong in this novel by the author of Liars and Saints. On an excursion in Central America, the children go missing, and the families are led farther from the safety of the ship. Innocence, privilege and the limits of parental power are all examined in what reviewers are calling a page-turner.