It's that time of year when many of us chaps will be sat on planes, relaxing beside pools, lying on beaches and in between trips to the bar or recovering from the previous night's residency within the bar we will probably be found with a good book in hand.
It has to be said that many of the big publishing houses tend to focus their efforts on female readers and its not always so easy to find good books for us guys to enjoy so we've gone to the effort of saving you from having to scan the shelves of your local bookstore or hunting online for the next kindle download and picked some of the best male reads this summer.
Say You're Sorry – Michael Robotham
A gritty and gripping thriller from a newly established master of the art.
"When pretty and popular teenagers disappear one Sunday morning, the investigation captivates a nation but the girls are never found. Convinced that Piper or Tash might still be alive, clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and ex-cop Vincent Ruiz, persuade the police to re-open the investigation. But they are racing against time to save the girls from someone with an evil, calculating and twisted mind.".
Bad Monkey - Carl Hiaasen
Another great read from Hiaasen, littered with his usually insightful biting social commentary and quick fire gags while pointing the finger at Floridian greed and hitting the target with hilarious results.
"Andrew Yancy, late of the Miami Police, soon-to-be-late of the Key West Police, has a human arm in his freezer. Its not the "Who" but the "Why" that will lead Yancy on a trail from Florida to the Bahamas with Voodoo witches, kinky medical examiners, dodgy realtors and bad monkeys thrown in for good measure. It's just another day on the Florida Keys."
The Accidental Proposal – Matt Dunn
Although it might not be his latest novel (A Day at the Office) this is a brilliant read from our good friend Matt Dunn. With a keen ear for natural conversation and brilliant humour Matt always manages to capture what real men suffer when chasing the fairer sex while keeping one eye on the football scores and one hand on their beer.
"Ed Middleton's just got engaged. At least, he thinks he has. With the facts not even fully established best-friend and soon-to-be best man Dan is determined to make Ed's stag night go with a bang. And when a severely hung-over Ed wakes up the morning after to see a second dent in the pillow, it seems as if that's exactly what happened."
Joyland – Stephen king
Some are turned off by Stephen King's "Horror" credentials but his work also includes 'The Body' (AKA the movie Stand By Me), Shawshank Redemption and The Running Man. If you’ve never read a King novel you really should and if you have you'll be pleased to know he is back to his best.
"It tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a 'carny' in small-town North Carolina and has to confront the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the way both will change his life forever. It is also a wonderful coming-of-age novel about friendship, loss, and your first heartbreak. Who dares enter the funhouse of fear?"
1356 – Bernard Cornwall
Undoubtedly the master of historical novels Cornwall's latest offering is full of enough blood-letting, epic battles and historical facts to suit all tastes.
"Thomas of Hookton, a veteran of Crecy and many other battles, is the leader of a mercenary company of bowmen and men-at-arms who ravage the countryside east of Gascony. Edward, Prince of Wales, later to be known as the Black Prince, is assembling an army to fight the French once more but before Thomas can join, he must fulfil an urgent task."
The Guts – Roddy Doyle
The Dublin based writer of arguably the best novel/movie about music and mayhem of the 80's returns to his roots. Revisiting "The Commitments" and their enduring musical legacy (?) he catches up with the original characters, older, wiser and even more messed up.
"Jimmy Rabbitte is back. The man who invented the Commitments back in the eighties is now forty-seven, with a loving wife, four kids …and bowel cancer. He isn't dying, he thinks, but he might be. Jimmy still loves his music, and he still loves to hustle – his new thing is finding old bands and then finding the people who loved them enough to pay money for their resurrected singles and albums. This warm, funny novel is about music, friendship and family, about facing death and opting for life."
One Fine Day In the Middle of the Night – Christopher Brookmyre
Again we are visiting an older novel from this writer. Its not easy to describe Brookmyre's work but imagine setting Die Hard on a Scottish oil rig but instead of a slick evil genius and a hard nosed, tough guy hero you get a collection of terrorist mercenaries who are occasionally of more danger to themselves than to the public and a hapless, movie obsessed, ne’er do well who makes John MacLean’s one-liners seem dull and humourless in comparison.
"The occasion: high school reunion. The place: an oil rig converted into a tourist resort. The outcome: carnage. Dress Casual. Bring your own bullets."