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London Fiction Collection: Welcome

A cross-genre fiction collection of books based in and around London.
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About the London Fiction Collection

The London Fiction collection contains an eclectic array of genres, periods, styles, and voices. While they all share their London setting, each book expresses a unique vision of the capital, creating a collection that’s diverse, expansive, and entertaining – just like the city itself...

New titles

  Book cover: The bone season                Book cover: The corset            Book cover: Mary Poppins


  Book cover: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell                 Book cover: Queenie             Book cover: The doll factory

About the books

Book cover: Rivers of London

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

"My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just a probationary constable in the Metropolitan Police Service. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England."

Book cover: Minaret

Minaret by Leila Aboulela

"After a coup in Sudan forces Najwa and her family into political exile in London, she soon realises that she has come down in the world. But she finds solace in her visits to the Regents Park Mosque. Then she meets Tamer, the lonely younger brother of her employer and slowly they fall in love."

Book cover: Brick Lane

Brick Lane by Monica Ali

"In this tale of two Muslim sisters, Monica Ali explores how they live out their own personal tragedies. One lives in a tower block in London's East End whilst the other lives in a Bangladeshi village."

Book cover: In the Kitchen

In the Kitchen by Monica Ali

"This novel opens with a mysterious death in the cellars of a smart, cosmopolitan hotel and over the course of the ensuing pages, peels back the layers of polyglot London to reveal the melting pot which exists below."

Book cover: London Fields

London Fields by Martin Amis

"The narrator of this tale, Samson Young, enters the Black Cross, an undesirable public house, and finds the main characters of his drama waiting to begin."

Book cover: Murphy

Murphy by Samuel Beckett

"This novel was first published in 1938. Its work-shy eponymous hero, adrift in London, realises that desire can never be satisfied and withdraws from life, in search of stupor. Murphy's lovestruck fiancé Celia tries with tragic pathos to draw him back, but her attempts are doomed to failure."

Book cover: The uncommon reader

The uncommon reader by Alan Bennett

The uncommon reader is none other that HM The Queen who drifts accidentally into reading when her corgis stray into a mobile library parked at Buckingham Palace.

Mark Billingham - Bloodline

Bloodline by Mark Billingham

"It seems like a straightforward domestic murder until a bloodstained sliver of X-ray is found clutched in the dead woman's fist - and it quickly becomes clear that this case is anything but ordinary. DI Thorne discovers that the victim's mother had herself been murdered fifteen years before by infamous serial killer Raymond Garvey. The hunt to catch Garvey was one of the biggest in the history of the Met, and ended with seven women dead."

From the dead - Mark Billingham

From the Dead by Mark Billingham

"When Donna Langford receives a very recent photo of her ex-husband in the post, she gets the shock of her life because she's just spent ten years in prison for organising his murder. When her daughter goes missing, Donna believes there can only be one man responsible and hires Anna Carpenter, a private investigator, to find him."

Book cover: To Sir, With Love

To Sir, With Love by E. R. Braithwaite

"In 1945, Rick Braithwaite, an ex-RAF pilot, looks for a job in British engineering. He is shocked to realise that, as a Black man from British Guiana, no one will employ him because of the colour of his skin. In desperation he takes a teaching job in a tough East End school, where he's left to govern a class of unruly teenagers."

Book cover: Queenie

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie Jenkins can't cut a break. Well, apart from the one from her long term boyfriend, Tom. That's definitely just a break though. Definitely not a break up. Then there's her boss who doesn't seem to see her and her Caribbean family who don't seem to listen (if it's not Jesus or water rates, they're not interested). She's trying to fit in two worlds that don't really understand her. It's no wonder she's struggling. She was named to be queen of everything. So why is she finding it so hard to rule her own life?

Book cover: Clockwork angel

Clockwork angel by Cassandra Clare

London, 1878. 16-year-old Tessa Gray's priority should be finding her brother, not falling in love with two boys. She is soon caught in a dangerous love triangle where a wrong decision could prove fatal. Tessa will need all her strength to save her brother and stay alive as she learns about what really lurks on London's streets after dark

Book cover: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Long ago when magic still existed in England, the greatest magician of all was the Raven King. Now at the start of the 19th century, the Raven King is only a myth and England no longer believes in magicians. But then Mr Norrell makes his incredible talents known

The confessions of Frannie Langton - Sara Collins

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

"1826, and all of London is in a frenzy. Crowds gather to watch as Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, goes on trial for their murder. For the first time Frannie must tell her story. It begins on a plantation in Jamaica, and it ends in a grand house in London, where a beautiful woman waits to be freed. But through her fevered confessions, one burning question haunts Frannie Langton: could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?"

Book cover: Hearts and Minds

Hearts and Minds by Amanda Craig

"The great opportunistic metropolis that is 21st-century London draws in thousands of immigrants. This population fills the spaces unwanted by the majority - invisible, untraceable and powerless. So when a murdered girl is fished from Hampstead Ponds one morning, she could be anyone."

Book cover: The sealed letter

The sealed letter by Emma Donaghue

Emily 'Fido' Faithfull hasn't seen her friend Helen for years. After bumping into her on the streets of Victorian London, Fido finds herself reluctantly helping Helen to have an affair with a young army officer. The women's friendship quickly unravels - and the appearance of a mysterious sealed letter could destroy more than one life.

Book cover: A Study in Scarlet (Graphic Novel)

A Study in Scarlet (Graphic Novel) by Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Edginton and I. N. J. Culbard

"A Study in Scarlet is where we meet Holmes for the first time. Dr Watson relates how he met Holmes in the course of an impossible crime investigation which baffled the police."

The cutthroat - Clive Cussler

The Cutthroat by Clive Cussler

"The year is 1911. Hired to find a young woman named Anna Pape who ran away from home to become an actress, Chief Inspector Bell gets a shock when her murdered body turns up instead. Petite young blonde women like Anna are being murdered in cities across America. And there are disturbing familiarities about the killings themselves. If Bell is right about his fears, then he is on the trail of one of the greatest monsters of his time."

Book cover: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

"Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly old skinflint. He hates everyone, especially children. But at Christmas three ghosts come to visit him, scare him into mending his ways, and he finds, as he celebrates with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and their family, that geniality brings its own reward."

Book cover: Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

"When the half-starved Oliver in the workhouse asked for 'more', Dickens created the 19th century's most famous image of protest against cruelty. Yet Oliver Twist develops from a topical satire into something greater. What unfolds is a powerful and violent struggle between Good and Evil, as Oliver becomes ensnared in the labyrinth of London and the nightmare world of Fagin."

Life mask - Emma Donoghue

Life Mask by Emma Donoghue

"From the author of Slammerkin, a gripping historical novel about three famous Londoners - an artist, an actress and an aristocrat - based on the true story of a love triangle that scandalised late 18th century London."

Book cover: Belinda

Belinda by Maria Edgeworth

"Maria Edgeworth tackles issues of gender and race in a manner at once comic and thought-provoking. Braving the perils of the marriage market, Belinda learns to think for herself as the examples of her friends prove singularly unreliable. This lively comedy challenges the conventions of courtship, examines questions of female independence, and exposes the limits of domesticity."

Book cover: Mr Loverman

Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo

"Barrington Jedidiah Walker is 74 and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he's lived in Hackney since the 60s. He is husband to the deeply religious Carmel, father and grandfather - but he is also secretly the lover of his childhood friend, Morris. Now Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away?"

Book cover: Bridget Jones's diary

Bridget Jones's diary by Helen Fielding 

This tale concerns the trials and tribulations of a single, girl-about-town on an optimistic but doomed quest for self-improvement. If she could just get down to 8st 7lb, stop smoking and develop inner poise, all would be resolved

Book cover: Tom Jones

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

"Tom Jones is one of the earliest English novels, and was hugely popular when it was first published in 1749. It tells the story of the foundling Tom and his journey towards adulthood and marriage. As might be expected, this journey is a complicated one: he encounters a vivid cast of characters including robbers, soldiers, gypsies and untrustworthy lawyers."

Book cover: Neverwhere

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

"Under the streets of London there's a world most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre."

Book cover: The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

"Written under a pseudonym by J.K. Rowling, this gripping, elegant mystery is steeped in the atmosphere of London. A war veteran wounded both physically and psychologically, Cormoran Strike's life is in disarray but the case he is working on gives him a lifeline, despite coming at a personal cost."

Book cover: Coram boy

Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin

Aaron grows up in the Coram Foundling Hospital, having been saved from death by a boy called Meshak. Meshak, Aaron and Toby, the child of an African slave, all have a narrow escape as Meshak's evil father sets sail to sell them into slavery


Book cover: A madness of angels

A madness of angels by Kate Griffin

Enter a London where magicians ride the Last Train, implore favours of The Beggar King and interpret the insane wisdom of The Bag Lady. Enter the London of Matthew Swift, where rival sorcerers, hidden in plain sight, do battle for the very soul of the city

Book cover: A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers

A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo

"What happens when a Chinese woman falls in love with an Englishman and realises that learning the language doesn't necessarily lead to understanding? Funny, sexy, romantic and sad, 'A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers' is a love story for the modern age."

Book cover: How to Stop Time

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

"Tom Hazard may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but he was born in 1581. Owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom now has the perfect cover - working as a history teacher at a London school. Here, he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he'd never witnessed them first-hand. The only thing Tom mustn't do is fall in love."

Book cover: The line of beauty

The line of beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Picking up at the point in time where 'The Swimming-Pool Library' left off. Nick Guest has moved into the attic room of the Feddens: Gerald, a Tory MP, his wife Rachel and their children Toby and Catherine. The troubled Catherine soon becomes Nick's friend and uneasy responsibility

Book cover: Heathrow

Heathrow by David Hough

"When a fire disrupts the London Air Traffic Control Centre, the controllers move to an emergency control room at Heathrow. Which is exactly where a group of terrorists want them. But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye. This is not just an attack on Heathrow. Things will get even worse before the truth emerges. By then, there seems to be no way to stop a terrorist attack far more shocking than anyone had imagined."

Book cover: Pigeon English

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

"With equal fascination for the local gang - the Dell Farm Crew - and the pigeon who visits his balcony, 11-year-old Harri absorbs the many strange elements of his new life in England. But when a boy is knifed to death and a police appeal for witnesses draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own."

Book cover: I am Thunder

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

"15-year-old Muzna Saleem is passionate about writing and dreams of becoming a novelist. There's just one problem - her super-controlling parents have already planned her life out for her. No one is more surprised than humble Muzna when high school hottie, Arif Malik, takes an interest in her. But Arif and his brother are angry at the West for demonising Islam and hiding a terrible secret."

Book cover: The Buddha of Suburbia

The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi

"Karim Amir, 'an Englishman born and bred - almost', lives with his English mother and Indian father in the routine comfort of the South London suburbs and dreams of escape to London proper. The years of frustration come to an eng when his father, the ebullient Buddha of Suburbia, finally leads the way with his glamorous lover, Eva, and introduces Karim to a thrilling life in the city."

Book cover: Capital

Capital by John Lanchester

"It’s 2008 and things are falling apart: Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers are going under, and the residents of Pepys Road, London — a banker and his shopaholic wife, an old woman dying of a brain tumor and her graffiti-artist grandson, Pakistani shop owners and a shadowy refugee, the young soccer star from Senegal and his minder — are receiving anonymous postcards reading 'We Want What You Have.'"

Book cover: Small Island

Small Island by Andrea Levy

"Returning to England after the war Gilbert Joseph is treated very differently now that he is no longer in an RAF uniform. Joined by his wife Hortense, he rekindles a friendship with Queenie who takes in Jamaican lodgers. Can their dreams of a better life in England overcome the prejudice they face?"

Corduroy mansions - Alexander McCall Smith

Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith

"'Corduroy Mansions' is the nickname given to a crumbling mansion block in London's vibrant Pimlico. It is inhabited by an assortment of characters - including, amongst others, a literary agent, a wine merchant, one accountant, possibly the first ever nasty Liberal Democrat MP and his long-suffering PA, and a small dog in his prime."

Book cover: Saturday

Saturday by Ian McEwan

"Saturday is a novel set within a single day in February 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man, but what troubles him is the state of the world. Following a minor car accident, Perowne is brought into contact with a small-time thug called Miller. This meeting has savage consequences."

Book cover: Absolute Beginners

Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes

"A 20th century cult classic, Absolute Beginners remains the style bible for anyone interested in Mod culture and paints a vivid picture of a changing society with insight and sensitivity."

Book cover: The doll factory

The doll factory by Elizabeth Macneal

London, 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment - forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning. When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love. But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening

Sofia Khan is not obliged - Ayisha Malik

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

"Unlucky in love once again after her sort-of-boyfriend proves a little too close to his parents, Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men for good. Or at least she was, until her boss persuades her to write a tell-all expose about the Muslim dating scene. In amongst the marriage-crazy relatives, racist tube passengers and polygamy-inclined friends, could there be a lingering possibility that she might just be falling in love?"

Book cover: Londonstani

Londonstani by Gautam Malkani

"Set close to the Heathrow feed roads of Hounslow, we follow a gang of four young men: Hardjit the ring leader, a Sikh, determined his caste stay pure; Ravi, a sheep following the herd; Amit, whose brother is struggling to win parental approval to marry a Hindu girl; and Jas, desperate to impress these three, desperate too for Samira, a Muslim girl, which in this story can only have bad consequences."

The Forbidden - Jodi Ellen Malpas

The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

"Annie has never experienced the 'spark' with a guy - the kind of instant chemistry that steals your breath and blindsides you completely. Until a night out with friends brings her face to face with the wickedly sexy and mysterious Jack. It's not just a spark that ignites between them. It's an explosion."

Book cover: London Belongs to Us

London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning

"When 17-year-old Sunny is sent a picture of her boyfriend kissing another girl, she knows she's got to act. What follows is a 12-hour over-night dash around London. Along the way Sunny meets a whole host of characters, all willing to help a girl on a mission to get her romantic retribution."

Book cover: Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.

The Killer Next Door - Alex Marwood

The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

"All six residents of No. 23 have something to hide. Collette is on the run; Cher is an underage children's home escapee; lonely Dougal tries to make friends; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a tag-wearing skinhead try to keep their heads down. There for them all is Vesta, a woman who knows everything that goes on - or thought she did. But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim."

Book cover: From Hell (Graphic Novel)

From Hell (Graphic Novel) by Alan Moore

"This major graphic novel was a multi-award winning serial and tells the story of Jack the Ripper, the most infamous serial murderer of all time."

Book cover: V for Vendetta (Graphic Novel)

V for Vendetta (Graphic Novel) by Alan Moore

"V for Vendetta is a frightening and powerful tale of the loss of freedom and identity in a chillingly believable totalitarian world. Set in an imagined future England that has given itself over to fascism, this groundbreaking story captures both the suffocating nature of life in an authoritarian police state and the redemptive power of the human spirit which rebels against it."

Book cover: The night circus

The night circus by Erin Morgenstern

In 1886 a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths. But behind the scenes a dangerous game is being played out by two young magicians, who are forced to test the limits of the imagination and love

How to be famous - Caitlin Moran

How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran

"I'm Johanna Morrigan, and I live in London in 1995, at the epicentre of Britpop. I might only be 19, but I'm wise enough to know everyone around me is handling fame very, very badly. I'm going to use my new monthly column to write about every ridiculous, surreal, amazing aspect of a million people knowing your name. But when my two-night-stand with a comedian goes wrong, people start to know my name for all the wrong reasons."

Book cover: Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

"Julia and Valentina Poole are identical twins who have no interest in college, jobs or anything outside their cosy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn't know existed has died and left them her flat in an apartment block overlooking Highgate Cemetery in London."

Book cover: The Hand that First Held Mine

The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell

"When the bohemian, sophisticated Innes Kent turns up by chance on her doorstep, Lexie Sinclair realises she cannot wait any longer for her life to begin, and leaves for London. There, at the heart of the 1950s Soho art scene, she carves out a new life for herself, with Innes at her side."

Book cover: The rook

The rook by Daniel O'Malley

'The body you are wearing used to be mine.' So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she wakes in a park surrounded by bodies wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down those who want to destroy her.

The thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage - Syidney Padua

The Thrilling Adventurs of Lovelace and Babbage (Graphic Novel) by Sydney Padua

"Meet two of Victorian London's greatest geniuses... Ada Lovelace: mathematician, gambler, and proto-programmer; and Charles Babbage: eccentric inventor of the Difference Engine. In a delightful alternate reality, Lovelace and Babbage use the Difference Engine to create runaway economic models, battle the scourge of spelling errors, explore the wider realms of mathematics and, of course, fight crime - for the sake of both London and science."

Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

"According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a fussy angel and a fast-living demon aren't actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist."

Book cover: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

"In 1883, Thaniel Steepleton returns to his tiny flat to find the lock picked and a gold pocketwatch on his pillow. When the watch saves Thaniel's life from an attack on parliament, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori - a kind, lonely immigrant. Although Mori seems harmless at first, a chain of slips soon proves that he must be hiding something."

Book cover: The ruby in the smoke

The ruby in the smoke by Philip Pullman

Soon after Sally Lockhart's father drowns at sea, she receives an anonymous letter. The warning it contains makes a man die of fear at her feet. Determined to discover the truth about her father's death, Sally is plunged into a terrifying mystery in the dark heart of Victorian London, at the centre of which lies a deadly blood-soaked jewel.

Book cover: The corset

The corset by Laura Purcell

Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder. When Dorothea's charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she finds herself drawn to Ruth, a teenage seamstress - and self-confessed murderess - who nurses a dark and uncanny secret. A secret that is leading her straight to the gallows. As Ruth reveals her disturbing past to Dorothea, the fates of these two women entwine, and with every revelation, a new layer of doubt is cast. Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

Book cover: The Antipope

The Antipope by Robert Rankin

"You could say it all started with the red-eyed tramp with the slimy fingers who put the wind up Neville, the part-time barman, something rotten. Or when Archroy's wife swapped his trusty Morris Minor for five magic beansPooley and Omally, stars of the Brentford Labour Exchange and the Flying Swan, want nothing to do with it. Pope Alexander VI, last of the Borgias, has other ideas... "

Confessions of the Fox - Jordy Rosenberg

Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg

"Jack Sheppard - a transgender carpenter's apprentice - has fled his master's house to become a notorious prison break artist, and Bess Munshi has escaped the draining of the fenlands to become a revolutionary mastermind. Now they find themselves at the centre of a web of corruption leading back to the dreaded Thief-Catcher General - or so we are told in a mysterious manuscript unearthed by one Professor R. Voth."

Book cover: London

London by Edward Rutherfurd

"In this novel Edward Rutherfurd takes the reader on a magnificent journey across sixteen centuries from the days of the Romans to the Victorian engineers of Tower Bridge and the era dockland development of today. Through the lives and adventures of his colourful cast of characters he brings all the richness of London's past unforgettably to life."

A darker shade of magic - V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

"Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers - magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There's Grey London, home to the mad king George III. There's Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London."

Book cover: The Lonely Londoners

The Lonely Londonders by Samuel Selvon

"From the brilliant, sharp, witty pen of Sam Selvon, this is a classic award-winning novel of immigrant life in London in the 1950s."

Book cover: The Book of Dave

The Book of Dave by Will Self

"The Book of Dave is based around the rants of Dave Rudman - a disgruntled East End taxi driver - who writes his woes down and buries them, only to have them discovered 500 years later and used as the sacred text for a religion that has taken hold in the flooded remnants of London."

An Equal Music - Vikram Seth

An Equal Music by Vikram Seth

"Set in the present day, with flashbacks, An Equal Music is a story about deafness, the perils of excessive love, the curious matter of nationality and how it affects lives and relationships."

Book cover: Home Fire

Home Fire by Kamila Shamshie

"Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings, she is finally studying in America. But she can't stop worrying about her headstrong sister back in London - or their brother, who's determined to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. Then Eamonn, son of a powerful British Muslim politician, enters their lives. Is he to be a chance at love?"

Book cover: The Bone Season

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Nineteen-year-old Paige is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped. She is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die

Run, Riot - Nikesh Shukla

Run, Riot by Nikesh Shukla

"Taran and her twin Hari never wanted to move to Firestone House. But when the rent was doubled overnight and Dad's chemo meant he couldn't work, they had to make this tower block their home. When they start noticing boarded-up flats and glossy fliers for expensive apartments, they don't think much of it - until Hari is caught up in a tragedy. It's up to the teenagers to uncover the sinister truth behind what's going on in the block, before it blows their world apart."

Book cover: NW

NW by Zadie Smith

"Zadie Smith's tragi-comic NW follows four Londoners after they've left their childhood council estate, grown up and moved on to different lives. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their city is brutal, beautiful and complicated. Yet after a chance encounter they each find that the choices they've made, the people they once were and are now, can suddenly, rapidly unravel."

Book cover: Swing Time

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

"Two girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either."

Book cover: White Teeth

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

"White Teeth is a comic epic of multicultural Britain by one of the most exciting young writers of 2000. It tells the story of immigrants in England over a period of 40 years."

Book cover: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

"In seeking to discover his inner self, the brilliant Dr Jekyll discovers a monster. First published to critical acclaim in 1886, this mesmerising thriller is a terrifying study of the duality of man's nature, and it is the book which established Stevenson's reputation as a writer."

Book cover: Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins by Pamela Lyndon Travers

The Banks children, Jane and Michael, change nannies just about as often as most people change their clothes. It's not that they're naughty, exactly - just awkward. Everyone in the household is at their wits' end with them - until Mary Poppins arrives

Book cover: The Road Home

The Road Home by Rose Tremain

"Lev is on his way from Eastern Europe to Britain, seeking work. Behind him loom the figures of his dead wife, his beloved young daughter and his outrageous friend Rudi who lives largely for his battered Chevrolet. Ahead of Lev lies the deep strangeness of the British. London holds out the alluring possibility of friendship, sex, money, a new career and, if Lev is lucky, a new sense of belonging."

A Thousand Paper Birds - Tor Udall

A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall

"After the sudden death of his wife, Audrey, Jonah sits on a bench in Kew Gardens, trying to reassemble the shattered pieces of his life. Chloe finds solace in the origami she meticulously folds. Milly, a child quick to laugh, freely roams Kew. Harry's purpose is to save plants from extinction. Audrey links these strangers together. As the mystery of her death unravels, the characters journey through the seasons to learn that stories, like paper, can be refolded and reformed."

Book cover: Fingersmith

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

"London 1862. Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves under the rough but loving care of Mrs Sucksby. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue's fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away. Sue is persuaded to pose as a lady's maid to rob this young heiress of her fortune, but soon she begins care for her helpless mark in unexpected ways."

Book cover: Mrs Dalloway

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

"This novel explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman's life. Virginia Woolf is direct and vivid in her account of the details of Clarissa Dalloway's preparation for a party."

Book cover: 24 Panels

24 Panels (Graphic Novel)

"In June 2017, the Grenfell fire killed 72 people in a 24-story tower block in West London. 24 PANELS is an anthology comic to support the PTSD needs of the survivors. It features 24 stories, each no longer than 24 panels. Half drawn from professional creators who volunteered their time and half drawn from open submissions, 24 PANELS is about community, hope, and (most of all) raising as much money as possible."

Where can I find the collection?

The London Fiction Collection is located on the Ground Floor of the Paul Hamlyn Library, next to the Reservations shelf and self-service machines.

Photograph of the London Fiction Collection bookshelf

You can also view all the titles on our Reading List.

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Find out more about the authors and their books...

Book reviews

Clare recommends... How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Photograph of Clare reading 'How to Stop Time' by Matt Haig

"Tom Hazard has a secret condition. He is 400 years old but doesn’t look a day over 41. How to Stop Time is a chronologically bending love story that is both moving and exhilarating. Great for lovers of both historical and contemporary fiction. Apparently, Benedict Cumberbatch is going to star in the film. Must be good!"

Angela recommends... Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Photo of Angela holding a copy of 'Rivers of London' by Ben Aaronovitch

"Part urban fantasy, part police procedural, Rivers of London is told from the PoV of a mixed race North London boy, a new Police Constable who’s just discovered that ghosts don’t make very reliable crime-scene witnesses. If you know – or want to know – London and like your mystery with a bit of magic you’ll love this"

Carmella recommends... Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Photo of Carmella holding a copy of 'Fingersmith' by Sarah Waters in front of her face

"Fingersmith is the perfect neo-Gothic novel. Set in and around Dickensian London, it has all the suspense, mystery, excitement and romance that comes with the setting, plus the one thing missing from Dickens - two women falling in love. Not to mention that plot-twist half-way through... you'll never see it coming!"

Hanna recommends... A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo

Photo of Hanna Reading 'A Concise Chinese-English Dicitonary for Lovers' by Xiaolu Guo

Julian recommends... Capital by John Lanchester

"A highly readable and entertaining look at the experience of a group of Londoners from vastly different backgrounds following the financial crash of 2008. What links them all; rich and poor, is a single street, and a mystery. Just who is sending the “We want what you have” anonymous messages to everyone?"

Sarah recommends... Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

"Where does home lie? Home Fire is a novel by Kamila Shamsie set in modern day Wembley. Aneeka and Parvaiz are adult twins who live with their older sister Isma. The family share a dark secret; their father was a jihadist who was died under torture in Afghanistan. Parvaiz grows up a geeky, gentle boy who becomes radicalised. He secretly joins ISIS, and flees to Syria, trying to live up to the father he never knew. Too late, Parvaiz  realises he has made a big mistake.  The UK declare Parvaiz an enemy of the state. He is trapped. The story hinges on Aneeka – can she get him home?. 

Home Fire  works on many levels – it re-tells Sophocle’s play Antigone in a modern setting but it’s also a family story. As a child of immigrant parents myself, what I really liked about Home Fire is the complex viewpoints and voices of the characters. Home is both safe and unsafe; the UK is all Aneeka and Parvaiz know, yet it does not know them. The ending is one of the most memorable final scenes I’ve read. I’d highly recommend it."

Davina recommends... The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Strike and Robin Ellacott are 2 engaging characters that I warmed to instantly. The story is fast paced & intriguing but for me it was the development of Robin's character in the story that was the highlight. I am hooked on the series now and have loved all the following books.