Thumping Good Read Award 2018

27th June 2018

From 1992 to 2003, WH Smith ran the Thumping Good Read Award, that helped to launch the careers of Lee Child and David Baldacci.

The award celebrated the most popular books of the year and helped WH Smith’s customers find the one book that they couldn’t put down! With so many good books on the shelves, the store decided to bring back the Award.

Your Vote Counts

The winning author will receive a £10,000 prize fund and, unlike other major book prizes, you – the readers – can help choose the winner. Your vote accounts for 50% of the total prize, with two of WH Smith’s favourite authors – Jojo Moyes and Peter James – deciding the other half. The shortlisted titles for the Thumping Good Read Award are:

Capture Or Kill by Tom Marcus

Tom Marcus, author of Soldier Spy, brings his first foray into fiction – he first in a new series centring around MI5 agent Matt Logan. In Capture or Kill Logan is recruited into a new not-officially-sanctioned group ‘Blindeye’. Their first mission is to hunt down terrorists ‘Iron Sword’ and ‘Stone Fist’ – but they must avoid their previous MI5 colleagues while they do.

“One thing I really love about this book is the ring of authenticity Tom Marcus brings to it. You just know who are in the hands of an author who knows his stuff and for me that is one of the most important aspects of any novel. It is an easy page-turning read. I enjoyed it.” – Peter James – Thumping Good Read Judge

Sail Away by Celia Imrie

Suzy Marshall, once the star of Hit 80’s TV Series Dahlia’s, is struggling to find work. Jumping at the chance to play Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest she soon finds herself stranded in Zurich with no play, no money and no way of getting home, until she secures herself a position on a cruise ship… sailing into trouble!

“I enjoyed reading this and there is a lot to like. It is gentle, fun, with some wry humour, and the story is engaging, with two good central characters, Suzy and Amanda. I particularly liked the world of the touring theatre which of course, with Celia’s background, she captured to a T. The angst of the acting profession for someone at the bottom of the C-list scraping a living was really brilliantly and wryly portrayed, and the horror of standing, feeling ill-prepared, in front of an expectant cruise ship audience is wonderfully cringy.” – Peter James

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Young widow Elsie heads to The Bridge, the long-neglected country estate of her husband’s family. Once she arrives, she and the skeleton staff of maids start to experience some strange going-ons including the mysterious ‘Companions’ – painted pieces of wood in the shape of people that appear around the house, seemingly able to move by themselves. One of them even beers a striking resemblance to Elsie herself.

“I adored this book. It has stayed with me for ages, and I slightly wish it hadn’t. Full of striking imagery, terrifying scenes (the splinters!) and it left me with a really horrible aftertaste (I mean that as a compliment). The final twist made me gasp. Tonally consistent and neatly structured. Really well done.” – Jojo Moyes – Thumping Good Read Judge

Guess Who by Chris McGeorge

One Room. Five Suspects. Three hours to find a killer. TV Detective/Chat show host Morgan Sheppard awakes in a room with no idea how he got there. Five strangers are with him as well as one dead body…

“An interesting spin on the classic locked door scenario. Chris McGeorge clearly has a great amount of talent, which shines in the boyhood friendship relationship. I will be really interested to see anything new that McGeorge writes.” – Peter James

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Audra is travelling across America with her two children, desperate to escape from her abusive husband. In the middle of nowhere, a cop pulls her over, writing her up for her car being overloaded. When he starts to shift the weight from her car to his, he finds some drugs – too much for personal use. He arrests her and takes her to the small town police station nearby. When she demands to see her children, he tells her there weren’t any kids in the car…

“Absolutely cracking premise – really got me thinking. I was hooked from chapter one and loved the ‘what if’ nature of the story. I kept putting myself in Audra’s shoes – always a good sign. How would you get anyone to believe you when the more you protest, the crazier you sound? The book’s tone and solid pace and plotting reminded me of Lee Child – always a good thing.” – Jojo Moyes

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

Emily meets Adam on a night out and they have a whirlwind romance – one where everything seems just too good to be true! It’s only when they make arrangements to meet Adam’s mother Pammie that things start to seem like they might not be quite so perfect after all…

“This had a nice twist. I enjoyed the increasingly barbed exchanges between the mother and the prospective daughter in law – I think a lot of readers will probably identify with events in the book!” – Jojo Moyes

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus

Five students go into detention but only one of them comes out alive. At first what seems like a tragic accident begins to spiral out of control until the four remaining students all find themselves under suspicion. Thrown together, the unlikely group start working together to try and find out what really happened to Simon – the school’s king of gossip.

“I loved this. I believed in all the characters and couldn’t tell where it was going, right up to the last. And I was surprisingly invested in the love story. A compelling read that I couldn’t put down, peppered with characters who seemed like people I might actually meet in real life.”  – Jojo Moyes

Vote Now

You can browse and buy the above titles at WH Smith in Garden Square and you can vote for your Thumping Good Read Award Winner.

Voting closes at 5pm on Friday 6th July, so be quick!


Source: WH Smith