Six paperbacks

RRP £53.94

Six of the Best: Lightning Fiction Debuts

Lightning Authors


Some of the finest debut fiction from Lightning Books

We have packaged together six of our finest fiction debuts from the past four years. The bundle consists of:

The Industry of Human Happiness, James Hall’s page-turning melodrama set against the backdrop of the ‘format wars’ at the birth of recorded sound; gripping and historically enthralling

Their Brilliant Careers, a hilarious collection of biographies of Australian literary giants (all fictitious), fitting together to form an ingenious shadow narrative; written by Scottish-born Ryan O‘Neill, it won the Australian Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction

The Hopkins Conundrum by Simon Edge, based on the life of Gerard Manley Hopkins and the doomed nuns in his most famous poem, and framed within a satire on the Da Vinci Code industry; it shouldn’t work, but it does

Beneath the Streets by Adam Macqueen, set in the Soho underworld of the 1970s, imagining what might have happened if Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe had succeeded in his plot to kill his male ex-lover; its sting in the tail reminds us that the truth can be just as chilling as fiction

Wolf Country, the debut novel from Hungarian-born Tünde Farrand; set in a world where ageing has been abolished in favour of blissful euthanasia, it has now been published in four other languages

The Antipodeans, Greg McGee’s three-generation saga about New Zealand prisoners-of-war in Northern Italy spent a year in the New Zealand bestseller charts and was longlisted for that country’s main literary prize.






‘A fascinating novel set in a fascinating world’

Robert Elms on The Industry of Human Happiness

‘Absolutely enthralling. This musical, erudite roller-coaster of a book immerses you in the sights, smells and above all the sounds of 1890s London and beyond, so that you too are walking along the streets’

Rosamund Lupton on The Industry of Human Happiness

‘It’s glorious. So funny and clever and entertaining’

Marian Keyes on Their Brilliant Careers

‘A brilliant work of fiction’

Stewart Lee on Their Brilliant Careers

‘I love this novel. It pulls off the three-card trick of being entertaining, genuinely touching, and a fascinating insight into Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry’

Harriett Gilbert on The Hopkins Conundrum

‘A splendid mix of literary detection, historical description and contemporary romance. Edge’s witty debunking of the Vatican conspiracy genre will appeal equally to fans and detractors of Dan Brown‘

Michael Arditti on The Hopkins Conundrum

‘A breathtaking, heartbreaking thriller’

Jake Arnott on Beneath the Streets

‘A page-turning mystery, skilfully plotted and filled with tension’

Paul Burston on Beneath the Streets

‘A chilling and politically astute dystopia – sci-fi in the tradition of John Wyndham’

Jane Rogers on Wolf Country

‘A truly engrossing and superbly woven tale, The Antipodeans is a spellbinding read. Bravissimo!’

Ian Thornton on The Antipodeans

‘Like a Venetian Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.... you won’t want to put it down’

Simon Edge on The Antipodeans


‘A grim cautionary tale about the dangers of obsession. Hall’s deep understanding and fondness for his subject comes crackling out of every page’

Daily Telegraph on The Industry of Human Happiness

‘A brilliantly pacy, page-turning thriller... absolutely cries out for an ambitious producer to turn it into a TV series or movie’

Crime Review on The Industry of Human Happiness

‘Blackly hilarious and structurally audacious ... it offers something strange and often wonderful, a wildly inventive and formally dazzling reworking of both the tropes and traditions of Australian literature, and by extension Australian culture more generally’

The Spectator on Their Brilliant Careers

‘A divine satire on the narcissism of the literary world’

The i Paper on Their Brilliant Careers

‘Seesaws between comedy and calamity, present and past – a novel enjoyable on every level’

Daily Express on The Hopkins Conundrum

‘A pleasurable literary thriller. Edge wears his Hopkins learning lightly‘

The Spectator on The Hopkins Conundrum


The i Paper (top debut novels of 2019)  on Wolf Country

‘Farrand absolutely nails dystopia and its unsettling predictions, with incredible writing’

Buzz Magazine on Wolf Country

‘Finding out how the past has shaped and informed the present gives this enthralling book the tautness of a thriller ... Remarkable’

New Zealand Listener on The Antipodeans



Lightning Authors

selected works

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