Books by Shelley Harris

Vigilante_hb final02Vigilante (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2015)

Jenny Pepper never expected to end up like this. Tired of her job and the domestic grind, and bewildered by her teenage daughter, one night Jenny stumbles into a vigilante rescue. Suddenly her world is exciting again – and she’s a hero. In the costume, she can be anyone she wants. And so her secret life begins. But when a real villain appears, Jenny’s need for adventure begins to cost her dearly. As she starts to see less and less clearly through the mask, she finds her fantasy life becoming frighteningly real.

We all want to be extraordinary, and we all have a moment in our lives when we realise that we’re not. Vigilante is about a woman who refuses to accept it gracefully…

‘This is a novel that, without worthiness, touches on everything from the sexualisation of schoolgirls to the misogyny of comics. Shelley Harris’s debut, Jubilee, was a bestseller, and her entertaining follow-up deserves to match its success’ The Daily Mail

Jenny’s bravery is nothing if not inspiring. Aside from the backdrop of superheroism, the themes of boredom, relationship woes and a sense of dissatisfaction with everyday life are common to all of us’ Heat

‘Book of the Month: Bored with her life, she gives herself a kick-ass makeover and, dressed in cape and mask, pursues a secret life as a small-town vigilante – until a girl is brutally attacked and her fantasy world becomes reality’ Sunday Express

‘Her writing about the more ubiquitous trials of middle age and parenthood fuses the wryly familiar with flashes of poetry, and the plot’s thriller elements convey a real sense of jeopardy’ Press Association

‘A great idea, beautifully handled. Jenny is a wonderful character and the tale builds to a surprise ending. Hugely enjoyable’. Lovereading

‘I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in ages…Jenny is brave and admirable, the kick-ass superhero we all want to be on the inside’ Bookbag

‘Entertainment wrapped round a tense thriller’ The Times

‘Kick-Ass for small-town mothers…fuses the wryly familiar with flashes of poetry, and the plot’s thriller elements convey a real sense of jeopardy…worked through with charm and verve’ The Irish Examiner

‘Shelley Harris’ writing is witty and beautifully poignant. Vigilante is shocking, empowering and hilariously funny throughout’ We Love This Book

‘A quirky, entertaining read – I loved it’ Woman and Home



Jubilee (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2011)

It is 1977, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and a photographer captures a moment forever: a street party with bunting and Union Jacks fluttering in the breeze. Right in the centre of the frame, a small Asian boy stares intently into the camera. The photograph becomes iconic, a symbol of everything that is great about Britain. But the harmonious image conceals a very different reality. Amid the party food and the platform shoes, the pop music and the punk, there are tensions in the Cherry Gardens community. As the street party begins, those tensions threaten to erupt. Fast forward to the present and the boy, Satish, has become a successful cardiologist, saving lives, respected by those around him. But he is living with a secret. When Satish is asked to take part in a reunion of those involved in that Jubilee photograph, he must confront the truth about that day, and the events that changed the course of his life.

  • Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize 2012

  • Radio 4 Book at Bedtime

  • Selected for Richard and Judy Summer Book Club 2012

‘A new novelist whose next book you are already impatient to read’ The Guardian

‘This deft and moving debut offers more than Seventies nostalgia’ i-newspaper

‘Boldly plotted and confidently executed, its momentum maintained to the end’ The Daily Mail

About Shelley Harris