All engrossing, pure escapist, nail-biting anxiety, mind bending terror and psychological twists. We’re not sure why it’s so appealing. Good though, isn’t it! You might also like to browse our Crime and Mystery category.
SOMETIMES THE TRUTH IS NOT ALL IT SEEMS... SOMETIMES A CONFESSION IS JUST THE BEGINNING... NOW A NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER 'Brilliant' BA Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown 'Chilling' Sunday Times 'Enthralling' JP Delaney, author of The Girl Before 'Compulsive' Sunday Mirror 'Addictive' Michelle Frances, author of The Girlfriend ********** Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. It looks like Harry's many sins - corruption, greed, betrayal - have finally caught up with him. An hour later the intruder, JP Carney, hands himself in, confessing to the assault. The police have a victim, a suspect in custody and an eye-witness account, but Julie remains troubled. Has Carney's surrender really been driven by a guilty conscience or is this confession the first calculated move in a deadly game? THE MOST GRIPPING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER OF 2018: PERFECT FOR FANS OF THEN SHE WAS GONE AND THE GOOD DAUGHTER. ********** 'Brutal' Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle 'Gripping' Best 'Jaw-dropping' Chris Whitaker, author of Tall Oaks 'Vivid' Irish Times 'Fabulous' Amanda Jennings, author of In Her Wake 'A contender for the most arresting opening paragraph of the year' Sunday Express
Cloaking herself in Christie’s Poirot mantle for the third time, bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah here presents Hercule Poirot with something of a peculiarly personal puzzle. Our loveable hero is left feeling somewhat perplexed when an agitated middle-aged woman - “a whirlwind most fierce” – demands to know why he sent her a letter accusing her of killing a certain Barnabas Pandy. And then a second person presents themselves, demanding to know the very same thing. Mon dieu! Poirot has no idea who Pandy is, or why someone is sending these letters in his name, and so a thrillingly unpredictable mystery unfolds. The writing is elegant, suffused with the spirit of, and reverence for, Poirot’s creator, and this makes for an entertainingly satisfying experience.
Silence can be deafening. Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins. Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you're a woman. Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write. For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning...
You can feel it in the woods, in the school and in the playground; you can feel it in the houses and at the fairground. You can feel it in most places in the small town of Anderbury . . . the fear that something or someone is watching you. It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man. He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body. Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure. Is history going to repeat itself? Was it ever really over? Will this game only end in the same way?
We are in a small English town, big enough for a hospital and strong police presence but small enough for everyone to know everyone's business. 20 years ago a teenager girl went missing. Our protagonist, Naomi is blind, still in love with her ex-husband and suicidal. Twice she goes to the cliff top to contemplate jumping. On her way home in a depressed state she stumbles upon a recently murdered girl and possibly disturbs the murderer. The investigating police seem, as far as the new DS Marcus Campbell can tell, to be hiding something and he clashes badly with his superior, DI Lisa Elliott. Tension runs high and we the reader, are as involved with the machinations within the police force, as we are with finding the murderer. Then there is another body, a young female police officer. Why? During a fierce and physically violent argument between Naomi and her ex-husband's new girlfriend, a third murder is attempted, only this time the victim lives. This is a complicated, intriguing and multi-layered thriller. A fast paced tale that really keeps you guessing and then turns everything on its end in the final chapter.
While staying in a Dorset cottage, Hugh Mullion finds a mysterious key down the side of an antique chair. No one can say how long the key has been there or what it opens. Hugh's search for answers will unlock the secrets of the troubled life of a talented artist, destined to be hailed a neglected genius fifty years too late. And no secret is darker than that of The Amber Maze, from whose malign influence he never escaped. The trail takes Hugh from Edwardian Oxfordshire to 1960s Camden Town, where the ghosts of the past are finally laid to rest. Delicately crafted noir fiction at its best.
‘Pieces of Her’ blew me away, it’s sharp, edgy, compulsive reading. I foolishly started to read late in the evening and ended up keeping the early hours company for some time as I simply couldn’t put it down! 31 year old Andrea finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about her mum Laura when a birthday trip ends in horrific violence, further danger rushes in and Andy desperately needs to find answers. The prologue encourages intrigue to bubble away nicely then, oh my word… chapter one! Chapter one brilliantly sets the scene before exploding in the most shocking way, I gulped, settled further into my chair and just read. Karin Slaughter has the ability to set the page on fire, she fans the flames, and I needed my wits about me as the time frame changed and left my understanding floating for a while, searching for answers. Andy and Laura are fascinating characters, they challenged my thoughts and feelings in the best possible way. Incredibly stimulating and enthralling ‘Pieces of Her’ has left me on a heart-hammering reading high!
So deeply dark (and satisfying) this book just might locate a tad of the dark side in you too. Rhiannon is back! If that doesn’t mean anything to you, stop here and do not pass go, head straight out and buy yourself a copy of Sweetpea first. You have to read Sweetpea (one of my books of 2017) followed by In Bloom (which will be one of my books of 2018) because there is no other way. I simply adored the shock-fest that introduces serial killer Rhiannon and wondered how on earth C. J. Skuse could top the thrill of discovering Rhiannon for the first time. The answer is that I fell head long into the story and refused to come up for air until I had finished, I found a darker, and perhaps if possible, a more provocative read, though one that still delivers killer blows of humour. Quite how the writing doesn’t tip over into a farcical blood-bath I’m not sure, it just proves the beautiful balanced touch to the writing that encourages thought, while inducing cackles. The truly fabulous kill list continues, more of Rhiannon’s back story is revealed, a certain little voice adds a delicious note of reasoned absurdity, and oh my word that ending! Trampling over conventionality and kicking conscience in the face, In Bloom is an immensely powerful and stimulating read.
This is a fact: Ryan Summers walked into Three Rivers College and killed thirteen women, then himself. But no one can say why. The question is one that cries out to be answered - by Ryan's mother, Moira; by Ishbel, the mother of Abigail, the first victim; and by DI Helen Birch, put in charge of the case on her first day at her new job. But as the tabloids and the media swarm, as the families' secrets come out, as the world searches for someone to blame... the truth seems to vanish. A stunningly moving novel from an exciting new voice in crime, ALL THE HIDDEN TRUTHS will cause you to question your assumptions about the people you love, and reconsider how the world reacts to tragedy.
Gosh, what a striking and chillingly provocative tale this is. Geo’s best friend disappeared when they were 16, 14 years later a body is found, a serial killer is suspected, Geo knows the truth, has always known the truth, but then the murders start again. This has such a clever premise, the choices Geo made at 16 continue to play havoc, I questioned her, and my own thoughts and feelings about her as I read. I was wholly consumed by the writing, Jennifer Hillier has created a world that feels entirely real, I was taken inside the words, to think and feel and ponder. This isn’t about good and evil, or even whether monsters are born or created, it felt to me as though it was about decisions, choices, hearts and minds, in very, very human bodies. The climax sent a shockwave through me, when I reached the end I was left feeling unsettled, in the best possible way. ‘Jar of Hearts’ is an observant, penetrating read, one that grabs and shakes you, and leaves you thinking about the characters for a goodly while afterwards. Highly recommended.
Some secrets have the power to tear a family apart . . . Moments before she dies, Nicola's grandmother Betty whispers to her that there are babies at the bottom of the garden. Nicola reassures her that it is two statues of fairies she has in the garden, but Betty insists there are babies. Nicola's mother Irene claims Betty was talking nonsense, but Nicola is not so sure. And when, after the funeral, her daughter Maisie finds a bone while playing by the fairy statues, Nicola knows that something sinister has taken place. But will unearthing painful family secrets end up tearing Nicola's family apart?
An electrifying and riveting tale, my thoughts and feelings were captured from the moment I opened ‘Watching You’. Joey returns home to Bristol, she soon becomes rather obsessed with an older man, however doesn’t realise that while she is watching him, someone else is watching her. I was absolutely thrilled to hear I would be reviewing Lisa Jewell (sharp elbows and pushing to the front of the queue may have been involved), as her books have the ability to really get under my skin. Intrigue and suspicion smiled slyly as they settled over the first page and prologue. I adored the way this book opened out in front of me, tight fast moving chapters created a throbbing energy which played havoc with my emotions. I met each character with a certain amount of uncertainty, weighing, judging, evaluating as I got to know them. Information is steadily and exquisitely revealed, a beautiful balance is maintained, keeping thoughts on a knife edge. ‘Watching You’ is a completely wonderful, intensely satisfying tale. I can highly recommend just letting go and sinking into the pages, be warned though, I didn’t want to come up for air and it was a one-sitting read for me.
It was supposed to be a final celebration for six British graduates, a French getaway, until she arrived. As they leave Oxford five privileged graduates and one grammar school girl go to a French farmhouse owned by the family of one. Next door is a French girl who has a habit of using their swimming pool. Ten years later her body is found in the well of the farmhouse. The six were the last to see her alive. Naturally the French detective needs to interview them. So the drama unfolds as we are introduced to the five (one was killed in Afghanistan) their present lives, their relationships with each other and their pasts. Rivalry and jealousy erupt and as the investigation mounts and begins to effect their working lives so they begin to doubt one another's memories of that last night in France, a night when a huge row occurred. This is suspenseful stuff full of red herrings and different perceptions of one fateful night.
Full of intrigue ‘11 Missed Calls’ weaves separate intriguing strands into a taut fascinating tale of family drama. Anna’s mum Debbie disappeared 30 years ago when Anna was just a month old, she has spent her whole life wondering what became of her, then a strange letter arrives and Anna wants answers. Elisabeth Carpenter handles the story with care and attention, focusing on thoughts and feelings, where they can take you, what they can become. The past sets traps as the present slips forward. Two women tell their own story, each chapter headed by one of them, then another voice starts to speak, who is it? As information was revealed and thoughts became clearer, a number of questions still knocked at the door of my consciousness. Prodding, poking and shaking feelings ‘11 Missed Calls’ is a stimulating and thoughtful psychological thriller.
'BREATHLESS, COMPLEX, AND SERIOUSLY HARDCORE - DON'T PLAN TO SLEEP TONIGHT' Lee Child 'A RIVETING PAGE-TURNER, A GRUESOME DELIGHT, AND A STUDY OF WHAT LIES IN THE SHADOWED CORNERS OF THE HUMAN HEART' Gregg Hurwitz, author of ORPHAN X Officially, Max McLean doesn't exist. The British government denies all knowledge of the work he does on their behalf to keep us safe. But Max and his masters are losing faith in each other. And they've given him one last chance to prove he's still their man. Sent to a military research facility to meet a former comrade-in-arms, Max finds the bravest man he ever knew locked up for his own protection. His friend lost his mind during an operation in West Africa. The reason? Absolute mortal terror. Max is determined to find out why. Ahead lies a perilous, breathtaking mission into the unknown that will call into question everything that Max once believed in. Acting alone, without back-up, Max lands in Sierra Leone with his friend's last words ringing in his ears: 'They're coming, Max. They're coming . . .' The Break Line is a debut dripping with authenticity and menace. Smart, unputdownable and packed with irresistible set pieces and jaw-dropping plot twists, this is a thriller like no other. 'A taut, razor-edged thriller, packed with granular detail and authenticity' JAMES SWALLOW, author of NOMAD
Charley has a strange feeling when she sees the idyllic mill house with its cluster of outbuildings, the lake and the swirling mill stream; a powerful sense of recognition, as if she has been there before. Except she knows she hasn't. After Charley and her husband Tom move into Elmwood Mill, sinister memories of a previous existence start to haunt her. Despite both their attempts to dismiss everything with rational explanations, the feeling turns to certainty as the memories become increasingly vivid and terrifying. Charley is persuaded to undergo hypnosis - but in searching deep into her past, she will soon fear her future. Originally published in 1990, this book has been re-issued and published by Orion in paperback in July 2018.
A short, sharp, shock of read and it’s absolutely fabulous! Maxwell is determined to win his ex-wife Lily back even though she has moved on and found love with Sebastian, jealousy, spite, and rage enter their lives, laying waste. This is just so incredibly easy to read, even though the prologue cranks up the tension, and each chapter adds a whip-crack of suspense I simply galloped my way through ‘Do No Harm’. L. V. Hay has created characters who entered my mind in vibrant colourful intensity, the different points of view clear to see and feel yet disquiet fills the pages. Maxwell’s conversational diary-like entries as he makes his feelings clear slices through the new relationship. My thoughts almost turned themselves inside out as I read and the ending… oooh that ending! ‘Do No Harm’ is a little cracker, bursting with fiery energy, it certainly creates a stir.
A hammer-hard blast of a novel set in the underworld of Essex. Alfie and Vaughn return from Spain looking to become kingpins in the world of crime, however the local criminals are already forming a queue ready to take them down. Jacqui Rose immediately sets the action loose in a fast-paced wild ride and I just leapt straight in. There are characters full of bravado and swagger who set the pages on fire. The chapters are short, snappy, and full of menace. I raised my eyebrows and smirked at the brilliantly snarky quips and retorts. A mystery of whispers from the past gather to meet the present setting up a tidal wave, ready to crash into the ending. ‘Toxic' comes with shocks a plenty and a tommy gun of wise-cracking comebacks, plus there is a particular storyline ready to melt hearts, all resulting in a captivating, absolutely cracking read.
A corkscrewing, fascinating, beautifully eloquent crime mystery. Psychologist and hypnotist James Cobb is asked to help a dying man who 40 years ago woke in a hotel room to find a dead body and no memory of what had happened. As he sinks deeper into the past searching for answers, Cobb finds his own history haunting his present. I was already fascinated by the synopsis, the prologue fully captured my attention and refused to let it go. The further I read the more question marks floated into my mind and took up residence. I felt unsettled as thoughts popped and sparked around me, making me consider and ponder possibilities. E. O. Chirovici writes with a provocative, thoughtful and undeniably elegant pen. I loved where this book took me, how it made me think. ‘Bad Blood’ is compelling, unusual, and full of surprises which left a searing imprint on my mind, and so I thoroughly recommend this fabulous read.
Ooh, this is a sharp, highly entertaining yet provocative read. Imogen unexpectedly stands up to her ex-husband with far-reaching results, but what is she meant to do now and how can she protect her son? The first chapter brilliantly introduced the story, a few pages set my thoughts running amok and stirred up a hornets nest of intrigue. Jo Jakeman sets in motion a hugely effective countdown at the beginning of each chapter which keeps the tension cranked up high. The characters vividly lit up my mind as they bypassed sensible and began to run down desperation. As I read I questioned the lengths I would go to, to protect those I love. I found myself so involved with the storyline, at times I had to stop myself from forming a cheerleading squad! ‘Sticks and Stones’ is compulsive, addictive, heart in mouth stuff, I suggest popping reality to one side and just launching yourself straight in.
End Game is the fifth book in the thrilling Will Robie series by international number one bestselling author David Baldacci. Will Robie, highly trained assassin and the US government's most indispensable asset, is called to London. An imminent terrorist attack threatens the Underground and with the US next in line, Robie is the perfect choice to stop it before it begins. He knows he has one chance to succeed. One chance to save London. One chance to make it safely home to find out what has happened to fellow agent Jessica Reel following their last deadly mission together. But Robie is about to learn that even if he succeeds, the worst is yet to come. The game has started. Now only he can end it . . .
Sunday Times #1 Bestseller New York Times #1 Bestseller The global bestseller - Origin is the latest Robert Langdon novel from the author of The Da Vinci Code. 'Fans will not be disappointed' The Times Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of an astonishing scientific breakthrough. The evening's host is billionaire Edmond Kirsch, a futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. But Langdon and several hundred guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is suddenly blown apart. There is a real danger that Kirsch's precious discovery may be lost in the ensuing chaos. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao, taking with him the museum's director, Ambra Vidal. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch's secret. To evade a devious enemy who is one step ahead of them at every turn, Langdon and Vidal must navigate the labyrinthine passageways of extreme religion and hidden history. On a trail marked only by enigmatic symbols and elusive modern art, Langdon and Vidal will come face-to-face with a breathtaking truth that has remained buried - until now. `Dan Brown is the master of the intellectual cliffhanger' Wall Street Journal `As engaging a hero as you could wish for' Mail on Sunday `For anyone who wants more brain-food than thrillers normally provide' Sunday Times
A siren-like read, the storyline simply swallowed me whole, it created such tension I could not stop reading! Mac a retired history lecturer who specialises in folklore and oral tradition hires Lucie who is running away from her life, as her Girl-Friday. As the story reveals itself, so does a threatening and deadly presence. The sense of foreboding sent shivers down my arms. While this is a very modern story, it has the feel of a twisted ghostly fairytale as a deep dark power weaves through the pages. Both Mac and Lucie tell their own tales, while another story ensures the past shimmers ever closer, before crashing into the present. I also adored Sandra Ireland’s debut ‘Beneath the Skin’, her writing has the ability to seduce, while creating a slicing piercing energy. I feel as though I was fated to read ‘Bone Deep’, that our paths were meant to cross, it is a chilling, yet absolute treasure of a book - highly recommended.
The electrifying new thriller from Shari Lapena, author of the bestselling novel of the year, The Couple Next Door. `Shari expertly traps you, confounds you and leaves you gasping at the end. More, please . . .' FIONA BARTON 'Tense. Unpredictable. Unputdownable. Shari's novels are domestic noir at its finest' SIMON KERNICK `So many dizzying twists you'd better not drive after reading' LINWOOD BARCLAY `Smart, twisty thriller . . . It's taut, intelligent and compelling' Heat ***** Why would you run scared from a happy home? You're waiting for your beloved husband to get home from work. You're making dinner, looking forward to hearing about his day. That's the last thing you remember. You wake up in hospital, with no idea how you got there. They tell you that you were in an accident; you lost control of your car whilst driving in a dangerous part of town. The police suspect you were up to no good. But your husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend isn't so sure. And even you don't know what to believe . . . ***** Praise for Shari Lapena: 'I thought the read-it-in-one-sitting thing was a cliche. Not any more.' LINWOOD BARCLAY 'Entirely compelling, utterly realistic. You will not see the twists coming.' Daily Mail 'Meticulously crafted and razor sharp.' HARLAN COBEN 'A twisty, utterly riveting tale.' TESS GERRITSEN 'Shari Lapena furnishes a clever array of motives and suspects. The tension is high and remains to the last, stunning page.' The Times
With enough twists and turns to set heads spinning, this is an enthralling read, stuffed full of intrigue and drama. Vicki finds the police on her doorstep asking questions about her ex-husband who has disappeared. She has suffered times of forgetfulness since being diagnosed with epilepsy, will she be able to convince them of her innocence? The women shine brightly in this tale, their heartfelt sincerity sets fire to the page, and yet, and yet… Jane Corry lays bait for your mind and ambushes feelings, and I found myself doubting, suspicious. Slowly and with infinite care and patience, information is revealed, though not necessarily answers, adding to the questions, adding to the suspense. I read this in one sitting, powering my way towards an understanding, and oh how my eyes gleamed at that ending! ‘The Dead Ex’ tampers with thoughts and feelings creating a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying read.
‘Mine’ is a sharply focused, edgy, wonderfully compelling read, where the tension tightens into a lightning ball before powerfully exploding. Lawyer Francine Day begins an affair with client Martin Joy after taking on his divorce, when his wife goes missing danger edges ever closer. The prologue, particularly the first sentence hit me with a whammy, I was instantly hooked. There is a lot of information to take on board, yet I felt alert and energised as I read. My feelings for Fran tossed and turned, the more I learned, the closer I became, and the more real she felt to me. J. L. Butler is a former lawyer and journalist, the credibility of the writing can be felt through every word. Just as a little aside, this particular author also writes under another name (whose bestselling books I adore), I wouldn’t have recognised the writing style as it is so completely different, yet equally as enthralling. As the suspense multiplied, transferring from the page into my mind, I tested my suspicion against the characters, yet still didn’t expect the ending as it hurtled towards me. ‘Mine’ is a delicious serving of fiery drama and chilling darkness, it was a breath-taking non-stop read for me and I can whole-heartedly recommend it.
A cracking premise, straightforward and concise writing, and a story that just gallops along. Derek Flint lives with his mother and spies on the very people he reassures when he fits their home CCTV. He is suspected of crimes that are increasing in number and violence, is he innocent or guilty? This is Lisa Stone’s second novel, she also writes non-fiction under the name of Cathy Glass highlighting her compelling fostering stories. If you love reading her tales of fostering, then do take a look at her novels, as she has the same uncomplicated writing style that takes you straight to the heart of a story. ‘Stalker’ is a readable tale, easy to consume in one sitting, propelling your thoughts one way and then the other, as the tale comes to a close were you right, or very wrong about Derek?
A fun and gripping first in a new series of Scandi-noir - unusually written by a British writer who grew up here but now lives in Sweden. Our heroine - Tuva Moodyson - has also recently moved there, she grew up in rural Sweden but left for the bright lights of London and has returned to near home because her mother hasn't got long to live. Not wanting to give up her career as a journalist she's moved a few hours away from 'home' to work at a local paper. It's pretty sleepy till the entire community is sent reeling when a body is found in the forest during hunting season, shot but with it's eyes removed, no accident and a chilling copy of a spate of murders from twenty years before. Tuva goes on the hunt for the story of her career almost risking everything to find the killer. Adding to the drama is the fact that Tuva is deaf and her ability to both operate without her hearing aids in complete silence when she wants to, and the danger she faces from her hearing aids failing, both up the ante significantly.
A scorching and beautifully written epic tale set in 1348, a time that sends a jagged screech of fingernails down the blackboard of history. Step away from the present into the midst of the Black Death, to overwhelming fear and confusion. The moated centre of one estate in Dorset appears to offer sanctuary, yet the treacherous play of human emotions wreaks havoc. I am a fan of Minette Walters, she has the ability to look behind and beyond the obvious, and she is eminently suited to this new genre. A lot of characters are introduced, yet there is no confusion, each was clear in my mind, known to me and vibrantly alive. The descriptions took me directly through the words and into this compelling story. ‘The Last Hours’ is the first of two novels, it quickly puts down roots and takes hold, ensuring a gripping, striking and remarkably readable tale.
The star of truTV's hit show Impractical Jokers-alongside veteran sci-fi and horror writer Darren Wearmouth-delivers a chilling and wickedly fun supernatural novel in the vein of The Strain, in which a beautiful new subway line in New York City unearths an ancient dark horror that threatens the city's utter destruction and the balance of civilization itself. After years of waiting, New York's newest subway line is finally ready, an express train that connects the city with the burgeoning communities across the Hudson River. The shining jewel of this state-of-the-art line is a breathtaking visitors' pavilion beneath the river. Major dignitaries, including New York City's Mayor and the President of the United States, are in attendance for the inaugural run, as the first train slowly pulls in. Under the station's bright ceiling lights, the shiny silver cars gleam. But as the train comes closer into view, a far different scene becomes visible. All the train's cars are empty. All the cars' interiors are drenched in blood. As chaos descends, all those in the pavilion scramble to get out. But the horror is only beginning. High levels of deadly methane fill the tunnels. The structure begins to flood. For those who don't drown, choke or spark an explosion, another terrifying danger awaits-the thing that killed all those people on the train. It's out there...and it's coming. There's something living beneath New York City, and it's not happy we've woken it up.
“If you saw us you’d probably hate us...The perfect little family, living the perfect little life”, explains Merry, one of the three flawed narrators of this gripping debut. She and husband Sam have left New York and set up home in a picture-book-perfect little red wooden house in rural Sweden “What more could I hope for. What more could I need?” she asks rhetorically. Sam praises his perfect “busy little wife” who’s seemingly taken to rustic domesticity and motherhood like it’s all she was born for, but the cracks are visible from the early chapters. Sam is the epitome of toxic masculinity and controls Merry’s every move, while a visit from Merry’s high-flying, egoistical childhood friend disclosures her own desperate troubles. Teeming with duplicity, treachery and tragedy, this strident debut chills to the bone.
A commanding, tenacious, and entirely gripping tale set in Glasgow during 1969. The Quaker kills three women, DI McCormack joins the investigation as it staggers on, will they ever catch the killer? The prologue immediately puts the story into context and firmly sets the time in place. Liam McIlvanney then set an explosion in my path, an unexpected statement took my breath and launched me straight into the heart of the tale. The story spoke to me, I had to keep reading, didn’t want to stop, and so it became a read in one-sitting book for me. There are sections that starkly slapped my awareness, making me sit up and take note. DI McCormack has lodged himself in my mind and I seriously want to see him again! A light shines on the writing, to expose, to highlight the dark grimness that sits within the pages, ensuring ‘The Quaker’ is a powerful, satisfyingly convincing read.
An absorbing, twisting, uneasy reflection of a marriage, as it is being lived with an untold secret at its heart. Kate and Paul have been married for ten years, as they celebrate their anniversary Kate looks back to the time they met as children, and to what could lie ahead in their future. Holly Seddon has become a must-read author for me, each book has had different themes, even edged into different genres, yet the undeniable authenticity of each really shines through. Her writing feels heartfelt, honest, and she has the ability to create such tangible characters, I could turn to them, talk to them, explore their thoughts and feelings. I felt as though Kate was being candid as she spoke, yet information arrives gradually, slowly revealing truths, creating a feeling of uncertainty, building tension. I found myself holding my breath as the ending neared, wanting to know, yet almost afraid to reach for the answers. ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ is a cracking read, stimulating, engaging and also rather beautiful, I loved it.
Wonderfully chilling, this is another thrilling treat from E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars. Two girls, in an intense relationship are both looking for escape but at what cost? When one disappears events suddenly become darker and we fall into a world of murder, fraud and villainy as identities are blurred and friendships crossed. There's a fine line between superhero and supervillain when someone needs to save herself. Lockhart's writing is edgy, fast paced and keeps you guessing until the end. Creepy, provocative and daring the protagonists (Jule and Imogen) continually leave you with a sense of unease as they draw you in not knowing what to believe and where the novel will take you next. We're looking in from the outside but Lockhart only lets you see what she wants you to before shocking you over and over with the sudden twists in events. Brilliant as always, E. Lockhart continues to enthrall with this, her latest thought-provoking novel.
I first came across the author with The Keep, a hypnotising duel-time, multi-narrative work. Then came her Pultizer Prize winning A Visit From the Goon Squad, an impressive novel which spans decades through the lives of complex characters. So I was really surprised to find this, her first 'historical' novel follows a linear pattern, a more conventional read than I was expecting, but nonetheless totally absorbing. Beginning in the Great Depression and closing at the end of WWII, it concentrates on Anna, her father and initially her very disabled sister. Her father is mixed up in organised crime, working for gangster Dexter Styles, whom Anna first meets when she is twelve, their paths cross dramatically again when she is in her twenties. She works as a diver in the Brooklyn Naval Yard, the first woman to do so, and we are presented with a heroine fighting for recognition and breaking the mould of what is expected for a young woman at that time. I loved it. Highly recommended.
There's one last change for justice . . . They dreamed of changing the world. Instead they're facing a mountain of debt and no hope of a future. Mark, Todd and Zola are starting to realise it's not even worth graduating from law school. They're better off hanging out at The Rooster Bar, plotting how to dodge the loan sharks. But maybe there's another way. Maybe they know enough about the law to pass as lawyers. Because it turns out the crooked hedge fund billionaire who owns their law school also runs the bank that arranged their student loans. And it's time justice was served. Even if it means taking on the FBI to do it . . .
White Knuckle Rides
Picture it. You’re going on holiday. The bags are packed and the family is ready, you’re at the gate, the plane is boarding, you’ve decided to start your brand new, especially purchased thriller right away. Suddenly, you’re immersed into the corridors of intrigue, conspiracy, murder, espionage and you don’t know who to trust. The plane has left without you. So has the family. You haven’t even noticed. At least you have a good book … and the whole house to yourself for a week!
This section is crammed with dangerously compelling adventures that will have your nails bitten and nervous system tested to the full. From Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson and James Patterson to Fred Vargas, Bernard Minier and C.J Sansom, there’s enough here to keep you ‘head-down and out-of-it’ for years. There’s certainly time to read one more before the family gets back from Torremolinos … and that’s where we come in!
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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include: