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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.
One of Sue Perkins' favourite books. T S Eliot called The Moonstone 'the first and greatest of English detective novels'. A fabulous yellow diamond becomes the dangerous inheritance of Rachel Verinder. Outside her Yorkshire country house watch the Hindu priests who have waited for many years to reclaim their ancient talisman, looted from the holy city of Somnauth. When the Moonstone disappears the case looks simple, but in mid-Victorian England no one is what they seem and nothing can be taken for granted. Witnesses, suspects, and detectives take up the story in turn. The bemused butler, the love-stricken housemaid, the enigmatic detective Sergeant Cuff, the drug-addicted scientist, each speculate on the mystery as Collins weaves their narratives into a masterpiece of construction and suspense.
Stark lives in Colour, a neighbourhood whose inhabitants like to be co-ordinated with their surroundings - a neighbourhood where spangly purple trousers are admired by the walls of buildings as you pass them. Close by is Sound, where you mustn't make any, apart from one designated hour a day when you can scream your lungs raw. Then there's Red - get off at Fuck Station Zero if you want to see a tactical nuclear battle recreated as a sales demonstration. Stark has friends in Red, which is just as well because Something is about to happen. And when a Something happens it's no good chanting 'Duck and cover' while cowering in a corner, because a Something is always from the past, Stark's past, and it won't go away until you face it full on.
The sequel to Night Sins is equally as compelling as itâ€™s predecessor. We have a new heroine in Ellen North, the Assistant County Attorney, but all the suspense and intrigue of the first thriller. The plot line is great with new characters being brought in at each new twist and turn, cleverly interwoven in to the lives of each other. Something to really get your teeth in to.
Like James Lee Burke; read John Connolly. Few crime writers flirt with the supernatural, as its essence basically denies some of the major rules of mystery writing, but both Burke and Connolly do so and you never feel cheated. Burke’s Louisiana investigator Dave Robicheaux talks with the dead, while Connolly’s mourning cop Charlie Parker lives with the ghosts of his past. But their solid plots and gripping adventures prove hypnotically atmospheric, and the America they unveil in their books is different from any one else’s: lush, mysterious and compelling.Recommended:James Lee Burke - IN THE ELECTRIC MIST WITH CONFEDERATE DEAD. The body of a black man in a bayou leads Robicheaux through a maze of intrigue with roots in the past and contemporary corruption. Exquisitely written to the extent that landscape and mood become as important as actual plot.John Connolly - THE LOVERS. Charlie Parker is down on his luck, stripped of his investigator’s license and working in a bar when the past rushes back with a vengeance, and the death of an innocent young couple uncovers layers of deception.
October 2013 Guest Editor Linwood Barclay on Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell... This might just be the most daring crime novel ever written. In the first thirteen words, Rendell tells you who was murdered, who did it, and why. Well, why continue? Because those thirteen words set out a scenario so incredible, so hard to comprehend, you simply have to read on. Sheer genius.
A misfit at an exclusive New England college, Richard finds kindred spirits in the five eccentric students of his ancient Greek class. But his new friends have a horrific secret. When blackmail and violence threaten to blow their privileged lives apart, they drag Richard into the nightmare that engulfs them. And soon they enter a terrifying heart of darkness from which they may never return.
Like Raymond Chandler; read Michael Connelly. Both these American master storytellers principally write about Los Angeles and its boulevards of broken dreams and toil in the so-called hardboiled streets. Their respective heroes, Philip Marlowe and Harry Bosch act as avenging knights decades apart but the sense of anger at corruption and the spread of evil is the same, alongside carefully-tuned plots and galleries of wonderful characters, full of colour and pathos. Chandler created the model for modern crime fiction, Connelly takes over the relay and brought it into the 21st century.Recommended:Raymond Chandler - THE LITTLE SISTER. Not his most known, but a fascinating and tender glimpse into the intricate webs of deception that bring people together and then destroy them.Michael Connelly - THE POET. A stand-alone novel that does not feature Harry Bosch, but follows a group of FBI agents on the trail of a terribly devious serial killer. A breathless masterpiece.
March 2013 Guest Editor Charles Cumming on The Ipcress File... I love Deighton’s witty, ironic style, particularly in the Harry Palmer books, and wanted to capture some of that atmosphere in the early part of A Foreign Country. The chapter in which the reader first encounters Thomas Kell was heavily influenced by Ipcress, now of course better known as the classic 60s spy thriller starring Michael Caine.
I had spent three years at Oxford studying to join the clergy. Three years of rising at dawn to pray, daily seminars in classics, divinity and logic … before rushing back to church for evening prayers and finally to bed. Unfortunately, it was in that gap between evening prayers and bed where I was tested; and failed magnificently. If only God had put fewer hours in the day. And not invented twins. It’s 1727. Tom Hawkins is damned if he’s going to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a country parson. Not for him a quiet life of prayer and propriety. His preference is for wine, women and cards. But there’s a sense of honour there too, and Tom won’t pull family strings to get himself out of debt - not even when faced with the appalling horrors of London’s notorious debtors’ prison: The Marshalsea Gaol. Offered the opportunity to free himself by solving a murder, Tom finds his principles tested to the limit. He is forced to navigate a new world of hitherto unimaginable corruption and violence.
One perfect family. Too many perfect lies. In every glossy picture of the American society pages, there's an Ev Winslow. Disarmingly beautiful, and - naturally - tall, athletic, with a smile that's perfect. Small-town Mabel Dagmar has never known anyone like Ev, and now she's sharing her college dorm - even if she is completely ignored. But suddenly they're friends and Mabel can hardly believe her luck when she finds herself summering at the Winslow family's luxurious estate, Winloch, in Vermont. Winloch is like a small village, with each of the perfect Winslow children inhabiting a pretty white cottage. Days spent swimming in watery coves evaporate into nights at glamorous cocktail parties where Mabel sits alongside the scions and the fountainhead of this prestigious family. And as the formality melts away with one particular Winslow brother, Mabel is left to think that her summer has all but become a golden dream. But when Mabel meets a disgruntled member of the family, she can't help looking a little closer at the Winslows, probing beneath their glossy exterior. And what she uncovers in their past is almost as shocking as what she finds out about their present. Beneath the beauty is a rotten core. And not everyone is quite as they seem.
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!