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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.
A smirky, fierce, heartachingly provocative read set in the Glasgow of the late 1970’s. 52 year old Archie is a bus conductor, however he dreams of bigger and better things, can he leave behind Glasgow, the gangsters, the corruption and make something of himself? Within just a few paragraphs, I knew exactly where I was and who I was with, the characters sit on the page with vibrancy and in some cases brooding attitude. I could hear the voices rising from the page into my head, they took on my here and now and slapped it straight into 1975. Glasgow screams with attitude, sauntering, sulking, yet with moments of real beauty. David F. Ross doesn’t overplay the vivid characters, they feel as real as real could be, not necessarily likeable, in fact some are defiantly abhorrent, though I do have a soft spot for Archie! Each moment swaggered into being, opening a window through into another world. ‘Welcome to the Heady Heights’ is powerful and punchy, with well placed, darker than dark humour highlighting a visual feast of a read.
Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this start to a thrilling, subversive near future series from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young about a girls-only private high school that is far more than it appears to be. Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns. The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardian, they receive a well-rounded education that promises to make them better. Obedient girls, free from arrogance or defiance. Free from troublesome opinions or individual interests. But the girls’ carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears. As Mena and her friends uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations Academy will learn to fight back. Bringing the trademark plot twists and high-octane drama that made The Program a bestselling and award-winning series, Suzanne Young launches a new series that confronts some of today's most pressing ethical questions.
A hard-hitting punch of a crime thriller is waiting to be discovered, but also within the pages lies a provocative and emotionally stunning read too. This debut was the winner of the 2018 Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award, and believe me, I can completely understand why. Lelle has been driving the silver road looking for his missing daughter for three years, his endless search consumes his very being. Within the first page I knew I had fallen in love with the writing, which is exquisitely translated. The words connected with my very being, I could feel the words, look around me and see my surroundings. Stina Jackson balances the dark and light quite beautifully, while tense and foreboding, there is also a silvery thread of hope to be found that thrums gently in the background. The cover of The Silver Road beckons, it leads to a read that emotionally connects, opens feelings and allows access to thoughts. Oh, and that ending… the ending sent goosebumps shivering down my arms. A highly recommended read indeed and one of my picks of the month.
What an addictive and powerful book this is, I gobbled it up in one heady sitting and then sat and had a good ponder as certain aspects of this read knocked at the door to my consciousness. Two people have spent the last twenty-two years trying to forget, but someone is determined, no matter what, that they will remember. The first few pages really set the scene in a simple yet clever way, then I was hit by a wallop of an opening. Each chapter is headed by a character and a date, two main time frames are explored, time is sliced, spliced, offering a doorway to answers. As I read my mind explored possibilities, evaluated decisions, examined each character, their thoughts, their feelings. C. J. Cook balances the plot beautifully, keeping it taut, yet encouraging exploration in the moment. ‘The Blame Game’ (which is an absolutely perfect title) is a dramatic, enthralling and ultimately very satisfying read.
A thrilling and compelling tale that sits in the centre of a community bound by time and common purpose. Reporter Rebecca Connolly chases a 15-year-old story of murder to an island full of secrets and closed whispered ways. The prologue really hit me with hammer hard precision, full of power and emotion, it released questions buzzing into my mind. Douglas Skelton sets a host of characters, and therefore suspects into play and yet it is easy to get to know the islanders, to feel the effects of the close-knit community. While the murder squats brooding, waiting to be solved, the island life continues and fills the pages with purpose and intent, consequently, this story just feels so incredibly real. I sank into the tale and while drama is never too far away, the authenticity of the sea, the landscape, and the ways of the island surrounded me. Although this is a fictional island, I still want to visit, and that is due to the effect of the descriptive writing on display. Thunder Bay is a dynamic read, full of the wild and loaded with secrets, it is a fabulously gripping story.
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?
Hands up if you love a confident, penetrating, darkly brilliant psychological thriller, if you do then do step this way, as ‘Blood Orange’ is a stunner! Alison is defending her first murder case, all while having an affair, drinking too much, staying out too late and neglecting her husband and daughter… her life is about to get seriously complicated. Alison tells her own story, no holds barred we hear it as it is, and sometimes it isn’t pretty. I have to say that at times Alison wasn’t on the top of my list of favourite people which gives the story real attitude. I was completely drawn into Alison’s world, hovering over her shoulder, watching, and yes I admit it, sometimes judging. Harriet Tyce allows the story to open up in front of you, all the information is there, consequently, I found myself tugging at tendrils and picking at tantalising frayed edges as I read. This is one seriously addictive book, I read it in one sitting, so do set aside plenty of reading time. ‘Blood Orange’ thrilled me, it is just so readable, yet also feels clever, raw and real - so it comes as highly recommended from me.
Take a fascinating and oh so readable journey into the darker side of life, where you need to be able to see in the dark to have an understanding of it. This is the second in the ‘Chastity Riley series’, the first book Blue Night was one of my favourites from last year, so I was waiting for this with huge anticipation, and I can confirm that Beton Rouge is another wonderfully compelling read. State Prosecutor Chastity Riley is teamed with a new partner after a manager of a German magazine is found unconscious in a cage suffering torture wounds. The chapter headings are little lightening bolts of fabulous. Simone Buchholz, with Rachel Ward as translator, creates in less than 200 pages the most taut, incredible intensity. I adore her writing as it takes you into the misty half world between lyrical beauty and raw, grim necessity. Beton Rouge is a killer read, original, unusual and yet I felt that a part of it, in fact a part of Chastity, lodged itself deeply within my soul, it’s quite simply fabulous.
An incredibly raw, at times difficult to experience, quite gobsmacking debut. Cherry made me flinch, both physically and mentally, at times I had to think of something else, yet the story continued to call to me. The author Nico Walker, as of 2019, is still in prison in the USA, he served as an army medic in Iraq, and returning home with severe PTSD started to rob banks to pay for his drug addiction. This story centres on a narrator who serves as an army medic in Iraq, and returning home with severe PTSD starts to rob banks to pay for his drug addiction (yes the same tale as the author). Let me be clear, this is a novel, yet the voice of the author is clearly heard, this is his story and he stamps his words, his very being on every single page. Hammer hard, quick firing sentences (with some choice language attached) shoot off of the page. There were times when I really didn’t like the narrator, some of his life choices are difficult to understand, yet that is the whole point. The story turns full circle from the prologue, creating what feels like a never-ending loop. Cherry made me ache, it often physically hurt to soak up the tale, yet I would experience it all again tomorrow, and so Cherry has to be one of my picks of the month.
A sharp, dramatic and thrilling tale, prepare the edge of your seat as you might be spending some time there! Maggie wakes to living nightmare, her daughter died in the accident that placed Maggie in a coma, her husband has disappeared, and Maggie remembers nothing about the incident. The prologue in Crown Court, immediately sets the scene and encourages intrigue to run amok. The first few chapters, so short, yet so full of tension ensured my brain tasted and tested every word as I read. Nuala Ellwood intricately sews little pieces of information into the pages, just waiting for you to discover them. Letters appear every few chapters, heart-aching moments in time. I existed in two spaces, part of me just reading and thoroughly enjoying the story, the other exploring and examining thoughts and feelings in detail. Day of the Accident slams with impact, gave my brain a huge workout and is a thoroughly captivating read.
An engrossing thriller replete with family drama, psychological intrigue, cunningly-plotted deeds, authentically complex characters and a tree-lodged skeleton at its root. With a good job, adoring girlfriend, loyal mates and wealthy family, Toby is a privileged sort whose life implodes when he’s badly beaten by thieves who break into his Dublin apartment. Left with some speech and mobility impairment and memory loss, Toby decides to move into the rambling family home to be with his terminally ill genealogist uncle. Soon after, while Toby struggles with the trauma and effects of the beating, a skeleton is found inside an ancient wych elm in the garden, and it’s not long before detectives find a connection with Toby. The gritty, authentic portrayal of family dynamics centres around a set of bickering cousins, whose bitter teenage experiences rear their heads as a truly multi-layered mystery unfolds. Toby being a quintessential unreliable narrator adds further tension to the tale, with unexpected twists coming to the very end. This character-driven crime thriller sure packs a powerful paranoia-fuelled punch.
THE SINISTER & CHILLING NEW THRILLER FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR I buried you. I mourned you . . . But now you're back. A woman walks into a police station. She has no phone and no ID, just a piece of paper that reads 'David Raker'. She says she's his wife. She looks just like her. She knows everything about him. But David buried his wife eight years ago. Is this really the woman he loved? Did he really say goodbye? Or is he losing his mind? Raker needs to find out the truth before it's too late, because he is now the prime suspect in her disappearance . . .
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!