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Enter the criminal underworld and solve a complex case all from the comfort of your favourite reading nook. Have a look at our Crime/Mystery selection to get your hands on the latest and greatest case and get mystery solving! You might also be interested in our Thriller and Suspense categories.
Compelling crime fiction with an ambitious female lead and a ruthless rich family at its fast-paced heart. The dirty secrets of a powerful wealthy family, the wife who drowned on the family’s estate, and the bloodhound instincts of an aspiring investigative journalist - such are the ingredients of this meaty crime novel. Two years ago Elizabeth Sinclair drowned in a lake at Conmere Resort Centre in the Lake District. Now travel writer Steph is visiting the centre for work. With aspirations to become an investigative journalist, Steph is intrigued by a Twitter message claiming that Elizabeth’s death was no accident. Though warned-off by her former Detective Chief Inspector mother who investigated the case, Steph thinks this “could be her chance to change the trajectory of her career” and so she plunges in. The unfussy style is threaded with tension as Steph uncovers a case that bristles with bribery, embittered brothers, scandalous cover-ups, adultery, corruption and violence, with unexpected truths exposed through two intriguing timeframes.
So, so incredibly good, now that I have finished, I actually feel bereft. This book called to me, the cover design is divine, the synopsis gave me chills, and when I started, well, it was a non-stop absolute feast of a read. Tom hadn’t heard of the Whisper Man, he didn’t know about the murder of five young boys. Tom just wanted a new start, but then his son starts to hear whispering at his bedroom window. The prologue sent shivers coursing down my arms, it is followed by short, enthralling chapters that pushed and pulled at my emotions. Chapters change focus with no introduction, however the writing is such that they immediately connected and fell into place. I entered a mind space that made me feel entirely uncomfortable, yet set my thoughts on a different path. This is clever, beautifully compassionate writing by Alex North. While the tension reaches almost unbearable levels, there is a heartfelt balance of empathy and thoughtfulness that packs a huge punch. ‘The Whisper Man’ has left a lingering ache, it is an emotionally beautiful and terrifying read. I’ve chosen it as a LoveReading star read and one of my books of the month. I’m telling everyone I know - this is a must-read!
A tense psychological thriller that keeps you turning the pages. This is the story of a group of friends who, between them, hold the answers to what happened one night when five of them went into a room and only four came out alive. Told in the first person, the narrative is split between the friends, and we are drawn into their dilemmas. All appear to be hiding something. The main character is Lisa Ashton who is suffering from amnesia while recovering from a kidney transplant. After discovering that one of the friends is the donor, she tries to find out what did happen during the gaps in her memory. What are her friends not telling her, and why? I love the structure of this novel as we gradually move through the hours and days following the inciting incident, finding out snippets of information that lead us to conclusions that then challenge the sleuths in each of us. The characters are well-drawn. We empathise with them all, experience their guilt, and their fears. Often, in this well-drawn thriller, we have cause us to doubt what we hear from each of the friends, until we suspect everybody. I would certainly read more from this author. 5 star rating. Lynne Johnson, A LoveReading Ambassador
wo people die of rabies, neither of whom appears to have been in contact with an infected animal. This must be murder – but by whom? And what is the motive? The police find a surgeon who has connections with both victims, and are inclined to charge him with the murders, but detective Aisha Sawyer has other suspicions. Meanwhile, Aisha’s husband is offered a chance to return to work in the music industry, a job he loved until his wife’s jealousy made it too difficult to continue. Poor communication between husband and wife and the stresses which it brings to their marriage means that they don’t see there is a connection between her case and his job offer, the connection being the wealthy widow Chosen who has recently bought a hip-hop recording business from the mother of her late fiancé, Trap, one of the murder victims, Chosen having been the beneficiary of a huge life insurance policy taken out on him. I thought the plot and storytelling were excellent, and was intrigued by the fact that the murderer was made obvious to the reader from early on in the book, leaving us free to follow the complexities of the police operation. And I thought the ending was unusual and interesting and was left wondering what will come along in the sequel. However, and it is a big however, I don’t think this book will be a great success here in the UK. American police methods and ethics are very different from the UK (although people who watch a lot of imported crime dramas might be familiar with them, but as far as I’m concerned watching TV wastes valuable reading time!), American hip-hop culture and lifestyle are almost unknown to the average British reader and most of all, the slang and dialect used in many of the conversations left me floundering around without a clue what was going on. I would love to know what happens in the next book in the series – but I’d want a translation of some sections of the book!
Private investigator Stuart Bloom was missing, presumed dead. Until now. His body is discovered in an abandoned car - in an area that had already been searched... Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke combs through the mistakes of the original investigation. After a decade without answers, it's time for the truth. But it seems everyone involved with the case is hiding something. None more so than Siobhan's own mentor: former detective John Rebus. The only man who knows where the trail may lead - and that it could be the end of him. EVERYONE HAS SECRETS NOBODY IS INNOCENT IN A HOUSE OF LIES
A dark story has been brought to terrifying life. Can the ending be rewritten in time? This is what the police know: English teacher Clare Cassidy's friend Ella has just been murdered. Clare and Ella had recently fallen out. Found beside the body was a line from The Stranger, a story by the Gothic writer Clare teaches, and the murder scene is identical to one of the deaths in the story. This is what Clare knows: No one else was aware of her fight with Ella. Few others have even read The Stranger. Someone has wormed their way into her life and her work. They know her darkest secrets. And they don't mean well. This is what the killer knows: Who will be next to die.
The Secret Resort of Nostalgia is a modern-day classic, beautifully written, engaging and thought-provoking. Mike Denning gets offered the opportunity of a lifetime, a job on the remote island of Nostalgia, where he discovers a thriving community without crime, cars or any of the negative aspects of modern society, he even has a gorgeous colleague who he is getting very attached to. But is all really as it seems? Why are there security fences in parts of the island? Mike is on a quest to find out more. What a special book: it’s far from only being a mystery novel, as it touches on so many philosophical and environmental aspects as well, but always in a thoroughly approachable and entertaining way. Sahlan Diver’s talent for writing is phenomenal, his characters jump off the pages and his descriptions are so vivid that you can picture yourself in the landscapes. Gripping from the first to the last page! Alexandra Williams
A clever, oh so clever read, where the story sits simmering, creating pools of tension and unsettling bursts of awareness. The police rule Sadie’s death a suicide, however a year later, questions are being asked and her friend Avery may well have to provide answers, can she clear her name? I was thrilled when The Last House Guest arrived in the post. Megan Miranda’s books are a must-read for me. A provocative, sharp, beautifully readable journey awaits each time. The story slides between 2017 and 2018, encouraging questions to kiss questions. The more I found out, the more I realised I didn’t know. Avery is a fascinating character, she sits on the edge of two groups, leaving her stranded. My thoughts tossed and turned as I read, I felt slightly unsettled as I waited, wanting to know the truth. The ending is a high-octane rush of a ride and I found myself perched on the very edge of my seat. Focusing on friendship, and how well we ever truly know someone, The Last House Guest has a commanding energy and is a compelling read.
A suspense filled, dramatic story surrounds a couple as they grieve the death of a loved one. Bede and Elin live on the banks of the river Severn, environmentally conscious, they attempt to live their lives off-grid. When the village is threatened with fracking and accusations are thrown their way, their marriage not only takes the strain, danger beckons. Alison Layland balances the turmoil in the story quite beautifully with the descriptions of the countryside and surroundings. A hidden diary occasionally rears its head, spilling secrets, altering thoughts. Bede and Elin felt entirely real to me, the fractures in their relationship and sense of self are tangible. Menace and intrigue walk hand in hand through the pages, adding a sharp edge to the tale. As the story powers towards its conclusion, the tension reaches breaking point. Riverflow is a fascinating, thoughtful, and compelling tale with real bite.
Steadfast, tenacious and fascinating can be used to describe both the book and lead character in ‘Wolves at the Door’. Private Investigator Varg Veum was previously set up and linked to a horrifying case, now the men actually found guilty of the crime are dying one by one, is Varg next on the list? Gunnar Staalesen was in at the beginning of Nordic Noir, he started this series 40 years ago (there is a statue of Varg Veum in Bergen where the series is set) and has been published in 24 countries. This book does specifically link to previously translated novels so if thinking of stepping into the series you might want to start with ‘Where Roses Never Die’, followed by ‘Wolves in the Dark’ as a lead into this particular novel (‘Big Sister’ also sits in there too). Don Bartlett successfully ensured the thought of a translator didn’t enter my head as I was reading, I was sucked straight into the story and stayed there. I particularly enjoyed the slow slog of the investigation, each piece of information entering the fray and increasing the tension until it reached breaking point. With short, smart, darkly punchy chapters ’Wolves at the Door’ is a provocative and gripping read.
An addictive hammer-hard read that just slams with impact, and feels particularly relevant in todays climate. Agent Will Trent and medical examiner Sara Linton have careers where they are expected to run towards danger. However, when they stop to help at a road traffic collision, danger turns towards and overwhelms them. If you haven’t read any of the Will Trent or Grant County Series, not to worry as you can easily step inside and give yourself up to the story. Karin Slaughter’s books though, are so good, you will probably want to hunt down what has come before, so do weigh up whether or not you want to start mid series. The story starts with a blast of action and doesn’t let up. I love the fact that you are expected to keep up. I was immediately hooked, and read the whole book in one fabulous sitting (oh the reading high you get when that happens!). Time repeats itself from different viewpoints which was absolutely fascinating. As I hurtled towards the ending, I had that delicious feeling of not wanting the story to finish, yet being unable to slow down. I just had to know, had to experience, had to feel. ‘The Last Widow’ is fierce, fast, brilliantly compelling storytelling, it’s not only entertaining, it’s also one hell of a provocative read. I just had to choose it to appear as one of our LoveReading star books.
A thoroughly entertaining, evocative, and wonderfully written historical mystery set in 1591. Physician and spy Nicholas Shelby joins forces with tavern keeper Bianca Merton in an investigation that could lead the country into civil war. This is the second in the ‘Jackdaw Mysteries’ series, you could start here, however I really do recommend going back to the beginning with ‘The Angel’s Mark’. S. W. Perry sets fiction intermingling with fact, and it is easy to believe that this could have been real. The writing prods and provokes thoughts and feelings, I could step forward into the sleaze and squalor, hear whispered conversations, feel the fragility of life in those times. Nicholas and Bianca are a fascinating duo, each interesting in their own right, together creating a force to be reckoned with. Vividly dramatic and engrossing, ‘The Serpent’s Mark’ ensures that this is a series that promises much and lives up to expectations, I eagerly await the next.
An absolutely fascinating dual-time frame novel focusing on the Italian Resistance in 1944, and what starts as an investigation into a hit and run accident in 1999. Sandro Bellini is just 18 years old when he falls in love with the wife of his commander during the Second World War. Michael Keats is determined to locate the man who had been having an affair with his wife before she was killed in 1999. Set in a valley near Lake Como in Northern Italy, these two time frames weave together to create a truly captivating tale. The first few chapters set my intrigue antenna on full alert. I have an interest in the Second World War, and wondered whether the story from 1944 would push 1999 to one side. Gordon Kerr however, ensures that the two time lines are equally gripping, particularly as events start to embrace. The characters feel entirely believable and their emotions beat and thrum across the page. The pace and tension increased throughout and I found the ending extremely satisfying. ‘The Partisan Heart’ is a well-written, clever tale focussing on intimate feelings during the most stressful of times.
He stole her childhood. She'll take his future What would you do if you accidentally encountered the man who once abused you? And how would you get away with it? Bridget's life is small and safe: she loves her husband and her son, and she works hard to keep her own business afloat. Until one day, her former violin teacher Anthony Carmichael walks into her shop with the teenager he's clearly grooming. Carmichael begins to stalk Bridget, trying to terrify her into silence. But Bridget is older and stronger now and suddenly, she snaps and fights back. Now Bridget must find a way to deal with the aftermath of her actions... The gripping, compelling and timely new thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Loving Husband, The Crooked House and The Day She Disappeared. Perfect for fans of Apple Tree Yard and Lie With Me.
Thirty-eight-year-old Nicole Adams has given up on finding love. The single mother focuses on the two things she cherishes most—her sixteen-year-old son Justin and her art—while relying on the support of her friends Mike and Jamie and her loyal sister Caroline. When she convinces a prominent Los Angeles museum to feature a large-scale installation of her ceramics work, she thinks her life has finally turned a corner. Then Justin brings a girl, Daniela, home to spend the night. Daniela’s angry parents have thrown her out of the house because she’s pregnant with Justin’s child. Shattered, Nicole takes Daniela in and by doing so is drawn into the inner circle of Daniela’s family and a frightening world of deceit and violence. Nicole struggles to keep life going as normal. Forced to deal with people she doesn’t trust or like, fearful for the future of both her son and the grandchild they’re expecting, Nicole wonders if she can do what she tells Justin to do: always have faith in yourself and do the right thing.
Daisy Clayton's killer was never caught. In over ten years, there has been no breakthrough in her murder case. Detective Renee Ballard has faced everything the LAPD's notorious dusk-till-dawn graveyard shift has thrown at her. But, until tonight, she'd never met Harry Bosch - an ex-homicide detective consumed by this case. Soon, she too will become obsessed by the murder of Daisy Clayton. Because Ballard and Bosch both know: every murder tells a story. And Daisy's case file reads like the first chapter in an untold tragedy that is still being written - one that could end with Ballard herself, if she cannot bring the truth to light...
THE ENTHRALLING NEW NOVEL FROM 10 MILLION COPY & NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR LESLEY PEARSE Is there a murderer across the street? It's 1964 and twenty-three-year-old Katy Speed is fascinated by glamorous Gloria and the goings-on at her house over the road. Who are the mysterious women that keep coming and going in the strange black car? Then one night, Gloria's house burns to the ground. Bodies are found in the wreckage. And Katy's horror turns to disbelief when her own father is arrested and charged with murder. Determined to prove his innocence, Katy sets out to uncover the truth about the mysterious house across the street and find the real murderer. But that means risking her own life . . .
Holly Wakefield works for the NHS as a criminal psychologist specialising in serial killers. She has particular reason to be good at her job - but she keeps that to herself. When DI Bishop from the Met Police approaches Holly to investigate a recent killing, Holly is horrified by the dismembered bodies and the way they have been theatrically positioned. More shocking still is when the pathologist reveals this is not the first time she has seen these mutilations. It means a serial killer is out there, and they're going to kill again - soon. Holly is used to chasing serial killers. But this killer has something in common with Holly that she's kept hidden for as long as she can remember. And for the first time since she was a child, Holly is forced to face the darkness of her past... The first book in a bestselling new serial killer series. For fans of Patricia Cornwell, Val McDermid, Robert Galbraith and the TV's Luther and Line of Duty.
The perfect couple. The perfect crime? Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough; Mark a handsome investment banker with a bright future. They seem to have it all. But do they? On a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, Mark takes Erin scuba diving. Everything is perfect. Until they find something in the water. Something that will change their lives forever. Erin and Mark decide to keep their discovery a secret. No one else need know; they trust each other implicitly. But someone else does know. And in situations like these, it is far better to trust no one, not even those closest to you ... Set to be the blockbuster read of the summer, this is an unmissable, fast-paced, jaw-dropping thriller from a debut writer destined for great things.
Flynn is stuck—depressed, recently dumped, and living at his mom’s house. The supermarket was supposed to change all that. An ordinary job and a steady check. Work isn’t work when it’s saving you from yourself. But things aren’t quite as they seem in these aisles. Arriving to work one day to a crime scene, Flynn’s world collapses as the secrets of his tortured mind are revealed. And Flynn doesn’t want to go looking for answers at the supermarket. Because something there seems to be looking for him. A darkly funny psychological thriller, Supermarket is a gripping exploration into madness and creativity. Who knew you could find sex, drugs, and murder all in aisle nine?
An exciting thriller with a lot of surprises. I wasn’t expecting this crime thriller to be as good as it was, especially taking into account that Robin Driscoll is more well known as being the writer for Mr. Bean. The Unborn, his first novel in the Josie King Detective series, is a relatively short novel and only took me a day to read once I had started it. It is a real page-turner. The title, The Unborn relates to embryos and foeti that are aborted. The crime thriller deals with a religious fanatical group, Nondum Natus, who regard the termination of a pregnancy to be a horrendous sin. Early on in the book, Josie King, the main character, a police detective, fails to shoot someone who is about to kill her father, a police commissioner. This leads her on the path to vengeance and to attempt to solve a case her father had previously been obsessed with, to do with the Nondum Natus. Josie is a strong, determined, fearless character. Sometimes she appears almost a bit too much so to be real. Her character appears to be almost unstoppable. All in all, The Unborn has a fast-paced plot and a multitude of twists and turns to keep the reader on his or her feet. Great book which I would definitely recommend. Rachel Anderson
SHE ALWAYS WENT TOO FAR DS Alexandra Cupidi has done it again. She should have learnt to keep her big mouth shut, after the scandal that sent her packing - resentful teenager in tow - from the London Met to the lonely Kent coastline. Murder is different here, among the fens and stark beaches. SHE WAS THE ONE WHO FOUND THE KILLERS The man drowned in the slurry pit had been herded there like an animal. He was North African, like many of the fruit pickers that work the fields. The more Cupidi discovers, the more she wants to ask - but these people are suspicious of questions. AND NOW IT WAS KILLING HER It will take an understanding of this strange place - its old ways and new crimes - to uncover the dark conspiracy behind the murder. Cupidi is not afraid to travel that road. But she should be. She should, by now, have learnt. Salt Lane is the first in the new DS Alexandra Cupidi series. With his trademark characterisation and flair for social commentary, William Shaw has crafted a crime novel for our time that grips you, mind and heart.
This piercing and raw, yet sensitive and beautiful read really spoke to me, it’s a stunner. 17-year-old Tyler finds himself caught between a rock and an impossibly hard place. Forced to break into houses by his older brother, life heads in a hopeless downward spiral when they disturb an occupant coming home and violence shatters Tyler’s life. Doug Johnstone writes with true eloquence, you really don’t need more than 230 pages when the writing is this good. True empathy and joy dance across the page even when chased down by brutality. I read this in one sitting, absolutely hooked yet almost afraid to reach the end. I had no idea as to how the story was going to finish, a part of me felt hopeless, yet I was full of hope at the same time. Tyler is going to stay with me, as he has taken up lodging in my heart. ‘Breakers' is meaningful, moving, undeniably wonderful storytelling, I adored every single word and it comes as highly recommended from me.
A striking and compelling family drama where the past takes a ferocious bite into the present. The House on the Edge of the Cliff explores relationships, how they can alter, move with fluidity, ever-changing almost without realisation. The house in question sits on the edge of a cliff in France, a character in its own right, a sanctuary, utterly bewitching, and yet full of history, of memories. When Grace was 16 an event occurred which has affected and remained with her ever since, when the past suddenly rears its head, danger beckons. We first meet Grace in the present and within the first few pages, I became as hooked as a hooked thing can be. Heightened, in fact, frantic emotions dance across the page and left me feeling breathless. Time then begins a slide backwards, explaining just enough, setting more questions and encouraging more thoughts to flow. Carol Drinkwater writes with captivating eloquence, I find her books so wonderfully readable, I just slip down into the welcoming pages and enjoy. Full of secrets, tense moments, gorgeous descriptions, and emotional interplay, The House on the Edge of the Cliff is a truly beautiful read and one of my picks of the month.
A breathtaking, riveting, fabulous reading experience awaits in this absolute belter of a thriller. Colter Shaw starts to investigate the case of a missing student, it appears that the kidnapper is playing a game that is about to turn deadly. The prelude sounded a klaxon, the chapter heading and dramatic content ensured I was on full alert. Each short, wonderfully written chapter added layer upon intricate layer and increased the tension. Jeffery Deaver is a master storyteller, his stories are so incredibly easy to read yet wonderfully clever. This book is full of intoxicating action, I also found myself wondering and considering as my thoughts and feelings were thoroughly provoked. Colter Shaw is someone you would want on your side, a hunter with humility and empathy. I am sooo excited that this is the start to a new series, I simply can’t wait to find out more about Shaw! ‘The Never Game’ is a book you can escape into and fully immerse yourself in until you have to come up for air - absolutely wonderful!
A wonderful, decidedly different, and rather charming mystery heralding bygone days. This is the seventh in a series, however, can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. Having said that I entered with no prior knowledge, finished the first chapter, and then immediately read it again… ahah! The characters are cats, living their lives as humans do, with Hettie and Tilly running their detective agency and taking on a case involving a number of murdering spirits who are haunting the local psychic. It works, just as The Wind in the Willows does, you just have to believe. Set in the era of Agatha Christie (or should I say Agatha Crispy), their lives centre on food, glorious food, and they travel around in the sidecar belonging to a marvellous motorcycle called Miss Scarlett. Beyond the Gravy has been written with a lovely light touch and is an entertaining oh so readable tale, it made me smile inside and out.
Eighteen-year-old Birdie is fanatical about mystery and crime fiction, a world in which she immersed herself while being brought up by her strict grandparents following the death of her mom. Birdie’s perception of detectives reveals much about her own aspirations and personality: “Detectives were cool, calm, and capable. They were usually loners, helping people from a distance...underdogs that people miscalculated.” Now, following the death of her gran and with the support of her mom’s fabulously flamboyant best friend, Birdie tries to find her own way in the world by taking a summer job as a night clerk at a glamorous historic hotel. It’s here that she forms a swoon-some, life-changing relationship with Daniel, the hotel’s handsome, hearing-impaired night driver, as they try to solve a real-life mystery involving a guest. Then, alongside the edge-of-your-seat twists and turns of their investigation, and their fast-blossoming, fated romance, it turns out that Daniel is harbouring secrets of his own. Underpinned by relatable real-life complications and curveballs aplenty, this engaging feast of young adult fiction fizzes with multiple mysteries and the jittery joys of first love. Head here to discover the author’s previous novels, which come equally recommended for their compassionate championing of offbeat, authentic young adult characters.
If you were to ask me to recommend a crime fiction series, this is it, this is the one. Sarah Hilary has the ability to write with such beautiful, quiet clarity even when the words scream and pound at your thoughts. ‘Never Be Broken’ is the sixth in the D.I. Marnie Rome series, do go back and start at the beginning if you come to this recommendation for the first time, the books have to be read in order, just simply to make the most of every thought, every word. Sarah Hilary’s debut ‘Someone Else’s Skin’ won the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year, and I have hunted down every one in the series since. The pain and torment at the centre of London society, the stabbings, the gangs, sit at the centre of ‘Never Be Broken’. The first few pages focus on ‘now’, fiercely kicking me right in the centre of my feelings, vividly bruising me before chapter one then returns to 48 hours earlier. This is intense, startling storytelling, it feels… it feels real, as though this is happening right now. ‘Never Be Broken’ may be fiction, you could think it is fact, it hurts, it shocks, it reads so beautifully it just has to be one of my picks of the month.
This elegantly engaging novel of detection sees an antiquarian book dealer, Anthony Sparrow, investigate the life and death of a leading haematologist. “Our effects really do give us away,” Sparrow explains. “‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ as they used to say in the Westerns of my youth. Someone has to do it for them”. Which is exactly what Sparrow does when he pieces together the papers of a man who’d been “what I once yearned to be: a physician.” What follows is Sparrow’s presentation of, and commentary on, the diaries and papers of this physician. We learn of his court appearance, which saw him thusly questioned by a QC: ”So, Professor Anstruther, on what date did you become aware that the Factor VIII you were prescribing to your haemophiliac patients, made from pooled blood donations, might be contaminated by the AIDS virus?” As documents reveal details of complex medical cases, and patients who died, the professor’s personality and humanity come to the fore - his fragilities as a ninety-year-old, his sense of duty and care - as does a growing sense of conspiracy. When Sparrow reads that the professor was most likely smothered to death, he sets about investigating papers connected to the smotherer. With each narrative strand brimming with revelations and finely observed personal detail, this is a sharp and suspenseful mystery.
When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike's own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been - Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much more tricky than that . . .
From the bestselling author of The House at Riverton and The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton brings us her trademark mix of secrets, lies, and intricately layered mysteries in her sixth novel, The Clockmaker's Daughter. My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows. In the depths of a nineteenth-century winter, a little girl is abandoned in the narrow streets of London. Adopted by a mysterious stranger, she becomes in turn a thief, a friend, a muse, and a lover. Then, in the summer of 1862, shortly after her eighteenth birthday, she retreats with a group of artists to a beautiful house on a quiet bend of the Upper Thames . . . Tensions simmer and one hot afternoon a gun-shot rings out. A woman is killed, another disappears, and the truth of what happened slips through the cracks of time. Over the next century and beyond, Birchwood Manor welcomes many newcomers but guards its secret closely - until another young woman is drawn to visit the house because of a family secret of her own . . . As the mystery of The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton begins to unravel, we discover the stories of those who have passed through Birchwood Manor since that fateful day in 1862. Intricately layered and richly atmospheric, it shows that, sometimes, the only way forward is through the past.
Fifty-something Shona is a proud former pupil of the Marcia Blaine School for Girls, but has a deep loathing for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which she thinks gives her alma mater a bad name. Impeccably educated and an accomplished martial artist, linguist and musician, Shona is thrilled when selected by Marcia Blaine herself to travel back in time for a one-week mission in 19th-century Russia: to pair up the beautiful, shy, orphaned heiress Lidia Ivanovna with Sasha, a gorgeous young man of unexplained origins. But, despite all her accomplishments and good intentions, Shona might well have got the wrong end of the stick about her mission. As the body count rises, will she discover in time just who the real villain is?
A beautifully powerful read that sits in darkness, not an all-consuming menacing murk, but one with pinpricks of light that can be found and felt if you open yourself to the discovery. Stella McKeever is working on her final radio show, she is encouraging listeners to divulge their secrets and waiting another call from a man who claims he knows who murdered the pregnant woman in the city three weeks previously, but should some secrets stay secret? There are times when I think it might be slightly distracting to label a book with one specific genre and for me this is one of them. I know Call Me Star Girl is a psychological thriller, it certainly does thrill, it also made me feel a whole host of other emotions too. Louise Beech excels in writing about people, at their very best, very worst, and everything in between, so I’d rather not pop this book into a pigeon hole but let it fly. Each chapter is headed by a name, and either ‘then’, ‘now’ or ‘with’. I quickly settled into the story while getting to know the characters, they became entirely real to me as I explored the how and why of who they were. While suspicion cut through my thoughts, unexpected slices of deep, aching surprise were served, and there is one particular moment that will stay with me for a very long time. Call Me Star Girl explored my feelings, touched my heart, and is one of my picks of the month, it is a truly glorious read.
A crime series you can really get your armchair sleuthing teeth into, Detective Sam Shepherd is back in her typical headstrong (oh so fabulous) style. I have quite simply adored the first two books in this award-winning New Zealand based series, which starts with ‘Overkill’ and is followed by ‘The Ringmaster’. A murder is linked to a travelling circus, and Sam wants in on the detective action. Cracking whip-fast action goes hand in hand with Sam telling her own story. Vanda Symon has the wonderful knack of conjuring Sam into being before my very eyes. I can hear her talking as plain as plain can be, her voice magically transfers from the page, straight into my head. Sam makes me flinch, smirk, even laugh out loud as she makes her way through life, I really do have a soft spot for her and would be more than happy to go out for a drink (perhaps just the one though). The author allows you to be several steps ahead of Sam, sometimes it is a case of waiting for her to catch up, which I found to be exceedingly entertaining! ‘The Ringmaster’ is an absolute beauty of a read, well-written, absorbing, and extremely enjoyable.
Stop here to discover a terrific new voice in mystery and suspense, a voice owned by an established and truly eloquent author. Within a period of three weeks in 1993 the body of a young woman is discovered on the beach by teenagers Nell and Jude, then Jude disappears, twenty-five agonising years later Nell begins to uncover the truth. If you already love Dorothy Koomson, then you’re in for a real treat as she has combined her wonderful ability to observe human relationships with mystery and shivery suspense. The change in direction is beautifully subtle as her previous books have been moving this way and existing fans can still feel her unmistakable touch, yet she has opened the door to a whole new audience. Each short chapter remains very much in its moment as the story swings between the past and present. As I read and peeled each layer by exquisite layer I found surprises waiting to snare me, to make me exclaim and sit up. The characters are individual, fascinating (even when displaying hideous character traits), and Nell is an absolute delight to get to know. The Brighton Mermaid is a compelling, fabulously readable story full of energy and tenacity - highly recommended.
Razor-sharp, focused and absolutely fabulous, Critical Incidents is the first in what promises to be a stunning new series by Lucie Whitehouse. Detective Inspector Robin Lyons has been dismissed from the Met, turned down a proposal, and is heading back to her Mum and Dad in Birmingham with her daughter Lennie. Home isn’t necessarily a sanctuary when Robin starts to investigate a shocking crime and violence creeps ever closer. Keep You Close was one of our Books of the Year in 2016, so I had high hopes for Critical Incidents and it certainly lived up to expectations. I sat and read non-stop, just gobbling up the pages. There is an addictive quality to the writing, pithy, witty, stinging sentences walk hand in hand with compassion and emotion. The ending has left me wanting more, so I already can’t wait for the next in the series. Critical Incidents is escapism at its very best, it is also provocative, eloquent and extremely rewarding, earning itself a pick of the month from me.
Murder, mystery, and mayhem abound in this amusing action-packed read. I missed out on Volume One, ‘The Truth About Archie and Pye’ and though I would suggest starting at the beginning, I was still able to enjoy this mad caper of a story without feeling as though I had been left behind. This may be a mathematical mystery series with mentions of coding and bitcoins to be found (eeek) but I think I coped rather well as someone who finds maths, shall we say, challenging! Tom Winscombe narrates this story, he is trying to locate his girlfriend, stolen computers, lots and lots of answers, oh, and a snake! Tom usually wanders or jogs into the centre of trouble, dead bodies have a habit of turning up at the same time he does, and in terms of ability, just imagine the opposite of James Bond! Jonathan Pinnock writes with dash and verve, creating interesting characters and plenty of eyebrow raising situations. ‘A Question of Trust’ is an entertaining read, it is beautifully easy to fall into and really enjoyable.
A blast of a read, fast-paced and provocative. Laurie witnesses, then can’t help but investigate a horrifying incident, as events rocket beyond her control, violence follows her home. The first few pages sprint into heart-pumping action, my mind whirring, I then settled into the start of the story as it began six days earlier. I felt as though I was allowed to be a step ahead of Laurie, I was given a little more time to consider, consequently on occasion I wanted to shout a warning and almost stamp my feet in vexation as the tale unfolded, which added intensity to an already taut storyline. The sections set on the Underground were riveting, a real menace stalked the pages, dark and foreboding. I for one, will never ever want to be on my own down there! Toby Faber prodded and provoked my thoughts and feelings, deliberately muddying the waters of guilt and innocence, of standing in judgement. Close to the Edge is a thrilling ride, yet look beyond the obvious and you can find a challenging and stimulating read too.
Wakenhyrst is a glorious darkly gothic feast of a read, and I really had no option other than to choose it as one of my picks of the month. Folklore and superstition are bound up in the Fens, Maud Steame has grown up there, surrounded by gossip, rumours and terrible secrets, will releasing her story set her free? Michelle Paver excels in quietly setting fear loose and disquiet scurrying free. Simply and beautifully descriptive, words leave the page and settle together to gradually create an entire picture. I found myself hooked, then completely snared as Maud’s life unfolds over 60 years revealing the very essence of her being. I feel deeply connected to Maud, and she continues to exist in my thoughts. Wakenhyrst is a fascinating, deeply emotional, and surprisingly beautiful read, I highly recommend stepping inside and setting your feelings free to explore.
JACK REACHER NEVER LOOKS BACK . . . UNTIL NOW. The most hotly anticipated paperback thriller of the year follows our hero Jack Reacher on a quest into his father's past, and climaxes in the most blood-curdling ticking time bomb of an adventure yet. The present can be tense . . . A young couple trying to get to New York City are stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. Before long they're trapped in an ominous game of life and death. But the past can be worse . . . Meanwhile, Jack Reacher sets out on an epic road trip across America. He doesn't get far. Deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been - the town where his father was born. But when he arrives he is told no one named Reacher ever lived there. Now he wonders: who's lying? As the tension ratchets up and these two stories begin to entwine, the stakes have never been higher for Reacher. That's for damn sure.
FROM THE AUTHOR OF SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER, THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING Detective Michael Bennett's enemies know where to find him. An anonymous tip about a crime in Upper Manhattan proves to be a set-up. An officer is taken down - but despite the attackers' efforts, it's not Michael Bennett. New York's top cop is not the only one at risk. One of Bennett's children is attacked. And a series of murders follows, each with a distinct signature, alerting Bennett to the presence of a professional killer. Bennett can't tell what's driving the assassin. But he can tell it's personal. INCLUDES BONUS MICHAEL BENNETT STORY, MANHUNT
Does a Harlan Coben story really need an introduction… if you’ve not read this wordsmith’s work before then yes, of course it does! I have to say that I am never disappointed, his are thrilling plotlines that you can completely disappear into as they spear emotions and provoke thoughts. In Run Away a father searches for his daughter, she ran, and he has been searching ever since, when he finds her, he and the rest of his much-loved family find themselves in terrible danger. The first chapter snared my imagination, you know when you fall so deeply into a book that nothing else exists, well that was me. Each character dove into my awareness, so clearly defined, I could hear them and feel for them, even if I feared them. I didn’t want to stop reading and so waved hello to the very early hours (tip: start in good time if you don’t want to pull an all-nighter!). Run Away is a pure, addictive feast for the mind, if you haven’t yet tried A Harlan Coben, now is the perfect time.
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.
Wow! For the Love of Alison had me hooked from the very first chapter on and it just kept giving. The main character, David, a journalist, gets an unexpected phone call one day to meet his university friend Alison after not having seen her for about 30 years. He jumps at the chance as he used to be obsessed with her in the past to the extent that he had to be hospitalized in a mental institution for a while. The meeting will change his life forever and get him accused of a crime for which there is apparently only one possible perpetrator - himself. Has he gone insane or is there another explanation for the events that occurred? I absolutely loved the depiction of David's character: he clearly struggles with mental issues, but that doesn't stop him - he never gives up, taking anything in his stride that life throws at him. There are twists and turns wherever you look in this book and as I reader I was really rooting for David. The feel of it reminded me a bit of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. It felt life-affirming, sweet and made me feel good. A wonderful read! You know you are onto something fantastic when you feel sad upon reaching the last page! Alexandra Williams, A LoveReading Ambassador
Murderous, Mysterious, Machination
From the suave to the sleazy, the saint to the sinner; from the sensitive to the sanguine, the sexy to the squalid, we just can’t resist a good sleuth. Here you’ll find immersive crime stories to feed your fascination for conspiracy, your love for psychological sorcery, to make your hairs stand up on the back of your neck, to make your blood run cold and adrenaline fill your nervous system. Whether you’re after a classic like; Poirot (Agatha Christie), Rebus (Rankin) or Morse (Colin Dexter); or a more contemporary crime confrontation from the likes of, Michael Connelly, Gillian Flynn or J.A Lance, there’s something here to float the most demanding of boats. Have a look at our Books of the Month from this and previous months for a head start to a great next read.
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