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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.
This highly readable thriller-cum-domestic drama tingles with intrigue when a single mother is drawn into a world of violence. Single mom Nicole Adams is approaching forty and entirely focused on her sixteen-year-old son, Justin, and her budding career as a ceramicist. Nicole’s story opens at a thrillingly pivotal moment in her life - the Contemporary Crafts Museum of Los Angeles has just offered her a place in their upcoming show. “This was my chance, an incredible opportunity. I was an artist!” she enthuses. Pivotal Moment Number Two takes place shortly after, when Justin brings home a girl for the very first time, Daniela, who was “as young and fresh and lovely as a rosebud from my garden”. A girl whose presence was also entirely unexpected, for Justin had never previously shown any interest in the opposite sex. More bombshells follow, first when Justin announces that Daniela needs a place to stay, and second when he reveals that she’s pregnant. Nicole does the only thing she can and takes Daniela in – she’s a big-hearted woman, 100% committed to doing the right thing, especially when it comes to doing the right thing by her family, including her grandchild-to-be. But, as a result of this, she becomes embroiled in the violence of Daniela’s family. Nicole is an appealing character many readers will for, and her predicaments pose some “what would I do in her position?” questions for readers too. It’s also well-paced, and includes engaging sub-plots around her sister and relationship history. Joanne Owen
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.
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...
Roy Grace, creation of the award-winning author Peter James, exposes the dark side of the internet in Dead at First Sight. You don't know me, but I thought I knew you . . . A man waits at a London airport for Ingrid Ostermann, the love of his life, to arrive. Across the Atlantic, a retired NYPD cop waits in a bar in Florida's Key West for his first date with the lady who is, without question, his soulmate. The two men are about to discover they've been scammed out of almost every penny they have in the world - and that neither women exist. Meanwhile, a wealthy divorcee plunges, in suspicious circumstances, from an apartment block in Munich. In the same week, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to investigate the suicide of a woman in Brighton, that is clearly not what it seems. As his investigations continue, a handsome Brighton motivational speaker comes forward. He's discovered his identity is being used to scam eleven different women, online. The first he knew of it was a phone call from one of them, out of the blue, saying, `You don't know me, but I thought I knew you'. That woman is now dead. Roy Grace realizes he is looking at the tip of an iceberg. A global empire built on clever, cruel internet scams and the murder of anyone who threatens to expose them.
Set mainly in Syria, this is a book about counter-intelligence and double-dealings during the conflict. It was interesting to get an idea of what is really going on behind the news. We are never quite sure who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, and there are some pretty nasty characters. The game keeps changing and the story has many twists and turns. There's plenty of action-imagine James Bond in a tight spot - and things don't always turn out as one might imagine. It's a cleverly constructed story, but one does need to concentrate as who is who can be confusing, I actually took notes to help me. The beginning gave us quite a lot of information and I had to re-read it a couple of times to set it in my head. The setting of the book seems well researched and convincingly portrayed. It's interesting to get a glimpse into other lands and their cultures from the safety of your own home. This book transports the reader into the somewhat dangerous life in the Middle East as it is at the moment. Chris Woolfenden, A LoveReading Ambassador
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.
This second book of the Andalusian Mystery Series finds DI Leon Prado with his translators, videographer Amanda Salisbury and ex-British soldier Phillip Armitage, fathoming an intriguing case in the world of bullfighting. Public opinion is demanding that the ancient cultural activity of bullfighting is banned—or at least transformed. Diego Romero is the youthful star of Spain’s premier league of toreros—bullfighters. He’s deeply worried about the future of his art form. Diego, backed by the might of two of bullfighting’s most enduring dynasties, proposes an updated version with no bloodletting or killing, but the Royal Taurino Society—the powerful bullfighting watchdog—insists on retaining its beloved death in the afternoon. Their conflict comes to a head at the Pedro Romero Festival in Ronda where Diego discovers that a more sinister group is also desperate to block his modernizing agenda. The series is based on the author’s actual experiences lecturing about bullfighting and translating in hospitals and police stations.
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.