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.
You're back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow. You're keen to find a place of your own. But for now you're crashing in your big brother's spare room. That's when you meet the man next door. He's the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him. All the time. But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession. Or that someone is watching you. Family secrets, illicit passion and an unexplained murder? It can only be the gripping new novel from Lisa Jewell.
She appears, lithe and tanned, by the swimming pool one afternoon. Severine - the girl next door. It was supposed to be a final celebration for six British graduates, the perfect French getaway, until she arrived. Severine's beauty captivates each of them in turn. Under the heat of a summer sky, simmering tensions begin to boil over - years of jealousy and longing rising dangerously to the surface. And then Severine disappears. A decade later, Severine's body is found at the farmhouse. For Kate Channing, the discovery brings up more than just unwelcome memories. As police suspicion mounts against the friends, Kate becomes desperate to resolve her own shifting understanding of that time. But as the layers of deception reveal themselves, Kate must ask herself - does she really want to know what happened to the French girl?
Vicki's husband David once promised to love her in sickness and in health. But after a brutal attack left her suffering with epilepsy, he ran away with his mistress. So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he's missing, her first thought is 'good riddance'. But then the police find evidence suggesting that David is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it. What really happened on the night of David's disappearance? And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she's not even sure of it herself?
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.
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.
Ooh, what a debut. Dark, complex relationships doesn’t quite capture the wrangled web of toxic emotions and intense power play that tumble out of this book. Against the backdrop of an idyllic Sweden, Merry’s perfect life crumbles page by page as we follow the twisted shifting stories of the three narrators. It was addictively compelling and I couldn’t put it down.
‘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 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 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 striking, rambunctious, Tom Ripley-ish debut about cuckoos in the family nest, the death of colonial Rhodesia and the bloody birth of corrupt Zimbabwe. This is a slow and challenging read about the change of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. It centres on an orphan boy, Zamani, who longs to be accepted as the “son” of his surrogate family with whom he lodges. Their natural son, Bukhosi, has disappeared during the internal struggle between rival supporters of Mugabe and Nkomo which followed independence. The boy’s father won’t talk about his past but Zamani needs the details filled in so he can feel he belongs and also to hopefully help him find Bukhosi. He plies the man with whisky to get him to talk and so the background unfolds. In a novel of genocide there is a great deal of violence and actually little historical detail. The concentration is on the effect of the conflict on individual lives in a tale of deceit and deception. Horrific stuff.
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.
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: