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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.
May 2017 Debut of the Month. What Alice Knew is enough to devastate anyone. Admittedly I would not always have acted as she did but OMG she had some tough choices to make after a dreadful set of circumstances befell her. Poor woman. Much soul-searching and agony ensues. She, Alice, is a portrait painter and we are given an astute insight into the mind of such an artist and her interpretation of the modern art world. He, Ed her husband, is a highly respected obstetrician with a protégé who has a party after his exams and that is where our problem arises. I loved this book, really found it impossible to draw away from, once finished it haunted me for days. Compulsive, informative and very thought-provoking. I admire Mr Cotterell’s ability to portray a woman until the very end when I think he went a tad too far but it makes for a great ending. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
May 2017 Debut of the Month. Sharp, clever Australian crime thriller constructed around the compelling set-up of Detective Ted Conkaffey being accused - but not convicted - of the abduction, rape and strangulation of a thirteen year-old girl. Now estranged from his family, Ted has moved to Crimson Lake, hoping to escape the constant harassment that comes with being tried for such a crime, but very aware that he could be rearrested at any moment. Ted lives a hermit’s life until he meets straight-talking, effervescent Amanda Pharrell. Being a convicted murderer who’s now working as a private investigator, she also knows a thing or two about being a pariah. She and Ted spark up a joshing, bickering, brilliantly evoked sibling-like relationship as they investigate the disappearance of a local bestselling author, Jake Scully. While forensic evidence confirms that Jake was eaten by a crocodile, how and why this happened is as clear as Crimson Lake’s murky waters. The intense investigation uncovers a veritable viper's nest of secrets and, along the way, both Ted and Amanda discover some revelatory truths about each other’s cases, and the very final twist is a stroke of gasp-inducing genius. Menacing, absorbing and edgily entertaining, it’s no wonder Candice Fox is being celebrated as a new star of crime fiction. ~ Joanne Owen
In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn't pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she's afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool...
May 2017 Debut of the Month. A beautifully eerie tale, a feast for your eyes, a torment for your mind. The exquisite cover immediately called to me, I found myself bewitched and reaching out to touch it. A house sits at the centre of this tale, a house bought as a means to escape, to reconnect, to exist at one with the surroundings. Michael invites us to listen to a story, and he paints a picture for you to taste, to feel. The descriptions are striking, particularly of the people, filling my eye and mind with their essence. Yet a trickle of unease hovers over the pages, encouraging thoughts to flicker, leaving you teetering on the edge of fear. Billy O’Callaghan writes with a skilfully light touch, this isn’t a terrifying, afraid to sit in the dark tale, it’s more subtle than that, instead it will creep inside minds, slice a little space for itself, and take up residence.‘The Dead House’, with a shiver-inducing final few pages, is a wonderfully mesmerising read, and I loved it. ~ Liz Robinson
Another commanding, powerhouse of a read from Daniel Pembrey. Night Market continues on from the first in the series, diving straight into part IV, and while you could enjoy this as a standalone, you would be missing out if you don't enter with the ‘The Harbour Master’. The rather wonderful Henk van der Pol is tasked with infiltrating a jointly policed investigation team. He enters a murky, chilling world, where he not only scrutinises his colleagues, he questions himself, and the world of justice. Set in the main in The Netherlands, we also visit Norway, each location enters the story with vivid intensity. This is such a readable tale, I just gobbled it up, the action constantly evolves, spinning your thoughts, testing your feelings. Tenacious, provocative, and with plenty of surprises in store, ‘Night Market’ really is a story to get your teeth into. ~ Liz Robinson
May 2017 Book of the Month. A captivating, fiendishly puzzling crime drama with an exotic, fascinating backdrop. Martial, Liane, and their daughter Sopha are on holiday on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, then Liane disappears and Martial finds himself the only suspect. The main pair in the investigating team are simply fabulous characters, in particular Christos, who would rather sit back with a glass of rum than work for a living. Michel Bussi has the wonderful ability to take you on a completely different journey with each book he writes, yet each is a compelling, high-octane, outstanding read. I found my thoughts tumbling over each other as Bussi took me into the minds of the characters. The daughter Sopha talks in the the first person, creating incredibly intimate and powerful moments in time. Translations of certain local words sit waiting for you, allowing a discovery of the place and people. ‘Don’t Let Go’ twists and writhes, constantly moving forward, tension escalates until the final heart-stopping moments. ~ Liz Robinson
THERE'S A NEW KILLER ON THE STREETS. A woman is found murdered after an internet date. The marks left on her body show the police that they are dealing with a particularly vicious killer. HE'S IN YOUR HOUSE...HE'S IN YOUR ROOM. Under pressure from the media to find the murderer, the force know there's only one man for the job. But Harry Hole is reluctant to return to the place that almost took everything from him. Until he starts to suspect a connection between this killing and his one failed case. HE'S OUT FOR BLOOD. When another victim is found, Harry realises he will need to put everything on the line if he's to finally catch the one who got away.
This book is the Sunday Times best-seller and WHSmith Book of the Year 2016. People are capalmost alomost anything. Meticulously crafted and razor-sharp. The Couple Next Door lingers long after you turn the final page. (Harlan Coben). Fast-paced and addictive, The Couple Next Door announces a major new talent in thriller writing. You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall. Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying. Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour. Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone. You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there. What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit? How well do we ever know those around us? The Couple Next Door will keep you glued to the pages in search of the answer. Even then, you'll never guess the truth...until it's too late. (Lisa Gardner).
Just incredible… this punchy, beautiful, readable story vibrates with a powerful energy. After Turk Bauer accuses nurse Ruth Jefferson of murdering his new born son, Kennedy McQuarrie defends Ruth in court. Each of the three main characters, in their own distinct and unique voice, tell us their story, we live side by side with them, and also delve into their past. This is a book that made me think, but also deep down in the centre of my innermost core it made me feel. Within a few pages I was crying, then in the next chapter I was burning with disbelief, a short while later still, I was reflecting, contemplating, questioning. This isn't about good and evil, it isn't as simple, or even as complicated as that, this is a book that shines a light on racism, on prejudice, and then invites you to examine your own thoughts and feelings. I was desperate to know the ending, and yet didn't want it to finish, and when I turned the last page I sat back and just felt myself float free. At the centre of ‘Small Great Things’ is an open, welcoming, loving heart that beats with a vibrant intensity, and it is quite simply, a must read. ~ Liz Robinson
Then: Madeleine lived for her children. She'd always believed she'd die for them, too. But on the morning of her twins' tenth birthday her love was put to the test when a killer knocked on their door and forced her to make a devastating choice: which child should live, and which should die - her son, or her daughter? Now: Madeleine stands silent on the periphery of her now fractured family, trying desperately to unravel why her world was so suddenly blown apart. But while everyday life continues around her, memories of everything leading up to that tragic day return in agonising flashes. And that's when she realises her family's life still hangs terrifyingly in the balance...
A tense, vivid, standalone tale set in the early 1980’s from the author of ‘The Tales of the Notorious Hudson Family’ series. Vicky and Lucy are best friends, when they leave school they take different paths as they fall for two very different men, and an uneasy relationship develops. When Vicky’s life goes into catastrophic freefall, will Lucy still be there for her oldest friend? This story is in the same vein as ‘Blood Ties’ and ‘Bad Blood’, the Hudson’s aren’t to be seen, however the author’s trademark gritty, compelling writing again covers the pages. The story gallops along, fascinating and confrontational in equal measure as I found myself wanting to shake some sense and awareness into Vicky. ‘Blood Sisters’ is a full-on spiky tale of family drama, ghastly deeds, and loving friendship, and it’s another winner from Julie Shaw. ~ Liz Robinson Tales of the Notorious Hudson Family series:1. Our Vinnie2. My Uncle Charlie3. My Mam Shirley4. Blood Ties5. Bad Blood6. Blood Sisters
May 2017 Book of the Month. A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The first adult novel by an acclaimed children's book author, Sweet Pea hits all the right buttons. A dark, twisted read about a female serial killer with dollops of humour, sarcasm and a lightweight approach to a serious subject that shouldn't work but does! Rhiannon loves her pet dog and her doll house and works in a menial position at her local newspaper. She also kills people in imaginative ways. None of them are actually innocent; well, maybe one was... Her boyfriend is cheating on her with a friend to his peril. You can't help but smile along with Rhiannon as her diary unfolds, bitchy, sarcastic, lethal. Skuse is clever and maintains just the right balance of immorality, belly laughs, sinister actions and eye-opening commentary on the absurdities and pettiness of everyday life to, keeping you gripped and on the hook, both smiling and squirming. I'm looking forward to her next 'grown-up' book, as this one will be hard to beat! ~ Maxim Jakubowski The Lovereading view... Oooh, this is a truly cringe-inducing, yet addictive, whammy of a read. ‘Sweetpea’ is the diary of a serial killer, Rhiannon may look sweet and innocent, but inside that shell, is a plotting, deviously twisted mind. The first chapter shocked me, in fact every chapter shocked me, I blurted with laughter and then burned with guilt at my reaction as words spilled from Rhiannon’s mind onto the page. If you find the thought of an evil-thinking, murdering psychopath, who tosses imaginative profanities like litter a little off-putting, then do think twice before opening this book. If you do peek, be warned, I found it impossible to put down, this is a psychopath whose words struck a chord and made me wonder at my own propensity for wickedness. This is the first novel for adults from C. J. Skuse, and I think she must have an evil little monster residing in her pen, yet as information was revealed, my thoughts halted, coiled, altered. ‘Sweetpea’ is a wonderfully surprising novel, obvious, a shock-fest, in your face… yet incredibly subtle and thought-provoking too, I loved it, I absolutely loved it. ~ Liz Robinson
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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