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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 captivating and wonderfully evocative historical crime novel based in 1351, this is the second in the series, set after ‘Plague Land’. While it’s best to start at the beginning, ‘The Butcher Bird’ can actually be read as a standalone novel, as the background to the family structure is explained. At Somershill Manor, Oswald de Lacy attempts to solve the mysterious death of a baby, however he finds the situation running away from him. The historical notes at the end confirm this was a frightening time, with change coming hard on the heels of the Black Death. S. D. Sykes ensures that menace stalks through the pages, yet a weary and determined defiance makes itself felt. I believed the perilous nature of the times and flinched from the raw stink and the healing concoctions as I attempted to unravel this knotty, yet compelling mystery.
Highly Recommended. The new novel from the author of The Girl With All The Gifts is a gripping meld of prison novel, whodunit and supernatural suspense. Carey is an astute observer of people and their foibles and this novel, set in Fellside, a private prison on the North Yorkshire moors, offers him ample opportunity to introduce the reader to a cast of troubled and very real characters. Fellside is a modern prison but is full of the Dickensian abuse and violence. And something else, rather more otherworldly. Newly arrived in Fellside is Jess Moulson, a young woman addicted to heroin, found guilty of murdering a boy in a fire that consumed the flats where she and the boy’s family were living. Jess is plagued by a terrifying cocktail of guilt, heroin withdrawal and the pain of her injuries. Considering death, Jess begins to see the ghost of the dead boy. He speaks to her, asks for her help, offers some sort of redemption. At which point Carey’s novel breaks out of the prison genre and takes us to places beyond life and waking. Carey is a very skilled writer able to use brief moments to introduce both horror and sensitive insight into the lives of his characters. The latter part of the book takes a few liberties with criminal justice procedures but by this point you are gripped by Jess’ search for the truth. A perfect read for fans of Stephen King, John Connolly and Sarah Pinborough.
‘The Disappearance’ is a wonderfully tense and readable family tale, capable of delivering sharp shocks as you sink into the story. 70 year old Audrey vanishes during a cruise after telling her two children that they are set to receive a large amount of money when she dies. Setting the timeline before, during and after the disappearance of Audrey, we hear daughter Lexi tell her own tale, while Audrey’s is told on her behalf as it moves forward in time from 1970, allowing us to learn more about Audrey, in fact far more than even her children. Annabel Kantaria sets sinister undertones lying in wait, they menace the story, surprising and harassing your senses and yet, as events unfold, moments of love and compassion create a quite beautiful balance. This is a convincing and clever tale, handled with empathy, and all too easy to lose yourself in… prepare to read this in one go!
Harry Bosch no longer works for the LAPD having retired six months ago. He hired his half-brother, defence lawyer Mickey Haller, to sue the department for forcing him out. Not popular! But this does enable Connelly to mix his two main series together for, although this is Harry Bosch’s twentieth book, Haller is Connelly’s other series character. The mixing works well in another well-paced, intriguing and complex mystery. Mickey is happy to help Harry but he needs help himself. He has a client, a former gang member whom the police are prosecuting for murder but the man adamantly proclaims his innocence. Harry Bosch has never worked for the defence. His life has been spent putting bad people behind bars, not finding ways of getting them acquitted, but this particular case seems to be full of holes. It is starting to look rather like a set up. Certainly Bosch’s former colleagues will view him a traitor but if Mickey believes in his client then someone else is guilty and needs to be found. This is ace stuff; difficult to put down. One of our Books of the Year 2015.
A riveting, powerful exploration of love, guilt, survival and how echoes of the past can clamour and cause confusion in the present. This is a story with a ferocious intensity that asks… just how far would you go in order to survive. Primarily about Robin and Paul, each with their weaknesses and strengths, it is the fleeting vivid glimpses of the background characters that binds and unites this story together. The author has the ability to explore humanity and in one sentence he can make you pause and consider. Kennedy paints a vibrant luminous picture with words and the fierce colour of Morocco is given life. Suspense builds, emotions are ripped asunder and you're left to explore the fragility of life in this clever, impactive tale. ~ Liz Robinson
Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist have not been in touch for some time. Then Blomkvist is contacted by renowned Swedish scientist Professor Balder. Warned that his life is in danger, but more concerned for his son's well-being, Balder wants Millennium to publish his story - and it is a terrifying one. More interesting to Blomkvist than Balder's world-leading advances in Artificial Intelligence, is his connection with a certain female superhacker. It seems that Salander, like Balder, is a target of ruthless cyber gangsters - and a violent criminal conspiracy that will very soon bring terror to the snowbound streets of Stockholm, to the Millennium team, and to Blomkvist and Salander themselves.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Irish crime writer Connolly's Charlie Parker series has now reached its 14th volume and never fails to impress. Indeed, it just keeps on getting better and better and increasingly haunting. What began as a particularly atmospheric series of books featuring a wounded character in search of redemption in the fogs of rural Maine and other convincing American landscapes has turned into a major literary triumph, as Connolly has quickly abandoned the restrictive corset of the crime genre and thanks to his evocative writing reached a summit where only the likes of James Lee Burke, who like Connolly ever flirts with the supernatural, shares the throne. Magical, horrific, poetic, gothic, the adjectives soon run out for this shadow world Connolly and his character inhabit and keep on renewing. Parker has even died but his mission in life persists, back from the grave to fight the forces of darkness that lie at the heart of men. A memorable character and yet another unforgettable glimpse of the face of terror. Unique and rewarding. ~ Maxim Jakubowski The Lovereading view... Prepare to enter the distinctive and formidable mind of John Connolly, set aside time, and lose yourself in this fascinating and bone-chilling world. A quick word of advice, if you haven't come across this series before, don't start here, go find yourself a copy of ‘Every Dead Thing’. Charlie Parker, who in previous books has been broken, unmade, fractured… is back, oh, and so are Louis and Angel. The first chapter whipped at my imagination and set me thinking, considering. Charlie doesn't tell his own story, instead there is a commentary, a presence, that informs, but doesn't pass judgement. John Connolly doesn't pander to the reader, you are expected to keep up, which adds a real edge to an already deeply dark and chilling read. With the supernatural on the rise and a hero needing help, ‘A Time of Torment’ is a beast of a good read and it has a whopping thumbs up from me. ~ Liz Robinson
An enthralling and quite, quite wonderful historical thriller, where the story absolutely thrives in the midst of one of the most famous times in British history. The first chapter not only blasts you immediately into the roaring flames of the Great Fire of London in 1666, it also firmly knocks at the door of intrigue. James Marwood is set the task of hunting down a killer, while Cat is set on a deadly game of revenge. I rubbed my hands with glee and settled in for a thunderingly good read. Andrew Taylor paints a vivid and terrifying scene, I stood in the crowd and witnessed St Paul’s writhing in the flames, he also handles the suspense with a masterly hand. James and Cat’s tales run arm in arm, the storylines tease each other, linked and yet each standing vibrantly strong. I savoured every moment of this readable and fascinating story, ‘Ashes of London’ is a simply fabulous read. April 2016 eBook of the Month.
April 2016 Book of the Month. An intriguing and stirring tale, overflowing with family drama. Claire tells her story, which is set six months after her son Billy went missing. Claire’s thoughts begin to fracture as she slowly uncovers secrets held by her family and friends. Interspersed throughout the story are electronic conversations between two people, dated as taking place before Billy went missing, these may be short, however they create a biting tension, which, as the story unfolds, absolutely skyrockets. C.L. Taylor allows you to feel Claire’s anguish and uncertainty while at the same time, the electronic messages push your thoughts in different directions. The writing effectively tears at you, and even if your suspicions start to screech and point, you'll find yourself questioning them! ‘The Missing’ is a fabulously rolling, coiling, twisting tale, if you can’t trust your family, who can you trust?
April 2016 New Gen Book of the Month. No-one writes teen horror with anything like the wit, gory panache and comic timing of Derek Landy. His Demon Road stories are definitely not for the faint-hearted: fourteen people have been disembowelled, ripped apart or had their heads staved in by the end of page two of this new book! But they are irresistible reading for anyone looking for thrilling page-turners peopled by a hugely appealing cast of eccentrics and outsiders (not all of them alive). Demon Amber is once again racing down America’s Dark Highway with her bodyguard Miles, racing against time to complete her bargain with the devil, only this time the Hounds of Hell are on her trail. Breathless, blood-stained, far, far more fun than it has any right to be! Other masters of the macabre for teenagers include Charlie Higson (The Enemy series), Darren Shan (Demonata series) and Michael Grant (Gone series).
Reader favourites Tony Hill and Carol Jordan return in another impeccable, major thriller with all the McDermid trademarks of breathless tension, unsettling graphic criminal details and a plot engineered inch by inch to grip and never let go. Forget their erstwhile small screen portrayals and get involved with the so much more complex psychology of characters familiar but always a tad unpredictable, and thefeore eminently human. The grizzled psychological profiler and the former DCI with a troubled past team up once more to track and hunt down a particularly imaginative and cruel serial killer whose murderous deeds remain hidden behind the surface as apparent suicides provoked by malicious online stalking, shielding him from the law. As ever, the matter becomes highly personal and a race against time is set in motion. If you like to squirm in your armchair unable to close the pages until the sometimes bitter end, McDermid's your dame! ~ Maxim Jakubowski
April 2016 eBook of the Month. This is the third in the ‘DI Marnie Rome’ series, and is just as distinctive, powerful and enthralling as the first two (Sarah Hilary’s debut won the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year). In a detached and indifferent London, an offer of shelter, food and warmth for those in need may not be all that it seems. Marnie and Noah find themselves thrust into an investigation where a series of events start to merge into the perfect nightmare. The writing ensures that you invest in these people, care about them, and in just a few perfectly chosen words you can catch an emotion, see their surroundings, feel their fear. Sarah Hilary has a knack of being able to knock your thoughts off balance, and she’s particularly sneaky about it too! I’ve been a dedicated follower of DI Rome since ‘Someone Else’s Skin’, and having snatched ‘Tastes Like Fear’ up the moment it appeared in the office, was immediately captivated. I couldn't put this particularly riveting tale down until I had reached the final, shiver inducing page. Sarah Hilary, you rock! A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'TASTES LIKE FEAR, Sarah Hilary’s fantastic new novel is the third in the DI Marnie Rome series and is equally as brilliant as Sarah’s debut SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN and her second novel NO OTHER DARKNESS. In this novel Marnie and her sidekick Noah Jake are searching for a young girl who causes a car accident, believing she may be linked to another young girl who disappeared a few weeks before. As with her previous novels, Sarah explores devastating issues with care and sensitivity and, at its heart, this is a story about identity and how it can be eroded. It’s about being homeless, and how hopelessness and loneliness can dominate your life. It’s about control and what happens when you let someone into your life who doesn’t respect your independence. Above all, it’s frightening and tense and gripping. Sarah has an innate talent for characterisation and pace and this novel shows an author who is honing all her skills to become someone absolutely standout in the crime and thriller genre, and beyond. I absolutely loved working with her on this novel and urge you all to read it.' ~ Vicki Mellor, Editor, Headline
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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