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.
Shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 2015. A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. In the footsteps of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and S.J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep, the unreliable narrator domestic drama of untruths is the new 'hot' genre. The author was best known under another name for chick lit entertainments. Hawkins's book is the first stone in a veritable avalanche of titles mining the territory as publishers rush in with a vengeance and has already catapulted to the top of the charts both in the UK and the USA. And deservedly so. The parallel narratives of three women protagonists twist and turn in an unsettling spiral where nothing is what it seems, from what Rachel sees from her train window or Megan does watching the same train from her house by the line, or even Anna down the same road who, coincidentally, stole Rachel's husband. Deliberately unlikeable and dishonest characters add spice to the devilish web of proceedings and make this a terribly clever hit. Every now and again a debut novel really breaks through and shines. This is one. After a slow start the pace picks up and tension builds through the many twist and turns. Strangely you keep re-evaluating your opinion as to whom the real villain of the piece may be – all very clever. Written in three first-person female voices you slowly see how the women connect and how past events in their lives have helped shape them into the people they are today. Rachel, the girl on the train, is a highly unreliable narrator, Megan is the girl the mystery surrounds as she disappears and Anna is married to Rachel’s ex-husband and neighbour of Megan. It is very good indeed.
Featuring Simon Kernick's maverick detective, Tina Boyd, this is the gripping new race-against-time thriller by the best-selling author of Relentless, The Last 10 Seconds and Stay Alive. 'It's night, and I'm in a strange house. The lights are on, and I'm standing outside a half-open door. Feeling a terrible sense of forboding, I walk slowly inside. And then I see her. A woman lying sprawled across a huge double bed. She's dead. There's blood everywhere. And the most terrifying thing of all is that I think her killer might be me...' A traumatic car-crash. A man with no memory, haunted by nightmares. When the past comes calling in the most terrifying way imaginable, Matt Barron is forced to turn to the one person who can help. Ex Met cop, turned private detective, Tina Boyd. Soon they are both on the run...
Shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2015. Bauer's great gift is her ability to surprise the reader ...She makes you think a bit differently about the world . (Daily Telegraph). On the beaches and cliffs of North Devon, young women have become victims in a terrifying game where only one player knows the rules. And when those rules change, the new game is Murder. But a madman on the loose feels very far from the crumbling, seaside home of ten-year-old Ruby Trick. Instead she lives in constant fear of school bullies, the dark forest, and the threat of her parents' divorce. Helping her father to catch the killer seems like the only way to keep him close. As long as the killer doesn't catch her first.
A family tragedy. A buried secret. What lies hidden in the flames? A dense, bitterly cold fog has settled over the Wye Valley when Bristol Coroner Jenny Cooper is called to the scene of a dreadful tragedy: in the village of Blackstone Ley, a house has burned to the ground with three members of a family inside. Though evidence of foul play is quickly uncovered, it isn't long before the police investigation is drawn to a close. It seems certain that the fire was started by one of the victims, Ed Morgan, in a fit of jealous rage. But their infant son is still missing and Ed had left a message for his surviving wife, Kelly Hart, telling her that she would never find the child ...As Jenny prepares the inquest, she finds herself troubled by the official version of events. What could have provoked Ed's murderous rampage? How might the other, guarded inhabitants of the village have been involved? And what could the connection be with the mysterious abduction of a little girl ten years ago? Battling to supress gruelling events in her own life, Jenny soon becomes entangled in another perplexing inquiry that may have surprising links to this one. Can she unearth Blackstone Ley's secrets, before it's too late?
This is the gripping new psychological suspense novel from the author of Until You're Mine. Oh God, please don't let me die. It has taken nearly two years for the Warwickshire village of Radcote to put a spate of teenage suicides behind it. Then a young man is killed in a freak motorbike accident, and a suicide note is found among his belongings. A second homeless boy takes his own life, this time on the railway tracks. Is history about to repeat itself? DI Lorraine Fisher has just arrived for a relaxing summer break with her sister. Soon she finds herself caught up in the resulting police enquiry. And when her nephew disappears she knows she must act quickly. Are the recent deaths suicide - or murder? And is the nightmare beginning again?
Although DCI Banks makes some appearances and is indeed featured on the cover, this whodunit largely stars Annie Cabot and his female staff snowed under with a weird case full of red herrings. Could it be a World War II mystery as human blood is found in a disused hangar, a racial crime as a mixed-race boy disappears, a small matter of theft as agricultural machinery goes missing or something far more sinister as dismembered human body parts turn up among sheep carcasses? All very intriguing.
When Riley Cowan finds her estranged husband Jeff dead in his palatial home, she's sure it's no coincidence. The police rule it a suicide, but Riley thinks someone's out for blood - specifically someone Jeff's father ripped off in one of the biggest financial fraud cases of all time. She suspects that someone is trying to send a message to Jeff's father: tell me where the money is, or everyone you care about will die. Riley's in-laws might be billionaires, but she's afraid that not even their dirty money can protect her from an irate investor who will stop at nothing to get his hands on his misappropriated cash. Enter Finn Bradley, Philly-based FBI agent and, once upon a time, Riley's love interest. Finn agrees to help Riley, and the two reignite sparks they both thought were extinguished long ago. But can they discover the killer's identity in time, before he resurfaces - and strikes again?
Tom and Abby Stuart had everything: a perfect marriage, successful careers, and a beautiful twelve-year-old daughter, Caitlin. Then one day Caitlin vanished without a trace. For a while they grasped at every false hope and followed every empty lead, but the tragedy ended up changing their lives, overwhelming them with guilt and dread, and shattering their marriage. Four years later, Caitlin is found alive-dirty and dishevelled yet preternaturally calm. She won't discuss where she was or what happened. Then the police arrest a suspect connected to her disappearance, but Caitlin refuses to testify, leaving the Stuarts with a choice: Let the man who may be responsible for destroying their lives walk away, or take matters into their own hands. And when Tom decides to try to uncover the truth for himself, he finds that nothing that has happened yet can prepare him for what he is about to discover.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Another fast-paced tale featuring a hitman as its hero, Quarry's Choice is actually the eleventh volume in a highly popular series by one of US crime fiction's most experienced veterans (and creator of The Road to Perdition, which all filmgoers will fondly remember). On this occasion, we return to Quarry's early years in a case where he is called upon to investigate who is attempting to murder his own employer, the Broker. A violent man and a Vietnam Vet, Quarry is an unstoppable killing machine and the fun is not to take the mayhem too seriously. Like Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, the adventures of which Collins has continued writing as heir to the bloody Spillane tradition, this is a form of cartoon violence set against a small-town America background and just great entertainment. For Jack Reacher fans who want more fisticuffs and gunfights.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Now Australia-based award-winning Irish author McKinty, after a detour into historical crime, finally delivers a sparkling fourth volume featuring his fascinating Catholic cop Sean Duffy, at the time of the 'Troubles'. It's 1985 and Duffy is barely holding on to his job in the hostile atmosphere of the Royal UIster Constabulary. The murder of an old couple at first rings no particular alarms, but soon their troubled son commits suicide, leaving a note admitting to the crime. But something doesn't add up and the case is far from closed when further deaths occur. Duffy's doughty investigation soon uncovers a spider's web of intrigue, involving shadowy US intelligence forces and leads him straight to the heart of a major political scandal. Will he swim or sink? Impeccable plotting and a wonderful cast of often unconventional characters make this a perfect read.
On a sultry afternoon in the summer of 1936 a woman accidentally interrupts an attempted murder in a London hotel room. Nina Land, a West End actress, faces a dilemma: she's not supposed to be at the hotel in the first place, and certainly not with a married man. But once it becomes apparent that she may have seen the face of the man the newspapers have dubbed 'the Tie-Pin Killer' she realises that another woman's life could be at stake. Jimmy Erskine is the raffish doyen of theatre critics who fears that his star is fading: age and drink are catching up with him, and in his late-night escapades with young men he walks a tightrope that may snap at any moment. He has depended for years on his loyal and longsuffering secretary Tom, who has a secret of his own to protect. Tom's chance encounter with Madeleine Farewell, a lost young woman haunted by premonitions of catastrophe, closes the circle: it was Madeleine who narrowly escaped the killer's stranglehold that afternoon, and now walks the streets in terror of his finding her again. Curtain Call is a comedy of manners, and a tragedy of mistaken intentions. From the glittering murk of Soho's demi-monde to the grease paint and ghost-lights of theatreland, the story plunges on through smoky clubrooms, tawdry hotels and drag balls towards a denouement in which two women are stalked by the same killer. As bracing as a cold Martini and as bright as a new tie-pin, it is at once a deeply poignant love story, a murder mystery and an irresistible portrait of a society dancing towards the abyss.
Sebastian von Eschburg, scion of a wealthy, self-destructive family, survived his disastrous childhood to become a celebrated if controversial artist. He casts a provocative shadow over the Berlin scene; his disturbing photographs and installations show that truth and reality are two distinct things. When Sebastian is accused of murdering a young woman and the police investigation takes a sinister turn, seasoned lawyer Konrad Biegler agrees to represent him - and hopes to help himself in the process. But Biegler soon learns that nothing about the case, or the suspect, is what it appears.
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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