Crime and Mystery Books

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.  

May 2022 Featured Books

The President's Daughter

The President's Daughter

Author: President Bill Clinton, James Patterson Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/05/2022

Every detail is accurate because one of the authors is President Bill Clinton. The drama and action never stop because the other author is James Patterson. ALL PRESIDENTS HAVE NIGHTMARES. THIS ONE IS ABOUT TO COME TRUE. Matthew Keating, a one-time Navy SEAL and a former US President, has always defended his family as fiercely as he has his country. Now these defences are under attack. And it's personal. Keating's teenage daughter, Melanie, has been abducted, turning every parent's deepest fear into a matter of national security. As the world watches, Keating embarks on a one-man special-ops mission that tests his strengths: as a leader, a warrior, and a father. Because Keating knows that in order to save Melanie's life he will have to put his own on the line . . . 

Two Nights in Lisbon

Two Nights in Lisbon

Author: Chris Pavone Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/05/2022

Wowsers. It’s kind-of a cliché to praise quality thrillers for being unpredictable and un-put-down-able, but Chris Pavone’s Two Nights in Lisbon delivers both those qualities with outstanding style. Reeling with smart misdirection, and raising questions around how well we really know people, Two Nights in Lisbon is a twisty rollercoaster of a read. The unnerving scenes of an American woman, Ariel, waking-up in Lisbon to find her husband gone soon veers in a direction you won’t see coming, setting the tone for the rest of the novel. Just when you think you’ve figured out what kind of story this is — bam! A new nugget comes to light and you’re hurtled down an entirely different track. In Lisbon for a vacation around her new husband’s work trip, Ariel reports his disappearance to the local police, and then the US Embassy. Neither are particularly interested at first — he hasn’t been gone that long, maybe he’s off with a mistress. A tonne of everyday explanations could account for his absence. But it’s not long before the stakes are raised — think changed identities, NDAs, and a murky situation in which it seems that no one’s who they claim to be. As Ariel remarks, “We tell ourselves stories about each other, about ourselves too, our pasts. We construct our narratives, we start with the big picture and then add details one by one, like building a house”, ending up with something “that looks like it’s been there forever, even though it’s a brand-new fabrication”.  And, having built a new life for herself, Ariel is forced to return to her past if her new husband is to have a future, and all the while she has her son back home to worry about, “one of the reasons that Ariel felt like she’d been living on high alert, waiting for some bad thing to happen”. Diving headlong into male abuses of power, and touching on how we leave digital footprints even if we try our damndest to be digitally invisible, Two Nights in Lisbon is a triumph.

Books of the Month
Kalmann

Kalmann

Author: Joachim B. Schmidt Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/05/2022

Thoroughly provocative, punchy, thoughtful and empathetic, I found this novel and its narrator to be an unforgettable reading experience. While his thoughts often put him on a different track to others, Kalmann is a hunter. His discovery of blood in the snow lead the police to believe a missing businessman has been murdered, even though there is no body. Kalmann has the most wonderfully distinctive voice, it feels open and trusting, and he appears to see the small almost inconsequential things that actually really matter. The plot hums along, the connection to Kalmanm grows, and Joachim B Schmidt encouraged the suspense to hover over me as I read. I found myself waiting, ready to tip one way or the other as my thoughts tripped and twisted. Translator Jamie Lee Searle does a cracking job, I felt as though I belonged, even while exclaiming at the differences. The impact of Kalmann shouldn’t be underestimated, he creeps under your skin and sits there quite contentedly waiting for your reaction. A worthy LoveReading Star Book, Kalmann is strikingly vivid, surprising, and incredibly powerful too. Loved it! The LoveReading LitFest invited Joachim B. Schmidt to the festival to talk about Kalmann. The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member. 

Star Books
Razorblade Tears

Razorblade Tears

Author: S. A. Cosby Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2022

Hitting with hammer hard precision, thrilling storytelling is balanced with pointed social commentary in this fabulous novel set in the USA. Two fathers, both ex-cons, seek revenge for the murder of their sons. One of my favourite books from last year was S. A. Cosby’s debut Blacktop Wasteland which I read for the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award judging, it spoke to us all and was a highly commended shortlisted title. So I came to this, his second book, with a huge sense of anticipation. The writing style is passionately and fiercely bold yet holds moments of quiet gentleness and real compassion. The characters rumble with authenticity and charged with emotion, I could see, hear, touch them. Delivering an all-consuming blast of violence, raw grief, and blistering regret, I was taken to an unknown place which made me feel the social issues on offer. The plot screams, really screams at the top of its voice as it races along and as with his first book I was left feeling stunned and emotionally drained after I had finished. This is a writer who is able to touch hearts and minds, all while offering an immensely entertaining read. Razorblade Tears is a provocative, powerful, beautiful novel that is both a LoveReading Star Book, and a Liz Pick of the Month.

Star Books
Equinox

Equinox

Author: David Towsey Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/05/2022

Equinox is a historical mystery with a sixteenth century feel and a fantasy twist. The writing is highly descriptive, and the graphic world-building drew me into the setting straight away, with its gloomy backdrop of war and witchcraft. This is a tale of two halves, literally. Two brothers inhabit the same body, one by day and one by night, with echoes of Jekyll and Hyde. They have distinct personalities and careers - the cynical witch hunter versus the musician - and know very little about how they each spend their time, yet they end up having to work together somehow. Tension rises between the two siblings as the book gathers pace from a steady but slowburning beginning to a dramatic ending. This dark read is more witchcraft thriller than crime thriller, and it contains some gruesome scenes so it's not for the fainthearted. As a standalone, it's certainly unique and imaginative.

The Man Who Died Twice

The Man Who Died Twice

Author: Richard Osman Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2022

It's the following Thursday. Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He's made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life. As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn't that be a bonus? But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn't bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

Audiobooks of the Month
The Dark Hours

The Dark Hours

Author: Michael Connelly Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2022

A CRIME BURIED FOR YEARS. AND ONE THAT'S JUST BEGUN... 'An authentic, topical and terrifying thriller: one of Michael Connelly's very best' THE TIMES 'Yet another superb thriller from a writer at the top of his game' SUNDAY EXPRESS 'Consistently excellent' MAIL ON SUNDAY * * * * * A MURDER YEARS IN THE MAKING A murder in the middle of a street party seems a senseless tragedy. But the victim had a dark past which came back to haunt him. THE DEEPER YOU LOOK Detective Renee Ballard connects the killing to an unsolved case last worked by ex-LAPD legend Harry Bosch. But then a new crime shatters the night shift... THE DARKER IT GETS The Midnight Men are a deadly pair of predators who stalk the city during the dark hours and disappear without a trace. Ballard once believed her job was to bring the truth to light. In a police department shaken to the core by protests and pandemic, both cases have the power to save her - or end her... * * * * * CRIME DOESN'T COME BETTER THAN CONNELLY: 'One of the very best writers working today' Sunday Telegraph 'The pre-eminent detective novelist of his generation' Ian Rankin 'The best mystery writer in the world' GQ 'A superb natural storyteller' Lee Child 'A master' Stephen King 'Crime thriller writing of the highest order' Guardian 'America's greatest living crime writer' Daily Express 'A crime writing genius' Independent on Sunday

The Man with the Silver Saab

The Man with the Silver Saab

Author: Alexander McCall Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2022

An alluring blend of English and Scandi wit and whimsy, Alexander McCall Smith’s Detective Varg series is an addictive joy. The Man with the Silver Saab, the third in the sequence, sees Ulf, of Malmo’s Department of Sensitive Crimes, fall for a colleague as he tries to solve a case involving a respected art historian who’s been implicated in fraudulent misidentification.   As always, Ulf’s hearing-impaired dog, Martin, is prominent. In this instance, the novel kicks off with an unfortunate incident involving Martin and an aggressive squirrel that prompts Ulf to muse on the fact that “a big thing happens while small things are going on around it”.   Ulf’s internal dialogues remain at the fore, too, and really they’re at this heart of this series, along with the first-rate, funny dialogue, and a twisting, labyrinthine plot that sees Ulf and Blomquist almost lose themselves in a maze of art world intrigue. 

Six Wounds

Six Wounds

Author: Morgan Cry Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2022

Six Wounds is an action-packed, entertaining mixture of pacy thriller and gritty whodunnit. Set in the sunny Costa Blanca, it provides the perfect balance of darkness and humour, with vivid descriptions that made me feel like I was there in the Spanish sunshine too, watching events unfold through a camera lens. Author Morgan Cry has created a solid cast of unforgettable characters, all larger than life with their individual quirks, flaws and eccentricities. Daniella Coulstoun is a feisty protagonist with plenty of attitude and a strong stubborn streak, bubbling with a rollercoaster of emotions as she learns more about her mother's shady past against a backdrop of murderous gangsters and British ex-pats. Six Wounds is highly engaging, taking its readers on a twisty path from beginning to end. Its witty dialogue made me laugh out loud, and the book was hard to put down. An ideal summer choice, providing hours of easy-to-read escapism.

Of Blood Descended

Of Blood Descended

Author: Steven Veerapen Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2022

Whether you’re an aficionado of novels set in the Tudor era, or are looking for an atmospheric page-turner to keep you reading into the wee hours, Steven Veerapen’s Of Blood Descended is likely to float your imperial barge. It’s a veritable feast of un-put-down-able historic fiction. It’s the summer of 1522 and as Henry VIII’s court receives Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, Anthony Blanke is summoned back to Hampton Court by Cardinal Wolsey, his former employee. The cardinal wants Anthony (the son of the king’s late black trumpeter, John Blanke) to take centre stage in a gift he’s preparing for Henry - a masque of King Arthur and the Black Knight. But Anthony’s role at court takes a very different turn when Wolsey’s historian is murdered, his body discovered as part of a grisly tableau scene, and Anthony is called upon to investigate the historian’s death. With “the shadowy, faceless, nameless murderer… abroad in the city streets”, he must “hunt him” on a labyrinthine inquiry as Anne Boleyn comes onto the scene. Witty, often funny, and always sharply evocative, Anthony’s narrative voice is incredibly engaging and gives this history-rich thriller broad modern appeal.

Book of Night

Book of Night

Author: Holly Black Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2022

#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies. Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn't pick, a book she couldn't steal, or a bad decision she wouldn't make. She's spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie. Now, she's trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but going straight isn't easy. Bartending at a dive, she's still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that her shadowless and possibly soulless boyfriend has been keeping secrets from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends back into a maelstrom of murder and lies. Determined to survive, she's up against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world - all trying to steal a secret that will allow them control of the shadow world and more.

The Shot

The Shot

Author: Sarah Sultoon Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2022

For readers with an interest in what happens behind the scenes in the newsrooms – of which there are many – The Shot is sure to satisfy their thirst for the next big scoop. Given her first chance in the spotlight, young TV journalist Samira is out to prove her worth. Alongside seasoned photographer Kris, they take a photograph – a shot that has thrown their whole mission and lives in peril. As a former CNN news executive, author Sarah Sultoon packs her novel with the kind of details that only someone who’s been on the frontline of war reporting can – from what life is like in conflict zones, to the petty squabbles in the newsroom. What many readers may be left with is the full effect and exposure of the realities of war reporting. Sultoon’s style never veers into gratuitous violence, but her book is made only more visceral by the current conflict in Ukraine.  

eBooks of the Month
Vanda

Vanda

Author: Marion Brunet Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/04/2022

Marginal people scratching a living on the beach in Marseille, no money and no way out - this is the framework of Marion Brunet’s unsettling novel, Vanda. A short but sharply written book, Vanda is about a single mother, whose life has been one of free-spirited rebellion, trying to hold things together for her young son. What the novel is really about is prejudice, the secret cruelty of society and how having no money makes you an easy target. Thought-provoking fiction with a strong narrative drive, Vanda is expertly translated from the French by Katherine Gregor. Author Marion Brunet was previously recognised in France for her young adult fiction, yet Vanda and her previous adult novel, The Summer Of Reckoning, which won the prestigious French literary prize, Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, have taken her work to a new and eager audience.

Who's Lying Now?

Who's Lying Now?

Author: Susan Lewis Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/04/2022

Emotions are running high in the coastal town of Kesterly-on-Sea. It’s the height of a pandemic; an important friendship is in tatters and more than one marriage hangs in the balance. But for high-flying couple Jeannie and Guy Symonds, life couldn’t be sweeter. Until 6 January 2021 - the day Jeannie mysteriously disappears. Fans of Susan Lewis won’t be disappointed, those new to her books will be sucked right in. This is a novel that exudes suspense, sexual tension and a cast of perfectly developed characters who all have their own stories to tell and secrets to hide. With each chapter comes a new revelation or encounter that has you questioning what you know and who you believe, who you are rooting for and who you are slowly beginning to mistrust. This is page-turning, nail-biting stuff! Thankfully, Trainee Investigator, Cara Jakes, and Detective Andee Lawrence – a much-loved figure from Lewis’ earlier novels – are on hand to help us unravel the truth. The camaraderie between the newbie detective and Lawrence, along with various other female relationships in the novel, adds real warmth to this otherwise bleak world. A world in which the mistakes of the past are never forgotten and negative childhood experiences are woven into the very fabric of our futures. Who’s Lying Now? is a piece of wonderfully crafted crime fiction – but it also captures the very real world inhabited by us all in pandemic times. Add it to your reading list!

Books of the Month
The Match

The Match

Author: Harlan Coben Format: Audiobook Release Date: 17/03/2022

He is known as Wilde, the boy from the woods. Discovered living a feral existence in the Ramapo mountains of New Jersey, he has grown up knowing nothing of his parents, and even less about his own identity. Until now. When a match on a DNA database puts him on the trail of a close relative - the only family member he has ever known - Wilde thinks he might be about to solve the mystery of who he really is. Only this relation disappears as quickly as he's resurfaced. Undaunted, Wilde continues his research, becoming caught up in a secret community committed to exposing anonymous online trolls. Then one by one, people start to die, and it soon becomes clear that a serial killer is targeting this secret community. And that the next victim could be Wilde himself ...

Audiobooks of the Month
Love, Sex & Murder Shows

Love, Sex & Murder Shows

Author: Kelly Banks Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/02/2022

When an old friend appears on Emily Caine’s doorstep one night, her quiet world is about to change forever. ‘Love, Sex & Murder Shows’ by Kelly Banks is a heady and sultry mix of crime fiction, thriller and romance. The countless hours spent in front of detective and true crime shows prepare Emily well for the events that unfold after Callie, an old friend from school, appears on her doorstep one Friday evening. Having left her gangster husband, Callie and Emily embark on a brief and fiery affair, an awakening for Emily that leads to her seeing the onscreen violence she’s familiar with, enter into her reality. The book gradually builds in tension, and Emily’s character becomes darker and more sinister as the story goes on. She claims at the beginning she is a “slave to her emotions” but by the end of the book I noticed the “disconnect” she was so fascinated by in the serial killers she watched. This was an interesting and certainly entertaining book, with action and tension of all kinds to keep you turning the page. The fallen angel referenced in the synopsis is reflected in the structure of the story, with Emily’s relationship with Callie being the catalyst to her falling into a darker world with the personality to match. 'Love, Sex & Murder Shows' is an entertaining read full of thrills and twists that you may not expect with an additional adult edge.

Indie Books We Love
The Organisation Leaves No Traces

The Organisation Leaves No Traces

Author: John Stewart Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/12/2021

‘The Organisation Leaves No Traces’ by John Stewart is a collection of 6 crime fiction short stories with an interesting activist twist. Each story centres around some form of noise pollution, inspired by the author’s background, that is left unresolved by the legitimate channels. In desperation, each character finds themselves ensnared by The Organisation, an unscrupulous group that leaves no trace yet offers to step in and handle the issues in exchange for having their own criminal ends met. This collection could hypothetically be read as 6 individual stories, however I’m not sure they would have much of an impact if they were to be read as standalones, especially the final story, which is only one chapter, a couple of pages long, and to me acted as a definite conclusion to the overall plot. You see some of the same characters, in slightly different guises throughout each narrative, and I think it would take reading the book from start to finish to appreciate the entire story arc. An interesting twist on a criminal underworld story. Potentially everyone has experienced disruptive noise that has left them wishing a grim demise on the cause of the noise. Described in the book as “the forgotten pollutant” the reader discovers just how far these characters will go to find a solution to their own struggles. ‘The Organisation Leaves No Traces’ may even leave you asking what you’d be willing to do to put a stop to the noise. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Arsenic and Adobo

Arsenic and Adobo

Author: Mia P. Manansala Format: Audiobook Release Date: 04/05/2021

A RUSA Award-winning novel! The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer.... When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case. With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…

Audiobooks of the Month

April 2022 Featured Books

Theatre of Marvels

Theatre of Marvels

Author: Lianne Dillsworth Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2022

This magical debut set in Victorian London is bold and profound yet somehow uncomplicated as it lays out a mosaic of vibrant themes and characters for your reading pleasure. Star theatre performer Zillah has climbed out of the slums, so while uncomfortable with the part she performs, she does what it takes to remain the headline act until one day she is faced with a life-altering and dangerous decision. Zillah tells her own story, I immediately heard her voice, so vibrant and alive. Lianne Dillsworth ensures all of the characters have an individual vital energy, they can be seen, felt, sensed. While the era throws itself around you and immerses you in all things Victorian, it feels as though the human responses are timeless. That feeling echoes through the plot as Zillah’s mixed heritage, and the fact that she was born free in London, marks her as different. All of humanities character traits are on offer from greed, selfishness, ignorance and indifference through to empathy, kindness, and courage. The mystery aspect of the plot was thrilling, yet it was Zillah’s personal journey that will stay with me and that is why I’ve chosen this novel as a Liz Pick of the Month. Vivacious, provocative, and compelling, Theatre of Marvels comes with a standing ovation stamp of approval from me.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
The Dying Squad

The Dying Squad

Author: Adam Simcox Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2022

DYING IS HELL . . . SOLVING YOUR OWN MURDER IS PURGATORY When Detective Inspector Joe Lazarus storms a Lincolnshire farmhouse, he expects to bring down a notorious drug gang; instead, he discovers his own dead body and a spirit guide called Daisy-May. She's there to enlist him to the Dying Squad, a spectral police force made up of the recently deceased. Joe soon realises there are fates far worse than death. To escape being stuck in purgatory, he must solve his own murder. A task made all the more impossible when his memories start to fade. Reluctantly partnering with Daisy-May, Joe faces dangers from both the living and the dead in the quest to find his killer - before they kill again.

Star Books
Death of the Black Widow

Death of the Black Widow

Author: James Patterson Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2022

A stunning stand-alone thriller following a Detroit cop's hunt for a serial killer like no other, from the bestselling authors of The Noise You never forget your first case. Officer Walter O'Brien is called to a murder scene on his first night with Detroit PD. A terrified young woman has bludgeoned her attacker with shocking skill. She is also a brilliant escape artist. Her flight from police custody makes the case impossible to solve - and, for Walter, impossible to forget. His fascination with the missing, grey-eyed woman approaches obsession. And when Walter discovers that he's not alone in his search, only one thing is certain . . . The string of murders didn't begin in his home city - but he's going to make sure it ends there.

Not a Happy Family

Not a Happy Family

Author: Shari Lapena Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2022

The chilling Sunday Times bestseller perfect for fans of Knives Out. The new unputdownable thriller from the multi-million-copy bestselling author of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR. In this family, everyone is keeping secrets - even the dead. In the quiet, wealthy enclave of Brecken Hill, an older couple is brutally murdered hours after a tense Easter dinner with their three adult children. Who, of course, are devastated. Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you'd know. Wouldn't you? 

Quicksand of memory

Quicksand of memory

Author: Michael J. Malone Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

Darkly compelling, and provocative, yet with bright pockets highlighting the power of self-awareness and love, Quicksand of Memory walks into thoughts and shakes up feelings. Revenge means everything and when Jenna and Luke fall head over heels for each other, not everyone is happy for them. Author Michael J Malone is a trained therapist, this book explores the affects of traumatic events, how the past can alter the future with devastating results, and the emotions raised feel authentic, feel real. From the outset whiplike tendrils of disquiet creep their way into the story. The connections between the characters simmer just below boiling point, and as the flames built, I sat in fear for what was to come. While the plot succeeds in maintaining tension and suspense, it is the characters who really come to the fore. Luke and Nathan’s relationship in particular nurtures and protects a necessary balance that ensures the focal point remains sharply in focus through to the end. Thoroughly rattling and provoking emotions, Quicksand of Memory is an intense and absorbing novel.

eBooks of the Month
The Cutting Season

The Cutting Season

Author: M. W. Craven Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

Poe's just hanging around on a Saturday afternoon... Dangling from a hook in a meat packing plant isn't how Detective Sergeant Washington Poe wants to spend his weekend. He's been punched and kicked and threatened, and when a contract killer arrives it seems things are about to go from bad to worse. He goes by the name of the Pale Man and he and his straight-edged razor have been feared all over London for twenty years. But Poe knows two things the Pale Man doesn't. Although it might seem like a hopeless situation, Poe has planned to be here all along. More importantly, a nerdy, computer whizz-kid called Tilly Bradshaw is watching his back. And now things are about to get interesting . . .

Blind Spot

Blind Spot

Author: Paula Hawkins Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

'How can you say things like this? How can you be so blind?' Since they were kids, Edie, Jake and Ryan have been the closest of friends. It's been the three of them against the world. Edie thought the bonds between them were unbreakable. So when Jake is brutally murdered and Ryan accused of the crime, her world is shattered. Edie is alone for the first time in years, living in the remote house that she and Jake shared. She is grief-stricken and afraid - with good reason. Because someone is watching. Someone has been waiting for this moment. Now that Edie is alone, the past she tried so hard to leave behind is about to catch up with her...

Witness

Witness

Author: Alex Wheatle Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

To tell the truth? Or protect his family? Cornell is having a bad time. Kicked out of secondary school for a fight he didn't start, he finds himself in a Pupil Referral Unit. Here he makes friends with one of the Sinclair family. You don't mess with the Sinclairs, and when Ryan Sinclair demands Cornell comes with him to teach another student some respect, Ryan witnesses something that will change his life. Torn between protecting his family and himself, Cornell has one hell of a decision to make. This is published as part of the Quick Reads series, which aims to share the joy of reading with adults who are improving their literacy. It is Alex Wheatle at his best: a thrilling, pacy story that is full of moral complexity and insight into gang violence.

The Maid

The Maid

Author: Nita Prose Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/04/2022

I am your maid. I know about your secrets. Your dirty laundry. But what do you know about me? Molly the maid is all alone in the world. A nobody. She's used to being invisible in her job at the Regency Grand Hotel, plumping pillows and wiping away the grime, dust and secrets of the guests passing through. She's just a maid - why should anyone take notice? But Molly is thrown into the spotlight when she discovers an infamous guest, Mr Black, very dead in his bed. This isn't a mess that can be easily cleaned up. And as Molly becomes embroiled in the hunt for the truth, following the clues whispering in the hallways of the Regency Grand, she discovers a power she never knew was there. She's just a maid - but what can she see that others overlook? Escapist, charming and introducing a truly original heroine, The Maid is a story about how everyone deserves to be seen. And how the truth isn't always black and white - it's found in the dirtier, grey areas in between . . .

Audiobooks of the Month
Into the Dark

Into the Dark

Author: Fiona Cummins Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/04/2022

This fabulous crime thriller is full, absolutely stuffed full to overflowing with intense, smart, powerful writing. A local family goes missing in suspicious circumstances, the police, their friends and neighbours rush to fill in the gaps of their disappearance in order to find them. The novel runs along different timelines, revealing stories from both before and after the Holden’s were found to be missing. A number of different strands open up, running alongside each other, but in themselves independent. It feels as though there are enough stories here to fill several separate novels, yet it doesn’t ever feel cluttered. Fiona Cummins keeps the characters, time frames, and plot all spinning up in the air with aplomb, any that drop and smash open are done so deliberately and I found myself on tenterhooks, waiting for the next to fall. The darkness grows, stealing across the pages, almost overwhelming in its intensity. The words crept into my thoughts, suggesting, encouraging suspicion and questions to grow and expand. Even though I had been led to expect some of the events taking place, I was still shocked when they did, and that is the skill of the writing here. I found myself on that wonderful reading clifftop of suspense before falling out into the heart-stopping void, and so I’ve chosen Into the Dark as a Liz Pick of the Month. This breath-stealing novel offers dramatic, satisfying, pure reading pleasure, so we also declare it a LoveReading Star Book.

Books of the Month
Portrait of a Thief

Portrait of a Thief

Author: Grace D. Li Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/04/2022

This was how things began: Boston on the cusp of fall, the Sackler Museum robbed of 23 pieces of priceless Chinese art. Even in this back room, dust catching the slant of golden, late-afternoon light, Will could hear the sirens. They sounded like a promise. Will Chen, a Chinese American art history student at Harvard, has spent most of his life learning about the West - its art, its culture, all that it has taken and called its own. He believes art belongs with its creators, so when a Chinese corporation offers him a (highly illegal) chance to reclaim five priceless sculptures, it's surprisingly easy to say yes. Will's crew, fellow students chosen out of his boundless optimism for their skills and loyalty, aren't exactly experienced criminals. Irene is a public policy major at Duke who can talk her way out of anything; Daniel is pre-med with steady hands and dreams of being a surgeon. Lily is an engineering student who races cars in her spare time; and Will is relying on Alex, an MIT dropout turned software engineer, to hack her way in and out of each museum they must rob. Each student has their own complicated relationship with China and the identities they've cultivated as Chinese Americans, but one thing soon becomes certain: they won't say no. Because if they succeed? They earn an unfathomable ten million each, and a chance to make history. If they fail, they lose everything . . . and the West wins again.

The Whispers

The Whispers

Author: Heidi Perks Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

Grace's best friend Anna is missing. She would never leave her husband and son by choice and Grace is beside herself with worry. As Grace searches desperately for answers, everyone seems to have a different version of the truth. Why won't Anna's husband call the police? What secrets are the other mothers at the school gate hiding? With each day that passes, Anna's life is under increasing threat. The pressure is mounting and it won't be long before something cracks...

The Midnight Hour

The Midnight Hour

Author: Elly Griffiths Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

A twisty new murder story from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries. An old man lies dead and it looks like poison, but his wife isn't the only one who had reason to kill him. Brighton, 1965 When theatrical impresario Bert Billington is found dead in his retirement home, no one suspects foul play. But when the postmortem reveals that he was poisoned, suspicion falls on his wife, eccentric ex-Music Hall star Verity Malone. Frustrated by the police response to Bert's death and determined to prove her innocence, Verity calls in private detective duo Emma Holmes and Sam Collins. This is their first real case, but as luck would have it they have a friend on the inside: Max Mephisto is filming a remake of Dracula, starring Seth Billington, Bert's son. But when they question Max, they feel he isn't telling them the whole story. Emma and Sam must vie with the police to untangle the case and bring the killer to justice. They're sure the answers must lie in Bert's dark past and in the glamorous, occasionally deadly, days of Music Hall. But the closer they get to the truth, the more danger they find themselves in...

The Rebel's Mark

The Rebel's Mark

Author: S. W. Perry Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2022

Full of enthralling action, with a mix of fictional and real characters, this is a striking tale set in thought-provoking times, Dr Nicholas Shelby finds himself again acting as spy for Robert Cecil as Ireland rebels against Elizabeth’s rule. The Jackdaw Mysteries Series is one of my favourites, S. W. Perry is wonderfully consistent with his conjuring of the era, introducing thrilling plots and fascinating characters. Here we are at book five, and I highly recommend starting with The Angel's Mark and reading in order if you’ve not yet had the pleasure of meeting Nicholas and Bianca. The court of Elizabeth thrums with activity and intrigue, and The Jackdaw inn remains at the centre of the tale even as Nicholas and Bianca travel to Ireland, a country fighting for its freedom. The mix of real characters and fact blended with fiction is really successful, it is all too easy to imagine the instability of the times and compare them to today. There is a strength to Nicholas and Bianca being together, their relationship allows a deeper exploration of the precariousness of being wound up so tightly in Cecil’s web. The Rebel’s Mark is a fabulous continuation of a winning series, long live the Jackdaw Mysteries! 

Books of the Month
Dark Hunter

Dark Hunter

Author: F.J. Watson Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2022

F J (Fiona) Watson is a medieval historian specialising in warfare and Scottish history. This is her first venture into the world of fiction and she uses her knowledge to good effect. As a portrayal of a mediaeval town under siege, the novel is excellent. Daily life, religion and working conditions are well described and the first-person present-tense narrative helps to create a good sense of atmosphere. To my mind, a decent mystery should persuade the reader to seek not only who did it, but why, where and how. This was a time before forensic evidence and before technology helped investigators. The basics of criminal investigation were paramount – accept nothing, believe nobody, challenge everything. Benedict Russell learns this the hard way as he is lied to and sent down blind alleys. Step by step though, he gets closer to identifying a killer. Whether he will be successful before the rampaging Scots arrive to take the town is uncertain but he needs to be, because his life and the lives of those around him may depend on it. 

Amongst Our Weapons

Amongst Our Weapons

Author: Ben Aaronovitch Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2022

PRE-ORDER THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED BRAND NEW NOVEL IN THE #1 BESTSELLING RIVERS OF LONDON SERIES NOW There is a world hidden underneath this great city... The London Silver Vaults - for well over a century, the largest collection of silver for sale in the world. It has more locks than the Bank of England and more cameras than a celebrity punch-up. Not somewhere you can murder someone and vanish without a trace - only that's what happened. The disappearing act, the reports of a blinding flash of light and memory loss amongst the witnesses all make this a case for Detective Constable Peter Grant and the Special Assessment Unit. Alongside their boss DCI Thomas Nightingale, the SAU find themselves embroiled in a mystery that encompasses London's tangled history, foreign lands and, most terrifying of all, the North! And Peter must solve this case soon because back home his partner Beverley is expecting twins any day now. But what he doesn't know is that he's about to encounter something - and somebody - that nobody ever expects... Effortlessly original, endlessly inventive and hugely entertaining - step into the world of the much-loved, Number One bestselling Rivers of London series. 

The Blood Tide

The Blood Tide

Author: Neil Lancaster Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Neil Lancaster has written a twisty, high-octane police procedural that thrilled and intrigued me from beginning to end. Starting with several dramatic scenes, this book drew me in straightaway, following DS Max Craigie and colleagues as they investigate two seemingly linked deaths. I've not read the first book in this series - Dead Man's Grave - but this didn't matter at all, as The Blood Tide works well as a standalone, with enough back story to fill in any gaps. The writing is beautifully descriptive, bringing the diverse characters, stunning Scottish countryside and fast-paced action scenes to life (it seemed as though everything was springing out of the page in front of me), and the humorous banter between the team brought some light relief to break up the darkness of the plot. The author's own police background provides realism, authenticity and insights to a gripping and gritty read. Highly recommended Scottish Noir - I'll be picking up the first book in this series soon, and look forward to the third.  

eBooks of the Month
Twelve Secrets

Twelve Secrets

Author: Robert Gold Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

If you're looking for your next book fix, stop right now and read Twelve Secrets. Twenty years ago Ben Harper's world was turned upside down when his older brother Nick and best friend are murdered by two school friends. Ten years later he lost his mother and the story rocked the little town and the whole country. Now an award-winning investigative journalist his boss asks him to relive his traumas on the tenth anniversary of his mother's death. Ben has a decision to make. Does he want to go there? What will he find? Will be be able to write this story? Set in fictional town of Haddley, based on Gold's hometown of Putney, Twelve Secrets is a cracking psychological thriller. When another murder brings it all back to haunt the idyllic town we see how secrets are a dangerous thing and the book grabs you in a vice like grip as you uncover them all. This is an assured debut, the start of a series and we can't wait to read more of Ben Harper. Bring it on, Gold!     

Star Books
The Reversible Mask An Elizabethan Spy Novel

The Reversible Mask An Elizabethan Spy Novel

Author: Loretta Goldberg Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/12/2018

Loved it and can highly recommend. It is obvious lots of research has been done of the times, politics, war, people and European countries. The storyline starts off quite slowly in the early years of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Edward Latham is a witness to her progress to Oxford, the token Papist in a Protestant court. To ensure his soul is not lost he leaves hastily for Scotland to serve Queen Mary. All does not go to plan there and he ends up as a clerk to the Duke of Guise. Rashly he decodes a letter and so begins his career as a spy. The book continues with Latham encountering danger in many forms up to the Armada. Hopefully there will be a next book to continue Latham's story.  Linda Amos, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love

March 2022 Featured Books

A Spoonful of Murder

A Spoonful of Murder

Author: J.M. Hall Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Retirement can be murder... Once a week, three retired school teachers have their 'coffee o'clock' sessions at the Thirsk Garden Centre cafe. But one fateful Thursday morning, they bump into their ex-colleague, Topsy, during their weekly coffee and catch-up. By the next Thursday, Topsy's dead. The last thing Liz, Thelma and Pat imagined was that they would become embroiled in a murder. But they know there's more to Topsy's death than meets the eye - and it's down to them to prove it... Sit down with a cup of tea, a slice of cake and this perfectly witty, page-turning cosy crime novel. Fans of The Thursday Murder Club, Death in Paradise and Midsomer Murders will be hooked from the very first page.

Vanished

Vanished

Author: Lynda La Plante Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/03/2022

When an eccentric elderly widow claims she is being stalked, Detective Jack Warr is the only person willing to dig into the truth behind her wild claims. Jack soon finds himself embroiled in an international drugs operation, art theft - and a murder investigation. On the back foot throughout, he is forced to play second fiddle to the Drug Squad, confront an old adversary, and even fight off accusations of assault. But Jack believes that every aspect of this multi-faceted case is simply a distraction from the one person who lies at the heart of it all - the widow's elusive stalker. Find him, and the truth will come out...

Better Off Dead

Better Off Dead

Author: Lee Child, Andrew Child Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Reacher never backs down from a problem. And he's about to find a big one, on a deserted Arizona road, where a Jeep has crashed into the only tree for miles around. Under the merciless desert sun, nothing is as it seems. Minutes later Reacher is heading into the nearby border town, a backwater that has seen better days. Next to him is Michaela Fenton, an army veteran turned FBI agent, who is trying to find her twin brother. He might have got mixed up with some dangerous people. And Reacher might just need to pay them a visit. Their leader has burrowed his influence deep into the town. Just to get in and meet the mysterious Dendoncker, Reacher is going to have to achieve the impossible. To get answers will be even harder. There are people in this hostile, empty place who would rather die than reveal their secrets. But then, if Reacher is coming after you, you might be better off dead.

Not Dark Yet

Not Dark Yet

Author: Peter Robinson Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Murder is only the beginning for Banks and his team . . . The gruesome double murder at an Eastvale property developer's luxury home should be an open and shut case for Superintendent Banks and his team of detectives. There's a clear link to the notoriously vicious Albanian mafia, men who left the country suspiciously soon after the death. Then they find a cache of spy-cam videos hidden in the house - and Annie and Gerry's investigation pivots to the rape of a young girl that could cast the murders in an entirely different light. Banks's friend Zelda, increasingly uncertain of her future in Britain's hostile environment, thinks she will be safer in Moldova hunting the men who abducted, raped and enslaved her than she is Yorkshire or London. Her search takes her back to the orphanage where it all began - but by stirring up the murky waters of the past, Zelda is putting herself in greater danger than any she's seen before. And as the threat escalates, so does the danger for Banks and those who love Zelda . . .

Private Rogue

Private Rogue

Author: James Patterson, Adam Hamdy Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2022

We will take on any case, solve any crime, uncover any secret. We are Private. And we're the best. In Afghanistan, a US Special Forces pilot is shot down during a covert mission. In New York, a mother is forced to flee with her two young children. A wealthy businessman approaches Jack Morgan, head of Private - the world's largest investigation agency - with a desperate plea to track down his daughter and grandchildren, who have disappeared without a trace. What at first seems to be a simple missing persons case soon escalates into something much more deadly, when Jack discovers the daughter is being pursued by highly trained operatives. As Jack uncovers more of the woman's backstory, the trail leads towards Afghanistan - where Jack's career as a US Marine ended in catastrophe . . . Jack will need to face the trauma of his past to save a family's future.

River Clyde

River Clyde

Author: Simone Buchholz Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

A thoughtfully lyrical yet full-on blast of, well, just how do I describe a novel that doesn’t neatly slot into any traditional genre. Bestselling and award winning Simone Buchholz is well known for her beautifully provocative Chastity Riley series, I’ve adored them from the beginning with Blue Night. Here she tunes her unique voice to a slightly different dial. Noir - oh yes, fantasy - perhaps, relationship story - potentially, family drama - yup, modern and contemporary - bang on, in other words, don’t even attempt to pigeon-hole, just read. Chastity leaves her grieving friends and her job as a State Prosecutor in Hamburg behind to explore her roots in Glasgow. Chastity is one of my favourite characters in fiction, at 48 she’s lived through hell, and is broken yet strong. As I read goosebumps skittered down my arms. The River Clyde character lends an almost otherworldly feel, it travels to the parts of the mind that lurk in dark and hidden places. Even so this smacks of authenticity, it feels so blimmin real! This is a novel that pushes you to think, it grabs thoughts, chews them up, and spits them back out again. Is it an end or a new beginning, only time will tell. Big shout out to translator Rachel Ward, it feels as though she and Simon Buchholz are as one. River Clyde is 230 pages of fabulous, joining an exciting and oh so satisfying series. 

Books of the Month
Faceless

Faceless

Author: Vanda Symon Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

If you’ve read the Sam Shephard series, you’ll know all about Vanda Symon, New Zealand’s Queen of Crime. If you’ve not read them, please do, they are cracking. Faceless is jam-packed with suspense, utterly gripping and I promise you’ll clench all the way through. Certain bits I felt I stopped breathing altogether! And don’t get me started on the final few chapters… Billy is a vulnerable, homeless artist who turns tricks to fund her art. When Bradley, a stressed, middle-aged man picks up Billy, his frustration leads him down a path, and pushes him into acting to prove he’s not weak, he lashes out and kidnaps Billy. Pals from the streets, Max is forced to come out of the shadows to find his only friend, confront his demons and boy, he’s committed. Your heart breaks as you follow Billy’s ordeal and as her plight becomes more and more desperate. Symon’s powerful storytelling delivers an emotional rollercoaster of a thriller, and doesn’t let you go. You follow the jaw-dropping journey as the faceless street dwellers become real people and we understand what led them to the streets; a thought-provoking thriller that will have your heart racing.

Lucky

Lucky

Author: Rachel Edwards Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

A tense, twisty novel about love, betrayal, survival - and an addiction so compelling it threatens to destroy everything in its path   Etta is in her mid thirties and keen to nudge her loving but commitment-phobic partner, Ola, towards marriage and children. Ola is reluctant to get engaged before they have enough saved for a house deposit, so Etta takes matters into her own hands and finds a way to start secretly making money: online gambling. What a delightful discovery! And what a stroke of luck that Etta just happens to be so brilliant at it.   Soon she's playing quite a lot. She doesn't like lying to Ola, but it's all for the good of their relationship. She's even made a friend on the site, StChristopher75, and she's invited to a special VIP party. And even if she is losing a little money here and there - or even quite a lot of money - she'll win it back eventually. Or maybe even StChristopher75 can help her out with a little loan, once she's met him in real life. He's just won big, and he's been so friendly and helpful on the site.   Why wouldn't he want to help her?

eBooks of the Month
Sundial

Sundial

Author: Catriona Ward Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/03/2022

So exquisitely haunting it hurts, Sundial slithers into thoughts to carve out a spot and make itself at home. Fearing for the future of both her daughters, Rob takes troubled Callie to her own childhood home in the Mojave Desert and revisits the past. I have been of fan of Catriona Ward since her debut Rawblood, each of her subsequent novels has become my new favourite, and that is most certainly the case here. Just reading the synopsis sent a shiver through me, I had to have this book! As I started to read, goosebumps shivered and skittered their way down my skin to declare just how special this was going to be. A quiet menace slipped past my boundaries to create a heightened sense of fear for what was to come. The smallest yet most vital of moments are created to tip feelings already in the balance. Trust is a scarce commodity, love though, love is more than evident as mother and daughter test their relationship. There is also a grace to be found, in the eloquence of words as they slice and then stitch to form the most vividly real and vibrant story. Sundial is an intensely dark and blazingly beautiful novel about the love that can hold us together, or shatter us into pieces. This stunning tale that hovers on a sharp edge of horror has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book, and Liz Pick of the Month, it will undoubtedly be one of my books of the year.

Star Books
Run Rose Run

Run Rose Run

Author: Dolly Parton, James Patterson Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/03/2022

From America's most beloved superstar and its greatest storyteller - a thriller about a young singer-songwriter on the rise and on the run, and determined to do whatever it takes to survive. Every song tells a story. She's a star on the rise, singing about the hard life behind her. She's also on the run. Find a future, lose a past. Nashville is where she's come to claim her destiny. It's also where the darkness she's fled might find her. And destroy her. Run, Rose, Run is a novel glittering with danger and desire - a story that only America's #1 beloved entertainer and its #1 bestselling author could have created. Also available: an album of 12 original Dolly Parton songs made for the novel!

Audiobooks of the Month
The Paris Apartment

The Paris Apartment

Author: Lucy Foley Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

Populated with dysfunctional, unreliable characters who live in the eponymous upmarket building, Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment is as potent as its stifling, steamy summer-in-the-city setting. With this clearly-defined space providing the tingling tension of a classic mystery, this will have fans of twisty, psychological thrillers on the very edge of their seats. Pretty much penniless, Jess has fled her bar job in Brighton hoping to start afresh in Paris, where her half-brother Ben is working to make a name for himself as a journalist. Though they shared a mother, their lives took very different paths when Ben was taken-in by a well-to-do family who helped him make it to Cambridge University, which is kind-of how he came to be living in a stunning Paris apartment while Jess has been struggling. But Jess’s hopes for a new life are immediately thrown off-course when Ben’s not home when she arrives. As the hours - and days - pass, with Jess wondering how Ben can possibly afford to live in a place like this, she begins to ask questions of the apartment’s extremely well-heeled residents. It’s clear all the dysfunctional occupants are harbouring secrets (and carrying a whole lot of high-end Hermès baggage), but what might they have to do with Ben’s disappearance? And who is the most likely suspect? Readers are led on a grippingly twisting journey alongside Jess, one that lays bare many monsters beneath the luxury beds.

Audiobooks of the Month
The Perfect Crime

The Perfect Crime

Author: Vaseem Khan, Maxim Jakubowski Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

It’s rub your hands in glee time with this collection of 22 hugely engaging and eloquent crime stories from around the world. The editors for this book are Maxim Jakubowski who is current chair of the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA), author, and former publisher, and Vaseem Khan author of two crime series set in India, co-host of the Red Hot Chilli Writers podcast, and who currently sits on the board of the CWA. In their introductions, Maxim and Vaseem both note that until this century, there was a lack of diversity in crime writing. Maxim says that he is privileged to have witnessed an explosion of crime writing by authors of all colours and ethnic backgrounds which has encouraged a new readership in the process. While Vaseem speaks more personally about his journey into publishing and is passionate about literature being a powerful means to change society for the better. Together they have invited authors from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds to contribute, and in reading these stories you can not only travel the globe but also experience new thoughts and feelings. Some of the authors are well known to me, and particular favourites, so I immediately turned to their fabulous tales. That’s the joy of an anthology isn’t it, dipping in and out, returning, sinking in and letting go. Then I explored the stories where I hadn’t yet met the author’s writing. Oh boy, what a reading thrill that was, I will most definitely be keeping an eye out for them in the future. With an assortment of writing styles, locations, times in history, and characters, the plots sizzle and evoke a variety of emotions. The Perfect Crime comes with a massive thumbs up from me and marches straight in to sit as a LoveReading Star Book.

Star Books
Reputation

Reputation

Author: Sarah Vaughan Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

This powerful, provocative, intoxicating rush of a read hit me head on and ploughed through my thoughts. Mother, former teacher and now MP Emma Webster is used to the press and public judging her, when a man is found dead in her home it opens the floodgates. Trolling, bullying, the difficulties of being a woman and a powerful one at that, are examined while encased in a plot that accelerates into a thrilling story. Newspaper reports and social media comments lie in wait. The focus on different characters and their points of view ensures each nuanced layer splices to the next. Only Emma is written in the first person, I felt her emotional reaction and found myself positively aching for her. The characters are beautifully flawed, each giving you access yet creating a space to explore their personality and choices made. Sarah Vaughan allows you to see what’s coming, the what but not the how, letting you in while creating tension with the slicing edge of the story. Thoroughly provoking thoughts while being highly entertaining, Reputation is timely, convincing, and exhilarating read.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
The Patient

The Patient

Author: Tim Sullivan Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

Detective Sergeant George Cross seems to be the only police officer prepared to listen to the mother of a dead drug user when she claims her daughter had been murdered. Cross is intrigued, and decides to look into the claim. The premise - a detective re-investigating the work of a colleague who would prefer his failings are not exposed- is very real and very prescient. Before turning to writing police procedurals, Tim Sullivan enjoyed a successful career as a screen writer, working with some famous actors on some well known series. 'The Patient' is his third book in what, so far, has been a very popular and enjoyable detective series. George Cross is a character who reminds me of several detectives I’ve worked with in the past. He is autistic, a quality that may cause some readers to question whether he could become a police officer, let alone a detective. In reality, the sense of focus, the ability to see things others don’t and the attention to detail are qualities I have seen in some very capable real-life detectives who had struggled as a uniform officer but excelled at detective work. Cross does them great credit. His character – at times funny, at times frustrating – is a refreshing change from the maverick, hard-drinking types so often created for a protagonist. His working partner, Josie Ottey, is perfect. Josie is Cross’s anchor, his mentor and his champion. She understands his strengths and appreciates his eccentricities. At times comical, at times poignant, their partnership makes for compelling reading. Highly recommended.

Books of the Month
The Choice

The Choice

Author: SJ Ford Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2022

Hero or villain? Right or wrong? You decide, in this fast-paced thriller fraught with conundrums and contradictions, forged by the love we have for our children. The curiosity, the confusion, the suspicion, the creeping fear, the panic, the anger, the hopelessness, the protective fire of a mother. Which side will you be on? She did it, you see. She killed him.  She pointed her car at him and slammed down the accelerator. Jane Bell, mother of two, frustrated and terrified about being ignored by the police, takes matters into her own hands when she uncovers plans for her neighbour to bomb the local primary school. The school and nursery which her children attend.  What would you do? What do you think? Your conscience screams alongside Jane’s as the story unfolds, as we find out more chapter by chapter from each standpoint, from each perspective, from each of the bystanders. The husband Neil. The Detective Inspector Bill Simmons, the senior officer at the scene. Aneesa Khan, the journalist following the story for the Birmingham Gazette. Simon Rafferty, the barrister who decides to grab Jane’s case and attempt to change the course of legal history. As a mother myself this sucker punched me, and tears were streaming.  It’s thought-provoking, captivating. And not always in a comfortable way. What if this were my children’s school? But thou shalt not kill. It’s black and white isn’t it? Or is it… With twists and turns along the way, you follow the story of Jane and her incredible journey through the media firestorm and the trial. Would you take one life to save hundreds? Let’s talk about it after you’ve read this book.

Debut Books of the Month
The Anniversary

The Anniversary

Author: Laura Marshall Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2022

They thought the killer had no motive. But these murders are not what they seem . . . On 15th June 1994, Travis Green - husband, father, upstanding citizen - walked through the streets of Hartstead and killed eleven of his neighbours. The last victim was little Cassie Colman's father. As the twenty-five-year anniversary approaches, Cassie tries to forget the past - even as her mother struggles to remember it at all. Then something hidden in her mother's possessions suggests the murders were not what everyone believes. Cassie can't stop herself from digging up the past. But someone will do anything to keep it buried . . .

Suspects

Suspects

Author: Lesley Pearse Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2022

In Willow Close, everyone is a suspect . . . Nina and Conrad thought they'd discovered their dream home. But on the day they move in, a body is found - the victim attacked and killed in the woods. As police interview witnesses, they soon discover each resident hiding their own secrets. Because few in the Close are exactly who they seem . . . Nina and Conrad thought they'd found their dream home. Now, it might just be their worst nightmare . . .

Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park

Author: Katherine Faulkner Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2022

Welcome to the must read thriller of 2021. Helen has it all... Daniel is the perfect husband. Rory is the perfect brother. Serena is the perfect sister-in-law. And Rachel? Rachel is the perfect nightmare. When Helen, finally pregnant after years of tragedy, attends her first antenatal class, she is expecting her loving architect husband to arrive soon after, along with her confident, charming brother Rory and his pregnant wife, the effortlessly beautiful Serena. What she is not expecting is Rachel. Extroverted, brash, unsettling single mother-to-be Rachel, who just wants to be Helen's friend. Who just wants to get know Helen and her friends and her family. Who just wants to know everything about them. Every little secret...

Debut Books of the Month
Unhinged

Unhinged

Author: Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/02/2022

An all-in all-out absolute belter of a read, and I’m still coming down from the most amazing reading high. Bear with me, as it’s also one of those books where I don’t want to say too much in case I inadvertently include spoilers! Police Officer Alexander Blix and news blogger Emma Ramm investigate a murder which hits too close to home. This is the third in the superb Blix and Ramm series by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger. As with the previous novel, translator Megan Turney ensures you only realise just how good the translation has been once you’ve finished and come up for air. Do start with Death Deserved and Smoke Screen as they most definitely warrant your attention before starting on Unhinged. One of the things I love about this series is that Blix and Emma aren’t an obvious duo and their individual stories carry as much weight as the joined. Put plenty of reading time aside, as I hit top gear from the whammy of a start and didn’t want to put it down, even for a second. Short chapters, shifts in focus, and rapid changes in time frames kept me on my toes and high alert. The storytelling is just superb, I’d love to know how these two writers created such a seamless and fast-moving plot. Once I’d finished, and my mind had stopped racing around, I had to have some time out to recover. Chosen as a LoveReading Star Book, Unhinged is pure, unadulterated and absolutely thrilling reading pleasure! The LoveReading LitFest invited Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger to the festival to talk about Unhinged. The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.

Star Books
The Ballerinas

The Ballerinas

Author: Rachel Kapelke-Dale Format: Audiobook Release Date: 07/12/2021

Dare Me meets Black Swan and Luckiest Girl Alive in a captivating, voice-driven debut novel about a trio of ballerinas who meet as students at the Paris Opera Ballet School. Fourteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she's been away...and some secrets can't stay buried forever. Moving between the trio's adolescent years and the present day, Rachel Kapelke-Dale's The Ballerinas explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside––all culminating in a twist you won't see coming, with magnetic characters you won't soon forget.

Audiobooks of the Month
Both of You

Both of You

Author: Adele Parks Format: Audiobook Release Date: 27/05/2021

Leigh Fletcher, devoted wife and stepmum, goes to work one day and never returns home. Same week, different world … Kai Janssen leaves her sexy, wealthy husband and their luxurious penthouse, and vanishes into thin air. Both husbands seem distraught, claiming they have no idea where their wives have gone. DC Clements wants answers. Did these women run away or were they taken? Most importantly, where are they now? When the detective discovers a shocking link between the missing women, it’s clear the truth can devastate. Now Clements must work against a ticking clock, before both wives disappear forever. The Sunday Times Number One bestseller Adele Parks returns with her most provocative book to date: Both Of You.

Audiobooks of the Month

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.