Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: UK (non-London) mystery, psychological thriller, family conflict, character-driven story, younger characters, amateur detective
Quick Review: An atmospheric, well-paced and interesting read that blends psychological thriller with an old-fashioned whodunnit in a compelling way – read THE OTHER TWIN!
When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her?
Continue reading REVIEW: The Other Twin by L V Hay
Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: action thriller, Australian locations, China/Hong Kong locations, big schemes, amateur detectives, heist plot
Quick Review: Though you can see its genesis as a Bond movie plot shining though, FOREVER AND A DEATH stands equally well on it’s own as a well-paced, interesting and page-turning action thriller.
A FORTUNE IN STOLEN GOLD…
A DEVICE THAT WILL KILL MILLIONS…
AND JUST ONE MAN CAN STOP IT!
FOREVER AND A DEATH by Donald E. Westlake is an action thriller with an interesting origin. Westlake was commissioned to pen a plot for the next James Bond movie two decades ago, and dreamed up this plot about a scorned businessman in Hong Kong out for revenge after being kicked out of the business circle’s on the island’s return to China. However, the producers decided that it was too political for the time and the movie was never made. Westlake turned the plot into this book.
Continue reading REVIEW: Forever And A Death by Donald E. Westlake
Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: psychological thriller, romance, manipulation, unreliable narrator, keeps you guessing
Quick Review: Beautifully written, gripping and utterly believable, EXQUISITE is truly a piece you want to both savor and find out how it ends. A must-read.
Bo Luxton has it all–a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops. Or does it?
EXQUISITE is a psychological thriller told from the perspectives of both main characters – Bo, a famous author, and Alice, an aspiring writer – who experience a powerful romantic attraction to each other… before it all goes wrong. It was truly a joy to read; ‘exquisite’ is a fitting word for this novel.
Continue reading REVIEW: Exquisite by Sarah Stovell
Series: Varg Veum
Book Number: 6 (English translations) / 21 (Norwegian originals)
Read this book for: dark crimes, complicated plots, fragmented narrative, fast paced, private detective
Quick Review: A twisting, complicated plot that shows both the freshness of unique ideas and the experience of a fantastic crime writer – a page-turning, must-read thriller.
Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material … and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet.
Continue reading REVIEW: Wolves In The Dark by Gunnar Staalesen (Varg Veum #6)
Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: serial killer, unique MO, rural English mystery, suspense thriller, psychological mystery
Quick Review: A serial killer thriller made more interesting with a different way of killing the victims and good use of idyllic rural England to heighten suspense.
When a woman’s body is found in the grounds of a ruined priory, Detective Imogen Evans realises she is dealing with a serial killer—a killer whose victims appear to die in a state of bliss, eyes open, smiles forever frozen on their faces. A few miles away, single dad Ben Hofland believes his fortunes are changing at last. Forced to move back to the sleepy village where he grew up following the breakdown of his marriage, Ben finally finds work. What’s more, the bullies who have been terrorising his son, Ollie, disappear. For the first time in months, Ben feels lucky. But he is unaware that someone is watching him and Ollie. Someone who wants nothing but happiness for Ben. Happiness…and death.
Continue reading REVIEW: The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards
Series: Roy & Castells
Book Number: 1
Read this book for: historical ties, serial killer, behavioural profilers, European mystery, gruesome murders
Quick Review: Dark, complex, and chilling, the deep background and history woven into this novel makes it a surprising and excellent read.
Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina. Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s. Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again. Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald? Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French truecrime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.
Continue reading REVIEW: Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson (Roy & Castells #1)
Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: legal procedural, death row appeals, US mystery, strange family dynamics, realistic story
Quick Review: Satisfyingly realistic, complex and dark; a highly recommended read for thriller and true-crime fans alike.
Janet Moodie has spent years as a death row appeals attorney. Overworked and recently widowed, she’s had her fill of hopeless cases, and is determined that this will be her last. Her client is Marion ‘Andy’ Hardy, convicted along with his brother Emory of the rape and murder of two women. The brothers were tried separately, and Emory received a life sentence, while Andy got the death penalty, labeled the ringleader despite his low IQ and Emory’s dominant personality. Convinced that Andy’s previous lawyers have missed mitigating evidence that would have spared him the death penalty, Janet investigates Andy’s past, revealing a sordid and damaging upbringing, a series of errors on the part of his previous council, and most worrying of all, the possibility that there is far more to the Hardy family than was first thought. Andy may be guilty, but of what?
TWO LOST BOYS is LF Robertson’s first novel, but she draws on her background as an appeals lawyer in capital cases to create an intensely real, immersive story that feels polished and authentic in a way that many more experienced storytellers never achieve.
Continue reading REVIEW: Two Lost Boys by LF Robertson