Series: Kate Waters
Book Number: 2
Read this book for: psychological thriller, disturbing domestic situations, female protagonists, unreliable narrators
Quick Review: A worthy follow-up to THE WIDOW; a twisting, fascinating and compelling read that keeps you guessing and second-guessing to the end.
As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?
As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.
But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…
Continue reading REVIEW: The Child by Fiona Barton (Kate Waters #2)
Series: Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak
Book Number: 1
Read this book for: war crimes, brutality, fantastic writing, compelling story, Bosnian conflict, Canadian setting
Quick Review: Stunning, both for its beautiful writing and for the visceral brutality and terror of its subject matter, THE UNQUIET DEAD reads more like fine literature than standard crime novel. This book is an experience, not just a novel, and deserves a close reading.
Despite their many differences, Detective Rachel Getty trusts her boss, Esa Khattak, implicitly. But she’s still uneasy at Khattak’s tight-lipped secrecy when he asks her to look into Christopher Drayton’s death. Drayton’s apparently accidental fall from a cliff doesn’t seem to warrant a police investigation, particularly not from Rachel and Khattak’s team, which handles minority-sensitive cases. But when she learns that Drayton may have been living under an assumed name, Rachel begins to understand why Khattak is tip-toeing around this case. It soon comes to light that Drayton may have been a war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.
If that’s true, any number of people might have had reason to help Drayton to his death, and a murder investigation could have far-reaching ripples throughout the community. But as Rachel and Khattak dig deeper into the life and death of Christopher Drayton, every question seems to lead only to more questions, with no easy answers. Had the specters of Srebrenica returned to haunt Drayton at the end, or had he been keeping secrets of an entirely different nature? Or, after all, did a man just fall to his death from the Bluffs? Continue reading REVIEW: The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Getty & Khattak #1)
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