Category Archives: Blog

REVIEW: The Child by Fiona Barton (Kate Waters #2)

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.

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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…

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REVIEW: The Other Twin by L V Hay

Series: N/A

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!

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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? 

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REVIEW: Forever And A Death by Donald E. Westlake

Series: N/A

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.

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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.

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REVIEW: Exquisite by Sarah Stovell

Series: N/A

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.

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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.

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REVIEW: Wolves In The Dark by Gunnar Staalesen (Varg Veum #6)

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.

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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.

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REVIEW: The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards

Series: N/A

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.

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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.
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REVIEW: Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson (Roy & Castells #1)

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.

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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.

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