Newest Thrillers Reviews

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One Perfect Morning by Pamela Crane

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A husband is about to have his throat cut in his own bed. To find out who - and why - we need to go back nine days and twenty years.

Mackenzie, Robin and Lily met when they all went to the same college in Monroeville, Pennsylvania and twenty years later they're still the best of friends. When they first met they called themselves the Spicier Girls as a nod to the famous girl band of the day. Lily would be Adventure Spice, Robin the Homemaker and Mackenzie - well, Mackenzie would be the supporting actress in her own life. She married Owen, her college sweetheart and they have a daughter, Aria, who's now fifteen-year-old. Full Review


The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne

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When we first meet Rachel Cunningham she's an inpatient at the Newberry Regional Mental Health Center in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She's twenty-six and has been there for fifteen years, convinced that she accidentally killed her mother when she was eleven-years-old and that her father then took the gun and killed himself. Her sister, Diana, just twenty-years-old, was left at the family home, a lodge in the Upper Peninsula wilderness. Rachel's very bright and although she's a voluntary patient at the Mental Health Center she remains there, feeling that this is what she deserves. Perhaps, though, the circumstances are not as she remembers. Full Review


Truth Be Told by Kia Abdullah

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The Hadids are an effortful family. Flowers are sent for the slightest problem or achievement: letters are sent to thank and this prompts a phone call in return. There are two sons of the family, seventeen-year-old Kamran and sixteen-year-old Adam. Their mother, Sofia, regrets that she didn't name them the other way round: 'Adam and Kamran' trips off the tongue so much more easily than 'Kamran and Adam'. Sofia worries about that sort of thing. Both boys go to the prestigious Hampton school, where they board, despite the school being less than ten miles from their Belsize Park home. Kamran has a place at Oxford next year and all seemed to be going well until the night when he was raped. Full Review


The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn and Rosie Hedger (translator)

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Come here for a thriller that interestingly doesn't even try to suggest a genre of any kind until we're a full fifth of the way through. We start with our couple, she a literature lecturer, he big in medical provision and decisions at the council, being forced to move out of their home, a building that had existed throughout her life since childhood and which they'd occupied for over thirty years. The building he's inherited, meanwhile, and which they let out to a single mother, is needed by their adult daughter, who quite blatantly says to its occupant 'take a hike, I'm moving in and you're moving out'. Now, at this stage you may well, if you know this is a genre read, think it's going to be a throwback to those 'home invasion' thrillers Hollywood gave us in the 1980s, but no. We avoid genre completely, as I say – instead learning about Greek tragedy, in case that has any bearing on what happens here, and seeing how an older-middle aged couple live their lives. Until at that twenty per cent stage we find something that raises an eyebrow as any crime book should – until the point where the evicted tenant is found to have completely vanished. Full Review


House of Correction by Nicci French

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When we first meet Tabitha Hardy, she's in prison, on remand. She's sharing a cell with Michaela, who's more caring than she first appears. She delivers tough love and gets Tabitha eating and drinking - and encourages her to have a shower, unpleasant as the whole processes might be. And how did Tabitha get here? Well, on 21 December the body of Stuart Robert Rees was discovered in her garden shed by Andrew Kane, who was helping with the renovations to Tabitha's house. So far as the police are concerned, Tabitha is the only person who could have killed Rees - and when they arrived at her house she was covered in his blood. Full Review


The Lies You Told by Harriet Tyce

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Year six student Robin Spence isn't happy about having to start a new school. She's left the school she loved in New York and now she's going to Ashams in North London. It's very upmarket; places are rare as hens' teeth and as the pupils have all been there forever, they have their established groups. Robin's going to be an outsider. And why is this happening? Well, over a matter of a few days her parents' marriage fell apart. Andrew Spence is staying in New York - he works for a securities firm - and her mother, Sadie Roper, has come back to London to pick up her practice as a criminal barrister. That's easier said than done when you've been out of the market place - and the country - for more than ten years. Full Review


The Cleaner by Mark Dawson

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Ruthless and coldly competent, John Milton is one of the British government's best assets – a contract killer with lethal instincts. Now, after ten years, he wants out. But his job isn't one you can just walk away from… Full Review


The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard

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When we first meet Jim Doyle, he's about to get a shock. He's security at a supermarket and he's watching a woman who is acting suspiciously. She has a book tucked under her arm and he wonders if she's planning to pay for it. Suddenly it drops to the floor with the spine splayed upwards. Nothing Man by Eve Black, is the title. Why is Jim shocked? Well, Jim was - is - the Nothing Man who, until eighteen years ago raped and killed. The author of the book was twelve years old when Jim raped her mother, and then killed her, her father and her seven-year-old sister, Anna. Full Review


Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

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When you wear a hood, you're invisible.

Saffyre Maddox is seventeen-years-old and beautiful. By her own admission, she's a bit of a boffin, doing and enjoying maths, physics and biology at A level. Life hasn't been easy for her: most people who have been close to her have died and she's now living with her Uncle Aaron in an eighth-floor flat. Something really, really bad happened to her when she was ten and she self-harmed for a long time. Aaron organised psychological help and for three years Roan Fours was her therapist. He gently unpeeled the layers of her psyche, but somehow managed to miss that 'something really, really bad'. When the therapy ended Saffyre felt cast adrift, but she retained an interest in Roan. Full Review


She Lies Close by Sharon Doering

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Ava Boone was five years old when she went missing, around 6 months ago. There has been no sign of her since, and no arrests have been made. And yet, this book is not about Ava. Not really. This book is about Grace, who has just discovered her neighbour in her new house is a suspect in Ava's disappearance. As a single mother to two young children, she's really wishing this sort of information had come to light before they moved in. Full Review


The First Lie by A J Park

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On the second of October 37-year-old barrister, Paul Reeve, returned home at 9 pm to find his house in darkness and the front door open. His wife was in the bedroom in a state of shock and in the bathroom there was a dead man who had been stabbed repeatedly in the neck with Paul's paper-knife. In that moment Paul takes a decision that will be irrevocable: he decides that he and Alice are not going to ring the police and tell the truth. They're going to bury the body in woodland and go on as though nothing has happened. Full Review


Dark Waters by G R Halliday

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Twenty-two-year-old Annabelle Whittaker made her second mistake when she opted to drive down the private road in Glen Turrit. It was a long road through some breath-taking scenery and she could push the car to its limits without fear of being caught speeding. When the blond child stepped out in front of her she instinctively jerked the steering wheel and hit a tree. When she came round after the accident she couldn't work out where she was, but it obviously wasn't a conventional hospital. She'd made her first mistake some time ago, although the realisation wouldn't be obvious to her for a long time. She'd made it when she chose to have her father buy her a pale blue BMW M4. Full Review


To Tell You the Truth by Gilly Macmillan

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When Lucy Bewley was nine-years-old she crept out of the house on the night of the summer solstice to watch the pagan celebrations in Stoke Woods. Her four-year-old brother, Teddy, would have woken the house if she hadn't taken him with her. But in the early hours of the morning, Lucy returned home without Teddy, hoping that he would have got home before her. He hadn't and no one has seen him since. Lucy's story was crucial to the police investigation, but it keeps subtly changing. Lucy is being advised by her imaginary friend, Eliza Grey and Eliza says that there are certain things which Lucy must not tell the police. Full Review


A Shooting at Chateau Rock (A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel) by Martin Walker

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It was a couple of days after old Driant's funeral that Bruno Courrèges got an angry phone call from his son. Gaston's father had sold the family farm in order to buy an insurance policy which he had used to secure a life of luxury at an expensive retirement home near Sarlat, owned by a Russian oligarch. Before he even got to go there he died, apparently of a heart attack, and the retirement home collected the proceeds of the policy and Gaston and Claudette Driant were left with just the contents of the farmhouse. The family hadn't exactly fallen out, but Gaston lived some way away and Claudette had fallen out of favour when she announced that she was gay, but they weren't expecting to be almost completely disinherited. Full Review


I Made a Mistake by Jane Corry

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We know from the very beginning that there's a tragedy about to happen. On a January evening on a very crowded platform 3 of Waterloo Underground station a man falls under an oncoming train. That man is Matthew Gordon. Much later we see Poppy Page in the witness box of a crown court, getting a very rough ride from the prosecuting barrister. Full Review


Just My Luck by Adele Parks

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Elaine Winterdale took the fall for the landlord. Aged 37, she got a suspended sentence because a faulty gas boiler had caused the deaths of 29-year-old Reveka Albu and her 2-year-old son Benke. Toma Albu, husband and father, had found them when he returned home. Full Review


Access Point by T R Gabbay

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When we first meet Ula Mishkin she's having something of a professional success: using a device of her own invention she's helped a man who has been blind for decades to see an image of a hummingbird. She's thirty-six years old and her life is about to change radically as, cycling home, she's involved in an accident with a bus. It's two years before we meet her again and in the meantime, she's spent 392 days in a coma and now walks with a stick. A professional colleague persuades Ula that she should let out a spare bedroom to bring in some income. Full Review