Newest Thrillers Reviews

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Review of

The Skeleton Key by Erin Kelly

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The Golden Bones is going to follow me around for the rest of my life. How can I trust anyone? It all leads back to you!

Nell didn't want to go to the reunion to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Golden Bones. She'd had no benefit from it - in fact, it had made her life precarious and unbelievably challenging. I'd better explain. The Golden Bones was a treasure quest book painted and written by Frank and Cora Churcher. The story revolved around murdered Elinore whose golden and bejewelled bones were hidden around the country. The clues - some of them quite tortuous - were disguised in the words and pictures of the book - and all the parts were discovered except for the pelvis. As with such quests, some people were obsessive and the theories became more and more outlandish. Full Review

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Review of

Red as Blood by Lilja Sigurdardottir and Quentin Bates (translator)

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When Flosi’s wife goes missing, all the evidence seems to point towards her having been kidnapped. The ransom note tells him not to have any contact with the police, so instead he enlists the help of Arora, a financial investigator. She manages to persuade Flosi that they will need the help of the police, and she calls her detective friend, Daniel, whom she met when he was investigating her sister’s disappearance. Together, they start to secretly investigate Gudrun’s disappearance, trying not to arouse the suspicion of anyone, since they have no idea who the kidnappers might be, yet the more they uncover, the more confusing things become. Full Review

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Review of

The Bone Road by N E Solomons

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Heather Bishop, the former Olympic cyclist, flew to Bosnia to surprise her boyfriend, cycling journalist Ryan Mackinnon. She even took their bikes so they could have a few days' break in the region. It was a little worrying that he didn't seem exactly pleased to see her: she even wondered if he had a woman in the hotel room. Heather had to give up competitive cycling after a traumatic brain injury four years before: she was still fit but her reactions and her memory were not up to the standard she would need to race again. Sometimes she couldn't be certain about what she had or hadn't done and she simply couldn't cope in difficult situations. She didn't entirely trust herself. Full Review

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Review of

The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre

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Many of them didn't know each other, one of them didn't know anybody, including Jen, one of them quite possibly hated her, and two of them definitely hated each other. What could possibly go wrong?

That's the round-up for Jen's hen party which is to take place on Clachan Geal an island just south of Barra. They're all staying in The Cliff House, hosted by Lauren, and it's the utmost in luxury living but then Jen can afford it. She's just sold her muffin business for millions but is staying on to run it. She's got her doubts about the long weekend: fiance Zaki Hussain has been acting a little strangely of late and wouldn't explain to her what the email he was hurriedly deleting was about. Added to that, he's just about forced her to bring his sister, Samira, whom Jen's never met, on the trip, on the grounds that she's been stuck at home with newborn twins for the last six months and desperately needs the break. Full Review

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Review of

The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

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In July 2019, Jason Mott was mud larking on the banks of the River Thames when he came across a bag of what appeared to be human bones. Detective Inspector Samuel Owusu and Saffron Brown from forensics were there to investigate. The bones were indeed human: a young woman had been killed by a blow to the head many years ago - probably as long as twenty-five - but the bones had not been in the river longer than a year. There was no identification but the bag contained vegetation, some of which was quite unusual. Full Review

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Review of

Confidence by Denise Mina

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We're back in the world of podcasters Anna and Fin, whom we first met in Conviction. It was Anna who'd organised the 'family' holiday: her ex, Hamish, is now with her best friend, Estelle and her children are living with them. Fin (who was married to Estelle) is there too and it was Anna who invited his girlfriend, Sofia. It's not long before everyone realises that was a bad mistake. Sofia's difficult and with everyone trapped inside their holiday accommodation - a lighthouse, in a storm - she begins talking about Anna's past, including her real name and the rape. This was something which Anna had intended to tell the girls - twelve-tear-old Jess and ten-year-old Lizzie - when the time was right. And this wasn't the right time. Full Review

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Review of

Listen to Me by Tess Gerritsen

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We're in Boston with Amy. When she set out for university this morning it was a spring day and she wore her new, buttery-leather pumps but as she comes out of the library she knows that they're going to be ruined - and unsafe - in the snow that's now falling. As she crosses the road, a car comes out of nowhere and hits her. It doesn't stop.

Two months later, we're with Angela Rizzoli, mother of Detective Jane Rizzoli, and a keen defender of the suburb of Revere, north of Boston, where she lives. Nothing gets past her and whilst her boyfriend, Vince Korsak, is in California, looking after his sister, she has the time to watch what's happening in the neighbourhood. The people who are moving in at no 2533 have aroused her suspicions. Full Review

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Review of

One Last Secret by Adele Parks

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Natalya is an escort. Well, her name's not actually Natalya: that's her professional name but it is a nod to her Serbian heritage. She's actually thirty-one-year-old Teodora Dziewulski, usually known as Dora Wulski. If you're thinking of 'escort' as being a polite description of a prostitute, run by a pimp, who's turning tricks to fund a drug habit, forget it. Dora is a professional in all senses of the word. She has an agent, Elspeth, who takes 30% of her income and deals with the payments but checks out the clients to see that Dora is going to be safe. Dora describes herself as a self-employed clairvoyant to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. Full Review

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Review of

A Stranger on Board by Cameron Ward

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Right from the beginning, we know this will not turn out well. Eight days into the trip to deliver the superyacht Escape to Antigua, all 300 tonnes and six decks will be floundering without power in the Atlantic. Those of the crew who are left will be cowering in fear a fellow crew member tries to pick them off, one by one. Some are already dead. They are three days from shore and there is no way of making contact. But let's go back to when all this started, in Southampton. Full Review

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Review of

We All Have Our Secrets by Jane Corry

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Harold Gentle advertised for live-in help as he was failing to cope at Willowmead House on his own. His advert was fairly specific: he was a retired lawyer needing help but he also spoke of the ability to cook a good steak, enjoy decent wine and be free from any food fads. The first person who came to the house was Francoise, a French woman in her early twenties, who fit the bill perfectly. She got the job but Francoise didn't know about the advert: she was there for a completely different reason. Emily Gentle is Harold's daughter and she came to Willowmead House because she was running away from a problem in London. Emily's a midwife and her last shift had seen her lacking concentration and a complaint had been made. Full Review

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Review of

Lying Beside You by Michael Robotham

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Elias Haven murdered his parents and his twin sisters two days after his nineteenth birthday. Voices told him to do it. Only two people survived the carnage - Elias, who was sent to Rampton, and his thirteen-year-old brother, Cyrus, who hid in a shed until the police found him. Twenty years later, Cyrus is a forensic psychologist and he's been told that his brother is being released. Can Cyrus forgive the sinner whilst having to live on a daily basis with the results of the crime? Can he bear to have Elias living in the same house? How will his lodger, twenty-one-year-old Evie Cormac, cope? Full Review

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Review of

The Birdcage by Eve Chase

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It's the 7th of January 2019 and we know that a body has been pulled out of the sea at Zennor in Cornwall. We don't know whose body it is. Four days earlier, Flora, Kat and Lauren had gathered at Rock point at the request of their father, Charlie Finch, a famous artist. The girls are actually half-sisters and their dates of birth are embarrassingly close. Finch was known for his fecundity, if not for his fidelity. It's been a long time since the girls have been at Rock Point together: just over twenty years ago, at the time of the total eclipse, something happened. Kat and Flora were obviously involved but Lauren was a victim and it's left her very wary of her sisters. Full Review

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Review of

Faceless by Vanda Symon

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In this book told from multiple viewpoints, several troubled people are thrown into the same story thanks to just one mis-step. Set in New Zealand, the first of our characters is Bradley, a middle aged man struggling with an overbearing boss, a weighty mortgage, and what he feels is an unappreciative wife. Then there’s Billy, a homeless teenage girl who is a street artist working as a prostitute sometimes in order to pay for the materials she needs. And then we have Max, who is also living on the streets and who keeps an eye on Billy. He is a shell of a man, barely able to take any care of himself, and yet we can sense that he was once something more than he is now. One night, Bradley finds himself half-crazed with stress and anxiety, driving down the street looking for a prostitute. He picks up Billy, and then with one thoughtless decision finds his life thrown into turmoil and a spiral away from the person he thought he was into someone very different. Full Review

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Review of

The Club by Ellery Lloyd

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The party of the year turned into the murder mystery of the decade.

Just off Littlesea, in Essex and a mile or so into the Blackwater Estuary, The Manor stood on an island. It was now known as Island Home, one of The Home Group's exclusive clubs and the opening weekend was going to be something special, even by Home's standards. Speedboats, helicopters and blacked-out SUVs were converging on the island, which was linked to the mainland by a causeway that was inaccessible at high tide. Home's CEO, Ned Groom, is determined that everything, everything will be perfect. Home has 5761 members: just 150 of them have received invites for the weekend. Those who have not been invited have not stopped ringing... Full Review

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Review of

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

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Things are not what they seem.

It was a Friday and Jess Hadley was keen to get to her half-brother's flat in Paris. She'd come across from London on Eurostar, courtesy of the money she'd stolen from The Pervert's till in the Copacabana Bar in Brighton. It wasn't likely that the police would be on to her yet but she'd like to be somewhere safe and with food and drink inside her. She'd phoned Ben and got the address - 12 Rue des Amants - and he told her that the apartment was on the third floor. She's outside what's obviously a very upmarket building but she hasn't been able to get in touch with Ben. Full Review

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Review of

Unhinged (Volume 3) (Blix and Ramm) by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger

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This is the third book in a series of stories featuring Alexander Blix, a police officer, and Emma Ramm, a crime journalist. In this book we find that when one of Blix's colleagues, Kovic, uncovers a connection between several Oslo cases, she tries to contact her superior, Blix. Before she can reach him, however, she is murdered, and Blix's daughter Iselin who shares the same apartment, narrowly escapes being murdered too. We then find ourselves a few days later with Blix and Ramm, who are being interviewed by the National Criminal Investigation Service because Blix has shot and killed someone, and Ramm saw it all happen. What had Kovic discovered? And what did Blix and Ramm uncover that led to Blix killing someone? Full Review

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Review of

The Wedding Murders by Sarah Linley

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Libby Steele was hoping to get a permanent job with the newspaper and the case she was covering was her big chance. It was even more important to her than the celebrity wedding she was to attend the following day with her ex-rock star boyfriend, Matthew. She was leaving her seven-year-old son, Patrick with her sister, Emma, and heading off to a grand manor house hotel in the North Yorkshire countryside. Daniel Acroyd, television presenter and former member of the rock band was marrying Vicky and Libby suspected that the wedding wasn't quite as high-profile as had been suggested as there was no ban on photos or phones. Full Review

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Review of

The Long Weekend by Gilly Macmillan

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It was a long drive to the weekend retreat in Northumbria, right up near the Scottish borders and to make it worse the three husbands had all - for one reason or another - had to delay making the trip until the Saturday morning. Jane and Ruth had known each other for a long time but Emily was a bit of an outsider. She and Paul had married only relatively recently and she was ten years younger than the other two women. The friendship of the group went back to school days. Paul had coached rugby at the school where Mark, Toby and Rob were pupils. Mark had married Jane, and Toby is Ruth's husband. And Rob? Well, Rob's dead. Full Review

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Review of

The Interview by C M Ewan

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Kate Harding is going for an interview for her dream job at Edge Communications. It's the last interview of the day at one of London's newest office buildings and Edge have fitted out their part of the building to be something special. Maggie, Kate's recruitment agent, is keen to see that Kate approaches the interview in a good state of mind: Kate assumes that this is because Maggie will get a decent bonus if Kate gets the job - and she has to admit that life has not been easy for her recently. Full Review

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Review of

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

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It's May 2019 and Dr Chloe Davis, a medical psychologist, is completing a session with a new patient. Lacey is suffering mentally but Chloe has hopes of getting her through the trauma. You see, Chloe knows what it's like to have a traumatic childhood. Her father is Richard Davis, the man who murdered six girls some twenty years ago. Their bodies have never been found but Chloe found some jewellery belonging to the girls - trophies taken from their bodies - tucked away in a cupboard at home and she and her mother handed it to the police. Dick Davis is in the Louisiana State Penitentiary and Chloie has had nothing to do with him for the last twenty years. Her mother is in a care home. Full Review

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Review of

One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner

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It's five years since the stag weekend. Five of them had set out: Tim (the groom) and his four groomsmen, Scot, Miguel (who was usually called Miggy), Neil and Josh. The first night they had plenty of alcohol - too much really - and in the night Scot managed to wander off. The remaining four searched for him in vain and it was decided that Tim, who was experienced in survival techniques, would go for help. When help didn't come the remaining three finally made their way back to town. Scott followed soon after but there was no sign of Tim. Every year, Tim's father, Martin, and the four friends have been back to continue the search although they do now acknowledge that they're looking for 'remains' rather than for Tim. Full Review

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Review of

The Lost by Simon Beckett

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The disappearance of Metropolitan police firearms officer, Jonah Colley's young son, Theo, just about finished him, particularly as he blamed himself for what had happened. He'd fallen asleep in the park whilst Theo was playing and when he woke, Theo had gone. It cost him his marriage and his home. Ten years later he's largely come through it and he's out with his team when he gets a phone call from DS Gavin McKinney. Gavin used to be his best friend but it's a long time since they've spoken. He's obviously in some difficulty now - Jonah can hear it in his voice - and he asks Jonah to meet him at Slaughter Quay. There's no one else I can trust, he says. Full Review

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Review of

Bitter Flowers by Gunnar Staalesen

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Varg Veum is a Norwegian Private Investigator who has just finished a stint in rehab and is now returning to work. However, the quiet job he's supposedly taken on caretaking someone's house quickly turns into a murder investigation, and a mystery around a missing woman. Varg finds himself not only investigating these, but also looking into an old, cold case of an eight year old girl who disappeared one night and was never found. Somehow, these disparate cases appear to be linked, but what is the link, and how can Varg possibly unravel the truth? Full Review

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Review of

Quicksilver by Dean Koontz

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Meet Quinn Quicksilver. He's not had the chance to get to be a mercurial character yet, for he's lived in a nun-run orphanage since he was a three-day old foundling, and now is starting a career on a needless magazine's staff. But when this book starts he IS now subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind, for something – call it unearthly intuition, call it mind-control, call it a supernatural urge – has demanded of him that he go to a derelict diner, find a gold coin worth a fortune, cash the value of it out of his bank and prepare for going on the lam. And all this is just in time for two of those typical Men in Black types to turn up and suggest he's of interest to them. Helped to escape, he finds his flight is interrupted by other instances of him acting without being in control, the discovery that he is not unique in having some kind of burgeoning power – and a whole lot more besides. Full Review

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Review of

The Unheard by Nicci French

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Tess, a teacher and Jason, a headmaster, have split up: she and Poppy have moved out of the family home and Jason is now married to Emily. The separation was amicable - they had just drifted apart. They co-parent three-year-old Poppy who has her bedroom in what was the family home and another in the flat she shares with her mother. It seemed to be working well until the day that Poppy came home with a menacing drawing of a woman falling from a tall building and she started swearing, using words she was unlikely to have heard in either home. Her behaviour deteriorated and there were problems at nursery school. Tess turns to a therapist for help, then her doctor and finally the police but no one will take what she has to say seriously. Full Review

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Review of

Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver

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Maeve is a high-functioning alcoholic, drinking continuously and also, curiously, addicted to attending numerous AA groups. She is also a self-acknowledged psychopath. Whilst analysing and critiquing the AA steps she is mainly using the groups to find targets...targets for sexual encounters, targets to feed her desire to hear of people's misery, and targets for her violent behaviour. Yet she also seems to be searching for others who think as she does, and when she's unable to find like-minded people in any of the groups she decides to set up her own, hoping to encounter others who share similar obsessions, and thus Psychopaths Anonymous is born. Full Review

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