Newest Thrillers Reviews

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The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin

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What would life be like if you just packed up your things and left? This is a thought that the main protagonist Caitlyn has been mulling over for a while now but has never had the guts to do, until she reaches the final straw when her father fails at sobriety once again. After throwing her phone in a river, Caitlyn takes herself to the airport where she ends up getting a plane to New York. From there her life completely changes as she meets Jake who seems to be just what she needs. As they grow closer she is invited to meet his family, but, in a house surrounded by forest that is miles away from civilisation, family takes on a whole new meaning. There you live by the motto we are here for each other, and we are nothing without each other. Full review...

Broadcast by Liam Brown

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When David Callow is offered the lead role in a revolutionary new online show, he snatches at the opportunity. Rapidly becoming a viral sensation, David is propelled to stratospheric levels of celebrity. However, he soon realises the downside of sharing every secret with the world. A prisoner to both his fame and his own thoughts, David seeks to have the chip removed, only to discover the chilling secret lurking at the heart of MindCast, and the terrifying ambition the show's creator has for him. Full review...

Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

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Clara is mother to pre-schooler Maisie and newborn Felix, but now she has a new label: widow. Her husband Nick is dead, killed in an awful car crash that thankfully spared his daughter's life when Felix is just a few days old. For Clara, that's not the end of the nightmare. As she works her way through grief and struggles to carry on for the children, she is faced with some new worries. Maisie isn't talking much about the accident, but she's having nightmares that make Clara question the police story of events. There are things in Nick's personal possessions that are odd, things she has never seen before. What's more, it turns out a lot was going on at Nick's work that he hadn't shared with his wife. And, the more she starts to look, the more she wishes she could un-see and go back to how things were. Full review...

All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker

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In the small town of Grace, fifteen-year-old Summer Ryan suddenly goes missing. A model student with exceptional musical talent and beloved by all that know her, the incident rocks the entire town. It is even more terrifying set against the backdrop of recent crimes; for over the course of the year, five young church-attending girls have gone missing from all corners of Briar County. The kidnapper and murderer responsible for the disappearance of these girls is nicknamed Bird by law enforcement, and has so far evaded capture. Whilst he roams the streets, no one is safe. Full review...

I Am Missing: David Raker Missing Persons by Tim Weaver

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David Raker is an investigator, specialising in missing persons cases. Over the course of his work, he's seen plenty of unusual things, but he’s never encountered a case quite like this one. A man, Richard Kite, has approached him for help, but explains that his request is quite unusual. You see, Richard Kite isn't trying to locate a missing person. He IS the missing person. Found unconscious at the mouth of Southampton Water 10 months previously, Richard is now suffering from dissociative amnesia, which means that he can't remember anything about his life. He's not even sure that his real name is Richard Kite. Richard is frustrated because he cannot move on with his life. Nobody seems to know who he is, despite news and press coverage of his case, and without a National Insurance number, he is basically 'off the grid,' unable to get a job, pay tax or own a home. This desperate and confused man needs Raker's help to discover the truth. But the truth can be a dangerous thing. Full review...

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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One day Ellie went to the library for some last minute GCSE study and she never returned. There are a lot of what ifs?: what if her sister hadn't had a noisy friend over, forcing her to seek out somewhere quieter to study? What if there had been more CCTV on the high street so her journey could have been traced? What if, taking it back a bit, she had never met Theo, never fallen for him, never drifted into competition against him and never felt the need for extra swotting? What if, what if, what if? And what if actually, none of this had made a difference, because what happened was always going to happen, one way or another? Full review...

Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

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In 1998 a girl called Maryanne disappears in Ireland. In 2017 a woman called Alice is found dead in London. In both cases, Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is coincidentally close by, but she's more worried by the fact her father is too. And he cannot be trusted. Full review...

She Be Damned by M J Tjia

4star.jpg Crime (Historical)

London, 1863: prostitutes in the Waterloo area are turning up dead, their sexual organs mutilated and removed. When another girl goes missing, fears grow that the killer may have claimed their latest victim. The police are at a loss and so it falls to courtesan and professional detective, Heloise Chancey, to investigate. With the assistance of her trusty Chinese maid, Amah Li Leen, Heloise inches closer to the truth. But when Amah is implicated in the brutal plot, Heloise must reconsider whom she can trust, before the killer strikes again. Full review...

Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre and Frank Wynne (translator)

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Christmas week, 1999, and Antoine hasn't got the best of situations. Some of his friends have parted company with him because of the new-fangled Playstation, which his mother refuses to let him waste his time on. He's built a treehouse all by himself, and decided it was solely to woo the girl next door that he loves, but she's rejected it. And his best company, the dog from the other house next door, was injured in a hit and run, and shot to be put out of its misery. In the process of angrily demolishing the treehouse, he's visited by his very friendly and adorable neighbour, the dog's six-year-old owner, and Antoine's swung some of the wood at him – and killed him with one fell and very foul sweep. As the title suggests, there will be a very tense few days and nights while the guilt amasses with the lad – and/or a lifetime of living on a knife-edge, where any false move could lead to him being found out… Full review...

Final Girls by Riley Sager

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A 'final girl' is the last girl alive at the end of a horror movie, a gruesome description which has defined the life of Quincy Carpenter, as much as she tries to persuade you differently. Quincy, the sole survivor of a teenage massacre, has spent her adult years trying to put the past behind her. But when another 'final girl' dies, the media, who have always been obsessed with the girls' dark glamour, swarm upon her. And to make matters worse for Quincy, the other 'final girl' a survivor from another massacre, who has been in hiding for years, appears on her doorstep. Suddenly, Quincy is not only able to move past her past, her past starts to intermingle with her present and she is drawn back in. Was the first 'final girl's death an accident? Why has the second 'final girl' come out of hiding? And what isn't Quincy telling us about her own massacre? Full review...

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell

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I was looking forward to reading Exquisite ever since I first heard about it, and it didn't disappoint. It's a murky, suggestive thriller about two very different women who find themselves fascinatingly connected; it's a compulsive, attention-grabbing read that had me hunched up in bed till 1am, desperate to finish it as soon as I could. It's clever, excellently-paced, and uncannily realistic. It's just a pity that I managed to figure out the ending about a quarter of the way in. Full review...

The Orphans by Annemarie Neary

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Jess and Sparrow (Ro) are just children when they are playing on the beach one day and turn round to find their parents vanished and their whole life changed in an instant. It's the sort of childhood trauma that effects people in different ways. Jess goes to one extreme, studying hard, becoming a successful lawyer, building the kind of stability for her new family that she craved ever since that day. And Ro….doesn't. He does almost the opposite, never putting down roots, floating from place to place, woman to woman, free as the wind. The lives of the siblings don't cross much, but when an item belonging to their mother resurfaces, so does the case and the interest in her disappearance. Full review...

The Friend by Dorothy Koomson

5star.jpg Women's Fiction

Maxie, Anaya, Hazel and Yvonne – four friends and school-gate-mums who meet for coffee, wine, gossip and momentary escape from their respective lives. Nothing unusual about that until Yvonne is found battered and half-dead in the playground. Three weeks later Cece moves into the area, her children starting that same school. Gradually she finds herself falling into the orbit of Maxie, Anaya and Hazel and hears what happened to the still comatose Yvonne. Two questions still hang in the air though: who did it and why? The police believe that the perpetrator is one of the three remaining friends and that Cece is in the perfect position to help them with their enquiries… a very dangerous position to be in. Full review...

Aurore by Graham Hurley

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History has taught us that wars can be won or lost on the strength of a country's intelligence and on the subversives who put country before self and undertake to collect and control that intelligence in a myriad of game-changing ways. Who better then to drop into Nazi-occupied France as an agent than a thirty mission veteran of Bomber Command whose pre-war incarnation as actor and Quaker have shaped a man with guile enough to make believe and trust enough to see his mission through to the end? Enter stage left, Billy Angell. Soon to be injured airman stranded in the French countryside and tasked with befriending a local woman responsible for the safety of resistants and with necessary ties to the upper echelons of the occupying German force. What's left for us to find out is whether Billy has talent enough to succeed in his new role as agent Thesp and make it back alive. Full review...

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne

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Helena Pelletier was having a normal afternoon: making deliveries of jams and jellies to her sales outlets and taking her younger daughter Marigold to play at the side of the lake. It was on the journey back to meet her older daughter from the school bus that she heard the news: the notorious child abductor and rapist Jacob Holbrook, known as the Marsh King, had escaped from prison, killing two guards in the process. Helena knew that she was in danger: Jacob Holbrook was her father and she was the daughter of the woman he had abducted when she was fifteen years old. She'd been brought up until the age of twelve as a captive. There was another problem too: she'd never actually got around to telling her husband about her background. Full review...

A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas and Sian Reynolds (translator)

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It takes just one policeman's iota of doubt, that an elderly woman found dead in her bath with her wrists slit was not actual suicide but murder instead, for Commissaire Adamsberg to become involved. The woman, known to be dying, had struggled to get a letter posted in the days before her death – and when the recipient is found out it immediately leads to another murder disguised as suicide, and more deaths are to come. All indications (or at least those that can be understood) point to a hushed-up murder and rape on a remote and isolated Icelandic island ten years previously, but Adamsberg and his team will soon be working on the thinking that the whole truth is much more peculiar, and harder to solve, than that… Full review...

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

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Ava and Zelda are twins, their naming triggering a family joke about being opposite ends of the alphabet. That's all past tense now though as Zelda is dead. Ava is told the news via her mother's terse, dispassionate email before Ava can come home to the US from Paris. Zelda burnt to death in the family's barn where she sometimes slept… at least that's the story and human remains were indeed found in the barn. But then why is Ava still receiving emails from Zelda? Emails that taunt, emails that remind and emails that suggest Zelda is very much alive. To discover the truth all Ava needs to do is follow the clues and relive some painful memories. Full review...

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy

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It's Christmas, what could go wrong? More than that, it's Christmas on holiday, on a cruise down the Pacific coast of Latin America from near LA. Perfect, then, for two cousins – ladies both with their own husband and two kids each – to get away from what life's currently giving them, namely high-pressure work, and grief. But labours and worries and grief will only be exacerbated, when a trip ashore goes horrendously wrong, and practically the only six children on board go missing… Full review...

Friends and Liars by Kaela Coble

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Kaela Coble's debut novel Friends and Liars is a gripping read that tells the tale of 'the crew', a group of friends who once made a pact to always be honest with eachother. So what happens when none of them keep this pact? After not being together for over ten years the crew are reunited at the wake of one of their own, Danny Deuso, who has left a haunting suicide note along with an envelope for each crew member containing their darkest secret. They are now faced with two options: reveal their secrets or face the risk that Danny will reveal them from beyond the grave. Full review...

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

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For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight's retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy.It should be paradise. But it's turned into a nightmare. Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes. After everything they've been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all - where has her husband gone? Full review...

Errant Blood (Duncul Mysteries) by C F Peterson

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When Eamon Ansgar's father passes away, he makes the decision to return to his home in the Scottish Highlands to take over control of his family's estate. He has been gone for many years, during which time he has pursued a career in the army and survived a posting in Afghanistan. Having failed to succeed at his subsequent attempt at city life, it seems village life back in Glencul is his only option. For most people in his position, returning home to the peaceful life of lordship over a castle and village would sound like a dream come true. But Duncul Castle and the village it overlooks are both keeping secrets – a mystery lurks in the cellars of Duncul, and some of Glencul's residents would kill for it. Full review...

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson and Maxim Jakubowski (Translator)

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Jewellery designer Linnéa Blix fails to appear at a Cartier event presenting some of her new creations. Her friend Alexis Castells knows something must be wrong; nothing would have kept the talented young artist from attending this prestigious function. When a young woman's mutilated body is discovered in a Swedish marina near Linnéa's holiday home, Alexis' worst fears are confirmed. But Linnéa's death is not unique; in fact, she is only the latest in a string of similar gruesome murders that have occurred in both London and Falkenberg. Up until now, the bodies have all belonged to young boys, so what has caused the killer to change his or her MO? How can Alexis help to find justice for her friend, and stop a serial killer before he strikes again? Full review...

No Middle Name by Lee Child

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There is a theory, to which those who regularly read my reviews will know I sometimes subscribe, which says that the short story's heyday has passed and it has now put itself out to grass. This is particularly true, some say, and I have been known to concur, of the crime and thriller genres. Tosh! I can only apologise to all authors involved and own up: I simply haven't been paying attention. Not even to shorter offerings my by favourite authors. So: big thanks to Lee Child and publishers Bantam Press for putting me straight with No Middle Name : a collection of short stories about my favourite latter-day, American-style, Robin Hood by the name of Jack Reacher. Full review...

A Burning in the Darkness by A P McGrath

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At a busy airport, Michael Kieh is a full time faith representative serving the needs of some of the 80 million passengers, but circumstance and evidence point to his guilt in a terrible crime. His struggle to prove his innocence leads him on a charged journey that pitches love against revenge. When a mysterious woman confides a dark secret, he is motivated to redress a heart-breaking injustice. Together they must battle against powerful forces as they edge dangerously close to unmasking a past crime. But Michael faces defeat when he chooses to protect a young witness, sparking memories of Michael's past in Liberia. As he fights to prove his innocence, Michael has to risk anything for the sake of love and truth. Full review...

The Choice by Samantha King

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It's perfectly possible to be drawn towards one of your children more than the others at a particular point in time. Maybe for a moment, just a moment, you prefer the sleeping 4 year old over his up all night baby sister, and then later when off to do the Big Shop you favour the littlest one for sheer portability and lower likelihood of running off in the carpark, but if you ask most parents they will say they love their children equally. End of. In different ways and for different things, but equally. You might jokingly pick a favourite, but deep down there's no such thing. So imagine the worst thing that could come. Imagine a stranger arriving at your door with a gun and making you choose between your children. One can live, but one must die. Welcome to Madeline's world and her living nightmare. Full review...

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

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All artist Scott Burroughs did was to accept the offer from the wife of a media mogul for a short plane ride, not realising it will shape the rest of his life. The private jet falls out of the sky, making him a hero in the way he saved the only other survivor, the mogul's small son and heir JJ. The search for answers makes Scott uncomfortable in many ways, especially when he realises that for some he's not so much the hero as the murderer. Are they right? Full review...