Newest Thrillers Reviews

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Hurricane Justice by Patricia Watkins

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Finn Westlake was first amused and then horrified when he saw the attractive young woman jumping up and down in the road as his jeep turned the corner: the amusement came from the fact that she was wearing just soaking-wet bra and panties. It was when he saw the tears streaming down her face that he realised that there was a serious problem. Diana McGuire's father's plane had crashed into the river and she had tried and failed to get him out. Sending her to get more help Finn dived into the river and managed to extract Chester McGuire and his business associate, Sandy Moseley, but whilst checking that there was no one else in the plane he was seriously injured. Full review...

Can You Keep a Secret? by Karen Perry

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Thornbury Hall is the grand ancestral home of the Bagenal family headed by taciturn Peter with his wistful wife Heather and their two children, Patrick and Rachel. It is also the setting for many secrets and tragedies all of which resurface twenty years later as Patrick reunites childhood friends, Niall, Marcus, Hilary and main character Lindsey, for one final party before selling the house. Full review...

Hello Again by Brenda Novak

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Still scarred by the trauma inflicted on her by her boyfriend Jasper Moore more than twenty years previously, Evelyn Talbot works as a psychologist at Hanover House, a dumping ground for psychopathic criminals in a remote corner of Alaska. A murder in the nearby town seemed to indicate inmate involvement, but as the situation grew worse, Evelyn started to wonder whether Jasper might have returned to finally finish her off. After a book full of false clues and misleading hints, it was a genuine shock to find out who was responsible after all. Full review...

The Dying Game by Asa Avdic

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In a futuristic dystopian Sweden, ministry worker Anna is presented with an offer from the formidable chairman. Except the offer, is more of an order than a choice. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Anna accepts. She is taken to an isolated Island with other candidates for a job in the super-secret organisation. Anna's objective is simple, she is to die and then observe her fellows through hidden chambers of the house. Once the experiment is finished, she will report her findings back to the chairman. However, while this starts off smoothly at first, other contestants start disappearing and Anna is faced with the terror of knowing this is not just a game anymore. Full review...

Scoop of the Year by Tom Claver

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Martin is an ambitious journalist working on the Financial Review. Martin is good at his job - accurate, dedicated, hardworking and with a good nose for a scoop. But Martin is also uninterested in the culture that comes with reporting. He has a wife and two daughters at home and he doesn't want to waste time and money in the pub, talking macho nonsense with the other hacks. He is a far cry from his colleague Tom de Lacy, a charismatic, silver-spooned charmer with piercing blue eyes. Tom doesn't just grab the limelight though - he also grabs the promotion to industrial correspondent. And that is the job Martin not only wanted, but needed. Full review...

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

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It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens' biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends--just before Kaycee disappeared for good.Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as she tries desperately to find out what really happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret--a ritual called The Game, it will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her. Full review...

The Other Woman by Laura Wilson

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Based on the blurb on the back, Sophie might not be the most likable heroine. She's a quote-unquote perfect woman, with the house, the husband, the children and the dog. Careers may be a little unnecessary in this scenario (the husband is successful, but her own achievements seem linked to having bagged herself a catch), though there's a sort of part time hobby running her own shop, because, well, yes. So Sophie is the sort of woman, one imagines, who might rub other people up the wrong way, especially those who find their own lives lacking. Full review...

Trading Down by Stephen Norman

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Chris Peters was happy in his work for a multinational bank in Hong Kong and excited when he was promoted and sent back to London. The job had it all: a hectic trading floor, targets which were impossible and some of the fastest computers in the world under his supervision. He's happy at home too: he and Olivia met in Hong Kong: now they're married and thinking about starting a family. But ... has he been promoted beyond his capabilities? There are those in the bank who think so, particularly when things start to go badly wrong. He was never there for Olivia either. Life for Chris Peters was turning sour. Full review...

The House by Simon Lelic

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Syd loved the house, despite the fact that it was crammed full of the seller's stuff and they had to take the whole lot as a job lot. The seller had run off to Australia apparently and was up for a quick sale, lock, stock and barrel. Jack wasn't so sure. He found the place creepy, and it wasn't just the stuffed birds, there was an air about the place that he just didn't like. Full review...

The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith

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The romantic in me was immediately drawn to this book. Venice in 1945 at the close of the war is enticement enough. Add a backdrop of partisans, Mussolini and the desperate fight of the losing SS and my interest is certainly piqued, but present the aforementioned along with the mystery of a young woman found floating in the Venice Lagoon in the dead of night and resistance is futile. Full review...

By the Light of a Lie by Marjorie Orr

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Tire Thane was devastated when her best friend, Erica, was killed in a hit-and-run accident (if, indeed, it was an accident) but she really couldn't understand why she should have been in Hammersmith. She'd left her getting into a taxi at 11 o'clock the night before outside the theatre in St Martin's Lane and she was on her way home to Hampstead to review papers ready for a court appearance the following morning. Then she died three hours later and miles out of her way. The police didn't seem likely to pursue the case on the grounds that it had probably been an accident, but being an investigative journalist made Tire suspicious and she wasn't going to leave her friend unavenged. Full review...

The Prancing Jacana by Steven Jon Halasz

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Mabel Pembrose's latest novel The Prancing Jacana has been on the New York Times bestseller list for a couple of weeks: her husband, Robert Bersley, isn't doing anything like as well. He writes children's books and his editor is adamant that as he's writing about Snake and Mouse, then Mouse has to be eaten by Snake, because that's how it works. Mabel's not completely free from problems though: her novel, set in Senegal, features Police Detective Salif Bampoky and he's gay in a country where same-sex sexual acts are outlawed and in consequence her book has been banned in the country. The fact that it's banned isn't harming her sales in the US at all, but Mabel - or rather Caroline Parker, as Mabel Pembrose is her pen name - isn't content with this. She's been to Senegal, loves the country and she'd like the book to be a bestseller there too. Full review...

The Visitors by Catherine Burns

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Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John, in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar. Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden. As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn't the only one with a dark side. Full review...

Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic

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Caleb Zelic has just found his colleague and lifelong friend murdered. The two – and a female police officer – were working as a private investigative group, tracking security flaws that led to a hugely costly warehouse robbery, and all have training in the industry, so they should have seen anything coming. Caleb won't have heard it coming, however – he's pretty much deaf, getting a cadence of speech and noise from hearing aids but needing to lipread or sign. The first signs that this murder is connected to the case are impossible to ignore – as indeed are hints that something really serious is going on, when Caleb finds he can't even trust the police looking into the murder. The case will cause him to go a lot further than he would ever want – which includes to the door of his errant brother, and into the home of his recently-made-ex wife… Full review...

Strange Sight: An Essex Witch Museum Mystery (Essex Witches Mystery 2) by Syd Moore

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Rosie Strange is back - recovering after her last escapade with curator Sam Stone, and figuring out what on earth to do with the Essex Witch Museum she's recently inherited. If Rosie had her way she'd be selling the museum and heading back to her flat in London - but when her Auntie Babs recommends Rosie and Sam to a local businessman, they find themselves embroiled in dark events once again. Something is wrong at Le Fleur Restaurant - blood leaking from chandeliers, scrawled messages on the walls and apparitions walking through the walls. Before Rosie and Sam can start to look into these possibly supernatural occurrences though, events take an even darker turn when a very real body is found in the restaurant - and the owner's daughter swears that a ghost was to blame... Full review...

When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi

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Anna is in a coma. Only two people know who inflicted the severe injuries that lead to her lying there unmoving in the hospital bed, the culprit who won’t talk, and Anna who can’t. If, and it’s a big if, she wakes up, she may remember what happened, but of course there’s a chance she quite literally did not know what hit her. For her husband Erik, it’s an agonising wait. The police don’t seem that interested, but he has to know who was responsible, and so he wonders whether he should do a bit of investigating himself. He shouldn’t, of course, because in a story like this there are secrets just waiting to be uncovered, and he may find that these are things he would rather have never known. Full review...

The Winter's Child by Cassandra Parkin

5star.jpg Paranormal

A modern Gothic tale of twisted love, secrets and hauntings it says on the cover. I'll go along with that. Suzannah Harper doesn't believe in life after death or gypsies being able to tell the future, but that hasn't stopped her spending a fortune on psychics and fortune tellers in the desperate hunt for her son. Joel has been missing for five years. He skipped out of school one day after an argument at home and has not been seen since. Full review...

The Cossack by K J Lawrence

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Daniel Brooking is not what you'd think of as hero material: he's a photographer of some merit and in his fifties he has a settled life. It was the disappearance of his assistant, Ivan Shevchenko, which disrupted everything. It wasn't unknown for him to disappear occasionally, but missing an exhibition was a first for him. He'd been distracted for a few days - and then there were the strange papers which arrived, to be kept safe. The authorities, in the form of a shadowy senior member of the security services, confirmed the view that Ivan was probably dead, because of some supposed connections with organised crime and drug dealing. Full review...

Rain Falls On Everyone by Clar Ni Chonghaile

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It's a cliché that the Irish have a picturesque turn of phrase, but clichés only exist because they're true. Roddy Doyle put it differently in a recent interview with Writing magazine, when he said that With Irish, there's another language bubbling under the English. However you express it, that art of expression is woven into every other line of Clár's prose. Pick a page at random and you'll find something like the sickness that had come to roost in her home like a cursed owl or like he was God, Jesus and Justin Timberlake rolled into one or a low sobbing, slow and inevitable as rain on a Sunday: expressions that catch your smile unawares, or tear at your heart in their mundane sadness. Or sometimes both. Full review...

From The Shadows by Neil White

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I'm a bit old-fashioned and therefore not a great fan of stories that can't keep their timeline straight. I'll go with a prologue – even if it's becoming a bit of clichéd way of creating a mystery at the beginning of a story – but switching between 'now' and 'a fortnight ago' – just feels a little lazy, a way of creating tension when all else fails. That, however, is my only little gripe about From The Shadows and I admit, whether I like it or not, it does more or less work. Full review...

My Name is Sam by Wes Stuart

4star.jpg Science Fiction

Who is the real enemy? This is the question which confronts Sam, the champion of the Sereia in their cosmos-spanning war with the Gibbus, and the main character in this story. Sam is an unimposing boy who has no past and no memory of who he is, yet he possesses extraordinary abilities. He is also Earth's last hope for salvation from the Gibbus who, in seven days, will destroy the planet and everyone on it. This is not his choice however: that is the decision of the alien Sereia, his mentors and guides, as he is forced to confront this hazardous task. They have their own reasons for wanting Earth to be saved, but are too weak to challenge the Gibbus themselves. In their search for a human champion they find the unlikely and ill-prepared young boy, Sam – but this child is not quite as he appears… Full review...

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...