Top Ten Thrillers of 2015

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The trouble with choosing our top ten thrillers of 2015 was that there was an almost overwhelming temptation to go back and reread all the nail-biting bits! We did finallyget it down to our top ten and here they are, in alphabetical order by author.

A Few Words For The Dead by Guy Adams

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Remember the near-demonic Fratfield? Well, the honeymooning Toby and Tamara find themselves – and Fratfield – in the South American jungle. However, things aren’t running smoothly. Not only does Fratfield still control the forces of nature, now he has some help. Meanwhile back home a hit man prepares to continue his profession. The target? August Shining, Toby's boss, friend and wanted as an interview subject by MI6, should he live that long. Full review...

After The Crash by Michel Bussi

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It’s December 1980, almost Christmas time. But, for many families this won’t be a special festive time. A plane, carrying 169 passengers en route from Istanbul to Paris crashes in the mountains during a terrible storm. There’s no hope of survivors and yet, miraculously, there is one passenger who lives. A 3 month old baby girl is found close by the wreckage, apparently unharmed. Her parents have perished in the crash but she is a miracle, a ray of hope for her family… whoever they may be. For there were 2 young babies on board the flight, and although a mother would surely know her own child, it’s harder when it’s grandparents who need to identify and lay claim to a child they have never met before. Both families believe the little one is theirs and in the days before DNA testing and when it’s harder to access medical records across borders, it’s left to a judge to decide who should raise her, the wealthy and powerful de Carvilles or the less fortunate but loving Vitrals. In each case, the baby will have a young sibling with whom to grow up, but will she ever feel like she truly belongs? Full review...

The Vanished Ones by Donato Carrisi

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Room 13 in the basement of the state morgue is where the sleepers are kept. These are the unclaimed bodies that have been classified as PHVs. Potential Homicide Victims. They are kept indefinitely, because they are evidence that a crime has been committed, possibly the only evidence. Full review...

Personal by Lee Child

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If you've never read a Lee Child novel but have seen the trailers for a film starring Tom Cruise… can I seriously suggest you read at least one of the books before seeing the film. To be fair, I haven't seen the film and Cruise might do a decent job of whatever script they've given him… but Jack Reacher he isn't. Full review...

The Wolf in Winter (Charlie Parker Thriller) by John Connolly

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Private investigator Charlie Parker is surprised when Jude, a bum he's befriended and worked with in the past, is found hanged in a basement. It looks like suicide but Jude has been looking for his daughter Annie to rekindle their family relationship and has just raised over $100 to help find her. Odd time for suicide? It becomes an even odder prospect when Annie herself goes missing after heading for the small Maine town of Prosperous. Charlie decides to drop in on the good citizens of the small town and starts poking beneath the respectable veneer. It doesn’t take him long but there is a downside: this investigation may have a body count that includes Charlie. Full review...

Foretold by Thunder by E M Davey

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A university professor is randomly killed by a thunderbolt after posting a package of history texts to journalist Jake Wolsey. Was his death really that random? Jake doesn't have long to ponder that before he's off to Turkey with archaeologist Florence Chung to investigate the ancient religion of the Etruscans. He's not the only one interested; MI6 are tailing him for a reason even the agents concerned don't know. As history starts to reveal its secrets and connects with names centuries after the Etruscans died, Jake and Florence realise this is as much a fight for their lives as it is for knowledge. Full review...

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

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On her morning commute to work, Heidi sees something that shakes her. A young girl, barely older than her own pre-teen daughter, huddling in the rain on the platform, clutching a tiny baby. It’s a distressing situation and it stays on her mind for the rest of the day. So much so that when she sees the girl again, she feels obligated to help. Inviting Willow and baby Ruby to stay with them for a while, Heidi returns with them to the family home she shares with husband Chris and daughter Zoe. But as nice as it is to be nice, should she have been a little more cautious before bringing strangers home to stay? She knows nothing about Willow’s past, though it’s unlikely to be cheerful. Can she keep the pair of them safe and avoid detection from whoever is surely in pursuit of the runaways while she gets to the bottom of the matter? And is she really going to like what she finds? Full review...

The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt

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Emma, a doctor from London, is somewhat reluctantly moving her family to Botswana for a year. In the choice between taking a new-born baby and his two primary-school-aged sisters to rural Africa for a year, or letting your husband go out there alone for work, she's decided that there's strength in numbers. Emma and Adam have a somewhat complex relationship that is disturbingly familiar to me. People who say 'not everything in life is a competition' are generally the ones who are losing, and I didn't doubt her for one moment when she said that she liked him to succeed… just as long as he wasn't succeeding more than her. Full review...

Influx by Daniel Suarez

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We are told to never judge a book by its cover and that certainly includes any quotes that should adorn the front. Since his debut novel, all the Daniel Suarez books I have read had a quote suggesting that he was the legitimate heir to Michael Crichton. To compare your work with one of the best techno thriller writers of all time is never going to be easy and time after time, Suarez fell short. That is until Influx, a book that finally puts Suarez in the same illustrious company as Crichton. Full review...

The Ice Twins by SK Tremayne

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Angus inherits a Scottish island from his grandmother that holds fond memories from his childhood. Although it's totally remote Angus, his wife Sarah and daughter Kirstie decide to move there from London. Yes, daughter singular but they haven't always only had the one child. Kirstie used to have a twin, Lydia, till 13 months ago. Lydia died in a tragic accident, the circumstances of which have never fully been revealed. At least everyone believes it was Lydia who died but what if…? Full review...

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