Crime

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

She’s buried beneath a silver birch tree, down towards the old train tracks, her grave marked with a cairn. – Opening sentence You might have heard of this book. Published in January 2015,  The Girl on the Train was an instant success. It had sold over 1 million copies by March 2015, and occupied the number one spot of the UK hardback book chart for 20 weeks (a record!). For whatever reason, I didn’t get swept up in the initial hype. I knew that the book was a sensation, but I just never got around to owning a copy. Then it got made into a movie a year later in 2016. And I still hadn’t read it. By now I was starting to hear things like “overrated” and “not worth the hype”, and I decided that I really should read it myself to what all the fuss was about. So I borrowed my Mum’s…

Death at the Seaside by Frances Brody

On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Felicity Turner made a plan. – Opening sentence I’ve always enjoyed the crime genre; I see it as a personal challenge to try and solve the puzzle before it’s revealed. If I get it right it’s an mini celebration of my being a know-it-all. If I get it wrong and there’s a huge twist I’m equally (if not more) satisfied. So when I had the opportunity to review Death at the Seaside, I was more than happy to accept. Death at the Seaside is the eighth book in the Kate Shackleton Mystery series by Frances Body. This initially worried me as I thought there would be lots of backstory that I’d have missed, but fortunately Death at the Seaside works as a standalone story and can be read and enjoyed without having read the previous works. Set in a 1920s Whitby, Brody does well to capture…

Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant

Thanks to BookBridgr for my copy of Lie With Me, it sat on my shelf for a while before I got around to reading it, and I now regret not picking it up a lot sooner, because WOW. What. A. TWIST! I am blown away by the cruelty of it; the cleverness of it; Sabine Durrant is an excellent storyteller. It starts with Paul Morris, an immediately unlikeable character who I hated from the very beginning. He’s exactly the type of man I can’t stand; pretentious, selfish and a serial womanizer – you know the sort. A struggling writer, Paul had an instant hit years back during collage, but has failed to produce anything on the same level of success since. In fact, Paul is so egotistical that he consistently tells his friends that he’s loving life as a lone bachelor with a best-seller in the works,  when in actual fact his last…

The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola

Through her left eye she could see nothing now. – Opening sentence I received an intriguing-looking proof copy of The Unseeing from @TinderPress a few months ago, and was immediately drawn into the mystery. I knew The Unseeing was based on a true Victorian crime, which intensified my expectations. I know how the Victorians were quick-to-judge and unjust (compared with our standards) in their methods and treatment of prisoners, so I had a rough idea what to expect. I have to admit, however, I initially struggled through the first chapter – it didn’t grab my full attention from off. But I kept reading, and after the first chapter I got into it and from there it flowed naturally for the rest of the novel. The Unseeing follows the stories of Sarah Gale, a woman with a death sentence for the murder/dismemberment of her ex-lover’s new fiancé, and Edmund Fleetwood, appointed…

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

A huge thank you to Francesca Russell, who sent me a beautiful hardback copy of The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish. I waited until my recent holiday to Menorca before tucking into The Swimming Pool, and spent the majority of my time either on the beach or at the hotel swimming pool, devouring each chapter. The main character, Natalie Steele, is an instantly likeable and relatable character. A teacher, wife and mother of a teen daughter, Natalie Steele understands the hardships faced by a middle-class family living in London. Her daughter, Molly, suffers from aquaphobia – an abnormal fear of water – which is so bad that she tenses at even the mention of “lido”. Natalie, ridden with guilt from an incident that happened when Molly was a baby, suffers equally, if not more, with her daughter. Continuing with their autonomous – but not unhappy – way of life, the Steeles’…

The Teacher by Katerina Diamond

Jeffery Stone looked over the sea of despondent young faces as he gave assembly, occasionally glancing up at the steel frame of the atrium. – Opening sentence The Teacher begins with the mysterious and sinister death of the headmaster of a private boys’ school; a truly gripping opening that sets the tone for the rest of the book. A psychological crime thriller, The Teacher describes itself as “most definitely not for the faint-hearted” – an enticing statement! After reading American Psycho, I felt like nothing would be able to shock me anymore – and I started The Teacher with similar expectations. And I was right – The Teacher didn’t shock me in the sense that I was expecting.  Despite having its fair share of gruesome murders (and an appallingly sinister story), there wasn’t enough detail described to make my toes curl and stomach churn in horror or disgust. Perhaps that’s just because I’ve become desensitised to gore generally, but…

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