Yesterday I recommended 12 thrillers that make perfect holiday reads – all books that I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed – but today I thought I’d blog about the books that are sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
They’re pretty much all thrillers again (hello, am I obsessed with people being murdered?) and have either been recommended to me by friends or I’ve just stumbled across them online having bought something similar.
So there’s an element of “I can’t personally recommend these yet” but they all LOOK like they’re going to be fantastic and a fair chunk of them will be coming in my suitcase when I head off to the mountains of Gran Canaria in a couple of weeks time. (No mum, I don’t want a Kindle, I like carrying lots of heavy books thanks).
If you’ve read any of these and want to shout READ THAT ONE FIRST then please do as I obviously can’t take all nine of these in my suitcase without accidentally prompting divorce proceedings.
“Summer in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a blue collar neighbourhood where hipster gourmet supermarkets push against tired housing projects, and the East River opens into the bay. Bored and listless, fifteen-year-old June and Val are looking for some fun. Forget the boys, the bottles, the coded whistles. Val wants to do something wild and a little crazy: take a raft out onto the bay.
But out on the water, as the bright light of day gives way to darkness, the girls disappear. Only Val will survive, washed ashore semi-conscious in the weeds.
June’s shocking disappearance will reverberate in the lives of a diverse cast of Red Hook residents. Fadi, the Lebanese bodega owner, trolls for information about the crime. Cree, just beginning to pull it together after his father’s murder, unwittingly makes himself the chief suspect – although an elusive guardian seems to have other plans for him. As Val emerges from the shadow of her missing friend, her teacher Jonathan, Juilliard drop-out and barfly, will be forced to confront a past riddled with tragic sins of omission.”
I actually got about half way through this book at the end of our honeymoon, but the fact I didn’t finish it at the time shouldn’t be a damning indictment. I was just gutted to be back in cold gloomy London and the book reminded me too much of being half cut in the swimming pool, so I put it away for a while. I will be finishing it though as I was mesmerised by every single character and the clarity with which I could picture the entire neighbourhood.
I didn’t feel like I was in Abu Dhabi reading this, I was smack bang in the middle of Red Hook, wondering if June would ever be found.
This book is as much about the characters of Red Hook as it is about the central mystery. I saw someone compare it to Twin Peaks in that sense and whilst it’s not as batshit crazy, it’s a good comparison.
“The course of Frank Mackey’s life was set by one defining moment when he was nineteen. The moment his girlfriend, Rosie Daly, failed to turn up for their rendezvous in Faithful Place, failed to run away with him to London as they had planned. Frank never heard from her again. Twenty years on, Frank is still in Dublin, working as an undercover cop. He’s cut all ties with his dysfunctional family. Until his sister calls to say that Rosie’s suitcase has been found. Frank embarks on a journey into his past that demands he re-evaluate everything he believes to be true.”
I love the Dublin Murder Squad, so obviously I’m excited to read Tana’s third book. I was really pleased to see that Mackey takes centre stage in this one too, as he is BRILLIANT.
“Hollywood It Girl Janie Jenkins has it all.
The looks, the brains, the money, the fame.
Oh, and the murder conviction – for killing her mother.
Out of jail and on the run, she’s determined to prove her innocence and find out what really happened the night her mother died.
The only problem?
Janie’s not totally sure that she is innocent…”
Don’t be alarmed Mum, but I am really excited about getting stuck into this one. Oh and Tana French herself loved this book, so that’s a good recommendation.
“She’s only been gone two hours.
Her husband David was meant to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she’s never seen before.
With an increasingly hostile and menacing David swearing she must either be mad or lying, how can Alice make the police believe her before it’s too late?”
Another book that I’ve started and somehow not finished. I read the first few chapters a year or so ago but actually found it quite uncomfortable. I can deal with a lot of violence/gore/MENACE but there’s something about women being doubted when it comes to babies (or, admittedly, ghosts) that I find really hard to deal with. Probably because being the paranoid person I am I can imagine that one day I will have a baby and it will be haunted and nobody will believe me. (Which is one of many reasons that I shouldn’t watch endless child-related horror movies but hey, I like being frightened).
I have a love/hate relationship with this type of theme I guess, I think for a lot of people the fear of not being believed (especially by a loved one) is a very real and disturbing fear. But I like being scared, so do ‘enjoy’ movies/books where this is the theme as long as I can push through to get to the end. Especially as the woman is nearly always right to have been scared and then I can look to ST and say “EXACTLY! THIS IS WHY YOU MUST ALWAYS BELIEVE WOMEN! THERE WAS A MONSTER IN THE ATTIC AND HER HUSBAND NEVER BELIEVED HER AND NOW HE IS DEAD SO I THINK WE CAN ASSUME I AM ALWAYS RIGHT FROM NOW ON!” etc etc.
Basically, I need to put my swapped baby fears aside and finish this book.
“First came the days of the plague. Then came the dreams.
Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of Evil.
His time is at hand. His empire grows in the west and the Apocalypse looms.
When a man crashes his car into a petrol station, he brings with him the foul corpses of his wife and daughter. He dies and it doesn’t take long for the plague which killed him to spread across America and the world.”
This is not a book I would naturally gravitate towards, but my sister says it’s amazing and she has read it lots of times so I’ve promised to give it a shot.
“Daniel believed that his parents were enjoying a peaceful retirement on a remote farm in Sweden, the country of his mother’s birth. But with a single phone call, everything changes. Your mother…she’s not well, his father tells him. She’s been imagining things – terrible, terrible things. In fact, she has been committed to a mental hospital. Before Daniel can board a plane to Sweden, his mother calls: Everything that man has told you is a lie. I’m not mad…I need the police…Meet me at Heathrow.
Presented with a horrific crime, a conspiracy that implicates his own father, Daniel must examine the evidence and decide: who is telling the truth, his mother or his father? And he has secrets of his own that for too long he has kept hidden…”
I can’t remember why I bought this but I think it was because I saw posters all over the tube telling me I had to. I’ve not read (or watched) Child 44 so I am not actually familiar with Tom’s writing but I know he shifts millions and millions of copies so I am assuming this will be good.
“Todd and Jodie have been together for more than twenty years. They are both aware their world is in crisis, though neither is willing to admit it.
Todd is living a dual existence, while Jodie is living in denial. But she also likes to settle scores. When it becomes clear their affluent Chicago lifestyle could disintegrate at any moment, Jodie knows everything is at stake. It’s only now she will discover just how much she’s truly capable of…
Shocking and compelling in equal measure, THE SILENT WIFE is a chilling portrayal of two people in turmoil and the lengths they will go to in order to protect themselves.”
ST saw this in an airport once and bought it ‘as a joke’ to say it might teach me to be quiet. Obviously not knowing what happens to the husband. HAH!
“Detective Stephen Moran hasn’t seen Holly Mackey since she was a nine-year-old witness to the events of Faithful Place. Now she’s sixteen and she’s shown up outside his squad room, with a photograph and a story.
Even in her exclusive boarding school, in the graceful golden world that Stephen has always longed for, bad things happen and people have secrets. The previous year, Christopher Harper, from the neighbouring boys’ school, was found murdered on the grounds. And today, in the Secret Place – the school noticeboard where girls can pin up their secrets anonymously – Holly found a photograph.
The photo shows a boy who was murdered a year ago.
The caption says, ‘I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM’.”
I’ve just realised whilst writing this post that there’s actually a Dublin Murder Squad book between Faithful Place and this one called Broken Harbour. I should probably buy that one before moving on to this one but I want to read this one SO MUCH.
“In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life.
Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen and in love for the first time, three planes fell from the sky within three months, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, Judy Blume weaves a haunting story of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, whose lives are for ever changed in the aftermath.
The plane crashes bring some people closer together and tear others apart; they create myths and unlock secrets. As Miri experiences the ordinary joys and pains of growing up in extraordinary circumstances, a young journalist makes his name reporting tragedy. And through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.
Beautiful, gripping and deeply moving, In the Unlikely Event is an unforgettable novel from Judy Blume, one of America’s most beloved authors.”
I started this last week but haven’t got very far yet as I’ve been all over the place in hostess mode, but I’ll definitely be finishing this before moving on to any of the others above. This isn’t a murder-y thriller (I don’t think?! ask me at the end, hah!) but from the few pages I’ve read I’m thoroughly enjoying being transported back to the 50s and generally having Judy back in my life.
Of course, in the process of writing this post I’ve come up with about 50 other books I want to buy, but I need to read these ones first. Or at least some of them first. I can’t keep buying books before reading the ones I have. THAT’S JUST BAD ECONOMICS.
Do shout if any of these are particularly good and they’ll be moved up the pile!