BOOKS: Best Crime Fiction
Occassionally, I will pick up a book that I don't normally read. This time, I picked up a few of them that compelled me to open up their covers and indulge my senses.
Crime novels, normally don't appeal to me. I have a vivid imagination and they play on my mind well into the wee hours, so they stop me from getting a good night's sleep. However, these books just seemed to appeal and I was thrilled to be able to enjoy them.
Rather than give you my personal opinion, as I enjoyed them all, I thought I'd give you the author's blurb on Amazon. Check them out for yourself, by clicking on the titles, and let me know what you think of them.
Lisa Lutz, The Swallows
From the author of The Passenger -hailed by The New York Times Book Review as "a dead-serious thriller (with a funny bone)" - and the bestselling Spellman Files series comes a suspenseful novel about a new teacher at a not-so-elite boarding school who accidentally incites a gender war among the students and staff.
When Alexandra Witt arrives at Stonebridge Academy and insists on moving into a ramshackle cottage in the woods, curiosity among the student body and the staff skyrockets. Who is this young teacher who came here alone, dresses like the kids, and left her last school under a cloud of speculation?
With its picturesque campus and classic uniforms, Stonebridge might look the part, but as Alex soon learns, it's anything but old school.
Ruth Ware, The Turn of the Key
When Rowan stumbles across the advert, it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when she arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.
She knows she’s made mistakes. But she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is…
Javier Marias, Berta Isla
Berta Isla and Tomás Nevinson meet in Madrid. Young and in love, they quickly decide to spend their lives together - never suspecting that they will grow to be total strangers, both living under the shadow of disappearances.
Tomás, half-Spanish and half-English, has an extraordinary gift for languages and accents. Leaving Berta to study at Oxford, he catches the interest of a certain government agency, and its mysterious agent, Bertram Tupra. Tomás is determined to evade the agent's attentions but his fate is sealed by a series of escalating events that will affect the rest of his life - and that of his beloved Berta. Finishing his time at Oxford, he returns to Madrid to marry her, already knowing that the life they planned has been lost forever.
Yoko Ogawa, The Memory Police
Hat, ribbon, bird, rose. To the people on the island, a disappeared thing no longer has any meaning. It can be burned in the garden, thrown in the river or handed over to the Memory Police. Soon enough, the island forgets it ever existed.
When a young novelist discovers that her editor is in danger of being taken away by the Memory Police, she desperately wants to save him. For some reason, he doesn’t forget, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for him to hide his memories. Who knows what will vanish next?
The Memory Police is a beautiful, haunting and provocative fable about the power of memory and the trauma of loss, from one of Japan’s greatest writers.
Alix Nathan, The Warlow Experiment
What kind of person keeps a man underground for seven years? And who would agree to be part of such an experiment?
Herbert Powyss lives on a small estate in the Welsh Marches, with enough time and income to pursue a gentleman's fashionable cultivation of exotic plants and trees. But he longs to make his mark in the field of science - something consequential enough to present to the Royal Society in London.
He hits on a radical experiment in isolation: for seven years a subject will inhabit three rooms in the cellar of the manor house, fitted out with books, paintings and even a chamber organ.
Alix Nathan has created an utterly transporting historical novel which is both elegant and unforgettably sinister.
Laura McHugh, The Wolf Wants In
Sadie Keller is determined to find out how her brother died, even if no one else thinks it's worth investigating. Untimely deaths are all too common in rural Blackwater, Kansas, where crime and overdoses are on the rise, and the small-town police force is consumed with the recent discovery of a child's skull in the woods. Sadie is on her own, delving into the dark corners of a life her brother kept hidden and unearthing more questions than answers.
Eighteen-year-old Henley Pettit knows more than she'd like to about the seedy side of Blackwater, and she's desperate to escape before she's irreparably entangled in her family's crimes.
Alex Segura, Miami Midnight
This is the final thrilling chapter of Segura's series.
A year has passed since Pete Fernandez’s latest, closest brush with death. After months of recovery, the newly sober Pete has managed to rebuild his life, contentedly running a small Miami bookstore and steering clear of the dangers of private eye work. So when an aging Cuban mobster asks Pete to find out who killed his drug-addicted, jazz pianist son and to locate his missing daughter-in-law, Pete balks. Until another victim suggests that the murder of the gangster’s son may be connected to the people that nearly ended Pete’s life, while revealing an unexpected, dangerous truth about the death of the Miami PI's own mother.
Rob Hart, The Warehouse
Amidst the wreckage, an online retail giant named Cloud reigns supreme. Cloud brands itself not just as an online storefront, but as a global saviour. Yet, beneath the sunny exterior, lurks something far more sinister.
Paxton never thought he’d be working Security for the company that ruined his life, much less that he’d be moving into one of their sprawling live-work facilities. But compared to what’s left outside, perhaps Cloud isn’t so bad. Better still, through his work he meets Zinnia, who fills him with hope for their shared future.
Except that Zinnia is not what she seems. And Paxton, with his all-access security credentials, might just be her meal ticket.
William Shaw, Play With Fire
In the summer of '69, the hard-living rockers of the British Invasion still rule London when former Rolling Stone Brian Jones is found floating in the pool of his palatial home. On a quiet residential block that should be far removed from the swinging party scene, Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen investigates the murder of a young woman. But the victim, known professionally as Julie Teenager, was a call girl for the rich and famous. Her client list is long, and thick with suspects-all rich, powerful, and protected. As DS Breen hones in on his prime target, he receives a pointed warning: Watch your back. Fortunately, Breen doesn't have to work alone. His keenly intuitive, deeply moral partner Helen Tozer, despite the pregnancy that's interrupted her policing career, can't help being drawn into the case of a girl used and cast aside.
Olga Tocarczuk, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
With Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, Man Booker International Prize-winner Olga Tokarczuk returns with a subversive, entertaining noir novel. In a remote Polish village, Janina Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. She is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she's unconventional, believing in the stars; and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken. When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, Duszejko becomes involved in the investigation. By no means a conventional crime story, this existential thriller by 'one of Europe's major humanist writers' (Guardian) offers thought-provoking ideas on our perceptions of madness, injustice against marginalized people, animal rights, the hypocrisy of traditional religion, belief in predestination - and caused a genuine political uproar in Tokarczuk's native Poland.
Robyn Harding, The Arrangement
Nat, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when her friend makes a suggestion: why not date a wealthy, older man? He'll pay her rent and give her a monthly allowance – and all that’s required is being his arm candy when he's in town. Sexual favours are optional. Though more than thirty years her senior, Grant, a corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is . . . Grant already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving. When he ends everything, Nat begins to stalk him at work, tracking his phone, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who's not much younger than she is. But when Grant is found dead in his posh Upper East Side apartment and the police find the murder weapon in Nat’s apartment, she is sure she must have killed her lover; she just can’t remember anything that happened that night.
Haylen Beck, Lost You
Libby would do anything for her three-year-old son Ethan. And after a traumatic year, a holiday seems the perfect antidote for them both. Their hotel is peaceful, safe and friendly, yet Libby can’t help feeling that someone is watching her. Watching Ethan. Because, for years, Libby has lived with a secret.
Just when Libby is starting to relax, Ethan steps into an elevator on his own, and the doors close before Libby can stop them. Moments later, Ethan is gone.
Libby thought she had been through the worst, but her nightmare is only just beginning. And in a desperate hunt for her son, it becomes clear she’s not the only one looking for him…
Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.
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