I love books that have me on the edge of my seat or jumping at every creak in the house as I read in the evening. Here are a selection of reviews of psychological thrillers, spooky stories and anything that makes the adrenaline flow.
The blurb: Jess Walker, middle child of a middle class family, has perfected the art of vanishing in plain sight. But when she arrives at a concrete university under flat, grey, East Anglian skies, her world flares with colour. Drawn into a tightly-knit group of rule breakers – led by their maverick teacher, Lorna Clay – Jess begins to experiment with a new version of herself. But the dynamic between the friends begins to darken as they share secrets, lovers and finally a tragedy. Soon Jess is thrown up against the question she fears most: what is the true cost of an extraordinary life?
You And Me
Do you remember Rachel Watson, the protagonist from The Girl On The Train? How Eleanor Oliphant (who, by the way, ‘Is Completely Fine)? Now add a splash of Joe from Caroline Kepnes’s book, You, and you have Fran, whose eyes we see through in Nicola Rayner’s latest thriller, You and Me.
Having grown up on an island steeped in history, folklore and witchcraft, I love the promise of a good book where history has a habit of repeating itself. Sight Unseen did not disappoint.
The Nothing Man
When is a true crime story not a true crime story? When it’s The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard. This whirlwind of a novel takes the reader through the experiences of Eve Black, the sole survivor from the night the serial killer dubbed The Nothing Man murdered her family. But also reading her account is security guard Jim Doyle, The Nothing Man himself, years after his final brutal attack. And as he reads Eve’s account and investigation into the cold case that shocked the nation, he becomes angry. So angry, he could kill again.
Girl In The Walls
This was a great book to read over a bank holiday weekend as I was able to immerse myself in it rather than read a few chapters here and there. Elise is a shadow, a ‘something’ seen out of the corner of the eye, a figment of the imagination. She’s living in her family home. Unfortunately a different family from her own lives there too…
The Devil Upstairs
This was a great book to kick off my September reading, when my reading preferences lean towards the eerie and peculiar. Cat is a strong character who is finding her feet in a foreign land. With the help of her larger than life colleague and friend, Agnes, she tries to settle into her new life and learn the local customs and dialect which has done humorous moments.
What a ride this book was! I loved the spark between Harrison which grew as he mentored her in using her precognitive gift. Both have a past full of hurt and as they embark on their hunt for the missing Lucy, they also have the chance to find a connection with someone who finally understands their abilities.
Not Myself Today
I read this in one sitting, as it’s a really easy read to relax with. It’s written in first person perspective and the reader is drawn into Lindsey’s dawning realisation that somehow she’s in a different body. And not just any body; this one is tattooed, emaciated, dependent on drugs, used and battered. Her shock deepens as she learns more about Annabeth, the girl whose body she is now inhabiting, and the actions which led to two criminals seeking revenge.
The Lie She Told
I started this book thinking I’d dip in and out of it over a few days but ended up reading it into the night as I couldn’t put it down! The characters were well-developed and there were only as many as were actually needed for the plot itself. Too many minor characters is one of my pet peeves when I’m reading a novel so I really enjoyed this aspect of the author’s writing.
This was a perfect book to read in October: Spooky, creepy and believable. Arabella’s world sucked me in from the very start. I enjoyed the way the tension between her gift, her celebrity and the scepticism of the police was built up, and the jumping back in the time line added to this.
The House Mate
I thought I had this book all figured out, I really did, and then it threw my assumptions upside down, shook them about, and watched as the loose change fell out of their pockets. The story is told in two time perspectives: Then and Now. Regi has moved into a house in readiness for a university course as a mature student and is living with three younger women. It very quickly becomes apparent that Regi has suffered some kind of trauma in her past, which manifests in a variety of obsessive compulsions and flashbacks from her past.