This section features books coming in 2018 not (yet) featured elsewhere.
Publication Date: June 2018 from Hodder and Stoughton
What if you found out that you’d been married to a stranger?
‘Never go there, Nuala. Please, never go there.’
Nuala knows nothing of her husband James’s past. He made her swear that she would never contact his family and never, EVER visit the place he was from.
But now James is dead, and Nuala is alone. Grieving and desperate, she decides to ignore his warning.
Nuala is about to find out that some secrets are better left buried – and that uncovering the truth about the man she married will have terrible consequences..
I LOVED this. It was twisty as hell and more addictive than a pot of pringles – I rushed through it, hanging on to every word waiting to see what would happen.
You know I’ve been thinking that if characters read more psychological thrillers they’d have a much easier time of things because when their husband tells them to “Never go there” perhaps they wouldn’t then they wouldn’t end up in so much hot water. But luckily for us readers in this case, Nuala ignores that warning and in her grief at losing James she heads off to meet the family. What follows is an absolutely gripping page turner that disintegrates a marriage, messes with your perception of things and has a cracking finale that is incredibly shouty. By that I mean I shouted at it. No. What? Wait don’t do that…and well, you get the point.
The writing is brilliantly immersive and the characters are all cleverly drawn – I can’t say I particularly liked any of them, although occasionally had a pang of sympathy but this is a story of actions and consequences, in the end I believe they all had some kind of karmic comeuppance. It was a barnstormer of a story with some dark and emotive themes, highly engaging and really a most excellent read.
Highly Recommended – one to watch in 2018
You can purchase “Never Go There” HERE.
Publication Date: February 2018 from Century
The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one—a sixteen-year-old girl—missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D. D. Warren is on the case—but so is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me.
“Look For Me” is book 9 in the DD Warren series from Lisa Gardner (can be read as a standalone easily too) and has the added benefit of also featuring once more young victim turned vigilante Flora Dane who we met in “Find Her”
I love this series – Ms Gardner always writes those proper page turners that are immediately absorbing and horrifically addictive. I’m a fan of DD Warren anyway and also now of Flora Dane and in this, their first full collaboration if you like, both of them spark – making the mystery elements even more intriguing as we see different motivations at play.
The main focus of this instalment is an emotional one – an entire family bar one gunned down in their home – the missing girl could be victim or perpetrator, DD is determined to discover which. The story then takes on several themes, including the vagaries of the foster care system, sisterly relationships and parental responsibility – it is cleverly insightful with psychological thriller elements and a nicely played out mystery to solve.
Overall another excellent addition to this series, making me VERY keen to read the next.
You can purchase Look For Me HERE
Publication Date: May 2018 from Sourcebooks Landmark
Six million acres of Adirondack forest separate Natalie and Doug Larson from civilization. For the newlyweds, an isolated, back country honeymoon seems ideal: a chance to start their lives together with an adventure, on their own. But just as Natalie and Doug begin to explore the dark interiors of their own hearts, as well as the depths of their love for each other, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods.
Because six million acres makes it easy for the wicked to hide. And even easier for someone to go missing for good.
As they struggle with the worst the wilderness has to offer, a man watches them, wielding the forest like a weapon. And once they are near his domain, he will do everything in his power to make sure they never walk out again.
Wicked River was a fast and fun read for me – Deliverance notwithstanding I’m even more unlikely to go visiting the wilds of anywhere anytime soon after reading this story…
It has a lilting style to the writing that draws you into the lives of this newly married couple – a rather strange pair of lovebirds it feels obvious from the start that perhaps they are not such a perfect match – but they are about to be thrown into a terrifying and unknowable situation from which there may be no return..
There are some issues with it to be fair, I’m not sure the strand that dealt with niece Mia back home really added anything apart from slowing it down – the parts that intrigued me and kept me turning the pages was the suspicious and ever changing relationship between our main protagonists and the guy they meet in the wilds, who lets face it is more than a little crazy.
Descriptively speaking this is brilliant, you really feel the force of nature surrounding you and the “bad guy” is creepy and compelling, strangely often inducing pity for his situation despite his cannibalistic tendencies. I think Wicked River sits more on the literary thriller side than the commercial, it often has that slow burn feel to it, with motivations blurred and a sense that something unexpected is around the corner.
Overall a very good read. I am more than happy to be curled up under my duvet writing this review and not near any kind of body of water…
You can purchase Wicked River HERE
Publication Date: March 2018 from Atlantic.
One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school’s back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening —and the unspoken story he carries— will tear the town of Bliss, Texas apart.
Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Orbiting the still point of Oliver’s hospital bed is a family transformed: Oliver’s mother, Eve, who keeps desperate vigil; Oliver’s brother, Charlie, who has fled for New York City only to discover he cannot escape the gravity of his shattered family; Oliver’s father, Jed, who tries to erase his memories with bourbon. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver’s teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver’s trapped mind, the town’s unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver’s doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate — and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.
Oliver Loving is a beautifully written and consuming story that looks at familial and community relationships in the aftermath of a tragedy – the sort of tragedy where the question “Why” cannot always be answered..
Using multiple views, one of which is the locked in Oliver, we see the before and the after, the changes the family goes through, the ways in which hope remains alive. It is a wonderfully compelling tale that digs deep into the emotional core of all of us, offering huge insight into human nature and leaving a lasting impression after the last page is done.
I was sad for Oliver and a life not lived, for his Mother who clung on through it all, this is entirely captivating, with a heartfelt mystery element and a real tug on the hearstrings.
It’s a different approach to the central theme, gorgeous prose and a real sense of place and personality, Oliver Loving is one of those stories that feels very real. If I had one small bugbear I think it may have over wrung out the middle part, but overall Oliver Loving is a literary delight and a deeply touching tale from first word to last.
You can purchase Oliver Loving HERE