SUMMER THRILLERS – It’s almost time to hit the road – we’re heading to France – so I’m hoping to chill out by the pool with a stack of great books, a croissant or three and a carafe of wine. Yes, some chance with a five year old!
In case you’ll have more time to read than me over summer, here’s some recommendations for thrillers you’ll want to pack in your suitcase:
Yvonne Carmichael has a high-flying career as a geneticist, a beautiful home and a good marriage. But when she meets a stranger she’s drawn into a passionate affair… This is a taut, brilliant and brutal thriller, about the dangers women face when they think they ought to be able to have it all in a society that dislikes powerful women. The language is spare, precise, perfect, and I love the inclusion of science too. As Hilary Mantel says, ‘There can’t be a woman alive who hasn’t once realised, in a moment of panic, that she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong man.’
Daughter by Jane Shemilt
A year ago, Jenny Malcolm’s daughter, Naomi, went missing. Jenny, a GP and her neurosurgeon husband, are devastated. As they search for Naomi, Jenny discovers that those who are closest to you are often the people we know least well. Pared down, yet evocative prose – and I like the time slip between the present day and the past, when Naomi first goes missing. A brilliant literary thriller about the pressures women face whilst trying to juggle a career and look after their family.
Arthur Winthrop is a middle-aged headmaster at an elite prep school in Vermont. When he’s arrested for an act that’s incredibly out of character, the strait-laced, married headmaster confesses to a much more serious crime – a passionate affair with a scholarship student. But can Arthur’s version of events be trusted – or is the reality more complex and unnerving? The Headmaster’s Wife starts out as a taut thriller, and turns into a profound meditation on grief. Beautifully evocative, Greene has captured both the essence of maple-covered Vermont, and the Lolita-esque predatoriness of a disturbed mind.
Remember Me This Way by Sabine Durrant
Even better than her earlier thriller, Under Your Skin is Durrant’s latest novel. A year on, Lizzie still feels traumatized by the death of her husband, Zach. She misses him…so much so that she sees him everywhere. Gradually, as we learn more about their lives, we discover what a horrible hold Zach had over his wife. Lizzie starts to question whether Zach really is dead…or if he’s planning a terrible revenge. Wonderfully atmospheric and evocative of Cornwall, where part of the novel is set.
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly
I think we’ve all had nightmares about our children disappearing. But what if you were supposed to be looking after your best friend’s thirteen year old daughter and she disappears? Even worse – she’s not the first child to have been taken – another girl was abducted a fortnight before. A down-to-earth portrayal of a mother, Lisa Kallisto, in a terrifying situation, set in the Lake District.
Don’t Stand So Close by Luana Lewis
Traumatized by her final case as a psychologist, Stella only feels safe hidden away in the isolated house she shares with her husband, Max. Then one night, in the middle of a snow-storm, a teenage girl appears and begs for shelter. Stella lets her in, but the girl, Blue, is not as weak or lost as she first appeared. Stella tries to make her leave, but the damaged teenager has a few truths she wants to tell. Or are they lies? A tense and claustrophobic thriller.
Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary
Detective Inspector Marnie Rome may be brilliant at her job, but she has a shocking secret that could derail her. Rome and Detective Sergeant Noah Jake are sent to interview a resident in a women’s shelter. When they arrive, they find one of the women’s husband’s has been stabbed. In their search to discover who is the culprit, Rome and Jake uncover some dark and twisted secrets: nothing is quite as it seems on the surface. A pacy, hard-hitting and violent crime novel with a strong female DI.
What are you taking to read on holiday this year?