CHRISTMAS THRILLERS – If you’re looking for brilliant thrillers to thrill you over the Christmas holidays, here are my recommendations!
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
‘Hello there.’I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up into the stranger’s face.’Do I know you?
Ted Severson is having a martini in Heathrow airport when he meets Lily Kintner. Over drinks and during the long flight back to the states, he tells Lily that his wife is cheating on him. He confesses that he’d like to kill her. It’s a casual, throw-away remark; the kind of thing an angry man might say after one too many gins. But Lily takes him seriously, and by the time the plane lands, the two of them have agreed to murder Ted’s beautiful, adulterous wife.
This is a wonderfully written thriller, set against the chill sweep of Maine in winter, with compelling, ice-cold characters and plot twists that will take your breath away. Continue reading
GOOD READS 2013 – When I was the TV reviewer for BBC Wildlife magazine, the editor would not let me write a review about a bad programme. It was less than honest and made for duller copy. However, I am taking a leaf out of her book as I’d love you to spend the Christmas period being transported by wonderful books and giving them as gifts to others. Here is my selection of the books I’ve liked best this year.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey has to be the perfect winter present with its hauntingly beautiful descriptions – ‘She could not fathom the hexagonal miracle of snowflakes formed from clouds, crystallized fern and feather that tumble down to light on a coat sleeve, white stars melting…’ – and its poignant relationship between Jack, Mabel and the child they believe they have created out of grief and longing and snow.
CREATING CHARACTERS – As I’m going to be chatting about creating great characters with Richard Beard, from the National Academy of Writing, and Patricia Ferguson, author of, The Midwife’s Daughter at the Bristol Festival of Literature I thought I’d share with you some of my ideas before the big day.
‘I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it….I was never a good little girl, and I got worse after the murders.’